The Really Brief — Week of November 16

November 17

McCann Montreal has named Badr El Fekkak vice-president of strategy, responsible for strategic planning across key clients including Nespresso, L’Oréal, Maybelline, General Motors and Export Development Canada. He will also work with other McCann clients seeking business opportunities in the Quebec market, while sitting on McCann Canada’s strategic planning council.

El Fekkak was previously at Vice Media, where he was responsible for strategic alliances, joint ventures and partnerships. Prior to joining Vice, he held senior strategic planning roles at Bleu Blanc Rouge, Cossette and Bob, leading strategy for clients including McDonald’s, Aeroplan, BDC, Unilever and Desjardin.

November 16

Sustainable clothing brand tentree—which plants 10 trees around the world for every item it sells—is marking the planting of its 50 millionth tree with a new social video campaign, and is pledging to plant another tree for every share of the video. As of Monday, it had been shared 60,000 times.

According to tentree, the planting of 50 million trees means the removal of millions of tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere; 500,000 hours of work to lift communities out of poverty; 5,000 hectares of land reforested and fewer wildfires and floods. The Vancouver-based company has a stated goal of planting one billion trees worldwide by 2030.

“This isn’t about celebrating a milestone for tentree. This is a milestone for our customers, who have supported our company and allowed us to make these meaningful contributions to our planet,” said tentree CEO and co-founder Derrick Emsley. “Our customers are helping us change the world. We’re just the vehicle. Let’s plant some more trees.”

The awkward teens from Metrolinx‘s “Transit change. It’s happening” campaign are back in a new social media-led effort from Leo Burnett. The four 15-second videos are appearing on paid Instagram Stories and organically on Instagram Reels, driving people to the Metrolinx, GO Transit and Up Express landing pages for information on the various projects.

The latest instalment in the campaign, which likens Metroxlinx’s ongoing system updates to the awkward teenage phase, mimics the style of TikTok and Instagram Reel videos, featuring the teens contemplating some of the upcoming improvements to Metrolinx, such as wifi on the GO Bus, and the improved Union Station bus terminal.

“We wanted to reach transit users in a new way, so we set out to create a social led campaign for the brand,” said Shauna Roe, senior copywriter Leo Burnett. “The creative lives on social platforms that are natural channels for our ‘awkward talent.’ Consumers are left with a sense of relatability and understanding that Metrolinx is building something really special for the region, while also acknowledging the inconvenience construction can cause.”

The campaign is running across the GTA and Hamilton areas until November 29. PHD Canada led media.

Becel Canada is promoting its new Plant-Based Bricks—vegan products that taste and cook like dairy butter —with a holiday-themed campaign built around the concept of how baking brings people together. The campaign from Edelman includes a partnership with six influencers in the food space, who are using Becel products to create holiday treats.

It also includes a contest component called “Bake a Difference,” offering Canadians the opportunity to win $10,000 for themselves and an additional $10,000 for the charity of their choice. The contest is being promoted in-store, as well as through digital and social. DentsuX handled media for the campaign, 6Degrees for contesting and Advantage for in-store and shopper marketing.  

Neighbourhood app Nextdoor Canada has partnered with RBC on a new initiative aimed at connecting local businesses with potential customers in their community. The goal of “Open for Business, powered by RBC” is to revitalize local businesses by connecting them with community members.

The partnership is built around a new suite of features including “Business Posts” and “Local Deals,” in which local businesses can run a free post letting app users know that they’re open for business, or a post promoting a sale, discount or other incentive in specific neighbourhoods. RBC’s business clients will receive two additional Business Posts and a free Local Deal—both posts ordinarily cost $125—for a limited time.

“Partnering with RBC will help us ensure small businesses in Canada have the opportunity to connect with their neighbours,” said Nextdoor Canada country manager Christopher Doyle. “Word of mouth has always been a major part of our platform with neighbours recommending the businesses that make their community so vibrant.”


Chris Powell