On the Move

PRINTERS: Transcontinental Printing's direct marketing group has promoted Marc Fortier to general manager of its Toronto-based Yorkville Printing operations, a major provider of direct marketing-related products and services. Fortier had been director of sales and marketing at Yorkville since 1998. ...

PRINTERS:

Transcontinental Printing’s direct marketing group has promoted Marc Fortier to general manager of its Toronto-based Yorkville Printing operations, a major provider of direct marketing-related products and services. Fortier had been director of sales and marketing at Yorkville since 1998.

AGENCIES:

Wolf Group has named Mike Rutherford as director of customer specific marketing. Most recently vice-president of relationship marketing with Thomas, Crncich & Partners (TC&P), Rutherford now takes on responsibility for all direct marketing initiatives at the agency, including the development of one-to-one relationships between Wolf Group clients and customers. Rutherford, who had been at Canada Post prior to joining TC&P, will work on several accounts, including Altamira, Air Ontario and Scotia Capital.

The Cornerstone Group of Companies has announced a series of promotions at its Toronto-based offices. Justin Webb, formerly senior vice-president of its list management division, moves into the newly created post of senior vice-president of corporate sales. Jim Grant has been appointed vice-president of Cornerstone List Management after his tenure as vice-president of the agency’s list brokerage business. Meanwhile, Karen Lamont replaces Grant after a stint as general manager of Cornerstone List Brokerage, and Jennifer Grant moves up to vice-president of Cornerstone Response Management. She was formerly in charge of that division’s client services department.

ICOM Information & Communications of Toronto has brought Nancy Sprague on board in a bid to enhance the company’s data management services. Sprague has spent 16 years in direct marketing, 10 as president of Prospects Unlimited. Before that, she was president of Cover-All Direct Response, vice-president of Datamark Response, and also held executive positions with Texcom and Southam Direct Marketing Services.

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