Shopper Innovation Awards: Valentine walks off poutine calories

The Quebec QSR comes up with a way for consumers to get fit and get free poutine, winning a Bronze in this year's awards.

Bronze: Original Idea

As one of Quebec’s guilty pleasures, poutine has been a part of the province’s culinary landscape for decades. Numerous restaurant chains feature poutine on their menus, with top chefs in Quebec creating their own variations of the traditional dish.

Valentine, a 35-year-old QSR with more than 100 restaurants across the province, wanted to acquire new customers with a product that isn’t really that different from anything else in the market.

Quebecers sometimes feel guilty about indulging in poutine, so Valentine and Lg2 developed the “Marche ta poutine” (walk off your poutine) app for users to turn the guilty pleasure into a reward. Valentine challenged consumers to burn the number of calories in a poutine by using the app pedometer. If they completed the task, the QSR rewarded them with a free poutine.

The launch campaign included a microsite, promotional videos, social media, web, mobile ads, PR and field marketing (including events where people were invited to walk off their poutine using a treadmill). The Marche ta poutine app also features a restaurant locator and continues to offer users new deals following the promotion.

The app became the number one downloaded app in Canada in less than a week (ahead of Starbucks, 7-Eleven and Urbanspoon) and received 30,000 downloads in four months. More than 2,000 free poutines were rewarded and 100 million steps were recorded.


Brand: Valentine
VP: Francis Robin
Marketing director: Nicholas Rousseau
Agency: Lg2
VP, CD: Marc Fortin
CD: Jennifer Varvaresso
ADs: Éric Bouchard, Thibault Géhard