The Really Brief — Week of June 3

June 6

Corby Spirit and Wine Limited has chosen Havas Media as its Canadian media agency of record following a pitch. Havas will work on all media across Corby’s portfolio, including iconic brands Absolut and J.P. Wiser’s. “We sought collaborators experienced in driving business transformation and innovation. We were looking for a strategic partner. Havas Media has all those credentials, and more. We are excited to be partnering with them,” said Anne Martin, chief marketing officer, for Corby in Canada.

Creative agency The Garden has been named agency of record for strategy and creative for TEDxToronto. “If TEDxToronto was an agency, it would be The Garden,” said Gillian Cameron, co-chair at TEDxToronto. Aside from working to promote the Oct. 26 conference, The Garden is tasked with broadening the reach beyond the one day of the conference and outside Toronto’s downtown core. “TEDxToronto has built a strong reputation that attracts a passionate, engaged audience. Our objective is to expand its influence beyond the one-day event, into a yearlong initiative,” said The Garden’s Shari Walczak.

WestJet is working on a new night-light that will let the children of its frequent fliers track their parents’ flights in real time. Developed with Rethink, the “Flight Light” converts real-time data into a flight path that can be projected onto a ceiling. “Being away home can be tough and we wanted to develop a fun tool that could help families stay connected to the ones they love in a truly authentic WestJet way,” said Richard Bartrem, vice-president, marketing communications for the Calgary based airliner, which has been in expansion mode and introducing more long-haul flights. The “Flight Light” is still at the prototype stage, but WestJet said it will begin beta testing later this year.

National Toronto has merged its digital, marketing and technology practices into a single unit led by senior vice-president Erin Jacobson. National says “DMT” will offer a “one-stop shop” for a number of services that are increasingly important for marketers today: digital, channel marketing, earned media strategy and relations, paid media, influencer engagement, content and social strategy, community management and SEO/SEM. Reporting into Jacobsen will be Lanny Cardow as head of digital, Josh Norton as head of marketing and Megan Shay as head of technology.

The IPG Mediabrands agency Reprise has hired Nicole Simpson as vice-president, client business partner. Simpson was most recently VP client business partner at Cadreon. “Nicole is a seasoned media leader who is very adept at partnering with clients to successfully navigate digital silos and provide integrated, audience-first solutions,” said Matt Ramella, managing director, Reprise Canada.

June 5

Tim Hortons has extended its “True Stories” advertising theme to its annual Camp Day. The chain’s 45-year-old CSR campaign sees 100% of proceeds from every coffee purchased at participating Tim Hortons location go to Tim Hortons Foundation Camps, which help disadvantaged kids. Last year, Camp Day generated $13.1 million for the cause.

Advertising for this year’s Camp Day featured the true life stories of two woman who attended the camps when they were young. The creative is from Zulu Alpha Kilo, while North Strategic handled PR.

Skittles is showing its Pride with a series of initiatives including removing the colour from its packaging and candies to let the Pride rainbow take “centre stage.” The Mars Wrigley brand is hosting four LGBTQ2+ weddings alongside actor and performer Shangela at the first-ever Skittles Hall of Rainbows in Toronto on June 22.

Skittles is also working with three LGBTQ2+ program’s—Ontario’s Camp Rainbow Phoenix, B.C.’s CampOUT and Nova Scotia’s Youth Project—to send 150 Canadian youth to camp and will unveil the Skittles Pride Obelisk, a sound-activated light tower, at the Vancouver Pride Festival on Aug. 4.

“We believe our world is a better place when it’s full of smiles and allows everyone to enjoy their most fundamental human right to happiness,” said Jaclyn Sutton, head of strategy and marketing at Mars Wrigley.

When The Message launched in January, we established a few key topics that would guide our content decision making: Canadian innovation in marketing and communications, for example, along with advice and guidance to help a next generation of industry professionals, and the effects of digital on consumers and society. Oh, and anything Ryan Reynolds. The Canadian actor just released the latest video spot for his Aviation Gin. Most of the ad, called “Dedication,” focuses on Reynolds making special signature edition bottles of Aviation himself, but ends with a surprising Fyre Island twist.

June 4

Screen Shot 2019-06-04 at 5.01.57 PM.pngAs the official sponsor of the Toronto Raptors, Aviva Insurance wanted to show its support for the team as it plays in its first NBA Finals.

The solution is “Raptors Voice Insurance,” a website that lets visitors “save their voice” for game time so they can cheer their loudest when it really matters.

Created by No Fixed Address (from concept to live in 72 hours) the site’s “Game Day Mode” features pre-recorded everyday statements such as “I’m on it,” “That commute was painful,” and “Double double please.” The site also enables users to toggle between a male and female voice. Switching to “Game Time Mode” allows the user to supplement their own cheering with chants, cheers and other game time noises.

June 3

A new video ad with all of the frantic energy and attitude of a Nike spot appeared on YouTube and broadcast last week. It depicts a young female soccer player pushing herself to improve. The music pulses as she clashes with opponents on the field and drives herself to get better off it. It could easily be an ad for the FIFA Women’s World Cup that starts this week. It’s not until 20 seconds into the ad that the viewer realizes something isn’t right, as the girl falls hard and hits her head. The music is then accompanied by a buzzing sound, and the girl gets up to keep playing before collapsing again. The spot is actually an Ontario government concussion awareness ad called “The Risk.


Eataly has appointed BPR Inc. as its PR agency, in advance of its highly anticipated opening later this year. “Eataly Toronto will bring an entirely new retail-dining experience to Canada with its exceptional and authentic Italian food, service and restaurant offerings. We look forward to introducing Canadians to the brand’s immersive and interactive culinary concept,” said Shawn Rusich, president and founder of BPR. The 50,000-sq.-ft. Eataly location is opening in Toronto’s fully renovated Manulife Centre, and will be the chain’s 40th location worldwide and seventh in North America.

BBDO’s chief creative officer Denise Rossetto has been elected chair of the board of directors for nabs. “Over my career I have seen dramatic changes in the amount of pressure and demands put on our people,” said Rosetto in a release. “nabs has never been more relevant, important and essential to support all individuals in our industry. I feel it’s now my turn to give back to the industry that I have benefited so greatly from by leading the next chapter at nabs as Board Chair.” The appointment is for three years and Rossetto replaces lg2’s Jeremy Gayton.

David Brown