The Really Brief — Week of September 8

Sept. 9

Clover Leaf Seafoods has selected Toronto’s Giants & Gentlemen as its agency of record following a formal review that launched in February. G&G was one of five agencies shortlisted for the assignment before the pitch was temporarily suspended in March because of the pandemic. It resumed as a virtual pitch in June.

“The pitch process was most certainly unique and adaptive. In an ideal world, we would have loved to meet everyone in person, but was thoroughly impressed with how G&G came together to show us who they are, what they stand for, and what they could deliver for us, virtually,” said Clover Leaf’s vice-president of marketing, Paul Gallagher.

The agency’s first work for Clover Leaf will be a fully integrated campaign including TV, OOH, digital and community management across the brand’s social channels.

The Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation has selected Toronto’s No Fixed Address as its agency of record following a formal review. Led by its Montreal office, NFA’s remit includes strategic planning, creative, media planning and buying, digital communications and PR in both official languages.

“We were impressed with the depth of NFA’s thinking and the fact that their model provides for truly integrated communications,” said Christina Haddad, the CHMC’s vice-president of communications and marketing.

“This is an enormous win for our Montreal operation,” said Jack Latulippe, NFA partner and chief creative officer. “CMHC has an extremely important mandate and we are thrilled to be a part of that and to be able to help CMHC succeed in its mission.”

Advertising intelligence firm Standard Media Index has made its first Canadian hire with the appointment of Jason Keown as vice-president of marketing. Reporting into SMI’s global CEO James Fennessy, Keown will be responsible for growing SMI’s marketing function, with a key focus on North American expansion.

Keown’s career has included senior marketing roles with Burger King and Grand & Toy, as well as media marketing roles with both Shaw Communications and Rogers Communications. He began his career in the agency world, with account roles at DDB, Cossette and Y&R.

“Jason’s vast experience within the Canadian media landscape will allow us to build strategies to grow our presence in the market, while using his marketing and digital expertise to drive our global vision,” said Fennessy.

Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities (Jumpstart) has created an $8 million sport relief fund aimed at helping local sports and recreation organizations deliver programming throughout the rest of the year and beyond.

The relief fund will provide support in the form of grants that will go toward covering programming and operational needs. Open from Sept. 12 to Oct. 4, the fund is available to eligible organizations demonstrating the greatest need.

According to a recent survey of 1,300 local sports organizations representing nearly four million members conducted by Sport for Life, 99% have been affected by the pandemic, 65% are unable to access emergency funding initiatives, and up to 21% might not recover without emergency support.

“As a charity that enables inclusive sport and play to help build stronger and healthier communities, we are doing everything in our power to maintain opportunities for kids to get involved beyond COVID-19,” said Jumpstart president Scott Fraser.

Jumpstart will also mark its 15th anniversary on Sept. 12 by illuminating 20 iconic Canadian buildings and landmarks in red and white.

Danone Canada’s Silk brand has announced a $100,000 commitment to Alus Canada’s New Acre Project, a corporate sponsorship program that enables brands to have a positive impact on the environment. It works to help farmers and ranchers build nature on their land one acre at a time, and consists of four pillars: improve wetlands, create habitats, build grasslands and protect species.

The financial commitment will support the management and restoration of 90 acres of Canadian farmland in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec over the next seven years, with a commitment to improving water quality and watershed health, develop new habitat for wildlife and combat the effects of climate change.

Sept. 8

Fulfilling the desires of young children everywhere, Pillsbury Canada has introduced cookie dough in ready-to-eat form. Safe to Eat Raw Cookie Dough features the familiar taste of raw cookie dough, but uses what Pillsbury describes as a “modified manufacturing process” that makes it safe to eat raw but provides the same performance and flavour when baked.

“We believe that everyday moments like baking and enjoying cookies together as a family last a lifetime, so we are excited that our refrigerated cookies are now ‘safe to eat raw,’ opening up the doors to so many more possibilities for fun family snack time,” said Paul Cuaso, associate director of meals and baking at General Mills Canada

Pillsbury says that all of its refrigerated cookie dough products will be transitioned to safe to eat raw by year’s end.

Eating raw cookie dough is practically a rite of passage for youngsters, but it does carry some health risks. According to UC Davis Children’s Hospital, raw flour can be contaminated with E. Coli, while raw eggs can be contaminated with salmonella.

Corona Canada has launched “Rediscover the Outdoors,” a travel auction program powered by Travelzoo designed to inject some much-needed money into local tourism by enabling consumers to bid on pre-purchased travel experience packages.

The auction site is open from today (Sept. 8) to Oct. 31 with experience packages in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. Additional packages in Atlantic Canada are being added tomorrow, with Quebec packages on Sept. 14.

Corona and Travelzoo have pre-purchased travel programs to provide an immediate investment in domestic tourism, with customers invited to bid on the packages in $10 increments. Opening bids for the packages begin at 50% of retail value, and winning bids cannot exceed the travel packages’ posted value.

“As a brand, Corona has long been synonymous with the enjoyment and discovery of nature and the great outdoors,” said Mike Bascom, senior marketing director, Corona Canada. “Having seen the devastating impact of the global pandemic on the Canadian travel industry this summer, we felt now was the time to launch a program that could help inspire greater awareness and support for local tourism, especially as we head into the fall/winter travel season.”

Angie Bird, the director of the award-winning “First Shave” for P&G’s Gillette has joined Toronto commercial studio Westside. Bird also received the 2016 Young Directors Award at Cannes for “Mean Tweets,” for the non-profit Raising the Roof and was shortlisted for a D&AD Next Director award in 2017 for her Salvation Army “Give Registry” campaign.

In addition to her commercial work, Bird is also a film director whose debut short You Won’t Regret that Tattoo had its world premiere at Hot Docs.

Chris Powell