Honourable mention – Mediaedge:cia

Honourable mention - Mediaedge:cia

With a move out of the Y&R location on Toronto’s Bloor Street West to a space on Bloor Street East specifically designed to stimulate creativity, Mediaedge:cia may just be gunning for the title of Most Creative Media Agency.

Agency president Bruce Grondin points to the move as the change that’s had the most impact this year. ‘We were in the same premises for 23 years. We’ve always been a free-standing company, but now we’re no longer in the same building [with Y&R]. It’s almost like we grew up, I guess.’

This year Mediaedge:cia picked up about $30 million of additional business from new clients Paramount Theatrical, Weight Watchers, Energizer and Schick. Most importantly for Grondin, the agency has not lost any clients this year.

In recent years, Mediaedge:cia has been concentrating on strategic thinking, studying and testing new channels and exploring ways to beat ad avoidance through tactics such as product placement and new uses of the Internet.

These efforts were well illustrated by some of the agency’s top campaigns of the year, which included the virtual product placement of Advil pain reliever in 16 scenes of the popular hospital drama House – a first during prime-time scripted programming. Also, Coors Light hit the online social media scene via a sponsored group on Facebook, while a second campaign engaged guys with special program The Stew, a weekly half-hour highlight show on MTV.ca, coorslight.ca and via mobile phones.

Some key hires are also contributing to the innovation push. Sharon Dixon, whom Grondin calls the brains of the operation, is the new manager of research wing MediaLab. Movie strategist and buyer Carrie Hurd is group director to handle Paramount Theatrical, and Niall Mulholland, formerly with Cossette Media, leads the Cara Foods business as managing partner, connection planning. Dino Demopoulos, heads MEC Interaction as digital communications specialist.

Grondin believes media suppliers feel the agency’s new energy, which is evident in the way they’re working together.

‘We’re pushing [media suppliers] to be more innovative,’ he says. ‘It’s all about what we can do to make them look good.’

Locations: Toronto, Halifax, Calgary, Vancouver

Number of employees: 107

Notable clients: Cara Operations, Colgate-Palmolive Canada, Ford Motor Company of Canada, Molson Coors Brewing Company, Paramount Pictures Entertainment Canada, Sears Canada