It’s one thing to be trending — another to be best in class. From groundbreaking launches to campaigns driving cultural conversation, here are the standout brands that connected us to powerful moments like no one else could.
The dynamic a brand can establish with its audiences is so unique to Twitter and can’t be replicated anywhere else. That’s why each December, our Twitter Canada team shines a spotlight on the Canadian brands that stepped up and stood apart from a brand POV this year.
Here are some favourite campaigns and brands worth remembering from the past 12 months.
Best Brand Pivot
Kraft Peanut Butter (@KraftPB) has been a mainstay of kitchens and pantries across Canada for years. As Canadians, we all recognize the two bears featured on each jar but not much was known about these cuddly critters. That changed in 2021 with debut of #KraftPBTV, a five-episode video series developed by so.da in partnership with Twitter.
By hosting the show across Twitter, @KraftPB was able to explore the brand’s personality in a new, light-hearted way that was equal parts funny, inspirational and entertaining. Not only did #KraftPBTV feature the adventures of the Kraft Bears Crunchy and Smoothie, it also shared recipes, snack suggestions and plenty of other interactive content.
Twitter allowed @KraftPB to take an entertainment-first philosophy to engage viewers through multiple different formats, including in-feed videos, polls, and conversation cards, which were all produced by so.da.
Best Brand Voice
Tim Hortons (@TimHortons) is one of Canada’s most beloved brands and they grew that love on Twitter in a big way this year. After a bold pivot in brand voice in 2020, @TimHortons engaged in conversations beyond just coffee and donuts, connecting with topics and events that brought them into cultural relevance on Twitter. They were successful in adopting a brand voice that extends brand love from IRL to social through a tone that is real, relevant and human.
They leaned into sneaker and music culture on Twitter, with a new coffee-inspired #TimsDripDrop merch drop and a huge collaboration with Canadian pop music superstar Justin Bieber.
Most Innovative Launch Campaign
Amex Canada (@AmexCanada) has a long history of innovative Twitter campaigns. Their most recent effort built on that legacy with a helping hand provided by Canadian screen star Will Arnett. This came in the form of the first-ever promoted Scenario Thread from a Canadian brand in support of Amex’s redesigned suite of Aeroplan cards. Canadians on Twitter could answer a series of questions via videos shared from the @AmexCanada Twitter account.
The end game? Helping Will Arnett prep for travel and ultimately, find his “happy place.”
This gave a big boost to Amex brand awareness at a time when many Canadians were in planning mode for their own post-COVID travel adventures.
Most Innovative Connect Campaign
The Montréal Canadiens may have come up short during the 2021 Stanley Cup Finals but there were other major moments of Canadian @NHL glory in recent months. This included #StanleyTweets and the installation of original 52 fan Tweets in the Hockey Hall of Fame (@HockeyHallFame) in Toronto.
Prior to the Finals, the @NHL and the @StanleyCup asked hockey fans across the planet were asked to cheer on their fave team on Twitter by using the #StanleyTweets hashtag. A massive wave of fan Tweets ensued with 52 of these Tweets selected for enshrinement in the IRL Hockey Hall of Fame -- a first for the #HockeyTwitter community.
This included not only Tweets from everyday hockey fans but also from big names including Joe Biden, Justin Trudeau and Tom Brady. Each author was also sent a smaller plaque of their Tweet as a keepsake.
People’s Choice Award
The Canadian conversation around vaccines was an evergreen topic on Twitter in 2021. Millions of Canadians rolled up their sleeves as part of the battle against COVID-19 with Health Canada and Public Health Agency of Canada (@GovCanHealth) joining the dialogue in a big way.
This included #MyWhy, a social campaign that encouraged Canadians to share their vaccination stories on Twitter. Canadians everywhere took part, Tweeting about why they got vaccinated and why the vaccine rollout was a pathway to safer communities and getting back to the people, places and things we all miss.
We also need to give a big Twitter shoutout to the team behind Vax Hunters Canada (@VaxHuntersCan). Between March and August 2021, this team of volunteers harnessed the power of Twitter to share the latest information and specifics about Canada’s vaccine rollout in hundreds of communities across Canada. This was an incredible act of public service and one that relied on both the dedication of volunteers and the huge value that crowdsourcing on Twitter can offer.
A final round of applause to the brands that earned the most Canadian Retweets, mentions and/or video mentions in 2021. These brands earned a massive amount of attention from Canadians and topped the charts when we ran the numbers in each of these categories.
A big congrats to these and other top Canadian brands who took to Twitter in 2021. We see you, we appreciate you and we’re already looking forward to handing out more hardware in 2022.