At first glance, Americans and Canadians are pretty similar. They speak the same language (well, almost,) eat similar foods (if you don’t count poutine,) and share the world’s longest border. There are, however, many differences between the two cultures. In fact, there are nuances even within Canada itself, with a portion of the country speaking French as its first language just for starters.
And while Canadians are largely a highly educated, fairly affluent population (AKA a brand’s dream audience,) it’s important to understand that you can’t simply market to them in the same way you would market to your American audience. At Media-Corps, we could talk about these differences all day long, but we decided to get you started off with the top 5 things everyone should know before advertising in Canada.
- Canadians lead the world in online video consumption per capita. They love the internet and consume content across multiple devices and channels.
- Canada has two official languages: English and French. Quebec is Canada’s French province/market, and while they do have some English publications, the majority are in French. To advertise in these, creative MUST be in French according to law.
- Quebec is its own very distinct market with a Francophone population. Quebecers love their Quebec stars and prefer Quebec productions while Canadians lean toward U.S. productions. This makes TVA the #1 network in Quebec (and sometimes in all of Canada!), offering content created, produced and broadcast by Quebecers for Quebecers.
- The Canadian Code of Advertising Standards sets the criteria for acceptable advertising in Canada and strictly prohibits advertising to children in Quebec while highly regulating it in the rest of the country
- All TV spots/commercials airing in Canada must be close-captioned and submitted with a Telecaster number signifying to the station’s traffic department that the spots have been cleared to air.
Not quite as straightforward as simply re-purposing your current U.S. campaign and serving it up to the Canadian public, is it? But that’s ok, because that’s what the team at Media-Corps is here for! We know the Canadian media landscape inside out and we know how to optimize your campaign for success north of the border, taking the guesswork out of it.
See you (and your campaign) on the other side?