The Really Brief — Week of November 11

November 15

Nestlé Canada has opened a permanent KitKat Chocolatory store, where customers can create their own version of its iconic KitKat chocolate bar. Nestlé first introduced the concept with a pop-up version of the store last year. Visitors to the store, located at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in north Toronto, can choose from a menu of 16 premium ingredients to create a KitKat chocolate bar featuring a personalized name or message.

“KitKat Chocolatory is about creative expression and inspiring people to re-imagine the flavour possibilities at their fingertips,” said Ryan Saunders, vice-president of  marketing, Nestlé Canada. “We know all Canadians have their own unique way of taking a break, and at KitKat Chocolatory, every KitKat becomes a canvas, making a break something you can take but also create.”

November 13

The star of Walmart‘s Christmas campaign is an animated piggy bank that accompanies a young boy saving his money to buy a special gift for the holidays.

The creative reinforces Walmart’s positioning as a retailer where families can get holiday gifts at great prices. The campaign is in market now and will run through December on TV, digital and social channels.

Aside from the launch spot, the piggy will run in five other ads about key moments during the holiday season. Cossette is the creative agency, with production partners including Soda, Frank Content and Elastic for animation, with media from Mindshare.

Public relations lifestyle agency Rock-it Promotions has named Kate Makinson (centre) president, with founder Debra Sadowski (left) shifting from President to CEO. Makinson will oversee day-to-day operations of the agency, including all high-level planning and strategic direction for the business, while Sadowski focuses on long-term strategic growth and client acquisitions. “I know, without any hesitation, that Kate is the right person for the job and I am thrilled to give her an opportunity she has so genuinely earned,” said Sadowski.

The agency also recently appointed Victoria Gormley (right) as vice-president. “Victoria joined us just over a year ago and became an invaluable and indispensable member of the executive leadership team. I am so pleased both of these outstanding women have accepted these positions so they can lead rock-it into its next chapter.”

Simplii Financial is running a campaign by Juniper Park\TBWA to promote its foreign cash free delivery service, which launched in June. The stop-motion digital video creative, by Juniper Park’s in-house production studio Bolt, equates the ease of ordering foreign currency from Simplii to ordering fast food.

“We used real foreign currency, supplied by Simplii, which we folded and crafted by hand to represent cultural foods local to high indexing travel locations,” said Graham Lang, chief creative officer at Juniper Park\TBWA.

November 12

Roots today released its new holiday campaign “Nice Together,” which is anchored by a :60 showing more than 50 friends and families—all of them clad in Roots apparel—gathered together.

The retailer is also introducing a portrait series of the people in the campaign shot by renowned Canadian photographer Barbara Stoneham. The exhibition will be displayed at Roots’ flagship Toronto store from Nov. 15 to Dec. 24, and at its store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago from Dec. 12-24.

The video and photographs were shot against backdrops representing iconic Roots products that are popular during the holiday season: Park Plaid, The Roots Cabin Collection and Salt & Pepper sweats.

Mosaic has made a number of additions to its creative ranks, including Laura Serra as group creative director, working on Google, Coca-Cola and Canopy Growth. Serra joins Mosaic from Narrative PR, where she was creative director.

“With a background in journalism, PR and advertising, and in combination with a penchant for delivering strategic and compelling creative ideas, we just so happened to find that diversification in one human, Laura Serra,” said Jess Willis, ECD.

Other recent additions to Mosaic include Oleg Portnoy, as design director, Jin Yu as senior designer, and Dimitrios Koussioulas, senior writer.

Forsman & Bodenfors is the first agency to receive 3% Certification by The 3% Movement—the industry group working to improve representation of female creative leadership.

Certification was awarded following a thorough assessment of the agency’s seven offices around the world—including Toronto and Montreal—around three key pillars: Female leadership, workplace equality and culture and equal creative opportunity.

“Throughout [the offices] was a singular culture that values kindness, gender equity, collaboration and a creative team structure that ensures that everyone has a voice and a seat at the table,” said Kat Gordon, founder of The 3% Movement.

Camp Jefferson has made nine new hires over the past few months, most notably Kevin McHugh as VP of strategy, and Phil Coulter and Stefan D’Aversa as creative directors.

“These hires truly speak to the agency’s culture—and how it’s quickly become a magnet for some of Canada’s brightest creative minds,” said Peter Bolt, EVP and managing partner at Camp Jefferson.

Rounding out the new additions are: Mary Macleod, art director; Patrick Gravel, writer; account coordinators Holly Mowbray and Katherin Ly; and Margo Hicks and Taylor Yates, administrative support.

Postmedia Network Inc. has launched a new healthcare site,, that covers news, trends and innovations in Canadian healthcare. Content comes from Postmedia’s health writers, along with information and resources from other institutions, patient groups and industry researchers, and via a partnership with Ebix, Inc. a provider of global health information.

“Our goal is to help Canadians navigate the vast amount of health information that is sometimes overwhelming when searching for information on the Internet,” said Yuri Machado, health portfolio lead, Launch partners include global healthcare company Novo Nordisk Canada and Insulet Canada, makers of the Omnipod Insulin Management system.



David Brown