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January 27, 2016

The Case (Study) of the Gimli Glider



Like us, you probably didn’t know that the Gimli Glider was a thing. Or that there is even a town named Gimli. But Gimli is where on July 23, 1983 the culmination of a series of almost unbelievable events took place for 17 minutes then ended. Somehow two Air Canada pilots, who ran out of fuel at 41,000 feet in a “new” aircraft called the Boeing 767, “glided” the craft and all its passengers safely to the ground…with no power…on a landing strip.

This week we helped our client MotoArt pay homage to that story because that’s what they do. They salvage vintage aircraft and turn them into lasting legacies by upcycling them into functional furnishings and art. Each piece has a story. Our job was to help them tell the story of the Gimli Glider, relating it to the MotoArt mission and syndicating it out live online to media outlets in North America.

Central to the effort, we produced a live broadcast on their MotoArt-branded channels, including YouTube, Facebook, and  In the segment, we enlisted Wade Nelson, author and expert, to provide historical perspective and we captured MotoArt Co-Founder Dave Hall, on-site, sharing the inspiration for the limited edition collectibles they’re crafting in honor of the Gimli Glider. Dave got to share something he’s passionate about and he gave us a behind-the-scenes sneak peek of the production. In the segment we ultimately amplified the call-to-action for consumers to check out their new ecommerce page,, where folks can order a memento which might just hold more luck than a rabbit’s foot.

To support the effort, we also applied our “LiveLaunch” formula which begins with drafting and issuing a press release with the embed code (so media outlets can carry the feed in syndication) and the direct link so it can be viewed on virtually any device. In addition to producing the live event, as we can for any business, we created original content, repurposed existing digital assets, and we joined MotoArt in conducting a marketing campaign on social media, both paid and organic. Depending on the execution we also conduct the email marketing component. Our efforts for MotoArt were well received. Not only did our story get covered in key regional media, including the Winnipeg Sun, and Skies Magazine, which covers North America. Client Dave also got a 10 minute radio interview during the coveted evening commute drive time on CBC Radio (Canada’s national public broadcasting corporation). DA14 Media repurposed the radio interview and converted it into branded video content here.

As we begin to assess the still-growing viewership numbers from various sources, and the analytics leading to the purchasing funnel, we know the ROI is evergreen. The content is now available On Demand, and we will begin to edit snippets for our client, MotoArt, to use at will according to their content marketing strategy and calendar. Fortunately, we didn’t have to rely on luck. But the best part, we all agreed, was that as the orders rolled in, people who were connected to the story came forward to share their memories…


“I heard one of your principals being interviewed on CBC radio yesterday – which led to me just ordering two Gimli Glider tags. At the time that the plane landed, about 1100 graduates of Gimli High School were holding a reunion in the old drill hall on the former Air Force Base – not far from where the plane came down. I was one of them. Over the course of the rest of the evening, most of us went out to where we could view the crash-landed plane. Something none of us will ever forget.”

“Hi there, I am one of the runway boys who nearly got mowed down by the Gimli Glider in 1983. I remain friends with Kerry Seabrook,one of the other runway boys.”


“My daughter and I were there, at the races, on the ground when this event occurred. It really happened.”

“My Dad is the one walking on the wing in the famous photo. He was one of the mechanics that had to look it over to fly it back to Winnipeg.”

The stories are out there. What’s yours?


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