Taxi bows cheese campaign; Mroueh says adieu

The multi-faceted initiative is a fresh brand strategy for dairy farmers. Meanwhile, Taxi's chief creative officer for English Canada has resigned.

Taxi Montreal unveiled the second phase of its campaign for the Dairy Farmers of Canada yesterday. As well as advertising, the initiative includes what’s got to be the most elaborate online game show to date and the creation of a new wordmark intended to make Canadian cheese instantly recognizable – a design that makes a heart out of the two ‘e’s in cheese.

The ‘All You Need is Cheese’ campaign – which marks a fresh brand strategy for the client – broke across English Canada yesterday on TV, online and in-store, with out-of-home and print skedded for mid-month. A striking OOH element is a billboard above Toronto’s Gardiner expressway featuring a giant cheese grater. Toronto’s M2 Universal is handling media planning and buying.

At a new microsite, visitors can engage in an authentically tacky game show, helping virtual contestants make choices while learning more about serving and cooking with cheese. There’s even karaoke and a Vanna-like blonde assistant, plus the option of downloading recipes.

‘We’re speaking to consumers on practical and emotional levels,’ Taxi Montreal VP/CD Stephane Charier tells MiC. ‘The campaign is a catalyst to make people realize the importance of cheese in everyday life.’

Taxi also announced some news of its own yesterday. Toronto-based Zak Mroueh has resigned from his post as chief creative officer, English Canada. And Steve Mykolyn, most recently creative director, moves up to executive creative director, based in Toronto and assuming Mroueh’s responsibilities overseeing creative in Toronto and Calgary.

‘Zak’s been a hero at Taxi,’ says Paul Lavoie, chairman, chief creative officer and co-founder of the agency. ‘He set and delivered the highest industry standards, from ranking in Creativity’s top ten CDs worldwide to personally winning more Cannes Lions than any Canadian – ever. He leaves behind tremendous bench strength, and Steve’s interactive expertise and breadth of brand-and-design savvy, coupled with a keen ability to apply those disciplines in solving client business problems, have been crucial to Taxi’s growth in recent years.’

The changes are effective immediately, but Mroueh will facilitate the transition by staying on until the end of the year. ‘It’s been the toughest decision of my career,’ he explains. ‘But I feel I’ve accomplished what I set out to do. After nearly nine years, the time was right to start a new adventure.’

In addition to Mykolyn’s new role at Taxi Toronto, three associate creative directors – Ron Smrczek, Rose Sauquillo and Dave Watson – have moved up to CD roles, reporting to Mykolyn.