Plastic Mobile Tries to Lure U.S. Tech Companies to Canada
Plastic Mobile, a Havas company, is tapping into angst over the U.S. presidential election to urge U.S. tech startups to consider Canada as a potential home.
The agency is sending out "Eh to Zed" [the French pronunciation of "A to Z"] direct mail kits on Tuesday to 25 tech companies in the U.S., featuring items that are uniquely Canadian -- from homegrown maple syrup to a picture of a shirtless prime minister.
"Going into the midst of the U.S. election, with people joking they want to move to Canada, we thought it would be interesting to use humor and highlight some of the great things Canada has to offer," said Melody Adhami, president and chief operating officer of Plastic Mobile, a mobile app agency based in Toronto.
"The environment in Canada, especially in Toronto and Ontario, is a 'Silicon Valley of the North,'" Ms. Adhami said. "We are trying to raise awareness of the fact that there is a big tech industry here, and we have the tech culture and talent."
She pointed to successful Canadian tech companies including e-commerce site Shopify (Ottawa), collaboration software company Slack (Vancouver), and social media management company Hootsuite (Vancouver).
"We are reaching out to very small tech startups that have been in business under three years, primarily in Chicago and New York, close to our backyard," Ms. Adhami said.
Plastic Mobile is sending these companies direct mail kits with a postcard reading, "We've been hearing a lot of rumblings about Americans wanting to move to Canada because of the election. ... So, if you are considering looking for a new home come November but are hesitant because of your startup, let me assure you -- Canada is the place to be."
The postcard, signed by Ms. Adhami, lists the benefits of relocating to Canada, including tax incentives for new tech ventures, affordable healthcare and a favorable currency exchange.
Inside the kit are Canadian items including coffee from Tim Hortons, a new album by Toronto-born musician Drake, and a photo of Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau without a shirt.
Plastic Mobile will follow up the direct mail campaign with social media including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
The ultimate goal? "For us, having offices in Chicago and New York, we would like to meet people in those places and build awareness of what is happening in Canada and with the services we offer," Ms. Adhami said.