For Trade: One Cheestring

//  08.12.22


Someone Bought a Huge Billboard to Sell a Cheestring

The stunt, created for Cheestrings by Toronto agency Broken Heart Love Affair, has so far resulted in over 1,000 serious (and not so serious) offers, and 213M (and counting) earned media impressions.

On Tuesday, Aug 2 a giant billboard selling a single Cheestring went up at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square. Yeah, a Cheestring.
The ad read:

FOR TRADE: One Cheestring
Accepting trades for one Cheestring. Marble flavour. Still in original packaging.
No lowballs. I know what I have. 647-407-0938

The billboard was up for three days and has so far received over 1,000 offers (and counting) ranging from the serious to the ridiculous—including two Persian cats, a broken lawnmower, Shaquille O’Neal Rookie Cards, someone’s pregnant girlfriend, a golden gorilla statue, and a yacht.

The news media took notice, and media coverage started to come in from outlets including Narcity, CityTV, New York Post, Breakfast Television, Global News and HuffPost. The phone number on the ad directs to an actor, Joey Harlem, hired to play the role of a 48-year-old professional trader named Angel Domingo. One New York-based radio station even offered Mr. Domingo his own show as a trade.

The stunt is part of “Keep it Cheesy”, a new campaign created for Black Diamond Cheestrings by Toronto-based agency Broken Heart Love Affair that taps into the brand’s fun and playful nature.

“We all remember trading snacks like Cheestrings at school when we were kids,” says Jordan Hamer, Creative Director, Broken Heart Love Affair. “We wanted the billboard stunt to help adults remember their fun side.”

The “Keep it Cheesy” campaign is supported by a TV spot (posted below), OLV, a social campaign and OOH. The TV spot, “Lunch Trade,” uses the insight that Cheestrings make every day more playful. It features office workers all trying to one-up each other on a trade for a Cheestring, with offers including pirate’s treasure, a cloning machine, and a (**spoiler alert**) finale offer of Cthulhu the World Eater.

Cheestrings has traditionally built its marketing around its brand mascot, Cheesy, but worked closely with Broken Heart Love Affair to develop the new strategy, said Enrique Larez, Marketing Director, Black Diamond & Tablespreads, with Black Diamond.

The work is built around the insight that every peel of a Cheestring brings out the kid in everyone, and trading lunchtime snacks is a quintessential childhood activity.

“We’ve maintained the magic of the brand that captured our hearts nearly three decades ago. Cheestrings are fun. They represent happiness and silliness, and each peel is really an invitation for play. It gives us permission to bring out the kid in everyone,” said Larez. “This is just the beginning of a transformational brand platform that will live on for years to come.”



Campaign Title: Keep it Cheesy
Client: Lactalis Canada Inc.
Brand: Cheestrings
Vice President, Marketing – Cheese & Tablespreads – Lactalis: Sabrina Zollo
Marketing Director, Black Diamond & Tablespreads: Enrique Larez

Creative Agency: Broken Heart Love Affair
Chief Creative Officer: Carlos Moreno, Denise Rosetto, Todd Mackie, Craig McIntosh, Jaimes Zentil
Chief Business Officer: Bev Hammond
Creative Directors: Jordan Hamer, Spencer Ryan
Writer: Jordan Hamer
Art Director: Spencer Ryan
VP Strategy: Kristy Pleckaitis
Broadcast Producer: Erica Metcalfe
Integrated Producer: Demi Veselinovic
Production Coordinator: Olivia Cousineau
VP, Client Success: Joline Matika
Supervisor, Client Success: Annabel Harding

Production Company: Partners Film
Director: Fugitives
Executive Producers: Gigi Realini, Aerin Barnes
Line Producer: Jeff Schwartz
Director of Photography: Mikhail Petrenko
Assistant Director: Michael Metcalfe

Editing House: Saints Editorial
Editor: Brian Williams
Assistant Editor: Corinne Grans-Wood
Executive Producers: Michelle Rich, Mackenzie Goodwin

Post-Production House: Darling
Colourist: Kassi Bellamy
Colour Assistants: Will Culverwell, Jesse Hilton
Executive Producer: Stephanie Hickman
Producer: Faith Clark
Flame Artist: Lauren Rempel

Audio House: OSO
Creative Director: Daenen Bramberger
Executive Producer: Hannah Graham

Casting: Mann Casting

Media Agency (Activation): Epitaph
Media Agency (TV/OLV): Zenith Media

About Lactalis Canada Inc.
With 140 years of brand heritage, Lactalis Canada (formerly Parmalat Canada) is committed to enriching and nurturing the lives of Canadians by producing nutritious and great tasting dairy products. Named on Forbes 2021 list of Canada’s Best Employers, Lactalis Canada directly employs 4,000 Canadians, supports hundreds of farming families and contributes to the livelihoods of thousands of Canadians who provide essential services to Lactalis Canada’s more than 30 operating sites including 19 manufacturing facilities. The company’s iconic brands include Cracker Barrel, Black Diamond, P’tit Québec, Balderson, Cheestrings Ficello, aMOOza!, Astro, siggi’s, Stonyfield, IÖGO, IÖGO nanö, Olympic, Lactantia, Beatrice, Galbani, and Président. Lactalis Canada’s commitment to responsible and sustainable growth has been recognized with the 2021 Canadian Grocer Impact Award for Sustainability and its CDN $2.7 million investment to the communities in which it operates. Lactalis Canada is a subsidiary of Lactalis Group, the world’s leading dairy group, headquartered in Laval, France. For more information, visit

About Broken Heart Love Affair
Broken Heart Love Affair is a global agency based in Toronto and the partnership of industry veterans Jason Chaney, Carlos Moreno, Denise Rossetto, Todd Mackie, and Beverley Hammond. The agency, named AdAge Silver Newcomer Agency in 2021 and Strategy Small Agency of the Year Silver, is focused on gathering the most decorated strategic and creative talent on a mission to bring back the love for brands, clients, and the creative community. The agency celebrated a Cannes Lion and recognition at every major award show in its first year.