Bully ads

Canadian Safe School Network


Festival of Media

Silver, Best Use of an Influencer

Festival of Media

Gold, Best Use of Programmatic Technology

Every year, more and more victims of bullying feel trapped, like there is no escape… and the rise of technology has enabled bullies to extend their reach outside of playgrounds. The Canadian Safe School Network wanted to find a way to raise awareness around this issue.

A challenge to achieve an ambition

The Canadian Safe School Network believed people would be more inclined to take actions against bullying if they could somehow experience what bullied victims feel. People who haven’t experienced it cannot relate as much. So how could they raise awareness?

Use retargeting to demonstrate what victims of bullying experience
Cssn Bullyads Case 2

A strategy fueled by data

In Canada, one in three children has experienced at least one form of bullying. We wanted to bring this invasion to life for web users over and over again. This campaign, with no frequency cap, is not something that could become a template and a best practice in a regular digital campaign. However, it is a powerful use of media when demonstrating emotions and concepts such as the harassment a kid can feel when being bullied.

An execution driven by creativity

First, the CSSN sent out an email to their network of influencers, activists and PR regarding an upcoming anti-bullying event. We placed a pixel on the RSVP page a few weeks in advance to give us a hyper-qualified pool of users. 

We then targeted these same users over and over, with no frequency cap, recreating the inescapable feeling some kids experience every day. 

It wasn’t easy to get a media partner to agree to run this type of campaign, but AOL was up for the challenge. From a tech standpoint, a team of specialists was necessary to bypass the automated optimization platforms since the campaign contradicted best advertising practices by pinpointing the exact same users at an extremely high-frequency level.

But that wasn’t the only issue. The creative itself was also problematic due to the fact that there was no brand logo or call-to-action button on the messaging. At the end of the day, the passion for the cause ultimately outweighed and overruled politics and policies.

Results that go beyond the objectives

Impressions generated

Bully ads on a given day by user

Increase in donation from previous year

Mission accomplished!

Juror Detail Rene

Rene Rouleau

Creative Director, BIMM

“When I was a kid I was bullied once, but when I got home and closed the door and locked myself inside, I was safe,” said Rene Rouleau. “With cyber-bullying there’s absolutely no escape.”