Top Creative Director: Zak Mroueh, Taxi

Name: Zak Mroueh

Name: Zak Mroueh

Years in the business: 19

Big clients: Telus, Canadian Tire, Westjet , McCain, Pfizer, Molson

Dream client you would most like to add to the roster:

Any client that will allow us to be ourselves. My dream clients are the ones that haven’t yet hit their creative stride, but are willing to take the journey with the agency. It’s a lot more fun and challenging to create the canvas.

Which award were you most happy to receive? Why?

I was most happy with our showing on the Gunn report. It means a lot since it’s a tally of all the international shows, not any one award in particular.

Which of your campaigns are you the most proud of? Why?

I was very pleased with where we’ve taken the Canadian Tire work after year one. It was a big challenge and I think we’re making some nice headway on that brand.

What’s your favourite campaign (here or abroad) over 2006? Why does it work?

I was a big fan of the Lynx Jet work last year. At its core was a big, campaignable idea that worked across all media. It was a brave, refreshing way to launch a new product.

Is there a creative trend you’d like to see disappear?

We’re all tired of seeing posters that are pretending to be print ads. It’s become a real format. These types of ads have little substance. and often don’t even divulge basic information about the product or offering. Even a phone number or web address would be nice.

Is there any new marketing trend that seems daft to you? Why?

All trends seem daft because you’re following a path that well trodden.

Who is/has been your creative mentor?

Wherever I’ve worked I’ve always learned from the people around me. My list of mentors would be very long and I wouldn’t want to leave anyone out from the past. At present, it would be Paul Lavoie. I was fortunate to have him as a mentor, especially in my early days as a CD. He taught me a ton about leadership, vision and inspiration.

What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?

As long as you’re doing great work, you’ll always be in demand.

You’re at the top of your game. Any sage advice to pass on to those who long to be you?

Tenacity. If you’ve got it, you’ll make it.

THE RUNNERS UP

Ian Grais and Chris Staples, Rethink

Years in the business: 14 and 24, respectively

Big clients: A&W, BC Lions, British Columbia Auto Association, Solo Mobile, Mr. Lube, Coast Capital Savings, Science World, Sirius Satellite Radio, Slice TV, Sobeys Inc.

Dream client you would most like to add to the roster:

Any brand that we believe in, managed by like-minded people who share the belief that a creative idea can lead to increased business.

Which award were you most happy to receive? Why?

It was nice to finally win strategy’s Agency of the Year competition.

Which of your campaigns are you the most proud of? Why?

That’s like asking a parent which is their favourite child.

What’s your favourite campaign (here or abroad) over 2006? Why does it work?

Chris: When scanning through shows on my PVR, I will stop and rewind any of the ‘I’m an Apple/I’m a PC’ ads. That is the definition of effective advertising.

Ian: The Red Bull Flugtag events and the Familiprix campaign are two that I’d wish I’d done.

Is there a creative trend you’d like to see disappear?

The proliferation of intrusive new guerrilla mediums. There’s a fine line between getting your work noticed in unexpected places and desecrating those places.

Is there any new marketing trend that seems daft to you? Why?

To quote Douglas Coupland: The Internet is great. But it’s not that great.

Who is/has been your creative mentor?

We’ve tried to create an environment where everyone pushes each other to be their best. There are lots of fingerprints on every ad from Rethink.

What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?

There are only two things that matter in this business: Find the right clients and hire the right people.

You’re at the top of your game. Any sage advice to pass on to those who long to be you?

Ian: When I first started at Art Center a teacher of mine named Lou Danziger said to the class ‘you all have come here looking to get ‘filled up’ with something, but I see all of you as already being full of talent and energy and my job is to teach you how to get it out.’ So my advice is to work on ‘getting out’ what you already know you have to offer. Which means putting your passion into the work somehow, not emulating somebody else’s.

Chris: Make it a habit to leave the office before 6 o’clock. Invest time in your personal relationships and outside interests. Your life will be better. And so will your ads.

THE RUNNERS UP

Alan Russell, DDB

Years in the business: Er, four, in cat years.

Big clients: B.C. Lotteries, TELUS, Sun-Rype, B.C. Hydro, B.C. Dairy, Boston Pizza.

Dream client you would most like to add to the roster: Boddingtons

Which award were you most happy to receive? Why?

One Show Pencil.It’s small but carries the most weight.

Which of your campaigns are you the most proud of? Why?

Daryl & Kevin’s United Way. So simple, so powerful.

What’s your favourite campaign (here or abroad) over 2006? Why does it work?

