Launching P. Diddy’s Sean John brand

Our Successes


Client: Henkel Consumer Goods Canada

Project: Purex Natural Elements Laundry Detergent “Little Drops, Big Ripples”

Objective: To generate awareness of Purex Natural Elements laundry detergent, a year after it had been launched and enjoyed extensive media coverage.

Strategy: Following up on the success of the Henkel hockey program, the company hired us in the Fall of 2008 to create a second-year awareness program for its Purex Natural Elements laundry detergent. The first biodegradable laundry detergent from a major company, Purex Natural Elements breaks down within 28 days, putting less stress on the environment. We developed the Little Drops, Big Ripples program. We asked families and teachers and their classes to think about what they are putting down their drains at home, and then invited them to enter a contest sharing tips for things we can do to keep our water systems clean and pure. Teachers were also invited to use free custom-designed educational resources that dovetailed with existing class curriculum and available online. We negotiated a charitable aspect with Free the Children, a Canadian charity that ensures fresh clean water is available in less developed countries. The charity’s Clean Water project provides young girls with the opportunity to go to school rather than spend their days searching for water by taking home water from the wells at the schools.

Results: The program generated 485,970,272 impressions through 381 positive stories worth more than $53 million in editorial coverage. The contest received 81,702 entries including 273 sent in by teachers, and the program generated double digit growth for the brand. The program was recognized with two industry awards, an Award of Excellence for Media Relations and an Award of Excellence for Social Responsibility and was named the 2009 Best Consumer Promotion by Dial Corporation, makers of Purex.



Client: Henkel Consumer Goods Canada

Project: Henkel Play Strong, Play Clean, Play Fair Hockey

Objective: To generate awareness of Henkel Consumer Goods Canada as a sponsor of the IIHF World Championship Hockey being held in Canada for the first time.

Strategy: Henkel Consumer Goods Canada hired us in August 2007 to create a public relations program to promote Henkel’s sponsorship of the 2008 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championships. We developed a corporate brand-building public relations program that utilized the hockey sponsorship tie-in as an opportunity to introduce the company to Canadians and the world as they focused on the games. Our strategy was to develop a strong awareness of Henkel as a company through the utilization of a national survey that gauged Canadians feelings about recreational hockey, especially where children were involved. We then developed a web site contest that encouraged children to tell us what playing clean and fair hockey meant to them and launched a national consumer media relations program to advise Canadians about the contest and the opportunity win a trip to the championships. In addition, every entry received would generate a donation through the Henkel Smile corporate philanthropy program to KidSport to provide funds to underprivileged kids who can’t afford to play hockey.

Results: There were more than 1,054 stories generated by the program on local, regional, national, mainstream and alternative, print, broadcast and the web media outlets, and all mentioned the company by name. The winners were featured in a 4.5 minute piece on CTV’s Canada AM. More than 924,474,985 impressions were generated across Canada, and in fact, throughout the world; 62 times the target. More than $172,387,422 in editorial coverage was generated; an ROI of 1,675 times the total budget; and 575 times the goal. There were 33,140 unique visitors to the web site, and 946,634 page views. Parents were excited about the program and sent in comments like: “It’s a terrific contest and really reflects so much of the attitudes of so many of the kids and parents I talk to. Colin is in his first year of organized hockey and I think this sort of emphasis is so vitally important for the enjoyment of the kids! HUGE kudos to Henkel for doing this. This what corporate responsibility should be all about! BRAVO!!” Henkel donated more than $25,000 to KidSport to give young Canadians a chance to play their national pastime.


Client: Ronzoni Foods Canada

Project: The Launch of Catelli Smart Pasta

Objective: To officially launch Ronzoni Foods Canada’s innovative new Catelli Smart Pasta with inulin.

Strategy: Ronzoni Foods Canada Corporation hired us in May of 2007 help them launch their new Catelli Smart Pasta. Smart Pasta is an industry first, a delicious white pasta with the fibre benefit of whole wheat that uses inulin as one of the key ingredients to achieve this goal, a new use for this fairly new food ingredient. The strategy developed was to create a creative, thought-provoking communications program that would generate awareness, develop support for and create an understanding of the benefits of Catelli Smart pasta. We wanted to layer the program to reach and educate consumers in various ways: about the health benefits of the inulin in the pasta, about how easy it was to integrate eating healthy into their every day lives and how great tasting the new pasta was. We used the results from a national omnibus consumer survey to provide us with statistical information about the obstacles for Canadians to eating healthier every day, developed the theme, “It’s back to school time and it’s not just the kids getting Smart™…We’re getting Smart about our pasta” and created an integrated national consumer awareness media relations campaign.

