The Royal Canadian Legion Assembles Team of WW2 Veterans to Stand Shoulder to Shoulder on the Virtual Battlefield

Advertising, Marketing

Remembrance Day, when commonwealth countries hold ceremonies to honour their veterans, will look different in 2020. As we face one of our greatest challenges in peacetime — the COVID-19 pandemic — it’s more important than ever to ensure that our veterans’ stories of courage and selflessness are passed on to future generations.

Last year, the Royal Canadian Legion, in partnership with HomeEquity Bank and Zulu Alpha kilo, brought the Remembrance Day moment of silence to video game streaming services like Twitch in a highly successful campaign that saw nearly a million gamers in 114 countries around the world lay down their controllers. The campaign, #PauseToRemember, was part of a broader partnership around HomeEquity Bank’s sponsorship of the Legion’s digital poppy initiative.

For its second year, the campaign is centered on a newly assembled group of WWII veterans called Team Legion. This team will be joining the world of online gaming to share their real experiences on Remembrance Day. Their logo was inspired by Esports teams, and contains the number 11 — a nod to the moment of silence that occurs on 11th hour of November 11th. 

Team Legion is composed of decorated Canadian war heroes such as 100-year-old Captain Jack Rhine, 95-year-old Albert “Bert” Card, 97-year-old George Brewster and 96-year-old Jack Boeki. With many veterans unable to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies in person, Team Legion will be standing together on the virtual battlefield surrounded by players who will hear their stories and honour their service.

Zulu’s latest effort hearkens back to last year’s Digital Poppy campaign where 96-year-old veteran Ardwell Eyres joined social media to share a digital poppy as one of the world’s oldest influencers.

“We want to continue to connect with a younger audience and ensure that the importance of Remembrance Day is not forgotten,” says Legion Dominion President Thomas D. Irvine, CD. “Going into online gaming communities allows us help us educate those who may not know about Remembrance Day and why it so important that we support our veterans.”

“We took a big step forward to reach this audience by coming to them in their online gaming world with Team Legion. Gamers might see virtual battlefields any day of the week, but being able to connect with the amazing experiences of a 100 year old veteran, that’s something brand new.” says Zak Mroueh, Chief Creative Officer and Founder of Zulu Alpha Kilo. “We want to continue to support the Royal Canadian Legion, along with their veterans in ways that can breakthrough and truly resonate.”

Earlier in October, the Royal Canadian Legion and their presenting partner, HomeEquity Bank, launched their Digital Poppy initiative encouraging people to buy or donate a poppy at MyPoppy.ca.  The Digital Poppy was developed in 2018 as a modern way for Canadians to support and remember Veterans online 

A number of high-profile Canadian celebrities, including HomeEquity Bank spokesperson Kurt Browning along with Justin Bieber, Margaret Atwood, Sandra Oh, Ashley Callingbull and Kevin Bieska, will serve as campaign ambassadors to champion the Digital Poppy on social media.

Zulu Alpha Kilo led the creative and strategy, Provident Communications led PR, and OMD was behind the media planning and buying. To support the MyPoppy campaign, please visit www.MyPoppy.ca or to join the moment of silence, follow us at #PauseToRemember. 

Credits:

Client:  Home Equity Bank

Agency: Zulu Alpha Kilo  

  • Creative Director: Zak Mroueh
  • Art Director: Vic Bath, Michael Romaniuk
  • Writer: Dan Cummings, Jackson Kemp
  • Designer: Zoe Kim, Jeff Watkins, Vic Bath
  • Account Team: Anjelica Kapetanos, David Tremblay
  • Planning Team: Tim Hopkins
  • Clients: Niary Toodakian, Yvonne Ziomecki, Vivianne Gauci, Erin Wilson
  • Media Agency: OMD 
  • Media Team: Dwayne Mataseje, Mitchell Cornelisse

PR Agency: Provident

  • PR Team: Morgan McLellan
  • Producer: Mitch Cappe
  • Production House: Zulubot
  • Editor: Micah Rix-Hayes