For Canadians, Canada Day is more than just a statutory holiday that we spend in cottage country, watching fireworks, or indulging in poutine. It is the day we all come together to share our love and appreciation for living in this great country.
On Social Media, Canadian patriotism is evident. With the rise of hashtags like #CanadaDay, #ProudCanadian and #IAmCanadian, it is obvious that we are proud of our country.
With this in mind, I thought it would be interesting to get a sense of the nature of conversations that took place on our nation's 147th birthday, and understand what underlines how we perceive to be Canadian. A bit of social media listening and research revealed the following:
1) Canadian Love is Global
Canada Day celebrations are not limited to Parliament Hill or Dundas Square. In fact, Canada Day has been celebrated historically as far Trafalgar Square in London and Lan Kwai Fong in Hong Kong. Even though this year’s celebrations were cancelled in London and New York, there was still an influx of celebratory messages coming from around the globe.
This year, we were treated to the occasional Rob Ford joke; as well as a surprising number of international tweets directed at Justin Bieber to wish him a happy Canada Day (or even re-tweeted his simple ‘Happy Canada Day’ post).
With over 650,000 tweets, the fact remains that people from the UK, US, Netherlands, France and even as far as Thailand and Japan were wishing their Canadian friends (and families in the case of expats) a Happy Canada Day.
2) Brands get in on the game
A number of national retailers took part in the annual Canada Day sales, contests and giveaways through social media. Though consumers always appreciate a good deal, people remember and associate with those brands that truly speak to them.
Instead of blending with generic Canada Day sale messaging, the following brands used social media to truly instill the spirit of Canada within their brand.
Molson Canadian’s infamous beer fridge - the one that made Canadian athletes feel at home during the winter Olympics - made a return appearance. This time however, it only opened for those that were able to recite the Canadian national anthem…correctly.
To promote their ‘Made in Canada’ clothing line, Roots Canada reached out to the community on social media. For a chance to win a trip to Ottawa and participate in a photo shoot, they asked them to send in a photo with a quote describing why Canada is important to them.
The #RootsCanadaDay is a simple campaign that not only succeeded in promoting the line, but also created compelling content for Roots’ in-store and online campaigning. It is the very content that resonates with their audience.
“It is a Canada Day campaign and we wanted it to encompass real people who look like our customers.” - James Connell, VP e-commerce and marketing.
…Some brands rubbed Canadians the wrong way
Best Buy upset Canadians when they referred to their ‘Canada Day sale’ as ‘Moving Day Sale’ in their Quebec flyers. Canadians lashed back on social media accusing Best Buy of dismissing the importance of Canada’s 147th birthday. Yikes!
3) Canadians are truly compassionate
On Social Media, blogs and forums, the community helped each other by offering advice on activities, deals, and events taking place on Canada Day across the nation.
One event in particular gained national interest and coverage: #ClarasBigRide - a 110 day, 11,000 Kilometer bike ride across Canada to promote mental heath awareness. Upon finishing the awe-inspirng ride, Clara Hughes rode her bike to Parliament Hill in Ottawa and addressed the crowd for Bell Let's Talk.
With hundred thousands of posts coming in from all around the world - be it from the community, athletes or celebrities, it was really hard not to feel proud to be Canadian.
Indeed, we are a patriotic crowd, but the rest of the world loves us too!