Stella and notable chefs bring Canadians a taste of home for the holidays

Who: Labatt Breweries of Canada (Stella Artois), with Anomaly for creative, Vizeum for media, Veritas Communications for PR, draftline yyz for web and content development.

What: A new holiday campaign, “A taste of home,” that is part of the brand’s ongoing “Rally for Restaurants” gift card program, a fundraiser for restaurants whose business has been upended by the pandemic.

When & Where: The ads will be running via social, digital and online starting Dec. 1.

Why: The goal is to bring attention to the Rally for Restaurants program, while highlighting food’s ability to bring people together at the holidays, particularly at a time when it’s harder for people to connect with loved ones, said Mike Bascom, senior marketing director, Stella Artois Canada. According to a recent Ipsos Canada survey conducted for Stella, 86% of people plan to limit the size or scale of their holiday gatherings, while 72% think it’s best to skip any travel this year.

“Canadians are celebrating in smaller groups, and not necessarily going home for the holidays like they usually would,” said Bascom. “So, what about those holiday meals we’ve all grown to love? We wanted to bring that story to life and help Canadians find that taste of home this holiday season bringing in a little bit of comfort to these uncertain times.”

How: The campaign debuted with a four-and-a-half minute video showing Craig Wong, the chef/owner of Toronto restaurant Patois—which describes itself as “Caribbean meets Asian soul food”—collaborating via video with a mother and sister to cook a Jamaican-inspired holiday dinner, including jerk turkey, for a woman who’s unable to celebrate the holidays with her family this year because of the pandemic.

The video includes some Stella product placement, but the food and the people making it are the main focus here. The video ends with the woman eating the Jamaican-inspired holiday meal at Patois, while connecting with her family through video-chat. Stella is also partnering with chefs from other popular restaurants to develop holiday meal kits featuring meals inspired by the participating chefs’ own “taste of home.”

Why long form video? It allowed Stella to fully capture the magic of holiday family traditions, said Bascom. “For us, it was all about the storytelling. Long-form content allows us to capture the special moments that families experience, and to profile the unique traditions and meals that Canadians look forward to each year.”

How is Rally for Restaurants going? Rally for Restaurants enables Canadians to purchase gift cards for restaurants that can be redeemed when the pandemic is over. To date, Canadians have purchased more than 15,000 gift cards worth more than $650,000 for more than 1,000 restaurants. “While we are proud to have the Stella Artois brand associated with such a program, we are even prouder to support the industry that is at the heart of our brands purpose,” said Bascom.


Chris Powell