Couche-Tard picks Taxi as its AOR

The Canada-wide assignment includes "a full slate of agency work" for both the Circle K and Couche-Tard convenience banners.

After a competitive review, Taxi has been selected as the national AOR for Circle K and Couche-Tard in Canada.

Alimentation Couche-Tard is the largest convenience store operator in Canada, with over 2,100 locations across the country between the two banners.

Taxi Canada president Emma Toth could not offer any further details in terms of the length of the assignment, but described the mandate as covering “a full slate of agency work,” and work on its first campaign has already begun.

Taxi takes over the work from agencies Havas and Giants & Gentlemen, both of which had been working with the retailer since 2014. Some of the Havas’ recent work included the “31 Days of Circle K” holiday campaign, while Giants & Gentlemen helped lead the first multi-channel effort for Circle K after it converted from the Mac’s brand in Ontario.

Beyond the retailer’s reach, Toth tells strategy that from a brand perspective, Couche-Tard is one of the most established and respected brands in the province of Quebec. The announcement is auspicious, she says, as Taxi’s founding in Montreal 29 years ago and its understanding of the French language market, combined with its breadth and presence in Vancouver and Toronto, were key factors in winning the account.

“It’s massive, and from a brand history perspective, we’re very excited to be able to partner with them,” Toth notes. She adds that credentials the agency has earned with “big retailers” like Canadian Tire and Mark’s also played a key role in the win and the expertise it will be bringing to its work.

The Circle K brand, meanwhile, has also been growing more established since it first began replacing the Mac’s brand in English Canada in 2017, which Toth says presents a lot of opportunity to scale.

Last fall, Couche-Tard moved media buying for the Circle K banner to Mediacom as part of a global assignment.

Couche-Tard is set to release its full-year financial results for the 2021 fiscal year later this month. Through the first three quarters ending Jan. 31, the company reported that same-store merchandise revenues increased by 11.7% in Canada, though fuel volumes dropped by 19.2% due to a reduction in travel amid ongoing lockdowns.