Retirement not the only valid message

(Re: Viewpoint: 'AGF paints its canvas with pure branding message,' by John Burghardt) Dear John: I read with interest your recent article in the Feb. 28 edition of Strategy. I concur with many of your arguments in which you...

(Re: Viewpoint: ‘AGF paints its canvas with pure branding message,’ by John Burghardt)

Dear John:

I read with interest your recent article in the Feb. 28 edition of Strategy.

I concur with many of your arguments in which you make the point that the category has become so cluttered that ‘we’re into a pure branding phase’. As a mutual fund marketer, our challenge is clearly to stand out from the crowd, but with more individual mutual funds in Canada than stocks – each of which making the claim that ‘theirs is a higher performer than the next’ – one has to focus on a ‘pure branding message’ in order to differentiate.

What I also contend, however, is that AGF has successfully served to focus the investor’s attention on the topic of ‘retirement’ as the focal point of one’s investment behaviour. If we look at the variety of ads being served up both here in Canada and in the U.S. by our formidable competitors, it’s clear that retirement has become the rallying cry for investment.

While not necessarily a bad thing in its own right, this focus on retirement does open up a whole other end of the spectrum for those investors who are not necessarily investing for retirement which, according to our research, is quite large a group.

Be it a vacation, a child’s education, a mini-van, a legacy for one’s family, retirement is but one overall objective in one’s overall financial planning process.

And that’s where we feel we’ve identified and capitalized on a different niche, a different message, which gives investors permission to ‘live their whole life’ by not just investing for retirement. I hope you’ve been able to catch our TV and print spots – we’re getting some great feedback and look forward to continuing to start a new wave of mutual fund brand awareness.

Eric W. Grove

Vice-President, Marketing

Elliott & Page

Toronto, Ont.

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.