It starts with Scouts

Last month Scouts Canada announced a new tag line and branding.

Out with “Creating a Better World” and in with “It starts with Scouting”.

Now I really liked the improvement in discourse “Creating a Better World” had over the last, last tag line, “Bring on the Adventure”.

“Bring on the Adventure” was ok in my opinion, but many of our competition could also claim the same results. It didn’t differentiate ourselves from everyone else. With “Creating a Better World”, we had an ideal that we held up for the world to see, and get behind. Its message spoke stronger to adult volunteers and senior sections than Adventure did, whom are our more difficult market to reach. We don’t have a problem recruiting young youth into our organization (That’s another article coming up soon), so we should take what opportunities we can to reach to our more difficult, yet more critical markets. Our organization grew up and publicly exclaimed we go beyond just fun and games.

However, it’s out with Orange, in with the five new Element colours. Yes, a Captain Planet parody is screaming from my head. Perhaps, that too, can be a future article.


The Print Media

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The above five examples are some of the new marketing poster being produced. More are on the way, with hints that ones targeting volunteers are in the pipeline.

I like the hint of irreverence/mocking and humour in the pitch. It speaks to a world that’s been turned upside down with the new digital movement, where one has to step back and take an re-evaluation. We are all clambering for these new digital nuggets of gold and status symbols, but what do they mean in the real world? Don’t forget, we still all live in the real (meat) world. Reminding society that the digital world only enhances, and does not replace the real world, seems to be the focus.

Essentially, don’t forget to build upon your roots. That’s where your strength as an individual lies. The glitz and glamour of modern day life can only be fully utilized if you have a strong base. That I can get behind.

The Tag Line

As to the tag line, “It starts with Scouts”, my gut reaction is, “What starts with Scouts?” Second gut reaction is, “Why can’t it finish with Scouting?”

The tag line is obviously vague, to allow each individual to complete it. However I take offense at how vague it leaves it. It’s like saying, “Life starts at birth”. Of course it does. We should be saying more about what direction Scouting will take an individual; then it means something. Leaving it to the imagination to the viewer is great, but marketing is all about subtly shaping that imagination. Future marketing might explore this concept, but it’s lacking right now.

Reinforcing the idea that individuals only spend a few short years with Scouting, is a disservice to the organization. We should be celebrating the graduation of youth from the end of the program. Yes Scouting is a youth development program, where individuals take the skills they have learned into their adulthood, but shouldn’t we be encouraging Scouting as a life long commitment? Something you don’t leave behind?

I realize I may be coming down too hard on four words, but if I have to use those four words to sum up Scouting to the non-Scouting general public, they better be damn good.

Review

  • New tag line: “It Starts with Scouts”
  • New Elements colour scheme
  • New print media, with a slight mocking hint
  • No articulated marketing plan for Volunteers
  • No strategy yet showcasing where Scouting will take you

One Response to It starts with Scouts

  1. Good discussion of the branding. I agree with your rational dissectation of the different brands. Nonetheless, the emotional aspect was completely ignored with “CABW”. I think both “BOTA” and “ISWS” have the emotional draw. Unfortunately, none of these brandings have included both sides of the equation. If the new brand, could simply change their tagline in such a way that combines the last two (or all three) tag lines – I think it would be ideal. Even more unfortunately, that would be tough and I have no answer for it.

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