Harvey’s wants you to be the boss of your burger

The pandemic left many feeling powerless, so the QSR's new campaign is its way of giving consumers back some control.


The pandemic has bruised many a person’s confidence.

“So many of us feel powerless in our lives with everything that’s happened,” says Chelsea Kellock, senior director of marketing for Harvey’s. Giving people the power to personalize their burgers is Harvey’s humble attempt to provide an antidote to that loss of control.

That’s the core message in “Burger Boss,” the QSR’s latest campaign, that looks to engage with younger men through Canada’s favourite sport, hockey. The spot features a towel boy who suddenly thinks he’s the boss on the ice after having customized his Harvey’s burger just the way he likes it.

Kellock tells strategy the “Burger Boss” campaign is all about giving Canadians the confidence to customize, something the brand has previously focused on, but which is even more important now during the pandemic.

Kellock adds that the quirky hockey-centred spot builds on the partnership Harvey’s had with Bauer last year when it delivered socially distanced drive-thru burgers using the brand’s hockey sticks. “It was such a Canadian play for us to launch those Bauer sticks. Hockey is such a critical part of Canadian culture and as a uniquely 100% Canadian brand it made sense.”

The brand has historically trended among the 45-plus set, but this new campaign is a pointed attempt at driving trial for the 18-35 demo. Previously, the brand’s approach was more tactical and product-centred to reach that older target. Now, it’s leaning into humour as a way to break through to younger men.

Part of engaging with a younger consumer includes a new soul music take on the brand’s signature “It’s a beautiful thing” jingle (which many younger demos are not familiar with) in the new spot.

With only 300 outlets, Kellock says Harvey’s doesn’t necessarily have the same convenience factor as competitors like A&W or McDonald’s, but that it does offer convenience in allowing consumers to customize their meals as they like them. The Recipe Unlimited brand is also expanding its off-premise reach with ghost kitchens, alongside the likes of Swiss Chalet, East Side Mario’s, Montana’s BBQ, and New York Fries.

Running through February and March, the Giants & Gentleman “Burger Boss” spot is part of a larger broadcast campaign, which will air later this year. There’s also a heavy TV element, and Harvey’s is running spots on Sportsnet and TSN during hockey games, as well as on Global, CTV, The Comedy Network, and Discovery ChannelGenuine Media is handling media, while Agnostic is leading PR.