Kraft Peanut Butter sticks with connectivity

A new campaign uses techy teddy bears to bridge “emotional distance” between loved ones.

The bears are back in Kraft Peanut Butter’s latest “Stick Together” campaign, signaling the evolution of the brand’s use of technology in its marketing strategy.

Developed by agency Rethink, the campaign shows a father sending his son away to summer camp. Despite their distance, they manage to maintain a connection through their matching, wirelessly connected Kraft teddy bears, which light up when the other being hugged.

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Honey Nut Cheerios tells a story about bees

A lot of brands have been focusing on storytelling in their marketing, but General Mills is taking that idea in a new direction for this year’s “Bring Back The Bees” campaign for Honey Nut Cheerios.

Paulette Bourgeois, a Canadian children’s author best known for creating the Franklin the Turtle book series, worked with General Mills to create Bella and Jack Bring Back The Bees. The illustrated story tells the story of two children who learn about the world’s declining bee population and the things they can do to help – the mission at the core of the “Bring Back The Bees” campaign for the last three years.

General Mills will be distributing 100,000 copies of the book for free through Indigo, Chapters and Coles bookstores.

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Belairdirect Announces $1.5 Million Donation to Breakfast Club of Canada

Partnership involves a $1.5-million contribution over three years to support Canadian school breakfast programs

TORONTO, March 26, 2018 /CNW/ – belairdirect is proud to announce a new partnership with Breakfast Club of Canada and a donation of $1.5 million over the next three years. With this contribution, Breakfast Club of Canada will open new breakfast programs in three Canadian schools in areas of greatest need. In addition, this contribution will help support existing programs across all of Canada supporting Breakfast Club of Canada’s mission. belairdirect will also assist the Club with an applied research initiative on food insecurity in children caused by child poverty, in order to raise awareness and educate Canadians on this issue that affects far too many of Canada’s youth.

Confronted with the surprising statistic that one in five Canadian children lives in poverty, belairdirect is acting decisively in an effort to help Breakfast Club of Canada close the gap that far too many families are slipping through. With 60 per cent of learning happening in the morning, students who arrive at school hungry are at a disadvantage. On average, students who miss breakfast lose about 132 minutes of learning time each day, which over the course of a school year equates to four months.

“belairdirect’s dedication to reducing the number of children going to school hungry and commitment to student success, shows again that a reputable national company such as belairdirect can help reverse the tide. We are very excited to have this new, like-minded partner to ensure more children have access to a healthy breakfast before class. We thank belairdirect for their investment in the lives of children and youth across the country,” said Daniel Germain, Founding President, Breakfast Club of Canada.

“The well-being of children is essential to the development of our society. The fact that nearly 1.2 million children do not receive adequate food and oftentimes go without food altogether is disheartening,” says Anne Fortin, Senior Vice President, Direct Distribution, belairdirect. “It is more than just breakfast. In partnership with Breakfast Club of Canada, we are looking to make a concrete difference in the lives of children by providing them with the fuel to succeed academically, as well as improve overall self-esteem.”

Students attending breakfast programs have shown improvement in skills like independent work, initiative, conflict resolution, and class participation. Breakfast is brain food, and a balanced meal in the morning helps with behaviour and concentration as well as social skills. The impact Breakfast Club of Canada programs have on Canadian children goes beyond fulfilling the immediate need of a healthy meal, but rather helps build confidence and enables them to reach their full potential.

About the Breakfast Club of Canada
For 23 years, Breakfast Club of Canada has been committed to nurturing the potential of children by ensuring that as many as possible have access to a nutritious breakfast served in an environment that promotes their self-esteem before classes begin. Much more than a breakfast program, the Club’s approach is based on commitment, self-esteem and capacity development. It partners with communities and regional organizations to establish an optimal formula adapted to local needs. Now active across Canada, the Breakfast Club helps feed more than 200,000 Canadian children in 1,600 schools across the country. For more information visit

About belairdirect
Founded in Quebec in 1955, belairdirect provides car and home insurance products directly to consumers. It currently employs more than 1,600 people. The company offers a simple but complete solution, allowing customers to communicate with an agent by phone or online. belairdirect was the first property and casualty insurer in North America to sell car insurance products online (, attesting to the company’s innovative character. belairdirect is a subsidiary of Intact Financial Corporation, the largest provider of property and casualty insurance in Canada and a leading provider of specialty insurance in North America (TSX : IFC – For more information, please visit or follow belairdirect on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Purdys ‘Clean Water Project’ Set to Change Even More Lives This Year

2nd annual chocolate bar fundraiser makes clean drinking water possible for thousands in rural cocoa-growing communities

