A wish list from adland…

First off, strategy congratulates all our marketers of the year. They've disrupted category conventions - and in the case of Lisa Charters online pioneering at Random House, on a seismic scale.

First off, strategy congratulates all our marketers of the year. They’ve disrupted category conventions – and in the case of Lisa Charters online pioneering at Random House, on a seismic scale.

They’ve found unique ways to convey unusual but genuine positioning, like Carmela Murphy’s clothesline-driven efforts on behalf of Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism.

Two of the marketers singled out by their peers this year helm from the troubled auto realm, and have fended off competitors by veering from the beaten path: BMW Canada’s John Capella struck up a dialogue with women, and reached out to new drivers on Facebook; Suburu’s Don Durst fought the brand’s Canadian anonymity with German-engineer envy and sexy sumos, indelibly imprinting its Japanese heritage while racking up the most successful Impreza launch in the world.

And they’ve infiltrated scenes, such as Jennifer Errico’s Fauxreel Squareheads street art foray for Vespa, and LG’s acceptance by the fashion crowd. Well played.

Our overall winner is LG’s Andrew Barrett, whose frenetic product launch pace would seem to preclude the amount of first-ever initiatives he’s managed to get off the ground, from downtown golfholes to full-on Fashion Week runway presence. It helps that LG president William Cho has his back and gives him marketing autonomy, and that Barrett’s fashion/style positioning for LG has been adopted globally. No wonder he garnered the most votes in our poll of Canada’s marketing execs.

Seeking to shed some light on what’s next for the industry, we once again present the rest of the findings from our annual survey (p. 40). And for extra illumination on what’s top of mind these days, strategy asked some key players to share their holiday wishes.

Some were simple and heartfelt things:

‘My wish is for finance departments to stop pitching me TV ads and rechannel their energies into fixing the economic crisis.’ -Lawrie Ferguson, SVP marketing, Coast Capital Savings

‘Our Campbell wish is that we all remember those less fortunate than ourselves. With Food Banks Canada still serving over 700,000 Canadians each month, we invite you to join us this holiday season to Help Hunger Disappear.’ -Mark Childs, VP marketing, Campbell Company of Canada

A few were bigger, but seem doable with elbow grease:

‘I’m hoping that Canada’s media providers will step up with some new, creative ways of reaching consumers, spanning the full complement of media. I want 2009 to be the year that convergence really comes to life!’ -Tim Penner, president, Procter & Gamble

‘I wish RIM would come out with a new device and platforms that would relegate the iPhone to 8-track status, and grow even further their great made-in-Canada success story. I also wish they’d partner with Google in this and hire me to run it. Just another male perfect-threesome fantasy!’ -Geoff Craig, (former) VP and GM brand building, Unilever Canada

Other wishes, more complex:

‘We are in a changing eco-community. It’s a food chain that’s interconnected with producers, manufacturers, suppliers and consumers. When we spend too much or too little, the community breaks down. The only way to get it back in balance is to spend again.’

-Frank Palmer, chairman and CEO, DDB Canada

‘That all the extraordinary people who have the good fortune to practice their craft in Canada, whose eyes shine and hearts beat because they are in the business of creation, can continue in the face of an economic firestorm.’ -Tony Chapman, founder and CEO, Capital C

And a final wish from strategy: Waste not, want not. This year Edelman’s goodpurpose global study found 70% of Canadians would stay loyal to brands during recession if they supported a good cause. Given that the environment continues to top the list of concerns, we hope that social strategy-related programs survive the economic turmoil, and encourage everyone to take a harder look at eco practices across the industry – like over-packaging!

That said, be assured that anything you send us will not be wasted. Proceeds from a silent auction of all the random loot Brunico’s publications amass over the year go to Doctors Without Borders and the Hospital for Sick Children. Happy Holidays, mm

Mary Maddever, exec editor, strategy, Media in Canada and stimulant