Swashbuckling mini-movie embodies spirit of Keith’s

The Oland Brewery has enlisted Austin Powers to help flog its signature brew, Alexander Keith's Pale Ale, and to promote the June opening of its refurbished $4-million microbrewery in downtown Halifax. The brewer recently purchased all of the advertising time for...

The Oland Brewery has enlisted Austin Powers to help flog its signature brew, Alexander Keith’s Pale Ale, and to promote the June opening of its refurbished $4-million microbrewery in downtown Halifax.

The brewer recently purchased all of the advertising time for the Feb. 9 ATV (Atlantic Television network) premiere of Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery, so that it could air a 14-minute Keith’s ‘mini-movie’, created by agency of record Corporate Communications Ltd. (CCL Group), in four separate instalments throughout the broadcast.

Set in Nova Scotia during the early 1800s, the long-format commercial chronicles the adventures of a handful of popular characters, like the Admiral and the rogue privateer Roger, who have been appearing in Keith’s commercials since 1993.

But the undeniable centrepiece of the ‘mini-movie’ is the admiral’s daughter, who journeys to Nova Scotia under the escort of Sir Stephen, a priggish British aristocrat. After visiting the Keith’s brewery, a thriving pub overflowing with Keith’s, cleavage and Celtic fiddlers, the daughter becomes captivated by the swashbuckling Roger, and the carousing Nova Scotian spirit he personifies.

‘If you look at the advertising, it’s really representing Nova Scotia good times. Anyone who has had experience with the Maritimes can truly relate to that,’ explains Mike Glover, president of the Oland Brewery, which is a unit of Toronto-based Labatt Breweries of Canada.

Viewers can also participate in a ‘Watch and Win’ contest that requires them to phone in and correctly identify the three new characters that appear in the commercial (and no, Ivana Drinkalot is not one of them).

Although the brewer is targeting the 19-24 audience by airing the ‘mini-movie’ during Austin Powers, the creative concept is markedly different from ads for brands such as Labatt Blue, which usually feature hip young people and contemporary music.

‘At a very basic level, I think [Keith's and Blue] are doing the same thing, but with different metaphors,’ explains Chester Goluch, creative director at CCL. ‘Keith’s is much more rooted in tradition – it’s a trans-generational brand.’

A number of 30- and 60-second spots will be assembled from the movie footage, and will run over the next year.


Client: The Oland Brewery

Agency: Corporate Communications Ltd. (CCL Group)

Creative Director: Chester Goluch

Writer: Chester Goluch

Art Director: Michael Scher

Media: Television

Media Planner: Phil Chant

Account Director: Larry MacEachern

Corner Officer Shifts: Martin Fecko leaves Tangerine

Plus, PointsBet Canada and Thinkific name new marketing leaders as Lole gets a new ecommerce VP.
Corner Office

Martin Fecko departs Tangerine 

After roughly two years of serving as Tangerine’s chief marketing officer, Martin Fecko has a new gig. And this time, the financial services vet will apply his marketing leadership to a new sector, having been named CMO of Dentalcorp.

Fecko will lead the dental network’s end-to-end patient journey, support its overall growth, and work to maximize patient experiences across every touchpoint, the company said in a release.

“Martin’s in-depth expertise in engaging and retaining customers through a digitally enabled experience will be valuable in realizing our vision to be Canada’s most trusted healthcare network,” said Dentalcorp president Guy Amini.

Prior to joining Scotiabank’s digital-only banking brand in late-2019, Fecko was country manager for Intuit Canada and spent 10 years at American Express in consumer and digital marketing.

PointsBet Canada nabs former Bell marketer as it pursues expansion

Dave Rivers has joined PointsBet, an online gaming and sports betting operator, as Canadian VP of marketing.

Rivers joins from Bell, where he was most recently director of brand marketing and sponsorship, responsible for driving the company’s national sponsorship strategy and portfolio. He will report to PointsBet Canada chief commercial officer Nic Sulsky.

According to Sulsky, Rivers will “play a key role as we prepare to launch a business that is unique to our roots here in Canada.”

PointsBet has a significant presence in Australia, where it was founded, and in the U.S. In July, it named Scott Vanderwel, a former SVP at Rogers, as CEO of its Canadian subsidiary, one of several hires aimed at establishing the company’s presence locally.

Thinkific names first CMO among other executive appointments

Vancouver’s Thinkific, a platform for creating, marketing and selling online courses, has appointed Henk Campher as its first chief marketing officer as it invests in marketing to support its growth plans. It has also upped Chris McGuire to the role of chief technology officer and moved former CTO and co-founder Matt Payne into the new role of SVP of innovation.

Co-founder and CEO Greg Smith said Campher and McGuire “will play key roles building high-functioning teams around them and optimizing investment as we continue to carve out an increasingly prominent and differentiated position in the global market.”

Campher joins from Hootsuite, where he was VP of corporate marketing. Before that, he was VP of brand and communications at CRM giant Salesforce.

Lolë names new VP of digital omni-commerce as parent company exits bankruptcy protection

The Montreal-based athletic apparel and accessories retailer has appointed Rob French as VP of digital omni-commerce.

French will lead Lolë’s efforts in consumer insights, supply chain-to-consumer models and online customer journeys. In what is a new role for the company, he will also work to grow the company’s retail brand. He arrives with sixteen years experience in ecommerce, having spent the last few years as chief digital commerce officer at sporting goods retailer Decathlon.

In May 2020, Lolë parent Coalision Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection, citing several years of losses as a result of a downturn in the retail clothing market, increased competition and excess inventory – problems exacerbated by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time of the filing, Coalision was seeking an investor or purchaser of its assets.

It successfully exited bankruptcy protection last year and is currently rebuilding its executive team, according to a spokesperson.