The Clean Water Project bar - milk chocolate and salted butter toffee (CNW Group/Purdys Chocolatier)VANCOUVER, March 26, 2018 /CNW/ – After a successful inaugural year in 2017, Canada’s chocolatier has amped up their fundraising goal for their 2nd annual Clean Water Project. This year, the goal is to raise enough funds to purchase 50 life-changing water filtration devices for their cocoa co-ops in Ivory Coast through the sale of a special chocolate bar. The Clean Water Project, in partnership with the Cocoa Horizons Foundation, funds the purchase of LifeStraw Community water filters and associated hygiene and educational programs for rural communities with limited or no access to clean drinking water. Retailing at $6 each, the 85 g milk chocolate and salted butter toffee bar is available across Canada and online starting March 26, 2018. $2 from every bar purchased helps make safe drinking water a reality for thousands of people (especially children) in cocoa communities throughout Ivory Coast.

Purdys first launched the Clean Water Project in 2017 with the goal of raising enough funds to purchase 35 filters. After exceeding their initial target, the Purdys team was inspired by the enthusiasm and support shown by customers to increase this year’s goal to 50 filters. Typically, each LifeStraw Community filter can provide clean, safe drinking water for approximately 60 people for 3 years—which means clean water for thousands in need.

In October 2017, Purdys’ CEO Karen Flavelle travelled to Ivory Coast to participate in the official handover ceremonies for the 2017 water filters, which were distributed to primary schools and rural medical centres. Karen Flavelle, Purdys Chocolatier CEO:

“The impact these filters have is palpable. I heard story after story from teachers, doctors and community leaders about how something as basic as access to clean drinking water can completely change the lives of young children, especially girls, and the mothers that visit the rural clinics. Clean water is something we often take for granted. Supporting the cocoa partners and their communities in our supply chain is the just the right choice to make.”

Purdys uses only 100% sustainable cocoa.
Purdys launched their Sustainable Cocoa Program in 2014 to help support their farmer partners, cocoa co-ops and communities in West Africa and South America. By making chocolates using only 100% sustainable cocoa, Purdys directly supports education programs, infrastructure projects, community development initiatives, access to health care for rural communities and many more such initiatives through their partnership with the Cocoa Horizons Foundation.

“Thanks to partners such as Purdys, the Cocoa Horizons Foundation is able to drive solutions that address the challenges impacting cocoa communities” said David Imbert, General Manager, Cocoa Horizons Foundation. “Our partners are key to furthering sustainability in the supply chain. It is a journey that needs full participation from the entire industry, to help improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers, their families and their communities”.

Clean Water Project Bar: Information & Availability

  • Milk Chocolate and Salted Butter Toffee, 85 g, $6
  • Launches March 26, 2018, until supplies last (est. Summer 2018)
  • In Purdys shops across Canada and online on March 26 at

About Purdys Chocolatier (
Purdys Chocolatier was founded in 1907 in Vancouver by Richard Carmon Purdy. With 80 shops across the country, Purdys is Canada’s go-to destination for innovative chocolate flavours and gifts. Purdys chocolates are made daily at their Vancouver Factory Kitchen, using only the freshest ingredients sourced from around the world. Every creation at Purdys uses 100% sustainable cocoa, ensuring their cocoa farmer partners and co-ops are supported by programs that improve their profits and the livelihoods of their families and communities. Bestsellers include Himalayan Pink Salt Caramels, Hedgehogs, Sweet Georgia Browns and English Toffee.

About the Cocoa Horizons Foundation (
The Cocoa Horizons Foundation is a non-profit organization established by Barry Callebaut in Zurich, Switzerland to scale impact and drive change in cocoa producing origins. It is supervised by the Swiss Federal Foundation Supervisory Authority. The Cocoa Horizons mission is to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers and their communities through the promotion of sustainable, entrepreneurial farming, improved productivity and community development. The Foundation is audited annually to verify its activities in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, maintain a transparent distribution of funds, and demonstrate compliance with Swiss federal regulations.


Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life invest in Indigenous youth education

Sponsorship of Indspire will help Indigenous youth pursue post-secondary opportunities

This year’s Youth Laureate award winners [L-R: Ashley Callingbull, Dr. Donna May Kimmaliardjuk, and Tracie Léost]. We’re proud to support this award along with our $250,000 support for the Building Brighter Futures program. (CNW Group/Great-West Life Assurance Company)

WINNIPEG, March 23, 2018 /CNW/ – As the Youth Laureate award sponsor at the 25th anniversary Indspire Awards, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life are proud to honour and congratulate three exceptional Indigenous achievers – Ashley Callingbull, Donna May Kimmaliardjuk and Tracie Léost. The Indspire Awards recognize First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals who demonstrate outstanding achievement.

