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Goalies, Facial Hair and Heroes –Cagle

January 2012
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Kempenfelt Group assembled a group called the “hairy printers,” with each member challenged to raise at least $200 to go toward fighting the No. 1 cancer that afflicts men. As of its latest tally, “hairy printers” had raised nearly $3,300.

Movember, a global initiative that traces its birth to Australia in 2003, had raised $176 million prior to this year, including an all-time high of $76.8 million in 2010. Participants enter the month of November clean-shaven, then grow and cultivate their “Mos” to raise money and awareness of prostate cancer.

To find out more about Movember, visit

HEROIC HELP: Rounding out our theme of all things Canadian is a marketing stroke of genius, courtesy of Etobicoke, Ontario-based Printer Gateway. Its owner, Brian Armstrong, was looking for a solution to combat major U.S. trade printers that, he contends, are selling at wholesale prices in the Canadian market. Plus, he was battling alleged unethical business practices within Canadian trade shops.

Well, who better to turn to for help than a super hero?

Richard Comely, the artist behind Captain Canuck, sought out the printer to produce a special edition of the comic book. Armstrong and Comely pooled their talents to produce the “100% Canadian Super Power Team-Up” marketing campaign. Printer Gateway churned out 30,000 copies of the 81⁄2x11˝ foldout brochure, and it became an instant hit. Comely also signed copies of the brochure at Graphics Canada last November.

“I’d been talking to (Comely) about market conditions,” Armstrong explains. “It was kind of organic, not planned. The response has been phenomenal; far better than I ever expected. We’ve gained exposure from local media, not just the trade press. I’ve received e-mails from across the country, all positive.

“Every once in a while, you strike a chord,” he adds. “It spoke to the right people, I guess.”

Armstrong’s campaign is not a slight to U.S. printers per se, but more of a stance against trade printers that sell directly to customers. Who can blame them for asking customers to “stand proud and support Canadian companies” in a competitive climate?

Besides, someone has to battle Harold the Hickey, who threatens to ruin every signature. PI



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