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Credit: Courtesy of Very Polite Agency

Through the global Brand Me competition, local creative agency Very Polite will donate $150,000 worth of services

Big and small, brands here in B.C. and around the world have been left reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic. Vancouver-headquartered Very Polite Agency wants to lend a hand.

“This time has obviously been very difficult for a lot of companies,” says Andrea Mestrovic, partner and VP brand strategy at Very Polite, which specializes in communications and creative services. “We’ve been seeing it with our clients and friends all over the world, but even in our own backyard.”

Very Polite, a small outfit whose other partners include Kit and Ace co-founder JJ Wilson, hasn’t had to lay off staff or reduce salaries, Mestrovic notes. From that fortunate position, the firm keeps looking for ways to help others. Earlier in the pandemic, in collaboration with illustrators and designers from across the globe, Very Polite launched a series of quarantine-themed posters and activity books, donating all proceeds to UNICEF’s Coronavirus Relief Fund.

“We thought, What can we do next that’s maybe helping reignite the economy but also helping new brands and products launch in this crazy market we’re in now?” Mestrovic recalls.

The result was Brand Me, a global competition kicking off July 25 that will see Very Polite donate $150,000 worth of its services to the winner.

“We thought it would be great to launch something where we can help someone else who is less fortunate,” Mestrovic says. “We also have seen clients that had amazing ideas and content and product in the pipeline and haven’t really been able to move on that because of COVID.”

The Brand Me contest is open to anyone who fills out the online entry form, she explains. “We recognize that the smaller, unknown brands are fighting for survival, but we also recognize that there’s larger brands that are having the same layoffs and can’t launch their product or campaign.”

Very Polite’s work with the winning company “could be a rebrand, a rework, a launch, a relaunch; it could be a campaign; there could be photography involved,” Mestrovic says. “It’s our way of giving back.”

To select the winner, the agency will use the same internal checklist it does when taking on a client, she notes. “Essentially, it has to be something that our team will be excited about,” Mestrovic says. “So it could be a completely new, unknown brand or product, but if we see that creatively, we can come up with the right platform for them to launch and be successful in this marketplace, then we’ll be extra excited to try to get there.”

Very Polite, which has satellite teams in New York, Los Angeles, London and Sydney, aims to promote Brand Me worldwide. But Mestrovic, who says it could become an annual contest, knows where her loyalties lie: “Ideally, it will be a Canadian brand that comes through and that we will select, because this is our home base.”

The Brand Me winner will be announced on September 6.