In addition, the companies are pleased to announce a new $250,000 commitment to Indspire’s Building Brighter Futures program. These funds will be matched by the Government of Canada, and will help Indspire as they continue to encourage Indigenous youth to reach their full potential through education.

“Indspire has an extensive record of success when it comes to bringing organizations together in support of Indigenous achievement, and our companies are proud to support their efforts,” says Paul Mahon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Great-West Lifeco. “Our new five-year commitment will give even more Indigenous youth access to bursaries, scholarships and awards that will help them finish their post-secondary education and become tomorrow’s leaders.”

To date, the companies have contributed over $1 million in support of Indspire. Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life share Indspire’s belief that encouraging Indigenous youth to see the positive effects of a good education, and investing in Indigenous education, creates lasting benefits.

Congratulations to all the award winners, and to Indspire – for 25 successful years of the Indspire Awards and for opening the door to a range of education opportunities for Indigenous youth. To learn more about Indspire, visit

Building a brighter future for communities
Together, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life help to build a brighter future for communities by providing financial support focused on education, health and wellness, arts, social services and community development. As an Imagine Caring Company, supporting the principles of corporate citizenship and benchmarks for community investment established by Imagine Canada, they contribute at least one per cent of average pre-tax profits in support of the communities where their employees live and work. In 2017, our companies contributed $13.5 million to communities. To learn more visit


Brita calls on Canadians to get serious about World Water Day

TORONTO, March 22, 2018 /CNW/ – For the average Canadian, World Water Day on March 22nd is just another day: Twist the tap and there it is — a reliable, steady stream of water for brushing teeth, rehydrating post-run or pouring into the coffeemaker. We rely on clean, available water every day, yet most of us take it for granted.

Through the support of Canadians across the country who have purchased over 55,400 specially-marked Filter for Good™ Brita products, an entire community has been provided with access to clean water in Irkaat, Kenya. Brita’s Filter for Good initiative is about sustainable change, not short-term solutions, with plans for a second borehole in Oloirien, Kenya currently underway. (CNW Group/Brita® Canada)

But it’s not the same everywhere. Some people feel the absence of water acutely. One in 10 – that’s 663 million people globally – lack access to clean water1. That, in turn, affects their ability to go to school and learn, to work, to grow crops, to stay healthy.

“This World Water Day, Brita® Canada wants Canadians to stop and think about the importance of water in their daily lives,” says Sarah Au, Marketing Manager Brita® Canada. “We want Canadians to understand that small, everyday choices can make a difference – and we’re leading by example.”

Since September 2016, Brita Canada has been working tirelessly with WE to drill a borehole and provide clean water to a community in Irkaat, Kenya. The Filter for Good™ initiative is about sustainable change, not short-term solutions.

And now we’re digging a second borehole in Oloirien, another Kenyan community in dire need of access to clean water.

The real heroes are Canadians across the country who’ve purchased specially marked Filter for Good™ Brita products. Every purchase has funded one year of clean water to a Kenyan in need.

“Brita is providing a platform for Canadians to trigger real, sustainable change,” says Au. “We truly believe in the purchase with a purpose model but it is up to our consumers to determine how much change we can implement I hope that 55,400 is just the beginning.”

Powered by ME to WE’s ‘Track Your Impact’ promise, Filter for Good™ Brita products feature a code on each item sold, allowing Canadians to enter the code on and follow exactly where and how their purchase has made an impact.

Prior to the Brita-funded borehole – a 250-metre deep well capable of capturing clean water from aquifers and pumping up to 292,000 litres per day to the surface using solar power – the women and children in Irkaat had to make a five-hour round trip to retrieve water. Sometimes they journeyed twice a day.

The new water system cuts the trip down to one hour on average. It also includes an access point on the school grounds where students can collect water or clean their hands.

“Every day women and children around the world spend more than 200 million hours fetching water, often from contaminated sources.” says Roxanne Joyal, CEO of ME to WE. “Access to clean water is one of the most fundamental and fastest ways to help lift a community out of poverty – it reduces illness, helps girls to go to school, and leads to stronger agricultural practices. Thanks to Brita’s support, thousands of lives have been already been transformed.”

World Water Day isn’t just another day, it’s the day the whole world chooses to take notice of the role water plays in everyone’s daily life.

“Brita stands for clean water, period. Whether it is for those in Oloirien, Kenya or Mississauga, Ontario – it is the first step towards a better life. It is literally breaking communities out of the cycle of poverty,” says Au. “Brita is proving that better water can make a better world.”

