Ogilvy brings war heroes to life in tribute campaign

Ogilvy Montreal is paying tribute to the bicentennial of the War of 1812 for its client Department of Canadian Heritage with a series of cinema, TV and web ads designed to bring the action heroes of the war to life. The creative turns the spotlight on four of the war’s heroes – Laura Secord, Charles […]

Ogilvy Montreal is paying tribute to the bicentennial of the War of 1812 for its client Department of Canadian Heritage with a series of cinema, TV and web ads designed to bring the action heroes of the war to life. The creative turns the spotlight on four of the war’s heroes – Laura Secord, Charles de Salaberry, Isaac Brock and Tecumseh.


The English and French clips tell the story of the fight for Canada using in-your-face close-ups and a dramatic musical backdrop reminiscent of a blockbuster movie trailer. “It’s the same stylistically as in movie trailers, with the key players integrated into the story line,” explained Martin Gosselin, partner, vice-president and creative director at Ogilvy.

Ogilvy worked with a team of historians for the process that lasted a couple of months so that historical accuracy was preserved. “Both the production house and our client had historians to help with elements like clothing style and the heroes’ dialogue, which had to be validated,” said Gosselin.

“The process of casting and finding the right props was long,” said Linda Perez, vice-president, and managing director, Ogilvy. “But the client loved the creative and has received a lot of compliments.”

The War of 1812 campaign includes 60-second cinema spots, 30-second cut-down TV spots, banner ads and a magazine ad. Ogilvy developed the campaign’s visual identity as well as a War of 1812 mobile app that describes the heroes of the war and contains interesting tidbits of information for history buffs.

“It’s not every day you have a chance to work on a spot from that era. Everyone was excited – it’s Hollywood,” added Gosselin.

The campaign launched in cinemas on June 22 and various other elements will be phased in during the Olympics.

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