Toronto marketing agency Field Day Inc. has launched a public education and awareness campaign for the Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, including a new consumer website: www.theholestory.ca
Formerly the Aggregate Producers' Association of Ontario, the OSSGA is the non-profit industry association representing 94 producers of sand, gravel, and crushed stone in the province of Ontario along with 150 consultants, suppliers, and distributors of aggregate industry products and services.
Public understanding of the stone, sand and gravel industry is limited, and what little the general public does know about the industry often comes from special interest groups that oppose the development of quarries and gravel pits.
The new awareness campaign will help to provide a balanced view of the industry. Stone, sand and gravel are vital to our existence. The vast majority of aggregate is used for public infrastructure including roads, bridges and public buildings. Aggregate also plays a vital role in the water and sewage purification process, it's a necessary component in glass, and it can even be found as filler in paper and some pharmaceuticals.
As well, quarries and pits undergo extensive after-use rehabilitation; the public is generally unaware that landmarks such as the Royal Botanical Gardens, University of Toronto at Mississauga (Erindale Campus) and Toronto's Christie Pits were once operating quarries or gravel pits.
Field Day's awareness program includes an interactive consumer website as well as a targeted direct marketing campaign.
"Aggregate producers are community- and environmentally-minded citizens," says Andrew Arntfield, President of Field Day Inc. "They live in the same communities where they work, and they embrace dialog and cooperation within their communities.
"For an industry dedicated to digging through dirt and dredging water, its about as clean as you can get. Aggregate processing is entirely water-based not a single chemical is used in the processing of stone, sand and gravel. And the water is recycled in a closed loop and used again and again."
The website www.theholestory.ca launched on November 25th. It includes a number of interactive elements where consumers can discover the environmental impact of moving a quarry or pit further from its end use, and see how stone, sand and gravel are used in urban, suburban and rural environments.
The website also includes an opportunity to win $5,000 in aggregate products for the home, including exterior hardscaping or interior tiling and ceramics.
"The goal of the contest is to not only drive traffic to the website," says Arntfield, "but to have consumers make the connection between quarries or gravel pits and products they desire and use on a daily basis."
The tabloid-sized direct marketing piece imagines how Ontario might look without the benefits of stone, sand and gravel.
The initial direct marketing campaign will reach 100,000 households in and around Barrie and Orillia, Ontario, and will expand to a wider audience in the new year.