Results: The program was an overwhelming success both in terms of the way the product was portrayed, the coverage of the product, the goodwill it generated amongst the trade, the favourable impressions it left with media and consumers and the business it has generated. More than 48,764,117 impressions were generated across Canada; more than 3 three times than target. Major, Tier 1, national media have carried stories, resulting in more than 99 positive stories, and all mentioned the brand by name. More than $589,320 in editorial coverage was generated; an ROI of seven times the total budget; and triple the goal. Media loved the new pasta and told their readers so. “Two thumbs up is how we’d rate new Catelli Smart Pasta.” “I was pleasantly surprised with this and would use it again.” “Inside the press kit were some fabulous recipes.” The program won two industry awards including an international Gold Quill Award.


Client: Multiprint Ltd – Deréon

Project: Beyoncé and the Canadian Launch of Deréon

Objective: To officially launch superstar entertainer Beyoncé’s family-run fashion business, Deréon, in Canada.

Strategy: On July 18, 2007, Multiprint Ltd, a Montreal-based clothing manufacturer and distributor, received agreement from superstar entertainer Beyoncé to launch her new, junior fashion line, Deréon, in Canada. We identified an opportunity to create an exclusive, “By Invitation Only” event for trade and media. It would allow an inside look at the “sexy, sophisticated, empowered lifestyle” character of the brand which was in keeping with Beyoncé and Tina’s design approach. We would bring that taste of the high life to Toronto and show the trade and the media that Deréon was a strong, growing, sexy and exciting brand.

Our strategy was to utilize Beyoncé’s Toronto tour date to develop an event that would generate media awareness of the launch and the line. However, as Beyoncé would only be available for one hour, we also wanted to utilize the family aspect of business to extend awareness beyond Beyoncé and generate additional media opportunities. The key: do it all in three weeks, over the long August 1st weekend, and during industry summer shut-downs on a very tight budget. We: rented the entire Ultra Supper Club venue, a chic, happening dinner club with rooftop lounge in downtown Toronto; worked with the chef to create a dynamic, exciting menu with a nod to Tina’s Creole heritage; devised a decorating theme; arranged for valet parking and a red entry carpet; lighting; staging with video walls showing Beyoncé’s music and fashion videos; sourced decorations including flowers, renting furniture; hired a designer and florist; developed and delivered invitations; made hotel arrangements for the entire entourage team; created a live fashion show at the event; and coordinated all media arrangements in Toronto. We needed to generate buzz right from the delivery of the invitations. Over the long holiday weekend in August, we sourced and printed navy blue embossed invitations, with a special hang tag that told the story of the family heritage that is Deréon. These tags were hand applied to live white Casablance lilies. Each lily was place by hand in a clear plexiglass box, with the invitation just prior to delivery. Each VIP invitation was hand-delivered by two stretch limos and drivers wearing white gloves and carrying the invitations on sliver trays. When each box was opened, the scent of the Casablance lily wafted out. The buzz about the event started immediately.

Results: We created an exciting and exclusive event — one that would be heralded as a major event — that was attended by the who’s who of the Canadian fashion industry and media, more than 650 guests. Invitations were in hot demand. 118 media and their guests from Canada’s key media RSVP’d. We generated national, positive media coverage that generated brand awareness, mentioned the brand by name and established the credibility of Deréon as a fashion line — in both the news and fashion sections of newspapers, TV and magazines — and included three front page photos. The amount of coverage generated is outstanding given that our opportunity to conduct one-on-one interviews with Beyonce, Tina and Solange was very limited. There were 107 stories which generated 163,358,368 impressions, 11x our goal and 71 of the stories discussed the family connection. In fact, the media coverage was seen internationally, reaching into the U.S. and Latin America including photos on The editorial value of the program is $9,075,050.16, which represents a return on investment of approximately 42x the budget. The program won four industry awards for special events and media relations.


Client: Multiprint Ltd./Sean John Canada

Project: The Future of Fashion: The Launch of Sean John in Canada

Objective: To officially launch the Sean John fashion line in Canada and create media coverage of the brand.

