The Really Brief — Week of November 23

Nov. 25

It just would’t be Christmas without a brand introducing its own fireplace channel, but we have to admit that we didn’t expect it to be GO Transit. The Metrolinx brand has launched a one-hour YouTube video featuring its mascot, GO Bear, sitting in front of a fire and engaging in activities like drinking cocoa, looking at his iPad and playing mobile games. “We hope that in sharing them at this time of year our riders we will be delighted and continue to emotionally connect with our brand,” said Mark Childs, chief marketing and communications officer for Metrolinx.

Nov. 23

Loblaw will soon be deploying a small fleet of self-driving delivery vehicles across the Greater Toronto Area. It’s being described as “the first autonomous delivery fleet in Canada.” The trucks, from the autonomous tech company Gatik, will operate seven days a week, 12 hours a day on public roads around the city, delivering products from Loblaw’s automated picking facility to retail locations.

The trucks have a safety driver to start, although Betakit reports the goal is to operate the fleet without drivers.

“As more Canadians turn to online grocery shopping, we’ve looked at ways to make our supply chain more efficient. Middle-mile autonomous delivery is a great example,” said Lauren Steinberg, senior vice-president, Loblaw Digital. “With this initial roll-out in Toronto, we are able to move goods from our automated picking facility multiple times a day to keep pace with PC Express online grocery orders in stores around the city.”

Stephen Thomas, the Toronto agency that focuses on non-profit clients, has just been awarded a two-year direct response assignment for the Arthritis Society.

The mandate includes developing a fully integrated, bilingual direct-response fundraising program, including strategic counsel, copywriting, artwork, production, data segmentation, digital and tele-fundraising.

“The truth is that for many non-profit organizations across Canada, the need for fundraising is greater today than it was last year because of COVID-19,” said Liz Attfield, vice-president, strategic services for ST. “Some charities, particularly those who are non-COVID-19 related, are reticent to ask for money. However at ST, we believe that one of the central tenets of the Canadian fundraising narrative is that asking is necessary and that it is our responsibility to advocate for our clients and for the fundraising profession as a whole.”

Cossette has promoted Stacey Masson to vice-president, marketing and communications.

With 20 years of experience in communications, crisis management and marketing communications, Masson previously worked with Telus, Hydro-Québec and Germain Hotels.

“As an organization, we know the value of having senior communications leadership and we’re continuing to elevate this strategic role within our structure,” said Mélanie Dunn, CEO of Cossette.

“In her three years at Cossette, Stacey’s earned a reputation as a talented people leader, strategic thinker and passionate brand ambassador who has made invaluable contributions to our clients, our business and our culture.”


David Brown