The Really Brief — Week of November 4

November 8

Cosmetics company Laline Canada has launched a new holiday campaign with content and influencer marketing agency Imagemotion, which won the AOR assignment earlier this year. The “World of Scents” campaign includes influencer marketing and content across digital and social.

The Israeli brand, which entered Canada last year, also announced YouTuber Valeria Lipovetsky—a model turned content creator, with nearly 1.2 million subscribers—as the face of the brand in Canada.

The Second Cup Ltd. unveiled a new corporate name, Aegis Brands, and strategic vision Friday. “We created Aegis with the vision of building a portfolio of amazing brands that can grow and flourish with access to our resources and expertise,” said president and CEO Steven Pelton. The only brand for now is Second Cup, but the company is going shopping, with a focus on foodservice, coffee and cannabis.

McCann has been chosen as agency of record for the Toronto Santa Claus Parade, and gets extra points for infusing their announcement with lots of Christmas magic.

“Santa takes the Parade very seriously, so we were committed to finding the right agency to take the city’s holiday spirit to the next level,” said an official spokesperson for Mr. Claus. “There were so many reasons we chose McCann: Proximity to the North Pole was, of course, a priority. Beyond that, McCann’s creativity blew us away—it’s pretty obvious that sugarplums dance in their heads. And they’re legit jolly. In fact, at one point during the pitch, the creative teams made Santa laugh so hard, his belly shook like a bowl full of jelly.”

The mandate starts this year, with McCann working on social for the upcoming parade, while a full campaign will be planned for 2020.

November 6

Air Canada has unveiled the second instalment of its “Travel Like a Canadian” campaign starring Killing Eve star Sandra Oh. The new video is set at a luggage carousel, with Oh urging a woman to “do the Canadian thing” and help a fellow traveller with her bag, even if it means that she’ll have to wait for her own bag to come around again. Turns out her help isn’t required. The work is by FCB Canada, with Weber Shandwick for PR.

This is Oh’s final spot in the campaign, with Air Canada saying that other celebrity collaborations will follow. The campaign is targeting travellers in key international markets including the U.S., U.K., Japan and France.

November 5

KFC Canada isn’t about to put all of its chicken in one bucket. The company announced today that it will launch an eco-friendly poutine bucket made from bamboo fibre in select restaurants early next year.

One of the fastest growing plants in the world, bamboo is naturally anti-bacterial and 100% biodegradable, requires no pesticides, and regenerates itself very quickly when harvested.

The new buckets are part of the chicken chain’s global sustainability commitment, which includes making all of its plastic-based consumer-facing packaging recoverable or reusable by 2025. The company also announced in July that it would remove all plastic straws and bags from its restaurants before the end of the year—an action that will eliminate more than 50 million plastic straws and 10 million plastic bags.

Leo Burnett has hired Kinga Karadi as senior vice-president of operations, reporting to president Ben Tarr.  The agency says that Karadi, most recently an independent consultant, will be a key member of its leadership team as it evolves from being an ad agency to a “creative consultancy.”

“This transformation requires someone who has a proven track record in helping drive change and Kinga has this in spades,” said Tarr in a release. Karadi has also held vice-president of operations roles at Fuse and FCB Canada.

Canadian outerwear brand Nobis created a pop-up laundromat in Toronto’s west end this weekend to promote its products and their machine washable feature. Guests were able to try on Nobis’ latest offerings and receive a complimentary “coat refresh” courtesy of LG Electronics Canada.

The laundromat also served as a coat drive, with gently worn jackets donated to New Circles GLOW (Gently Loved Outfits to Wear), which works to help newcomers, refugees and economically vulnerable families meet their clothing needs.

November 4

WestJet marketing has been busy lately. The feisty airline, which has been expanding internationally, just ran this mass-media campaign to take a shot at its competitors’ customer service. Now, working with its in-house creative teams run by Oliver, it created this pilot recruitment ad for WestJet Encore.

Painted in a field on a flightpath into Toronto’s busy Pearson International Airport and the smaller Buttonville municipal airport, the “pilots wanted” message was delivered using environmentally friendly paint covering 430,000 sq. ft. and is only visible from the air.

Uniqlo, working with Isobar, ran a brand activation in Toronto’s busy Dundas Square this past weekend. The “Down For Winter” test event let passersby try out Uniqlo’s ultra-light down jackets in a “photo-ready space” (ie. ‘post on Insta, please’) that included a giant walk-in polar ice box. There was also a chance to win prizes.

Daily Hive has launched a new division to produce branded content for marketers. Hive Labs offers branded video, written content and social media campaigns, produced by a 14-person team composed of videographers, graphic designers, photographers, editors, and branded writers.

Daily Hive launched in 2008 and focuses on hyper-local news content in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, along with a handful of specialty vertical sites like food and beverage, cannabis, business and tech, sports and travel. It claims 4 million uniques and 14 million page views a month, with more than 100,000 newsletter subscribers. “We’re a young, unconventional media company that has become a leading voice in the Canadian market by creating a sticky reader relationship built on understanding their content preferences,” said CEO Karm Sumal. “We want to couple that insight with the capabilities of our new content studio so that brands can cut through the noise and create the business impact they are looking for.”

Cannabis brand Tokyo Smoke has always prided itself on its strong design and brand aesthetics. That’s been taken to a higher level through a deal with Holt Renfrew, which will sell special holiday themed cannabis accessories and host two pop-up accessory shops in Toronto and Vancouver through the end of the year.

The Catch All Try and the Storage Jar from Tokyo Smoke both feature Holt Renfrew’s Holiday Toile print “inspired by a winter wonderland.” The special edition products will be accompanied by a special selection of Tokyo Smoke’s best selling accessories. “We share a love for design, beauty and luxury in every experience,” said Berkeley Poole, Tokyo Smoke’s vice-president and creative director, of the partnership with Holts. “This collaboration allows us to introduce Tokyo Smoke to consumers in a way that sparks interest and curiosity.”

There is a precedent for this type of luxury partnership. Earlier this year, Barneys New York partnered with luxury cannabis brand Beboe to open a head shop called The High End that included items including a US$1,400 sterling silver grinder.

Two Canadians are among the winners of the One Club’s Young Guns 17 competition celebrating creative professionals 30 and under.

Montreal-based graphic designer Julien Hébert and Toronto director Amos Le Blanc were among the 28 winners of the portfolio-based competition. Winners were determined by 61 creatives, half of them former Young Guns winners, who judged hundreds of submissions from more than 45 countries.

When one opens a $1.5 billion hotel shaped like a giant guitar, a lot of glitz, glamour and ostentation seem fitting for the launch party. That was the case last week, when the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino opened in Hollywood, Fla. just north of Miami.

Maroon 5 opened, Johnny Depp and Khloe Khardashian attended, and there was performative guitar smashing and an epic light show created by Montreal agency Float4.

The show used nearly 30,000 linear feet of programmable LEDs across the exterior of the 450-foot tall hotel. Founded in 2008, Float4 has been involved in more than 50 projects in over 30 cities across three continents.


Chris Powell