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.

Read more: http://strategyonline.ca/2015/11/26/whats-buzzing-at-the-hive/#ixzz3sdX8exG9


Freshly Baked: Birthdays are Sweeter at The Hive

Thanks to the tasty talents of world class baker (and Art Director) Meagan Eveleigh, when you want a special treat for your big day, you get it. So when one of our witty writers said they wanted burgers, we thought it meant a trip to P&L Burger and an end to her streak of baking birthday goodies.

The big day arrived, P&L was visited, and upon our return Meagan unveiled what can only be described as a muffin tin miracle. Her one of a kind, homemade Vanilla & Brownie Birthday Burger Cupcakes, complete with ketchup, mustard, and relish icing, and topped with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

If burgers, sugar fairies and angels had a food baby, this would be it. Needless to say, we were all nursing our own for quite a while that day.

Meet A Bee: Jenna Seaboyer

You can learn a lot about a person by what’s lying around on their desk. So that’s exactly how we’re going to introduce you to our amazing lineup of Hivers.

First up, hailing from the town of Tweed, Ontario - Jenna Seaboyer, Account Supervisor extraordinaire. 

From in-store banners to national integrated campaigns, Jenna bowls a strike every time. Her projects run as smooth as her fiancé’s New Zealand accent when he calls her “Jean”.

But that’s not to say she’s all work and no play. A bundle of positive energy, she never shows up or leaves without a smile on her face. 

As you can clearly see by the Matt Foley bobble head, bag of Goldfish, and one of her many undeveloped disposable cameras, she has a bold sense of humour and a keen appreciation for the classics. Maybe one day you’ll get to work with her and bee as lucky as we are.

Freshly Baked: Orgy Anyone?

When the opportunity presents itself for an orgy, you take it. And you like it.

Recently, the entire Hive Creative Department gathered 'round to have some good ol', not-so-clean fun with an especially sexy assignment - generating movie posters and promotional ideas for Jeremy LaLonde's newest comedy: "How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town"

Several concepts were presented to the director and his team, but it was this gem of an (ahem) valley that came out on top. The poster will be making its debut at the Whistler Film Festival later this month. Meanwhile, we continue to play with ways to get eyes on alllll the film's action.

Thanks for the opportunity "Orgy" Team!

... And please excuse our search history IT!

Real Planning Talk with Michelle



On the surface our world is changing rapidly: technology, globalization, the rise in power of the individual etc. etc.

Beneath the surface, the value systems that knit together the fabric of our culture change little and slowly. People are motivated by their values; Values are an end-state. How people pursue their values depends on who they are, the decision they’re making and what’s going on in the world around them. The Hive recently worked with research partner, Hotspex and conducted a proprietary study providing a robust segmentation of North American adults aged 16-65 based on their values and their membership in one of four cohorts:

Younger Millennials (born after 1990)

Older Millennials born between 1981 and 1990

Gen Xers born between 1965 and 1980

Boomers born between 1947-1964

The study gave us a rich understanding of  consumers but we were also able to identify large patterns were rooted in values, but pointed to larger cultural forces that are shaping the zeitgeist.  From this we are able to understand both the what and the why and it’s helped provide a solid foundation to our planning strategies – giving us the comfort that our insights are not merely opinions or observations.

The Hive's Buzzy New Hires

On the heels of earning a handful of new business, Toronto-based The Hive has hired six new creatives.

Joining the shop is art director Christian Buer, who spent just over a year at Saatchi & Saatchi and at Rethink prior to that. Joining him will be the creative team of copywriter Robert Cappuccitti and art director Meagan Eveleigh, coming over from Toronto-based agency Unitas. Cappuccitti had been with Unitas for two and a half years. Eveleigh joined in August, after a year as junior art director at JWT.

Writer Michael Potash also joins The Hive after three years as a copywriter at Cossette. Rounding out the new hires is the junior creative team of art director Anna Cumyn and copywriter James McGuire.

Simon Creet, CCO at The Hive, says the new hires were necessary after a number of new business wins. In addition to new brand assignments from Weston Bakeries and Labatt, the agency won the digital and social work for Unilever’s Tresemme hair care brand last year. The Hive also won new work from OLG, having previously worked on campaigns for Pro Line, this time on the corporate side as part of its sponsorship of the Pan Am Games, and a yet-to-be-disclosed assignment from the Government of Ontario. Work for both the OLG and Government of Ontario will debut within a few months, according to Creet.

Read more: http://strategyonline.ca/2015/01/19/the-hives-buzzy-new-hires/#ixzz3PNi1jnJ3