Maple syrup producers want Canadians to know about their product’s versatility

Who: Maple From Canada (Érable du Québec), with Rethink for strategy and creative, Espace M for media.

What: “It’s Not Just for Breakfast,” a new English Canada ad campaign promoting maple syrup’s “culinary talent” beyond merely serving as a topping for breakfast pancakes and waffles. Hey, if it can work for eggs…

When & Where: The campaign is in market now across TV (two :30s), complemented by online video, social, out-of-home and print. TV runs until Dec. 18, with OLV/social in market until mid-February.

Why: The Maple From Canada brand is backed by more than 13,000 producers who comprise the Quebec Maple Syrup Producers. Their output—around 11 million gallons per year—represents more than 70% of the world’s production of maple syrup.

Rethink became AOR for Maple from Canada in 2020, and subsequently developed the gold Effie-winning “Good in Everything” campaign for the Quebec market. This new campaign aimed at the rest of Canada aims to introduce new ways of using maple products, said Rethink’s director of client services, Mélanie Châteauneuf.

Research shows that people outside of Quebec are less inclined to use maple syrup outside of breakfast occasions. “The campaign will highlight some more unusual consumption occasions,” she said.

How:  The campaign is being led by two 30-second TV spots, “Pancakes” and “French Toast,” which feature people using maple syrup to make foods such as maple-glazed chicken and panna cotta, only for people to mistakenly assume they’re making pancakes or French toast and refusing to hear otherwise.

The holiday-themed French language spot, meanwhile, shows a family gathered for a turkey dinner and going to unusual lengths to make the turkey less dry, such as dipping a forkful in a glass of water and pouring the entire contents of the gravy boat on their plate. It ends with the host tapping a turkey drumstick against her glass to call for a toast, while the voiceover states “Your holiday meals will never be dry with Québec’s maple.”

“The holidays are always a good time when it comes to cooking, but after two years of hammering out the promise that maple is good in everything, we wanted to give it a more specific role. We wanted to remind Quebecers that maple syrup is an ingredient of choice for all the glazes, sauces and marinades that accompany your holiday dishes.” — Mylène Denicolaï, director of promotions and market development, Érable du Québec

Next up… America: Rethink also recently won the mandate to grow interest, trial and usage of maple syrup in the U.S., which Châteauneuf said poses a unique challenge since many Americans don’t understand the difference between maple syrup and corn syrup. The goal in the U.S. will be to establish maple syrup as a “superior and incomparable” topping, she said.


Chris Powell