The Power of Patriotism

We the North.jpg

Devotion to one's country is a force so compelling that, at one extreme, millions of people (willingly) sign up to fight for it; to risk life and limb to protect it.

You see patriotism on national holidays. You feel its all-encompassing energy at sporting events. All other sociological differences melt away and are swiftly replaced by the bond of a flag. Suddenly, we’re all on the same team. A united front under red and white.

As a result of the recent global political events, we Canadians have been cast as the example for the rest of the world. A position we deserve and will unquestionably excel at. And advertising is swiftly catching up on the maple craze.

After all, the goal of advertising is to ignite emotion and the ad above is fantastic at it. It does what many ads try to do and fail – it gives me goosebumps. Sure, it’s great if a commercial makes me laugh, or is memorable for its snappy jingle. But to make the hair on my arms stand up? That’s marketing magic.

We all know how the Canadian Immigration website crashed on the evening of the U.S. election from our neighbours to the south looking to join our club. It’s a good club; I don’t blame them. We, as Canadians, always knew it, and now everyone else is catching up.  

Even in the critically acclaimed miniseries, The Handmaid’s Tale, Canada is depicted as the refuge for Americans escaping from their unbearably oppressive new culture. The sanctuary, where peace and freedom reign supreme. A land of bona fide acceptance and opportunity.  

This recent influx of national camaraderie should not be undervalued. Incorporating, dare I say, even exploiting our Canadiana will serve us well when marketing both internally and globally. We must capitalize on its momentum, which won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

This ad reminded me of Molson’s I AM CANADIAN campaign. It was a similarly powerful commercial that invokes pure emotion. A touch of humour, created by debunking (albeit endearing) Canadian stereotypes, combined with a whole lot of brash swagger. Borderline arrogant? Maybe so. I guess that depends on which side of the border you’re on.

Morty Silber, CEO

Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner