The best Canadian social media campaigns of 2016

The best Canadian social media campaigns of 2016

2016 was an exceptional year for Canadian social media campaigns – from viral videos to awe-inspiring photography, many brands used multimedia to expand their reach. As it turns out, our social media skills are right on par with our hockey talent and maple syrup guzzling abilities.

Needless to say, the bar is set high for marketers in 2017. If you’re currently looking for inspiration, 2016’s social media highlights could help get you on the right track. Without further ado, here are a few of our favourite Canadian social media campaigns from last year.

6 of the best Canadian social media campaigns of 2016:

  1. WestJet’s Christmas miracle. After withstanding a devastating fire in May 2016, the people of Fort McMurray desperately deserved a little holiday cheer. Fortunately, West Jet gave them just that – and made a viral video, too. WestJet’s heart-warming display of goodwill made waves from coast to coast – it’s the perfect example of how social media can unite and uplift.



  1. Face the Fentanyl. As fentanyl overdoses skyrocketed in 2016, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, alongside the RCMP and the Humber College Ad Centre, knew that the best way to educate at-risk Canadians was through social media. So they set out to expose the faces of the fentanyl crisis: everyday Canadians. Through video content, infographics and a Twitter account, Face the Fentanyl spread potentially life-saving information to those who needed it most.
Canadian social media campaigns

Face the Fentanyl

  1. Ice in our Veins. While Canadians expect to reign victorious in the Winter Olympics, the Summer Games aren’t as closely tied to our national identity. With Canada’s athletes heading to 2016’s Rio games, Team Canada looked for a way to ignite our national pride outside the hockey rink. Their solution? The “Ice in our Veins” campaign. The idea that combating cold, harsh climates gives Canadians a unique advantage is infinitely appealing – keep this in mind next time you’re shovelling snow in -20° weather.



  1. Tell America It’s Great. Last fall, creative agency The Garden Collective wanted to share some love with election-fatigued Americans. To that end, they created the Trump-inspired hashtag #TellAmericaItsGreat campaign. Canadians flocked to the idea, eagerly passing along compliments and well wishes to our southern neighbours. While the viral hashtag didn’t sway the outcome of the election, the kind gesture showed the world that Canadians are pretty great, too.



      1. Valentines for Canada. Turns out, Canadian’s love receiving compliments just as much as they love giving them. CBC’s Valentines for Canada did just that by combining beloved Canadian figures, pastimes and traditions with sweet Valentine puns. CBC wanted to capture hearts across the country; social media gave them the platform to do so.
        Instagram campaign

        CBC’s Award Winning Valentines Day Campaign



  1. Alberta Health Services STI awareness campaign. According to Alberta Health Services (AHS), the increase in STIs in Alberta comes down to one culprit: social media dating apps. Interestingly, AHS believes that the solution also lies within social media. As a result, they created a series of bizarre, risqué memes to garner online attention and provide the public with sexual health resources on their website. Education and a few laughs? Can’t go wrong with that.


We hope these Canadian social media campaigns inspire you and your marketing team to continue thinking outside of the box. After all, if you’re looking to leave a lasting impression on your target audience, digital media is the perfect platform.

For more of 2016’s social media marketing examples, check out Sprout Social’s list.

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