Government of Canada Seeks Marketing Firm For Cannabis Public Education and Awareness Campaign

Health Canada (HC) requires the services of a contractor to develop, implement, manage, and report on national experiential marketing events programs to support the propose legislation and regulation of cannabis by raising awareness of the health and safety risks and engaging with the target audiences. The focus for 2017-18 and early 2018-19 will be on education and awareness of health and safety risks of cannabis. Messaging is mainly targeted at Canadian youth 13-18 and young adults 18-24 as well as their influencers. Messaging and focus is likely to shift in 2018-19 and beyond if and once the legislation receives Royal Assent.

Background:

On April 13, 2017, the Government of Canada introduced legislation to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis. The proposed Cannabis Act would create a strict legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis in Canada. Subject to Parliamentary approval and Royal Assent, the Government of Canada intends to provide regulated and restricted access to cannabis no later than July 2018. The Cannabis Act aims to keep cannabis out of the hands of children and youth. The proposed legislation would allow Canadian adults to possess and purchase regulated and quality-controlled cannabis products, while prohibiting sales to young Canadians and any products, promotion, packaging or labelling that could be appealing to young people.

Canadians need to be educated about the use of cannabis in order to mitigate its potential risks and harms. They generally view cannabis use as socially acceptable, but are ill-informed about the health and safety risks; this is especially true for youth. To get ready for and to support the new system, public awareness and education are critical to ensuring that Canadians, especially youth, are well-informed about the health and safety risks of cannabis use and about current laws.

Scope of Work:

The Contractor must perfom the following tasks:

  1. Develop, implement, and evaluate two national experiential marketing event programs in support of the Cannabis Public Education campaign, expected to launch in winter/spring of 2018 and continue until March 31, 2019:
  2. Experiential Event Program #1 – Aimed at youth (ages 13 to 17)

This experiential program will aim to generate awareness and engage youth ages 13 to 17 at an estimated minimum of 5 events (such as gaming events, festivals, and concerts) across Canada in a conversation about the health and safety risks associated with cannabis use. The tasks related to Experiential Event Program #1 must include, but are not limited to:

  1. a)  Developing an evidence-based strategy and action plan for the national program to connect with youth ages 13 to 17 and achieve maximum engagement. The plan must include key performance indicators and results evaluation;
  2. b) Using new and innovative methods and technology that will appeal to youth, in order to disseminate information on the health and safety risks of cannabis;
  3. c) Creating a game, contest or other evidence-based activities to encourage youth to attend the events and participate in the program;
  4. d) Creating and integrating content by using communication channels that are popular and that appeal to youth;
  5. e) Exploring opportunities to engage relevant influencers (ex. social media “celebrities” orbloggers) who will help encourage youth to attend the events and participate in the program, given that youth are highly influenced by social media influencers;
  1. f) Developing and producing all communication material (non-paid placement) for the events in French and English;
  2. g) Acquiring all copyright for communication products (for pictures and artwork) and negotiating talent fees with the appropriate Canadian unions (such as the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), and the Union des Artistes (UDA), if required as per the strategy; and
  3. h) Developing awareness of the events, programming and complementary program(s) among the target audience by:
  4. Using multiple communication channels and activities, including social media, to reach the target audience and encourage them to attend an event or participate in the programming;
  5. Collaborating with venue officials and partners to increase event awareness and participation through digital and traditional tactics.
  6. i) Ensure qualified ambassadors are available to attend each event. Should an ambassador not be available at the last minute, it will be the contractor’s responsibility to find areplacement.

Experiential Event Program #2 – Aimed at young adults (ages 18 to 24)

This experiential program will aim to generate awareness and engage young adults ages 18 to 24 at events (such as gaming events, festivals, and concerts) across Canada in a conversation about the health and safety risks associated with cannabis use. The tasks related to the Experiential Event Program #2 must include, but are not limited to:

  1. a) Developing an evidence-based strategy and action plan for the national program to connect with young adults ages 18 to 24 and achieve maximum engagement. The plan must include key performance indicators and results evaluation;
  2. b) Using new and innovative methods and technology that will appeal to young adults, in order to disseminate information on the health and safety risks of cannabis;
  3. c) Accessing an existing social media following of a minimum of 300,000 people to increase reach for messaging geared towards a young adult audience;
  4. d) Creating a game, contest or other evidence-based activities to encourage young adults to attend the events and participate in the program;
  5. e) Creating and integrating content by using communication channels that are popular and that appeal to young adults;
  6. f) Exploring opportunities to engage relevant influencers (ex. social media “celebrities” or bloggers) who will help encourage young adults to attend the events and participate in the program, given that young adults are highly influenced by social media influencers;
  1. g)  Developing and producing all communication material for the events in French and English;
  2. h)  Acquiring all copyright for communication products (for pictures and artwork) and negotiating talent fees with the appropriate Canadian unions (such as the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), and the Union des Artistes (UDA), if required as per the strategy; and
  3. i)  Developing awareness of the events, programming and complementary program(s) among the target audience by:
  4. Using multiple communication channels and activities, including social media, to reach the target audience and encourage them to attend an event or participate in the programming;
  5. Collaborating with venue officials and partners to increase event awareness and participation through digital and traditional tactics.
  1. j) Ensure qualified ambassadors are available to attend each event. Should an ambassador not be available at the last minute, it will be the contractor’s responsibility to find a replacement.
  2. Implement and Manage both marketing programs

The tasks related to the implementation and management of the marketing events programs must include, but are not limited to:

  1. a) An implementation plan including a detailed production schedule.
  2. b) A mitigation strategy.
  3. c) Key performance indicators and activity report.
  4. d) Booking the venue for each event. Each event-related fee must be approved by the PA
  5. e) Obtaining proper authorization(s) and permit(s) from the venue authority (municipal or other);
  6. f)  Executing an awareness campaign before and during the events;
  7. g)  Transporting all required material developed as part of the program and program staff (i.e. ambassadors and facilitator) to the venue location;
  8. h)  Setting up venues as required (such as setting up booths, platforms, and audio-visual equipment);
  9. i) When required, providing trained event facilitators* (a minimum of two (2) per event) to engage with the audience face-to-face, delivering cannabis health and safety risk messaging and encouraging program uptake and participation. The Contractor must train facilitators  with support from Health Canada;
  10. j) Providing a minimum of one (1) Event Manager to oversee and manage the event(s) and the ambassadors, if required;
  11. k) Dismantling and removing all event material used or posted by the Contractor;

Due Date:

October 16, 2017.

Address:

DEPARTMENT  OF HEALTH
200 EGLANTINE  AL 1914B
OTTAWA
Ontario K1A0K9
Canada

5WPR and Shift Communications have extensive experience in marketing cannabis.

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