Account Action

Molson Canada has awarded its $50-million media buying and planning business to The Media Edge of Toronto with sister agency Saint Jacques Vallée Young & Rubicam/The Media Edge of Montreal handling the Quebec portion of the account. Harrison, Young, Pesonen &...

Molson Canada has awarded its $50-million media buying and planning business to The Media Edge of Toronto with sister agency Saint Jacques Vallée Young & Rubicam/The Media Edge of Montreal handling the Quebec portion of the account. Harrison, Young, Pesonen & Newell, Media Buying Services, and Optimedia Canada also took part in the review for the assignment, which was recently resigned by M2 Universal, the former Initiative Media.

Diageo companies Burger King Restaurants of Canada and Pillsbury Canada have consolidated their media planning and buying with Toronto-based Starcom MediaVest Partnership, a Leo Burnett/Bensimon* Byrne*D’Arcy venture. The business is estimated to be worth more than $25 million. While Guinness – also a Diageo company – took part in the review, it decided to leave planning and buying with Due North Communications of Toronto, which also handles its creative. has hired Vickers & Benson Advertising of Toronto as its new AOR following a review that included Crichton Kim-Kirkland and Roche Macaulay & Partners on the shortlist.

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has chosen Toronto-based Mosaic Group to handle the $500,000 Foodland Ontario promotions account. DraftWorldwide, Impiric, Otis Sauter Partners and Publicis-Dialog were also in the running.

ICG Propane has named the Calgary office of Young & Rubicam as its new AOR. The business is estimated at more than $300,000.

Manitoba Hydro has picked the Winnipeg office of Glennie Stamnes Strategy as its AOR.

Ryerson Polytechnic University will be working with J. Walter Thompson of Toronto on a new fundraising campaign in addition to its other marketing and communications programs, with a new image to be unveiled this fall.

Reckitt Benckiser – marketer of household and food brands such as Electrosol, Lysol, Prosolve and French’s Mustard – has put its consolidated $7-million planning and buying business into the hands of M2 Universal (formerly Initiative Media).

Internet portal, a division of Southam, is the latest client to move over to Vancouver-based Rethink. The account, estimated at about $1.5 million, had been with Grey Canada for the past two years.

From Karen Howe’s dining table: Creativity, COVID and Cannes

ICYMI, The Township's founder gathers the best of the best campaigns and trends so far.

Cannes Base Camp

By Karen Howe

I’m attending Cannes from the glory of my dining room table. There’s not a palm tree in sight, yet inspiration and intel are present in abundance.

Cannes Lions is a global cultural pulse check. The social course correction in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and BLM has delivered far greater diversity in the judging panels as well as the work. And we are all better for it.

I’m proud to say that creativity defeated COVID, which speaks to its power. Great work and big ideas flourished, despite unimaginable odds.

The work from the past two years spans a vast emotional range. From the profundity of Dove’s “Courage is Beautiful” to the hyper exuberance of Burberry’s “Festive,” they are opposite ends of the spectrum, but each answered a need in us.

Take note, the ascendency of gaming cannot be understated. Smart brands have embraced the channel. It makes sense, because gamers participate to meet others around the world, not just to play. And they represent a huge and powerful community. That’s why QSR Wendy’s gamified their iconic gal in RPG’s Feast of Legends.

Burger King sponsored the unknown Stevenage Football Club, transforming the team into online heroes and vaulting BK into the fray at the same time. Once again, the brand embedded itself in culture.

The birth of gaming tourism arrived when Xbox snuggled up to travel guides and created a brilliant baby: a travel guide for gaming worlds. It, too, embedded itself in culture.

From the standpoint of social good, Reporter Without Borders showed how it worked with Mindcraft for its “Uncensored Library” to bypass press censorship, with Minecraft providing a loophole to a space where young people could be educated. It provided youth with a powerful tool to fight oppression: truth.

COVID changed us in unexpected ways. We learned how to pay attention again and there was a notable lack of 30-second commercials. Instead, longer format content thrived. Apple’s WFH was seven minutes long. Entertainment reigned king, so we find ourselves returning to our advertising roots.

Seeing competitive brands form partnerships was one of this year’s other great surprises. The brilliantly simple “Beer Cap Project” by Aguila to reduce binge-drinking saw the brand reach out to competitive beers to join in. Aguila put incentivizing (keyword: free) reminders to drink water, eat food and get home safely on its bottle caps from all sorts of fast food chains, ride-share co’s and H2O brands.

On a personal level, I’m so proud of Canada again this year. Given that it was two years of work from all over the world being judged, even making the Cannes shortlist was an accomplishment. Canada is herding in the Lions in tremendous numbers – and it’s not even over. Fingers are crossed.

KAREN-HOWE-PIC-higher-rez-300x263Karen Howe is a Canadian Cannes Advisory Board Member and founder of The Township Group