Hello Cool World (103)
By Katherine Dodds On January 05, 2013 | 2 Comments
It's a new year, time to ponder the future and our vision for Hello Cool World!
The Vancity Women Entrepreneur Project has been a great opportunity to work on a business plan, and this coming week i'm excited to be sitting down with my long-term cohorts to discuss what we collectively see in our future, how we can continue to work with those "with a message to sell or a story to tell!"
January sees us continuing the exciting work branding and positioning the wonderful Social Justice organization Inter Pares (which means "Among Equals'). We are also at work on a very exciting pilot project we are doing with SACY and Vancouver youth to create short videos and campaign materials to support their high school program addressing in a positive ways, issues youth face around substance abuse. We'll be continuing our public health and harm reduction work with more e'Zines for Toward the Heart.
We're also looking forward to more important work with Circles of Understanding, which is addressing the impact residential schools have had on First Nations people in Canada, and how to educate the public and create opportunities for awareness and healing. We've also been inspired by the #IdleNoMore movement, which the 'official' site aminstrators have already said has become too big from them to track! And while we at HCW have no direct link to its organzing, I have been watching and participating when I can locally as I think this is one of the most siginficant grassroots movements I've witnessed in my lifetime. I am humbled, excited and hopeful because of this work and ceremony I have been witnessing.
We've had excitement and challenges in this past year, and I feel privileged to be able to be doing these projects in a spirit of reflection as we build models to help both ourselves, and our cohorts do what we do more effectively and sustainably.
By Katherine Dodds On November 05, 2012 | 0 Comments
Katherine Dodds AKA "Kat" is the founder of Good Company Communications and HelloCoolWorld.com. Trained in renegade advertising & branding through her work with Adbusters in the '90s, Kat's early induction into the possibilities of the web-world was inspired by the term hypertext, which she immediately found comforting. She is dedicated to cause-related communication and to the development and use of tools that promote democratic processes.
SURVEYING A WILLING POOL OF PROGRESSIVES TO HELP PROMOTE INTER PARES
UPDATE: Anyone in Canada or the US can now fill our our our Inter Pares Audience Survey and enter to win any item from our Webstore!
Two weeks ago we kicked off the branding and positioning project in Ottawa, meeting with Inter Pares staff and getting feedback from the board who were attending their annual board workshops.
This weekend was Media Democracy Days in Vancouver, and Hello Cool World had a table, showcasing many of our projects and campaigns. Since it was a veritable pool of the right sorts of folks to seek opinions from, we decided it was the perfect place to hold an informal focus test. We offered a chance to win one of the DVDs off our Hello Cool World webstore in exchange for about 15 minutes of their time to take a survey which asked them to review the Inter Pares logo, website, and brochure and answer a few questsions about these materials.
Most of our fellow tablers, were happy to help, as well as more than a few passers by, and in amongst a day of conversations about media, democracy, and our own set of projects, which include a new high school cut of The Corporation, we managed to get 15 surveys filled out, and lots of great feedback. We'll be putting the survey on line, in both Engish and French so watch for the link and help us gather feedback from our networks.
WE'RE EXCITED TO PUT THE HELLO COOL WORLD APPROACH TO WORK FOR INTER PARES!
We've worked with Inter Pares a few times over the years, creating the "Take Back the Day" and "Give Something Big" campaigns as well as designing their general brochure. We're strong believers in their work, and look forward to a year of collaborating with them, and their supporters, to give all their communications materials a new 're-freshed' identity.
Having build our own reputation through critique of corporate globalization, we at Hello Cool World simply don't do corporate branding. Period. But we do believe in using the tools of the advertisers, and the power of branding, to do good work for good people — like Inter Pares. Our version of "social" branding re-frames the very idea of branding, and uses a grassroots approach to engage our intended audiences in the process, and we hope, to get their support!
We will be talking to a selection of Inter Pares' donors and funders, long term and newly joined, to get their insights on what the organization means to them, and why they deserve support. As well we will be seeking opinions from beyond the converted, looking at what it takes to engage, in particular, younger audiences who may not have heard of Inter Pares.
Our greatest challenge will be to create simplified messages, that still authentically speak to what they are all about. For an organization that does so many things, this may be hard to express in one elevator speech.
For the moment, we are in a mode of gathering as wide a range of opinions and views on both their work itself, their image and their reputation in the community of like-minded organizations.
By Katherine Dodds On September 18, 2012 | 2 Comments
BE PART OF THE STORY. SO THE STORIES GET TOLD.
Once upon a time, when we were working with Velcrow Ripper to launch Scared Sacred (The first film of his trilogy which is being completed by the new release of Occupy Love), the tag line 'Be part of the story, so the stories get told' emerged in our mass email template for Hello Cool World - it's still there for those of you that are on any of our 'lists'. It proved to be prophetic, as the entire marketing world has not only cottoned on to 'story telling' as the hot new buzzword (oh but it's actually ancient) for all the cool young campaigns.
But it's true, story has a power that moves people more than moralizing or rational arguments alone. But when a story well told, with emotional appeal, is backed up with both compelling facts and a call to action - it's heart, mind, and world changing. And of course this is what the best of documentaries do with the added audio visual vocabulary to bring to the proverbial table.
Which is why we've taken a documentary storytelling (and discovery) approach to all our projects, even the ad campaigns!
