Advertisers love Oscar

And the winner is...the Academy Awards, if Canadian advertisers are to be believed. Labatt Breweries of Canada, Zellers and Levi Strauss & Co. (Canada) were among the national advertisers who paid up to twice the going rate in order to showcase...

And the winner is…the Academy Awards, if Canadian advertisers are to be believed.

Labatt Breweries of Canada, Zellers and Levi Strauss & Co. (Canada) were among the national advertisers who paid up to twice the going rate in order to showcase their advertising in an environment of unparalleled glitz, glamour, suspense and cleavage.

Given its ability this year to deliver both a broad spectrum of consumers, as well as the highly sought after 18-34 demographic, the Academy Awards telecast will likely be an even hotter advertising property in 2001, says Florence Ng, director of broadcast services at Optimedia Canada.

The 18-34 demographic in Toronto scored more than a 30 share, up about 16% from a year ago, she says.

‘The Academy Awards normally skew to an older female demographic,’ she says. ‘But this year, the younger audience numbers were really phenomenal.’

The combination of hard-to-reach viewers with the sheer volume of eyeballs made the Oscars a perfect advertising vehicle for big budget, mass media advertisers, says Ng.

More than 5.5 million viewers tuned into the four-hour telecast on the CTV Television Network, up 10% from the previous year’s show. That compares to 2.5 million viewers for the Grey Cup and about 3.4 million for the Super Bowl, according to Nielsen Media Research.

In an increasingly fragmented media landscape, the Academy Awards telecast is one of a dwindling number of properties that can deliver such a mass and broad audience, Ng says.

Advertisers agree. Labatt used the awards show to debut three new spots for Labatt Blue Light. Zellers, for its part, unveiled spots touting its ‘Of Course I Want to be a Millionaire’ promotion, while Levi Strauss created a special 60-second version of its latest spot, featuring denim-wearing cats in a post-apocalyptic world.

‘It’s the number one media property in Canada,’ says Steve Silverstone, director of marketing for Blue Light, of the awards. The huge audience and strong gender and demographic mix make the Oscars a must-buy for the brewer, he says.

‘Based on the delivery, I think it would be worth the awareness we would achieve,’ Silverstone says. ‘Even just among males (the Oscars) would outperform the Superbowl – but the more balanced mix is an asset to Blue Light.’

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.