Harrod & Mirlin/FCB, Media Co. snag TD Canada Trust

To the surprise of no one, Toronto Dominion-Canada Trust has awarded both its creative and media accounts to former Canada Trust agencies....

To the surprise of no one, Toronto Dominion-Canada Trust has awarded both its creative and media accounts to former Canada Trust agencies.

The creative assignment went to Harrod & Mirlin/FCB, while media buying duties were given to The Media Company/MBS. Both agencies handled these responsibilities for Canada Trust prior to its Feb. 1 merger with Toronto-Dominion Bank. The value of the account is estimated to be approximately $25 million.

The outcome of the review furthers the perception in the community that the former Canada Trust marketing regime rules the roost at the new TD Canada Trust.

The former TD agencies will continue to work on some portions of the bank’s business, says Domenic Mercuri, senior vice-president of advertising and marketing services for the financial services giant. But all business under the TD Canada Trust name – TD Bank’s retail banking division – has been consolidated with H&M/FCB and The Media Company, to "ensure a consistent brand voice."

Peter Shier, president of Harrod & Mirlin/FCB, says he is "thrilled" with the win. (The agency also picked up the Compaq Canada business just days later, after the computer manufacturer’s U.S. head office moved its global account to H&M/FCB’s parent, Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide.)

"I think we’ve done good work for Canada Trust in the past," Shier says. "That’s why they made the decision they did."

Since the Feb. 1 merger, the TD Canada Trust marketing department has been led by Chris Armstrong, executive vice-president of advertising and marketing services, and his second-in-command, Mercuri. Both are former Canada Trust executives.

Insiders expect a number of former TD marketing staff to be let go.

According to sources, Canada Trust’s marketing people were researching the potential implications of a merger with another financial institution long before talks with TD began. The goal was to ensure that Canada Trust would end up calling the marketing shots after such a deal went down.

As for the just-completed review, sources say that it wasn’t really a review at all, given the absence of a structured process or a written brief for the participating agencies, and contend that it was weighted heavily in favour of the Canada Trust agencies. (John Boniface, H&M/FCB’s newly appointed vice-president, general manager, was reportedly hired away from Padulo Integrated to head up the TD Canada Trust business even before the review was completed.)

The former TD agencies that retained pieces of the bank’s business are: TBWA Chiat/Day, which will handle TD Waterhouse in Canada; Gee, Jeffery & Partners Advertising, which has TD Asset Management and TD Securities; and SGCI Communications of Sackville, N.B., which also works on TD Asset Management.

McDonnell Haynes has been assigned collateral work, while Response Innovations will handle direct marketing. Both agencies are Toronto-based.

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