Harvey’s is sorry, not sorry in its new campaign

Harvey’s is celebrating its Canadian-ness in a new campaign, and is making no apologies for it. Well it is, kind of. Sorry if that’s confusing.

Two new spots lean into the fact that Harvey’s is a “Canadian thing,” by poking fun at our habit of saying sorry when no apology is necessary, while also reminding viewers of its longstanding brand benefit of burger customization.

“Harvey’s has always been about making your hamburger a beautiful thing,” said Harvey’s vice-president of marketing, Adrianne Largo. “It’s made us kind of a Canadian institution, and that’s something we don’t take lightly.”

Visually both ads use closeups of two different burgers: The limited time Cheesy Mushroom Melt and the menu staple Angus Beef burger.

In each instance, a narrator explains that while Canadians do say sorry a lot, Harvey’s won’t apologize for its burgers. “Sorry, that was a bit braggy,” he says, before quickly checking himself: “Sorry, I said sorry.” In the other spot, the apology comes when someone tries to grab the burger: “At Harvey’s we say no apologies needed—except sorry, hands off.”

Both end with the familiar Harvey’s jingle, though the tagline changes from “It’s a beautiful thing” to “It’s a Canadian thing,” and Harvey’s becomes Harveh’s.

The campaign by G&G launched at the end of January and runs until March 26 on TV and as online / social video. “Canadians are pretty self-deprecating by nature,” said Alanna Nathanson, co-CEO and CCO of G&G. “But we do love a good burger, too. We’ll apologize for that, sure, but… maybe not quite as much as usual.”

David Brown