The Green Party of Ontario

The Story of the GPO

In the run-up to the October 2007 Ontario elections, the GPO approached us with an interest in a website that would support plenty of media and campaign materials that would help keep their credibility growing.

As usual, we first focussed on identifying their challenge. In deep discussions with their communication team, we came to understand that the GPO lacked the credibility in other aspects aspects of governance that they were recognized for in environmental stewardship.

We broke out the components of their platform and looked for a pattern in their approach.

It wasn’t long before the common theme became apparent–the GPO took a stewardship approach to all aspects of governance. From finance to education, their policies demonstrated a sustainable (and corrective where necessary) course of action. They had less to lose than established parties, but we were still impressed that they were ‘calling bullshit’ on practices that didn’t make fiscal sense on a whole-cost accounting level.

We dubbed the platform the “Get Real” manifesto, and it went on to inform every aspect of our communications (thought it was watered down to ‘be real’ for external use). The website became a hub for breaking news on green and governance issues, not merely a brochure for the GPO. It was developed on a platform that could eventually tie in to the Federal party’s site, and perhaps most importantly, was architected in a way that would give them the chance to offer every riding their own site.

We gave the GPO an aesthetic overhaul that spoke to their professionalism and earnestness with clearer, more open typography, brighter (fresher) greens, and plenty of white space–unlike most political parties, the GPO have nothing to hide.

Fund-raising events encouraged neighbourhoods to clean up their own act.

Signage was created on sustainable materials from biodegradable lawn signs to brown leaf/debris collection bags.

Metrics and ROI are often difficult to measure in terms of brand perception, awareness, and popularity. n this case, we can tell you that the GPO went from 2% to 8% of the Ontario vote in that election–a larger leap than any other party and their most significant standing ever. And we can tell you they were thrilled with our insight and output and we’re still working with them today.