BRONZE: Mediaedge:cia

Bruce Grondin is understandably happy with how his agency fared in 2005. 'We've grown and we've won some assignments from existing clients, which has probably been the highlight of the year.' Sure, Sears consolidated all of its media planning with the agency, in addition to naming Mediaedge as its AOR.

Bruce Grondin is understandably happy with how his agency fared in 2005. ‘We’ve grown and we’ve won some assignments from existing clients, which has probably been the highlight of the year.’ Sure, Sears consolidated all of its media planning with the agency, in addition to naming Mediaedge as its AOR.

But over the year, the agency also won all the media planning for the Coors brand as well as Molson Ex and Molson Dry in Quebec. ‘Our work [for these existing clients] has been outstanding so we get rewards,’ he says. ‘I think that’s the best signal that we’re strong.’ New clients were also plentiful, with Paramount Home and Video, CanWest Interactive and Singapore Airlines joining the agency.

Mediaedge has also excelled in its ability to get sometimes resistant clients to warm up to introducing more channel planning into their media mix. ‘We’re doing a lot more neat and nifty things for all our clients rather than just the conventional media planning,’ he says. ‘We’ve started moving our clients more into that framework of thinking.’

As an example of unconventional channel planning, Grondin cites a sponsorship deal the agency conjured up for Sears, which wanted to promote a new line of antique-inspired furniture. Naturally, Mediaedge hooked up with The Antique Roadshow, nailing exposure on CBC, both on-air and online. Folks were encouraged to bring their antiques to Sears locations to be appraised. ‘That drove traffic to the store,’ says Grondin, who adds that a contest element – featuring the chance to win a trip to London for a taping of the show – garnered over 15,000 contest entries.

Yet, despite much talk of the media agencies’ newfound creativity, he says a sound strategy must be married to innovation. ‘A good creative idea has to be strategically sound. A lot of times you get a creative idea that’s not on strategy,’ he says. ‘What’s scary is that we might be going down a road where it’s creativity for the sake of creativity and I don’t think that’s [where] we should be going.’

That wasn’t the case with Mediaedge’s live billboard campaign for the Ford Escape Hybrid, he points out. The agency installed a billboard earlier this year in Toronto’s Dundas Square with 800 species of plants and a line that read: ‘Makes everything a little greener.’ A similar billboard in Vancouver featured a bird feeder. According to Grondin, it was right on strategy. ‘They didn’t have a large quantity to sell, so we decided to create buzz, and we did get a lot of PR,’ he says, noting ‘the goal was to position Ford as a leader. That was part of the strategy.’

Grondin believes the new relationship between Mediaedge, MindShare, Maxus and MediaCom under the GroupM banner, forged in 2003, means more of the same in the future. ‘If you take the four large [media] holding companies, we all get the same rate. So if we can get past that point, that’s where innovation, creativity, smarts, insights on how consumers are consuming media – that to me is where the game is now,’ he says. ‘And that’s why I think if we can focus on that, and get clients to focus on that, this will be the business to be in in the foreseeable future.’

Agency head: Bruce Grondin, president
Number of employees: 109
Notable clients: Colgate-Palmolive Canada, Ford Motor Company of Canada, Ford Motor Media, Molson Canada, Paramount Home Entertainment, Sears Canada, Wyeth Consumer Healthcare
New business wins: Sears Canada (planning), Paramount Home Entertainment, CV Technologies, Singapore Airlines, CanWest Interactive, Coors, Molson Ex and Molson Dry in Quebec (planning)
Major losses: None

CASE STUDY: COLGATE
Toothy Tips made kids, brand keepers smile

The goal
Mediaedge:cia had two goals in mind when it set out to reach Colgate’s highly coveted mom-kid target. First, simply, they wanted to reach moms with young children. But they also want to create top-of-mind awareness for the Colgate brand while encouraging families to talk about oral care.

The strategy
Of course, kids like to have fun. So using riddles and games is a good way to enhance the experience and increase their attention level. And with the influence that kids have with final purchase decisions, by capturing children’s attention in the first place, Mediaedge hoped to further sway parents to choose Colgate. The plan, therefore, was to make the bathroom a medium and find a way to have both mom and kids take notice every time they walked into the room.

The execution
Mediaedge distributed picture frames that could easily adhere to the bathroom mirror in the August 2004 issue of Today’s Parent magazine. The frame included ‘toothy tips’ to help educate parents and children on the benefits of good oral care. It used fun, interactive riddles while showcasing Colgate products along the bottom.
The frame, which could also be attached to the kitchen fridge, a bedroom mirror or a school binder, meant constant top-of-mind awareness and communicated a positive message during relevant times of the day.

The results
This was the first time that Colgate Canada pushed the boundaries of traditional print advertising. The result was a significant sales lift, and the campaign was a finalist in Cannes this past summer.