The Really Brief — Week of Aug. 9

Aug. 13

French’s Ketchup is leaning into its made-in-Canada credentials with a “Wear Your Local Pride” campaign that includes T-shirts featuring an artful ketchup mess.

The limited-edition shirt was designed by Quebec artist Antoine Tava and “inspired” by ketchup stains. The word “Local” is written in ketchup as an homage to hometowns and homegrown food, as well as memorable meals and support for one another. Consumers had a chance to get a shirt by visiting and sharing how they would wear their local pride this summer.

“[T]he idea of getting ketchup on your shirt is—most of the time—mortifying. This summer, it’s a sign of food well enjoyed, especially if it’s French’s Ketchup,” said David Holman, group marketing manager for French’s. “In 2021, we’re excited to help Canadians show local support and wear their pride directly on their sleeve—well, in this case, shirt.”

Nestle has changed its Smarties packaging from plastic to paper as part of a larger effort to use more environmentally friendly packaging for its candy. The company said the switch will divert up to 26 tonnes of plastic from Canadian landfills each year.

The paper being used in the new packaging is responsibly sourced and certified by third-party organizations including the Forest Stewardship Council and Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

Nestlé intends to make all of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025, while reducing its use of virgin plastics by one-third during the same period.
The new Smarties packaging says “Made with paper” on the front, and Smarties is conducting a public relations campaign that includes media relations, influencer partnerships, and TV segments.

With travel restrictions hopefully easing in the weeks and months ahead, RBC ran a new ad for its travel rewards card Avion during the Olympics.

Created by Toronto and Los Angeles-based creative agency Battery, and directed by Holiday Films’ Finn O’Hara, the spot focuses on a long neglected suitcase that has been stuck in a dark walk-in closet for almost a year-and-a-half. A voiceover “waxes poetic” about vacations past, until a woman’s hand grabs the suitcase and rolls it out: “Never mind, you’re going on vacation,” he says.

Aside from running on TV during Olympics programming, the spot also ran on digital and social.

BMW Group Canada has partnered with golf club operator ClubLink on a new test drive program called “Drive it Home.”

Available to ClubLink members at select prestige and premium level clubs across Ontario, the program allows them to reserve a BMW X7 or M850i Gran Coupé from their preferred ClubLink location for up to 72 hours. Members who complete the drive experience will be entered into a draw for prizes including a grand prize of a BMW Cruise Bike. The program runs through Oct. 31 and has already garnered more than 220 registrations, said BMW.

“BMW and ClubLink are synonymous with precision, passion, and performance,” said Andrew Scott, director of BMW brand management. “We are thrilled to form a partnership built on our shared values of continuous innovation and premium customer service.”

Aug. 12

McDonald’s iconography has lent itself to multiple campaigns making great use of visual puns over the years, and the fast-food giant is back with a new campaign from Cossette that uses Adirondack chairs as representations of signature menu items like French fries and McCafe coffee.

The Quebec-only campaign broke last month with newspaper ads, signage on Montreal metro stations and online.

“This campaign is our way of highlighting our presence and reminding Canadians that they can count on us to be there on the road to their vacation destination,” said Melissa Hains, Quebec marketing manager, McDonald’s Canada.

Cossette built the chairs from scratch, painting the wood to look like the signature menu items. “It’s fun to work on a brand that’s so broadly renowned,” said Alexandre Gadoua, national group creative director, McDonald’s at Cossette. “Sometimes you can just go with a flash of an idea like that.”

Alcon Canada has extended its international relationship with Edelman to Canada, naming Edelman Canada its PR agency of record for its entire brand portfolio.

Led out of Edelman Toronto, the agency’s work with Alcon will include earned and influencer relations, as well as CRM and corporate communications. Edelman also works with Alcon in the U.S. as well as markets across Latin America and Europe.

The relationship between the two companies began earlier this year, with Edelman leading the “Fight the Fog” campaign awarding 100 essential workers a year’s supply of Dailies Total1 contact lenses. That was followed by integrated campaigns for its Systane and Precision1 brands.

Aug. 11

GoDaddy Canada has launched a new campaign featuring Olympic sprinter Andre De Grasse and three small business owners. The ad, “Don’t Stop Being Unstoppable,” opens on De Grasse running along a remote stretch of highway, informing viewers that he hasn’t stopped since 1994.

“Being unstoppable takes courage, resilience…” says De Grasse, who is joined by one of the entrepreneurs who completes his sentence ‘”…and a website made with one of hundreds of customizable templates.”

The spot continues with De Grasse and GoDaddy customers trading off lines about what it means to be unstoppable, from the ability to create an online store and overcoming challenges with 24/7 customer support. “Don’t stop being unstoppable Canada,” says the Olympian as he passes a “road ends” sign and heads into open wilderness, trailed by a group of GoDaddy customers.

Initiative Canada has added two new vice-presidents two its team, with Jad Chababi (left) joining as VP, client advice and management, leading the agency’s dedicated Amazon team, Rufus Canada; and Justin Cumby joining in the newly created role of VP, performance

Chababi has 17 years of experience, and was most recently managing director at UM Dubai. Cumby has more than 10 years of experience as a digital media specialist, most recently with Group M, where he was managing director of Xaxis Canada.

“We are thrilled to add someone with Jad’s international experience and seniority in client leadership to further elevate our critical partnership with Amazon,” said Initiative Canada CEO Helen Galanis in a release. Performance Acceleration is a new discipline at Initiative, designed to increase our focus on driving measurable business impact for clients and we’re very excited to bring on Justin to lead this practice.”


Chris Powell