McCann’s Truth About Canadians Study Uncovers a Whole New Canada
09. 21. 2016

McCann’s Truth About Canadians Study Uncovers a Whole New Canada

Outspoken & Adventurous, 72% of Canadians would rather stand out than fit in with a Crowd

TORONTO, CANADA (September 20, 2016) As our sesquicentennial year of celebrations approaches, a new nation-wide industry report has revealed a whole new layer to Canada.  No longer are we the quiet neighbours to the north saying ‘sorry’, the study found that Canadians are actually more comfortable with having and expressing an opinion than Americans.  Nearly three-quarters (74%) of Canadians feel it’s important to express yourself, even if your opinions are unpopular compared to (69%) of Americans*.

Conducted by McCann Canada and Ipsos Public Affairs, McCann’s Truth About Canadians study has uncovered some surprising facts about Canadians.  The report was released earlier today at an exclusive launch event in Toronto where top marketers gathered to discuss the findings.   The quantitative and qualitative deep dive reveals a deeper understanding of Canadians.  What makes them tick?  What makes them unique?  Most importantly what motivates Canadians?

McCann partnered with Ipsos to take the pulse of Canadians,” said Mary Chambers, Chief Strategy Officer, McCann Canada. “As Canada prepares to celebrate our 150th birthday, the study, designed to go beyond the traditional marketing industry report has revealed fascinating new insights into Canadians today.

Canadians look for experiences above all.  In a consumption-driven world where accumulating stuff has become almost too easy, experiences are the new currency.  People look to experiences to find enjoyment, self-fulfillment and reward.  A staggering (93%) of Canadians prefer a life filled with great experiences over beautiful possessions.  Canada is the highest ranked nation globally (tied with Chile and Columbia) for preferring great experiences over beautiful possessions, higher even than that of the US (84%)*.

Adds Chambers, “Understanding Canada and Canadians has been a consideration for years, but the approach has been focused on demographic divides and dynamics in the country.  Specifically; Quebec versus rest of Canada; east versus west, ethnic versus established; aging versus youth.  While these demographic divisions remain a part of our DNA, there is a whole new layer to Canada.  Our research has revealed that the Canadian Dream is alive and rising.

The study uncovered an entirely new level of diversity where Canadians see themselves as individuals within the patchwork of a mosaic and strive for success but not at the expense of others.  Canadians (72%) would rather be considered a true individual than fit in with the crowd vs just (64%)* of Americans.  Canada is now the home of the fair, ranked third highest globally (exceeded only by Brazil & Indonesia) *, with 85% of Canadians believing it’s better to play within the system to succeed.

The study has revealed that on key metrics, no significant difference could be found across ethnicity, age, geography or language.

The truth is, it’s the ideas, attitudes and values that Canadians share or don’t share that have become the new affinities,” said Mike Colledge, President, Ipsos Public Affairs Canada. “In fact, it’s an entirely new map of Canada, composed of a new context, new outlooks and new affinities.

The study was coupled with extensive qualitative research and in-person interviews with marketing industry leaders and stakeholders for an even deeper examination and analysis about Canadian opinions, values and expectations of today’s brands.

Adds David Leonard, CEO, McCann Canada. “We commissioned this study to uncover what Canadians expect from modern brands today.  Having been in the Canadian marketplace for more than 100 years, McCann Canada has an obligation to know this country and its people better than anyone else.  The release of the study is just the first step in an ongoing effort to understand Canadians and their relationships with brands with as much clarity and honesty as possible.

McCann Canada plans to use this study over the coming months to provide customized marketing workshops and business applications for select clients and interested marketers in Canada.

Additional Key Stats & Facts:

  • Only 18% of Canadians feel strongly connected to their physical communities.
  • Almost 7 in 10 Canadians want to help make the world and their communities a better place, but only 1 in 5 actually take action.
  • More than three quarters (77%) of Canadians say that making a positive contribution to society is a factor that guides their everyday lives.


In anticipation of Canada’s 150th birthday, McCann Canada and Ipsos Public Affairs set out to uncover truths about Canadians and their relationships with brands.  In order to dig deeper than anyone has done previously, an extensive set of research was conducted in three phases between March and August 2016.

Phase 1:  Quantitative Survey:  Collected online among a representative sample of n=2,505 adult Canadians, 18 years of age and older

Phase 2:  Nation-wide qualitative Bulletin Boards & Workshops

Phase 3:  Expert Interviews among key marketers and academics in the Marketing industry