Yes, yes, Toronto is world-class, but our true loyalties are at the neighbourhood level. Nike is trying to tap into these local allegiances in a ubiquitous campaign for its 10-kilometre RunTO event, taking place May 29 on the islands.
A first round of billboards and transit posters carried messages in which neighbourhoods taunt each other with lines like, "Nice outfits, Rosedale, but can you run in them?" A new campaign launched more recently plays off astrological rivalries, but Nike says the next set of ads, which are prepared by Toronto ad agencies Taxi and Cossette Media, will tap into local community loyalties again. Ads written in Chinese, Greek and Italian will appear in community newspapers, challenging ethnic communities to participate, with calls to action in their own language, such as, "Let's give the city a real taste of the Danforth."
The neighbourhood themes will be repeated during the race, with ads in 10 Toronto neighbourhoods. A message at Yonge and Dundas will read: "Entering Dundas Square. We're not loitering. We're waiting for you to catch up." Near Bloor and Avenue Road: "Entering Yorkville. We're shopaholics turned runaholics."