Just four entries are Golden at this year’s Effie Awards

The ICA has announced four Gold winners for this year’s Effie Awards. There were a total of 36 finalists in the annual show dedicated to advertising effectiveness. This year’s Grand Prix will be announced at the invite-only Canadian Creative Effectiveness Summit on Oct. 27, with a focus on marketing effectiveness and budget maximization in a turbulent economy.


Fuse Create won Gold in the Marketing Disruptors category for its “Everyday Voice” work for lozenge brand Ricola.

With the brand being outspent by competitors during the key cough and cold season, Fuse Create shifted consideration by positioning it as a remedy for dry, irritated throats caused by “everyday” voice use, such as screaming, cheering or talking.

The four-week campaign produced a 500% spike in sales, and a 3.6% lift in message association that helped shift consumer purchasing from reactive (buying after already developing a sore throat) to proactive by communicating that “It’s good to have Ricola at the ready.”


Gut Toronto won Gold in the Influencer Marketing category for “Timbiebs,” a collaboration with global pop superstar Justin Bieber that included a limited-edition line of Timbits.

With its sales down because of the pandemic, Tim Hortons was seeking to reconnect with younger consumers in an effort to drive positive brand sentiment and boost sales.

The “Timbiebs” was a massive success, earning coverage from major media outlets including The New York Times, Billboard, Fast Company, Hypebeast and Buzzfeed.

According to Tim Hortons, it also led other (unspecified) Canadian icons to approach the coffee chain about their own collaboration.


Rethink and the Quebec maple syrup producers won in the Media Idea category for “Bon dans toute”/”Good in everything.”

While 92% of Quebecers have maple syrup at home, about half say they never or rarely consume it beyond breakfast occasions.

The campaign demonstrated maple syrup’s versatility by presenting it adjacent to ads for other products in magazines, point of sale and contextual banners, culminating in Radio-Canada’s annual Bye Bye New Year’s Eve show when it followed up ads for other brands with a series of 10-second ads.

Sales of maple syrup in the province grew 15.3% year-on-two-years, outperforming sugar (5.5%) and table syrup (-2.9%), while awareness grew from 60% to 86% over 16 months.


Zulu Alpha Kilo and Campbell Company of Canada won gold in the Snacks & Desserts category for “Feed Imagination,” a platform that used the cracker brand’s distinctive fish shape as a jumping off point for a nationwide celebration of kids’ creativity.

While Goldfish Crackers were already established as a leading snack food for kids, “Feed Imagination” was designed to solidify its hold on the position by connecting with parents around a shared value—childhood imagination. It turned the country into a showcase for kids’ creativity, with artwork that might ordinarily be limited to a place on the fridge turned into billboards, murals, and even a video game.

“Feed Imagination” not only produced a 9% increase in sales for the Goldfish brand, but also contributed to a 1% increase in market share, a 17% lift in purchase intent, and a 20% lift in brand love.

Chris Powell