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Taber, Alta., 'ostrich episode' campaign earns marketing awards

The world's attention was drawn to a small Alberta town in 2022 when more than 20 ostriches escaped from a farm. Now, the Town of Taber has some impressive awards to show for it.

On Nov. 24, 2022, a flock of ostriches escaped from a farm near the southern Alberta town.

By the next day, most of the birds were recaptured, but the story had transformed into something special.

Meghan Brennan, the communications and project coordinator with the Town of Taber, helped launch a campaign called #FlightlessBirdsforFoodBanks after seeing the amount of attention the situation drew.

The food drive was such a success that Brennan's efforts earned the community three marketing awards: a Gold Hermes Creative Award, a Communitas Award for Excellence in Community Service and the Platinum MarCom Award. All three accolades are administered by the Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals.

She told CTV News that when she realized what was happening, she knew she had to capitalize on it.

"It's such an absurd situation in anywhere, let alone Taber, we had to have some fun with it," Brennan said.

"We thought, 'OK, why don't we donate to the food bank with turkeys and pull out all the bird puns that we possibly could?'"

Brennan also said the events helped shape future communications from the town.

"After the ostrich episode, we decided to mix things up in how we communicate with our community, seeing how the public responded so well to the humour of our response.

"Since November 2022, we've made a conscious effort to make our communications more fun and relatable, using humor and straightforward language when it fits the situation."

The awards are in addition to the 22 others Brennan has won with the town's administration department since 2017. Top Stories

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