opts for light touch

It's taken three months, but Globe Information Services and Torstar have finally consummated their improbable marriage with the launch of, a jointly owned Internet job board that's being flogged with a $7-million multimedia campaign. The redesigned Web site, which replaces...

It’s taken three months, but Globe Information Services and Torstar have finally consummated their improbable marriage with the launch of, a jointly owned Internet job board that’s being flogged with a $7-million multimedia campaign.

The redesigned Web site, which replaces the clunky-sounding, is being positioned as an online ‘community’ for job seekers, one that offers tips on writing resumés and preparing for interviews, in addition to housing the biggest stockpile of Canadian job postings on the Web.

The communal theme is echoed throughout the launch elements, including a billboard execution that has been designed to resemble a road sign. The poster, designed by newly appointed agency of record Ranscombe & Co., reads, ‘Welcome to, Canada’s biggest job site,’ and lists the ‘population’ as 15,000 jobs.

‘The personality will be welcoming, friendly, fun and light,’ explains Jim Ranscombe, president of Ranscombe & Co., which also came up with the name for the new site. ‘We’re not taking the negative approach that Monster [does],’ he adds, referring to the dot-com company’s critically acclaimed ‘When I grow up’ spots that debuted during last year’s Super Bowl. ‘We’re going to be talking to people who are happy with their jobs and want to be happier.’

But if Workopolis hopes to stem the flow of classified ad revenue to Internet job giants like and, it will have to keep up with them on the marketing front – a proposition so costly that it impelled the shotgun marriage of The Globe and Torstar last October.

Torstar, whose holdings include The Toronto Star and The Hamilton Spectator, paid $19 million for a 40% slice of, giving The Globe the cash it needed to promote the site more aggressively. Just as importantly, the deal doubled the number of job postings on the new site to 15,000 – the most on any Canadian job board – and boosted the online resumé bank to over 160,000, which still trails the 210,000 resumés posted at JobShark (Monster, by comparison, houses 5,000 jobs and 100,000 resumés).

The campaign officially kicked off Jan. 26 with full page ads in The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star, plus transit ads and billboards. A series of 30-second television spots are also being produced, and will air in early February.



Agency: Ranscombe & Co.

Budget: $7 million

Creative Directors: Jim Ranscombe, Tony Miller

Art Directors: Rick Mayzis, Mark Spalding, Jason Kinsella

Writers: Jim Ranscombe, Tony Miller

Media Direction: Anne Wood

Interactive Strategist: Craig Thompson

Account Service Team: Greg Cromwell, Paul Baillie

Media: Newspaper, television, transit, out-of-home, online, Elevator News Network

Launch Date: Jan. 26, 2000

Length of Run: One year (heavy weights in first two months)

From Karen Howe’s dining table: Creativity, COVID and Cannes

ICYMI, The Township's founder gathers the best of the best campaigns and trends so far.

Cannes Base Camp

By Karen Howe

I’m attending Cannes from the glory of my dining room table. There’s not a palm tree in sight, yet inspiration and intel are present in abundance.

Cannes Lions is a global cultural pulse check. The social course correction in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and BLM has delivered far greater diversity in the judging panels as well as the work. And we are all better for it.

I’m proud to say that creativity defeated COVID, which speaks to its power. Great work and big ideas flourished, despite unimaginable odds.

The work from the past two years spans a vast emotional range. From the profundity of Dove’s “Courage is Beautiful” to the hyper exuberance of Burberry’s “Festive,” they are opposite ends of the spectrum, but each answered a need in us.

Take note, the ascendency of gaming cannot be understated. Smart brands have embraced the channel. It makes sense, because gamers participate to meet others around the world, not just to play. And they represent a huge and powerful community. That’s why QSR Wendy’s gamified their iconic gal in RPG’s Feast of Legends.

Burger King sponsored the unknown Stevenage Football Club, transforming the team into online heroes and vaulting BK into the fray at the same time. Once again, the brand embedded itself in culture.

The birth of gaming tourism arrived when Xbox snuggled up to travel guides and created a brilliant baby: a travel guide for gaming worlds. It, too, embedded itself in culture.

From the standpoint of social good, Reporter Without Borders showed how it worked with Mindcraft for its “Uncensored Library” to bypass press censorship, with Minecraft providing a loophole to a space where young people could be educated. It provided youth with a powerful tool to fight oppression: truth.

COVID changed us in unexpected ways. We learned how to pay attention again and there was a notable lack of 30-second commercials. Instead, longer format content thrived. Apple’s WFH was seven minutes long. Entertainment reigned king, so we find ourselves returning to our advertising roots.

Seeing competitive brands form partnerships was one of this year’s other great surprises. The brilliantly simple “Beer Cap Project” by Aguila to reduce binge-drinking saw the brand reach out to competitive beers to join in. Aguila put incentivizing (keyword: free) reminders to drink water, eat food and get home safely on its bottle caps from all sorts of fast food chains, ride-share co’s and H2O brands.

On a personal level, I’m so proud of Canada again this year. Given that it was two years of work from all over the world being judged, even making the Cannes shortlist was an accomplishment. Canada is herding in the Lions in tremendous numbers – and it’s not even over. Fingers are crossed.

KAREN-HOWE-PIC-higher-rez-300x263Karen Howe is a Canadian Cannes Advisory Board Member and founder of The Township Group