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Canadian Red Cross: Filling Urgent Roles Amid Rising Crises

Canadian Red Cross

Unified Marketing & Communications


cairns oneil Paid Media Planning & Trafficking (Programmatic Video & Banners)
Makers Video & Photo Production

One mission of the Canadian Red Cross is to help people in Canada in times of need and strengthen community resilience. If there was ever a year when Canadians needed to come together to buoy their collective resilience, it was 2021. Beyond the wildfires, power outages and floods that commonly affect Canadians, a global pandemic was raging on.​ 

The Canadian Red Cross’ capacity was stretched to the breaking point in the face of unprecedent demand, Proof Strategies was challenged to fill a wide range of paid and volunteer roles across the country and quickly. 

Where did we start? 

We heard the need and actioned a rapid recruitment campaign on social media promoting the most pressing job and volunteer roles. This succeeded in filling the talent acquisition pipeline within a few weeks. 

Proof Strategies’ Unified Marketing and Communications team dove into research and planning in planning with the rapid recruitment execution, which uncovered a greater opportunity for an integrated brand awareness campaign with lasting recruitment and reputational outcomes. We set out to position the Canadian Red Cross as the leading humanitarian organization by increasing awareness and understanding of the role they play in Canadian communities and educating on how every Canadian can help. 

What opportunities did we identify? 

Research revealed that our target audience valued real stories and imagery depicting people in the act of helping others. Those seeking employment hoped to balance meaning and making-ends-meet, while prospective volunteers needed to connect emotionally to Canadian Red Cross’s sense of purpose.  

We also identified a need to address the talent acquisition experience for interested candidates. Not all volunteer positions would be filled immediately, so we needed to keep Canadian’s engaged after they had raised their hands to help. 

What was the solution? 

Be That Someone challenged Canadians to imagine themselves helping someone in need with the Canadian Red Cross. Using archival and custom footage featuring  volunteers, employees and beneficiaries in action, each creative touchpoint featured a Canadian Red Cross staffer cut out, leaving a silhouette that signals an opportunity to everyday Canadians that they can help people in crisis. 

The campaign was executed regionally leveraging video, paid social, paid digital, DOOH and press + partnerships. We implemented a new talent acquisition landing page and designed a unique immersive video experience to connect with interested candidates after application submission. 

How did we do? 

Laddering back to our main objectives, a post-campaign survey demonstrated the real impact of our multi-channel efforts. There was a 126% increase in applications, 27% increase in understanding Canadian Red Cross Services and a +14-point lift in awareness of services featured (we had hoped for a +5.75-point increase). Our messaging and creative not only achieved the objective of increasing people’s understanding of the work performed by Canadian Red Cross, but it also inspired them to consider volunteering or working for the organization. Many, in fact, chose to apply directly for specific paid and volunteer roles because of our program.  

cairns oneil: Paid Media Planning & Trafficking (Programmatic Video & Banners) 
Makers: Video & Photo Production  

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