john st. takes the piss out of advertising (something that they really really love doing by the way) only this time it's not for self-promotion but for the Heart and Stroke foundation. Here they create a fake agency, the world's first, dedicated to marketing food and beverages to kids.

Huh, I thought there already was an agency like that called Chicago. That's a packaged goods joke, kids, I'll be here all week.

Anyway in this fake agency all the greedy evil grown ups are tricking kids into buying sugary cereals because A. they love sugar, and B. their brains aren't developed enough to handle it. As usual with films like this, an editor was badly needed as the joke started wearing thin which was a shame. There were two amazing moments in this-- the first is when the resident DJ talks about creating jingles for the kids.

"Jingles? Oh-- we call 'em brand bangers. Yeah, the kids want to hear a smash."

The buzzword is so perfect some comms planner somewhere is probably upset they didn't come up with it first. The second great moment is when a Jr Strategist talks about breaking through the clutter to get in kid's faces with ads. We then cut to someone holding a logo so they can photobomb a selfie.

Finally, as we go way past the two minute mark, we get the real message: Let's talk about the real problem. Let's stop marketing food and beverages to kids.
The 16 and under website goes on in great detail about how marketing to kids causes obesity rates to rise and that Quebec, the only province in Canada to restrict this process has the lowest obesity rates in Canada, suggesting a correlation there.

If we believe there's a danger to marketing to kids, we should also by the same logic, stop marketing movies and toys to kids as well. Their brains aren't developed enough to know the difference. I also believe we should stop advertising pharmaceuticals, as its just as detrimental to the entire population, although John st. might not agree.

Now that I think about it, obesity rates in Canada aren't just limited to the younger population. Shouldn't we as a result all do the right thing and stop advertising junk food in general? A cursory look at john st's website shows they have Heinz and Maple leaf. The former of course is the maker of sugar-heavy ketchup. The later is a processed deli meat company. john st also has Nutella. In this spot, they have no compunction about showing a wholesome family, with kids, putting it on every breakfast item imaginable minus kippers. Nutella of course has enough sugar to send a rhino into diabetic shock but is pleasantly sold as being "made with real hazelnuts."

So I guess the take away is, it's okay to lie to adults about sugar but not kids. Got it.

Client: Heart & Stroke Foundation
Agency: john st.
Executive Creative Director: Stephen Jurisic
Executive Creative Director: Angus Tucker
Copywriter: Tracy Wan
Copywriter: Stephie Coplan
Art Director: Amy O’Neill
Agency Producer: Matthew DeWaal
Agency Executive Producer: Aimee DeParolis
Account Executive: Jaclyn Cooper
Account Director: Leah Lanza
Account Senior Team Leader: Melissa Tobenstein
Skin and Bones Film Company
Director: Taso Alexander
Executive Producer: Liane Thomas
Line Producer: Luke Bryant
Director of Photography: Rob Scarborough
Production Designer: Clinton Maynard
Wardrobe: Amanda Shaw
School Editing
Editor: Matthew Kett
Assistant Editor: Mallory Robbins
Executive Post Producer: Emily Torontow
The Vanity
Colourist: Andrew Exworth
VFX Artist: Kaelem Cahill
Producer: Kayla Baxter
Eggplant Collective
Audio Engineer: Nathan Handy
Audio Director/Producer: Adam Damelin
Executive Audio Producer: Nicola Treadgold
Jigsaw Casting
Casting Director: Shasta Lutz

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about the author

kidsleepy 17 year copywriter, now CD, who has worked in many cities including Pittsburgh, New York, Atlanta, Montreal and currently Los Angeles. I snark because I care. I ain't complainin' I'm just tellin' it like it is.

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