Dentyne’s multimedia search for Mr. Beautiful gives Quebec youth the shivers

Agency/media company

Agency/media company

Bates Canada


Pfizer Canada (Adams Brands)


Dentyne Ice

Media budget


Media used





January 8 through

March 18, 2001

Media team

Lynn Mayer, SVP, director of media planning

Cheryl Fryer, associate

media director

The background

When local star Julie Snyder decided to return to Quebec after working in France, she wanted to come back in style. So her production company decided to borrow one of the most popular segments from a former top 10 show in Quebec, Le Point J, and turn it into a stand-alone event.

Voila! Gala du Plus Bel Homme du Quebec (Quebec’s Most Beautiful Man Gala) was born. Broadcast on TVA, Quebec’s premier regional network, Julie embarked on a search for the most beautiful men (famous and unknown) in the province.

What more perfect sponsor could there be than Dentyne Ice? In the face of strong inroads made by key competitor Excel, Quebec had been identified as key to Dentyne Ice’s strategic and business success. For a brand positioned as ‘helping romantic possibilities happen,’ the playful sexiness of Gala du Plus Bel Homme and its appeal to Dentyne Ice’s key target audience of adults ages 18 to 34 was undeniable. Driven by TVA’s firm commitment to partnership, Dentyne Ice was the beneficiary of a unique and original combination of programming and promotion that resonated with consumers and was actively leveraged with the trade.

The plan

As the sole sponsor of Gala du Plus Bel Homme, Dentyne Ice received titling recognition on all promotional materials and media elements. The brand’s coolest new flavour, Dentyne Ice Shiver, was incorporated into the promotion not just as a tagline but as a promise: ‘Frissons Garantis’ (Shivers Guaranteed).

The promotional activity designed to elicit shivers of anticipation truly engaged consumers and encouraged participation and interaction with Dentyne Ice. TVA was challenged to extend support to other relevant media properties within its portfolio, and it delivered with a multi-tiered program that enhanced the television at its core.

Here’s how it worked:

*Beginning January 8, 2001, Dentyne Ice and TVA invited the public to nominate their choice for the most beautiful ‘unknown’ man in Quebec. Participants could cast their votes via TVA’s Web site or via ballot in 7 Jours magazine.

* A 30-second promotional spot ran in high-profile properties throughout the TVA network for a period of five weeks. Concurrently, five full-page ads ran in 7 Jours, providing details on how to participate and the prizes that could be won.

* One hundred of the most interesting candidates were selected from the 1,500-plus entries received. The jury, comprised of female Quebec celebrities, conducted telephone interviews with the candidates in order to select five finalists. The lucky finalists and their guests (those who nominated them) were invited to attend the gala on March 18, where the real contest began. Five challenges were presented to each of the five finalists with the winner and his guest (nominator) winning a one-week trip for two to the beautiful and romantic island of Malta. The shivers were guaranteed!

* Considerable hype and excitement surrounded the choice of the most beautiful ‘known’ (famous) man. A total of 7,266 nominations were accepted over a five week period and, starting on February 19, 2001, Dentyne Ice and TVA presented the five most popular ‘known’ male celebrities in Quebec, inviting the public to vote for their choice.

* This aspect of the contest was also supported with a 30-second promotional spot that ran throughout the TVA network for four weeks and full-page ads in 7 Jours each week from February 16 through March 16.

* A total of 41,236 votes were cast to determine the most beautiful ‘known’ man in Quebec. One lucky person who voted for the winning personality received a trip to Malta. Both the celebrity winner and the contest winner were announced during the broadcast of the Gala on March 18.

The television support behind Dentyne Ice and Gala du Plus Bel Homme did not end with the promotional air time itself. Host Julie Snyder was interviewed about the gala on four TVA shows: Jet 7 on Jan. 12 and Feb. 2, Deux filles le matin on Feb. 19 and Salut Bonjour on March 15. Further, Guy Mongrain of Salut Bonjour introduced the five ‘unknown’ finalists on Friday, March 16.

Each finalist filed a weather report, which was followed by a 10-second Dentyne Ice billboard. Finally, the program details were explained live on Salut Bonjour by Guy Mongrain on Feb. 15, 16, 19 and 20, while he was showcasing that week’s issue of 7 Jours featuring the five ‘known’ finalists on the front cover. That also just happened to be the issue in which 20,000 packages of Dentyne Ice Shiver were distributed, enclosed within a highly branded Dentyne Ice ‘Frissons Garantis!’ polybag.

The coup de grace came with the gala itself. Dentyne Ice and the Shiver theme were seamlessly woven into the very fabric of the event. One of the five challenges provided to the most beautiful ‘unknown’ men was a kissing challenge and Dentyne Ice was sampled to the contestants on stage before the romantic possibilities began to happen. For both attendees and viewers at home, the Dentyne Ice logo was clearly visible centre stage throughout the gala.

The pervasiveness of Dentyne Ice’s television presence was further heightened through opening and closing billboards, bumpers, and four 30-second ‘Shiver’ spots that ran within the one-hour program.

The results

Dentyne Ice and Gala du Plus Bel Homme was an inspired promotional partnership. What began with television quickly became so much more. The romantic possibilities inherent in the search for Quebec’s most beautiful man captured the imagination of the young Quebeckers with whom Dentyne Ice needed to connect: In fact, audience deliveries outpaced estimates by 45%.

The combined value of all the elements exceeded $1.7 million, tremendous impact for an expenditure of less than one seventh of that total. We are all shivering with anticipation at the chance to do it again.

(And, in case you were wondering, the most beautiful man in Quebec is Garou!)

Judges’ verdict

‘The planner thought well beyond GRPs to a program that was intrinsically tied to Shiver’s selling proposition: the promotional package even worked the product name right into the promotional jargon with ‘Shivers Guaranteed.’ The plan effectively maximized exposure against the young 18-to-34 target group, and delivered the impact of the multi-media multiplier effect through one supplier.’

‘Unique promotion that extended beyond the sponsored TV show. Live mentions (Salut Bonjour), sampling (7 Jours) and on-stage signage were great to create high visibility and excitement.’

‘Really capitalizes on the Quebec star culture – very smart – and great value delivery.’