Meet A Bee: Ryan Dawson

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Art Director, video gamer, geek — around The Hive, he holds many titles. But the one thing he’s known for is big picture ideas and a love for detail that goes beyond just that. One of those first-to-arrive, last-to-leave creatives; he’s the kind who’ll stick around to bounce ideas, grab a beer, blast the Jurassic Park theme song across the floor, and just shoot the breeze. Here’s to more mornings, afternoons, evenings, and late late weekends with our one and only Ryan Dawson.

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A Dam Good Campaign

Keeping anglers and long-weekenders safe around Ontario's many hydro-eclectic dams is a responsibility that OPG takes very seriously.  The Hive, with loads of help from world famous animation studio, Aardman and Canadian folk singer, Ken Whitely, has crafted a very special warning designed to tell a timeless tale of a near miss that turns into a cautionary tale.  Yes we know beavers don’t eat fish, but as a more evolved species, they obviously practice catch and release.

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Stories Deeper than Skin

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What’s one thing Jack Daniel’s and the NBA have in common? Something that feels right for each brand and interesting to consumers? Tattoos. Tattoos with stories. Stories that inspire, based off principles celebrated by Jack Daniel’s and the NBA. Hard work, perseverance, independence, dedication. These qualities go into distilling every drop of Jack Daniel’s.

Whiskey & Ink popped up in a hip Toronto art gallery for one night. We invited fans to explore the inspirational stories behind the tattoos of amateur basketball players and NBA alumni Mo Williams. It was a night to promote this unique partnership unfamiliar to Canadian consumers, and celebrate things important to them while leveraging our connection point. Whiskey, ink, and stories. What more could you want on a rainy Tuesday night?

Meet a Bee: Holly Cheung

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What are you like before 8 am? Probably a tad grumpy, tired and no doubt jonesing for your morning coffee. It takes a very special person to make us all those morning coffees while wearing a smile brighter than the morning sun. It takes an even special-er person to greet each and every one of us with a solid, kind and happy “Good morning, <insert name here>!” The Hive wouldn’t be The Hive without Holly, our receptionist, front-of-houser and flood gate manager. When she isn’t making all of our professional day-to-day lives 100000000000000000 times better, she’s riding her bike around the city or kicking back with a glass of fine anything. Holly, you’re the best.

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New year. Big things. Six words.

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It’s a new year, and a new opportunity to Invent What’s Right for our clients. We’re buzzing with energy – energy to create work that gets serious attention this year. In fact, we’re resolving to make 2018 or most Inventful year yet. 

If you walk by our space over the month of January, you’ll notice our #SixWordResolutions in the windows. They’re big, bold, bright and showcase the promises we’re making to ourselves and the industry this year. From a copywriter eating more peaches to our working moms proving yes, you can do both, our resolutions span the many personalities that buzz inside our agency every day. But there’s one resolution we all share.

2018 Agency of the Year finalist.

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Raising Funds to Raise Awareness

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Every year, in the spirit of giving, we come together to raise money for causes near and dear to our hearts. This year, our efforts were focused on improving the lives of First Peoples and continuing the conversation around Canada’s grim history with residential schools. This year was for The Downie Wenjack Fund. Each department came up with a separate fundraiser and collectively we raised $3,700 for the cause. Together we played a part in helping fuel reconciliation, keeping Chanie Wenjack’s story burning bright. Thanks for lighting the match, Gord.

Pro-Line Promotes the Pre-game

From Strategy Online

By Harmeet Singh

OLG is continuing to evolve the marketing for its Pro-Line brand, this time by focusing on the pre-game.

The organization released a new Pro-Line mobile app at the end of August, serving essentially as a digital ticket builder for fans, says Caspar Yue, integrated marketing communications manager at OLG.

The purchasing process for Pro-Line has been pretty “arduous and old school” up until now, he says. Consumers have to pick up their selection sheets in-store, make their picks, then have it scanned back at retail to get their ticket. The app aims to simplify that by letting users make their picks from home and have their phones scanned at retail to get their ticket.

