April 2, 2019

Building Answers with BILD GTA


A Note from Jacob Barnes, Director of Client Success

Change Makers Unite

On April 2nd, 2019, we launched a very exciting campaign with our partners from the Building Industry and Land Development Association of the Greater Toronto Area (BILD GTA) called ‘Building Answers’.

And while we are incredible proud of this first-of-its-kind public awareness, what I wanted to talk about today is how excited we are about how this campaign came about – because it was the courage, the determination and sheer hard work of the people behind the scenes who made this happen.

At Republic, we seek out the opportunity to work with change makers, community builders and catalysts – those who look to make a difference in the world and refuse to accept the status quo. This has never been more true than with the leadership team at BILD in Dave Wilkes (President & CEO), Cheryl Shindruk (Chair & EVP of Geranium Homes) and Justin Sherwood (SVP) – just to name a few – who believed in an idea (when few did), saw its transformational power and championed it every step of the way.

It’s not always popular, definitely not the easy route and hardly the path of least resistance, but it’s partners like these who we exist to work with, yearn to drive transformative change alongside, and seek out to make a difference in the world.

We wish congratulate the team at BILD for their extraordinary vision, fortitude and trust and can’t wait to see what is next.

If this sounds like you, drop us a line, we’d love to team up and free your story. To learn more about the campaign, read on. 

The Campaign

Beginning April 2, 2019 and for the next six weeks, you will see around the Greater Toronto Area, a mixture of green signs that beg questions that are on the minds of residents such as “Why is there so much development in the GTA?” or “Will I be able to afford a home?”. This is the start of an industry-first integrated empathy marketing campaign led by Republic and BILD GTA designed to start conversations between residents and the Home Building and Land Development industry around what, why and where they build and how it benefits the region. The campaign is the beginning of a commitment the industry is making to residents of the GTA, and will live on at www.buildinganswers.ca.

The Challenge

The population of the Greater Toronto Area is growing quickly and not slowing down anytime soon. By 2041, it will increase by 40% to 9.7 Million residents. We are in high need of more housing options for all of these new residents to call home. And, there is already a housing supply shortage.

To help meet this increasing need, there is a lot of construction happening in the Greater Toronto Area. Cranes rise above the skyline. Graders dot nearby developments sites. Residents are seeing their neighbourhoods evolve, often drastically, around them. And, that change can lead to feelings of frustration and uncertainty about the industry.

BILD GTA, and its members, want residents to better understand the changes they’re seeing in their communities so that everyone can contribute to building a livable GTA for the future.

Our Approach

We started with our unbiased and empathy communications planning process.  We Listened. We Understood. We Unearthed. And, We Freed.


We always start by listening to audiences, and we did in this case. We reached out to various segments of the entire region’s population to find the most impactful way to move the needle. Delving deep into the results of an industry reputation study – delivered by IPSOS – we discovered some useful insights.


The research showed that the way GTA residents feel about the industry is driven by a simple lack of familiarity with how it operates. We felt we could shift the industry’s reputation by simply educating people more about it.


Enter Building Answers, a campaign creative idea grounded in proactivity, authenticity and transparency.

With our insight and our research, the goal became simple. Proactively provide easy access to unbiased and factual information about how, when and why they do what they do. And when we asked residents if this would move the needle for them, an overwhelming majority said: Yes!

Next, we asked residents of the GTA what their most burning questions for the industry are. They delivered 24 key questions, across four categories:

  • Why we build – why building the city means bettering the city
  • The costs of building and our contribution to the city’s economy – how the cost of homes is returned to the city
  • Our role in making housing affordable – understanding how the industry can contribute to housing supply, mix and affordability
  • What, why, how and where we’re building – the kinds of buildings and spaces being developed

Our intent: answer those questions, publicly, openly and factually.


Each of the GTA residents’ top 24 questions have now been fully and factually answered by the Building Industry and Land Development association and housed for all to see on www.BuildingAnswers.ca. Residents are also able to ask the industry further questions and receive a factual and clear response directly from industry representatives.

Building Answers is a fully integrated campaign driving awareness of this new-found openness. Tactics include location-contextual out-of-home ads highlighting key questions residents have, 1-on-1 Q&A sessions with GTA influencers, a live call-in segment on a local morning broadcast show, radio and newspaper ads, earned media coverage as well as social media and digital amplification of videos answering some of residents’ most burning questions.

And it’s just the beginning.

The Building Answers integrated campaign was led by Republic. We were supported by our partners including BILD media planning and buying agency Media Dimensions, Pollara Strategic Insights, Ipsos, Stack Creative (web design & build), Laurie Weir, Berkeley Inc.Sandy Nicholson of FUZE, and Jamie Phong of NEONCTZN.

Check out some of the amazing coverage we've gotten in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, CondoLife, and MSN.