Toronto – As people begin to hit the streets again, Buy Toronto Time is using motifs associated with death to provoke Toronto citizens to shop local and keep neighbourhood businesses alive.
The campaign by Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) involves more than 400 businesses across the city displaying posters resembling tombstones. Each poster details the business's name and opening date, but features a blank second date to represent its possible closure. Through the simple tombstone motif, the campaign evokes the potential loss of local businesses – and a sense of urgency for shopper support.
Alongside the posters, the campaign features 100 outdoor billboards, a film and an Instagram account. ‘Buy Toronto Time is about the life or death of an individual business in our city’s neighbourhoods,’ says John Kiru, executive director of TABIA. ‘With a possible end to the pandemic in sight, Torontonians may think that means all businesses will live on. But the fact is they need support now more than ever.’
With global lockdown periods placing new importance on local neighbourhoods, the demand for Micro-mmunity Retail can continue, but requires retailers and consumers to retain their local focus.