The Really Brief — Week of July 5

July 9

With its annual marquee fundraiser the “CN Tower Climb for Nature” on hold because of the pandemic, WWF Canada has come up with an alternative solution.

The organization has partnered with Toronto street artist birdO and production company Makers to create a one-of-a-kind EV that is being raffled off in a contest called “The Wildest Ride.”

The grand prize winner will work with birdO to have a custom work of art painted on the roof of a Nissan EV. The contest also includes a $15,000 cash prize, five IKEA gift cards, a trip for two to Costa Rica and sustainable jewelry.

Molson Coors is selling new bikes for just 99 cents to help promote the company’s RTD vodka brand AriZona Hard. The limited-edition bikes—with designs inspired by the three different flavours—will be given out at the website July 13.

“From can-in-hand to stylish merch, Canadians love to sport those bright AriZona cherry blossoms—so we were inspired, especially with the launch of two new AriZona Hard flavours,” said Michelle Sowinski, senior marketing manager, AriZona Hard, in a release. “These retro design bikes, at the original AriZona price tag of 99 cents, will have Canadians feeling nostalgic and having fun all summer long.”

WestJet has pulled a new ad campaign that was the airline’s first work since before the pandemic. The “Victoria” campaign from Rethink featured a grandfather who was travelling to meet his granddaughter for the first time.

When contacted by The Message, WestJet provided the following statement: “As you know, WestJet recently launched a campaign to remind Canadians of one of the many reasons to love travel. Last week we were made aware of information about the video that has caused us concerns. We have withdrawn the campaign and are revisiting our marketing efforts to celebrate with Canadians the many reasons to love where they’re going.”

When asked about what specific information led to the decision, WestJet’s director of marketing communications Rob Daintree declined to elaborate further. “Unfortunately we are not able to provide any details regarding our decision, and are focused on establishing next steps regarding future brand communications,” he said.

July 8

Waterloo Brewing has chosen Zulu Alpha Kilo as its new agency partner following a competitive review that included seven agencies. The assignment will include brand strategy, creative and production.

“We set out to find a passionate agency partner that can help us energize our brands for continued long-term sustainable growth,” said Waterloo Brewing president and CEO George Croft. “Zulu really stood out because of their incredible creative work, category experience, and unique integrated production model.”

“As we met with Waterloo Brewing team throughout this process, not only did we feel great chemistry, but we really believed in the vision George and his team have to break the mold and chart new territory,” said Zulu Alpha Kilo president and CEO Mike Sutton. “Most of all, their belief in craftsmanship and innovation aligns well with who we are as an agency.”

July 5

There’s some debate about whether pineapple belongs on pizza (we think it’s an abomination), but there’s no mistaking that it belongs on a Hawaiian shirt.

Pizza Hut Canada has created a limited-edition shirt celebrating arguably the most divisive pizza topping of them all. According to Pizza Hut, its new brightly coloured Hawaiian Pizza Shirt features a “pizza-shaped pocket, blooming pizza slices and a pineapple island.”

“We wanted to celebrate the origins of this polarizing dish the only way we know how: With more pizza,” said Amy Rozinksy, Pizza Hut Canada’s head of consumer marketing. “We are so excited to launch this limited edition Pizza Wear to pineapple-on-pizza fans everywhere.”

According to Pizza Hut’s research, 30% of Canadians believe that pineapple should never be anywhere near pizza, with many so vehemently anti-pineapple they’d prefer everything from mashed potatoes, to ketchup and eggs. Pizza Hut is giving away shirts via its Instagram page. Maybe next year anchovy shirts?

Online automotive marketplace CarGurus has launched a new Canadian TV campaign called “Consumer Confidence” that aims to restore Canadians’ confidence in purchasing a car.

According to its recent CarGurus Buyer Insight Report, only about half of Canadians (54%) report feeling “very confident” when shopping for a new car, with 34% often feeling uncertain.

The campaign launched on June 30 and features six spots (three 30s and three 15s) airing on conventional and specialty networks, as well as digital channels. All three spots, “WFH” (below), “Contortionist” and “Haircut,” feature people who are confident because they has mastered the car-buying process with the help of CarGurus. The ads were developed by L.A. agency MuteSix.

“Particularly with used cars, knowing what a fair price is can be very challenging for the average consumer,” said CarGurus CMO Sarah Welch. “With this Consumer Confidence campaign, we’re aiming to demonstrate our consumer-centric approach and how we empower customers with the insights and details that matter for buying a used car.”

With cottage season now in full swing, the LCBO has launched a new awareness campaign alerting Ontarians to the dangers of drinking and driving.

Working with agency partner Public, Ontario’s liquor authority created a series of Muskoka chairs made from metal salvaged from cars involved in serious crashes. The chairs will be displayed outside of LCBO locations in Toronto, Ottawa, Gravenhurst and Huntsville.

“While responsible consumption is important year-round, now is the perfect time to offer a reminder that summer and drunk driving don’t mix,” said the LCBO’s chief marketing and digital officer, Vanda Provato. “We have an important role to play in helping educate and remind consumers of the gravity of driving while under the influence.” The chairs were created by Hamilton-based metal artist Trevor McIntyre of Imagine Metal Art.

Vancouver’s One Twenty Three West has introduced a tongue-in-cheek recruitment/retention campaign by hiring a (fictional) employee dubbed the “One Twenty Three West Booster.” According to a release, the Booster’s role is to show up during digital brainstorms, internal meeting, presentations and client meetings to “pump up the energy, praise ideas, and lift his Zoom-wearied colleagues’ spirits.”

The agency recruited CY Iwanegbe, a fitness trainer and wellness coach who has trained with the agency’s founder, president and CEO Scot Keith for several years. His role was captured in a mockumentary (below) shot at the agency’s Vancouver office, where the position was introduced during the all-agency meeting that starts the week.

The video features interviews with One Twenty Three West employees, who variously describe Iwanegbe as the personification of the fist bump emoji, combined with the hands praise emoji and a Rick Flair emoji. “He has the energy of all the emojis,” says one. “It sounds like something the creative team asked for,” says another. According to the agency, Iwanegbe will continue to appear in a series of remote training and wellness sessions.

PepsiCo Foods Canada‘s Cheetos brand has introduced a new maple leaf-shaped version of its snack food that comes in ketchup flavour.

“This summer, we wanted to add a uniquely Canadian twist to our collection of beloved snacks, [and] what better flavour is there than ketchup to expand our flavour offerings in Canada,” said Lisa Allie, senior marketing director — Frito Lay Core brands, PepsiCo Foods Canada.

The limited-edition snacks  are being sold in 170g and 54g bags.


Chris Powell