Strategy: A new licensee had been assigned the Sean John brand in Canada creating a need to reinvigorate the brand and generate excitement about a fashion line that had already been in Canada for approximately two years. We identified an opportunity to create an exclusive, “by invitation only” party for trade, media and celebrity VIPs. It allowed an inside look at the “not just a brand, but a lifestyle” character of the brand which was in keeping with designer’s approach. Sean “Puffy/P.Diddy” Combs is a rap star/entertainer/celebrity/fashion designer well known for his high lifestyle. It is a key element of the brand and one of the reasons that his target demographics purchase the menswear line: the opportunity to have a taste of his lifestyle. In addition to creating a high end event at the Rosewater Supper Club in Toronto, we coordinated a media tour in Montreal and Toronto with Mr. Combs. To ensure that Mr. Combs would be able to attend the event, we had only four weeks to coordinate the entire event and the media tour including all security details, hotel and entourage requirements, party logistics and media tour bookings. To generate buzz right from the initial invitation, we hired two VIP security officers dressed in Sean John suits to hand deliver the individually wrapped, boxed invitations in a Sean John branded Hummer.

Results: More than $17,294,870 in editorial coverage was generated, a 100x Return on Investment, and more than 221,811,718 impressions were generated. All of the major national media carried stories, as did affiliates across Canada. We coordinated live on-air appearances on MuchMusic in Toronto and MusiquePlus in Montreal. Media flocked to cover the arrival of his plane in both cities, even with his plane arriving at midnight in Toronto. There was front page coverage on the Toronto Star and the Toronto Sun. Fashion Television followed the group around all day, filming behind the scenes and generating a six minute feature piece that was shown in more than 40 countries worldwide. More than 675 guests attended the event including the who’s who of Canada’s fashion trade and media. Mr. Combs himself told a New York-based trade publication, DNR about the Canadian launch of his fashion line, executed by us, “It was overwhelming. I think it definitely surpassed my expectations.” The program received the prestigious 2006 IABC Gold Quill Award, a 2006 Silver Leaf Award and a 2006 OVATION Award for Media Relations.


Client: Cadbury Trebor Allan Inc.

Project: The Cadbury Caramilk Search for Canada’s Best Kept Secret Contest

Objective: To re-ignite consumers’ interest in and generate awareness of Cadbury Caramilk by leveraging the secrets concept inherent to the brand.

Strategy: To create awareness of Caramilk in a newsworthy manner, we developed The Cadbury Caramilk Search for Canada’s Best Kept Secret Contest. It included a media relations campaign to generate awareness for the contest, as well as reveal information gained from a national consumer “Secrets Survey” that revealed Canadians’ attitudes about secrets. We created a branded Reveal Your Secrets Kiosk that travelled across Canada and gathered videotaped secrets and included sampling opportunities. We also created radio and television co-promotions to promote the kiosk coming to cities across Canada.

Results: More than $570,000 in editorial coverage was generated, four times the cost of the program. More than 41 million impressions were created and the cost per impression was $0.00. All media coverage leveraged the secrets positioning and 46,000 samples of Caramilk were handed out to key demographic targets one-on-one. In addition, more than 530,000 Canadians saw the kiosk. The program contributed to the 13 per cent growth the brand experienced in 2002 and helped the brand to become the number one chocolate bar in Canada during the timing of the program. The program won an OVATION award in 2003.


Client: Wildlife Preservation Trust Canada

Project: Corporate Identity Research and Re-branding

Objective: To identify if the charity should re-brand and then help them to create that new identity.

Strategy: Wildlife Preservation Trust Canada (WPTC) is a lean, hands-on organization based in Guelph, Ontario that since 1985 has worked to save critically endangered species both in Canada and around the world — species whose numbers are so low that a great deal more than habitat protection is required to recover them. The project included working with a Task Force of Board Members to conduct a feasibility study of re-branding WPTC, including defining their target audiences, and considering whether changing their name, logo and identity would increase their appeal to their target audiences. The project needed to consider the timeline required, the cost and the implementation issues. The next step was to create the new name and logo. We outlined from our research what the name should convey, what needed to be kept in mind when revising the new name, identified that the current brand’s dodo had to go and suggested colours.

We identified 44 characteristics that were inherent to the organization and that the new brand would need to convey. Those were narrowed down as were the more than 35 suggested names that evolved from the research. We recommended that the name change slightly to Wildlife Preservation Canada and worked with our designer to create the new graphic icon. We also recommended adding a tagline to identify what WPTC does. We created 16 taglines, identified the top four and reviewed those with the Task Force.

