Taxi Vancouver tries to keep swimmers afloat with new campaign

People hitting the English Bay beach in Vancouver Thursday morning encountered an unusual sight: 67 red, blue and yellow swimming kickboards placed in rows and sitting upright in the sand like gravestones. The idea behind the pro-bono campaign by Taxi Canada was to bring attention to National Drowning Prevention Week (July 16-23). Dale Miller, branch […]

People hitting the English Bay beach in Vancouver Thursday morning encountered an unusual sight: 67 red, blue and yellow swimming kickboards placed in rows and sitting upright in the sand like gravestones.

The idea behind the pro-bono campaign by Taxi Canada was to bring attention to National Drowning Prevention Week (July 16-23).

Dale Miller, branch executive director of the 100-year-old Lifesaving Society of BC, said the kickboard gravestones, which carried the message “Learn how to swim. Swim to survive,” represent the number of people who drowned in B.C. waters last year.

While the number of drowning deaths is decreasing, each summer the Society sees a spike in the number of deaths as people head for the beach, lakes and swimming pools, said Miller.

“The main message that we want to convey is that people need to be prepared when they go into the water and that could mean learning to swim or wearing a life jacket in a boat,” said Miller. “We want people to say ‘Wow I didn’t realize it was that much of a problem, maybe next time I’m out on the water I’ll think twice.’”

Miller said statistics show that 85%- 90% of all drowning deaths are males and up to 40% of deaths happen in boating incidents. The Society also released a study last year that showed new immigrants are four times as likely to be unable to swim then those born in Canada.

“Even strong swimmers can drown which is why the tombstone also states ‘Swim to survive,’” said Miller.

“I really liked that this idea reached people where it was most relevant—by the water,” said Jordan Doucette, creative director at Taxi. “We felt that it would be effective for the client and actually prevent further drowning and help people figure out what they need to do in terms of swimming lessons or increasing their knowledge of water safety.”

Brands Articles

Telus delivers custom pizzas to Game of Thrones fans

The brand's using the popular HBO show to promote its cable service, Telus Optik

Blacks embarks on a journey fueled by life’s special moments

Retailer targets snap-happy moms in new advertising campaign from Cossette

On The Move: New hires at RBC, Match and North Strategic

A weekly recap of who's headed where in Canadian marketing and communications

Managing Digital: Mondelez Canada’s Janine Keogh

Marketing VP says the key to digital is to remain curious and experiment

Canada’s Hottest Ads – The GoPro and Samsung show

Diego Bertagni and Joshua Stein are scratching their heads at the latest Top 10

Ontario confirms beer will be sold in grocery stores

Province hosting a pilot project to sell 12-packs of beer in LCBO stores

Tourisme Montréal kisses its old branding goodbye

New logo signals a change in marketing strategy that takes a "younger approach"

Canadian Football League hires new director of communications

Paulo Senra joins the CFL from the Canadian Olympic Committee

Simons CEO Peter Simons on the department-store wars

"We’re not Starbucks—there will be a limit to how many stores we build"