The Really Brief — Week of September 9

Sept. 12

Grolsch, the official beer of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), has created a card game that is being handed out at bars around the city during the festival. Called “Sip & Social,” the game includes a series of trivia and conversation-starter questions like “Would you rather be John Wick or Tony Stark? Why him?” and “If you could be any movie character for one day, who would you choose?”

“This places Grolsch at the centre of the activity and gives people fun film knowledge that they can share with each other through a social game,” said Noah Barlow, founder of Smaller Agency, which created the game for Grolsch. The beer brand is also running social and out-of-home creative featuring its iconic green bottle and instantly recognizable “swing top” in film-related environments, such as the hair and makeup chair, in front of a green screen and on the film’s set.

Victoria Freeman has been appointed senior director of Canadian marketing for Canada Goose. Freeman spent the last few years at North Strategic, most recently as senior vice-president for social media and digital.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Victoria for more than a decade,” said North co-founder Justin Creally. “We are thrilled that Victoria is heading to work in-house at our long term client Canada Goose. She is taking on one of Canada’s top marketing roles.” With Freeman’s departure, Jelena Leung will assume a larger leadership role within North’s digital marketing, social media and influencer marketing offerings.

Sept. 11 

Mr. Sub is the latest QSR to add a plant-based option to its menu this week, along with a new keto bun for those looking to cut the carbs. The meatless option comes from Conagra’s Gardein, while the keto bun is from Toronto-based Unbun Foods. “We tested these items in select locations this spring and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Nicole Johnston, director of marketing, Mr. Sub.

Ontario discount retailer Giant Tiger is launching a loyalty program called Giant VIP. The app-based program lets users search for deals, browse the weekly flyer and shop with access to special discounts on groceries, fashion and home goods. Members also get exclusive contests and deals on restaurants and sports tickets. “GT VIP aims at deepening our understanding of our customers and their engagement in our stores and online,” said Paul Wood, president and COO, Giant Tiger Stores Limited.

Sept. 10

NFL Canada has selected Publicis to develop a series of digital and experiential initiatives promoting the league’s 100th season. “With the NFL’s enthusiastic and engaged fan base, we think there is a fantastic opportunity to have the fans play a big role in the activity and events throughout the season,” said Alister Adams, Publicis’ vice-president of digital, in a release.

Maple Leaf Foods has appointed Casey Richards as its senior vice-president of marketing and innovation, responsible for marketing and innovation for the company’s brand portfolio. Richards will continue to oversee the company’s pastry business, a role he assumed in 2017 after two decades of marketing and general management roles with U.S. food companies including ConAgra, General Mills and Nestle.

Richards succeeds Adam Grogran, who was recently named chief operating officer of Maple Leaf’s plant-based foods division Greenleaf Foods.

Sept. 9

Screen shot 2019-09-09 at 6.42.22 PM.pngHome Hardware has promoted Rob Wallace to vice-president of marketing. Wallace has spent his entire career with the St. Jacobs, Ont.-based hardware retailer, originally joining the company as a student in 1992. He was previously senior director of marketing.

“It is an honour to lead marketing for a company that has not just built an iconic Canadian brand but has fostered an incredible culture focused on helping Canadians with their projects big and small,” said Wallace in an e-mail statement.

Twitter is sharing nice tweets about movie stars during the Toronto International Film Festival, thanks to an ad campaign from Toronto creative shop Open. In addition to Twitter, the campaign also includes real-life posters that are running as subway signage, as well as in-store, resto-bar inventory and wild postings.

“We are always working to drive usage of the platform and to put a Canadian spin on it,” said Open partner Christian Mathieu. In this case the spin was nice tweets about film stars who are in town for one of the biggest events in global film. “And while not in the brief, the idea provides a nice counterbalance to celebrities reading mean tweets on Jimmy Kimmel,” added Mathieu.

SkipTheDishes has launched a new out-of-home brand campaign with a takeover at Toronto’s Yonge/Bloor subway station. The campaign includes 144 pieces that drive home SkipTheDishes’ ability to deliver a wide variety of food when people are too busy to cook. The creative was done in-house, while True Media handled the buy and North Strategic managed PR.

Martin Daraiche is the new president of National Public Relations, based at the agency’s Montreal office. Daraiche joined National in 2008 and had been managing partner of the Quebec City office since 2017. He’ll oversee operations across National’s nine Canadian offices, while continuing to work as as senior advisor to his clients. Julie-Anne Vien replaces Daraiche as managing partner in Quebec City.

“Martin is an experienced advisor capable of providing senior -level strategic advice to a wide range of clients,” said Jean-Pierre Vasseur, president and CEO of National’s parent firm, Avenir Global. “His leadership and attributes clearly place him in the footsteps of our founding chairman, Luc Beauregard. Today, we are entrusting him with new responsibilities custom tailored to his talent and skills.”

Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) of Canada has launched its 2019-20 advertising campaign, presenting CPAs in a modern light rather than “stuck in the past.” Running across TV, print, digital and social channels, the creative by DentsuBos shows CPAs with a wide range of interests and skills, making important contributions around key topics and themes driving business today.

“This campaign features inspiring CPAs who come from diverse backgrounds and have a positive influence in many sectors of society. It shows us real faces and, by extension, the true nature of the profession today,” said Lyne Lortie, chair of the CPA branding committee and vice-president of public affairs, brand strategy and communications at the Quebec CPA Order.


David Brown