Top Copywriter: James Lee, DDB Canada

Name: James Lee

Name: James Lee

Years in the business: 11

Dream client you would most like to add to the roster: I don’t know. I used to think that I wanted to work on Playstation and VW and Nike and all that, but now I realize that none of that matters if you aren’t working with fun people.

Which award were you most happy to receive?

A Cannes Lion is always kinda nice.

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

I try not to get too proud ¬- ads are so transitory – but I happened to come across some old work I did with Mark Mizgala for the Vancouver Sun. A series of print ads. They still make me laugh.

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

There’s a Skittles ad featuring a man whose beard feeds him the candies during a job interview. The thing is – and I don’t know why – but it’s the job interview that’s kinda the funniest part for me.

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

Short-film/murder-mystery/soap opera websites that turn out to be sponsored by Audi or Pampers or whatever. Yuck.

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

I was sitting at the beach on a crowded summer day. In the distance, a massive ad was floating by for our collective enjoyment. Didn’t quite turn out that way. Everyone at the beach was outraged. We’re trying to put ads everywhere and make ads out of everything. Escalators. Toilets. YouTube. iTunes. MySpace. The beach. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Who is/has been your creative mentor?

Guys I know: My dad. Geoff Roche. Dave Crichton. Ron Woodall. Mike O’Reilly. Chris and Ian and Dean and Paul and Al and Cosmo and Joseph.

Guys I don’t know: Stanley Kubrick. Terrence Malick. Francis Coppola. Walter Murch. The Mercury 7 astronauts.

Fat guys: Marlon Brando. Orson Welles. Frank Black.

What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?

‘You should buy a bike.’

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

Don’t be like me. Be like you. Be the author of your own stuff.

RUNNER UP

Name: Rob Tarry

Years in the business: 10. Though I’m bad at math.

Big clients: Solo, Sirius, Slice, Science World.

Dream client you would most like to add to the roster: Anything else that stats with S. Sea Monkeys? Or Suzuki Motorcycles, only because I’m a huge bike geek and I’d angle for a discount. Honestly I’m just glad to be employed.

Which award were you most happy to receive? Why? It wasn’t an award, but I liked being up on that cheeseball ‘World’s Funniest Commercials’ show. Finally something for my parents to brag about.

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

I’m most proud of the ones I haven’t thought of yet. Mostly when I think of finished work, all I see are flaws. I have a lot of self-worth issues. The Solo TV was a lot of fun, though.

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

I was stopped in my tracks by a Canadian Armed Forces spot. The soundscape, the cinematography, the unusually honest strategy…. I thought I was watching a movie.

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

Ads about ads – and god help me, I’ve done them a million times. We’re so quick to say people don’t care about ads when we want the client to say less, yet when it comes to self-referential pap we’re the first in line.

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

Consumer-created content. The public is way too smart and understandably cynical to give them the keys to the Vette.

Who is/has been your creative mentor?

The good people who sign my cheques.

What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?

Re-read everything and make sure every single word is bringing something to the party. Thanks, Trevor McConnell.

You’re at the top of your game. Any sage advice to pass on to those who long to be you? Train yourself to be an active observer of life. Think in full sentences, playing with different word choice to see how that changes the mood. Seriously. Oh, and read ‘An Incomplete Education’. As Rodney the Rapping Library Racoon said: ‘Books. Check ‘em out!’

RUNNER UP

Name: Bryan Collins

Years in the business: 13

Big clients: Coast Capital Savings, YWCA, Greengate Garden Centres, Golds Gym.

Dream client you would most like to add to the roster: A client in the video game business.

Which award were you most happy to receive? Why?

The Silver Lion from Cannes was pretty cool. And it’s made of real silver, so if I burn out I can melt it down and sell it.

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

My sentimental favourite is the ‘Deiter’ spot for Future Shop. I’ll never get tired of lasers flying from crotches.

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

It’s hard not to pick the Skittles work from TBWANYC. They create hilarious commercials in a world where the insane is completely normal. The singing rabbit and ‘Enrie the Clepto’ spots were probably my faves.

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

All this emphasis on working hard and making deadlines makes no sense to me. It won’t last.

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

Online contest redemption. I don’t want to go to a site, enter all my personal info and a 14-digit number from the label on my Coke just to find out I didn’t win a Coke.

Who is/has been your creative mentor?

I’d have to say Chris and Ian. Because that’s who Rob Sweetman put and I’d look like a jerk if I didn’t.

What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?

Chris Staples once told me ‘It’s not the situation, it’s how you react to it.’

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

If you’re trying to break into advertising, consider working in Calgary. It can be easier to get work and there are a lot of great people to learn from there.

