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Electing Ottawa's New Mayor

The Context

The start of the campaign was unlike anything seen since 2010. With longtime incumbent Mayor Jim Watson indicating he would not seek reelection, the 2022 Ottawa Municipal Election was a change election — for the first time since 2010, Ottawa would elect a new Mayor.

In recent years, Ottawa municipal politics was often confronted with a struggle between opposing factions of the city — urban Ottawa vs. rural/suburban Ottawa — leading to policy gridlock and a fractured council.

Ottawa was facing numerous political and economic challenges. City council had declared that Ottawa was facing both housing and climate emergencies, for which the incoming Mayor would need to address. The proposed $5-billion LRT Stage 3 extension was also a controversial topic given the reliability with the existing LRT system.


The Engagement


The Identity

The campaign identity needed to be visible and legible in multiple environments and in multiple mediums. Our focus was to develop an identity that reflected the clarity, boldness, and approachability of the candidate — the mark had to feel like Mark.



Lawn and roadside signage is a core elements of campaigning. For this campaign we focussed on clarity and simplicity so that the signs would stand out and be memorable as well as helpful.


The Website

There were two significant phases to the campaign. The first phase which focussed on introducing Mark and sharing his story with the electorate, and the second phase which built on the first phase and added policy and vision to build depth. The end result was a site that grew as the interest in the candidate grew, and offered the right amount of content at the right time so that voters could make an informed decision.




in the 3 months leading up to the election

Home Page Views


in the last 2 weeks of the campaign

Average time spent


in the last 2 weeks of the campaign



We leveraged strong photography, simple storytelling, and clear typographic hierarchy to help break large policy areas into relatable chunks so that voters could find the issues important to them easily, while also satisfying those who crave details.



As a key component to the fundraising effort, the site also made it easy and simple to make donations. From using a form that didn’t require onerous steps and clicks, to having convenient options for amounts. Fundraising is a key function of all political campaigns, and it was critical that it be done in an open and positive way so the electorate could feel comfortable in participating. By all measures, the fundraising efforts for this campaign were a tremendous success.


Thank You Ottawa

In the final phase of the campaign, the website was a critical tool for helping to inform the electorate and getting out the vote. Municipal elections have a history of low turnout and the goals of all communications in the final days and hours was to encourage people to go to the polls. The website had a specific role in this as traffic on the site rose exponentially in the final hours of election day.


Social Engagement

Social media played an important role in this campaign and was key in reaching certain demographics. Having a strong digital brand helped let voters know who the message was coming from and helped keep a clear view of the candidate.


Printed Materials

While having a strong digital side, the campaign also had a significant physical presence. From printed literature and event materials to community advertising, all designed to clearly communicate to voters at critical times, and in critical markets. Consistency was key across the campaign, and this was evident in the physical world as well.


The Results

After tireless efforts from all parties, Mark Sutcliffe was declared the winner. 


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