For more details, please visit

About Brita® Canada
Brita® Canada water-filtration products are marketed by The Clorox Company of Canada. The brand makes filtering pitchers, bottles and dispensers that let people get great-tasting water from any tap. Brita’s filters reduce Mercury, Copper, Cadmium, Zinc and Chlorine taste & odour. The Clorox Company (NYSE: CLX) is a leading multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer and professional products with about 7,700 employees worldwide.

The Body Shop’s Grassroots Approach to Pet Activism

Want to hear more directly from The Body Shop Canada’s Jayme Jenkins? Come to the Chicag0-based Engage for Good Conference May 23-24, 2018!

The cosmetics company is leaning on pet influencers to bring an end to animal testing in Canada.

The Body Shop Canada is making grassroots activism a big part of its continued push to end animal-tested cosmetics worldwide.

Now two years into its global “Forever Against Animal Testing” CSR campaign, the company’s Canadian arm is focusing its marketing efforts on getting consumers to act on the issue. Whereas last year’s effort focused on raising awareness of animal testing in the industry, this year’s has a more tangible objective: to change the law in Canada.

On Monday, the company launched a three-week, in-store piece of the Canadian campaign aimed at enabling its customers to become activists. The effort is focused on featuring the brand’s cruelty-free products, while collecting signatures from customers and letting them know how they can get involved, such as contacting their local MP.

Next week, it will kick off the social and digital component of the campaign, featuring ten “celebrity pets” and “pet influencers” – some of them pets of celebrities – such as Elvis Pawsley (a Toronto-based corgi with some 34,000 followers on Instagram), Nacho Cilantro (television personality Jillian Harris’ boxer) and Rusty (tech personality Amber Mac’s rescue dog).

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Check it out: L’Oreal Puts Women’s Worth on Display

On International Women’s Day, the brand stopped people on the street to get their spin on its long-running tagline.

L’Oreal Canada used a long-running tagline and the biggest billboard in Canada to help women make bold statements about their self-worth on International Women’s Day last week.

L’Oreal has been using the “Because I’m Worth It” tagline since 1971, and for this execution, it let women show what “I’m Worth It” means to them, making statements on subjects from pay equity to self-esteem.

Working with agency McCann Canada, the foundation of the campaign’s creative was made by combining portraits and quotes from L’Oréal Canada employees, nominees for its Women of Worth philanthrophic program and L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science awards recipients.

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Social-Impact Branding Isn’t Going Anywhere This Year–And Neither Are The Gaffes

Here’s how companies can take an activist stance–without making a mess of it.

The year has only just begun and H&M has already inadvertently inaugurated the “biggest brand fails of 2018” list. Having released–and then quickly pulled–a product photograph depicting a young black child wearing a “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” sweatshirt, the company was attacked for being insensitive, offensive, and, to some, racist.

I do not believe H&M meant any harm. The company made a mistake not thinking hard enough about how such a photograph could be construed. But its actions follow a pattern similar to that of various brands that misstepped while wading into social issues in 2017.

In today’s world, the lines between citizens and consumers, beliefs and brands, are blurring. Companies today are expected to align with their values in word and deed. So you get brands like Pepsi overreaching and botching its attempt to relate to the activist subset with its disastrous spotlast year featuring Kendall Jenner. You also see brands like Dove lambasted for its tone-deaf ad featuring women of color and its misguided attempt to sell its products in bottles nominally shaped like different women’s bodies, and McDonald’s criticized for exploiting a son’s grief over losing his father.

Read Phil’s full article on FastCo online

Samsung explores the love spectrum

When Samsung Canada launched its Look at Me project three years ago, the objective was to learn about the autism community and spread the word about its tablet app designed to help children on the autism spectrum. But over the last two years, the company’s focus has shifted to raising awareness of the role technology plays in the lives of families living with autism.

This year’s campaign, “Learn the Love Spectrum,” celebrates the unique ways children on the spectrum have of showing their love. A video spot by Cheil Canada suggests that their expressions of love aren’t limited to “hugs and kisses, there’s a whole spectrum.” For Niam, it’s through artistic expression; for Kai, through dancing and playing; for Riley, through baking. Each child has his or her own way, and technology is there to help them express themselves and communicate it with loved ones.

“The evolution of the campaign has gone from a very clear focus on the launch of the app . . . to really focusing on what we’ve experienced with the families living with autism,” says Mark Childs, chief brand officer at Samsung Canada. “The work that we’ve launched this year is a culmination of that learning and that experience that fully embraces technology as a supportive tool for these children.”

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