Outstanding new campaigns

Practice makes perfect

Practice makes perfect

No, this isn’t an ad for some kinky new pastime. It’s for Izakaya, one of Toronto’s newest Japanese restaurants.

The campaign includes four executions; each features someone using chopsticks to maneuver unlikely items like pop cans, flowers, doorknobs and bras. The concept is based on the insight that many people don’t use chopsticks very often.

‘It says the food is worth practising for,’ explains Peter Holmes, CD at Toronto’s Holmes & Lee, adding the ads don’t have a specific target. ‘[The ads] are talking to everybody.’

Although the restaurant has received a few complaints from irate women who feel the bra execution is in poor taste, Holmes says the owners aren’t too worried – the calls just confirm that the ads are getting noticed.

Having popped up last month as O-O-H executions, the ads will also run in publications like Toronto Life and NOW beginning in August.

client: Erik Joyal, principal; John Sinopoli, executive chef, Izakaya

CD: Peter Holmes

designer: Janet New

photographer: George Simhoni

Game over, tightwad

You get what you pay for. That’s the message behind this 30-second commercial for Labatt Honey Lager – a beer ad that, refreshingly, doesn’t include any babes or frat boys.

The spot, which targets mid-30s males, depicts a woman trying to convince her husband that it’s time for him to stop being such a tightwad. Her first move is to replace his cheap beer with the slightly higher-priced Labatt label. As everything in their yard begins to fall apart, he realizes that quality might be more valuable than he originally thought.

‘We want to position it as a higher-quality value brand,’ says David Chiavegato, CD at Toronto-based Grip, adding that the brand’s quality credentials allow it to avoid a pure price strategy.

‘It takes on the competition [bottom price discount brands] directly.’

The ad broke nationwide the first week of June. Labatt reports that the brand’s sales have far exceeded internal forecasts, and they’re having trouble keeping up with demand.

client: Labatt Breweries of Canada

agency: Grip

agency producer: Laurie Maxwell

prodco: Radke Films

director: Greg Popp

cinematographer: Glen Keenan

executive producer: Scott Mackenzie

editor: Griff Henderson

online facility: Axyz

Bleue pride

With a tagline like ‘Fier d’être bleue’ (Proud to be Blue,) it’s only natural that Labatt Bleue positioned itself as the official beer of Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day in Quebec.

‘It’s a very Quebecois beer,’ explains Martin Beauvais, CD at BBDO Montreal. In honour of the provincial holiday, BBDO designed six Baptiste Day-specific full-page print executions and ran them in the June 24 editions of papers like La Presse and Le Journal de Montreal.

The ads played on a Quebec pride theme, complete with a blue colour scheme. One cheeky execution, ‘Proud of our Language,’ depicts a couple French kissing. Another features the slogan ‘La Belle Province’ over an image of two attractive young women. ‘It’s more in the context of 18-24,’ Beauvais says. ‘Instead of showing National Geographic shots, we show beautiful girls.’

The Baptiste Day execution was part of BBDO Montreal’s summer campaign for Bleue that taps into Quebecois culture. At the end of July, they’ll launch an execution surrounding corn roasts, which are popular in the province during corn-harvesting season.

client: Claudie Brassard, Quebec brand manager, Labatt Bleue, La Brasserie Labatt

CD: Martin Beauvais

copywriters: Nicolas Dion, Étienne Bastien

ADs: Patrick Beauchemin, Simon Touzin

account executives: John Gallagher, Catherine Beauchamp, Véronique Coallier

production: Michèle Blanchette

media buyer: Marie-Christine Côté

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Losers win big

The injustice! The proud farmer who produced a 947-pound pumpkin didn’t win first prize in a New England pumpkin-growing contest. The creative heads at St. John’s, Nfld.-based Target Marketing & Communications decided this man deserved to be rewarded – with a bag of chips.

This is the third year the agency has done the ‘Cruisin’ to Win’ campaign for St John, N.B.-based Irving Oil (which just won a pair of radio awards at Cannes). Previously, the premise of the campaign was to randomly contact winners of various competitions and inform them they are eligible to win big prizes like chips, chocolate bars and gum. The phone calls are recorded, and some wind up as radio spots. But, this year Target decided to spice things up a bit.

‘We took a step back and said: ‘Let’s find some people who aren’t quite winners’,’ explains CD Tom Murphy. As a result, Target and voice talent Kathy Greenwood made hundreds of cold calls to various contest runners-up – eight of whom wound up in radio spots. One of them features Canadian Idol reject Jason Greely. ‘It’s a very complicated process, but it pays off,’ says Murphy, adding that digging up contact info for contest losers is very research-intensive.

The campaign, which aims to drive up traffic in Irving’s convenience stores, Mainway, launched last month in Atlantic Canada and New England. It also includes O-O-H and

P-O-P executions.

client: Terry Small, marketing communications manager, Irving Oil

CDs: Tom Murphy, Brian Sheppard

copywriter: Jenny Smith

AD: James Jung

account guy: Jeff Hulan

prodco: Pirate Radio

director: Terry O’Reilly

engineer: Earl Torno

producer: Tyna Maerzke

You are cordially invited to submit your new, dead clever and previously unrevealed campaigns to: editorial director Mary Maddever at

mmaddever@brunico.com and creative director Stephen Stanley at

sstanley@brunico.com, co-curators of strategy’s Creative space.