Sandra Oh is ‘The Woman Who Can’t Lie’ in Leo Burnett Toronto’s Promotion of National Canadian Film Day 150

By Erik Oster Comment

Leo Burnett Toronto launched a campaign for Reel Canada’s National Canadian Film Day 150, which takes place on April 19, promoting the festival as “The world’s largest film festival. Ever.”

One 60-second cinema spot, which was directed by Don McKellar, stars Sandra Oh as “The Woman Who Can’t Lie.” The part of Esther Park’s brain that filters thoughts is missing, a voiceover informs viewers during the Wes Anderson-esque introduction to the character at the beginning of the spot. This led her to tell her father, “Mom says a lot of demeaning things about you when you’re not around” as a child. As an adult, she’s brutally honest about everything from an acquaintance’s gum-to-lip ratio to her partner’s sexual performance.

What does the character have to do with National Canadian Film Day 150? Well, if Esther Park gives it her seal of approval, then it must be good, right? (She saw them, “they’re fantastic.”)

The campaign’s other spot, directed by Atom Egoyanfeatures another quirky character, “The Man Who Was Always Late,” as portrayed by Vinay Virmani. Not as successful as its counterpart, the spot struggles to establish a meaningful connection between the character and the festival. At its conclusion, he arrives at Canadian Film Day 150 a day late. But, you know, you should try to get there on time.

The campaign launches today with the debut of the two cinema spots and will run through April 19, the day of the festival. OOH executions proudly declaring “Our films come from here” will also support the effort. 

Agency: Leo Burnett Toronto
CEO/CCO North America: Judy John
GCD/Writer: Steve Persico
GCD/Art Director: Anthony Chelvanathan
Group Account Director: Richard Bernstein
Executive Producer/SVP Director of Production: Franca Piacente
Assistant Producer: Sabrina De Luca

Production Company: Skin + Bones
Executive Producer: Dan Ford
Directors: Don McKellar (The Woman Who Can’t Lie) Atom Egoyan (The Man Who Was Always Late)
Director of Photography: Doug Koch
Line Producer: Marie Walsh
Production Manager: Peter Vanstone

Editing Facility: Rooster Post Production
Editors: Marc Langley (The Woman Who Can’t Lie) Michelle Czukar (The Man Who Was Always Late)
Assistant Editors: Joey Whitelaw (The Woman Who Can’t Lie) Colin Murdock (The Man Who Was Always Late)

Finishing: Fort York VFX
Lead Flame Artist: Andrew Rolfe

Audio House: SNDWRX
Audio Producer: Didier Tovel

Colour: Alter Ego
Colourist: Eric Whipp