McDonald’s Canada – Our Food. Your Questions.

After fielding roughly 6,000 questions online about its food, McDonald’s Canada is taking the conversation “offline” with a new advertising campaign.

In June, McDonald’s Canada launched an interactive digital platform, “Our Food. Your Questions.” in an effort to be more transparent with consumers about where its food comes from and how it’s made. Consumers asked everything from calorie counts of certain menu items to why McDonald’s burgers and fries don’t rot when left out for a long period of time.

McDonald’s has now launched an integrated advertising campaign to reach even more Canadians and invite them to join the conversation online.

“The initial success of the program is a real testament to the power of creating meaningful and open dialogue with customers,” said Joel Yashinsky, chief marketing officer at McDonald’s Canada. “This level of transparency has resonated with our guests and has created the type of conversation we want to have with them about our food. We’re excited to see how far it can go.”

The campaign from Tribal DDB Toronto includes television, digital and various outdoor media. Since its inception the company’s response team has covered almost 6,000 questions at the site.  Answers have been posted using text, photos and video.

“The program exceeded all our expectations and we learned from customer feedback that this is an important opportunity for us to continue and evolve the dialogue with our customers,” said Joel Yashinsky, chief marketing officer at Toronto-based McDonald’s Canada. “We wanted to broaden it so that the reach allowed all customers in Canada to be aware of the program and ask any questions they had about our food.”

The TV spot shows questions from the website with behind-the-scenes shots from McDonald’s operations, for example a burger getting prepped for a photo shoot after the question, “Why does your food look different in the advertising than what’s in store?” Meanwhile, video projections on buildings in urban centres will feature select questions and answers–some still and some full-motion with answers that were done on video. “It will [give] a surprise to people in those areas to see the projection of these questions that are very provocative and raise the awareness of the program,” said Yashinsky. Yashinsky said the platform “is going to run forever… We think this is a great two-way conversation for us to have with our customers that we don’t want to end.”

How McDonald’s Canada Makes their World Famous Fries

Did you know that McDonald’s World Famous Fries are made from whole potatoes harvested mainly from farms in New Brunswick, Alberta, and Manitoba? Watch and see exactly how our fries get made, from the farm to the fryer.

“What is in the sauce that is in the Big Mac?”

Christine H. from Oshawa asked, “What is in the sauce that is in the Big Mac?”

Where McDonald’s Canada Gets Our Hamburger Patties From

You’ve probably heard that every McDonald’s Canada hamburger patty is made with 100% pure Canadian beef. But what does that really mean? To find out, we visited Cargill’s processing plant in northern Alberta to give you an all-access look at exactly what our hamburger patties are made from and how they get made.

“Why don’t you guys grill the patties? Better than microwaves!”

“Why don’t you guys grill the patties? Better than microwaves!” Jeffry B. from Oshawa asked. McDonald’s Canada Manager of National Operations Drew Sadler answered.

Is 100% pure beef the name of a company?

“Is your beef actually 100% pure beef or is that just the name of the company?” That’s what John R., from Toronto asked. Our answer: a corporate title search to see if the company actually exists.

Behind the scenes at a McDonald’s photo shoot

Isabel M from Toronto asked “Why does your food look different in the advertising than what is in the store?”

The McNugget under the microscope

Sheri N. from Saskatoon asked, “Is the thing about the Chicken McNuggets true? They are made from a processed pink sludge of meat and bones ground up with chemicals?”

Real Egg Crackdown

“Does your Egg McMuffin use real eggs? They look to perfect” To answer this question our Crew Members were brought in to prove that McDonald’s® Canada uses real freshly cracked Canada Grade A eggs so often, they’ve got skills.

“Why is the food at McDonald’s so cheap?”

“Why is the food at mcdonalds so cheap?” Joanne S., from Toronto asked. McDonald’s Canada President and CEO John Betts answered.

