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A kayaker resting on a lake during a beautiful sunset.

finding our voice

What happens when a brand is renowned for one activity and that activity falls out of public favour? That is the exact challenge the Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo region faced. They needed to reclaim their voice and position themselves to go back out to a global audience and tell their story – in their words and on their terms to bring new people and investment back into the community.

An industrial setting full of pipes and scaffolding

For generations, the Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo region has been synonymous with the oil sands. But as high-profile activists and celebrities turned their attention to shutting down the oil sands, sentiment around the globe shifted against the region. Combined with devastating floods, fires and softening oil prices the region was feeling down and discouraged. People were leaving the area, investment was decreasing, attracting businesses was harder, pulling large events and conferences to their world-class facilities was more challenging, and despite decent air access, visitation was falling.

The Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo new logo

We needed to find the higher reasons Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo existed beyond the oil sands.

We saw that the reason people were drawn to the region was to pursue world-class opportunities – financial, personal, family and outdoor adventure opportunities – surrounded by a group of community-minded people. Pursuing Opportunities, Together, became the overarching purpose for the brand, and led us to how we wanted to position the brand to the global audience. And that was framed as: We are naturally enriched.

An example of a printed piece for Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo with the logo cut out.
A child in a red coat staring through a large cutout of the Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo logo on a snowy day.

The Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo region is exceptionally diverse in terms of its people, ethnic communities, economic standards and cultural experience. Yet despite that, our work on the place brand has been embraced and celebrated across the communities and local stake holders. It has been embraced by the urban citizens, the local bands and metis settlements and the corporate stakeholders.

Brand Videos

To reinforce and highlight these ideas of community and resources beyond oil, we worked with the Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo region to create these videos.

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