The A-List: Giants & Gentlemen

Finding long-term success with bravery and collaboration
Giants & Gentlemen provided creative for Harvey's humorous “Be a Burger Boss” campaign. In this spot, a hockey team is surprised to find its practice taken over by its towel boy, who is emboldened by getting to call the shots on his Harvey's hamburger toppings.

Giants & Gentlemen provided creative for Harvey’s humorous “Be a Burger Boss” campaign. In this spot, a hockey team is surprised to find its practice taken over by its towel boy, who is emboldened by getting to call the shots on his Harvey’s hamburger toppings.

Nearly 10 years ago, Alanna Nathanson, Natalie Armata and Gino Cantalini joined forces to launch Toronto agency Giants & Gentlemen. Now a thriving team of about 25, they’ve never abandoned their roots.

“We started from scratch with just our philosophy and our name,” recalls co-founder and CCO Nathanson. “Our philosophy of ‘Be brave, be decent’ allowed us to attract the kind of clients we want to work with and the kind of people we want to hire.

“It’s about always acting with integrity. We’re not here to bullshit anyone or spin anything. We believe in open communication and our creative process is very collaborative.”

Nathanson describes the G&G approach as “go wide and go deep” – first, explore high-level concepts and get client weigh-in, then deep-dive into the ideas with the most potential. They also have a proprietary tool called “Outthinking,” which has someone outside of both advertising and the client’s industry come in to provide insights and a fresh perspective. This gives clients an unfair advantage over their competition.

When there’s been a tight timeline or problem that needs cracking, the entire agency has gathered in “The Gentlemen’s Den,” which sees internal teams competing to come up with the best idea.

And they’ve needed to be on top of their game in the last year. Despite global tumult, it’s been busy. G&G won a project for Queen’s University, became AOR for seafood provider Clover Leaf, picked up an assignment for cannabis company Tokyo Smoke, and grew existing client business.

“Initially the pandemic was devastating, but we quickly recovered and in fact have gotten stronger,” says Gino Cantalini, co-founder and COO.

Creative highlights include a series of “Be a Burger Boss” spots for QSR Harvey’s that ran as part of a larger broadcast campaign.

G&G empowered homeowners to take back control from their meanspirited homes with the help of client Enercare's range of protection plans.

G&G empowered homeowners to take back control from their meanspirited homes with the help of client Enercare’s range of protection plans.

“We really dug into what differentiates them as a brand, which is customization,” says Nathanson. “And these days, with people feeling more powerless than ever, we highlighted that you can finally be the boss of something.”

For Dr. Oetker’s Ristorante Pizza, G&G created “Ristorante Diamond Records” – an integrated campaign for social, Spotify and digital. “It was all about people who are awkward in expressing their love,” she says. “Ristorante [was there to] help you up your love game.” The campaign featured four 15-second spots of lovers struggling to express their feelings – until they’re rescued by an R&B crooner. The ads threw to a site where consumers could qualify to win a custom love song of their own. The top three were then put up for a fan vote, the winner receiving a diamond ring.

G&G also did a series of spots for Enercare, promoting the home heating and cooling company’s range of protection plans – helping homeowners take back control from meanspirited homes. Natalie Armata, co-founder and CCO, says the creative insight came from personal experience. “As a homeowner myself, there’s a simple truth: when you own a home, it owns you just as much. There’s always a problem to fix – or one lurking around the corner. You’re at its mercy.”

“The longer you’re around and prove yourself by doing good work and being a good partner, the more you have people knocking on your door.” says Nathanson. “But regardless of how much we grow, maintaining our philosophy and the kind of work we do remains key.”

CONTACT:
Gino Cantalini
Co-founder & COO
g.cantalini@giantsandgents.com

The 2021 A-Listers:

Intro

Zulu Alpha Kilo: from strength to strength

Target: natural born storytellers

doug&partners: ready for whatever’s next

UM: winning in an uncertain world

C&B: connecting on a deeper level

Initiative: doubling down on innovation and creating cultural velocity

Media Experts: shaping what’s next

Wunderman Thompson: a multidisciplinary service offering

DDB: the power of informed creative

Citizen Relations: making every conversation count