Rethink named Agency of the Year at ADCC

Cossette won Design Agency of the Year, with FCB, Wedge and Scouts Honour also receiving Scarlett Letter recognition.


After taking a hiatus last year, the Art & Design Club of Canada (ADCC) returned with a virtual ceremony Thursday night, giving out 379 awards on the path to naming this year’s Scarlett Letter winners.

The ADCC determines the Scarlett Letter winner using a point system based on the number of Gold, Silver and merits an agency earns in a given year.

Rethink won the Scarlett Letter for Agency of the Year, helped by Gold wins for the “Pour Perfectly” and “Ketchup Puzzle” campaigns for Kraft Heinz, as well as “Make It Canadian” for Molson Coors.

Design Agency of the Year went to Cossette, which won Golds in the Design category for work with furniture manufacturer Keilhauer and helping to rebrand mental health non-profit Relief. It also won Gold in other categories for work with Alloprof, SickKids and the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

FCB Canada won Interactive Agency of the Year, with FCB Toronto winning Golds for the “Project Understood” campaign for the Canadian Down Syndrome Society (CDSS) and FCB/Six winning for LifeStyles’ “Publicly Traded” campaign.

Wedge won Design Studio of the Year, after picking up Gold for its package design work with vegan ice cream brand Swirl. Scouts Honour was given the Production Company of the Year title, recognizing its work for campaigns including Kruger’s “Unapologetically Human.”

Other agencies that won multiple Golds include No Fixed Address, Ogilvy, BBDO, Juniper Park\TBWA, John St., Taxi, Publicis and Leo Burnett. The full list of 2021 Gold, Silver and merit winners can be found on the ADCC website.

The ADCC also gave out two Golds in its student competition.

Jaclyn McConnell and Bethany Garrad from Miami Ad School Toronto won in the Advertising category for “Melanoma Manicure.” Black people are more likely to die from melanoma, a stat that is attributed to the fact that it is harder for them to notice most of the disease’s warning signs, except for one: marks on the nails. To drive awareness to this fact, the campaign would borrow tropes and features of beauty marketing to draw attention to these signs, including in-store, salon and social ads, as well as influencer videos that turn manicure tutorials into a guide for how to watch out for skin cancer.


The other Gold, in Graphic Design, went to Cassidy Van Delft from the Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, who created a branding system, menus, signage and a website for “Hereabouts Locally Sourced Eatery,” a restaurant concept based entirely on meals made from local ingredients.

Due to the cancellation of the ADCC Awards last year, two Les Usherwood Lifetime Achievement Awards were given out this year. And, suitably enough, they were given to Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, whose long list of achievements in the industry include co-leading Ogilvy & Mather Toronto as co-CCOs from 1998 to 2011 and being regarded as trailblazers for women in the industry.