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Hey amazon ad from calgary with picture of scenic mountains

In the race for Amazon’s HQ2, we produced “Hey, Amazon” using the media moment to put Calgary, Alberta, Canada on the map.

Calgary is a city of over a million people—and is known around the world as an energy hub—but it doesn’t have a significant global presence. In fact, Critical Mass didn’t know if Amazon knew anything about Calgary at all. So when Amazon announced their search for an HQ2, Critical Mass knew to stand out against the other 248 cities vying for a bid would take more than making bad Alexa jokes. With 50,000 jobs and billions of dollars at stake, Calgary needed a way to stand out from the crowd and get Amazon’s attention.

Calgary would be a long shot for Amazon, so Critical Mass used the media moment as an opportunity to get Calgary’s name out there. Gaining 150 million media impressions, Critical Mass spoke directly to Amazon, right on their turf. In fact, right next to their offices in Seattle. Launching a guerrilla-style campaign, Critical Mass spray-painted tagline all over sidewalks in Seattle and placed large out-of-home placements directly next to Amazon’s offices.

“Hey, Amazon” was the tagline, accompanied by tough-in-cheek humor like, “Hey, Amazon. Not saying we’d fight a bear with you… but we totally would.” It was a strong nod to Calgary’s “wild-west” roots and put Calgary’s name on the map.