Advertising Agency: Tribal DDB, Toronto, Canada
Creative Director: Louis-Philippe Tremblay
Copywriter:Ryan Lawrence
Art Director:Benson Ngo
Agency Producer: Melanie Lambertsen
Account Director: Miles Savage
Production Company: Family Style
Directors: John Weyman, Torey Kohara
Line Producer: Liz Dussault
Post-Production Company: School – Various
Editor: School – Various
Audio House: RNW
Talent: Real People (McDonald’s Employees, suppliers)

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Adidas: Adicolor Project – United Colors of adidas

The adicolor podcast is a series of seven short films created for adidas to celebrate “colour, costomization and personal expression”. The films were created to be specifically viewed on iPods, PSPs and online, which was still a fairly revolutionary proposition back in 2006 when the films were made. A team of excellent directors was put together, with Neill Blomkamp, Psyop, Happy, Tronic, Roman Coppola and Andy Bruntel, Saimon Chow and Charlie White each given an entirely open brief to create a film based on their emotional response to a particular colour. The podcasts related to the adicolor global digital campaign for which adidas had asked 20 artists to design a shoe based on their response to a colour. The films feature such surreal scenes as an orgiastic dinner party involving green paintball splashes and a pink-loving teenager’s transformation into a bejewelled figurine. With an original goal of achieving one million views globally, the campaign actually achieved over 25 million views in just seven weeks.

Adicolor BLACK
Stills from Saiman Chow’s film for the colour BLACK. The film is a surreal tale about a lonely, crazed panda.

Adicolor PINK
Charlie White directed the adicolor PINK film, which sees a teenager turn into a bewelled figurine while her pink teddy looks on helplessly.

Adicolor BLUE
Psyop is behind the adicolor blue film, where New York City is turned black and white, apart from the odd splashes of blue.

Adicolor GREEN
Adicolor green by Happy shows a space-age dinner party where everything gets a little out of hand after some green treats are consumed.

Adicolor WHITE
Adicolor WHITE was directed by Tronic and sees Jenna Jameson enthusiastically playing a funfair game.

Adicolor YELLOW
Neil Blomkamp directed the adicolor YELLOW film, a gripping tale about robots and artificial life.

Adicolor RED
Roman Coppola and Andy Bruntel created this animated history of the colour red for the adicolor RED film.

Advertising Agency: Idealogue, New York
Year: 2006


Red Bull and Felix Baumgartner – The Next “Gold Lion for Special Events and Stunt/Live Advertising”

In October of 2012, Felix Baumgartner will attempt a record-breaking freefall jump from 120,000 feet – 23 miles – above the earth as part of Red Bull Stratos: a mission to the edge of space. The attempt will take place near Roswell, NM, USA, and if successful, Felix Baumgartner could be the first person to break the speed of sound with his own body, protected only by a space suit. As no one has successfully jumped from this height before, it’s uncertain what the highest supersonic freefall in history will look or feel like.


Vitro for Asics – STOP AT NEVER Campaign

In April 2011, top sportswear manufacturer ASICS has launched STOP AT NEVER Campaign that demonstrates the amazing capabilities of its footwear. In a series of ads that also feature real athletes, ASICS puts its footwear through every kind of test imaginable. The campaign seeks not only to demonstrate the product’s features in a number of unconventional ways, but also to highlight ASIC’s commitment to innovating better products and supporting athletes everywhere.

ASICS Vice President of Marketing Erik Forsell said, “ASICS is committed to giving athletes the most technologically advanced footwear for exceptional performance. With our ‘Stop at Never’ campaign, we are focused on revealing all of the incredible and awe-inspiring elements of our product.”

The “Stop at Never” website features a series of ten videos highlighting the incredible technology of ASICS footwear. The short reels are a “behind the curtain” look into the product testing the ASICS footwear endured throughout development, while simultaneously capturing the determination and grace of ASICS enthusiasts and athletes. Two of the most captivating videos include the “Jack Hammer Test,” where an ASICS GEL series GEL shoe absorbs the full impact from a construction-grade jackhammer, and “Feet For Hands,” which demonstrates the flexibility of ASICS Omniflex-Pursuit shoes as they serve as gloves for athletic training. The videos also demonstrate the unparalleled strength and determination of ASICS athletes, including sprinter Greg Nixon, world champion wrestler Jordan Burroughs, Olympic thrower Russ Winger, pole vaulter April Steiner-Bennet, Javelin thrower Kara Patterson, and decathlete Jake Arnold, as well as incredible technology of the ASICS GEL series shoes – the GEL-Kayano18, GEL-Neo33, GEL-Excel33, and others.

