In its first Canadian campaign, food delivery app DoorDash uses delightfully detailed animation—blending 3-D and 2-D styles—to show its couriers cycling through diverse neighborhoods all across the land.
These "dashers" (that's what they're called!) peddle past popular eateries such as Kinton Ramen in Toronto, Flipp'n Burgers in Calgary, Tacofino in Vancouver and Mandy's Bistro in Montreal. And because we're in Canada, Tim Hortons appears:
Two orders of dancing sushi with extra smiles, please!
"Everything stemmed from the idea that with DoorDash, you've got access to all the flavors of your neighborhood, right in the palm of your hands," explains Cher Campbell, executive creative director at John St., which developed the campaign with Blinkink directors Stevie Gee and Essy May. "The approach of recreating Canadian neighborhoods in miniature fell directly out of that idea and was something we were all excited about from the beginning."
During the planning phase, as the team strove to nail the look and feel, "we started thinking about things that had a distinct 'neighborhood' or after-school-special feel to them. Things like Mr Rogers and Sesame Street—the types of styles that gave us all immediate nostalgia and joy," Campbell says.
"It was also super-important to build as many details as possible. The entire spot is full of Easter eggs, from landmarks to street signs, to signs for massive fast-food chains," she says. (This time, the clown laughs at you, BK!). "Like actual neighborhoods, there's a mix of everything, and you won't notice it all on the first drive by."
The dashers keep moving at all times, while other folks and vehicles stand still, "as a device to bring the viewer through the film, as if they're taking you on a tour of all the different neighborhoods," Campbell says.
In creating the spot, "each restaurant and shop was individually built, character models hand-painted, streetcar wires strung by hand," says agency executive producer Aimee DeParolis. "Details like this take time to finesse, and time was one thing we didn't have a lot of. It was our biggest challenge: how to complete a production this complex in six weeks from award to in-market. Having a team with the same creative vision and a client who trusted us made this possible."
The '60s Motown anthem "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," performed here in a playful arrangement by Canadian artist Haviah Mighty, plays on the soundtrack. "The lyrics worked so nicely with the idea of having food delivered, and they did so in a way that fit with the joyful vibe we were going for," Campbell says.
The relationship between delivery services and local restaurants is, of course, symbiotic. So, the spot also supports eateries hard hit by pandemic restrictions. All told, the Canadian foodservice industry could suffer a 30 percent dip in sales this year, and remain depressed through 2022, according to Restaurants Canada.
This difficult reality lends deeper resonance to the theme line, "Every neighborhood in your hands." More than ever before, independent restaurants, staples of countless communities, need consumers to deliver for them—by placing orders.
Along with the TV spot, the push includes regional out-of-home, print, digital and social outreach, Spotify audio, and a DoorDash web series in Quebec created by Radiance. In addition, the initiative boasts a #DashSquad component from experiential agency Ruckus Digital, with influencers and celebrities surprising customers with their orders. That component kicks off soon in Vancouver.
Separately, on this side of the border, DoorDash launched a "Reopen for Delivery" program matching closed restaurants with off-premises "ghost kitchen" operators to keep neighborhood businesses alive. The five-minute film below, from documentarian Rodney Lucas and The Martin Agency—bookended by Chance the Rapper's track "5-Year Plan"—spotlights the revival of Chicago's Krazy Hog BBQ.
"Welcome to the Flavorhood"
VP Marketing: Kofi Amoo-Gottfried
Head of Canada: Brent Seals
Sr. Director Consumer Marketing: David Bornoff
Sr. Brand Manager – Canada: Heather Cameron
PR Communications Manager: Cat McCormack
Director Consumer Marketing: Katie Coffee
Sr. Manager Partnership Marketing – Canada: Sarah Behrens
Sr. Director, Consumer Marketing Strategy & Planning: Mike Lorenzen
Sr. Manager Growth Marketing – Canada: Carly Steinberg
Manager Growth Marketing: Helen Pfeiffer
Associate Growth Marketing: Scott Oakes
Sr. Associate Growth Marketing: Marie-Eve Themens
Strategic Partner Manager: Ryan Frome
Associate Manager Social Media: Darcy Dellara
Sr. Manager Social Media: Tiffany Black
Agency: john st.
