Rethink makes top 10 of One Show finalists

Rethink’s high-profile work for Kraft Heinz Canada led to 25 finalist nods for this year’s One Show, the most among Canadian agencies and tied for ninth in the world in one of advertising’s most prestigious global awards shows.

Rethink’s tally includes work for clients in the consumer goods, beverage alcohol, retail and cannabis sectors, with the agency earning multiple nominations for each of its “Draw Ketchup,” “Heinz Ketchup Puzzle” and “Heinz on Film” campaigns on behalf of Heinz Ketchup.

The agency accounts for more than one-quarter of Canada’s 89 finalists this year, which is down from 152 in 2020.

“Draw ketchup,” in which people were asked to simply draw the condiment with no other explanation—resulting in a series of pictures referencing the iconic bottle shape—is nominated for a Pencil six times in categories including out-of-home, social media and direct marketing.

The “Heinz Ketchup puzzle” earned a total of five finalist nods, while “Heinz on film” garnered four and “Stick Together for Small Business” earned a single finalist appearance.

Rethink also made the finalist list for its “Make it Canadian” work on behalf of Molson Coors, as well as its “Rolling Paper Straws” work for Truss Beverages and two campaigns for IKEA Canada: “Baby Proof Spotify Ads” and “The Last Catalogue.”

Rethink Toronto managing partner and chief creative officer Aaron Starkman said the agency has adopted a “go, then grow” approach to creative across its roster (managing partner and ECD Mike Dubrick gets credit for coining the term).

“Something that has clicked for us in recent years has been getting ideas into the world even if there’s no giant 360-degree plan around those ideas, and seeing if they gain traction,” said Starkman. “And if they do, clients tend to invest in those ideas and grow them.

Rethink is tied with BBDO New York and BETC Paris for the ninth most finalist entries, just one behind Wieden+Kennedy, which has 26 finalists. Droga5 New York leads all agencies with 44 finalist entries (14 of them for Facebook), followed by FCBV New York with 35 finalists; DDB Chicago with 30; and AMVBBDO and TBWA\Media Arts Lab with 29 apiece (the latter all for its work with Apple).

FCB New York also had 27 finalists, 26 of them for “Michelob Ultra Courtside” for Michelob Ultra with Microsoft and the NBA. Israel’s Woojer, in collaboration with Area 23 New York and Claire’s Place Foundation’s, garnered an industry-leading 23 nods for its “Sick Beats” execution.

Among Canadian agencies, Ogilvy Toronto appears on the finalist list 15 times (co-credited with Ogilvy UK) for the “Courage is Beautiful” campaign for Dove, and Cossette appears 14 times—with multiple nominations for its “Moving Day” campaign on behalf of McDonald’s Canada, as well as the “Write For Your Rights” work on behalf of Amnesty International.

It also earned two finalist mentions, along with OMD Toronto, for its “SickKids VS. One Million Strong” campaign on behalf of SickKids Foundation, plus singles for its “Little Brats” campaign for Montreal Children’s Hospital (which also earned Montreal’s 4Zero1 a direction mention) and “A 9,984,670 sq. km brand” campaign for Destination Canada.

Lg2 received 10 finalist mentions split between Toronto and Montreal, including six in the print and out-of-home categories for work on behalf of guitar maker Atkin Guitars. Its Montreal office, along with Touché! and BLVD, received four nods for work on behalf of Sociéte de l’assurance automobile du Québec, while its Montreal office is among the finalists for its “Reflection” campaign for the Quebec Lifesaving Society.

Juniper Park\TBWA with Bolt Content earned a total of six mentions, all for its “Signal for Help” work on behalf of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, while FCB/Six Toronto also earned four finalists for its “Publicly Traded” campaign for condom brand LifeStyles.

The agency’s highly acclaimed “Go Back to Africa” campaign for travel organization Black & Abroad also earned an effectiveness nomination, while its sister FCB Toronto is on the list twice for its “Project Understood” project on behalf of the Canadian Down Syndrome Society.

Among the other finalists:

  • Taxi appears six times, with its Toronto office (along with Type1) earning three nods for “The Carbon Neutral Net” on behalf of Volkswagen Canada, as well as two for “Shoppable Girls” for Covenant House, and a single for “Door Exit Warning System” for Audi Canada;
  • Leo Burnett Toronto appears four times for the campaigns “Leo SOS,” “You Choose What They Chew” for Milk Bone, “Emoji Installation” for MOCA, and “Robin Hood Flour”;
  • Zulu Alpha Kilo garnered three finalist mentions for “The World’s Oldest E-sports Team,” and one for “Catch the Scam” for HomeEquity Bank Canada;
  • Paprika Montreal appears twice, both in the Design category;
  • Anomaly Toronto, with AB InBev/Bud Light Canada, Vizeum Canada and Veritas Communications for the feature-length documentary “Underplayed”;
  • dentsumcgarrybowen for “It’s Hard to Read” for Dyslexia Canada;
  • Forsman & Bordenfors Toronto with Eggplant Music + Sound and The Vanity, for “Trojan & Chill” for Church & Dwight’s Trojan condom brand;
  • Public for “The Care Salon” on behalf of the African and Caribbean Council on HIV/AIDS in Ontario (ACCHO):
  • Publicis Montreal for “The Street Doesn’t Come with Instructions” for dans la rue (In the Street);
  • Sid Lee Montreal for the “CN 100 Commemorative Book” for CN, and “Build the Vote” for Rock the Vote;
  • Jam3 is joined by Oculus, Respawn and Electronic Arts for “Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond.”

All of the finalists—a total of 1,666 from 53 countries—will win either a coveted One Show Pencil or Merit during a virtual show taking place during Creative Week on June 10, with Best of Discipline winners announced on June 1.

(This story has been updated)

Chris Powell