Shifting gears

Jill Nykoliation has flipped the script. She's recently moved from client side as director of CRM at Kraft Canada to agency side as a partner at Toronto-based Grip.

Jill Nykoliation has flipped the script. She’s recently moved from client side as director of CRM at Kraft Canada to agency side as a partner at Toronto-based Grip.

It’s an interesting addition to the creative boutique and confirms its focus on more than 30-second spots, Grip partner Mike Robitaille says. ‘Our definition of advertising has always been broader. [This hire] is taking advertising where it rightly wants to go.’

At Kraft, Nykoliation was responsible for introducing some innovative, non-traditional advertising initiatives to help bolster the Kraft brand in both Canada and the U.S. ‘You used to put an ad on a pop machine and know that it would reach consumers,’ she says. But today, with consumer behaviour increasingly difficult to pinpoint, strategies were needed to reach consumers in a new way. The result: one-hour specials on the Food Network, a cookbook titled Dinner on Hand, and the what’s cooking e-mail newsletter, magazine and Web site that all helped to take the ‘brand experience deeper,’ she says.

Now at Grip, Nykoliation says she’ll apply much of what she’s learned in her 10 years at Kraft (five in the director position) to the agency’s diverse roster of clients, which include Bell Canada, Honda Canada and Cadbury Adams.

Grip also recently nabbed CDs Jon Finkelstein from henderson bas, and Barry Quinn from GJP, both as partners on the creative side, suggesting a stronger emphasis on interactive. Nykoliation won’t divulge what the agency’s planning, only saying that it’s ‘knee deep in things.’