On the Move



BrannWorldwide has beefed up its Toronto office with a series of recent hires and promotions.

Newcomers include Debra Sharp, Josephine Camilleri, Lauren Reimer, Eric Shapiro, and Matt Fabian, while moving up the ladder are Jennifer Trant, Paul Walmark and Deirdre Swatman.

Sharp, formerly group creative director at Impiric, takes the post of creative director, while Fabian is now senior strategist of database marketing. He had been director of database engineering for Polk Canada before the move.

Camilleri comes to Brann from a position as senior account manager for Rapp Collins Worldwide. She will be on the CIBC account team as an account supervisor. Joining her on the account are Reimer and Shapiro. Reimer, formerly marketing manager at Household Finance, is a strategist on the team, while Shapiro is an account executive. He comes over from Impiric, where he was account co-ordinator.

Meanwhile, Trant is now director of client services and will be overseeing the CIBC, Enbridge Consumers Gas and ADP Canada accounts. Walmark has been promoted to senior copywriter and Swatman moves up to account executive from co-ordinator.


Ina Balys recently joined Toronto-based Compusearch Micromarketing Data and Systems as a client services representative. Balys, a geographical information systems specialist, comes from the government side, having worked for both the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and with the Canadian Embassy in Lithuania.

Ralph Bain has been appointed vice-president and general manager of Wood & Associates Direct Marketing Services, a Toronto-based direct marketing service bureau. Prior to joining Wood & Associates in January 1999, Bain, whose experience spans more than 30 years in the financial services sector, was senior vice-president and director of Midland Walwyn.

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