Today Totem is celebrating. Why, you ask? Because last week, we brought home gold from the Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPAs). The Celebrate Canada Photo Contest—which Totem conceptualized and developed on behalf of our CAA client—was awarded Best Online Campaign in the Consumer B2C division.

The COPAs are produced by Masthead magazine and celebrate excellence in Canadian brands and companies that produce digital editorial. As a content agency that specializes in creating and designing original content for our clients both in print and online, we thought our work could measure up to some of the best in the country.

Standing out in a digital world

A panel of distinguished industry leaders in a number of different fields, from content to marketing to web tech, review all entries and select the winners in almost 50 categories across four divisions (Academic, Business, Consumer and Media).

Our very own Charles Lim, Director, Digital, has been a judge for the past three years. (The COPAs, however, pride themselves on maintaining objectivity and neutrality, which meant that Charles could not judge any of Totem’s submissions.) Since our peers know better than anyone what goes into bringing digital campaigns like the Celebrate Canada Photo Contest to life, receiving their respect and recognition meant a lot.

Not only are we proud to have been recognized by leaders in media, we’re also thrilled that this particular campaign was honoured. The Celebrate Canada Photo Contest was an initiative that CAA tasked us with earlier this year—the campaign was born from this initial project. Though we didn’t win Best Canada 150 Feature, we’re still pleased that we were also finalists in that category.

This is how we did it

The primary objective of our winning campaign was to celebrate Canada. In honour of the country’s 150th birthday, we asked CAA’s online community to show us what their Canada looked like. We received thousands of photo submissions from across the country, which were displayed as pin drops on our interactive photo map. Participants shared their stories through images and captions that were searchable and accessible on all devices from desktop to mobile to tablet. Engagement was high, with participants returning to the site daily to vote for their favourite submissions and share their top picks on their personal social channels.

Working alongside CAA, we created awareness and excitement for this campaign by promoting it across the internet on various social media platforms, creating helpful videos with photo tips for users, and writing emails and blog posts that received thousands of views across CAA’s marketing channels. The winning image was featured on the cover of the winter issue of CAA Magazine, and the winning photographer received a brand new Canon DSLR camera.

This campaign was near and dear to our hearts, and we’re thrilled that we got to celebrate Canada in this way. Receiving a COPA for Best Online Campaign is the cherry on top of Canada’s 150th birthday cake.

Image credit: Breanna Rawn