Vachon launches the great Quebec snack cake debate

Who: Vachon (Bimbo Canada) and Cossette, with Cinélande for production, Apollo Studios for music, Spark Foundry for media and Publicité Sauvage for activation.

What: A new Quebec campaign addressing a hot-button issue: Which is the best of Vachon’s 11 snack cakes—which include the Jos Louis and Au Caramel. Vachon will announce the winner later this year, and will give away 500,000 packs of the winning cake (it’s all academic, of course: everyone knows Passion Flakie is the undisputed champ). 

When & Where: The campaign broke in mid-November and is highlighted by a 60-second TV/online video. The campaign also includes out-of-home and social, and a dedicated microsite (

Why: It seems like a straightforward awareness and promotional play, although Vachon did suffer a significant business setback last spring, when flooding in Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce forced it to close its plant there for eight weeks. That led to shortages of its hugely popular Jos Louis product throughout Quebec.

How: The campaign centrepiece is a 60-second video showing Quebeckers of all different stripes—from office workers to a pair of back-of-the-bus stoners and members of a bowling team—all debating which snack cake is best.

“When we start the debate on the best Vachon, it won’t be over in 15 seconds,” said Anne-Claude Chénier, vice-president, creative advertising with Cossette. “It gets people fired up, which is why we needed to use a longer format to bring the concept to life.”

Vachon also created a 35-foot long “edible wall” covered with 1,000 detachable Joe Louis cakes (boo to the one woman shown filling a small blue bin with them). The microsite features additional video related to specific snack cake brands and enables visitors to see how the voting is going.

And we quote: “The truth is, there’s no debate when it comes to the best Vachon snack cake. Until someone dares to diss your favourite, that is. Vachon cakes have always been a part of our lives. They bring back fond memories, and we’ve become attached to our favourite cake in a way that may be considered a bit irrational.” — Michel-Alex Lessard, VP, strategy, Cossette








Chris Powell