Two Year Campaign Shows Community Spirit & Business Strength, Garners Big Results

The Surrey Board of Trade (SBOT) attracts businesses to Surrey while also supporting companies located there. Economic opportunity, workplace development, education, international trade, government advocacy, and business connections are SBOT’s primary service offerings. With connections to a network of over 6,000 business contacts and over 60,000 local, regional and international professionals, SBOT supports business growth, and expansions of brands and helps businesses accomplish their government advocacy objectives. 


The year I Campaign: Gratitude & Impact

2021: one year into the global pandemic. At the local level, Surrey businesses were feeling the impact of health restrictions and reduced customer traffic. Typical messaging urging people to “buy local” was getting tiring and there was a sense that many were starting to “tune out”. Help was needed, something that would resonate with local consumers. 

2. Challenge

The Surrey Board of Trade (SBOT) approached Blue Meta with help crafting and launching a local community campaign that would encourage people to support local…but without actually saying it.

3. Strategy

Our team focused on two positive message approaches:

  • Show Gratitude – Depict the heartfelt impact that was made in the lives of Surrey business owners by people who shopped local during Covid. The emotional resonance would also inspire the community to keep the momentum going.
  • Social Community Impact – By using the current social and economic status as a benchmark, we would provide useful information that would show how Surrey Board Of Trade members’ services and/or products could help alleviate the stress and boredom of Surrey residents.

#ThankYouSurrey was the overarching message that would serve as a touchpoint for the campaign tactics. The underlying messaging was conveyed via a stacked tagline with a supporting descriptor:

Real Stories  Real Businesses  Real People

A community coming together in trying times.

The team then rolled out a social media campaign, one that “put a face” on the people behind the Surrey business community. This provided a platform for local businesses to share the stress, uncertainty, and struggles they had endured over the past year yet still convey their gratitude to the members of the larger community who shopped local and showed their support. Indirectly, this would also demonstrate the positive impact and sense of goodwill that people can generate when they do shop locally.

Several SBOT members who had been positively impacted by the community’s efforts were profiled through a high-production hero video, which also doubled as an ad to get people to follow the SBOT Instagram account to hear more stories. 

  • Six local businesses would have one week of three consecutive posts dedicated to them that incorporated a video post, a family image post, and a product/service post.
  • To encourage involvement, an email blast was sent out to all Surrey Board Of Trade members asking for story submissions. 
  • A portion of the budget was further used to provide incentives to both SBOT members and the community.  
  • Throughout all of this was the sub-messaging that indicated “the fight wasn’t over yet” and that Surrey businesses still needed the continuing support of the community.

4. Results

Impressions – 1,593,041

Reach – 397,730

Link Clicks – 2,256

Engagement – 252,541

Post Reactions – 2,209

Post Shares – 147

Video Plays – 1,302,560

The SBOT was so impressed with the results they achieved with the 2021 campaign that they approached Blue Meta one year later, asking for our help to strategize and implement an updated version of the campaign, aptly titled #SurreyStrong.



Year II Campaign: Perseverance & Pride

A year after the success of the Surrey Board Of Trade’s local campaign, “Thank You Surrey“, the organization once again approached Blue Meta for help in strategizing and implementing an updated version of it.


6. Challenge

Driving this change was a sense from the local business community that consumers were feeling the long-term effects of the pandemic. During the first year of the pandemic, there was a sense of hope and optimism. One year later, there was burnout, frustration, and hopelessness.

7. Strategy

Even though this campaign was an evolution of the previous one, we wanted to shift the focus from reflection and gratitude to one of aspiration, perseverance, and pride. Woven throughout this was the overarching goal of both encouraging and reigniting a passion for shopping local.

To achieve this, the messaging was captured in an updated stacked tagline and descriptor:


Think Local. Shop Local.

The tagline represents the overarching theme and the rallying cry behind the campaign while the inherent calls-to-action in the descriptor (“think” and “shop”) were subtle reminders for the audience as to what was needed to persevere, stay strong and help the city of Surrey overcome current challenges and unplanned setbacks. Ultimately, it was to show that “we are all in this together” and that we’re “better together”. 

The new tagline and descriptor were showcased in the form of a modified map location marker or pin with a center heart. The rationale behind the logo was simple: it was about community, support, and location. 

  • The heart signifies caring and takes the place of the usual dot that’s seen in the marker.
  • The marker itself is made of two halves that speak to different cultures/people coming together. 
  • The two halves also cast a shadow, creating a 3-dimensional effect as if they are wings, lifting off, that speak to elevation and rising out of troubled times.

Giving the updated campaign a new look was just the beginning. 

  • The digital strategy also included other tactics including videos, a tool kit for businesses, and a giveaway for local customers.
  • The videos profiled local business owners and were also used as ads, social posts, and website content. 
  • The toolkit was comprised of a sticker that local businesses could affix to their storefront and a digital collection of guides and resources geared to helping them promote their products and services while inspiring community support. 
  • The giveaway was implemented to further drive engagement and awareness of the campaign.

8. Results

The second campaign was a resounding success within the Surrey community, garnering high levels of engagement and impressions.

Over 5 million impressions in six months

69% YoY increase in Facebook reach

14% YoY increase in Instagram followers

39% video view rate