The Indie List: No Fixed Address

Three years later, all grown up
A multimedia marketing campaign for Dairy Farmers of Ontario celebrates milk as a versatile and contemporary food choice with the theme line: “What Can’t Milk Do?”

A multimedia marketing campaign for Dairy Farmers of Ontario celebrates milk as a versatile and contemporary food choice with the theme line: “What Can’t Milk Do?”

Three-year-old no fixed address is no longer the new kid on the block. The agency that started from scratch with a declaration that clients deserve better from their agencies, is all grown up.

After three years of continued new business and organic growth, and with the steady acquisition of top talent across all communications disciplines, NFA has gone from cheeky start-up to an established agency player with some 110 full-time staff.

“I think it’s fair to say that the model we introduced three years ago, which envisioned a new and better way of working, with senior talent, custom solutions and true integration, has become a proven concept,” says Serge Rancourt, NFA CEO and co-founder.

An earned media activation partnering SickKids Hospital with booking site Airbnb brought wide attention to the cramped conditions at the hospital, dramatizing the need for a new building.

An earned media activation partnering SickKids Hospital with booking site Airbnb brought wide attention to the cramped conditions at the hospital, dramatizing the need for a new building.

Rancourt says that a bedrock principle of the NFA model is the desire to work in closer partnership with clients. The benefit could not be better illustrated, he says, than through the relationship with online financial services company Questrade.

The Questrade campaign has evolved over three years from building awareness of the brand with a bold message that urged consumers to “Ask Tough Questions” to arming them with legitimate concerns and now in the third year the campaign has consumers taking action with the tagline: “It’s time to switch to Questrade.”

The Questrade campaign has evolved over three years, beginning with a message that urged consumers to “Ask Tough Questions” to this year’s campaign that encourages consumers to take action with the tagline: “It’s time to switch to Questrade.”

The Questrade campaign has evolved over three years, beginning with a message that urged consumers to “Ask Tough Questions” to this year’s campaign that encourages consumers to take action with the tagline: “It’s time to switch to Questrade.”

Over the past year, NFA has managed to maintain and steadily build upon the momentum established in its early days, according to agency president and co-founder Dave Lafond.

Major new business wins this past year include the Little Caesars restaurant chain, the Dairy Farmers of Ontario, and travel company Merit Travel Group.

A new campaign for Little Caesars promoted the Canadian launch of Pizza Portal, a service that allows customers to custom order their pizza, select a pick-up time, and be notified when the order is ready.

A new campaign for Little Caesars promoted the Canadian launch of Pizza Portal, a service that allows customers to custom order their pizza, select a pick-up time, and be notified when the order is ready.

“Much of this past year has been spent attracting and expanding services in response to client demand,” says Lafond. “In fact, organic growth has been a highlight of the year. As a result we’ve been able to add depth across the board, in strategy, creative, digital, media, account service, health care expertise, PR and content.”

While the NFA model has successfully grown up, getting there has not always been an easy journey. It has had its share of challenges, Lafond admits.

J.P. Wiser’s encouraged people to follow through on the promise of getting together socially with the headline “Drink Soon?” This is the third year in the continuing “Hold It High” campaign.

J.P. Wiser’s encouraged people to follow through on the promise of getting together socially with the headline “Drink Soon?” This is the third year in the continuing “Hold It High” campaign.

“Our vision was to have all disciplines working effortlessly, hand-in-hand. It sounds great in theory, but in practice it requires a lot of patience, flexibility and plain hard work. As we’ve grown, we resisted the easy solution of creating departments or expanding by acquisition. It’s been a real test of our resolve to make it all come together organically. But we’ve been persistent and courageous and it’s paying off.”

The NFA model was exactly what Sean Bredt, chief marketing and business development officer at the Dairy Farmers of Ontario, was looking for when he hired NFA last year as the DFO began ramping up to meet the challenge of marketing the story of Ontario dairy farmers and their dairy products.

“NFA became true partners with us,” says Bredt. “They took on our challenges and got deep into the research so that they truly understood what we are facing. They have an ‘all-hands-on’ mantra which means that the team flexes so that the best individuals are always there to be part of the discussion. As we grew with them they brought in new competencies as needed. The time and access we had to senior people was excellent.”

Adds Bredt: “We could not have done what we did had we not had NFA as our partners. They are awesome.”

“Lolli: The Exhibit Nobody Wants to Talk About,” featured 10,824 lollipops to drive awareness of the prevalence of child pornography on behalf of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.

“Lolli: The Exhibit Nobody Wants to Talk About,” featured 10,824 lollipops to drive awareness of the prevalence of child pornography on behalf of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.

NFA’s bespoke communications offering is reflected in the range of its work, as evidenced by just three recent standout campaigns.

NFA used a dramatic installation featuring brightly coloured lollipops to raise awareness of the prevalence of child pornography. A PR-driven campaign linking Airbnb with SickKids Hospital drew stark attention to the hospital’s need for funding, while a bold mass media concept for Dairy Farmers of Ontario told the story of dairy farmers and championed the versatility of milk.

CONTACT:
Dave Lafond
President & Co-founder
dave@nofixedaddressinc.com