On Friday night, my phone started buzzing. All of my friends were texting me, tweeting me and messaging me on Facebook. As the notifications started to climb, I realized what had happened: Girl Guides had just launched their newest advertising campaign.
Let me take you back two months…
I’m 23. I know a lot of really cool women around my age that are Guiders – but sometimes when people think of Guiders, they forget about my demographic.
They shouldn’t. After Rangers, the young women who have grown up in this organization, who have become confident, resourceful and courageous, go off to university, some with their awesome Girl Guide scholarships. They spend the summers travelling the world volunteering at World Centres and sit on committees as young Guiders – and are amazing advocates for Girl Guides.
And yet we don’t often see these young women in Girl Guide ads. They are not always the image that comes to mind when Guiding is talked about. That’s why I was so eager to be a part of this photo shoot.
So instead of going out on a Friday night with my friends, I walked into national office and did test shots with the marketing team. I instantly felt at home. Talking to the marketing team about what they wanted to get out of the shoot and what I wanted to bring, it felt like an instant match.
I guess the team saw something in me, and they brought me back two weeks later to be in the campaign. It was a long evening – we’d take a few photos and then wait for the next set up. Everyone was featured in different photos with different themes. I was photographed with really cute Sparks, energetic Brownies, intelligent Guides, inspiring Pathfinders and some truly amazing Rangers and a group of young Guiders who are truly inspiring. Everyone involved made me proud to be included in the shoot.
At the end of the evening, we asked where the photos and videos would be shown – we were told the video the Guiders had contributed to would go in front of movies at Cineplex starting mid-May. We looked at each other, laughing wouldn’t it be cool if it was in front of Pitch Perfect 2?
That was exactly where it would run.
We had a collective freak out. One Guider was bringing her Pathfinders as a group to see the movie. I knew that not only would my Pathfinders check out the movie, all of my friends would be seeing it, too.
So of course on Friday evening my phone started blowing up.
‘PAULA – I JUST SAW YOU ON THE BIG SCREEN AT THE MOVIES!!!!!!!!! You were in the Girl Guides commercial!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU ARE FAMOUS!!!!!! I’m proud to know such a super star!’
‘So I’m at the movies and you were in a commercial! I actually shouted “I know her”! Congrats!’
‘You were in a Girl Guides commercial before pitch perfect 2 and I died’,
‘I saw it start and I’m like woah I wonder if Paula will be in it since you are the only thing I know about the Girl Guides, and there you were.’
‘You’re a famous movie star! Saw you in the theater with your Pax Lodge pin! Love it!’
‘Thought my eyes were deceiving me at first. Great job!’
My Guiding friends love this – they think it’s great that Guiding is getting a bigger public profile and they think it’s hilarious that I’m in the video. But what they really love is that 20-somethings are getting featured.
But it’s my non-Guiding friends that are talking about the commercial even more. For the first time ever they’re actually asking me what I do in Guiding, not just asking me when they can get cookies. A few have even asked how they can register.
I could not be prouder to be involved in this campaign and I can’t wait to meet all the new Guiders we attract.
By guest blogger Paula Sanderson. Paula is a Guider with the 70th Toronto Pathfinder unit.