Supercars Take to the Streets of Toronto in xBox Canada’s Forza Horizon Promotion

Forza Horizon Supercars

In Forza Horizon, a spin-off to the popular Forza Motorsport xBox video game series, the cars break free from the confines of the race track and take to the open road.

To promote the launch, xBox Canada took an Aston Martin Vantage and Mercedes SLS AMG out for a spin around the streets and highways of Toronto. The cars were outfitted with roof signs that read Player 1 and Player 2, giving drivers and pedestrians the illusion that they were watching the game.

The stunt was created by MacLaren McCann Toronto.

The track featured in the video is ‘DRVGS’ by DVBBS.

[via Ads of the World]


Audi Canada Brings High-Tech Slot Car Racing to Downtown Toronto

Audi Canada - Experience the Quattro

Audi Canada is bringing big-time slot car racing to the heart of Toronto’s business district for the next few weeks. The ‘Experience Quattro‘ installation at the corner of Bay and King Streets features a state-of-the-art handcrafted 20 ft x 7 ft custom track environment designed by world-renowned track builders from Slot Mods USA.

As for the cars, finding accurate Audi A4 slot cars was not possible, so they were designed from scratch. The car bodies were scanned by an industrial laser scanner, then the shells of the car bodies were printed with a 3D printer and paired up with the four-wheel drive slot car chassis. Each car includes an in-car camera mounted on housing that was manufactured as part of the 3D printing process.

Instead of traditional controllers, the cars are controlled through a custom iPad app that shows the in-car camera view and a digital thumb control.

Watch the cars on the track live now.


Nissan Laughs It Up with Second City for 12 Hours of Facebook Improv

Nissan - 12 Hours of Improv

In the hands of skilled and creative comedy minds, improvisation can produce magical unexpected results. And few do improvisational comedy better than the performers at Second City. I’m lucky enough to work just a block away from Second City’s Toronto theatre, and have attended their Thursday night improv performances several times.

Over the past 50+ years comedy legends such as Dan Ackroyd, John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, John Candy, Martin Short and dozens of others have developed their skills on the Second City stages in Chicago and Toronto.

August 20 starting at 11am CST, present day members of Chicago’s Second City will perform live improvised music videos on the Nissan Pathfinder Facebook page in the ‘12 Hour Improv-tastic Road Trip‘. Visitors can offer suggestions and enter to win one of two trips to see The Second City in Chicago or Toronto.

And, as for the connection between the Nissan Pathfinder and improvisational comedy? I have no idea. But, the press release mentions that it’s about next gen improv for the next gen SUV.


Toronto Humane Society & Rethink Canada Partner to Keep Dogs Safe

Toronto Humane Society Dog SafetyToronto agency Rethink Canada has launched a campaign with the Toronto Humane Society to not only raise awareness of dogs dying from heat exhaustion when left in cars, but to offer solutions and warning systems for people who travel with their pet.

Of course, the best solution is to simply leave your dog at home, or have someone stay with the dog in the vehicle while necessary errands are done.

The first project in the campaign is the PSA embedded below. The ad drives people to, a web and mobile web-friendly site that uses geolocation to find stores and businesses near you that allow dogs. Next up is the launch of ‘Doggy Havens’, areas where dog owners can have Toronto Humane Society volunteers watch their pooches while they shop or run errands.

Finally is the development of the ‘Dog Caller’ (pictured above right), a dog collar containing a thermistor sensor and code chip that will alert an owner’s smartphone when the temperature reaches 26.5 degrees. The goal is for the collar and app to be available to the public in early 2013.

[via Strategy, the Star]


Pffaf Brings Porsche 911 to Customers’ Driveway for Personalized Ad Mailer

Pffaf Porsche Instant Direct Mail

In June Pffaf Porsche, Canada’s largest Porsche dealer brought a dream car to the driveways of an affluent Toronto neighbourhood, which of course didn’t include mine.

The production crew photographed the Porsche Carrera 911 S in the driveway in front of select homes, before heading back to a makeshift print studio in the back of a plain white panel van.

The photographs were imported into a pre-designed template, printed, trimmed (by hand, with hopefully no fingers lost) and then hand-delivered to the mailboxes and door steps of the chosen homes. Each home essentially receiving a personalized direct mail piece (minus the postage) showing a dream car parked in their driveway.

The agency behind the project is Toronto’s Lowe Roche.


