Toronto Star

Giving the gift of trusted news

Positioning and promotion

With ambitious targets the Star needed to find a fresh way to drive subscriptions. Combining a tightly focused positioning with a nostalgic illustration style and inclusive illustrations, our integrated gifting campaign delivered 138% over target.


We were asked to develop an integrated campaign to promote a new subscription gifting program for the Toronto Star. To meet the ambitious goals set by management, we knew we needed to go beyond transactional messaging, and also reflect a more inclusive vision of the holidays that the Star’s diverse readership could see themselves in.



We targeted our campaign towards older less price sensitive readers and positioned a subscription to the Star as a perfect gift for their children and grandchildren. With 7/10 Canadian millennials getting their news from social media, a subscription to the Star could provide a daily diet of facts over fake news, truth over gossip and reliable reporting over rumour and conspiracy. Reading the Star would help their children and grandchildren make more informed decisions, become more engaged citizens and provide them with vital knowledge to navigate uncertain times.


To bring the campaign to life, we partnered with British illustrator Grace Helmer to create a universe that conveyed the premium nature of the product and strike at the various ways Canadians celebrate during that time of year. As the province went under lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, our illustrations responded to the new ways the community was coping, surviving and celebrating the holidays.

Print ads

Social campaign asset


Display advertising


138% over goal

The gifting campaign was a runaway success delivering 138% over the target goal. In response to the performance management planned four additional gifting campaigns for the following year and is now a key pillar of organic subscription growth.

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