There is so much that happens behind the scenes to get Recycle Everywhere’s province-wide promotions created and distributed, this involves the talents of many specialized partners.

Over the early months of 2020, our advertising agency-of-record, McKim, developed two campaigns to roll out during the year. Because they usually take the longest to produce, the first assets that needed to be developed were four spots for TV and online. Actors, locations, light and sound technicians, makeup, hair, and more were all booked for shoots to start in the middle of March 2020. Unfortunately, that week coincided with the start of the spring pandemic lockdown.

“With the shoots firmly cancelled, we were faced with the challenge of how to produce these key elements of our campaign,” said Lora Meseman, CBCRA’s Marketing Communications Manager. “Even more challenging was the original idea, scripting and other work that had been prepared was specific to TV and video and could not apply to other executions or formats.”

The team quickly adjusted and moved to an approach without live actors or film crews, after hearing stories about how businesses were being financially impacted by closures, and how employees were being furloughed or losing their jobs.

“So we decided that whatever the new approach for the littering and contamination spots, it had to include local creators,” said Meseman.

The decision was made to focus on animation instead. This allowed the flexibility needed to tell our stories and provided the opportunity to explore the wonderful network of illustrators Canada offers.

“Animation meant we no longer needed to limit ourselves to what we could shoot so we landed on stories about cloning, alien abduction, telekinesis, and dragons,” said Ron Sawchuk, McKim’s VP of creative. “As far as we were concerned the more fantastical the better!”

It turned out developing animated spots in a crunch involves a fair bit of tag-teaming on the fly. Illustrators would provide their frames. McKim would write the scripts and storyboards. And Frank Digital, another local company, would stitch together each artist’s work into a 15-second animation spot and add the sound.

Illustrator Martin Bregman was grateful for the opportunity, and it seems to Recycle Everywhere audiences are, too. The dragon video has already had 57,000 views and is the most-watched of the four spots on Recycle Everywhere’s YouTube Channel.

“I’ve been drawing since I could hold a pencil,” says Bregman, who worked in graphic design in the agency world before turning full-time to his illustration practice, Martin Bregman Illustration. “I did the first draft based on the script I was given, and from there, things moved well. All that was needed to complete it after that was a bit of tweaking.”

The other three illustrated spots use cloning, alien abduction, and telekineses to put the focus on contamination and littering. They have run on TV and online. On YouTube, the spots combined have already had about 128,000 views.

It is important for CBCRA to foster local partnerships and work together with so many talented creators in our province. The campaign kept Manitobans working during a difficult time, allowing Recycling Everywhere to continue to spread the message of recycling and avoiding litter and contamination.