The Really Brief — Week of March 1

March 3

The Globe and Mail has announced the winners of its second annual Best Executive Awards celebrating excellence among non-CEO leaders at the SVP, EVP and C-suite (or equivalent) levels. The winners represent the best of Canadian leadership in five categories: Finance; Human Resources; Operations; Sales and Marketing; and Technology.

The winning executives were selected following a call for nominations for Canadian leaders at public and private businesses, not-for-profits, associations and academic institutions. Nominations were assessed by the Globe‘s Report on Business editorial team based on career background, leadership style, achievements, and impact.

The 10 winners in the Sales and Marketing category are:

  • Louis Adam, chief marketing officer – EXFO
  • Hope Bagozzi, chief marketing officer – Tim Hortons
  • Vivian Chan, chief channel officer and head of North America sales – NexTech AR Solutions
  • Vanessa Eaton, executive vice-president – Proof Strategies
  • Paul Gartenburg, director, international sales – Pliteq Inc.
  • Tony Geheran, executive vice-president and chief customer officer – Telus
  • Carley George, vice-president, marketing – District Ventures
  • Donna Kinoshita, senior vice-president and chief strategy officer – Symcor
  • Iain MacNeil, chief revenue officer – Appnovation
  • Lisa Reid, country leader, P&G Beauty Canada – Procter & Gamble

The Best Executive Awards winners will be featured in the May issue of Report on Business magazine, and will share thier experiences and advice at a virtual event taking place on May 27.

HelloFresh has become the official meal kit partner of the Montreal Canadiens and has launched a new content series called “Dinner Goals” featuring team mascot Youppi and former player Steve Bégin. The videos are appearing on the Canadiens’ social channels.

‘It was important for us to partner with a cultural institution like the Habs, who are such a rich part of Montreal’s history,” sid HelloFresh founder and CEO Ian Brooks. “They are a cultural icon with a unique place in the hearts and minds of Montrealers and we want to speak directly to them. We want to celebrate and support this institution and let Montreal know we’re here and we’ve got meals everyone will love, game night or any night.”  The videos feature a code redeemable for an $80 savings on HelloFresh orders.

March 2

McDonald’s Canada promoted its McDelivery service in Quebec with an ad that ran in the print and digital editions of the free daily Journal Métro. The “On a platter” ad from Cossette featured pint-sized versions of the QSR’s staple menu items, a Big Mac, fries and a coke, being carried on the screen of a mobile device as though it were one of its trays. McDonald’s missed its Q4 earnings expectations as the pandemic negatively affected in-store sales, but CFO Kevin Ozan said during a December earnings call that delivery sales “increased meaningfully” across major markets.

Little Caesar’s has launched a program called “Pizza Night Hockey” to mark its new designation as the NHL’s official pizza delivery partner. With fans unable to watch games in-person this season, the pizza brand is buying “naming rights” to what it calls “micro sport-watching locations,” such as people’s living rooms and dens.

According to a “contract” housed at, fans will grant Little Caesar’s exclusive naming rights to their “fan cave” in exchange for an exclusive Little Caesar’s deal each week and a “pretty sweet sign” for their game-watching room. A second phase of the campaign launching later this month will see the brand execute what it calls “Pizza Night Hockey” social negotiations, giving fans the ability to negotiate with the brand to “increase their brand presence” in exchange for even more free pizza.

“We wanted to engage fans who aren’t having the same NHL experience as they normally would this year,” said Ken Harrison, director of marketing at Little Caesars Canada. “With Pizza Night Hockey, our goal was to bring that excitement of being at an official sponsored arena to consumers in a fun and engaging way truly representative of the Little Caesars brand personality.” The program is launching in Canada before being rolled out into the U.S. It was developed by No Fixed Address, with Jungle Media.

Leo Burnett Canada has promoted Man Wai Wong to group creative director, design. Wong has spent more than nine years at Leo, most recently as design director.

She has worked with brands including Amazon, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the LCBO and TD. In her new role, she will be responsible for leading the agency’s design team, working closely with the agency’s co-chief creative officer, Lisa Greenberg.

“Man Wai is one of this generation’s most thoughtful and talented designers,” said Greenberg, who has worked with Wong for nearly a decade. “She will continue to bring incredible value to our clients through design thinking that can transform human behaviour.”

March 1

Strategic Objectives has been named PR and social media agency of record for the outdoor grill business Weber-Stephen Canada (Weber) after competing in two competitive RFPs. “We selected Strategic Objectives as our partner based on their outstanding track record for powerful, award-winning storytelling, expertise in the Quebec market, and their deep-rooted knowledge of the Canadian media and influencer landscape,” said Patricia Larez, Weber-Stephen Canada’s vice-president of marketing. “We are excited to collaborate to drive consumer interest and continue driving rapid growth.”

Salvador Valdez (who goes by Sol) has joined School Editing. The  English, French, and Spanish-speaking Montrealer has cut spots for several agencies, including Sid Lee, Cossette, lg2, Publicis and The&Partnership, including partnering with director Ivan Grbovic on last year’s holiday spot for Canada Post, “A street named joy.”

“We were delighted to make a connection with Sol,” said School Editing executive producer/partner Sarah Brooks. “His creative and technical skills are beyond compare. Sol developed his editorial style working closely with directors and creative teams in the Quebec market. With the evolution of remote editing capabilities, we have the opportunity to introduce new talent, like Sol to the Toronto market. He is incredibly thoughtful and collaborative.”

Toronto’s Westside Studio has added acclaimed food director Ryan Szulc to its roster. The Toronto-based Szulc (pronounced Schultz) specializes in food and food culture, with a commercial film reel that features work for brands including Country Harvest, Boston Pizza, Casa Mendosa, President’s Choice and Maple Leaf Foods.

“Ryan is an outstanding food director and a real master at his craft,” said Westside Studio executive producer Eugene Marchio in a release. “His attention to every detail is undeniable and really comes through in his work.”

Szulc is also a highly regarded food photographer who has shot more than 50 cookbooks, many of which have gone on to win awards.



Chris Powell