Shopper Innovation Awards: Brand new!

Metro wins Gold, Wendy's takes Silver and Friskies wins Bronze in the category that recognizes new product launches.


Metro enters a new Hémisphère

Metro was about to launch a new line of exclusive, high-quality wines and needed to convince Quebec consumers that the wines at the grocery stores were as good as those purchased at the Société des alcools du Québec (Québec’s liquor stores).

Metro’s target consumer is women with children, between the ages of 25 and 54. She loves to cook and try new things, but she doesn’t have much time and appreciates practical solutions.

When Metro launched its Hémisphère line of wines (selected by expert sommelier Patrice Tinguy) in October 2012, the strategy was to use the sommelier’s credibility and the wine’s country of origin to showcase its high quality and exclusivity, as well as suggest ways to enjoy it.

The stores were used as the primary media for this campaign, with section designed by ZIP communication for the Hémisphère line. Special displays and posters were installed, and Metro’s website and weekly flyer included specially created content and sections. Wine tasting events were held, and QR codes on displays led consumers to a microsite that gave detailed information about the wines.

Taste tags were used to help shoppers find their perfect wine match, and a colour code directed them to wines from their favourite region. Metro’s four Hémisphère wines did well against other wines in store, consumers gave positive feedback during taste tests, and sales surpassed expectations at the launch and have been growing ever since.

Client: Metro
Agency: ZIP communication
CD: Michèle Leduc
AD: Marie-Claude Boulais
Client services: Fanny Martin
Production: Vicky Blain



Wendy’s petitions for poutine

Wendy’s Canada was considered somewhat late in the game when it decided to launch poutine in April of last year. The cheese-curd-dripping-with-gravy meal had experienced a surge in popularity amongst Canadians thanks to niche, upscale poutineries.

New product launches are often supported with large production budgets, but in this case, the brand had less than $300,000. To amplify the reach with PR, the restaurant created a campaign to have poutine declared the “National Dish of Canada,” supported by an online “Poutition” that lived on the Wendy’s Canada Facebook page, inviting people to “like” the page to sign the petition. Wendy’s involvement in social media at the time of the launch was minimal, and the challenge for partner agency MacLaren McCann was to grow the Facebook page from a fan base of less than 16,000 to 50,000.

A YouTube video communicated the history of the poutine and the brand developed a line of Poutition merchandise such as t-shirts, buttons and lawn signs. To drive store traffic and encourage sampling, poutine coupons were given to all participants. In-store point-of-sale signage featured QR codes that connected users to a mobile version of the Poutition. The bilingual campaign was supported by a national radio spot, a digital media buy, localized OOH and a TV commercial.

The campaign exceeded all objectives and helped redefine the role of social media for Wendy’s Canada. It generated over 17 million media impressions, the brand’s Facebook following increased by 279%, and share of voice in social conversations related to poutine jumped to 63%, surpassing the goal of 20%.

Client: Wendy’s Canada
Agency: MacLaren McCann
Regional marketing director: Lisa Deletroz
CDs: Mike Halminen, Sean Davison
Group CDs: Dave Stubbs, Marc Melanson, Duncan Porter
AD: Isabelle Santiago
CW: Aaron Woolfson



Friskies designs a launch with Steven & Chris

To launch Friskies Indoor, a range of products specifically for indoor cats, the brand partnered with CBC celebrity designers Steven Sabados and Chris Hyndman, and introduced a contest that prized one Canadian with a “$10,000 room makeover, specially designed by Steven & Chris, for you and your cat.”

With the help of The Think Tank, Friskies’ promotion was brought to life in-store through television displays in the pet aisles of national retailers such as Walmart and Sobeys. In addition, major retail chains featured flyers with Steven & Chris introducing the Friskies Indoor product.

The contest microsite and videos (featuring the style gurus giving viewers design tips for a home with indoor cats) were created to aesthetically reflect the style sense of the designers while promoting the Friskies product. The site also featured a blog by leading Canadian veterinarian Margie Scherk on a variety of topics.

The contest surpassed expectations with more than 70,000 entries and over 240,000 page views. And the promotion helped rejuvenate the Friskies brand, with its dry food product delivering a growth of 42%, while Friskies wet food grew by 5%.

Client Nestlé Purina PetCare
Agency: The Think Tank
Trade marketing managers: Reid Barla, Anil Rege
Account executive: Sheldon Abreu
Account director: Sherri-Anne Jackson