Strategy’s 2021 Nice List: Part One

Denise Rossetto, Kim Tarlo, Max Geraldo and Josh Budd single out work that deserves a little extra recognition.

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Each year, the strategy editorial staff take the opportunity around the holidays to single out work they saw during the year that they felt was deserving of a little bit of extra recognition. This year, we extended an invitation to professionals in the industry to give us their take on a particular campaign or trend that they felt might not have gotten the praise it deserves. These are their selections.

Denise Rossetto, partner and CCO, Broken Heart Love Affair: World Wheelchair Rugby wins by breaking conventions

“There’s been so much great work done for parasports over the past few years. I personally had the privilege of spending a number of years working with the Canadian Paralympic Committee so I know first hand about the challenges and opportunities these projects can bring.

What I love about the rebrand for World Wheelchair Rugby [created by Cossette] is that it found a new way to stand out and be noticed. It’s a top-to-bottom refresh and repositioning of a global brand done from right here in Canada.

But the most interesting thing about it is that they took on this idea that parasports are “inspirational” above everything else and turned that on it’s head. The film challenges you to go down that old familiar route again with a beautifully “inspiring” film but then pulls off a masterly rug pull at the end.

‘We’re not here to inspire. We’re here to win.’ Confident and fresh. Love it.”

Kim Tarlo, ECD, Mint: Concrete refreshes the brand of a Toronto icon

“I like work that knows who it is talking to. This can be tough to do because it takes a level of bravery not being everything for everyone. But when done well, it can make someone feel seen or heard. Or even like sharing an inside joke.

Concrete’s rebrand of Oliver Jewelry is an example of this. The film is absurd, obviously, but isn’t that the Cashman’s whole thing?

It squarely speaks to Torontians. Anyone else would watch this and say wft?! Ok, maybe Torotonians would too. But more likely, they’d light up recognizing Oliver’s “ohhh yeahs”, over-the-top props and cast, and the signature chorus.

This spot is talking directly to us and it’s ok that not everyone will get it.

It’s also an easy to overlook example that a rebrand shouldn’t be a total rebuild, but an evolution on what made the brand pop for its people in the first place.”

Max Geraldo, CCO, BBDO Canada: Food Rescue introduces a fourth “R”

Honey Jar Mock-Up - Three JarsAlmost 2.2 million tonnes of food is wasted in Canada each year. Sobeys was looking for a way to inspire families to help bring that number down.

Enter this redesign of one of the most iconic graphic elements of the 20th Century, which adds another arrow representative of a fourth R to the “reduce, reuse and recycle” loop – “rescue” – to encourage more sustainability in the kitchen.

“Food Rescue was developed in 2021 by our team at BBDO Toronto for Sobeys.

This is the kind of project that most would consider ‘small,’ but the importance of the issue makes it huge, and he simplicity and elegance of the solution made me fall in love with it.”

Josh Budd, CCO, Citizen Relations: A hatred for caesars and a love of brats

“How could I pick just one when there are two campaigns I have a ton of respect for?

These are not easy ideas to sell, let’s start there. Not easy ideas to keep sold either, prime targets for rounded corners and second guessing.

But the Walter Craft Caesar “For Caesar Lovers” spot doesn’t have a single sip and smile. Instead, “I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it!” is a direct quote.

For Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation, the subject matter of “Long Live Little Brats” is all too easy to handle with – forgive the term – kid gloves. But the verve and energy is palpable, and anyone who’s had to clean marker off the TV screen will feel it in their bones.

Both leave you with a smile. Both are exceedingly simple and easy to explain. Both tell their stories well. I celebrate and applaud these as reminders that our value as agency partners is our point of view…especially when met with discomfort or hesitation.

(Full disclosure: both were coincidentally made by our sister agencies, Cossette Montreal and Camp Jefferson.)