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    Marketing efforts have doubled US consideration: Canva ECD

    In the face of ongoing contractions in the tech industry, and the scandal surrounding the departure of former CFO Damien Sing, Canva launched the third-year iteration of its ‘What Will You Design Today?’ brand platform to the US market. 

    According to the Australian-led graphic design startup’s ECD, Cat van der Werff, since the introduction of the platform in the US, the company has experienced a significant increase in consideration and unaided awareness. In fact, she reports that marketing efforts have doubled consideration in the region.

    The start-up embarked on its US expansion in 2020, establishing a maiden campus in Austin, Texas.

    Tailoring the campaign for its US audience, the work, which began its rollout last month, signalled the company’s “all in” stance on AI and placing its AI product, Magic Studio, front and centre.

    van der Werff describes the US to Mediaweek as “a critical market for us in terms of growth potential,” given the sheer concentration of large enterprises based there.

    “In the last few years, the adoption of Canva by organisations has accelerated, and we’re doubling down,” she says.

    Last year alone, Canva grew its US-based team to over 200 across a range of specialties. 

    As Canva continues to engage with large enterprise organisations locally and around the globe, van der Werff explains there was a necessity to address a “perception gap,” and improve how often the platform is designated “very suitable” for servicing companies of significant scale.

    “So, we shaped this campaign to help shift that perception,” she says.

    “We want to introduce people to the platform as something that can be an incredible tool for productivity and visual design in the workplace.”


    In designing work specifically for the US market, van der Werff explains the team was driven by the key insights that US knowledge workers are after a user-friendly platform that inspires creativity, while business decision-makers want tools that save time, reduce costs, and scale outposts.

    “We wanted to speak directly to both audiences,” she says. 

    The latest campaign efforts are backed by out-of-home creative that displays real cost and time-saving insights from Canva customers. Its TVCs speak to the efficiency and design benefits of Canva’s AI tools.

    However, she explains the team developed a strategy “very specific” to its US audience: creative designed to reach professionals during their leisure time, with bespoke spots tailored for NFL games and March Madness.

    “For this year’s campaign, one of our streaming ads illustrates a fun application of the Magic Switch product, with announcers narrating how a team uses the feature in a big game.”

    This understanding of its US market, van der Werff says, has been gleaned through rigorous testing and research over the last several years.

    She explains, “we’ve honed in on “ease of use” as a leading driver of consideration, which continues to be front and centre in our approach.”

    “We’ve also continued to refine our creative formula to show specific situations or problems that people might encounter in their work.”

    Produced by Canva’s in-house team, with motion Captivate DOOH by Buck and music by Otis Music House, the latest campaign demonstrates real, applicable AI use cases for the workplace.

    Canva’s all-in-one AI suite was launched late last year. “Just as we were a decade ago, we’re once again standing in front of another major shift in technology – this time, fuelled by artificial intelligence,” said Canva founder, Melanie Perkins, at the time

    van der Werff says the latest campaign “brings to life how Canva helps teams, from marketing to HR, create more visual, impactful work.”

    “Canva is filling the gap for an all-in-one, AI-powered design platform that anyone on any team can use,” she says.

    As a result of the campaign, van der Werff says the team has seen more US-based brands including  Reddit, Expedia, and Salesforce deploy Canva for their content creation, marketing efforts and internal communication.

    2023 was also a big year for Canva and the US entertainment industry,” she says. 

    “We saw almost a 20% increase in the past 12 months in entertainment organisations actively using Canva, and the number of designs they’re publishing grew by more than 80%.”

    In December 2023, Canva reported its biggest year of growth to date, with 60 million people joining, and touting a valuation of $39 million.

    Last month, Canva was listed on the 2024 LinkedIn Top Companies List in Australia. In a continued bid to fortify its comms tools offering, the company also announced the acquisition of Affinity – a creative software suite for professional photo editing, illustration, graphic design, and page layout.

    See also:
    CommBank, Telstra, and Canva: LinkedIn reveals top workplaces for growth
    Canva acquires Affinity creative software suite
    Canva reports biggest year of growth adding 60 million users to hit 170 million

    Top Image: Cat van der Werff

    The post Marketing efforts have doubled US consideration: Canva ECD appeared first on Mediaweek.

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