Rethinking Campus Cycling

September 24, 2014 by  Top Drawer Creative
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Invincible. In many ways, we want our youth to feel this way. It’s every parent’s wish that their children should feel that the world is their oyster, and they can take it by storm.

But university-bound students’ sense of invincibility often extends far beyond their academic potential. They take risks outside the classroom – some good, some bad. Despite mandatory helmet laws and visible safety regulations, universities across Canada are struggling with getting student cyclists to practice safe biking.

In response, our pro-bono client, Share the Road, and a group of eight Ontario universities came to us to promote an initiative for safer cycling on and around campus.

Our research concluded that bringing cyclists together in a like-minded community would allow the safety message to be woven in fluidly with cool cycling news, initiatives and events.

“Students need a carrot, rather than a stick,” says Brian Gahan, Top Drawer Creative EVP and Chief Creative Officer. “The UCycle initiative promotes safety and enhances the campus cycling experience through communities loaded with prizes, tips, discounts and more.”

TDC’s campaign, currently underway at eight participating universities, consists of inspirational, campus-specific videos and collateral to draw attention to the initiative and showcase key messages.

UCycle – Grab your bike from UCycle Ontario on Vimeo.

The campus-specific videos (you can see Western’s here), along with radio advertising, posters and social media – all featuring a crisp visual identity by Dave Nighbor of 9lives Design, who also created the website -  encourage students to join dedicated Facebook communities where seasoned cyclists and first-time riders alike are encouraged to ride their bikes, safely.

Paid student ambassadors promote the programs on campus, and maintain the Facebook pages for Lakehead University, University of Windsor, Western University, University of Waterloo, McMaster University, Sheridan College, Trent University and Queen’s University where students can watch videos (like this one, from Western, on how to load your bike on and off a bus) and get the scoop on cycling news, event listings, maintenance clinics, discounts and prizes — including $50 gift cards at local restaurants, VIA Rail travel vouchers, new bikes, and $500 grants for students to put towards cycling projects at their schools.

Please visit for more information.

Our Wordy Girl

June 17, 2014 by  Top Drawer Creative

There’s power in words (in some more than others) and if the right hands string them together, well then you’ve got a damn good story. We know one such wordy girl, an enchantress who is able to tell an entire flippin’ fab story in a single word! Yes, that’s our very own Patty Lowry, our seasoned, spicy and very well-traveled copywriter. We repeat, she’s OURS, all OURS, so stay away.

Her words have texture and taste, a certain scent, a unique colouring – sensational hues that come from somewhere only Patty can go. Some of our clients have adopted her unconventional, Patty-birthed words for their campaigns; unique and memorable creations, just like the wordy girl herself.

Here’s a snapshot gallery of some of Patty’s branded words:

A giggly pure-hearted expression of utter joy & love.

Off the hip chart, out of bounds, beyond an all-out craze!

An epic embodiment of astonishing originality.

A realm of consciousness that invents awestruck wonder.

Ms. Patty Lowry is not afraid of taking it over the top, and sometimes that’s exactly what’s needed to lighten and brighten. Patty is our Princess of the Pen, our Poet of the Pencil, our resident know-how-to-craft-it guru no matter what writing instrument we throw at her! And no matter what white space she’s got to work with.

Take, for instance, the Genuine Health tote bag that many people have told us is so beautifully written that they don’t want to use it to schlep dirt-covered carrots from the farmers’ market; instead they just want to take the bag to their local art shop and get it framed!


Patty is currently working on a book on how to survive anything life throws at you – from a bad hair day to a broken heart – in 11 steps. We’ll be sure to broadcast about it when the time comes.

But for now, here is an excerpt:

How to be supremely happy
at whatever you want to be.

  1. Be you. You’re already the most awesome sauce at it in the entire universe galaxy! Shake your pom poms baby!
  2. Never listen to naysayers, bosses who are drunk by lunch, teachers who call you dumb, parents who think you are destined to be an excellent secretary, or scaredy-cat wannabes with inflated egos of their dullard reality. Always listen to strangers on the bus who spontaneously talk to you or themselves, children, animals and the voices… yeah, you know you hear them.
  3. Trust your gut. It tells you the truth 99% of the time. You know… that wonderful, peaceful, satiated feeling that you are doing the right thing… as opposed to the turbulent, horror-filled,   vomitous ache that defies eating an entire family-size bag of ripple chips and onion dip drowned with a bottle of red wine (which, by the way, is a highly recommended pairing by gourmands and sommeliers worldwide).
  4. Make stuff up to validate your beliefs.
  5. Be fearless. Feel everything and rejoice. Shake hands with your fears, give them a hug, have a drink with them, then make a monster face and tell them to get out (Amityville horror-style).
  6. Crazy-ass spontaneous, imaginative, non-sensible combustion is way better and infinitely more fun than playing it safe.
  7. Replace the word need with desire.
  8. Embrace mayhem, madness and chaos – it is a prerequisite state in the process of evolution.
  9. Believe in something unbelievable, invisible and intangible.
  10. Embrace your inner psychopath.  Don’t act on it – just tend to it.
  11. Lose the attitude. Develop a lovitude.
All it takes is a simple hello.The SAIL MonolithVéroTDC blog Tell It Like It Is WORD
All it takes is a simple hello.The SAIL MonolithBIENVENUE Véro!Tell it like it is. Word.