Helping unions maximize the impact of their message
Creative - Production - Media
38+ YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
BUYING MEDIA? BUY UNION.
A UNIONIZED AGENCY
EXCLUSIVELY FOR UNIONS
BE UNION. BUY UNION.
Founded in 1982, Union Communications has worked exclusively with trade unions to ensure their messages are delivered with maximum impact to government, the general public and unions members. We are a full-service agency, nationally accredited with every major Canadian media outlet, and proud to say we are the largest unionized media buying agency by volume in the country. We help Communications Representatives from initial creative conception right through finished production, developing all manner of communications from comprehensive advertising campaigns, websites and mobile apps to print and digital publications, long and short format video, as well as TV and radio.
NEWSWORTHY CONTENT: UC REEL
At Union Communications, we are often asked to produce content to convey our clients’ messages with clarity and impact. As a full-service Agency, the options are limitless, so we've put together this reel to show some examples of our past work and production capabilities. Whatever the job at hand, we create striking materials that get noticed and push our clients’ issues to the forefront; everything from full animation, live action documentary shooting and studio shooting with actors or real employees to full TV commercials with set design, props and actors.
CUPE "FOR A STRONGER NEW BRUNSWICK"
CUPE New Brunswick’s iconic fist has gathered substantial recognition throughout the province. Union members and the general public have embraced the fist as a symbol of solidarity, plastering it on car bumpers and displaying it proudly in their windows and storefronts. As COVID continued to play havoc on the province, we strategically leveraged the fist through animation, reminding everyone of CUPE New Brunswick’s diverse membership and the critical roles they play in these difficult times. Bold animation gave birth to a new tagline and an entirely new positioning, letting everyone know that CUPE NB will always be here “For a stronger New Brunswick.”
When General Motors announced a plan to shut down their Oshawa Assembly Plant and set up shop in Mexico, nearly 3,000 loyal workers’ livelihoods were suddenly imperilled. Their union, Unifor, called on Union Communications to produce a series of TV ads urging Canadian consumers to boycott GM vehicles made in Mexico, in favour of Canadian-made products. The first of these ads, entitled “Generosity,” aired during the Super Bowl — the first Canadian union advertisement ever shown during this unrivalled broadcast.
UNIFOR "CANADA NEEDS A PLAN FOR AVIATION"
The aviation industry has been decimated by COVID-19. While countries around the world have stepped up to support their aviation industry, the Canadian government has done very little. To highlight the government’s indifference and utter lack of assistance, Unifor tasked us with creating a video in support of the “We Need an Aviation Plan” Campaign. From initial brief to completion, this project was produced in under a week.
NEW BRUNSWICK UNION “BY YOUR SIDE”
For the second consecutive year, we were asked to develop and produce the annual advertising campaign for the New Brunswick Union (NBU). Our objective was to show how NBU members are an integral part of their communities impacting the daily lives of New Brunswickers. With a cost efficient, two-person shooting crew, we toured the province filming real members in real locations, ultimately creating this charming 60-second television commercial that not only captured the spirit of the people but the importance of the union as well.
UNIFOR “STOP FORD CUTS”
From the moment he took power, Doug Ford began slashing public services to the detriment of all Ontarians. His cuts to healthcare, education, and municipalities were the deepest cuts any government had made since the 1990s. Unifor asked us to help draw attention to this travesty and spread the message: “Stop Ford Cuts.” We tackled the issue head on, creating an entire campaign that included television, print, billboards, radio, and digital content - developing all the advertising assets and placing all of the media in market. A true concept to in-market campaign, all done in-house.
UNION COMMUNICATIONS RADIO
At Union Communications, we are a full-service Agency. But, if there’s one thing that has really made us stand out over the years, it’s our radio advertising. Even in the digital era, radio advertising continues to be an effective way to reach both union members and the general public. And, we have the numbers to prove it. These are just two examples from the past year, one with Unifor National President, Jerry Dias and a second for CUPE New Brunswick using ACTRA voice talent.
UC “Exemples français”
With clients across Canada, we produce work in both official languages. We not only benefit from having French speakers on our team but we also have access to unionized translators. Two examples of French productions completed in the past year include the New Brunswick Union and CUPE New Brunswick.
UNIFOR “BUILDING OUR ENERGY FUTURE”
In light of global warming and the collapse of world oil prices, Canada faces critical energy challenges. Unifor asked us to produce a two-minute informational video aimed at the general public to convey the importance of protecting workers in that sector while we re-think our energy future and transition to greener alternatives.
