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5 Tips for Getting Results with Canadian Advertising

Updated: May 14

By Cathy Sharp,

Founder and CEO Since 90 percent of Canadians live within 100 miles of the US border, marketing to our northern neighbors should be as simple as copying what’s done in the US.  Not necessarily.


Yes, Americans and Canadians have a lot in common – soccer is the most popular sport, English is the predominant language and residents in both countries readily consume news and weather reports. But that’s often where the comparisons end.




That’s because Canadian consumers think, act and buy much differently than US consumers. First, Canada has a more diverse population. In Canada, you’ll find a multicultural mosaic versus a melting pot in the US.  Canadians have different cultural attitudes. For example, Americans admire individual achievement while Canadians admire collective responsibility.  And when it comes to media consumption habits, Canadians do it their way.


Canadian Advertising Is Worth Pursuing


The median Canadian household income is actually higher than in the U.S.  Canadians spend less on healthcare so they have more money to spend on recreation, clothing, personal care and reading.  And Canadians really like to travel internationally — 67 per cent of Canadians hold passports versus 46 per cent of U.S. citizens.


5 Tips To Get Started With Canadian Advertising


If you’re planning to market to Canadians, here’s a quick guide:

  1. Approach it as a distinct business geography, not simply another state. There are significant legal and regulatory rules to consider as well as cross-country logistics and currency exchange rates.

  2. Be sure to understand the differences in how Canadians consume media. They watch fewer TV hours than in the US but consume more radio, about 7.5 more hours per week than Americans.

  3. As in the US, consumption of magazines and newspapers has fallen in Canada but don’t count those mediums out. Canadians like to read.

  4. Digital must be a part of the marketing mix. Canadians lead the world in online video consumption per capita. Canadians view online video a total of 21 hours a month versus 14.9 in the US.

  5. When searching for consumer data, it’s best to work directly with the media organization you’re targeting. These media organizations in Canada are experts in Canadian consumer behavior.

If you’re interested in finding an agency that thoroughly knows the Canadian media and advertising landscape and deeply understands the Canadian consumer, give us a call and we’ll show you what we can do.

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