Results: After reviewing many competitive logos, and having many discussions with the Task Force, we narrowed down the 50 designs we created to arrive at the new brand:

Feedback from the Board members included:


From the Executive Director: I think you did an excellent job of presenting your report to the Board and I have now read your full report and must commend you for a well written and comprehensive report. I found the input you received from people not connected to the Trust extremely valuable (i.e. charitable organizations often are very “inward” looking and tend to communicate in terms that may be familiar internally, but mean absolutely nothing to “outsiders” who we may want to bring “onside.” The input from outsiders on how our messages are not public friendly really hit home in the sense that I didn’t realize that the average educated person would not pick up on the concepts, so we obviously need to address this.

Incoming President: Again, many thanks for an excellent presentation that made the Board’s acceptance of our hard work that much easier. The inclusion of the process and some of the options made it clear that we had dealt with a lot of ideas.



Client: Strub Brothers Ltd.

Project: Ongoing Marketing Initiatives

Objective: To develop marketing and public relations initiatives to help create awareness of Strub’s
pickle products.

Strategy: We first began working with Strub’s, a small, privately owned family business based in Brantford, Ontario in 1999. We developed a public relations program that introduced the 70-year-old company to Canadians. Each subsequent year, we have developed integrated communications programs that have slowly expanded into radio advertising, couponing and additional sponsorship. To celebrate the company’s 75th birthday in 2004, we developed a program that included The Strub’s Celebrity Pickle-Off at the Good Food Festival, and the Strub’s 75th Anniversary Family Reunion Contest and media relations campaign that included the development of new recipes using Strub’s pickled products and facts gained from a national family reunion survey. In 2006, we launched the first organic pickle in Canada.

Results: The initial public relations program generated $274,724 in coverage, helped to increase market share 52 per cent and won two communication industry awards. The ongoing integrated efforts have continued to contribute to double-digit sales growth each year. ACN numbers have shown that our efforts have actually increased the size of the refrigerated pickles market. The 75th anniversary program came in under budget and generated more than 60,000,000 impressions at a cost of $0.00 per impression. The total editorial value of the program was more than $650,000. Our contest web site received almost 300,000 hits in three months and the program helped Strub’s to achieve its growth goals in Ontario and Western Canada including getting new listings. The program received a 2005 OVATION Award for Media Relations. Our program to launch Strub’s organic product reached 4.7 million people and generated a return on investment of 19.5 times the budget.


Client: Kraft Canada Inc.

Project: Post Honey Bunches of Oats Relaunch

Objective: Create consumer awareness of new packaging of Post Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal.

Strategy: Recognizing that most consumers and media have no interest in new packaging designs, we created the “It’s Big… Really Really Big” program for Post. Working with Kraft and Kraft Kitchens, together we made the world’s largest cereal treat bar to break the current Guinness World Record. To keep the attempt a secret to prevent other competitors and the current record holder, Michigan State University from pursing the record as well, we had to draft media materials and information pieces very creatively.

Results: The results were definitely really, really big. After more than 1,600 boxes of cereal, and 14 hours of cooking, the team created a 2,900 pound Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal Treat Bar. We then coordinated getting the official weighing of the bar and transporting the bar to downtown Toronto during rush hour traffic for an official unveiling the next day. At the unveiling, we cut the bar, wrapped it and handed out more 18,000 pieces of the treats to passersby. We had arranged for a dozen charities to receive pieces, as well as a number of local companies. The event was featured in TV, radio and newspapers across the country.


Client: Royal LePage Relocation Services

Project: All-Star Tool Kit Program Launch

Objective: Royal LePage Relocation Services (RLRS) merged three companies with distinct corporate cultures and identities and needed to harmonize and motivate the team.

Strategy: To create a common vision around which the 400 employees in five national offices could rally, we conducted a communications audit and developed the All-Star Tool Kit Program. The program created excitement around RLRS’ new corporate look and approach to business. The program included a teaser campaign, an all-star employee launch event that was held at movie theatres in the five cities on one day, customized briefcases with new business tools, including a Style Guide, and a relocation tool kit for clients.

Results: Employees enthusiastically accepted the new look and the new tools. This program was awarded three communications industry awards in 2000.


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