SkipTheDishes creative moves to McCann

SkipTheDishes is moving its creative business to McCann Canada after its parent company, Amsterdam-based, consolidated its global creative assignment with McCann Worldgroup.

The move marks the end of a fruitful three-year relationship between SkipTheDishes and Arrivals + Departures, whose winking ads featuring Mad Men star Jon Hamm as an “ordinary Canadian guy” were instrumental in propelling the Canada-only brand into a leadership position within the food delivery segment.

“It’s unfortunate, but globalization is a reality sometimes in this business, particularly when you see the category consolidate as quickly as this one has,” said Arrivals + Departures partner, president Mike Bevacqua in an email statement to The Message. “We’ll forever be friends with the Skip team and fans of the brand. We wish them nothing but the best of success moving forward.”

Global creative for Just Eat Takeaway’s Just Eat and brands will be led by McCann London. The network won Just Eat’s global creative assignment in 2018, and is responsible for the “Did somebody say Just Eat?” ads starring hip-hop artist Snoop Dogg.

McCann president Ryan Timms said that SkipTheDish’s outsized role within Just Eat Takeaway’s global portfolio will allow the agency to not only continue producing strong local work, but also potentially become a “key contributor” to the brand’s global marketing efforts. UM, McCann’s sister media agency, won the SkipTheDishes business in 2019.

“We work with all sorts of Canadian-specific organizations, so the depth of knowledge of what it takes to do well in Canada is significant,” he said. “We bring what any great Canadian agency brings to the table, but what we also bring is this network behind us.

“SkipTheDishes gets the best of both worlds: they get this great local talent and capabilities, coupled with a company that knows how to navigate global clients and can make sure that Canada is well-represented within that system.”

One of the largest questions arising out of the account move is what it will mean for Jon Hamm’s role as SkipTheDishes’ spokesperson. Arrivals + Departures has developed more than 30 pieces of creative featuring Hamm since 2018, and they have garnered millions of views on YouTube alone. “In our opinion Arrivals + Departures and the Skip team have created one of the most recognizable, memorable and beloved campaigns in the country,” said Bevacqua.

Timms was non-committal when asked about Hamm’s future role with the brand, although he did note that McCann-Erickson Worldwide was the final career stop of his most famous character, Mad Men‘s Don Draper (whose fictitious LinkedIn profile notes that he’s been with the agency for more than 48 years).

“Honestly, there are conversations, but there is no answer [about Hamm’s future] yet,” said Timms. “What I know is that the work Arrivals + Departures has done with Skip is some of the most familiar work that Canadians have consumed in the last few years.

The agency will take “the utmost care” as it takes over the creative reins, he said. “Part of this is exploring a new platform, but whether or not Jon Hamm plays a role is something we haven’t [determined] yet.”

On its website, says that it utilizes a single brand identity in each country it operates, enabling it to concentrate its marketing efforts. Its primary brands are Just Eat and, although SkipTheDishes and New Zealand’s Menulog are among its other single market brands.

Timms said that McCann began on-boarding the SkipTheDishes business last week, and the agency has not yet made any specific appointments relating to the business. The account win comes as food delivery services step up their efforts to gain share in a fast-growing consumer segment, with both Uber Eats and DoorDash launching high-profile campaigns in recent months.

“For any company to grow share, there’s a need to appeal to a lot of different people,” said Timms. “This is the kind of product and service that needs to resonate with all sorts of folks across the country, and [Skip and McCann] both know that part of the job here is how do we make sure that this brand is in a position to resonate with all Canadians regardless of geography, and to make sure the work is going to achieve that kind of attraction and help drive that preference.”

Chris Powell