The Really Brief — Week of October 26

October 28

Hellmann’s Canada has returned to the popular Nintendo game Animal Crossing: New Horizons with a Halloween-themed promotion pointing out that there’s nothing scarier than food waste. Hellmann’s Halloween Island will once again lets players turn in their spoiled turnips (the in-game currency), with each turnip converted into one of up to 25,000 meals for Canadians in need through a partnership with Second Harvest.

The in-game island also includes a virtual pumpkin carving station, a canola maze, a pumpkin patch, as well as a haunted house and cemetery. The mayonnaise brand has also created a series of free downloadable costumes inspired by commonly wasted food items, such as “Spooky Fish Skeleton,” “Creepy Leftover Carrot Costume” and “Frightful Bacon Fat.” Non-players can also participate by creating their own scary food waste costume at home and sharing a picture on social using the hashtag #HellmannsIsland. The brand will donate up to an additional 1,000 meals for each costume pictured.


Innocean Worldwide Canada has announced two new hires: Christine Charles as integrated producer, and Blair Weyersberg, who joined earlier this month as account supervisor.

Charles joins the agency’s full-service studio, and will be responsible for developing and producing videos alongside its accounts, creative and video editors. She joins the agency from TVO, where she spent more than a decade managing and producing video and digital assets.

Weyersberg will work on the agency’s brand experiences team, with a primary focus on developing and executing what he describes as “innovative brand experiences” for Kia Canada, with a particular emphasis on its CHL sponsorship and auto shows.

Prior to joining Innocean, Weyersberg spent two years at Publicis Emil, developing national campaigns for Mercedes-Benz. He has also worked at Ogilvy, MakeLab and the T1 Agency.

Conagra Brands Canada’s Gardein brand is inviting Canadians to break up the monotony of their everyday routine by cheating—on meat.

The plant-based brand is encouraging Canadians to substitute one of its products for meat at least once a week, and is inviting people to take a personality quiz at to see which of its products they should be having a food affair with. The first 5,000 participants will receive a $1 off coupon, while participants can also enter a contest to win a year’s supply of Gardein products.

The multiple-choice questions include “what do you initially look for in a partner?” and “what’s your idea of a perfect vacation?”

“Gardein’s wide variety of delicious plant-based alternatives make it the perfect brand to cheat on meat with,” said Conagra Brands Canada VP and general manager Ian Roberts. “With one-quarter of Canadians wanting to add more plant-based options to their diets it is the fastest growing food category in Canada.”

October 27

Its employees may be working from home, but to ensure they all get their flu shot this year, health-focused agency Klick Health is taking the flu shots to them.

The company has converted two Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Vans into mobile flu shot clinics, complete with registered nurses, to visit Klick employees who sign up for the shot.

“The safety and wellbeing of our team is paramount; that’s why we’re taking our normal in-office flu shot clinic on the road and literally rolling it out to hundreds of Klicksters’ homes,” said Klick’s chief people officer, Glenn Zujew. “It’s another example of our people-first culture and how we’ve been adapting our internal programs with different, out-of-the-box thinking to keep our Klicksters as happy, healthy, and engaged as ever.”

doug&partners has expanded its senior management team with the promotions of Julie Haroutunian (left) to vice-president of client service, and Moxie Garrett to vice-president of digital experience.

“Julie is a true professional and an excellent communicator. She believes in the power of strong relationships and is a creative problem-solver,” said CEO Doug Robinson.

“Moxie possesses a breadth of working knowledge that extends from SEO, SEM, social media, UX, AI, data analytics, video and content-driven marketing to basic display and simple OOH digital boards,” he added.

Well-known production house executive Marni Luftspring has officially started her own company, Feels Like Home, with a roster of 11 successful and award-winning directors.

Luftspring was most recently at Spy Films, where she was managing partner and head of sales. Prior to that, she spent several years with Industry Films.

“It was clear that the time had come for me to be in control of my own destiny and carve out my own exciting path,” she says. “I had spent over 20 years working at top world-class production companies, developing and nurturing talent, building international and domestic relations, and working hard to develop smart integral business strategies. Now is the time for me to step up and create an exciting and vibrant culture of my own that I can be incredibly proud of.”

Canadian toy company Spin Master is in the middle of a special promotion with Pizzaville that is specially designed for families that are staying home in their bubbles more often these days.

The Family Game Night special combines two large pizzas and sides with the Spin Master game Hedbanz. The promotion is being supported by a multi-media ad campaign that includes TV, radio and flyers distributed to 700,000 homes, along with a range of digital tactics.

Giants & Gentlemen has made two new hires in recent weeks, adding Mary Ruf as vice-president, business lead on RBC, and Becky May as associate creative director.

Ruf (right) has held senior agency posts at McCann and BBDO. “We are thrilled to have Mary join our growing agency,” said Gino Cantalini, co-founder and COO. “We count ourselves blessed that we were able to bring on such a talented, respected and decent human being to our team.”

May, a highly awarded art director who has previously worked at DDB and Rethink, will be partnered with writer Logan Broger.

David Brown