2019 Shopper Innovation + Activation winners revealed

Cossette took the most Golds but a campaign with swagger 'hauled' home the Grand Prix.

This story originally appeared in the May 2019 issue of

Each of this year’s Shopper Innovation + Activation winners hyped up their brands with creative, and effective, strategies, ranging from a clothing line for chips to chocolate bars for the munchies. But there can be only one Hypebeast King and so the Grand Prix crown went to No Frills, John St. and Dentsu for charting a new path-to-purchase with the “Haulers” campaign.

A discount grocer isn’t usually seen as a “baller,” but when you think about it – what’s more baller than getting a deal on your groceries? “Haulers” turned No Frills into a grocer with swagger, and drove traffic and sales, to boot. Cossette was also a big winner at the SIAs, taking the most Gold trophies (five) for the Egg Farmers of Canada, Tweed, McDonald’s and SickKids.

This year, the annual program rebranded with a new name to deepen its activation lens. The gala took place at Toronto’s Arcadian Court on April 29, during strategy’s two-day Shopper Marketing Forum. A total of 49 programs and partnerships were awarded 87 medals, while the Retail Innovator of the Year prize went to Quebec’s SAQ.

You can find deep dives into each of the winning strategies – as well the bigger consumers trends they are a part of – below. Check back tomorrow for more about SAQ’s omnichannel approach to its Inspire loyalty program.

What’s all the hype about?: No Frills, McDonald’s, Doritos and Jack Daniels

Brands pay it forward: Kraft Peanut Butter, Dove, Dempster’s, Tim Hortons, Uber, YWCA and SickKids

Making new and old acquaintances: Tylenol and Tweed

How to be direct: Cineplex, Snickers, Volkswagen and Scotts

Sensorial stunts: Canada Goose, Upper Canada Mall, Quebec Milk Producers, Uniqlo, Interval House, Fondation Emergence and Fountain Tire

Store-driving designs: Consonant Skincare, RGD, McDonald’s, Stefano Faita and Raising the Roof

From old perceptions to new realities: Egg Farmers of Canada, Tabasco, Oh Henry!, Reese Mix, Scotiabank Arena, Tourisme Montréal, Montreal’s Little Italy, CAMH, Gender Creative Kids and HomeEquity Bank

Shiny healthy people: Becel, Michelob and Enercare

Data is in the (loyalty) pudding: La Cage Brasserie Sportive, Le Club AccorHotels, Loblaw and Reactine