Go ahead. Gloat a little. It’s okay

As we canvassed the industry looking for brands doing a great job at marketing to men - for our Understanding Men event next month - a funny thing happened. People were stymied. They squinted. Brows furrowed. And then they promised to mull and get back to us.

As we canvassed the industry looking for brands doing a great job at marketing to men – for our Understanding Men event next month – a funny thing happened. People were stymied. They squinted. Brows furrowed. And then they promised to mull and get back to us.

We interpreted it as the topic being overdue, and gathered that quite a few could benefit from the Leo B global research on men that will be shared Jan. 25.

And then it got weirder. Once an ‘A’ list of great marketers was identified, the response to a few of the case study and panelist speaker invites stymied us. One brand, which had won a Cassie, declined, saying they didn’t feel they were actually all that great at marketing to men. Another wildly successful brand, additionally cited in the research for the enviable job they’re doing reaching men, were also reticent, apparently concerned the audience wouldn’t react positively to their marketing. We squinted. Brows raised. And we wondered if it was some Neil French-related gender chill thing.

As this was unfolding, I read a Globe and Mail piece on Dentsu’s goal to be one of the top ad agencies in Canada. According to the article, the metric they were shooting for was to be named strategy’s Agency of the Year. We were all greatly chuffed, and also relieved to see the natural order restored – shooting for glory, as opposed to questioning the noteworthiness of achievements. Go Dentsu!

I would also like to congratulate all the winners and the shortlisted agencies who participated in AOY this year, specifically for your passion and enthusiasm. The one thing these agencies seem to have in common – besides being deemed the top shops by their peers – is fierce conviction in their work. We know from personal experience, having collaborated with many of them on our covers, that they really fight for their ideas! If one were to extrapolate, and impart some helpful hints on AOY contention, it would be to extend the whole brand experience/360 thing, even beyond consumer touchpoints, to include the advertising community as well – especially all your marketing partners – with goals such as utter confidence, and the degree of cheerleading within the marketing departments for the work they do, as the metric.

If marketers aren’t 100% behind their advertising, how can all the other departments be expected to hop on board and help deliver the brand experience that’s been promised? That’s actually another topic strategy is thrashing about in a daylong forum this March, and another one where the ‘A’ list – those who have managed to align all the powers that be within their organization to rally round and deliver a rollicking solid brand experience – is slim enough to indicate room for development. A working title for The Brand Experience: How to Make a Brand Promise (and Keep It), was Synchronized Cat Herding.

Oh, and one more thing…. Strategy’s e-news brand Media In Canada is unveiling its new and improved site this month, so visit Mediaincanada.com and check out our dedicated microsites, featuring handy search filters geared to easier-than-pie media plan intel sourcing, and research the niftiest goings on within each category – TV, radio, print, Web, OOH, and research.

So, keep slipping us all your good stuff. If it’s need-to-know material, we’re on it. And remember, we’re not press release driven. Just call and brag a little. It’s good AOY training.

cheer,mm

Mary Maddever, Editorial Director