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

Peroni bottle on ice

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

Home is Where the Hound Is

This December, we're helping the Toronto Humane Society find forever homes for 25 pups. Check out the buzz that the #HolidayHounds have received so far:

From Strategy Online

By Jennifer Horn


We’ve never really liked window shopping. Who would? You don’t get to make a purchase, because, well, then it wouldn’t be window shopping. It’s for looking, not spending.

Well, The Hive wants to see if it can get people to take the next step with it’s own neat take on window shopping this holiday season. But instead of getting you to buy something, the agency wants you to adopt what you see in one of the windows of its Toronto office.

It’s created what we imagine is the first puppy advent calendar. Every day the shop reveals a new “Holiday Hound” that’s actually up for adoption at the Toronto Humane Society. “The Hive has always been a dog friendly environment. On any given day there’s three to six pups puttering around the place,” says CCO Simon Creet of the shop’s reasons for wanting to create a dog-vent calendar. It’s also giving a donation to the Humane Society on behalf of the agency, as well as encouraging pedestrians on the street to donate to the organization by text and further promoting the cause with colourful GIFs on Instagram.


Read the full article at Strategy Online.

From the Toronto Humane Society


The Hive advertising agency has transformed their office windows to a dog themed advent calendar this holiday season. Each day in December a new Toronto Humane Society dog will be unveiled under the window numbers as we countdown to Christmas. . If you’re downtown, stop by and see the windows at 544 King Street West. The Hive has given their time and creative energy to help find dogs homes, and raise awareness about the Toronto Humane Society (dog portraits by Off Leash Studio) – Thank You!


See more on the Toronto Humane Society's facebook page.

OLG Shoots Hoops with New Pro-Line Campaign

From Marketing Mag

By Russ Martin


The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is going court side with its new campaign. The OLG has added basketball wagering to its Pro-line sports platform and is promoting the addition with a new basketball-themed campaign.

Created by The Hive, the campaign launched last week in unison with the Toronto Raptors home opener against the Washington Wizards.

The campaign is anchored by a 30-second spot that shows a series of basketball fans decked out in Raptors’ red and black, cheering with their lottery tickets in hand. Pulling from basketball culture, the fans in the ad make what The Hive managing director Trent Fulton calls the “hold me back” motion—excitedly throwing an arm over a friend’s chest, just like court side players during big game moments.

The spot was filmed in part at Real Sports, the sports bar inside the Raptors’ home arena, the Air Canada Centre. It also features other nods to the local fandom, like the Peace Collective’s popular “Home Is Toronto” t-shirt.

“We didn’t want to seem like the odd guy out who didn’t get the game,” Fulton said, explaining the agency put creatives who were fans on the assignment and took inspiration from local basketball fans. “We wanted to give a nod that we both understand the games and the fans – the fan culture.”

See the full article at Marketing Mag.

The Hive Helps Jack Daniel's Ring in 150 Years

From Marketing Mag

By Kristen Laird


The Hive helped Jack Daniel’s get into the spirit of things for the 150th anniversary of the whiskey brand’s distillery in Lynchburg, Tenn.

The Toronto-based agency recently created and executed tours, tastings and musical performances for trade partners and special guests.

“Jack Daniel’s is an iconic brand with an authentic heritage that is rooted in a real place,” said Skye Brain, the agency’s group account director, in a release.

“So it was really important to have the right balance between celebrating this significant milestone, while staying true to the Jack Daniel Distillery experience.”

See the full article at Marketing Mag.

Haunted Hive

Our Hivers' worst nightmares came to life when the already-terrifying back hallway became a haven of horrors on Halloween. 

To leave things on a less spooky note, The Hive was joined by Jack Daniel's and Brown-Forman for a no-holds-barred pumpkin carving contest. Congratulations to the winning team, whose bashed-in pumpkin was inspired by the biggest spoiler alert of any Walking Dead season yet. Enjoy your date with the Queen Bee! 

Wishing Jack a Happy 150th

Happy 150th Jack!  America’s first registered distillery turns 150 this year and in celebration, Jack Daniel’s is launching a global barrel scavenger hunt across 50 countries in just 90 days. As a Canadian agency partner, The Hive is helping Canadians join in the hunt.

Ten authentic Jack Daniel’s barrels will be hidden across the country, starting in Halifax on July 5th and finishing in Vancouver on September 15th. Clues to the secret location of these barrels will be released on Jack Daniel’s global Facebook page on the day of the city’s hunt.

The 10 lucky Canadians who find the barrels will take the barrel and its contents home.  This includes a trip to the infamous distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee with winners from countries all over the world for the ultimate anniversary party. 

