The Really Brief — Week of May 19

May 22

As part of the ongoing effort to help women stuck at home with an abusive partner, the Canadian Women’s Foundation has released a new PSA by Juniper Park\TBWA.

The ad raises awareness of about the new Signal for Help, created so that woman can discreetly communicate during a video call that they need help and would like someone to check in with them. In the ad, one woman asks her friend for a banana bread recipe before casually giving the signal: hand facing the camera, fingers extended with the thumb tucked into the palm and then bringing the fingers down over the thumb.

Since launching in Canada in mid-April, the Signal for Help has garnered more than 21 million impressions and been adopted in the US and Spain.

Interac recorded a record 61.3 million e-transfer transactions in April, with the company saying that consumers and businesses are increasingly adopting digital methods to spend, send and receive money.

First-time Interac e-transfer users rose 43% during the month, while the average number of transactions rose 9%. The payment company also saw double-digit growth for debit payments (both app and browser) and a 5% increase in contactless payment.

“COVID-19 is accelerating a new era in payments driven by the changing needs of Canadians and Canadian businesses,” said chief commercial officer William Keliehor. “[F]or many, these convenient ways to pay will have a stickiness factor that will influence a long-term shift in behaviour.”

May 21

Screen Shot 2020-05-22 at 9.54.32 AMMarie Eve-Best has joined McCann Montreal as creative director, with the agency saying that she will play a “prominent role” in its beauty portfolio, including L’Oréal Paris, Maybelline and Essie, as well as Nespresso.

Best joins from Bleublancrouge, where she spent three-and-a-half years as co-creative director, overseeing work for Sephora Canada, SICO and Dulux.

McCann Montreal ECD Dave Roberts said in a release that his goal when joining the agency late last year was to bring its creative product up to the same standard of the network’s best global offices. ““Marie-Eve is a big part of making that ambition come to fruition,” he said. “Her creative instincts are impeccable and her talent is well recognized in the market.”

May 19

After initially giving away 57 all-red puzzles as a playful statement about people having lots (and lots) of extra time to fill while staying home, Heinz put its “ridiculously slow Heinz ketchup puzzle” on sale Tuesday, with all proceeds going to Food Banks Canada.

“We were blown away by the massive response to our Heinzred Ketchup Puzzle with thousands of Canadians telling us who they would love to do this puzzle with,” said Brian Neumann, senior brand manager, Kraft Heinz Canada in a statement. “We wanted to find a way to give more Canadians the opportunity to get their hands on one, while also giving back, which is why all profits from the sale of the puzzle will go to support Food Banks Canada.”

Loblaw is bringing back its popular PC Insiders Report. Loblaw chair Galen Weston—who has been reinstalled as the face of the company during the pandemic—announced the move on Friday afternoon and appeared in a new TV ad that ran over the weekend.

His message to customers is about how the pandemic and extended time at home has brought new perspective to many, including about how we eat. Weston said that while he’s “a carnivore,” he’s trying to eat less meat and embrace more of a flexitarian approach.

“And it’s gotten me thinking: how can our team do what it does best, keep Canadians up-to-date on the latest product innovations and inspirational meal ideas, while also going deeper on big food issues, like flexitarianism and sustainability?” he says. “The team reminded me that the PC Insiders Report publication used to do all that.

“So, this summer, we’re bringing it back.”

Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 6.31.47 PMCalgary agency Trigger is urging the city’s residents to boycott the major food delivery services, which charge restaurants a significant commission fee, and order directly from the restaurants instead.

Through a series of Instagram posts, the agency is urging Calgarians to “skip Skip the Dishes,” “avoid Uber eats” and “ditch DoorDash.”

Alberta restaurants were set to open their doors for the first time in two months last week, only for the provincial government to issue a last-minute reversal requiring them to remain closed through at least May 25. That left restaurants with a lot of excess inventory, but no patrons.

The commissions charged by the popular food delivery apps have become a hot-button issue during the self-isolation period which has seen use of the services spike. A growing number of people say that the fees, which can be as high as 30% in the case of Uber Eats, are unfairly onerous on restaurants struggling to survive the lockdown.



David Brown