I INTERRUPT THIS BLOG TO SHAMELESSLY PROMOTE FOUR FINE FILMS COMING TO VIFF!
(Listed here in screening order.) I've already got my tickets to the following films, made by fine filmmakers who are friends and colleagues. If you are in Vancouver get your tickets now!
1. The Last White Knight • Dir. Paul Saltzman (Prom Night in Mississippi) • Premieres Sept 29, 8:45pm Empire Granville 4
2. Occupy Love • Dir. Velcrow Ripper (Scared Sacred, Fierce Light) • Premieres Oct 4, 9pm Empire Granville 1
3. Shadows of Liberty • Dir. Jean-Philippe Tremblay • Premieres Oct 5, 3:20 p, Empire Granville 5
4. Blood Relative• Dir. Nimisha Mukerji (65_RedRoses) • Premieres Oct 6, 6:45pm Empire Granville 2
Our ongoing work on The Corporation has been a calling card, but that project is by no means over for me. I am still balancing my desire to truly have an impact on the corporate form itself, and to build a movement out of the consistently growing numbers of supporters who contact us. As happens at this time every year I have had a lot of filmmakers who are also fans of The Corporation inquiring about working with us.
This blog began as a letter to one of these filmmakers, and as it turned into a manifesto of sorts I decided to blog-i-fy it for all to read. This season, this contemplation is being tempered with the need to create a real live business plan for growth as part of the VanCity Women Entrepreneurs program I was accepted into. Currently, I am getting support to work on this growth plan and will be give the opportunity to pitch it to potential lenders and investors.
As happens every time more filmmakers want us to take on their projects I do a lot of soul searching about what exactly we did for films before, and what I can realistically do for them. I've been backward engineering the successes and challenges fo the work with The Corporation...
The Corporation has been a project now for me, for over a decade. I was involved with The Corporation before it was even in production, and my role was far more than that of someone brought in after the fact. My roles were as producer and creative director of the website, and Creative director for the branding (we created the signature logo) plus "Director of Corporate Communication" - an ironic title reflective of my role not as a publicist but as the producer/director of the entire grassroots outreach.
All efforts were centred around having the website as our communications hub and tool. With Mark Achbar's help I raised 100K for the website and leveraged 100K more from distribtuors in four countries, who collectively spent a million in advertising all directing traffic to our website, which continues to have a significant amount of traffic ten years later. In essence, a campaign needs to be produced and directed, and the resources required, as well as the timeline are much the same as making a film!
By Katherine Dodds On July 18, 2012 | 0 Comments
Tag(s): Hello Cool World
, Film Launch
, The Corporation
, Fair Trade
, Mark Achbar
, Fair Trade DVD Distribution
, The Corporation Film
, Women Entrepreneurs
At Hello Cool World we put one operating principle to work on all our projects, borrowed from the wisdom of social marketing: representing real people is the best way to reach real people (AKA your intended audience) with any campaign. Even better to engage with intended audiences in order to build all aspects of the campaign. We were hired in 2009 by the BC Cancer Agency to create a social media campaign to promote cervical cancer screening, i.e. Pap tests. What we created was the LACE Campaign.
Below: Jolene Andrew original LACE "Action Team" member
The audience we focused on evolved as the brand framework emerged. LACE stands for "Live Aware Create Empowerment" and the symbol of LACE can be any colour, any size tied on as a reminder for every women to get her Pap. In our early campaign development we were reaching out to young women in BC, who were often not getting their Pap tests when they should. Other communities who are underserved with regular Paps include immigrant women and Aboriginal women. We pulled together an "action team" of diverse young women representative of immigrant, settler and Aboriginal communities, and got to work creating photo & video content to build a presence in the wider community.
We built the brand to be adaptable and we were thrilled when the campaign did resonate with the very communities we were trying to reach, not only young women but in our first year we also connected wtih a group of South Asian students who helped us create Punjabi materials and set up a phone line. And we were very excited that (thanks in part to Chee Mamuk's outreach on our behalf) we signed up eight First Nations Health Centres, and in 2011 we had sixteen! This is a significant number given the total number of Aboriginal health centres and clincis in BC.
As we gear up for another year of LACE Campaign's promotion of Pap Awareness Week 2012 (#Pap12 happening October 22-28) I am thinking again of our 2010 LACE contest winner Lee-Anne Deneault of the Q’wemtsin Health Society (QHS).
Right: Candace & Lee-Anne from QHS
What is significant about her being the winner, is that not only were materials created that resonated with Aboriginal communities, strong Aboriginal familes were positively represented as role models for all women in BC. In addition, as we were getting behind the scenes video documentation we uncovered a real life story - elder Violet herself is a survivor of cervical cancer, and a strong supporter of Pap tests. Watch a video of Lee-Anne's and her community's story after the jump!
By Katherine Dodds On June 07, 2012 | 0 Comments
Soon school will be out... But here at Hello Cool World we already have 'Back-to-School' on our minds...
Over the summer we'll be working on the educational distribution plans for both the new cut of The Corporation for high schools and getting 65_RedRoses out to schools first in BC, then across Canada, and we are very excited about both these prospects.
With both these films we are striving to find ways to fund added-value. Our vision is that through partnering with stakeholders to develop issue-based study guides and online materials we can subsidize the licensing costs so more teachers and students can use these resources.
We're doing distribution differently, with a social outcome holding equal weight with the bottom line.