YMCA of Greater Toronto shines light on overcoming everyday obstacles with latest advertising campaign

03 October 2022

Charity’s campaign, “Obstacles”, aims to inspire people to realize their potential

Toronto – October 3, 2022 – Today, the YMCA of Greater Toronto launched its latest advertising campaign, “Obstacles.” This is the charity’s second annual Shine On brand awareness campaign to connect more people to its programs and shine a light on the Y’s charitable impact.

YMCA of Greater Toronto overcoming everyday obstacles with latest advertising campaign

Developed by Peterborough-based creative agency Outpost379, the premise of the campaign is that everyone deserves opportunities to ignite their full potential. Two and a half years of the pandemic have highlighted that basic necessities are not equally available to everyone. There are systemic barriers that are hard to overcome. Similarly, the pandemic has led many of us to second guess ourselves and our abilities in ways we might never have before. It has intensified emotional obstacles such as worry, self-doubt and fear that hold us back from reaching our full potential.

This new campaign showcases the YMCA of Greater Toronto’s belief that when given support, positivity and guidance, people can turn off the things that are holding them back. The campaign also underscores its charitable impact, with messaging that lets potential donors know their support will help people overcome personal obstacles and highlights the life-changing difference the Y can make in someone’s life.

“For over 170 years, the YMCA of Greater Toronto has ignited the potential in people, helping them to grow, lead, and give back to their communities,” says Nora Gorman, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications, YMCA of Greater Toronto. “The Obstacles campaign, which communicates our Shine On brand, showcases how the charity’s breadth of programs help members of the community turn off feelings of hesitation, doubt, or fear and to instead turn on confidence, connections, and possibilities. As we work together to tackle the mental, physical and economic consequences of the pandemic, we all need hopeful and optimistic stories like these.”

At the heart of the Obstacles campaign is the hero video, which can be viewed here. The 90-second spot showcases the benefits of Y programs and services through emotional human stories and experiences that are relatable, while demonstrating the support the Y provides to help people realize their potential.

This is the first consumer campaign from Outpost379 since Ben Steele joined as Creative Director earlier this year. As YMCA of Greater Toronto’s Agency of Record, Outpost379 managed the strategy, creative, design, and media for the campaign. The campaign will be in market through the year in TV, digital, social, billboards, transit posters, and radio.

“With this campaign, we wanted to bring to life the emotional obstacles the pandemic has brought on for so many for us, while showing how you can turn all those off, with the help of the Y, to allow your potential to shine,” says Ben Steele, Creative Director, Outpost379. “I hope when people see this campaign on their screens, they relate to these very real emotions and experiences and are inspired to overcome whatever is holding them back.”

Directed by local Toronto Director, Kevin Foley, whose commercial credits include SickKids and UNICEF, the video was shot in various YMCA locations across the GTA and includes real YMCA employees, volunteers, and participants, alongside actors and people across the GTA who were found through a public casting call.

“I’m grateful to be part of creative storytelling like the Y’s, to showcase a snapshot of the charity’s impact in the GTA,” says Kevin Foley, Director of the campaign video. “The Y’s dedication to highlighting everyone’s potential is certainly one worth sharing and it was amazing to see that brought to life through real YMCA employees, volunteers, participants, and others who can relate to the message behind this campaign.”

Other campaign credits include:
 - Production Company - Scouts Honour
 - Editing House - Outsider
 - Postproduction - The Vanity
 - Audio House - 6 Degrees

To see more elements of the Obstacles campaign, visit here

About the YMCA of Greater Toronto

The YMCA of Greater Toronto is a charity that ignites the potential in people, helping them grow, lead and give back to their communities. For over 170 years, the YMCA of Greater Toronto has provided opportunities for people to shine through a variety of programs and services including health and fitness, licensed child care, camps, employment and immigrant services, education and training, and services for youth, families and seniors. Promoting equity and boosting well-being across more than 400 locations in the Greater Toronto Area, the Y is a leading charity that helps everyone shine. For more information visit ymcagta.org.