Agencies are worth it

Now I get why ad agencies are paid so much.

Now I get why ad agencies are paid so much.

We wanted a Quebec-based shop to design our cover. Our special report (page 31) on ‘rethinking ROI in Quebec’ – starring national marketers who have figured out just how much to spend to reap enough bang for their buck – led us to Bos.

They were perfect. Why? Because as partner Claude Carrier explains, their overall philosophy is this: one national strategy suffices. Music to the ears of any marketer, no doubt.

Certainly was at The Weather Network. Bos came up with a one-size-fits-all plan for TMN, when previously the Toronto-based station had gone with completely different creative in Quebec.

So naturally we thought a stylized photo of the Einsteins behind the strategy would work. Not so, according to the creative team at Bos. They came up with something else. It poked fun at the industry – even at us – but so what? It was simple, in-yer-face, poignant – brilliant in fact. Some of you may disagree, but in this office the unconventional mag cover evoked instant bursts of laughter, the spitting-out-your-coffee-at-your-desk-or-risk-choking kind.

This ability to make an impact is likely why Bos landed a spot on our Agency of the Year shortlist for the second time in a row. And they aren’t the only ad shop whose work turned heads, as determined by a poll of 50 Canadian marketers and agency execs.

. . .

We’re pleased to announce we will have 12 agencies competing for the AOY crown:

Returning to the fold along with Bos are defending champ Taxi, as well as DDB Canada, Downtown Partners, John St., Rethink, and Zig. Newcomers include Montreal’s Diesel Marketing and Grip Toronto, while Bensimon-Byrne, Lowe Roche and TBWA make comebacks. Congratulations to all.

The tougher the contest, the more prestigious the award. This is especially true in the case of AOY, where the judges have to be wowed not only by eye-catching creative, but the clever strategy behind the creative. And speaking of which, we have a lineup of judges who know what a successful campaign looks like; they’ve all been there, done that.

The creative panel includes Judy John, CCO, Leo Burnett, Toronto; Nancy Vonk, CCO, Ogilvy & Mather, Toronto; Jacques Duval, chairman, president and CEO, Marketel, Montreal; Paulette Arsenault, EVP/CD, Palm Publicité Marketing, Montreal; Marc Stoiber, ECD, Grey Worldwide, Vancouver; and Scott Goodson, ECD, Strawberry Frog, Amsterdam.

On the strategic side are: Sam Baio, president & CEO, West 49, Burlington, Ont.; Richard Burjaw, VP marketing, Pepsi-Cola Canada, Mississauga, Ont.; Laurie Laykish, VP marketing, McDonald’s Canada, Toronto; Graham Robertson, group marketing director, Oral Care and Allergy, Pfizer Consumer Health Care, Toronto; James Eagle, marketing director, Moosehead, Saint John, N.B.; and Cathy Whelan Molloy, VP brand advertising and marketing, Tim Hortons, Oakville, Ont. The winners will be announced Dec. 15 at an awards presentation at the Stone Distillery in Toronto. Watch for the results in our December issue. In the meantime, we hope the Bos cover made you chuckle too.

TTYL, Lisa D’Innocenzo, editor