“Stop at Never” positions ASICS for multidimensional expansion into new athletic categories, with a more digitally focused campaign, built out social media elements, and an exciting round of on-the-ground executions. The “Stop at Never” website is now live, and will be supported through robust marketing efforts including extensive digital advertising on leading athletic and lifestyle sites, as well as promotion at the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials, U.S. Track & Field Olympic Trials, and Drake Relays and ASICS’ own growing social media community.

Anima Sana In Corpore Sano, meaning “A Sound Mind in a Sound Body,” is an old Latin phrase from which ASICS is derived and the fundamental platform on which the brand still stands. The company was founded more than 60 years ago by Kihachiro Onitsuka and is now a leading designer and manufacturer of running shoes, as well as, other athletic footwear, apparel and accessories.

The project essentially consists of 10 different videos that reside on the Stop at Never site and show how tough Asics sneakers can be. The site is beautifully designed, with a scroll-through functionality that lets you navigate through web videos of the experiments.

1 – Catapult Demo/How can a medieval weapon help us run faster?

2 – Feet for Hands Demo/What happens when an elastic-like shoe meets an iron-like will?

3 – Vertigo Test/Can a shoe help keep you stable even in dizzying conditions?

4 – Breathability Demo/What can we learn by turning a trail shoe into a bubble machine? 

5 – Pasta Test/What’s the connection between drier feet and spaghetti?

6 – Sink or Sprint Test/Can a lightweight shoe help you float on water?

7 – Fountain Test/What happens when you combine 500lbs. of water pressure with an agility course?

8 – Jackhammer Test/What can a jackhammer teach us about running longer?

9 – Levitation Test/What happens when a sprinter decides to test the laws of gravity? 

10 – Inverted Tennis Test/What happens when you combine a crane and a tennis player? 

11 – Black Belt/What can a black belt teach us about running softer?

12 – Slo-Mo Vertical/What’s the connection between a grasshopper, frog and a ferocious volleyball spike?

13 – Limitless Runner/Can freer foot movement help free up your imagination?

14 – Urban Treadmill/What happens when you combine an urban obstacle course with hardcore soccer training?

15 – Lite-Show/What happens when you shed light on some of the best athletes in the world? 

16 – Paint by Stencil/How can 12 gallons of paint and a colossal canvas help us illustrate the benefits of a lighter, faster shoe? 

Advertising Agency: Vitro, San Diego/New York, USA
Creative Chairman: John Vitro
Chief Creative Officers: Jonas Hallberg, Liron Reznik
Creative Director: KT Thayer
Copywriter: Schuyler Vanden Bergh, Simone Nobili
Sr. Art Director: Cris Westrell
Art Directors: Kevin Lukens, Kevin Cimo, Dominic Al-Samarraie
Digital Production: Kokokaka
Video Production: 13 Keys
Year: 2012


118-118 The Number (2003/2009) – A Real Spoof Case History

118 118’s advertising features two men with droopy mustaches, wearing items of clothing with 118 and two parallel red stripes on it. They have appeared in various forms. The campaign was originally launched using the two men dressed as athletic runners. Used with the catchphrase “Got Your Number!”, the runners’ characters featured in a high-profile advertising (created by British advertising agency WCRS).

This slogan has fallen into disuse by the marketing department of 118 118 because of the expansion of service beyond directory enquiries alone, but the slogan has lived on in the minds of the public. The use of the runners’ characters is particularly noted for the legal action threatened by 1970s record-breaking runner David Bedford. 118 118 responded to this by stating that their inspiration was partly the late American runner Steve Prefontaine.


David Bedford


Steve Prefontaine

Subsequently they have appeared in a range of guises, including spoof detectives, as the company expanded on its range of services. During this period, although generally forgotten by the public, the slogan used was “We’re here to help!”, a different focus driven by the expansion of products offered.

