Rethink repeats as 2020 Agency of the Year

The week-long virtual awards reveal concludes with the creative shops that took top honours in this year's competition.

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Following a week of winners’ announcements, today marks the end of the Agency of the Year virtual reveal. Full coverage, including shortlists for each category and the winners announced each day, can be found here.

For the second year in a row, Rethink returns to the podium as the Gold-winning Agency of the Year. That means it once again walks away with three AOY trophies, including a Gold in Design and Silver in Digital. This year, the agency earned Gold in AOY for work for IKEA, East West Market, Kraft Heinz and Molson.

Right behind, in second place, is No Fixed Address. The agency takes home the Silver medal for campaigns for Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Questrade, SickKids and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.

And finally, the Bronze trophy goes to BBDO. Work for Regent Park School of Music also earned the shop a nod for Agency Campaign of the Year. It also earned high marks for work for the Chiefs of Ontario, Doritos and GO Transit.

Here are the features on each of the winning agencies, which also appeared in this month’s strategy magazine:

Rethink’s secret sauce
NFA stays fixed on growth
BBDO’s flare for fast work that works

You can get a snapshot of each agency’s winning cases below; for more detailed cases on winners profiles, visit the Agency of the Year site.

GOLD: Rethink


We all have a lot of “stuff.” Recognizing that IKEA’s affordable furniture contributes to the waste problem, Rethink helped the retailer convince consumers to repurpose their existing wares – rather than purchase new ones. With the help of a giant animated “Stuff Monster” made entirely of IKEA furniture, the campaign delivered an eco-friendly message rooted in giving items a second life.


The agency resorted to “bag shaming” in an effort to get customers at Vancouver’s East West Market to bring resuable plastic bags. The store’s single-use bags were designed to look like they came from other embarassing stores.

Pour Perfectly

For Heinz Ketchup, Rethink guided customers through a flawless ketchup pour using a tilted label that revealed how to get the condiment out of the bottle.


The shop created a limited-edition variety pack for Molson, containing only born-in-Canada brews (including non-Molson brands) in an effort to get consumers to #MakeItCanadian.



Compared to dairy alternatives, the coolest thing about milk was its spot in the fridge. Dairy Farmers of Ontario needed the product to appeal to millennials, so No Fixed Address showed all of its potential in wacky creative that asked the simple Q: “What can’t milk do?” The 4 campaign was an energetic ode to milk, with hundreds of digital assets that pointed out its benefits, like how it “makes your baking taste like grandma’s.” Consumers were driven to a constantly updated digital hub, showing milk’s limitless uses.

Time To Switch

Questrade tripled the amount of account openings during the 2019 RSP season by urging Canadians to “save your retirement” through creative that promised retiring 30% wealthier if they chose the online broker.


People don’t realize how dire the conditions are at SickKids hopsital so the agency showed them. It partnered with Airbnb to build a replica of a room at SickKids, offering the opportunity to stay the night and experience what it’s like to be a patient and why they need to build a new hospital.


To bring focus to a worldwide epidemic, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection worked with NFA to create a striking installation that immersed visitors in “lollipops,” the disturbing term sexual offenders use for victims of child pornography.



Agency Campaign of the Year: To break the cycle of relying on government support for funding, The Regent Park School of Music and BBDO created”Parkscapes,” the first music library that funds music education. The album includes original tracks from kids from the school, which musicians can use in their music, paying royalties back to the school.


The cultural appropriation of Indigenous regalia during Halloween has gone on for too long. So BBDO worked with the Chiefs of Ontario to send a message: “We’re not a costume.” The team created a line of holiday garb that presented Indigenous people as doctors, lawyers, firefighters and other vocations that challenge the appropriation of their traditions.


Gen Z is streaming more than ever. And when they stream, they snack. Doritos needed to promote its Ketchup LTO where its target is, but because streaming services are ad-free, it decided to launch its own. “Ketchup+” was the first “snack you can stream” with hours of content from creators across the globe.

Billboard a Minute

GO Transit’s billboard campaign aimed to show people what they could be doing instead of sitting in traffic. With every minute of their commute, ads showed the time and copy pointed out how they could instead be napping, browsing memes, proofreading their work, and so much more.