The Really Brief — Week of September 3

Sept. 5

Loblaw’s quirky No Name Twitter account has been one of the marketing stories of the summer. Now, its idiosyncratic brand voice has been transplanted to video in a series of new “No Name Commericals” posted to YouTube.

There are short form spots that essentially replicate the pattern of @NoNameBrand tweets, but there are also two longer ads: a :30 seems destined for TV, while the other is described as a viral cat video. True to its name, the video had somehow registered more than 500,000 views by late Thursday afternoon—even though it was only posted on Thursday morning.

Dove Men+Care has partnered with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment to help produce and finance a new documentary about what it means to be a father today. DADS, directed by Bryce Dallas Howard, will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival Friday. Dove Men + Care is mentioned in the opening of the documentary as a partner. Dove Men + Care has been a vocal advocate for expanded paternity leave.

The film explores issues related to men spending more quality time with their kids, and includes appearances from famous fathers like Jimmy Fallon, Will Smith, Neil Patrick Harris, Ken Jeong, Conan O’Brien, and Kenan Thompson.

Harvey’s continues to make its menu a vegan-suitable thing, with the introduction of the new plant-based Lightlife Burger. The burger, which is made with 18 grams of plant-based protein, is being added to the QSR chain’s feature menu at its 292 locations.

The burger is produced in Canada by Greenleaf Foods, an independent subsidiary of Maple Leaf Foods dedicated to plant-based foods.

“Adding the Lightlife Burger to our menu reflects our commitment to quality, Canadian-made products and provides our guests with more access to healthy and delicious options,” said Harvey’s Canada chief operating officer Dave Colebrook in a release.

Sept. 4

Kraft Heinz and Rethink have produced limited edition “pour-perfect” ketchup bottles that feature the label at an unusual angle. Why? The twisted label provides a guide to the user to rotate the bottle to 45 degrees, supposedly the ideal angle to get the famously slow-pouring ketchup out of the bottle.

“This year, we have focused our marketing on reinforcing the emotional connection fans have with the brand in clever and ownable ways,” said Brian Neumann, senior brand manager at Kraft Heinz Canada, in a release. “We’re always thinking of fun, cheeky ways we can highlight the iconic and timeless nature of the product to give our consumers a smile.”

Leon’s has released the latest ad in its “Surprisingly Stylish” campaign from BIMM. The campaign debuted in May, using humour to build the brand with younger consumers. “Leon’s doesn’t suffer from an awareness problem, and its loyalty scores are quite high,” BIMM’s Roehl Sanchez told The Message back in June. “What we’re trying to do is appeal to a younger audience. Right now Leon’s just isn’t on their radar.”

The newest ad features the pretentious couple Todd and Margo showing off new bedroom furniture they bought from Leon’s (or Lé ons as they call it), but now they also have a cat. The cat’s name? Leon.

Screen shot 2019-09-04 at 12.46.04 PM.pngFirst Choice Haircutters has launched a new brand campaign called “A Stylist for Everyone,” which highlights what it describes as the “unique personalities, characteristics and relatability” of its stylists and how that translates into lasting relationships with customers.

The campaign, developed by Toronto-based agency tag, consists of print, TV, out-of-home, online video and social media.

“Looking and feeling great after a salon visit is essential, but the ability for our stylists to create meaningful relationships with customers is what makes us proud, and sets us apart from competitors in the affordable hair care category,” said Athena Kalkanis, brand director at First Choice Haircutters, in a release.

Sept. 3

Patrick Jutras has been named senior vice-president and chief advertising officer for Quebecor and TVA Group, responsible for expanding the company’s “unique” multi-platform advertising platform.

In addition to sales, two business units will also report to Jutras: the marketing solutions and content production specialist unit headed by Robert Renaud, and the data and digital performance expertise centre headed by Jean Péladeau.

Jutras has spent more than 15 years in key roles developing and growing cross-platform sales at Quebec media organizations.  He was most recently VP, digital business development at Videotron.

Kraft Heinz Canada has a new president, with Bruno Keller replacing Nina Barton. A native of Brazil, Keller joined Kraft Heinz in 2014 as director of trade marketing in Italy. He was later promoted to managing director for South Europe before moving to Canada in 2018 as head of category. Before joining Kraft Heinz Keller spent most of his career in packaged goods including stops at Unilever and PepsiCo, as well as a stint at Philip Morris International.

Barton  will remain with Kraft Heinz in the new role of chief growth officer for the global business working from Chicago.

No Frills has updated its “Hauler Aisles of Glory” video game for back-to-school through a partnership with Kellogg. The 8-bit 2D retro-style game includes various school-related obstacles, such as an overhead projector and a chalkboard, but also includes Pringles chips as one of the items players have to collect. At the end of the game, players can also claim 500 PC Optimum points by providing their PC Optimum card number.

HSBC has a new robotic customer service agent at one of its Toronto stores. Pepper is described as a “social humanoid robot,” and is part of HSBC’s expanded investments in digital channels, with an eye to enhancing customer experiences.

“When talking with our customers, Pepper will help educate them to get the most out of our products and services and learn about other options,” said Larry Tomei, EVP and head of retail banking and wealth management at HSBC Bank Canada.

August 30

Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor are arriving at Miniso. The lifestyle retailer—with roots in China and Japan—is introducing a line of Marvel superhero products including water bottles, pillows and stationary. The line is launching with a concept store at Miniso’s Vaughan Mills location in Toronto this weekend. Miniso has proven popular with millennials and expanded rapidly around the world, although it has struggled in Canada since arriving in 2017.

Huge has hired Caroline Murphy as vice-president of strategic growth. She’ll oversee communications and business development for the Canadian office, as well as providing strategic communications guidance to some of the agency’s top clients.

Murphy was most recently with McCann, leading national communications across the agency’s Canadian offices. She has also held senior management posts with Harbinger, Veritas and Mosaic. “Her diverse experience coupled with her respected business acumen and proven success at growing and maintaining top clients for leading agencies in Canada was without a doubt the right fit for Huge,” said Matt Di Paola, Huge Canada managing director.

David Brown