TIFF 2019: Which brands went home with the award this year?

Every year the Toronto International Film Festival embraces the city with film, culture and celebrity. While most festival watchers are glued to their screens to see what their favourite stars are wearing, eating, and promoting on the red carpet, here at A&C we can’t help but focus on which brands and their activations stood out in the TIFF marketplace.

Here is our round-up of brands with star potential this festival season.


This year, we’ve seen a growing trend of banks targeting millennials and with trendy brand partnerships meant to entice a younger demographic to join storied institutions. RBC has joined alike, leveraging their newly announced partnership with OVO to host a secret party at RBC House during TIFF. Performances includes OVO crew members and HAIM, with appearances form Alison Janney, Ray Romano and Dani DeVito. The RBC House remained one of 2019’s top destinations for TIFF, ultimately reinforcing the bank’s newly minted status amongst both millennials and Gen Z.

Photo via Lucas Kschischang/RBC House

Photo via Lucas Kschischang/RBC House

Calii Love

This brand, best known for its California inspired healthy food and trendy chalkboard art, made the bold choice to close its doors to civilians for certain hours of the festival to host celebrities for a photography studio in partnership with entertainment magazine Deadline. This savvy PR move has drawn celebrities like George Clooney and Ryan Gosling to the restaurant to participate in the Deadline interview studio – and to get a latte done in their likelihood, like Meryl Streep did! Calii Love’s clever latte art stunt with Barista Bryan has consistently helped them stand out amongst the King Street crowd. Authentic engagement done right.

Photo via    @baristabrian

Photo via @baristabrian


If it’s good enough for George Clooney, it’s good enough for us. The Nespresso activation was back at TIFF with its mini café parked right in the thick of it on King Street. The café served up Nespresso espressos (say that five times fast) and hosted their ‘Coffee with Creators’ panel showcasing new and hot – pardon the coffee pun - talent in the film industry. Reinforcing their consistent role as coffee expert to the stars (particularly at film festivals around the world), the brand conjunctionally host the ‘Nespresso Talents’, a unique competition that empowers filmmakers to tell a story through the format of vertical video. All of these connecting pieces work to solidify Nespresso’s place as a top brand amongst film lovers – and George Clooney. A perfect example of a brand who knows who they are and remains consistent to strengthen it’s PR efforts.

Image via Accordex.

Image via Accordex.


Nutrl has been working to have a Toronto presence in the sugar-free and low-calorie canned cocktail space. Highlighting its place in the market during TIFF, the cult brand showcased cult movies like The Big Labowski at its ‘movie trailer’ activation. Adding to the cool factor was a clear tarp above the activation that simulated a night sky, giving a nostalgic drive-in day feel – feeding into the nostalgic trend we see across industries right now (can you say Stranger Things). Solidifying their PR push, the brand also made sure their product was in the hands of the most glamorous attendees in notable theatres like the Princess of Wales – a sure-fire way to have health-conscious notables try their new flavours.

Photo via Media in Canada.

Photo via Media in Canada.

Nicole Hanley