The Really Brief—Week of May 19

To launch the new pre-mixed Craft Caesar beverage for client Walter just ahead of national Caesar Day in Canada (May 20), Camp Jefferson decided to show how much some people hated the new product. The idea is that people either love Caesars or hate them, and the more the haters can’t stand it, the more enthusiasts love it.

The agency created “de-testimonials” from the haters to run across digital, OOH and print. “If you hate Caesars, you’ll really hate this,” reads one OOH execution. In a video spot, three haters are convinced to try the new ready-to-drink version, each of whom is comically repulsed by the taste. “It’s, like, changing my voice,” says one.

Also for National Caesar Day, The Keg is turning condo balconies into Keg-style patios and offering takeout Caesar kits to recreate its version of the famous drink (the restaurant claims to have sold 26 million of them since 1971).

The Keg’s take-home Keg Caesar cocktail includes Polar Ice Vodka, Keg Caesar mix, celery salt, spicy beans, celery, limes, Tabasco and Worcestershire for $25. The Keg banners are also being draped over some influencers’ condo balconies with the message: “Celebrate at home with your Keg favourites” (watch out for the outraged threads on condo Facebook groups and letters to condo boards).

“We wanted nothing more than to celebrate Caesar Day in-person,” said May Yousif, director of marketing for The Keg. “Until we can meet again safely to host the best reunion celebrations Canada has ever seen, we’re finding ways to make at-home dining a little more special.”

FCB has added four strategists to its team. Ally Dwyer-Joyce, most recently at Leo Burnett, joins as senior strategist, senior social content strategist Daisy Qin spent the last five years at Grip Ltd.; senior content strategist Karan Rana has worked at Ogilvy, Publicis, and Cheil; and Karlene Antoine, most recently at Fuse Create, is FCB’s first consumer insights manager.

“We are continuing to evolve as a modern agency to meet the needs of the ever-changing marketplace and provide the solutions required to drive our clients’ business,” said Shelley Brown, FCB Canada’s chief strategy officer. “These new hires show a commitment to expanding our capabilities and we are thrilled that this group has joined FCB.”

Last month we told you about a playful campaign from Weber Grills Canada that featured Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, who famously traded the team’s star defensemen P.K. Subban to Nashville for another star defensemen, Shea Weber. In the ad, Bergevin stands at a Weber grill and winkingly delivers the line: “I’ve always known that Weber was the right choice.”

Now, just ahead of what will almost certainly be a futile attempt to defeat the far superior Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the NHL playoffs (CP: I eagerly await the Leafs’ inevitable post-season collapse), Weber has released a new Marc Bergevin ad. Once again the GM stands proudly beside a Weber grill, but this time the line is: “My Weber is ready for the playoffs, what about you?”

Weber Shandwick was named Canadian Agency of the Year and won Best of Show at PRovoke’s 2021 North America Sabre Awards last week.

The Platinum Sabre Award for Best in Show was for the Shoppable Girls campaign for Covenant House in Canada, developed with Taxi and Media Experts.

“Our focus over the past year has been in helping our teams and clients navigate and thrive in an environment riddled with constantly shifting and pervasive issues,” said Weber Shandwick Canada CEO Greg Power. “This award recognizes our teams’ ingenuity in a time that demands immense innovation, empathy and grit.”

Weber Shandwick’s “Go Near: Celebrating Local Travel Only On Airbnb” campaign for Airbnb was also in contention for Best of Show, while “Holiday Art Boxes” for Purolator won Best in Transportation & Logistics.

Volkswagen Group Canada has chosen bicom as its strategic public relations agency of record after running an RFP.

The agency will manage traditional media relations and influencer relations, as well as supporting the brand and its partners’ charitable efforts and social causes. VW’s current marketing platform, “Be the Change,” positions the automaker as working toward becoming a global leader in sustainable mobility.

“As Volkswagen continues on the journey of delivering on our core value pillars of inclusivity and sustainability, we are excited to partner with bicom to help demonstrate to Canadians our key actions and commitment to ‘Be the Change,'” said Lynne Piette, director, marketing at Volkswagen Canada.

“We can’t wait to introduce a new wave of consumers to Volkswagen’s electric vehicle (EV) offering and help broadcast their ‘Be the Change’ messaging for an accessible greener, more sustainable future ahead,” said bicom’s CEO and co-founder, Vicky Boudreau.

The Terry Fox Foundation has hired Denise Dias as vice-president, marketing and communications, effective July 5.

“We are delighted to welcome Denise to The Terry Fox Foundation, where she will be responsible for developing and overseeing all aspects of our brand, marketing, public relations, and digital communication strategies,” said CEO Michael Mazza in a statement. “It is a critical role that will not only increase overall public awareness and engagement but also support our ambitious fundraising and business development plans.”

Prior to joining The Terry Fox Foundation, Dias held senior management positions at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Edelman Canada, Rethink Breast Cancer, and GCI Canada. She is also a published author of multiple children’s books, a former fashion and travel writer whose work has appeared in the Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, Toronto Life, and HGTV.

The Canadian Cancer Society has appointed Roy Levine as its executive vice-president of marketing and communications. Levine has worked with CCS in a consulting capacity for the past 18 months.

Levine will oversee planning and strategy for marketing and communications campaigns, including branding, advertising, reputation management, corporate communications, internal and external communications.

“Every day we are working to save lives, improve lives, fund research and change the future. But it requires us to galvanize community support, compete for attention and reach people in ways that are meaningful to them. I’m looking forward to Roy’s leadership to help us deliver on our important mission for Canadians,” said CEO Andrea Seale.

Levine has more than 20 years of marketing experience working with top-tier brands.

“There has never been a greater opportunity for transformation in this industry than now as we rethink every aspect of our organization because of the impact the pandemic has had on donor revenue and service delivery,” Levine explains. “This comes at a time when the need for the services we provide reaches an all-time high. This is a genuinely exciting time to be at CCS”.


David Brown