2003 – Rocky Campaign
In November 2003 the commercial, called “Rocky”, features the moustachioed runners jogging through London. As the pair run, the ad turns into a training scene reminiscent of the film. More than 30 moustachioed children, dressed as 118 118 runners, join the training run which culminates with the duo recreating the end of Stallone’s run with hands thrust victoriously in the air at the top of a long flight of steps. “That’s what happens when you help millions of people each week!” one of the runners comment… In keeping with the retro theme, the commercial also features a cameo appearance by the 80s ventriloquist, Keith Harris, and his bird puppet Orville.

Keith Martin, the account manager at WCRS, said: “The campaign has two points of focus. The first is memorability. With the old 192 service being switched off on 24 August, there will be a lot of activity and so it is all about getting 118 118 as the most memorable number for customers to use. The second aim is stature. By running these campaigns, we want to show that 118 118 is here to stay – that the company is taking millions of calls a month already. More weighting is being put on running the 60-second spot, as it adds scale.”

2004 – Honda Spoof Campaign
In this addition to the series featuring the skinny athletes, they created the award-winning Honda commercial “Cog” and “Choir” created by Wieden & Kennedy London, using old bit of carpet, gym mats, a stop sign and a couple of old treadmills. It’s not as high tech as the original, but it gets the message across – and probably provided a nice giggle for the advertising community. It was created for television, but Honda failed to see the humorous side and stopped the ad from being broadcast. It is now, however, available for view online and is being promoted through a viral campaign.

2006. A-Team Campaign
In February 2006 a new advertising campaign was launched in which the runners appeared in advertisements in the style of the television show The A-Team, using the A-Team theme tune with the number 118 sung over the music.

2007. Flashdance Campaign
In May 2007 a new advertising campaign was launched in which the runners trade in their 70s look for leotards and leg warmers to spoof the 1983 film starring Jennifer Beals. The two and a half minute clip features a comedy reworking of Michael Sembello’s song Maniac, which featured on the Flashdance soundtrack.

2009, the Ghostbuster Campaign
Shot like a camp pop video, the 2-minute film also stars Ray Parker Jr, who appears in a number of guises, including a postman, a bus conductor and a mechanic. 60 and 40-second versions will also be broadcast. The legendary singer stars alongside the moustachioed 118 118 brothers who are back in tight shorts running round a London street helping people out. The ad ends with the trio standing on top of a mini van singing to a crowd of dancing onlookers.


15 Best Olympics Advertising for London 2012

1 – Procter & Gamble – Best Job

Arguably the most memorable Olympics 2012 ad, Procter & Gamble champions mums in this commercial titled ‘Best job’. The tear jerker, created by Wieden + Kennedy Portland, follows four child athletes on their path to the London Olympic Games, supported, cared for and encouraged by their mothers every step of the way.

2 – Nike – Find Your Greatness

Nike does it again. Now famous for its ambush marketing tactics around major global sporting events, the sports apparel giant launched ‘Find your greatness’ in 25 countries yesterday to coincide with the opening ceremony. Cleverly avoiding any mention of London 2012 and the Olympic rings, the ad features places across the world with ‘London’ in their names, along with local everyday athletes enjoying their sports. The ad was created by Nike’s longterm agency partner Wieden + Kennedy.

3 – Coca-Cola – Move to the Beat

Mother London, Mark Ronson and Coca-Cola traveled the world to create a new dance track using the sounds of sport from 5 Olympic hopefuls.

4 – Omega – Star Me Up

A remix of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Start me up’ sets the pace for this commercial with the same title for Omega, the official timekeeper of the Olympics 2012. The ad lingers on the moments right before the start of a race or event, the tension felt by the athletes as they hone their focus for the task ahead.

5 – McDonald’s – Rivals

The Olympic spirit lives within us all. And when gold medals don’t provide enough motivation for greatness, McDonald’s is proud to serve the Happy Meals, Big Macs, and Fries that put everyone in the mood for a little competition.

6 – British Airways – London Calling

British Airways has launched its Olympic advert as anticipation builds ahead of the Games. It features one of BA’s jets strolling through London and showcasing landmarks such as Trafalgar Square and the Palace of Westminster, before taking in the Olympic Stadium in Stratford. Best of all though, it is set to the soundtrack of The Clash’s London Calling

7 – Adidas – What will you take?

