The Really Brief — Week of August 12

Aug. 16

Montreal-born fashion brand Frank And Oak has introduced Circular denim, a new line of jeans made from recycled denim. The unisex jeans are created using a four-step process: worn-out jeans destined for landfill are collected; waste denim is “disintegrated into fibres”; recycled fibres are combined with new fibres to create new fabric; the blended fabric is used to make the new jeans.

“Circularity aims to use existing resources for as long as possible and then recycle them when they have fulfilled their purpose,” says the company. “By minimizing waste and turning it into a resource for new production, Frank And Oak is encouraging its community to consume more responsibly.

National Bank is encouraging diversity and inclusion by erecting a 300-foot palisade emblazoned with positive messages around the construction site of its next headquarters. More than 32,000 people pass by the downtown Montreal site each day.

For every photo taken in front of the palisade and shared on social media using the hashtags #celebratingourdiversity and #nbcdonation, National Bank will donate $1 to the LGBTQ+ rights organization Fondation Émergence (up to $25,000 or until the campaign concludes on Oct. 1). The financial services company worked with Sid Lee on the initiative.

Aug. 14

Screen shot 2019-08-14 at 11.35.24 AM.pngJoe Strolz has joined marketing technology firm Curate Mobile as president and managing partner, responsible for day-to-day operations.

Strolz joins Curate founder and CEO Marc Porcelli and chief revenue officer Moufid Al-Joundi as a partner in the Toronto-based firm, which recently acquired the mobile brand platform Juice Mobile. Strolz was most recently the Canadian country manager at Snap, leaving the company in January.

“With the majority of consumer-connected time now spent in mobile, marketers are grappling with how to succeed in a medium where desktop rules and tools do not apply,” said Porcelli in a release. “We have made significant investments in building an independent platform that delivers business outcomes and under Joe’s leadership we will accelerate results-focused product innovation and business growth.”

Screen shot 2019-08-14 at 10.20.51 AM.pngThe&Partnership has named Geoff Vreeken executive creative director of The Greenhouse, Vancouver, an integrated unit developed with Cossette in 2017 to handle the Telus business. Vreeken will lead creative, reporting to Ron Smrczek, executive creative director of The&Partnership Canada.

Vreeken was previously creative director at TeamOne in Los Angeles, leading creative for the agency’s Lexus account and also playing a lead role in the Indian Motorcycle business. He has also led creative teams at Tribal Worldwide and DDB Vancouver.

Aug. 13

Long-time Seneca College Creative Advertising program coordinator Anthony Kalamut is celebrating a birthday by making a donation to the scholarship program he created to help students pay for their schooling. He announced on Linkedin that he’ll match all donations up to $1,000.

“My parents valued education as a priority,” he wrote. “A couple years ago I created a scholarship to benefit the students of the Creative Advertising Program at Seneca College. Today, many students struggle to meet their dreams and goals so this year as I make my way on a trip around the sun again I’m asking if you would consider donating to the scholarship. I will match “dollar for dollar” up to $1,000 donated.” Donations can be made here.

Kleenex is using what it calls “Elbow Recognition Technology” (pictured top) to promote its Kleenex Wet Wipes product. Conceived by Ogilvy Canada, which brought the concept to life in partnership with Mindshare and creative technology studio wonderMakr, the “technology” was introduced at the annual Taste of the Danforth street festival in Toronto this weekend.

The creative idea, says Ogilvy’s chief creative officer Brian Murray, is that people’s fingers would be too messy from eating street food, requiring them to use their elbow to get a free Kleenex Wet Wipes sample instead. “We’re parodying facial recognition,” says Murray of the concept. “The whole idea is so absurd we think it has stopping power.”

Between the activation and on-site brand ambassadors, Kleenex distributed about 110,000 samples during the three-day event. Next stop for the elbow recognition technology: Canada’s largest ribfest in Burlington, Ont.

And Murray has some calming advice for anyone with misgivings about how their “elbow print” might be used in the future. “We are in no way collecting elbow data,” he says.

After picking up new work with Molson Coors (for the Ultra band) the Quebec’s Chicken Farmers Association, Viau Food (Fantino & Mondello brand), Rouge FM, Automobile en Direct, the Canadian Dermatology Association and Brasseur de Montréal, Rethink has added seven new staff and promoted three others at its its Montreal office. New to the agency’s client services team are Mélanie Châteauneuf  and Victor Brunton, while Marie-Pière Poulin joins in production team and Suzy Truong has been added to the strategy team.

Joining the creative team are Shayne Tupper, Édouard Coune and Charles Côté, while ACDs Maxime Sauté and Xavier Blais have been promoted creative director roles, and copywriter Karine Doucet has been promoted to ACD.


Aug. 12

Wealthsimple has selected Jungle Media as its national media AOR following an extensive review process. Jungle had previously conducted buying for the financial brand throughout the 2019 NBA playoffs, an assignment that included securing media space for the “Kawhi” ad on a tight turnaround.

“We feel that this partnership is a perfect fit, as Wealthsimple’s digital-native business aligns well with Jungle’s non-traditional approach,” said Sheri Metcalfe, senior vice-president and co-managing director of Jungle Media, in a release. The appointment is the latest in a series of account wins for Jungle media in the start-up space, including Finastra and Lobo Genetics.

Fuse has hired Bridget Westerholz as managing director. Her hire continues the agency’s creative evolution, which began with the March addition of Steve Miller as VP, executive creative director.

Westerholz was formerly VP, director of client services at DDB Vancouver, leading and mentoring teams that produced campaigns for PepsiCo’s Tostitos and Crispy Minis, as well as Emerald Health and Rocky Mountaineer.

“I am passionate about this industry and love being surrounded by smart colleagues and clients. This business is at its best when we use well-informed insights to feed powerful creative work,” said Westerholz, in a release. “We’re incredibly lucky to have Bridget on board.” added Fuse president Stephen Brown. “We love the curiosity Bridget ignites in our team and her strong leadership skills will help propel this agency forward.”

August 9

Vancouver agency Wasserman + Partners has hired Victoria Gray (centre in photo) as head of strategic services, overseeing the team responsible for strategic planning and management of the agency’s accounts. Wasserman also promoted Antonella Frustaci (left) to director, connections, managing media planning and buying for the agency’s creative clients, as well as several media-only clients.

“Our focus is on solving business challenges and helping our clients achieve their goals through a deep understanding of their audiences,” said agency president Stefan Hawes. “Having talented and experienced people like Victoria and Antonella at the helm of their functions raises us to a new level in delivering on that mission.”

Danone Canada‘s Silk and So Delicious brands are both sampling their products at the Vegandale Food Drink Festival in Toronto this weekend. An estimated 20,000 people are expected to attend the event.

The Silk activation will showcase the brand’s product varieties, allowing visitors to customize its Silk Cultured Almond Yogurt Alternative products using fresh fruits and granola. The So Delicious booth will promote the frozen mousse dessert’s three flavours (Salted Caramel Swirl, Peanut Butter Swirl and Lemon Swirl) and feature a photo activation using the hashtag #MySoDeliciousMoment.

Danone has also partnered with a group of food and lifestyle influencers who will publish content on Instagram throughout the day. The company worked with experiential marketing firm Timecode Lab, social media marketing firm Carl and National Public Relations on the activation.

Chris Powell