The Timing of the Campaign

TDC's participation in health causes is an important facet of our conscious effort to positively affect social good. Our deep history of campaigns for clients, including the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Gay Men's Sexual Health Alliance, and the African and Caribbean Council on HIV/AIDS in Ontario, all revolve around awareness and outreach, spreading important messages to communities both distinct and broad.

We're no stranger to fundraising, either, supporting causes with confident, integrated campaigns that have driven strong results, like the Milton Velodrome, the Ride for Heart, Canadian Athletes Now Fund, and Toronto Taste.

But the summer of 2014 marked a first for TDC as we launched our inaugural indiegogo.com campaign for the pd.id: a personal device that has the capability to reduce the instance of date rape through the detection of date-rape drugs. The pd.id, once dipped into a beverage, notifies the drinker of the beverage if it has been drugged.

The Challenge

"The client had the technology figured out, but relied on our expertise for all other aspects of the crowd-funding campaign, as well as the functional outer design of the device," explains TDC's Chief Creative Officer and EVP, Brian Gahan. "We assembled a passionate team that rallied around the social cause, and in short order, came up with a name, product positioning, final product design, 3D renderings, video, and a social media and PR strategy.

The Insight & Strategy

Three weeks into the campaign, the PR strategy proved particularly effective, resulting in global media coverage in nearly every language imaginable. Our approach was to first engage the tech media, including Wired, Engadget, Gizmodo, Techvibes and Mashable, which ran enthusiastic reviews on the technology angle, followed up by mainstream outlets including the Huffington Post, CBS News, the UK's SkyNews, Elle magazine, Marie Claire, New York Daily News and local programs and publications interested in the Toronto-based founder and team.

"Crowd-funding can be a hard slog, even when you have a truly new and newsworthy technology," says TDC Communications Director, Nicole Pointon. "But the indiegogo campaign has served as an effective media launch for an important product. The press and social media buzz built a broader venture capital and investment framework for the pd.id, in addition to the indiegogo campaign."

The Result

Pitches to tech publications like Wired, Engadget, Techvibes and Gizmodo tread the path for major media including CNN, Fox News, CBS, MSN, the New York Daily News, and Salon.com to cover the pd.id story between July and August 2014. In total, traditional media generated over one million potential impressions (1,109,558 at last count). Reach went way beyond North American media, with coverage in over 20 countries around the globe. Some of the international press garnered included the New Zealand Herald, Wired Japan, Le Parisien, Atlantico, El Dia and Sky News.

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