After scouring the city, our first Canadian winners have found a winning barrel in Halifax

For more information on the Jack Daniel's Barrel Hunt:


Meet a Bee: Michelle Prowse

Millennial master, baby boomer boss, gen-edge guru, Disney die-hard. Michelle Prowse goes by many titles, but the most important of them all is VP of Strategic Planning at The Hive. The brains behind the buzz, Michelle is always on the front lines, uncovering new trends and digging up consumer insights. It takes a lot of time and hard work but that will never get in the way of her 28th annual family trip to Disney World.

The Hive Gives Coke a Soundtrack

Coca-Cola has been a part of some of the most memorable parts of Canadian lives for over 100 years. It’s been in our hands for the little moments, the big moments, and some of those moments we’ll never ever forget. This year The Hive worked with Coca-Cola Canada to make these moments just a little more special by giving them all a really great soundtrack. From May to August, Canada won’t just be drinking their Coke they’ll be playing them, quite literally actually.

Over 300 unique, moment-based, Spotify playlist names have been printed on bottles of Coca-Cola Classic, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, and McDonald’s fountain cups that you’ll find all across Canada. All you need to do is download the playacoke app to your Apple or Android device, point it at your bottle or cup, and press play to unlock its 20 song Spotify playlist. You can then twist your Coke product to change the track and save the playlists to your Spotify account to listen all summer long.

You really have to see it to believe it. Go grab a bottle, download the app and press play.

Read more about Play a Coke:

Freshly Baked: The Orgy Continues


When asked to develop creative for Jeremy Lalonde’s newest comedy: “How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town,” we knew that it had to be pleasurable and interactive for all participants.

The Hive creative team thought long and hard and landed on ‘Small Town or Sex Term,’ a physical and online game where players guess whether words are perfectly perverse small town names or sex terms. Because as everyone knows, you can’t have a good orgy without some fun and games in the mix.

To spread the word about the most buzzworthy orgy in town, we jumped at the chance to get Small Town or Sex Term up on Buzzfeed . If you think you know your smut from your smuts and want to prove your (s)expertise to your friends, head on over to Buzzfeed and take the quiz.

Alongside the online game, we created a set of 54 Small Town or Sex Term cards that are housed in a smooth pink sleeve for your convenience. We also produced wildpostings to give passerby’s a full-frontal view of the eXXXtra funny flick.   

You can take a peek at Jeremy Lalonde’s “How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town,” on iTunes.


Joy Goes Around with The Cadbury Bicycle Factory

By Harmeet Singh

Cadbury has brought back its Bicycle Factory program for the seventh year, once again asking Canadians to help children in Ghana get to school more easily by building virtual bikes online and sending real ones to the African country.

Ghana is one of the primary regions from which Cadbury sources cocoa. Long walking distances to schools make it difficult for children in the country to receive an education, which prompted the brand to start providing bicycles to its communities.

The program has a broad target of Canadians who want to make a difference, Natalie DeJong, consumer engagement manager at Mondelez Canada said in an emailed statement to strategy. “In Canada, a bike is something very different – this is a way to show how a bike that we use for recreation, can help increase access to education and empower students,” she said.

This year’s campaign, led by The Hive, included an experiential event held at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square in April. The brand created a bicycle-powered “Joy-Go-Round” that passersby could ride to help assemble 100 virtual bikes.

A video of the event is now being shared online through Facebook and Instagram to get more Canadians to participate online through May. The campaign is also being supported with additional static content on social media and in-store.

Since 2009, the program has sent 28,000 bikes to students and teachers in Ghana and this year, it’s aiming to deliver an additional 1,000 bikes. Cadbury partnered with World Bicycle Relief, which works with World Vision, to distribute the bikes in Ghana.

While the Bicycle Factory program is Canadian-specific, it does ladder up to Cadbury’s global corporate philanthropy, which includes its Cocoa Life program that supports farmers in Ghana and other cocoa-growing regions.

Read more:

The Hive and Mondelez Bring Back the Love

By Harmeet Singh

Mondelez International has launched its second youth soccer-focused CSR program in Canada, for the first time under the “Pass the Love” name it’s used in other markets.

The campaign – which involves Mondelez’s Mr. Christie, Ritz, Belvita and Chips Ahoy! brands – asks Canadians to share videos of themselves participating in soccer keep-up challenges (doing as many as they can using their heads, for example) on behalf of their local club.

Points are given based on the total number of keep-ups and social media shares received. The top 20 clubs with the most points at the end of the program will win $5,000 for their team. Canadians can also donate on the Pass the Love microsite.

The Hive led the campaign, which runs through May, with Carat on media.

The program is being supported with in-store displays and POS materials featuring Desiree Scott, a member of Canada’s national women’s team.

The campaign is focused on communities, families and youth soccer clubs nationally. It also includes support through Mondelez brands’ social channels, and through the Canadian Soccer Association and direct communication to clubs.

Soccer continues to grow in popularity in Canada, one of the reasons Mondelez has chosen to support that sport in particular, Teresa Spinelli, senior associate manager of consumer engagement told strategy via email.