Subaru Has Toronto Newspaper Readers Seeing Double

Subaru BRZ

Readers of Toronto weekly ‘The Grid’ were seeing double this weekend. The front cover of the newspaper looked different depending on what angle you were looking.

From one angle it looked like a regular cover of the Grid highlighting the important stories in the issue. Turn your head slightly and an ad for the 2013 Subaru BRZ appears out of flames.

This trick-of-the-eye is a technique called lenticular printing, which was actually invented back in the 1940s but has evolved recently to add more depth and motion.

The creative for the ad comes from Subaru’s agency DDB Canada.


In Case of Wine Emergency Break Glass

Wine Country Ontario Bus Shelter

Here in Toronto we are surrounded by Wine Country. A short drive in any direction will bring wine lovers to the doorsteps of world-class wineries, and the tagline of Wine Country Ontario’s new campaign ‘So close you can taste it’ reinforces this fortunate proximity.

However, one place you might not expect to stumble upon a glass of Ontario wine is mounted behind plexiglas in a transit shelter, but that’s exactly what Torontonians will be seeing over the next few weeks.

It’s part of the The Wine Country Ontario ‘Drink it All In’ scavenger hunt. To win, entrants must tweet a photo of the bus shelter before July 6 with the #SoCloseYouCanTasteIt hashtag (wow, long hashtag) and mention @WineCountryOnt in the post. To figure out where in downtown Toronto the bus shelter is, follow the clues shared on the @WineCountryOnt Twitter account. On July 10, a winner will be randomly selected from all the eligible photo submissions.

The lucky winner collects a sweet prize package that includes:
– One night accommodation for two at Huff Estates Winery in Prince Edward County
– Vineyard lunch for two at Norman Hardie Winery
– Wine and cheese pairings for two at Rosehall Run Winery
– Flight of three wines for two people at Sandbanks Estate Winery
– Dinner for two at Blumen Garden Bistro

Details on the scavenger hunt contest can be found on the Wine Country Ontario Facebook page.

The ‘Drink it all in’ campaign was created by Toronto’s Agency59.


Tweet For Free Ben & Jerry’s Today in Toronto

Ben & Jerry's Scoop Movement

via @BenJerryCanada

With the sun shining and the temperatures starting to creeping back up into the high 20s, people in downtown Toronto and especially those attending some of the NXNE events are going to be looking ways to cool off today.

Ben & Jerry’s Canada are coming to the rescue for the overheated music, film and interactive fans. If you’re at Dundas-Square just look for the Ben & Jerry’s ambassadors for a free scoop of ice cream.

If you’re in other areas of downtown branded eco-cabs hauling mini freezers will be delivering free scoops of ice cream to the top tweeted intersections in downtown Toronto. Grab your friends, coworkers and start sending out tweets with the #scoopmovement hashtag.

Valentine’s Flash Mob Spreads the Love at Indigo Books in Toronto

Indigo Valentine's Flash MobIt seemed like just another day at the Bay & Bloor location of Indigo Books, until a young man carrying a bouquet of roses began singing ‘Happy Together’ to a what seems like an Indigo employee. The people at the store may have thought they were about to witness a very creative engagement proposal, until the man jumps up onto the counter and another half dozen performers join in on the performance.

Just as things seemed to be over, a performer disguised as an author signing books stands up and begins singing the Stevie Wonder classic ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ as he hands out gifts to startled shoppers. The performance with Calvin Harris’ ‘We Found Love’ and wraps up with Roy Orbison’s ‘You Got It’.

It’s too bad that the ending comes off sounding so commercial with the song’s lyrics changed from ‘You Got It’ to “Anything You Want, We Got It”. But in the end it’s a promotion afterall.

Hey Ladies, It’s Time to Play ‘Try to Look Pretty Without Poisoning Yourself’

Environmental Defence - Look Pretty Without Killing YourselfEnvironmental Defence, the Canadian environmental action organization has launched a new campaign to create awareness and urge the Canadian government to ban the chemicals and toxins that are found in the personal care and beauty products of Canadian women (and no doubt men).

In the 60 second spot features Jackie, a working mom appearing as a contestant on the game show ‘Try to Look Pretty Without Poisoning Yourself’. She’s asked to choose to choose the cosmetic product that doesn’t contain toxins and cancer-causing chemicals. However the game show is rigged as Canadian cosmetic regulations don’t force companies to disclose the toxic ingredients in many of their products.

Ouch, boo and eww…

More information is available at or you can take action now by signing the petition.

The campaign was created by Toronto creative agency Open and the spot was produced by Partner Films.