Canadian Olympic Committee

In the fall of 2011, Proximity was named the Canadian Olympic Committee’s agency of record. Our task was two-fold: to evolve the pre-existing brand in a way that best introduces and represents Canada’s elite athletes to the nation, and to create a campaign that could carry the nation’s athletes to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London and beyond.

A month’s worth of strategy breakouts, brainstorm sessions and creative exploration led to the creative platform that answered both asks: Give Your Everything.

Once the messaging platform was established, the creative direction and executions evolved naturally. The art direction, treated with semi-desaturated action photography, emphasized the raw athleticism and passion of the athletes. The copy picked up these same points with a punchy, confident swagger rooted in their unique backstories.

During the lead up to the London Games, a wealth of executions further developed the creative platform. Long-copy print ads and transit shelter ads told each of the key athletes’ unique backstories. Bold posters, billboards and transit ads conveyed their attitude and enthusiasm. And an update to the COC-managed website brought the campaign messaging through to all elements of the Committee.

During the Games itself, with the key athletes already introduced and the platform established, we turned our attention to real-time responses to the events of the Games. Working with pre-established templates, we cranked out banner ads and a wide variety of social media update with every medal won by a Canadian in London.

Overall, the campaign met with great success in terms of reach and social mentions — not to mention a couple awards added to the shelf at the Canadian Marketing Awards and Caples.

A full-team effort led to a true 360º campaign introducing and representing Canada’s athletes to their country and the world, setting the stage for Sochi 2014 and beyond.


Executive Creative Director: John Gagne
Creative Directors: Jon Webber, Dave Stevenson
Senior Art Director: Fernando Salvador
Senior Copywriter: Jonathan Weiss
Art Directors: Andrew Mowbray, Stuart Thursby
Copywriter: Ed Malyon
Senior Designer: Nick Bujnak
Agency: Proximity Canada
Client: Canadian Olympic Committee
Years: 2011–2012



Creative Evolution and the Cutting Room Floor

The work shown below includes some of our process work as we conceptualized the campaign, as well as some ideas we loved that ended up not getting produced due to a variety of factors.

NOTE: These reflect earlier stages in the creative process, and therefore do not reflect the final visuals of the campaign above.

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