The program also recognizes that supporting Canada’s national teams means supporting youth soccer, where all of our national athletes got their start, she says.

The idea is to give back in a fun way, Spinelli notes. ” As we saw with last year’s campaign, the dollars awarded to the clubs went on to have a very positive effect, including increased training opportunities and helping those who could not afford registration fees or equipment.”

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Freshly Baked: Telefilm Puts Canada First

Last summer, The Hive quietly acquired a buzz-worthy new client - Telefilm.

Devoted to the development and promotion of Canada’s audiovisual industry, Telefilm challenged us to create love and fame around Canadian content, convincing audiences that it truly is worth watching.

To do it we created Canada First, a platform that puts all sorts of industry “firsts” in the spotlight - from first onscreen kisses to first auditions. Through a series of breakthrough behaviours, the initiative celebrates our biggest and brightest in show business, challenging Canadian’s pre-conceived notions regarding homegrown film and TV in the process.

First up, we took Canada’s Lucky Loonie to Hollywood where it hit the Oscars red carpet. The legendary coin brought a little luck to our Canadian Oscar nominees - who amassed twenty nominations in all - while giving Canucks at home all the more reason to cheer their favourite stars on.   

More content pushes are planned for the coming months with a campaign launch expected this fall. One thing’s for certain: us bees have never felt prouder to be Canadian.

The Hive Gets Swept Up in the Game

After a HAAAARD winter, the Hive worker bees were ready to come out of hibernation. As true cold-loving Canadians, we grabbed our brooms, hit the ice, and went curling. The experienced curlers and eager newbies joined together for a few rounds of friendly competition and good Canadian fun. While we may not be professional level just yet, a rocking time was had by all (last curling pun, we promise).

Happy Holiday Party

The festive season is finally upon us. Which means it’s time to party. With Martha Stewart worthy decorations, flashy bartenders, and a live band, the stage was set for the sweetest holiday party. Co-hosted by The Hive & Brown-Forman Canada, our clients, partners, friends, and family were all invited to get into the spirits and break it down on the dance floor.

What's Buzzing at The Hive?

By Josh Kolm

The Hive has been getting into new areas of business outside the typical agency realm.

For clients Brown Forman (owner of the Jack Daniels brand, among others) and Bacardi (which also owns Grey Goose and Dewar’s), The Hive’s Beverages Group is also handling sales and distribution in Canada and the U.S.

The Hive’s Beverages Group subsidiary company BF Canada handles all distribution and sales for Brown Forman brands in provinces west of and including Quebec, as well as all marketing activities nationwide. South of the border, Hive Beverages International handles sales and distribution for Jack Daniels, Grey Goose, Finlandia, Dewar’s and Bacardi in Alabama, Mississippi and West Virgina, with Hive U.S. Activations leading on-the-ground experiential and point-of-sale marketing in 17 states.

“No different than CPG companies, our people are the ones in the field in liquor stores, bars and restaurants tasked with brand building and selling programs and building that business,” says Rick Shaver, recently named CEO and co-president of The Hive Strategic Marketing. “Now, we’re not just creating full service, push-and-pull programs for our clients, we’re also the sales team executing them.”

Shaver says this added focus at the company evolved over time in response to clients’ needs. The Hive Beverages Group has existed since 2004, when it was launched primarily to handle marketing activations in the U.S. That offering expanded when BF Canada (full name “BF Canada Powered by The Hive”) began doing sales and distribution for Brown Forman in 2010, and turned its attention to doing the same in the U.S. last year when The Hive Beverages was named joint distributor broker of record.

“It creates a lot more unity when we’re helping to shape these brand identities and are also the ones building that on the ground,” Shaver says, adding this is something it will be looking to do with other alcohol and beverage clients in the future. “That’s working for our current beverage clients, and we see that as an opportunity as more clients look to point of purchase for solutions.”

Hive Beverages Group has also expanded the agency’s overall size to 132 staff, with 32 at BF Canada and 25 each at Hive Beverages International and Hive U.S. Activations, with 50 still in its Toronto office.

This new focus has also come with a number of moves at the top of the organization. With previous president and CEO Andy Krupski moving into the roll of chairman at The Hive, this May saw former SVP Shaver move into the CEO and co-president position and VP Ted Rakoczy taking on the roll of COO and co-president at The Hive Strategic Marketing. That is a group of companies that includes The Hive Toronto, as well as the ones that fall under Hive Beverages Group. Shaver is also president of Hive Beverages Group, with Rakoczy serving as EVP.

Traditional creative advertising will still be a major part of The Hive’s work, with managing director Trent Fulton, CCO Simon Creet, chief experience officer Jen Lukas and CFO Troy Hayball running that work from Toronto. The agency’s digital team, which previously worked as a separate division, has been integrated with the broader creative offering. The team also expanded by six at the beginning of the year.

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