The Really Brief — Week of April 15

April 18

No Fixed Address has added Zach Klein to its strategy team. Klein will work with Dino Demopoulos, who was recently named the agency’s chief strategy officer. Prior to joining NFA, the pair ran their own strategic consultancy in Toronto, called paper strategy. Klein has previously worked as a strategist on brands including Molson, TD Bank, SickKids, Pepsi, Spotify, Tourism Nova Scotia, Proximo, McDonald’s, Campbell’s and Nicorette.

April 16

Tim Hortons is showing its support for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors during their first round playoff series.

It is darkening the letters of store signs at its GTA locations to read “T.O.” (a nickname commonly used by Torontonians when referring to their city).

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It has also come up with an out-of-home, digital and social initiative that reverses the name of its signature Boston Cream donut to read “Cream Boston.” Both concepts were developed by Zulu Alpha Kilo.

Tims adopted a similar approach when the Montreal Canadiens faced the Bruins in 2014, with ads from JWT Montreal featuring an image of a partially eaten donut accompanied by the words “Boston, on va les manger” (loosely translated as “Boston, we’re going to eat you up”).

Playoff match-ups with Boston teams have galvanized marketers over the years. In previous years, Boston Pizza locations in Toronto and Vancouver have changed their name when facing off against teams from Beantown.

April 15

Back in March, Apple extended its “Shot on iPhone” advertising campaign to the NHL with a series of photos taken by NHL players turned into posters running around arenas. Last week, Apple took it a step further with a TV spot that will delight countless Maple Leaf fans who love Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews, and love them even more when they are together (Leaf fans want them to be best friends and play together happily in Toronto forever) The entire ad—basically a day in the life of Marner—was shot by Matthews on his iPhone XS.

McDonald’s has introduced special packaging for its McNuggets during the NBA playoffs. Created by Cossette, the 20-piece “Raptors NuggNet” box  features a fold-out “net” to hold dipping sauce. It is the first time McDonald’s has altered the McNuggets packaging in such a way.

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It is the latest execution in a program between McDonald’s and the Raptors that started in October. In addition to TV and online ads, the partnership has included contextual court-side signage, free fry giveaways via the My McD’s app, as well as a new visual identity that integrates the Raptors logo with the iconic golden arches.

The packaging launched across Ontario on April 13. McDonald’s is also reprising #Nuggetiquette with the Raptors’ Danny Green and OG Anunoby.

Weber Shandwick has made three new hires at its growing Toronto office, including the addition of Melissa Legaspi as vice-president of client experience.

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Melissa Legaspi

Legaspi arrives from Citizen Relations, where she spent nearly three years in roles including senior director and account director.

The two other hire are Akshay Muttreja from the company’s Mumbai office, where he worked on award-winning campaigns for brands like Merck, Castrol and Hyatt. Alicia Yan also joins as a senior associate, bringing experience in the beauty, gaming, food and entertainment space.

Former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Doug Gilmour faced off against his one-time Montreal Canadiens counterpart Guy Carbonneau in a new social campaign promoting the arrival of Holiday Inn Express‘ “Express Start Breakfast Bar.”

The two former rivals went head-to-head in the “Readiest Breakfast Challenge Canada,” in which they were given three minutes to create breakfasts using the more than 30 items in the hotel chain’s breakfast bar. Mike Johnson, a former NHLer turned analyst refereed the competition, ultimately selecting Carbonneau’s  “Power Play Pancake Cup” as the winner.


Chris Powell