A Whyte Christmas in #OldStrath

What We Did

Branding & Marketing

The Client

The Old Strathcona Business Association supports and promotes the businesses in Edmonton’s historical Old Strathcona area, especially along Whyte (82nd) Avenue. They help with promotional campaigns, restoration projects, and general operations throughout the neighbourhood, keeping customers happy and businesses running smoothly.

The Project

Everyone knows what the holidays should look like: trees, lights, mistletoe, snowdrifts... We've seen the Christmas specials (we admit it, we cry every time the Grinch's heart grows three sizes). But it usually ends up being rushed and panicked. What with all the family to feed, presents to wrap, and parties to arrange, there's hardly any time to relax and enjoy the season.

Old Strathcona set out to change that by organizing holiday events for shoppers to enjoy. We'd previously worked with them to create a Back to School promotional campaign. So when the snow started to fall, they asked us to design a Christmas campaign around their events, which would build on the Back to School momentum while promoting their holiday happenings.


Create a campaign strategy to stir up activity and awareness of Old Strathcona as a destination for almost any need.

Branding The Campaign

Inspired by Edmonton's freezing winters, we designed a cool, clean aesthetic with lots of blue and Whyte (get it?). This was applied to a wide range of materials like flyers, window decals, postcards, and Old Strathcona's social media properties.

But it didn't seem like enough. Old Strathcona needed a new character to embody their special brand of Christmas spirit. Everyone does Santa and elves and reindeer. We chose a yeti, complete with mittens and a friendly grin. We took the best elements from all our designers' ideas and put them together to create something fluffy and adorable.

He even came with his own backstory: the yeti lived in the Rockies, but he was originally from Nepal. His favourite activities were surprising friends with presents and giving great big hugs.

Yeti Sightings

The yeti was shy, but just like his cousin Bigfoot, he kept getting caught on camera near local businesses. The blurry photos found their way onto Facebook. For the first week of the campaign, people commented on the photos to guess where they were taken and be entered to win a daily prize.

Naming The Yeti

The next week, the people of Old Strathcona decided that the yeti seemed friendly, so they accepted him as a part of their Christmas season. Now he just needed a name. We created the "Name the Yeti" Facebook app so people could submit names. Each entry qualified users for even more daily prizes.

One of the names was Eddy, and it fit like a glove.

Once they got to know Eddy, the good folks at Old Strathcona were inspired by his enthusiasm for giving. They held a giveaway contest for a $1,000 shopping spree. The "Name the Yeti" app was switched over to the giveaway app, which allowed people to enter once per day. And the lucky winner received gift cards for stores throughout the community.

Print Elements

Eddy finally warmed up to everyone, and he got involved in the campaign in a big way. He appeared in magazine ads promoting local business, on tickets and banners for Old Strathcona's Sleigh Ride Shuttle, and on postcards that were placed inside shopping bags to remind people of the giveaway contest. His face was even used on the bags!

One of the biggest hassles of holiday shopping is remembering to feed the parking meter. Old Strathcona's volunteers made their neighbourhood rounds, and when they found a low meter, they dropped a quarter in to keep it running. They also left a postcard under the windshield wiper with a reminder about the $1,000 giveaway and a personal message from Eddy.

The Results

The Christmas campaign was a huge success. Old Strathcona created a fun, friendly holiday season for Edmonton's shoppers, increased awareness of all the services they offered, and boosted their brand reputation—and those of their tenants—as a result.

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