RANKINGS

James Lee 117

Rob Tarry 104

Bryan Collins 93

Irfan Khan 84

Len Preskow 81

Arthur Shah 78

David Ross 76

Kevin Rathgeber 73

Joseph Bonnici 69

Craig McIntosh 57

Bob Simpson 56

Ryan Wagman 55

Chris Hirsch 54

Steve Persico 52

Jono Holmes 47

Jonathan Careless 45

Jason McCann 41

Judy John 41

Andrew Bradley 38

Jordan Doucette 38

Paul Little 35

Laurent Prud’Homme 34

Greg Buri 31

Michael Murray 31

Chris Joakim 28

Ryan Spelliscy 27

Jenny Smith 26

Pete Breton 26

Chris Taciuk 24

Joel Arbez 24

Rachel Abrams 24

Sam Cerullo 23

Glen Hunt 21

Brad Dykema 20

Chris Staples 19

Katie Ainsworth 19

Nicolas Dion 19

Andrew Payne 18

Peter Holmes 18

Denise Rossetto 17

john st. 17

Ron MacDonald 17

Phil Sylver 15

Rica Eckersley 15

Brian Murray 14

Laura Rogers 14

Louis-Thomas Pelletier 14

Martin Rivard 14

Matt Antonello 14

Pete Gardiner 14

Allen Oke 13

Ian MacKellar 13

James Ansley 13

Jason Buback 13

Mike Meadus 13

Todd Mackie 13

Brent Choi 12

Maggie Screaton 12

Tim Piper 12

Trish Kavanagh 12

Brandan Sack 11

Don Venish 11

Gary Watson 11

Marc Fabien 11

Marcus Sagar 11

Matt Syberg-Olsen 11

Michael Milardo 11

Patrick Doyle 11

Hagan Ainsworth 10

Kurt Beaudoin 10

Matt Fraracci 10

Red Bull 10

Sebastien Wilcox 10

Steve Zaozirny 10

Ian Schwey 9

Jarrod Banadyga 9

Jennifer Rossini 9

Jonathan Rosman 9

Liz Mackenzie-Barrett 9

Michael Clowater 9

Sean Atkinson 9

Andre Paradis 8

Andy Linardatos 8

Jason Locey 8

Pat Pirisi 8

Patrick Scissons 8

Rob Gendron 8

Scott Park 8

Sylvain Thomin 8

Veann Leps 8

Chris Dacyshyn 7

Drew Frohmann 7

Joe O’Neill 7

Lorraine Tao 7

Pam Fraser 7

Steve Gardner 7

Brian Gill 6

Colin Winn 6

Geoff Morgan 6

Gerald Kugler 6

Kevin Shortt 6

Mark Biernacki 6

Mark Bovey 6

Matt Wiele 6

Miles Markovic 6

Tom Greco 6

Ann Aberin 5

Arron Isaac 5

Chris Booth 5

Debra Freid 5

Emilie Larocque 5

Gaetan Namouric 5

Guillaume Bergeron 5

Jane Murrey 5

Kurt Mills 5

Lino DiNallo 5

Marie-Eve Gauthier 5

Martin Snape 5

Michael Mayes 5

Terry Drummond 5

Tony Miller 5

Trent Burton 5

Troy Palmer 5

Addie Gillespie 4

Billy Collins 4

Darren Clarke 4

David West 4

Don Saynor 4

Donna McCarthy 4

Elyse Noil De Tilly 4

Eric Chavagnac 4

Felix Legare 4

Helo Seguin 4

Hugo Leger 4

Isabelle Cardinal 4

Jennifer Wilson 4

Mike Donaghey 4

Neil Shapiro 4

Normand Boisvert 4

Olivier Menard 4

Paul Long 4

Philippe Comeau 4

Robert McDougall 4

Sean Barlow 4

Simon Creet 4

Steve Salibian 4

Zak Mroueh 4

Al Moran 3

Alexis Gropper 3

Billy Kent 3

Brent Wheeler 3

Darcy Parke 3

Dean Hore 3

Gerald Flach 3

Iain Deans 3

Jeremiah McNama 3

Jon Murray 3

Phil Copithorne 3

Scott Couture 3

Sue Love 3

Allan Topol 2

Andy Shortt 2

Austen Morrow 2

Bill Parker 2

Bob Wood 2

Brian Flay 2

Brian Sheppard 2

Bruce Whelan 2

Caroline Barrette 2

Dan Scherk 2

David Mueller 2

David Savoie 2

Donald Vann 2

Gints Bruveris 2

Jamie Marcovitch 2

Joe Musicco 2

Joseph Nanni 2

Julie Stolberg 2

Karine Martel 2

Laura de arufel 2

Linsey Stewart 2

Matt Williamson 2

Ryan Leeson 2

Stephane Jean 2

Tim Kavander 2

Tim Thompson 2

Will Seccombe 2

Allan Carver 1

Charles Blackwell 1

Craig Reynolds 1

Creative Intelligence 1

Dan King 1

Dan Nelken 1

David Sawyer 1

Graham Watt 1

Jason Sweet 1

Jimi Scherer 1

Ken Hegan 1

Mel Woytiuk 1

Michael Aronson 1

Neil McCulloch 1

Nicolle Pittman 1

Nigel Yonge 1

Pierre Chan 1

Tim Williams 1