YMCA Canada

YMCA Canada

August 27, 2013 07:00 ET

YMCAs Lead Canadians to Nurture the Potential of Kids

51 YMCA and YMCA-YWCAs across Canada are showing the charity's role in building healthy communities in a new national awareness campaign

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 27, 2013) - YMCA Canada and the charity's 51 member associations are launching their first national, bilingual, fully integrated awareness campaign in the charity's 160 years of operation. The goal is to create a unified voice across Canada demonstrating that the YMCA is a cause driven charity, dedicated to nurturing the potential of kids.

"The YMCA is a well-known household name, but not enough Canadians know how we help build healthier communities as a charity," said Scott Haldane, President and CEO, YMCA Canada. "To achieve our mission, we need to rally the 1,000 communities we serve in Canada to support us and work together to nurture the potential of our nation's young people."

The health of Canadian children and youth is at risk. For example, 46 per cent of Canadian kids get three hours or less of active play per week, including weekends. 63 per cent of Canadian kids spend their free time after school and on weekends staying sedentary.* In addition, many young people are facing barriers to succeed from the start. Even-though high-school drop out rates have been in consistent decline since 2001, some disadvantaged neighbourhoods have rates of 70 per cent**, resulting in a low sense of belonging and engagement.

With the help of creative agencies, MacLaren McCann and Headspace Marketing, Canadian YMCAs worked together to develop a fully integrated bilingual campaign to demonstrate how the YMCA is a place where kids can belong and flourish.

The campaign includes 30, 60 and 78-second video and radio spots, print and web ads, as well as a microsite - YMCApotential.ca.

For the launch, YMCA Canada and member associations will seek national and local media support for pro bono media placements, social media and word of mouth marketing efforts to remain as cost-effective as possible. As such, the campaign is designed to stay relevant in the market for at least the next two years, starting with the roll out this week.

This centralized content creation approach for the awareness campaign allows the charity to cost-effectively deliver a unified message for all member associations. Through the generous support of the YMCA's partners, creative and production costs were kept to a minimum, thanks to charity rates and pro bono services.

"Helping to nurture the potential in children and youth is a great cause that we're proud to be part of," said Scott McKay, Vice-President and Group Creative Director, MacLaren McCann. "It was critical that the core message speak to everyone and still reflect the various needs of each community. We are all formed, in part, by what we experience as children and youth. That is why YMCA leaders chose to focus the campaign on pointing out that the YMCA is here to nurture the potential of kids."

About YMCA Canada

YMCA Canada is a charity dedicated to building healthy communities. We are committed to nurturing the potential of children, teens and young adults, promoting healthy living and fostering social responsibility within the community. There are 45 YMCA Associations and six YMCA-YWCA Associations across Canada. Together, we serve more than two million people, in 1,000 Canadian communities annually. Our focus on inclusiveness and accessibility means we serve people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities through all stages of life. Through YMCA financial assistance programs and the YMCA Strong Kids campaign, the YMCA is accessible to all.

For more information about YMCA Canada's National Awareness Campaign, please visit YMCAPotential.ca

*Source: 2012 Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card

** Source: Vital Signs Canada 2012

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