Account Action

Microsoft Canada has named Publicis Canada of Toronto AOR for its advertising account, estimated to be worth upwards of $25 million. Leo Burnett, MacLaren McCann and Young & Rubicam were also on the shortlist. The business had been with The Communiqué...

Microsoft Canada has named Publicis Canada of Toronto AOR for its advertising account, estimated to be worth upwards of $25 million. Leo Burnett, MacLaren McCann and Young & Rubicam were also on the shortlist. The business had been with The Communiqué Group.

Telus Advertising Services and Dominion Directory Information Services have picked Ogilvy & Mather as the creative agency on their account, estimated to be worth $6 million. The agency will handle the business out of its Calgary and Vancouver offices. Telus recently awarded its $30-million wireline consumer creative account to Palmer Jarvis DDB and its $15-million wireline business creative to Lanyon Phillips Communications. Both agencies are based in Vancouver. Telus’ media buying is with OMD Canada.

Toronto-based software company Hummingbird Communications has hired The Communiqué Group to create an international ad campaign for its Enterprise Information Portal. The assignment is valued at US$5 million.

Ontario Power Generation, one of North America’s largest electricity generating companies, has named Toronto-based Wolf Group its advertising agency of record. The assignment calls for an integrated communications program that will target business-to-business, employee, and plant communities.

The University of Alberta has completed its advertising review, giving Palmer Jarvis DDB the nod for its $1-million account. Creative will focus on student and faculty recruitment as well as fundraising efforts.

The Square One shopping mall in Mississauga, Ont. recently awarded its creative and media duties to Young & Rubicam of Toronto and its public relations business to Fruitman Communications Group.

Berminghammer Foundation Equipment, a Canadian engineering company that manufactures and markets direct drive diesel hammers, has hired Hamilton-based Cooper, Spearing & Stone Advertising as its agency of record. The agency was also named Canadian AOR by cost-reduction company Expense Reduction Analysts International.

Canoe has awarded the media buying portion of its $5-million account to Carat Canada. The business will be split between Carat Canada’s two divisions, Carat Strategem of Montreal and Carat Cairns of Toronto. Bos of Montreal recently picked up the creative business.

Alliance Atlantis Communications, owner of specialty channels Showcase Television, HGTV Canada and Life Network, has named The Communiqué Group of Toronto as agency for its account, valued at more than $4 million.

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