IGA, the largest group of independent grocers in Canada, has come up with a lovely idea to solicit funds for pediatric cancer research in the North American country. On June 3rd, the company launched what Sid Lee creative agency calls “AR Tattoos,” a series of temporary interactive illustrations that use augmented reality to speak about a huge issue that’s out there.

In partnership with Fondation Charles-Bruneau, IGA wants to find a new way of asking for financial support from fellow Canadians. “Every year our customers are extremely giving, and this year, we wanted to give them an extra reason to be generous,” explains Nancy Champagne, Marketing Director at Sobeys. Together, they aim to give to these generous helpers something nice to remind them of what they usually do to help research.

The playful “AR Tattoos” were initiated to also provide a helping hand to little kids who suffer from cancer. “Children who have cancer go through so many hardships. They’re real tough cookies,” says Julie Desrochers, Creative Director at Sid Lee, as she uncovers the background for the tattoo designs. “We wanted to pay tribute to them and encourage them, but we also wanted to make them laugh. So, we looked for a way to raise money for the Fondation using a positive message that wouldn’t play the pity card, and that everyone could participate in.” Almost like the Give-A-Care movement, which brought a smile to many breast-cancer-diagnosed women while educating their families and friends.

The tattoos can be ‘activated’ once the tough cookies trigger Facebook’s augmented reality feature. “We’ve seen a lot of attempts with augmented reality that have fallen flat because there were too many steps to get it to work. By using the functionality that was recently integrated into the Facebook app, it becomes much easier because there’s nothing to download,” adds Desrochers.

The Montreal-based agency designed five different illustrations: a sushi, two broccoli variations, a cookie, and a singing potato. Each tattoo comes with a message of empowerment and they were all contoured to come to life once the users look at them through their phones.

One of the persons who support the campaign by actually tattooing themselves is Pierre Bruneau, a well-known anchor in Quebec who lost his son, Charles, to cancer 31 years ago. “We generated anticipation by posting photos of Mr. Bruneau in a tattoo parlour on Instagram,” hints Jocelyn Goyer, Art Director at Sid Lee, at the agency’s strategy. “It was picked up by tons of websites and it really grabbed people’s attention,” she then concludes.

Besides the interactive tattoos, the campaign is supported by a video, radio, billboards, web banners, and POS displays. The tattoos are available until June 12 and can be ordered online using the igatattoos.com website. Hurry up, they are only temporary, and they will sell quickly!


Client: Sobeys — IGA: Carl Pichette, Nancy Champagne & Alexandra Monti Marlène Papineau

Agency: Sid Lee Executive
Creative Director: Alex Bernier
Creative Director: Julie Desrochers
Creation Team: Jocelyn Goyer, Etienne Théberge, Julien Roub-Charland, Benjamin Lamingo, Krissi Campbell & Christopher Jones

Account Services Team: Brian Feeny, Catherine Lussier, Catherine Savoie & Jenny Pham
Strategy: Manuel Gobeil-Leblanc & Odile Archambault
Sid Lee CRM: Camille Fortier-Jordan, Charlotte Barrière & François-Xavier Cyr

Media: Québecor & Carat

Production: Sarah Longpré, Marie-Soleil Patry & Marie-Ève Lévesque
Post-Production – Sid Lee Studio: Olivier Valiquette, David Leclerc, Isabelle Vouligny, Fredérick Aumont & Béatrice Tremblay
Digital Production – Sid Lee: Guillaume Raymond, Jonathan Brulé, Alex Pilon & Caroline Royer

Directing & Cinematography: Thomas Soto
Editing: Laurent Bernier & Carl Munger
Audio: BLVD – Olivier Rivard
Music: Denis Drolet