The Really Brief — Week of Nov. 2

Nov. 3

HomeEquity Bank and Zulu Alpha Kilo have once again partnered with the Royal Canadian Legion for a program promoting the organization’s annual digital poppy drive. This year’s activation is built around what is described as the world’s oldest esports team, called “Team Legion.”

Comprised of a group of WWII veterans, “Team Legion” will gather on the gaming live-streaming site Twitch on Remembrance Day to share their stories and invite players to lay down their controllers for a moment of silence. Team Legion features an esports-inspired logo and the number 11, a nod to the moment of silence that takes place each year at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11. Last year’s campaign, #PauseToRemember, garnered participation from nearly one million gamers in 114 countries.

“We want to continue to connect with a younger audience and ensure that the importance of Remembrance Day is not forgotten,” said Legion Dominion president Thomas D. Irvine. “Going into online gaming communities allows us to help educate those who may not know about Remembrance Day and why it so important that we support our veterans.”

Several high-profile Canadians including HomeEquity Bank spokesperson Kurt Browning, as well Justin Bieber, Margaret Atwood, Sandra Oh, Ashley Callingbull and Kevin Bieska, will serve as campaign ambassadors to champion the digital poppy on social media.

Nutella has partnered with Food Banks Canada to donate 200,000 breakfasts to Canadian families in need this holiday season. “This year has been a struggle for so many Canadians and we’re proud to partner with Food Banks Canada to support our communities and thousands of Canadian families,” said Joanne Farber, director of marketing, Nutella. Purchases of jars of Nutella bearing the Food Banks Canada logo will be converted into a donation to the charity.

“Food banks across Canada have been deeply impacted by the pandemic, in a host of different ways,” said Foods Banks Canada CEO Chris Hatch. “That’s why we are so grateful to supporters like Nutella. With their donation, we will be able to help those living with food insecurity throughout the year and especially during the upcoming holiday season.”

Reprise, part of the Mediabrands network, has launched a global specialty ecommerce unit called Reprise Commerce. The agency said the new unit combines its existing ecommerce capabilities with “additional in-depth retail experience added over the past year.”

 “I’m incredibly proud of the capabilities the Reprise team is delivering to our clients and am even more excited to now be uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between sales and marketing through fully integrated ecommerce solutions,” said Matt Ramella, managing director at Reprise Canada.

Outdoor media specialists Signpatico and Media City have merged their networks and platforms into a new brand called Vendo Media. The new entity has more than 240 digital faces in 73 markets across Canada. It inventory spans premium office venues, shopping centres and a commuter network.

“When we looked at the synergistic fit of ad spaces, DOOH markets and teams, this just made perfect sense,” said Media City CEO Sylvio Deluca. “More importantly, we are now able to bring scale to ad agencies and advertisers and make our assets easy to buy with a company that is going to be flexible.”

Nov. 2

Steam Whistle Brewing has been running an outdoor and digital campaign to position itself as Canada’s premium beer, with some help from Google.

Simple outdoor billboards feature the headline: “Hey Google, what is Canada’s premium beer?” The payoff comes when someone actually asks Google Assistant, which recites a short informational pitch about Steam Whistle and directs the questioner to the Steam Whistle site.

“For the past 20 years we have been focused on brewing Canada’s finest beer and winning the hearts and minds of Canadian beer lovers,” said Greg Taylor co-founder and CEO Steam Whistle Brewing.

“Our approach to crafting beer, our commitment to sustainability, our history, our branding and, most importantly, our high-quality beer has positioned Steam Whistle nicely to be Canada’s premium beer.”

Toronto PR shop Kaiser Lachance Communications has rebranded as Kaiser Communications and introduced a new visual identity as it enters its 10th year.

President Janine Allen said that the combination of fewer local media outlets, concerns around credibility and influence, and changing media consumption habits means that communications professionals must provide an expanded number of services and “business-defining strategic counsel.”

We have always been proudest of the relationships we build with our clients, the media, suppliers and associates and there is no higher compliment than when they refer to us as their partner,” said Allen. “Not surprisingly, the need for true partners has been critical during these past few months.”

Chris Powell