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Mercy Ships readies boat show promotion

Charitable organization Mercy Ships Canada will conduct a promotion this month at the Toronto International Boat Show. Called "I Just Bought a Boat," it will encourage attendees to donate to the organization by appealing to their appreciation of boats. Mercy Ships operates a volunteer-run hospital ship that provides surgical care to impoverished communities.

The promotion takes the form of an interactive exhibit that focuses on the features of the ship, which is 498 feet long, 16,572 tons in weight, with five operating rooms and accommodations for 474 people. It also offers information about the work done by the ship and its volunteers. The installation purports to offer the ship for sale for $20. Contributors can pose for a digitally altered image in which they pose with the ship, which displays a name of their choice on the stern. Participants will be encouraged to share the image via social media. The images will include a link to a campaign website at <>.

"We came across research that showed boating is a favourite pastime of millions of Canadians, with 43% of the population participating in the estimated $10 billion recreational boating industry," said Nuala Byles, executive creative director at Global Geometry. "This research inspired our ideas. If anyone could appreciate this amazing floating hospital, it would be passionate boat lovers. So, we decided to partner with the Toronto International Boat Show to share the Mercy Ships story in an unconventional way."

The initiative was developed pro bono by Geometry Global of Toronto, in collaboration with Ogilvy, Cohn & Wolfe and WonderMakr. The Toronto International Boat Show will take place from Jan. 12 to 21.

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