The Really Brief — Week of December 9

December 12

Cossette and Cossette Media just ran a Quebec campaign for Amnesty International’s “Write for Rights,” that included a series of striking out-of-home posters. The campaign runs for International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10, when people are asked to write letters demanding governments release those imprisoned for expressing their opinion, to stop the use of torture and end other human rights violations. The posters show the power of a written word to create paths to freedom for those who have been unjustly imprisoned.

Juniper Park\TBWA has launched a new standalone design studio, Le Parc. Led by creative director of design Nathalie Cusson (pictured), Le Parc will work on its own independent clients for design-focused projects including corporate identity, commercial branding, packaging, editorial, websites, content, motion, and exhibition design.

“We’re excited to see Le Parc come to life at a time when there is an increasing need for design excellence,” said Cusson, who joined Juniper Park\TBWA earlier this year. “We see design as an integral part of all branding,” added Jill Nykoliation, CEO at Juniper Park\TBWA. “By launching a pure design-focused offering in Le Parc, we’re providing brands with an additional avenue to engage our design excellence for their design-specific needs, be they robust or nimble projects.”

December 11

Pizza Pizza has created special-edition pizza boxes that can be transformed into a table-top basketball game. The “GameBox,” celebrating the Toronto Raptors’ 25th anniversary, has perforated pieces that pop out to form a net and cardboard basketball pieces that can be flipped into the net. Pizza Pizza has been a sponsor of the Toronto Raptors since 1999.

“It’s a simple, entertaining way for family and friends to play together as a group, combining a skill challenge with a bit of competitive spirit and a whole lot of fun,” said CEO Paul Goddard. The box design was led by Pizza Pizza creative director Raymond Luk.

The Ogilvy leadership team (left to right): Antoine Negre, chief delivery officer; Brian Murray, chief creative officer; Jo Palmiero, executive group head and partner; Marie-Lise Campeau, chief client officer; John Killam, CEO; Aviva Groll, worldwide managing director; and Tom Kenny, chief strategy officer.

There have been a number of recent changes at Ogilvy, including Marie-Lise Campeau joining as chief client officer for Toronto. “Her arrival rounds out our leadership team as we work to advance our service offering and deepen national integration heading into the next chapter for Ogilvy Canada,” said CEO John Killam.

The agency has undergone a number of changes this year, including the retirement of Laurie Young and the subsequent hiring of Killam in June.

The agency also promoted senior client leader Jo Palmiero to executive group head and partner, while Aviva Groll was given a global mandate as managing director of Ogilvy’s Kimberly-Clark FemCare business. “We were lucky to keep Aviva here in Canada where she also oversees the local Kimberly-Clark and Unilever businesses and is an important part of our senior leadership team,” said Killam.

December 10

It’s the time of year when agencies like to show off their creativity with playful holiday greetings. Calgary agency Wax, for example, has just published a video with short cuts of “woke” Christmas carols. “We’ve taken your favourite holiday carols and politically corrected them to guarantee not to offend anyone,” they explain with the posting on YouTube.

Our favourite is the riff on “Winter Wonderland”: “They’ll say are you married, we’ll say no, person. ‘Cos that’s an out-date and sexist institution invented for religious servitude.” The medley was written and performed by Wax copywriter Monica Sommerville. “She was hesitant at first, and we had to convince her that she had a good voice,” Wax creative director Nick Asik. “She even played the guitar and rang the jingle bells by herself. In turn, she convinced me to sing the guy’s part of Baby it’s Cold Outside.”

Last week, Zulu Alpha Kilo published a video of its staff “cash mobbing” the very fortunate Toronto busker Mo Guzman—dropping more than $2,000 into his guitar case as he sang “How sweet it is (to be loved by you)” in the King Street Subway station. The video caught on with mainstream media, with CBC, CTV and other outlets doing stories about it over the weekend. ZAK hash-tagged the video #KindnessAndContagious and also donated 150 turkeys to Second Harvest on behalf of clients and partners.

Pound & Grain is sending clients coffee beans developed for the agency by Elysian Coffee Roasters and the Perez family of Finca La Soledad in Guatemala. Along with the beans, Pound & Grain developed a special coffee drink called “Hustle Fuel.”

“Coffee fuels their hustle; so they thought the best holiday gift would be something that helps fuel their clients’ hustle,” said a short release sent to The Message. The agency produced a video with step-by-step instructions, using the superior pour-over coffee making method to brew the coffee itself.

The recipe includes whipped cream, sprinkles and brandy. Because sometimes regular old caffeine just isn’t enough.

December 9

Toronto agency Fuse and its client CIBC recently created an oversized thank you card celebrating the 35th anniversary of the annual CIBC Miracle Day fundraiser in support of children’s charities.

This year, CIBC and Fuse turned thousands of thank you notes from children across various charities into a 10-foot tall card that will reside outside the bank’s downtown Toronto headquarters through Dec. 18. The campaign is being amplified through CIBC’s internal channels and banking centres, as well as on digital, social channels including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, and an e-mail campaign. 

The program, which sees CIBC Capital Markets traders and CIBC Wood Gundy investment advisors donate their fees and commissions on the first Wednesday in December, has raised more than $250 million since its 1984 inception.

Zulu Alpha Kilo has made three new creative hires, including Jonathan Smith as creative director, co-leading the Subaru account with Susie Lee. Smith’s CV includes work with Ford, Nissan and BMW and has featured stops in South Africa and Montreal.

The agency has also hired Vic Bath and Derek Silveira as associate creative directors. Bath joins from Rethink Vancouver, where he spent four years and worked on campaigns including “The Last Straws” campaign for A&W. His 11-year career also includes stops at DentsuBos, Taxi and McCann.

Silveira, who arrives from FCB, started his career at CP+B in Colorado, and has previously worked at J. Walter Thompson and Sid Lee.

Hershey’s Kisses is donating a portion of its ad budget to a series of GoFundMe campaigns aimed at bringing together loved ones for the holidays. The chocolate brand has pledged to support between seven and 10 campaigns until Dec. 22.

Among the donations so far are $2,590 to a campaign aimed at bringing a Toronto man home from the Northwest Territories, and $1,525 for a campaign to bring a woman from Chile to Montreal for the birth of her niece. As part of the “Sweet Reunions” campaign, the company has also created a dedicated GoFundMe page highlighting campaigns seeking money to bring people together. The campaign was developed by Anomaly.

Uninterrupted Canada has signed Tangerine Bank as exclusive financial sponsor. Uninterruped Canada launched earlier this summer as a Canadian extension of the sports content video site created by LeBron James in the U.S.

Uninterrupted and Tangerine’s first collaboration will be “Kneading Dough Canada,” a series about how high-profile athletes deal with money from the time they signed their first contracts; the first confirmed profiles will be with Toronto Raptors stars Kyle Lowry and Fred Van Vleet, and Canadian women’s basketball star Kia Nurse.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of what Uninterrupted is bringing to Canada,” said Martin Fecko, chief marketing officer at Tangerine Bank. “Kneading Dough Canada will provide a platform to have fascinating money conversations with influential athletes and we can’t wait to see it come to life.”



Chris Powell