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.


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

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.”

Read more: