Finalist: Zig




Ikea is well-loved in Canada. Areas of strength for the brand were continuing to sell well – like storage, kids’ bedrooms and small-space living solutions. But buy a master bedroom suite from Ikea? Or a full kitchen reno? These were foreign concepts, even to devoted customers. With kitchens and bedrooms earmarked as the business priorities for 2006, Zig’s task was to change preconceived notions about the brand.

The campaign was based on what people really do in their homes and how they really use their furniture, all delivered with the signature Ikea twinkle. So TV spots feature arguments, house-proud nuts and teen angst. Its twice-a-year sale advert featured a woman ‘escaping’ from a store, to highlight the fact that Ikea’s discounted prices make consumers feel like they’re stealing. Radio spots celebrated the ‘Love your home’ theme while magazine ads showcased swank kitchens and bedrooms. Newspaper drove home short-term store traffic with promotions and product news.

The results? Bedroom and kitchen sales have exceeded targets. Overall store sales have grown double digits, far outpacing the 5%-7% growth the furniture retail industry has posted in Canada for the past two years.


The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair was founded in 1922 to showcase the best of Canadian agriculture, horticulture and equestrian performance. Today the Royal itself faces much competition from other entertainment options, especially during the busy Thanksgiving-to-Christmas period.

To drive general admission ticket sales to families and build on the tradition and pageantry of the Royal, advertising focused on its competitive nature. The campaign – with the tagline ‘The biggest. The best. The countriest.’ – centred on radio and television spots using the conventions of extreme sports broadcasts to convey the intensity and excitement of the Royal. On TV, ‘C’mon Pumpkin,’ showed a farmer coaching his little pumpkin to greatness at the fair. Wild postings and posters call out the best of the best at the fair, including the SuperDogs, show-jumping horses, rodeo performers and prize-winning cattle.

While it’s too soon to tell (the fair opened in November) the client is anticipating strong results: ‘It’s really going to break through. [It] delivers on the relevance, excitement and bigness of The Royal,’ says Bonnie McTavish, manager, marketing and communications.


Mr. Sub had pioneered the submarine sandwich category in Canada but over the past decade, competition had intensified and consumer tastes had changed. The 2005 ‘More than enough’ campaign struck a chord with the twentysomething male target and drove comparative store sales up for the first time in three years. In 2006, the mandate was to solidify the brand’s relationship with its target – an audience that hates predictability – by renewing Mr. Sub’s connection with pop culture.

The creative answer was animation, an approach that offered something more real and less conventional than slick photography. The television campaign featured the internationally recognized artwork of James Paterson where the flat, detail-less characters exist in an imaginary space with a depthless white background. In-store posters, guerrilla media and collateral rounded out the campaign, staying true to the communication form and the deliciously weird, offbeat brand personality.

Sales are trending upwards since the 2006 campaign launch, despite a 44% decline in support spending, delivering outstanding ROI.


Virgin’s previous ‘The Catch’ campaign had established the brand’s personality: cheeky and challenging, but focused on a very narrow target. The objective of Zig’s first campaign for the brand would therefore be to build awareness of Virgin’s positioning as the consumer advocate (not just the brand personality) as well as meet business objectives.

The campaign was built around a simple idea: Get people to question what their current carrier offers and prompt them to change. It began with a new brand identity and extended out to every possible touchpoint, from mass advertising to POP. TV spots humorously depicted what could happen to Canadians when they were not with Virgin Mobile. OOH used bold graphics with strong statements to point out the brand’s advantages.

Virgin has now activated more than 250,000 customers, surpassing second-year expectations, and making them the number-two prepaid mobile phone provider in Canada.


Rethink Breast Cancer is a charitable organization whose mandate is to transform young people’s attitudes and raise awareness and money for breast cancer research and education. For the past six years, Rethink Breast Cancer sold hip ‘Fashion Targets Breast Cancer’ T-shirts for the cause, but in recent years, sales of the T-shirts had declined dramatically. Zig needed to re-energize the campaign.

In April 2006, teaser posters appeared downtown in Canadian cities showing a woman holding a T-shirt in front of her chest and the words ‘’ Newspaper, magazine, washroom posters and banner ads all drove traffic to the website. At, the model from the print ads told us where, when and why to pick up a Fashion Targets Breast Cancer T. She then dropped her shirt and took the viewer through a breast examination.

Word of mouth and general buzz helped make this year’s campaign a success. Most telling: over a million hits a day on the site.