Combo comes at briefs from all directions

You don't see much about them in the press, but they're there. Killer combinations of raw talent, enthusiasm and, yes, even sophistication. Strategy did a cross-country poll of agency creatives and commercial production execs, asking which new teams were doing drop-dead clever work. Despite the reluctance of some agency brass to name their brightest ('they'll get stolen') and even to name the top up-and-comers elsewhere ('I'm trying to steal them'), ultimately, after much wheedling, it was a long list.
The following teams are the ones whose names cropped up the most.

You don’t see much about them in the press, but they’re there. Killer combinations of raw talent, enthusiasm and, yes, even sophistication. Strategy did a cross-country poll of agency creatives and commercial production execs, asking which new teams were doing drop-dead clever work. Despite the reluctance of some agency brass to name their brightest (‘they’ll get stolen’) and even to name the top up-and-comers elsewhere (‘I’m trying to steal them’), ultimately, after much wheedling, it was a long list.

The following teams are the ones whose names cropped up the most.

Want to get noticed? Go West. It worked for the Palmer Jarvis DDB team of Joseph Bonnici and Daryl Gardiner.

Since making the move (separately) from Toronto to Vancouver about a year and a half ago, this duo has stirred up a fair bit of buzz on the West Coast. More than that, their fresh and creative work for such clients as Degree antiperspirant, The Keg and the SuperPages directory is already getting noticed across the country.

The copywriter:

Joseph Bonnici

On breaking in: After graduating from Ryerson, I got a production job in Toronto – basically to pay my way into advertising – and eventually got a job at Toronto agency Bozell (which ultimately shut down). Then I visited PJ in Vancouver and instantly knew that I wanted this job. Something just clicked.

Past work: Print and radio campaign for SuperPages in West B.C., print campaign for Degree.

Fave campaign (by someone else): When I was breaking into the industry, I really related to a campaign for Little Caesars Pizza. It really broke the mould in traditional advertising, and the sense of humour really appealed to me. That’s what made me realize I really wanted to do this for a career.

Signature work: We’ve been working on a print campaign for Keg Steakhouse in the Southern U.S. that I’m really proud of. Those are just starting to run.

On coming up with the ‘big idea’: Daryl and I always start by generating ideas individually. Then we meet up and put our ideas on the table and bounce them off one another, and eventually combine the best ideas. We usually have ideas all over the wall and get feedback from other people in the agency, like Alan Russell. Everyone plays a role.

Best thing about Daryl: His sense of humour. We laugh at the same sorts of things.

Worst thing about Daryl: He just took up smoking again.

Most revealing personal detail: Before I joined the ad industry, I once had a job writing captions for porn movies. A teacher recommended me from school.

Best thing about the ad biz: Working with different types of creative people, not just on the production side, but account people as well, is a really great way to spend your days.

The art director:

Daryl Gardiner

On breaking in: After graduating from the Ontario College of Art & Design, I spent seven months with Bates Canada in Toronto. I had previously completed a summer internship with PJ in Vancouver, so when the opportunity arose to work here permanently, I jumped at it.

Fave campaign (by someone else): Right now there’s a great spot out for the Volkswagen Passat, showing an out-of-control car going down an icy road. It’s really eye-catching.

On coming up with ‘the big idea’: It’s a little different each time, but we usually start working on our own and then pull our ideas together. We motivate each other and help each other generate momentum for the next campaign.

Best thing about Joseph: His hair. It’s quite messy and a lot of the time it’s pink.

Worst thing about Joseph: His handwriting is also quite messy, which is pretty strange for a copywriter.

Future goals: I’m happy with the way things are going at PJ. I feel like I’m going somewhere and it’s satisfying to consistently produce work that I’m proud of. I’d be thrilled to still be here in five years’ time, doing better and better art directing.

Best thing about the ad biz: There’s a really open environment; you can learn a lot from each other because nobody’s afraid to show off their work. I love being an art director because it is so creatively satisfying.

Worst thing about the ad biz: In Toronto there’s a lot of politics that consumes quite a lot of time and becomes distracting, but we don’t get so much of that out here.

On Daryl and Joseph:

‘One of their combined strengths is that they come at projects from a number of different angles. These guys will go far, and there will be some big awards coming their way in the future.’

- Alan Russell,

creative director,

PJDDB, Vancouver

‘Their work is eye-catching, simple and sure to be noticed.’

- Challa Saunders,

Dominion Information Services (SuperPages)