The Indie List: Feast

The small, but mighty indie punches above its weight on a national level

Founders Lucia Mariani and Rob Vena have invested in insights, media buying and the Toronto tech community.

Feast is punching above its weight at the national level. Indeed, it’s been a big year with the Toronto agency nabbing national contracts for the Government of Canada, an undisclosed multi-national corporation and work for several branches of CAA. Over the past three years the agency has won more than 65 awards for its creative execution, and a recent short film for start-up brand Bgon (a university-focused buying and trading app) featuring a man wearing all his worldly belongings, has garnered international press.

The nine-year-old agency’s recent successes are rooted in its effective integrated strategy and strong creative capabilities, says Rob Vena, CD and co-founder of Feast. The agency picked up CAA as a client based on the strength of its previous work in virtual reality, resulting in a recent campaign execution for the car association’s travel arm.

To help promote CAA as a travel partner, particularly among younger members, the agency launched the “Fly, Float and Explore” campaign, centred on a couple in the Bahamas tracking their trip through 360 video.


Unveiled at the International Auto Show, the agency created 360-VR videos of the beautiful Bahamas for CAA.

VR in particular was a perfect medium to showcase the Caribbean’s beautiful vistas, beaches and scuba scenes, says Lucia Mariani, CSO and co-founder at the agency.

The agency stretched the brand’s budget by cutting 30-second ads and VR experiences for Facebook and YouTube, taking advantage of both platforms’ newer 360 capabilities.

Originally launched at the International Auto Show in February 2018, the campaign rolled out live online and in stores this past summer. The end goal was to help drive traffic to stores, where consumers could get a virtual taste of the tropics – and it succeeded. More than 700,000 people engaged with the content, spending an average of three to four minutes watching the video.

“That’s definitely something we’re focused on as an agency – that longer-form and engaging experience, getting people to spend more time with the brand and the product,” says Mariani.

While the focus is largely on creative and strategy, the shop also offers digital media buying in house to help the shop better manage the effectiveness of its creative, says Vena. Staffers can see, in near real time, how the creative is resonating and tweak the strategy as needed. “It stretches the media dollar that much further,” he says.

“Our agency is appealing to our clients because our expertise in digital media buying means they get high-level performance and high-level creative under one roof. We are a complete integrated agency that can achieve business growth for our clients,” says Vena.

Research also matters for the shop, with Vena pointing to recent broadcast work with T-fal to promote the kitchen appliance maker’s latest international product launch, a healthy small kitchen appliance and national TV campaign for ActiFry.


Tapping into the insight that people are looking for healthy, weeknight meal options, the agency rolled out an international product launch for T-fal, focused on the ease of use of the manufacturer’s multicooker appliance.

A large component of the work involved conducting research into the target demo. Creative tapped into insight that people – particularly young mothers with families – are more interested than ever in eating healthy, and a number of barriers still remain to serving good meals, in particular, a lack of time.

The campaign, which skews towards women but is targeted at both genders, showcases the multi-food cooker as a way of achieving a better lifestyle balance. “Our target is saying ‘it’s not just me I’m taking care of, it’s my family too,’” says Mariani. “That’s where this product can help.” Creative focuses on the beautiful, grain-led foods that the cooker can help create. Currently in market, the international push will run until end of 2018, and is supported by social and digital ads as well.

While TV still has an important role to play in marketing, a big focus for Feast is on keeping up with evolving technology and trends, and tapping into exciting new ventures for brands. Employee education is a huge priority for the agency, says Mariani, and the compact size of the team means that it’s easy to disseminate learnings across the entire shop.

“Clients tell us they enjoy working with us because we are not complacent and our work is fresh,” she says. “They don’t want enthusiasm for the project to taper off. They need constant results in order to continue being competitive in their market. We really approach our work as partnerships with our clients.”


Rob Vena

CD and Co-founder