The Really Brief — Week of April 22

April 26

Moosehead Breweries has been tapped as the “Official Domestic Beer of the Canadian Premier League.” The new partnership, brokered by Canadian Soccer Business on behalf of the CPL, gives Moosehead pouring rights at select stadiums throughout the league. “Moosehead Breweries is the last major brewery in Canada owned by Canadians which is in keeping with our mission statement for Canadians by Canadians and makes this the perfect partnership,” says CPL commissioner David Clanachan.

April 25

Here’s something for creative agency people skeptical about the creative capabilities of consultancies: Hertz is suing Accenture over a website redesign project. The car rental company alleges that it paid Accenture $32 million to develop a new website and mobile apps as part of a project to “transform its digital identity.” Accenture began work in August 2016, with a promised go-live of December 2017. After two delays, ignored project specs and demands for additional fees, Hertz fired Accenture in May 2018, claiming that it “never delivered a usable website or mobile apps.” Accenture told IT site The Register that the lawsuit is “without merit.”

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has new advertising to promote its website. The campaign includes a video ad from Union that shows a house being meticulously painted to blend into the background, delivering the message: “If you’re not looking on you might not see your dream home.” Aside from TV, the campaign will use social and digital banners to drive people to “This campaign is pretty clear reminder to home buyers that some of the other sites aren’t showing you as many options as,” said CREA’s Randall McCauley, executive vice-president, reputation.

April 24

H&M is making a big move towards increased transparency in its production processes, sharing the production company, supplier names, factory names and addresses, and the number of factory workers. The information will be available online and in-store via the H&M app—shoppers can scan the price tag for the information.

Eva Van den Bulcke is the new creative lead for Forsman & Bodenfors’ Montreal office. “I am blown away by Eva. She is a Swiss army knife creative and very inspiring as a person,” said Forsman’s global CCO, Anna Qvennerstedt. Van den Bulcke spent the last five years working on film and branded content as a director, and was with Sid Lee for 15 years before that.

MightyHive has made two senior hires. Michelle Cunningham is the new sales director in its Vancouver office, where she will oversee western sales in the programmatic market. Cunningham was most recently a senior manager of client development at Mediative. Brian Schwartz has also been appointed enterprise consulting lead in Toronto. He joins from Media Experts, where he was director of programmatic.

April 23

Media agency cairns oneil has named Robin LeGassicke managing director, digital. The Toronto-based company says its growing digital practice now accounts for more than half of its approximately 25-person team. LeGassicke has extensive marketer and agency experience, most recently as head of digital and media strategy at WE Charity. She was also director of marketing planning at Sonnet Insurance, and VP client business partner at Initiative Media.

It looks like Fortnite players will see some sort of Avengers crossover promotion this week. It’s timed to coincide with Friday’s release of Endgame, the final chapter in the ultra-popular Marvel movie franchise. On Monday, Fortnite posted an enigmatic tweet featuring a Fortnite character holding Captain America’s shield, along with the line “Whatever it takes” and the hashtag #FortniteXAvengers. The two brands collaborated for the last Avengers movie, Infinity War, by giving players the chance to turn into the powerful, and very destructive, Thanos.

Twitter’s revenue rose 18% to $787 million in Q1, while daily users also grew by 6% thanks mainly to rising interest outside the U.S. The results were released Tuesday morning. Advertising accounted for 86% of its revenue ($679 million) also an 18% increase. Twitter has been making moves to remove toxic content from the platform, changes that could enhance the user experience and make it more desirable for advertisers. One of the changes includes using machine learning to identify abusive tweets before they are reported. “We are reducing the burden on victims and, where possible, taking action before abuse is reported,” said CEO Jack Dorsey.

April 22

Camera company Leica is distancing itself from an ad that apparently angered Chinese authorities. Tweeted out by Brazilian agency F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi last Tuesday, the five-minute ad presents a fictional portrayal of photographers covering conflicts around the world. One of the scenes takes place in Beijing in 1989, with the Chinese army confronting a photographer and ransacking his room prior to the climatic moment where he captures the famous photo of a protester standing in front a tank in Tiananmen Square. By late last week, the word “Leica” had been banned from China’s massively popular Weibo social media site, and in a statement to Bloomberg, Leica denied commissioning or approving the ad. “We expressly regret any confusion and will take further legal steps to prevent unauthorized use of our brand.”

In one of several Earth Day efforts announced today, Via Rail has partnered with Alvéole, a Canadian organization that helps homeowners, businesses and schools install and maintain bee hives. The partnership, part of the company’s new commitment to the development of greener cities, will see Via install beehives on the roof of four train stations in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Quebec City in an effort to raise awareness of the decline of bee populations and the environmental impact. According to Via, each station will house two hives capable of hosting up to 100,000 bees. Their total output will produce 800 honeypots, 400 soap bars, 400 candles and 400 lip balms, which will be offered to charities in the four cities.

Cannabis brand Tokyo Smoke partnered with ride sharing service Lyft on Saturday to provide discounted rides on 4/20. People could use the code 420TO19 to get $4.20 off a Lyft ride. “This is the first 4/20 after cannabis legalization, and we know that people will be celebrating. We’re proud to work alongside Lyft to encourage Torontonians to be smart while they do so, and pledge against impaired driving. Our partnership with Lyft means the smart choice is also the simple choice,” said Natalie Wallace, director of brand portfolio, Tokyo Smoke Brands.

One of many complaints about the Canadian cannabis market has been about excessive packaging. On Monday, Earth Day, cannabis marketer Tweed announced it was extending its recycling program with TerraCycle nation-wide. The program accepts all licensed producer containers—including tins, plastic bags, tubes and bottles—to be diverted from landfill. It will now be offered through 106 legal cannabis retailers across Canada, including all Tweed and Tokyo Smoke locations, while people can visit to register for pickup. “Over 165,000 containers have already been collected through the Tweed x TerraCycle program and will be melted down to make plastic pellets used to create new products,” said Hilary Black, the company’s chief advocacy officer.

Air Canada is marking Earth Day with a new partnership with 4ocean, an organization working to remove plastic and trash from the ocean and coastlines. The airline says that the partnership marks an “important milestone” in its plastic reduction strategy, while providing opportunities for its employees to participate in coastal clean-up efforts. Air Canada is actively working to reduce plastic waste. Earlier this year, it announced that the 35 million plastic stir sticks used on aircraft and in lounge areas will be eliminated beginning this summer. Beginning in the fall, it will also remove the outer plastic bag from approximately 1.8 million business class and premium economy class amenity kits, a move it says will eliminate 36.8 million single use plastic items from its aircraft.


David Brown