2017 Winners

Before and after photos of cereal boxes from Honey Nut Cheerios' 'Bring Back the Bees' campaign

The well-worn marketing maxim “Sell the problem you solve – not the product” got more mileage at this year’s Shopper Innovation Awards. The winners list features campaigns that identified a specific challenge – whether environmental, social or commercial – and tied the brand to its resolution.

Grand Prix winner General Mills identified the declining bee population as a natural cause for its Honey Nut Cheerios brand to take up, making creative use of mascot Buzz and distributing millions of wildflower seeds.

Multiple winner Wrigley built a campaign around redistributing unwanted Christmas gifts with its “Skittles Holiday Pawn Shop,” while Cineplex offered its entertainment as the salve for the overwhelming holiday rush. Expedia and Rethink Breast Cancer, meanwhile, developed new products to eliminate pain points for their respective targets.

The Shopper Innovation Awards, judged by a panel of experts, celebrate the breakthrough work between brands and retailers. In all, 19 programs were recognized at this year’s SIA gala, held in Toronto on May 4 during strategy’s two-day Shopper Marketing Forum.

A new award was handed out for the first time: the Retail Innovator of the Year, recognizing innovation in-store, within the company, and throughout a brand’s marketing communications. The inaugural winner is Sephora.

Winning Cases

Grand Prix

General Mills Canada (Honey Nut Cheerios) - "Bring Back the Bees" (Cossette)

Changing Behavior

• Gold •Expedia - "Expedia Blue Jays" (Grip Limited)

• Bronze •Interac - "Be in the Black – Instant Gratification Program" (Zulu Alpha Kilo)


• Gold •General Mills Canada (Honey Nut Cheerios) - "Bring Back the Bees" (Cossette)

• Bronze •Budweiser - Goal Synced Glass (Hunter Straker)

Made a Splash! Seasonal/Event Success

• Gold •PepsiCo Foods Canada (Doritos) - "Doritos Ketchup Roses" (BBDO)

• Silver •Wrigley (Skittles) - Holiday Pawn Shop (BBDO)

• Bronze •Cineplex - "Lily & the Snowman" (Zulu Alpha Kilo)

Made You Look! Awareness/Trial Breakthrough

• Gold •Wrigley (Skittles) - Holiday Pawn Shop (BBDO)

Original Idea

• Gold •General Mills Canada (Honey Nut Cheerios) - "Bring Back the Bees" (Cossette)

• Gold •PepsiCo Foods Canada (Doritos) - "Doritos Ketchup Roses" (BBDO)

• Silver •SickKids - "Life Unpaused" (Cossette)

• Silver •Wrigley (Skittles) - Holiday Pawn Shop (BBDO)

Out-of-the-Box Retail

• Gold •Ikea - "Pick-Up and Order Point Hyperlapse" (Leo Burnett)


• Bronze •Yellow Pages - "The Lemonade Stand" (Leo Burnett)

• Bronze •Rethink Breast Cancer - "Give-A-Care" (lg2)


• Gold •Expedia - "Expedia Blue Jays" (Grip Limited)

• Bronze •Walmart - "Walmart Toy Testers: Winning the Holidays" (Traffik)

Path to Purchase/Out-of-Store

• Gold •PepsiCo Foods Canada (Doritos) - "Doritos Ketchup Roses" (BBDO)

• Silver •Ikea - "Moving Day" (Leo Burnett)


• Gold •General Mills Canada (Honey Nut Cheerios) - "Bring Back the Bees" (Cossette)

• Bronze •Harley-Davidson - "1903: A Harley Davidson Café" (Zulu Alpha Kilo)

Small Budget, Big Impact

• Gold •SickKids - "Life Unpaused" (Cossette)

• Bronze •World Vision - "Watercolour Project" (KBS)


• Gold •Molson Canadian - "Rooftop Rink" (Rethink)

• Silver •The Canadian Safe School Network - "Bully Ads" (BIMM / Touché)

Tech Breakthrough

• Gold •Molson Canadian - "Global Beer Fridge" (Rethink)

• Bronze •SickKids - "Life Unpaused" (Cossette)

• Bronze •Coca-Cola - "Play a Coke" (The Hive)

Retail Innovator of the Year


Have questions? Need help?
Contact Zoe Sherwood at 416-408-2300 x237 or zsherwood@brunico.com.