Gee Jeffery, PJDDB snag slew of awards

Winner takes all. Or a significant proportion, anyway. That seems to be the prevailing trend at a slew of advertising awards shows held recently across Canada and the U.S. Gee, Jeffery & Partners Advertising, for example, captured five of the 50...

Winner takes all. Or a significant proportion, anyway. That seems to be the prevailing trend at a slew of advertising awards shows held recently across Canada and the U.S.

Gee, Jeffery & Partners Advertising, for example, captured five of the 50 advertising awards given by the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association at its annual conference held in New Orleans. The Toronto-based agency won more awards than any single agency at the awards presentation held last month.

Gee, Jeffery picked up a gold and a silver in television and a bronze in magazine advertising for work produced for Toronto-based Rogers Communications. The company also received a gold in the newspaper category and a silver in package design for work it created for Cincinnati Bell Wireless.

‘We are very proud of these awards, since most of our competition was some of the biggest agencies in the U.S.,’ says Peter Jeffery, president.

The CTIA awards are coveted since they are awarded by the industry and not by advertising colleagues, says Jeffery. For the Toronto shop, the awards are even more meaningful since Gee, Jeffery is attempting to attract even more telecom clients throughout North America, he says.

‘The award show had basically every prospective client in North America in the room,’ he says. ‘It made us proud to be able to show off our work in front of that audience.’

Other Canadian winners included Calgary’s Ogilvy & Mather, which was awarded a gold in outdoor and radio for the agency’s work with Telus Mobility. Toronto-based Harrod &Mirlin/FCB picked up a bronze for radio spots created for Dartmouth, N.S.-based MTTMobility. Cossette Communication-Marketing of Toronto was awarded a silver in outdoor and the company’s Blitz subsidiary won in the direct mail category for Bell Mobility work. Montreal-based Diesel Design won a bronze in collateral materials for Bell Mobility as well, while Bos picked up a bronze in newspaper and an honourable mention in best overall advertising for work with Microcell Solutions, the company behind Fido.

At this year’s Creative Summit Awards, held in March, Saint-Jacques Vallée Young & Rubicam led the Canadian winners, netting eight awards. Among its haul was a gold award in the television $5,000 to $10,000 category for its work for Le Club des Petits Dejeuners and a gold in the consumer magazine category for work created for Ford Motor Company of Canada.

The Montreal-based agency also took a silver in the packaging category for work done for Domtar and a silver for its Ericsson magazine campaign as well as four additional bronze awards.

The Creative Summit Awards are limited to agencies with billings of less than $15 million, allowing smaller agencies to showcase their work.

Smaller agencies were also centre-stage at the annual Ad Rodeo, honoring advertising agencies in Western Canada. Respected local agency Highwood Communications took home eight Anvils, closely followed by Inhouse with six. However, the best of show award went to Propeller for a graphic public service campaign it created for the Home for Street Girls run by the Safe Haven Foundation of Calgary.

Ted Hellard, founder and CEO of Internet Services company Critical Mass, was awarded the Ad Rodeo annual Achievement Award. Critical Mass has become one of the largest interactive agencies in Canada, boasting clients such as Procter & Gamble, Mercedes-Benz USA and Nike.

Finally, Palmer Jarvis DDB, Strategy’s 1999 Agency of the Year, lived up to expectations with its domination of the Marketing Awards. The Vancouver-based agency took home 10 of the 19 gold marketing awards handed out, including Best of Show for its off-the-wall spots for Playland, the Vancouver amusement park. The agency won a quarter of the 154 gold, silver, bronze and certificates awarded.

Toronto-based Holmes & Lee took home 15 awards, including three gold for clients Short Man Brown’s and the Indian Motorcycle Co.’s Toronto café.

Overall, while the calibre of much of the work submitted was high, there were a few disappointments, says David Adams, executive vice-president, co-creative director at Toronto-based Young & Rubicam and Marketing Awards judge.

‘The radio spots, direct mail and self promotion work we saw this year was quite disappointing,’ he says. ‘There is a lot of talent in this country, and I’m looking forward to seeing them improve on those categories.’

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