VAC Responds: Evaluation of the "Support and Services for Canada's Veterans" Ad Campaign

Clarification to article by Dean Beeby, CBC, March 17, 2015.

The evaluation referred to in the reporter's article is a summary of the full findings of the Harris/Decima evaluation of the Support and Services for Canada's Veterans ad campaign. For a complete analysis of the advertising campaign, we invite readers to access the full report which can be found on the Library and Archives Canada website at:
http://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/200/301/pwgsc-tpsgc/por-ef/veterans_affairs_canada/2014/008-14-e/index.html.

The article states, "The department hired pollster Harris Decima to survey 2,007 people in June about what they remembered, if anything, about the TV, radio and internet advertising - and discovered a sharp backlash."

Response: In 2014 Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) launched an advertising campaign, Support and Services for Canada's Veterans, which informed Veterans about Career Transition Services. The survey results from the post-testing show the campaign was effective.

The survey concluded 46% of Canadian adults said they remember seeing at least one of the advertisements, and 33% among the general population said they could recall elements of the ad.

During the campaign, VAC Facebook likes reached over 19,000 postings. Comparing website visits prior to the campaign to those during the peak of the campaign, VAC experienced a 876% increase in web visits. The number of average daily website visits increased to 3,129. The campaign also resulted in 3,465 new twitter followers and 444 retweets of the ads.

Most importantly, more Veterans came forward to apply for VAC programs as a direct result of the campaign. The number of applications increased by 13.4% during the first week of the campaign and the number of "My VAC account" registrations increased by 28% during the campaign.

The article states, "Gov(ernment) self-promotion for not doing enough/veterans are being neglected" was the response of some 150 people who saw the ads and were asked to describe the "main point."

Response: In fact the majority of the 924 responders described the main point positively, for example, identifying it as: Support/recognition/respect for our veterans/the military; Life/second chance after military service; Helps/supports veterans in their transition to civilian life/workforce; Canada/the government is supporting/helping/caring of our veterans.

The article states, "It's pure propaganda."

Response: These ads identified tangible programs and services available to Veterans and their families.

Of the close to 700,000 Veterans in Canada, approximately 200,000 Veterans and their families access programs and services from Veterans Affairs Canada. The advertisements were designed to increase awareness of the programs and services that may be available to Veterans and their families.

As indicated, the number of applications for VAC programs increased by 13.4% during the first week of the campaign and the number of "My VAC account" registrations increased by 28% during the campaign.

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