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Barrie company pilots flag program to beautify city and boost businesses

The Look Company is seeing how well a new flag/banner program will fly. The south-end manufacturer is piloting its FlagTrax system, which enables banners to be quickly put up and taken down in Barrie.
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The Look Company is seeing how well a new flag/banner program will fly.

The south-end manufacturer is piloting its FlagTrax system, which enables banners to be quickly put up and taken down in Barrie.

FlagTrax is so quick and easy to use, it does away with a lot of time and expense.

And that opens up opportunities for both revenues and advertising celebrations and events, said Dave Cohoon, The Look Company’s FlagTrax project manager.

“Because you can put up a flag in the matter of seconds, it gives local businesses the opportunity to advertise,” said Cohoon.

The new system eliminates the need to have a boom truck – that is a truck with a basket on it that enables a specially-skilled worker to change the flag or banner – along with the need to close a lane of traffic. It translates into less staff time, less equipment cost, less inconvenience – and less risk.

“Safety is the biggest part and it’s cost effective too. The return on investment is huge. You could have a (car) dealership advertising the specials for that week,” said Cohoon.

“It helps bring people into the community, because you can put a flag up in the matter of seconds. It gives local businesses opportunity to advertise (which previously would have been cost-prohibitive because of the expense involved relating to specialized trucks and installers, as well as road occupancy permits).”

The Look Company is connecting with businesses as sponsors and advertisers whose names would appear on the banners that could change seasonally.

Before Canada Day, the banners along Lakeshore Drive celebrated Canada’s 150th and this week, half are being changed to highlight Illuminate Barrie, which takes place Sept. 2 and 3.

“It’s a pilot project. The city didn’t have to pay for this,” Cohoon said of the banners that will offer a fresh look in along the lakeshore and in the city core. 

Some banners – made in Barrie in Look’s Saunders Road manufacturing facility – depict famous people in Canada’s history while others offer a more local flavour as they highlight historic (and some now-gone) buildings in Barrie.

The Look Company offers two versions of FlagTrax, including one uses solar-powered lights so banners can be seen and easily read at night.

“This project is a great opportunity to show off our city as a bright and vibrant community,” said Zvi Lifshiz, the executive director of Invest Barrie.

“It has enriched our cultural events and beautified our streets for Canada 150. A big thank you to The Look Company for helping to make this exciting project happen.”

The Look Company is recovering the pilot program costs through sponsorship opportunities on the flags.

For more information on the system, visit thelookcompany.com/flagtrax.


Laurie Watt

About the Author: Laurie Watt

A journalist with 35 years experience in newspapers, Laurie is also an active volunteer in Barrie.
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