Evergreen taps Open as agency of record

April 25, 2013  |  Chris Powell  |  Comments

National not-for-profit organization Evergreen has named Toronto’s Open its new agency of record following a review.

Evergreen, which works to make cities more livable by deepening the connection between residents and nature, issued what its creative director Lea Anne Armstrong called a “quiet RFP” to three Toronto agencies with experience in the non-profit sector late last year.

Open’s work in repositioning Montreal’s Newad as a creative company, as well as its work with the NDP in the last federal election, were among the factors in its appointment, said Armstrong.

Open Founders Martin Beauvais and Christian Mathieu

“When you’re looking for an agency, you need someone who not only understands your brand but can work the way you need them to with your key internal stakeholders,” she said.

Open partner Christian Mathieu said the chemistry between the two organizations was apparent early in the process. “The conversations centered around their challenges. We dove right in and virtually began working on it together from the first meeting. It was not a long process.

“We love the brand [and] we love the mission – inspiring action to green cities,” said Mathieu. “They are a very forward thinking and acting organization – something we aspire to be as well.”

Open has already completed its first assignment for Evergreen. It developed a print and web campaign promoting the second annual “Ride the Ravine” fundraiser – a ride through 25 kilometres of Toronto’s cycling paths. Evergreen is hoping to more than double the number of participants in the second annual event to about 500 and raise approximately $10,000.

Open also helped brand the event by designing an online registrant package and ambient materials such as bike spoke cards. An ad appearing in the current issue of Today’s Parent magazine features an image of a bike trail surrounded by trees accompanied by the message “Make your treadmark on Toronto.”

It is the second of three formal ad campaigns planned for 2013, following a prior campaign promoting Earth Month that Open was not involved with.

Open is also charged with communicating a repositioning for Evergreen that reflects its goal of complementing its grassroots-led initiatives – planting trees, building community gardens and establishing outdoor classrooms – with partnerships at what Armstrong called a “city systems level” to make urban areas more livable.

The repositioning will see a soft launch in June, with a more formal launch expected in the fall, said Armstrong. Evergreen has an annual operating budget of just over $10 million.

Evergreen most recently worked with Rethink on a project basis. Before that, its agency of record was CP+B Canada.

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