Harvey Nichols print ‘Must have’, DDB London. A smart insight beautifully executed.

Is there a creative trend you’d like to see disappear?

Commercials that rip-off ‘The Office’.

Is there any new marketing trend that seems daft to you? Why?

Egg-vertising. Airsickbag-vertising. Manhole-cover-vertising. There is such a thing as advertising pollution.

Who is/has been your creative mentor?

The geezer, Ron Woodall.

What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?

‘Sapientia Non Vi’ – wisdom not force.

You’re at the top of your game. Any sage advice to pass on to those who long to be you?

If you long to be me, then you need to set your goals higher.

THE RANKING

Zak Mroueh 345

Chris Staples 336

Ian Grais 336

Alan Russell 219

Lance Martin 179

Judy John 150

Andrew Simon 143

William Hammond 136

Elspeth Lynn 127

Lorraine Tao 127

Israel Diaz 85

Shirley Ward-Taggart 81

Christina Yu 54

Steve Mykolyn 52

Dave Douglass 48

Geoffrey Roche 48

Laurent Prud’Homme 48

Pete Breton 48

Angus Tucker 45

Stephen Jurisic 45

Joe Amaral 44

Tom Murphy 37

Martin Beauvais 34

Jack Neary 32

David Rosenberg 30

Shawn King 29

Chris Taciuk 28

Joe Piccolo 28

Robin Heisey 28

Janet Kestin 27

Jason McCann 27

Martin Shewchuk 26

Daniel Andreani 25

Nancy Vonk 25

Pat Pirisi 25

Ian MacKellar 24

Duncan Bruce 23

Glen Hunt 23

Mike Meadus 23

Philippe Meunier 23

Anthony Taaffe 21

Dan Pawych 21

Paul Long 21

Allen Oke 20

Scott Couture 20

Brian Sheppard 19

Peter Holmes 18

Jane Murray 17

john st. 17

Brett Channer 16

Bruce Sinclair 15

Dean Hore 15

Roger Gariepy 15

Bill Newbery 13

John Farquhar 13

Tony Miller 13

Don Venish 12

Gary Westgate 12

Hagan Ainsworth 12

Jean-Francois Bernier 11

Lisa Fournier 11

Lisa Francilia 11

Phil Copithorne 11

Tim Kavander 11

Darren Warner 10

Joseph Nanni 10

Mark Bell 10

Ric Fedyna 10

Simon Creet 10

Simon Duffy 10

Chad Borlase 9

Gary Watson 9

Gerald Flach 9

Michael Scher 9

Brent Wheeler 8

Catherine Wong 8

Darcy Parke 8

Hayes Steinberg 8

Ian Mirlin 8

Karen Howe 8

Marcus Sagar 8

Stephane Charier 8

Brian Howlett 7

Dean Ponto 7

Terry O’Reilly 7

Andy Shortt 6

Colin Brown 6

Daniel Vendramin 6

Darren Clarke 6

Doug Robinson 6

Heather Senst 6

Matthew Bull 6

Matthew Waddell 6

Pier Lalonde 6

Rick Kemp 6

Tom Greco 6

Brent Peterson 5

Lara Palmer 5

Monique Kelley 5

Aaron Starkman 4

Barnaby Southgate 4

Benjamin Vendramin 4

Dominique Trudeau 4

Doug Bramah 4

Gilles Chouinard 4

Jean-Pierre Martel 4

Julie Markle 4

Les Soos 4

Maria Kennedy 4

Nicolas Dube 4

Paulette Arsenault 4

Robert McDougall 4

Stephen Leps 4

Steve Williams 4

Toby Barlow 4

Trevor Schonfeld 4

Helene Godin 3

Keli Pollock 3

Patrick Andrews 3

Trent Burton 3

Bill Parker 2

Brian Hickling 2

Chris Harrison 2

Clay Stang 2

Craig Brownrigg 2

Donna McCarthy 2

Dorothy McMillan 2

Gilles DuSablon 2

Heather Chambers 2

Joe Musicco 2

John McDougall 2

Kevin Barclay 2

Kun Chang 2

Luc Du Sault 2

Luc Perreault 2

Maura MacNeil 2

Paul Ruta 2

Simon Hardy 2

Simon Needham 2

Tony Cleave 2

Alan MacIntyre 1

Alex Beam 1

Craig Copeland 1

Creative Intelligence 1

Dan King 1

Jason Sweet 1

Les Kahl 1

Michael Tran 1

Mike Whitelaw 1

Monique Gamache 1

Neil McCulloch 1

Thomas Stringham 1

Todd Chapman 1