Executive Creative Director:Cher Campbell
Chief Strategy Officer: Megan Towers
Creative Director: Christian Buer
Associate Creative Director / Copywriter: Marc Levesque
Associate Creative Director / Art Director: Dan Cantelon
Associate Creative Director / Copywriter: Robbie Percy
Associate Creative Director / Art Director: Caroline Friesen
Executive Director, Production / Producer: Cas Binnington
Head of Production / Producer: Aimee DeParolis
Sr. Strategist: Brittany Dow
Client Service Director: Ryan O'Hagan
Team Lead: Caitlin Bourada
Integration Lead: Tina Obersnel
Studio Director: Jackie Goshgarian
Production Artists: Heather Lee, Melina Furlong, Erin Wheatley, Andrew Brennan
Proofreading Lead: Molly Barber
Production Company: Blinkink
Directors: Stevie Gee & Essy May
Producer: Gareth Owen
Executive Producer: Bart Yates
Director of Photography: Matthew Day
Production Manager: Sandy Liddle
Editor: William Barnett
Graphic Designer: Nick Dart
2D Animators: Andrew Clarke, Olly Montagu
Costumes: Frenzy Ltd
Interior Set Build: Jennifer Kidd
Set Build: Anarchy Ltd
Model Makers: Alice Simonato, Kat Simpson,Emily Bates, Mara Frampton, Adeena Grubb
Scenic Painter: Richard Davidson
Home Economist/Food Stylist: Kostas Stavrinos
CG Artist: Trine Soreneson
CG Modeller: Zach Pindolia
3D Printers: 3D Print Bureau
VFX Supervisor: Tim Osborne
VFX Producer: Sharma Lewis
Colourist: Steffan Perry
Audio House: Grayson Music
Music Director: Tyson Kuteyi
Music Supervisor: Kaya Pino
Exec Producer: Kelly McCluskey
Composer: Jeff Milutinovic
Sound Designer: Ben Swarbrick
Illustrator: Naomi Otsu
Illustrator: Lindsay Wright
Photographers: Les Garçons
Food Stylist: Chantal Legault
Candy Digital: Digital Display
Kofi Amoo-Gottfried- Vice President, Marketing
Katie Daire- Senior Director, B2B Marketing
Tiffany Black- Senior Manager, influencer & Social Media Marketing
The Martin Agency
Kristen Cavallo- CEO/Chief Executive Officer
Danny Robinson- EVP/Chief Creative Officer
Jerry Hoak- EVP/Executive Creative Director/Managing Director
Tasha Dean- SVP/ Head of Integrated Production
Jordan Muse- SVP/ Group Account Director
Katie White- Account Director
Robert Clark- Account Executive
Mike Kelley- Creative Director
Derek Smith- Art Director
Joe Hartley- Copywriter
Tricia Hoover- Executive Producer
Anthony Moschini- Producer
Dusty Slowik- VP, Business Affairs Director
Elizabeth Moore - Financial Affairs Manager
Jaclyn Ruelle- SVP/Managing Director, Cultural Impact & Brand Communications
Matt Kessler- Cultural Communications, Senior Executive
Blake Smoral- Strategic Planner
Luke Divita- Strategic Planner
Greg Fischer- SVP/Director of Communications Planning
Santia Nance- Media Planning Supervisor
Chris Tracy- Paid Social Supervisor
Lindsay Marshall- Project Manager
Jamie Dollins- Senior Print Producer
Amy Zhang- Junior Print and Product Producer
Even Odd Films
Malcolm Pullinger - Even Odd Films EP
Rodney Lucas - Director
Alex Freedman - Producer
Ashley Rodholm - Head Of Post Production
Ian Levine - Editor firstname.lastname@example.org