These new ice cream flavors aim to show Ottawa is anything but 'vanilla'

Rethink Canada turned the Canadian capital's ho-hum reputation into a tasty campaign for tourists

Published On
Jul 27, 2018

Editor's Pick

When tourists think of Ottawa…well, tourists don't usually think of Ottawa. A campaign from the Canadian capital's tourism bureau and agency Rethink set out to change that--using artisanal ice cream flavors as a bribe.

To help shake up the city's vanilla reputation, the agency masterminded five custom-made flavors that were decidedly "Not Vanilla." Ottawa coop shop Moo Shu created them, inspired by local attractions.

ByWard ByNight is a cocktail-influenced flavor with smoked caramel and bitters. It references the ByWard Market neighbourhood, which is home to artists, shops and restaurants. Urban Splash incorporates hops and honey, which are found along the Ottawa River. Ottawild is an apple and elderflower frozen yogurt that calls to mind hiking and the outdoors. Roam Sweet Roam is a vegan coffee and date concoction inspired by local museums and art galleries. And Rideauculous, with peppercorn and plum, is smooth, like a sail down the Rideau Canal.

Rethink designed the logo and package design for "Not Vanilla," which is simple on the outside and interesting once opened, like Ottawa itself. A pop-up shop distributed the flavors on a scorching day in June, and the designs live on via Instagram.

With this, we may be on the verge of an artisanal agency-created frozen confectionary trend. Earlier this summer, Minneapolis-based agency Periscope concocted its own ice cream flavor as part of its bigger rebranding campaign.


Jul 27, 2018
Account Services:
Megan Burrow
Account Services:
Alex Lefebvre
Strategic Planner:
Hannah Newport
Strategic Planner:
Sean McDonald
Strategic Planner:
Pascal Routhier
Broadcast Producer:
Meghan Cheesbrough
Broadcast Producer:
Heather Blom
Print Producer:
Narine Artinian
Jake Lim
Jacquelyn Parent
Art Director:
Hayley Hinkley
Associate Creative Director:
Jake Lim
Creative Director:
Mike Dubrick
Creative Director:
Aaron Starkman
Creative Director:
Joel Holtby
Ottawa Tourism

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