Rethink advertising & marketing assignments

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Rethink is one of the largest remaining independent advertising and design agencies in Canada, with offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. It was launched in 1999 in Vancouver by three senior staffers from the former Palmer Jarvis agency, who jumped ship to open their own business shortly after their employer was acquired by DDB. The Toronto office opened in 2010. Rethink has retained a reputation as one of the country's top creative agencies ever since, although its clients tend to be Canadian businesses rather than multinational accounts. The agency is perhaps best-known for its work for local brewing giant Molson, especially a series of ads featuring the iconic Molson Canadian red fridge, offering a free beer to anyone who says "I Am Canadian" in any one of six languages. Rethink regularly features among the leaders in local rankings of the most creative agencies. It was Strategy magazine's Agency of the Year for 2019 and again for 2020, as well as Design Agency of the Year. It is still overseen by founders Chris Staples and Ian Grais (previously creative partners) and Tom Shepansky (previously managing administrative partner). However they stepped back from day-to-day management at the end of 2020, though they continue to jointly own the business alongside a team of 22 managing partners. Caleb Goodman is chief operating officer with Aaron Starkman as chief creative officer. After stellar performance during 2021, Rethink achieved the hat-trick of being named as overall Agency of the Year, as well as Digital Agency of the Year and Design Agency of the Year in Strategy magazine's annual awards.

Capsule checked 25th March 2021

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Recent stories from Adbrands Update:

Adbrands Daily Update 6th Apr 2021: "Our Little World". What *did* we do before CGI? The latest campaign from indie Canadian powerhouse Rethink for Ikea offers a breath-taking masterclass in creative imagination, positing a collection of different individual worlds, each inhabited by a different household. Not just humans: bees and birds get their own distinct worlds too. It's a stunning idea, executed brilliantly. A special mention for digital effects house A52 who delivered the finished result. And like all of Ikea's marketing around the globe, it has a powerful message to make about sustainability and envoironmental awareness. Ikea Canada's head of marketing Johanna Andren says "We wanted to show that sustainability and positive change is still possible with small actions taken at home, while acknowledging the shared experiences and challenges of the last year, and really celebrating the way communities have come together to face them." Stunning.

Adbrands Daily Update 22nd Jan 2021: "Draw Ketchup". In reality, the world has plenty of tomato ketchup brands to choose from, but most of us can think of only one. Canadian agency Rethink seized upon that simple truth with this elegant little film for Heinz; proof if ever we needed it that Heinz Tomato Ketchup is the Kleenex or the Hoover of the food world, a brand so famous that it is practically a generic emblem in its own right.

Adbrands Daily Update 5th Oct 2020: "One Little Thing". Trust Ikea to take the trouble to spend big bucks on a full blown campaign just to promote a $2.99 light bulb. Only of course there's so much more to it than that: the light bulb is just the symbol of a much bigger push towards efficient energy and green living. Ikea Canada's long time local agency Rethink, one of the country's last big independents, pulls out all the stops for a lovely ad that wears its technological wizardry lightly and modestly. It might look simple, but we'd bet this took days to pull off, even with the cleverly disguised cuts that make several separate sequences appear to blend into one single tracking shot.

Adbrands Daily Update 20th Apr 2019: "Stuff Monster". Ikea buffs up its sustainable credentials with this heart-warming campaign in Canada from local indie Rethink. Yes, that's right: there's only one Ikea product being explicitly promoted here; the humble $1 Frakta bag. But those other items look familiar as well, don't they. Actually, the ad underpins an admirable recycling initiative. Earlier this year, the retailer launched a unique sell-back program nationally across Canada whereby customers can return their existing used Ikea furniture (in good condition of course) in exchange for store credit on new purchases. The used products are sold in-store at heavily discounted prices. It's a bold and - in its own small way - even a revolutionary concept. The ad of course - as you'd expect from such an accomplished marketer - is delightful too.

Adbrands Social Media 15th Apr 2019: "True Love". There's both sweet and sad in this lovely campaign for Heinz Ketchup in Canada from Toronto independent Rethink. That's the trouble with anthropomorphic food: it's a bad idea to get too attached to any particular edible, because it won't be too long before it gets sliced or diced. Still, if you're gonna go, there are worse ways than being smothered in Heinz Tomato Ketchup...


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