Announcement of the “Brands of the Year 2022” strategy

With each passing year, it feels like it’s getting a little louder. The dial is raised: sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. There’s more media, more platforms, more news, more drama, more…well, everything. Yet, somehow, there are still brands and messages that break through, that stand out from the cheering crowd despite the growing chatter.

So every year strategy reserves space to recognize brands that have found new and innovative ways to connect – our Brands of the Year. The top five companies this year didn’t react – they led. Even in the face of social and economic uncertainty, they seized on the narrative and spoke deeper truths.

The winners can be seen below, along with some of the accomplishments that made them BOY-worthy. Full profiles will be in the Fall 2022 issue of strategywhich hits newsstands November 2.

The number will also be presented the day before at the Agency of the Year, where each of this year’s BOYs will also be recognized on stage during the ceremony. More information about the gala, which is taking place in Toronto at Koerner Hall, can be found here.

Heinz Ketchup

hot dog

Heinz Ketchup is already an icon, but its marketing in recent years hasn’t relied on weight. Sure, he’s tapped into that influence — ‘Draw Ketchup,’ sure, relied on brand recognition — but he’s also done everything to depreciate how slow he is to use his status to advocate for another brand to change the way it packages its products. Plus, he’s used some of his most recognizable elements to lend brand value to Kraft Heinz’s family of condiment innovations.

brain toys


With big box retailers and other toy stores filling their aisles with plastic and IP toys, Mastermind Toys is looking a bit like a throwback, with toy selections curated by its in-house team of experts who have a experience of identifying the next big trends (he nailed fidget spinners and predicted that Rubik’s Cubes would have renewed cultural relevance). But the retailer is far from old school: a full digital transformation imposed on it by the pandemic has now become the centerpiece of its omnichannel strategy. And its evolution continued this year, with the launch of its first own brand products, an expansion of its baby selection and its first major brand campaign.

Canadian Down Syndrome Society

1 - ADAM - When do babies with Down syndrome learn to speak

The CDSS has been on a years-long journey to break down misconceptions about people with Down syndrome, confronting them one by one since 2016. Data-driven education campaigns have addressed topics such as relationships, funding support systems and inclusive technology. They also launched research projects on how physical activity can benefit people with Down syndrome – a key area where data was lacking.

Zabiha Halal


Maple Lodge has a market share in halal that would make any CPG company salivate: 70%, putting it way ahead of any competition. How is it going ? On the one hand, Zabiha Halal has been a tireless advocate for the community it serves, with marketing that lets them know they are welcome in Canada and reflects some of the values ​​it holds most dear. And it listens to that community, too, with product innovations that meet the needs of consumer groups that are both growing and evolving.



When you own Ski-Doo, Sea-Doo and Can-Am, it can be tempting to settle on being the biggest game in town for outdoor motorsports. But BRP continued to grow revenue and meet the challenges of foreign rivals, thanks to a marketing approach focused on storytelling, community and connecting its vehicles to the broader “experience economy” that interests its drivers.

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