‘Harveh’s’ touts its all-Canadian burgers

Who: Harveys, with Giants & Gentlemen, Brave Productions (directed by Paul Giannetta), Saints Editorial, In Laws Audio and Jules Casting. Media by Genuine Media.

What: “Harv-eh’s,” a new campaign touting the QSR’s 100% Canadian ingredients and underscoring the fact the chain has been “proudly Canadian” since 1959. It’s also promoting a partnership with the tree planting charity Tree Canada, which will see it plant more than 25,000 spruce trees—a quintessentially Canadian tree the Canadian Wildlife Federation calls the “backbone of many northern forests”—before the end of the year.

When & Where: The campaign is running across TV and online beginning today and running through July 4. It includes a 15- and 30-second spot, with the TV buy from Genuine Media including Sportsnet, CBC, TSN, CP24, Discovery and History.

Why: Harvey’s is touting the 100% Canadian ingredients that are a fundamental part of its burgers, as well as the new partnership with Tree Canada. It also continues the brand-focused approach it introduced with the “Be a Burger Boss” campaign earlier this year. “Quite simply, the brief was ‘It doesn’t get more Canadian than Harvey’s,'” said Brandon Tralman-Baker, associate creative director, writer with G&G.

Quality ingredients and the ability to customize every sandwich are key brand differentiators for Harvey’s, and its messaging will continue to emphasize those attributes, said senior director of marketing Chelsea Kellock. “The shift to brand-forward marketing and brand awareness campaigns like ‘Burger Boss’ is to simply better share this story and let Canadians make the decision.”

How: The spot itself is a simple construct: two men sitting in a booth (remember that?), and one stating how much he loves Harvey’s. His friend corrects him, saying it’s actually pronounced “Harv-eh’s, with a Canadian E-H.”

His friend responds that that’s not how you spell Harvey’s, but the man insists it’s appropriate, since Harvey’s hamburgers are made from 100% Canadian beef, 100% Canadian bacon and cheese. Oh, and it’s also planting Canadian spruce trees. “That’s like the most Canadian thing ever, dude,” he says.

“Knowing we had a lot to say in very little time, we had to find a shorthand [way] to communicate the brand’s Canadian pride, including all of its homegrown ingredients and Tree Canada partnership,” said Tralman-Baker. “Harveh’s was the solution.”

Wait, isn’t that…? Yep, that’s actor Ben Skipper, who we last saw playing the Towel Boy barking out hilariously nonsensical instructions to hockey players in the “Be a Burger Boss” campaign’s launch spot earlier this year.

Tralman-Baker said that the idea of casting Skipper was to create some continuity between longer-term marketing efforts like “Burger Boss,” while recognizing that the core messages in the two campaigns are distinct. “We loved the enthusiasm [Skipper] brought to the table in his ‘Burger Boss’ debut, and thought he would be the perfect advocate for our very Canadian Harvey’s burger,” he said.

The sustainability story: The partnership with Tree Canada is the latest in a series of eco-friendly initiatives, including sustainable beef sourcing and converting 80% of its packaging to recycled materials. Harvey’s is donating a portion of all in-restaurant and DoorDash sales to the tree-planting program, and is inviting guests to make an additional $1 donation at purchase.

And we quote: “Harvey’s is a relatively small, Canadian-only brand competing against massive global national players—and with a modest 300 locations in Canada versus these bigger players, there are many Canadians that simply don’t know or have tried Harvey’s. We believe we have the best flame-grilled quality burgers and—by letting guests customize their burger or sandwich exactly to their taste—that we have a superior offering.” — Chelsea Kellock, senior director of marketing, Harvey’s

Chris Powell