Among others, Olympic Games sponsor Adidas created ‘What will you take?’ in support of Team Great Britian in partnership with agency Sid Lee. The colourful advert touches on all aspects of being an Olympian, both good and bad, as it challenges the athletes to take the stage and embrace this fleeting, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

8 – Icy Dew – Sixty Percent

Taking a break from the blood, sweat and tears approach, Coca-Cola bottled water brand Icy Dew created this amusing ’60 per cent water’ TVC in partnership with BBH Shanghai ahead of the Games. While this one might not stir the Olympian in you, it will certainly make you chuckle.

9 – Powerade – Power Through

Another Wieden + Kennedy addition, Powerade‘s ‘Power through’ Olympics advert focuses on “the line between breaking point and breaking through”, the extra effort that makes the difference between those athletes that go home with a medal and those that return disappointed. More muscles, more tension and another emotionally charged voice-over, the real stuff of Olympics advertising.

10 – Samsung – Are You Ready?

Cheil Worldwide launched this ‘Are you ready?’ ad for Olympic sponsor Samsung in support of its Galaxy S3 model across 20 countries this week. Olympics ambassador David Beckham signals the start of the event by kicking a ball against a gong in an impressive long-range shot.

11 – Visa- The Difference

Worldwide sponsor Visa has been putting its name to the Olympic Games for 25 years. This ad, titled ‘The difference’, was created by TBWA Chiat Day Los Angeles and narrated by Hollywood legend Morgan Freeman. This is just one in a series of Sepia-coloured ads marking Visa’s quarter century partnership with the Games this year.

12 – National Lottery Funded Athletes – Jenny Meadow Mother’s Story

Inspired by the story of 800 metres runner Jenny Meadows’ mother, our newest TV advert looks at how National Lottery funding helps British athletes achieve their dreams. Extended version. Thanks to TNL players we’re helping over 1,200 British athletes fulfil their dreams at London 2012 and beyond. No-one has contributed more to our athletes than our players.

13 – EDF – Powering The Games

EDF is an official partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, supplying the Olympic Park with low carbon electricity for a sustainable Olympics to remember.

14 – GlaxoSmithKline – Marlon Devonish

Touching on the ugly side of sport, GlaxoSmithKline features English sprinter Marlon Devonish to promote its provision of anti-doping laboratory services at the Games. Created by TBWA London, the advert takes the viewer inside the athlete’s body to experience the tension and exhilaration as he prepares to run the race of a lifetime.

15 – BP – Fuelling The Future

BP is proud to be the Official Oil and Gas Partner for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as a Premier Partner of the Cultural Olympiad.


Heineken – Buy a pint of Heineken or we’ll keep running this commercial

Four film, one campaign.

Sales of Heineken are not high enough, so the makers of the ad have an excruciating punishment in store magician Paul Daniels and his wife Debbie singing a syrupy duet, off-key, on a kitsch set. As the pair tunelessly croon “Close to You” a strapline appears: “Buy a pint of Heineken, or we’ll keep running this commercial”. The second ad opens with the line, “It seems some people didn’t takes the last Heineken commercial seriously. Perhaps this might persuade them”, and, as if by magic, Vanessa Feltz and Peter Stringfellow drop from the sky dressed as angels and join in the song. The words “Remember, buy Heineken or we’ll keep running these commercials” close the second ad. But it is the third execution that causes the most belly laughs. With the strapline “Good news. Sales of Heineken have risen dramatically, but not dramatically enough”, Emmerdale’s Lisa Riley and “It” girl Tamara Beckwith sing along while cuddling up to Jimmy Saville with Jimmy Hill marching past playing, very badly, the trumpet.. Finally, in the fourth execution (literally), sales of Heineken have risen… so two lion are sent on stage to devour the performers.

How refresh. How Heineken.

“Heineken advertising typically shows the brand providing a refreshing twist by “blackmailing” people into drinking more beer,” said Iain Newell, the marketing manager at Heineken. “Of course the ads are pretending to be irritating but in fact they are very funny.”

Advertising Agency: Lowe Lintas, London
Creative Director: Charles Inge
Copywriter: Terry Barry
Art Director: Damon Collins
Production Company: Gorgeous Enterprises
Director: Chris Palmer
Year: 2001