2017 Winners

Canadian Safe School Network

Bully Ads


BronzeBest Tech Breakthrough

The Canadian Safe School Network is one of many anti-bullying causes. We were asked to use the client’s database of influencers, bloggers and media to amplify our anti-bullying message online. With that in mind and no money, weneeded to make this campaign work hard to achieve the following:
• Exceed email open rate average of 21%
• Exceed average banner click-through rate of 0.1
• Create awareness for the anti-bullying cause in Canada
• Increase donations by 10% from previous year
Our target is already inundated with pitches daily and anti-bullying campaigns are a dime a dozen. So how can we break through and draw attention to our cause?
In Canada, one in three kids have experienced some form of bullying. It’s higher than the U.S., and one of the highest in the world. But the real problem with bullying today is there’s no escape for the victims. If you’re online, the bullying is always there waiting for you.
We noted that retargeting banner ads already behave like a cyberbully. The same ads relentlessly follow you everywhere you go online, and it feels like there’s no escaping them.
So, in a media first, we used that same retargeting ad strategy to turn online ads into Bully Ads for our influencers, bloggers and media so they could feel what it’s like to be cyberbullied firsthand. This way, we would break through the clutter and catch them off guard via our Bully Ads. Once the purpose of Bully Ads was revealed to them, they would then share their unique experience and amplify our cause online. We took mass programmatic ad banners, but efficiently put them to work on a one-to-one marketing level.
Our approach was both unconventional and an industry first. We took mass programmatic ad banners, but efficiently put them to work on a one-to-one marketing level. We also circumvented ad banner policies. All banner ads must display their source or brand or company name within the banner. But to punk our target properly, Bully Ads could not. Working with Touche and AOL, our banner ads had no source or brand and had no resolve. They simply bullied our target for days with no explanation – until finally all was revealed to our newfound victims via post-email or landing page.
Our cyberbullying experience made quite an impression.
• 51% Email open rate – exceeding global average open rate by 143%
• 14% Banner click-through rate – exceeding global click-through rate by 13,900%, in spite of the fact that these hostile, anonymous banner ads berated readers with no explanation, brand or resolve.
• 23 million impressions in a country of 35 million people
• Victims saw as many as 60 Bully Ads on any given day.
• Donations increased by 37% from previous year – exceeding 10% increase objective by 370%
Making this the only time anything good came from cyberbullying.

Chief Creative Officer: Roehl Sanchez
Creative Director: Rene Rouleau
Art Director: Andrew Yeung
Copywriter: Rene Rouleau
Group Account Director: Angela Lowe
Account Coordinator: Erin Stear
VP Technology: Ralph Reefke
Technical Director: Sukh Gill
Director of Product Innovation: Scott Keeling
Project Management: Shawn Takacs
Sr QA Specialist: Rob Peets
Digital Planner:Allison MacLeod
Jason Barg: Director of Client Insights
Media: Touche Media, AOL Canada
PR: Stephen Rouse

Have questions? Need help?
Contact Zoe Sherwood at 416-408-2300 x237 or zsherwood@brunico.com.