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The Journal Gazette

October 19, 2016 1:01 AM

Canada cheers up America with social media campaign

Associated Press

NEW YORK – America’s neighbors to the north – so often the butt of their jokes – are taking to social media to try to keep spirits up in the U.S. during this divisive election season.

Using the hashtag #tellamericaitsgreat, Canadians have swamped Twitter with compliments about American music, culture, technology and even tailgating. The outpouring of love triggered a reply – #TellCanadaThanks.

It’s all an effort started by the Toronto-based ad agency The Garden Collective, which chose its hashtag as a play on Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America great again.” The firm’s video launching the social media push has gotten over 752,000 YouTube views and the hashtag has been trending on Twitter for several days. Many Canadians have made their own mini-videos, too.

Dic Dickerson, managing director of the firm, called it a pet project they devised for no other reason than to just spread love.

“We put it out there, and I don’t think any of us expected to get as much traction as it did but we’re really, really excited by all the positivity,” he said. “A lot of people are talking, which is exactly what we wanted.”

The agency was founded about 18 months ago and usually focuses its attention on businesses. Dickerson said they’d never done anything like this.

Some of the things Canadians say they admire about the U.S. are its federal parks, its diversity, its missions to Mars, jazz and Tupac Shakur. One Canadian from Halifax on Tuesday complimented Americans for baseball, “The Catcher in the Rye” and first lady Michelle Obama.

Canadians, who have long been mocked by their southern neighbors for their accents (“aboot”), their creation of Justin Bieber and an apparent abundance of moose, have enjoyed some good press recently, largely thanks to their telegenic new prime minister, Justin Trudeau.

“Don’t worry neighbors, if the election goes haywire, you can all come and live up here with us, plenty of room!” wrote one Canadian on Twitter.