Media matters more than ever

And the envelope, please... Okay, so maybe it's not the Academy Awards, but Strategy's annual Best Media Plan Competition is still a pretty decent little happening. And, judging from the number and quality of entries received this year, media planning in...

And the envelope, please… Okay, so maybe it’s not the Academy Awards, but Strategy’s annual Best Media Plan Competition is still a pretty decent little happening. And, judging from the number and quality of entries received this year, media planning in Canada is a more crucial element of the overall advertising and marketing mix than ever. Conceived in 1997 as a way of shining a spotlight on this oft-neglected area of the advertising mix, the Best Media Plan Competition has grown impressively, not just in scope but in the overall breadth and quality of the submissions sent in.

Witness the best overall media plan of 1999 – as selected by our panel of esteemed judges – by Bates Canada for the launch of MaxAir gum on behalf of Warner Lambert Canada’s Adams Brands division. A true multimedia campaign that made full and creative use of TV, out-of-home and interactive media elements, the effort submitted by the Bates team provides ample evidence that a well thought-out and executed media plan can make all the difference in whether an advertising effort – in this case a brand introduction – develops legs and sprints to victory, or stumbles and falls flat.

An almost equal measure of original strategic thinking went into the Dentyne Kiss & Tell media plan – once again conceived by Bates for Adams Brands – which was awarded the honours of Best Plan for a Budget of Less than $1 Million, Best Use of Radio and runner-up for Best Plan Overall.

What do these two media plans have in common other than the fact that they were both done by the same agency for the same client and were both for a chewing gum product? Well, first of all, they were targeted to a youthful audience – i.e. one that is both fickle and elusive – and both included interactive media as a central element of their strategies.

The latter fact is particularly noteworthy, since relatively few of this year’s other entries could make the same claim. It appears almost incongruous that in this age of fleeting consumer loyalty and super-charged interactive media consumption that that would be the case. We suspect that will change in the very near future, though, as pressure mounts on advertisers and their agencies to constantly find the right blend of media, both new and traditional, to deliver relevant messages to consumers, wherever they may be.

However, as the top finishers and contenders in this year’s Best Media Plan competition have clearly demonstrated, the ideas are out there… and they work. It’s all just a question of bringing everything together in a cohesive package that doesn’t leave any stone unturned.

When that happens, there’s little question that media matters.

David Bosworth

In Brief: The Garden picks CDs to take on daily creative leadership

Plus, Naked names two new leaders of its own and Digital Ethos comes to Canada.

The Garden promotes two creative directors

ACDs Lindsay Eady and Francheska Galloway-Davis have taken over responsibility for day-to-day creative leadership at The Garden after being promoted to creative director roles.

The pair will also help develop the agency’s creative talent, formalizing mentorship and leadership activities they have been doing since joining the agency four and three years ago, respectively. In addition to creating the agency’s internship program, the pair have worked on campaigns for Coinsquare, FitTrack and “The Coke Challenge” campaign for DanceSafe.

Eady and Galloway-Davis will continue to report to The Garden’s co-founder and chief creative officer Shane Ogilvie, who is stepping back from daily creative duties to a more high-level strategic role, allowing him to focus on client relationships and business growth.

Naked Creative Consultancy names new creative and strategy leadership

Toronto’s Naked Creative Consultancy has hired Yasmin Sahni as its new creative director. She is taking over creative leadership from David Kenyon, who has been in the role for 10 years and is moving into a new role as director of strategy, leading the discipline at the agency.

Sahni is coming off of three years as VP and ECD at GTB’s Toronto office, where she managed all the retail, social and service creative for Ford Canada. She previously managed both Vice Media and Vice’s in-house ad agency Virtue.

Peter Shier, president of Naked, says Sahni’s hiring adds to its creative bench and capabilities, as well as a track record of mentorship, a priority for the company. Meanwhile, Kenyon’s move to the strategy side, he says, makes sense because of his deep knowledge of its clients, which have included Ancestry and The Globe and Mail.

Digital Ethos opens a Toronto office

U.K. digital agency Digital Ethos is pursuing new growth opportunities in North America by opening a new office in Toronto.

Though it didn’t disclose them, the agency has begun serving a number of North American clients, and CEO/founder Luke Tobin says the “time was right to invest in a more formal and actual presence in the area.” whose services include design, SEO, pay-per-click, social media, influencer and PR,

This year, the agency’s growth has also allowed it to open an office in Hamburg, Germany, though it also has remote staff working in countries around the world.

Moray Hickes was the company’s first North American hire as VP of sales, tasked with business development in the region.