We did it!

We welcomed ‘King (Shahrukh) Khan’ to Canada for an exclusive ‘Meet & Greet’ event organized by us for our client – Western Union Canada.

Shahrukh Khan, who was on a world-wide promotional tour for his new sci-fi – Ra.One – was hosted by us in Toronto where he graced a joint-presser with Western Union Canada and spoke eloquently about the Western Union brand.

Here’s what he said:

“We are pleased for our film to be associated with a global brand like Western Union that connects families across the world and is creating history by launching the first ever global media campaign with a Bollywood film,” said Shahrukh Khan.

“Anyone who works hard for their child is a hero, but it is a special heroic sacrifice to leave home. Fuelled by their love for their families, families working overseas put aside separation from loved ones, being homesick or lonely, or living in distant lands with different cultures, so that they can provide greater opportunity for their loved ones at home. Similarly our film embodies superheroes,” said the superstar.

WU – Muslim Festival 2012

Occasion: The Annual ‘Muslim Festival’.
Communities involved: Muslims from around the world (inclusive of South Asia, Africa, Middle East, Far East, South & West Americas & North America).
Event Theme: ‘Family Day’ for Muslims – lots of food and tons of fun.
Time: September 2012.
Backgrounder: This occasion was specially selected and matched (to the client) by the Agency in the event’s debut year. Ever since then, every year SPAN has participated in this event on behalf of its client and found the ROI most satisfactory.
Rationale for selection:
Event connects client to a very niche segment of its market;
Event affords client unique opportunity to open dialogue with recipients on subjects closest to their hearts and minds;
This interaction takes place within the recipients comfort zone;
The event is covered by selected South Asian/Community Media/TV Channels.

Occasion: Special screening of a brand new Indian movie on its premier day in Toronto.
Community involved: South Asians at large – Bollywood buffs specifically.
Time: November 2012.
Backgrounder: First used by the Agency in 2010, Bollywood movies have proven to be excellent communication vehicles for Western Union year after year. This latest movie launch dropped in at the right time – on Diwali Day. The Agency organized free Diwali shows at various centres across Canada for ‘friends of Western Union’. The media was out in full strength to cover this double-header event: the premier of the movie as well as the release of a special Study Report on ‘South Asian immigrants to Canada’ sponsored by Western Union.
Challenge 1: Attach a PR angle to the event and optimize it fully.
Challenge 2: Since the media exposure was for a fairly short duration, the challenge was to create maximum excitement in the market in the quickest possible time and have people turn out in large numbers to make the event a success.
Measurables: The event was covered by 4 of the top South Asian TV Channels across Canada;
Top 15 South Asian (English, Punjabi & Hindi) newspapers ran the story with pictures;
All free shows across Canada were ‘sold out’ within a matter of 36 hours.


Community involved: A very specific ‘vegetarian’ group from western India.

Time: July 2008.

Backgrounder: Research proved absence of adequate brand awareness amongst new immigrants arriving from the western part of India. This is an 80,000 strong community in Toronto (GTA) alone. The community has well-defined cultural roots in India, has a history that’s a few thousand years old, speaks its own language and has its own distinct taste in cuisine & snacks. One of the condiments that is fairly popular in this segment is ‘cumin seeds’ (Hindi: Zeera).

Promotion: Launch of specially prepared ‘Cumin Seed’ Cookies and freshly cooked flat-breads that this community loves to consume almost thrice a day.

In addition to sampling of Crispy Cumin Cookies & ‘Roti’, special quiz contests were organized for the ladies & housewives.

Challenge: Enumerate the Crispy range + write the brand name Crispy a maximum number of times within a stipulated time period.

Incentive: FREE Crispy Gift Hampers with loads of goodies from the manufacturer.


Time: October 2008.
Community involved: South Asians with special focus on connoisseurs of ‘Bollywood’ (Indian film) music.
Backgrounder: Crispy sponsored a live all-night concert of a famous playback & folk singer from Bombay, India. Held at the International Convention Centre, Toronto, the original attendance was expected to be around 10,000. The final tally was in the vicinity of 12,000. In addition to live music, a specially produced audio-visual on Crispy and its various products was run during each break in music and a special quiz held on it subsequently. Free sampling as well as sales of Crispy products was undertaken at the venue.


Time: August 15th 2008.
Community involved: South Asians at large with special focus on people from India.
Backgrounder: We saw this event as an ideal opportunity to address South Asians, particularly Indians, and showcase our brand – especially some great new products introduced recently. With live music (all the way from India), traditional cuisine on sale and lots of fun & games, we had access to almost 38,000 visitors in a single day. What started off as a free sampling exercise turned into a brisk sales campaign and by evening, we had sold virtually all our stock – even the display items were not left behind.


Crispy – Bangladeshi New Year!

Time: April 10th, 2009
Ethnic Group Involved: Bangladeshi – also known as ‘East Bengalis’.
Activity: In February of 2009, the Agency had conducted an informal survey for its clients – TWI Foods Inc. (makers of ‘Crispy’ brand of baked goods) within the growing Bangladeshi market in the GTA. The results bore out 2 interesting trends within the community – One: After arriving in Canada, significant numbers had taken to consuming larger amount of wheat flour flat-bread which was not a community staple back home and two: Not many from within the community knew that Crispy made a range of wheat flour breads in regular white and whole-wheat styles. The Agency called for a more proactive approach to set the record straight. And the ‘Bangladeshi New Year’ in April of 2009 provided the brand just the right platform to meet the community and introduce their entire range to them.