A decade of rewards from risk

G&G's bold thinking has stood the test of time
G&G fielded the quietly arresting PSA “The House with No Escape” for the Assaulted Women’s Helpline, highlighting a horrifying reality for the one-in-four Canadian women who have experienced domestic abuse.

G&G fielded the quietly arresting PSA “The House with No Escape” for the Assaulted Women’s Helpline, highlighting a horrifying reality for the one-in-four Canadian women who have experienced domestic abuse.

Ten years ago, Giants & Gentlemen started with nothing except a mission to bring bold ideas to life with integrity. There have since been many developments at the Toronto brand-building agency, and never more so than in the past year.

Change began with co-founders Natalie Armata and Alanna Nathanson becoming sole agency owners. One of their first moves was to bring on industry vet Sally McConnell, who took on the role of VP Operations. (She joins VP business lead Mary Ruf and VP head of strategy Doug Potwin on the senior leadership team.) They also added Becky May as an ACD.

The agency added new clients including Dr. Bernstein Diet & Health Clinics and Clover Leaf, and took on ambitious new projects for Tokyo Smoke and RBC Royal Bank. And with all this change afoot, it decided to celebrate its 10th anniversary by rolling out a new identity – G&G – along with a fresh brand rethink. Stay tuned.

But Nathanson insists G&G’s approach hasn’t changed. It continues to offer a range of services encompassing 360° planning, brand positioning and identity, design, creative production, social and experiential. It still prides itself on a culture of openness and collaboration, and she says the senior team remains hands-on. This is not an agency obsessed with hierarchy. Ideas carry the day.

G&G created “The Giuseppe Shoppe,” an online destination where fans of Dr. Oetker pizzas can buy wearables.

G&G created “The Giuseppe Shoppe,” an online destination where fans of Dr. Oetker pizzas can buy wearables.

And you can see that in the last year’s work. G&G hasn’t been afraid to take risks and challenge the expected while delivering results.

G&G certainly went with the unexpected with a centaur character touting Dr. Oetker Momenti at-home pizzas, comparing the two components of the mythical half man/half horse creature to the snack that is both healthy and tastes great. The project, launched in January, features 15-second TV and online video spots, as well as six-second cut-downs across YouTube and social media.

G&G also created “The Giuseppe Shoppe,” an online destination where Dr. Oetker fans can buy wearables such as shirts bearing the slogan “I’m with Pizza” or pizza car air fresheners. The Shoppe realized an 18% conversion rate of site traffic to orders and an average order value well over $50.

Elsewhere, the agency personalized client Enercare’s range of protection plans by bringing to life that feeling of helplessness when homes seem to have a mind of their own.

For the Harvey’s “Be a Burger Boss” campaign, G&G’s Alanna Nathanson says, “We really dug into what differentiates them as a brand, which is customization.”

For the Harvey’s “Be a Burger Boss” campaign, G&G’s Alanna Nathanson says, “We really dug into what differentiates them as a brand, which is customization.”

“From a strategic perspective, the category is very functional and generally lacks insight or emotion – we wanted to be different,” says Armata. “We personified homes and asked our audience: do you own your house or does your house own you?” She notes that Enercare’s plan sales have increased dramatically since the advertising launched versus previous years.

And, displaying its range and presence in the cause area, G&G fielded a quietly arresting PSA campaign for the Assaulted Women’s Helpline, reminding people that staying home during lockdown is not safe for everyone. The key images were of houses with doors and windows bricked over, getting across the notion that living with an abusive partner is like being in prison.

Despite G&G’s evolution, what hasn’t changed is the team’s longstanding philosophy “Be brave. Be decent.”

“It means going with our gut, facing hard truths, taking risks and always being direct and open,” Nathanson explains. “It’s rooted in Natalie’s and my DNA, and it’s led to our special culture and continued success.”

 

CONTACT:
Sally McConnell
VP Operations
s.mcconnell@giantsandgents.com

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