The Really Brief — Week of April 13

April 13

Harvey--s-Harvey-s and Bauer Hockey team up to keep Canadians apHarvey’s is making paying for your burger a peculiar thing during the COVID crisis.

The Canadian QSR chain has a distinctively Canadian solution to the question of maintaining the appropriate physical distance between customers and employees at its drive thru windows.

A new partnership with Bauer Hockey will see card payment machines handed to customers at the end of one of its hockey sticks.

Harvey’s also announced that it will donate a portion of all sales to Food Banks Canada.

“It’s a creative and fun solution to a challenging issue. And it ensures we can keep feeding Canadians through our restaurants and food banks,” said Harvey’s COO David Colebrook in a release.

Added Mary-Kay Messier, Bauer’s VP of global marketing: “We all wish our Bauer sticks could be used to snipe bar down right now, but until hockey re-starts we’re glad to put our sticks to good use helping to protect Harvey’s associates and customers across Canada.”  That’s two minutes for high (carb) sticking.

Screen Shot 2020-04-13 at 4.38.12 PMToronto agency Union has created a series of downloadable “Zoomscuses” for people who are reluctant to turn on their computer’s camera during the video conferences that have replaced in-person meetings during the WFH period.

Available at, the downloadable profile pictures feature a series of explanations for why a person’s camera is off, from “because my pants are social distancing” to “I don’t want you to see how many cats I have.”

“From our weekend wear, to the inside of our homes, we’ve all had to share a
more personal side of ourselves over the last few weeks,” says Union’s chief creative officer, Lance Martin. “That can take some getting used to. Little things like this can help us ease into this uncharted territory with a sense of humour.”

OMA ad square formatThe Ontario Medical Association is running an ad thanking the province’s healthcare workers.

The ad features an image of a healthcare work in a rare moment of respite while on the front lines of the healthcare industry.

The accompanying copy thanks them for putting themselves second and patients first, for leaving their families to care for others and for showing courage in the face of so much fear. “Know that when this is all over, because it will be over one day, we will have come through this together,” the ad concludes.

Created by Yield Branding, the ad is running in regional dailies and community newspapers for the next two weeks. “[Our] creative approach behind the ad was to create an empathetic anthem that would connect with the hearts of the healthcare worker community and the public,’ says Yield founder, head of brand strategy Brad Usherwood.

“While there have been many ‘Thank you’ messages from all kinds of other brands, the OMA felt that a message coming from Ontario’s doctors, one of the largest medical associations in Canada, would deeply connect with people and be appreciated at a time when healthcare workers are being challenged and exposed to COVID-19 more than ever.”

In response to the COVID crisis, the National Advertising Challenge has extended its deadline for submissions until April 26 and also waived entry fees. This year’s competition will also see winners receive cash prizes of $5,000, $2,500 and $1,250 in lieu of the typical prize of a trip to the Cannes Lions, which were officially cancelled earlier this month.

The 2020 competition features briefs from Loblaws, Kraft, Woolite, Goodlife Fitness and Wellwise by Shoppers Drug Mart. The competition also includes a student component, with a first place prize of a paid internship at FCB for summer 2020.

“Getting lost in the creative process may provide some solace or much needed escape from the news cycle, and organizers want to ensure the competition is accessible to everyone in the creative community,” says NAC . More information on the competition is available here.

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Toronto agency Mixtape has introduced a “pay what you can” model for clients seeking creative solutions when budgets are being cut. “Just name your price and let’s get started,” says the agency in a presentation announcing the promotion.

Mixtape founder and president Joe Myers said the program is specifically oriented towards smaller businesses, most of which are bearing the economic brunt of the shutdown.

“We’ve been working with small businesses for a while now, and we know their pain points,” says Myers. “We want to help them stay relevant and set them up for success.” About 15-20% of Mixtape’s work is for small businesses.

Myers says the current situation is “concerning” for him as a small agency owner, but says the good news is that projects are being pushed back to the fourth quarter or even early 2021 rather than being cancelled outright. “I’m a very positive person, and I see us coming out of this stronger than ever.”

Chris Powell