Product / ServiceMAPLE SYRUP
CategoryA02. Rebrand / Refresh of an existing Brand
EntrantRELATIV* Tokyo, JAPAN
Idea Creation RELATIV* Tokyo, JAPAN
Media Placement RELATIV* Tokyo, JAPAN
Production RELATIV* Tokyo, JAPAN
Post Production RELATIV* Tokyo, JAPAN


Name Company Position
Kazunori Shiina relativ* concept development, campaign, and creative leadership
Kisara Onuma relativ* ideation, art direction and design
Sayu Fujii relativ* ideation and design
Christina Adriani relativ* concept development and campaign oversight/direction
Jess Kuguio relativ* production and media coordination
Kristie Wong relativ* media strategy, campaign planning
Aaron Kane relativ* consumer insights and performance optimization
Mariya Sokolova relativ* planning, strategic direction, and review
Nikita Modekurti relativ* project lead, ideation, coordination
Max Samchuk relativ* business client lead / ideation / brand guidance


Our client QMSP, the Quebec Maple Syrup Producers – represents the entire Canadian maple syrup export industry – which equals nearly 80% of all maple syrup exported around the world. QMSP isn’t a product brand marketer - they are the champions of a key Canadian industry, representing multiple Canadian producers. We represent them in Japan. In Japan, maple syrup is perceived as expensive and other sweeteners, like artificial cake syrups, are seen more affordable and as equal or preferable alternatives to maple. Over the past several years, consumer perception and limited engagement had led to little market growth in Japan. QMSP wanted to refresh / reinvigorate the brand perception of authentic maple syrup. In 2021 They tasked us to explain why maple is special and they asked us to do that through a multi-channel campaign, that could be delivered EFFICIENTLY over 3 years with a limited budget.

Describe the creative idea (40% of vote)

To boost interest in maple, we needed understand our consumer. Through quantitative, qualitative research plus socially listening. We landed on a core persona and insight. Our consumer persona – is female, between the ages of 25-45, she cares about quality, health and wants to enjoy life richly. Price matters. But getting back value matters more. Things that add benefit to her life. She may be married or single. She may care for others or herself. But her decision making doesn’t change. Value matters. With this insight, we realized that maple’s higher price isn’t a barrier. It's a premium. Maple = nature’s premium sweetener. And the reason it is a premium - is that maple offers more. It offers value. It is natural, it has a rich flavor, it can enhance a variety of foods, and unlike some sweeteners it contains nutrients and antioxidants. Maple is “MORE Than Just Sweet”.

Describe the execution (40% of vote)

More than just sweet is our campaign idea. First – we communicated “MORE than just sweet” as our campaign tagline or “甘いだけじゃない” in Japanese. This message – prominently featured in all campaign assets – is intended to easily communicate to the consumer the added premium nature of Maple. Secondly – we worked to explain WHY maple syrup is “MORE than just sweet.” We needed to be able to deliver a complex message, about nature, richness and enjoyment in a way that consumers could FEEL. To do this we crafted a layered visual featuring the richness of Canadian nature pouring (via maple syrup) into an enjoyment occasion familiar to Japanese consumers - pancakes. This explanation became the key messaging for the campaign. Lastly - we built an ecosystem around this message. Including: recipes, influencers, emojis, digital ads, and ads in lifestyle magazines, that explained that maple was "MORE than just sweet."

List the results (20% of vote)

More Than Just Sweet – has had a clear positive impact on customer engagement. After launching the campaign - based on their desire to benefit from the impact of the campaign – retailers for the first time in Japan joined the QMSP campaign and brought the campaign to life via in store assets – including product stickers and floor displays. The retail goal being translate online brand building to in-store purchasing. Additionally – with this campaign we have • Increased consumer engagement vs. by 2.5x o As measured by monthly reach and impressions • Tripled consumer interest (3.1x increase) o As measured by average monthly website visits • Nearly doubled QMSP’s social media following in 8 months (1.8x) • Double campaign efficiency (2.2x increase) o as measured by performance media CTR