UNIFOR “BOYCOTT MEXICO GM”
As a follow up to Unifor’s wildly successful Super Bowl spot, Union Communications created a second nationally televised ad, stressing the importance of Canadian jobs and calling on Canadians to boycott certain GM cars – those with VIN numbers indicating they were made in Mexico. Mixing film footage with innovative animated graphics, the ad was influential in getting GM to sit down with Unifor and resume negotiations to save jobs in Oshawa.
While in the heat of negotiations, CUPE approached us with an urgent request to create a series of TV ads aimed at both its members and the general public. Working quickly, we collaborated with CUPE NL to develop scripts overnight, and then took charge of casting, filming, animation, editing, and media-buying. We proudly delivered these high-quality commercials in record time — from brief to air in just ten days. The campaign was so well-received that it became a story of its own on NTV’s evening news, bringing extra, no-cost coverage to CUPE’s concerns.
CUPE “DWIGHT BALL’S CROSSROADS”
As a response to provincial plans to introduce austerity measures that would impact CUPE members and many other workers in Newfoundland and Labrador, we produced a commercial based on our client's idea of a board game that no working person can win. With eye-catching, originally-designed props and sets, and excellent performances from local ACTRA talents, we produced a top-quality TV ad at a cost far lower than a big, top-heavy agency would charge.
In preparation for CUPE’s upcoming negotiations with the government of Newfoundland and Labrador, we flew to St. John’s to hear rank-and-file CUPE members express their grassroots concerns in their own words. Our expert filmwork and editing skills resulted in a series of
30-second TV ads that made a big impact across the province with the simplest of concepts: real members, unscripted — genuine, honest, and compelling.
From the archives! Back in 2012, Dalton McGuinty‘s government began to cut spending in the midst of contract negotiations with Ontario elementary teachers. A strong local, the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) York region, asked Union Communications to produce an independent ad that highlighted Premier McGuinty’s errors in spending, and his subsequent attempts to make up for them.
DESIGN & PRINT PRODUCTION
Since our inception, back in 1982 — long before the days of digital — we've been leaders in print design for the union cause. We’ve done it all; everything from newspaper ads, members’ magazines, billboards and leaflets to annual calendars and strike-action picket signs. And to this day, we still do because we recognize that often the best way to keep up meaningful contact with your members is through hard-copy collateral that they can hold in their own hands. Likewise, print ads and campaign hand-outs are often the best way to convey your message to the public at large. If you’re working to build support and solidarity, we believe print materials are still as compelling and effective as ever.
We have been very successful in helping our clients get their points of view across through letters to the editor and opinion articles in Canada's major newspapers. We have found that tightly-organized, strongly-written pieces are much in demand by editors throughout Canada. Our writing style and sense of what is newsworthy has helped us to publish articles and letters in the following newspapers, among many others:
Our expertise and experience helps unions earn media worth potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars. It's an ideal supplement to an advertising or public relations campaign, and valuable in its own right.
Creativity is at the heart of everything we do. Making an impression on your audience requires cutting-edge design
Creativity is at the heart of everything we do. Making an impression on your audience requires cutting-edge design coupled with a focus on clarity in your message. Our team of writers, designers, and film directors combine their exceptional creative talent with an acute understanding of the issues facing the labour movement. That's a winning combination for the union clients to whom we're dedicated.
A key task for unions today is maintaining internal solidarity through regular communications with their members. Another imperative is to bring their message to the outside world through public relations and external messaging. Our agency excels at both. Whether reaching out to your members through surveys, regularly published magazines or e-communications, our expert writers and designers know how to make the right impression. When it comes to broadcasting your message to those outside your organization, we deliver top-notch advertising as well as news releases and opinion pieces with the same expertise.
Our all-inclusive production service delivers visually compelling print and film materials while maintaining a focus on simplicity to avoid unnecessary overhead costs. Our to-the-point, straightforward approach to getting effective results makes us an agency that punches above its weight. Our reputation for quick turnaround makes our team the ideal choice for urgent campaigns with little lead-time.
Innovative print collateral
Camera operator / Director of Production / Gaffer / Audio
As a fully accredited advertising agency, we handle your entire campaign from start to finish — from media buying through conception and production to the final result. We collaborate with our clients to find the best media mix based on audience. We continually adapt to the changing media landscape and help our clients achieve more with less. Our long-established network of industry contacts and external media partners help to make it all happen, without the stress or mess of traditional media planning that can bog you down when you can least afford the time and strain.
Traditional media buying (outdoor, print, TV, radio)