To promote the app, Yue says OLG saw an opportunity in the pre-game ritual, using that as the jumping off point for creative, led by Toronto agency The Hive. The new spots feature Pro-Line enthusiasts making the app part of their existing pre-game rituals, from handshakes to dances.

Read the rest at Strategy Online.

Successful ‘Play a Coke’ enjoys second summer launch

From Strategy Online 

By Jeremy Lloyd

The Spotify partnership returns after making market share gains in 2016.

Coca-Cola Canada is bringing back its mobile-enabled “Play a Coke” campaign after a successful debut in 2016.

The branding on the labels for a variety of Coke’s 500 ml bottles and fountain cups will be replaced with a play button and summery phrases such as “With the Boys” and “BBQ Time.”

Those with the Play a Coke app can scan these bottles for access to more than 180 new Spotify playlists, which they can then scan through by rotating the bottle in front of their smartphone’s camera.

The program debuted exclusively in Canada last summer as an extension of the brand’s “Taste the Feeling” platform.

The 2016 edition earned 21 million impressions through traditional PR channels and more than 150 million impressions through Coke’s influencer network, a brand spokesperson said. The spokesperson added that downloads of the app exceeded the company’s goals by 600%.

Read the rest at Strategy Online.

The Eskimos Are One Empire

After months of anticipation, The Edmonton Eskimos have launched the #OneEmpire campaign to much fanfare. We rallied the Esks together with a stirring, anthemic TV spot—check out what fans and players had to say below.


Check it out: OPG goes inside the reactor

From Strategy Online

By Mark Burgess

Ever since the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 that led to a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, governments and power corporations around the world have been grappling with the perception around the power source.

Ontario Power Generation’s latest campaign by The Hive seeks to highlight the company’s clean power credentials and promote the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station’s refurbishment. Launching April 19, the campaign is centred around a 30-second spot called “Inside Darlington” that’s shot inside the nuclear facility’s calandria – the core of the CANDU nuclear reactor and a key part of the makeover.

Read more at http://strategyonline.ca/2017/04/13/check-it-out-opg-goes-inside-the-reactor/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=check-it-out-opg-goes-inside-the-reactor

How many Irish Pubs are there on King Street?

There’s no real way to know, but on St. Patty’s Day, the Hive sure became as lively and green as any. Sam, our seasoned expert, hosted an intensive game of fast-paced trivia that had us on the edge of our seats.  


The Hivers partnered up, and with beers in hand, whispered ferociously as rapid-fire questions flashed across a screen. The stakes were high—each round’s winning team could send a round of shots to the losers of their choice.  In the end, it was a close call, but Team Vader conquered the competition (Some are still arguing whether Amish Paradise counts as a cover, or a parody).

The Bees Went Curling. Again!

Another year, another trip to the High Park Curling Club! The Hivers swept and slid into a festive celebration for no real reason but fun. Many newbees shone in their newfound talent while veterans of the sport rocked the ice in elegant fashion. What a way to end the winter season. Congrats to the winners of The Hive Curling Championship 2k17. 'Til next time!

The Hive named AOR for Asahi Canada’s key brands

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From Strategy Online

By Harmeet Singh

Toronto-based agency The Hive has been named national agency of record for Asahi Canada, including key beer brands Peroni and Grolsch it acquired from Anheuser-Busch InBev last year.

The Hive won the business following a competitive review in the last quarter of 2016, involving “about six” agencies, according to Grant Caton, Asahi Canada’s general manager. Vancouver’s Me&Lewis previously handled work for Italian lager Peroni and 402-year-old Dutch brand Grolsch, until the sale of some of the SABMiller portfolio through its acquisition by AB InBev last year made the change in agency necessary.

Read the rest at http://strategyonline.ca/2017/01/17/the-hive-wins-peroni-grolsch/