Montreal’s ad lab experiment

On Aug. 25, the Association of Quebec Advertising Agencies (AAPQ) will officially launch the Yul-Lab - an advertising lab that invites international CMOs to benefit from Montreal's one-of-a-kind mediascape.

On Aug. 25, the Association of Quebec Advertising Agencies (AAPQ) will officially launch the Yul-Lab – an advertising lab that invites international CMOs to benefit from Montreal’s one-of-a-kind mediascape.

‘What we’ve discovered over the years is that Montreal is a unique microcosm,’ says Yanick Deschênes, president and GM of the AAPQ. ‘We are over-developed, meaning that we have much more radio, print media and television than anywhere else in North America,’ he says, explaining that every Sunday media reach in Montreal is so high, it’s like the Super Bowl. He also notes that Quebec, and Montreal specifically, are isolated from the rest of North America. All of this making it the perfect place to experiment new communications solutions, such as finding the right media mix.

The lab is open to companies advertising in Montreal for the first time (or advertisers with a new project) who will have access to media at a special rate, market research and tracking products, and multidisciplinary teams that include agencies, research firms, media groups and consulting firms.

‘Once you have the findings, then you roll out this knowledge elsewhere in other countries or other markets. It’s applied R&D advertising in order to find the right optimization of paid media,’ says Deschênes.

The lab is part of the Montreal.ad initiative, a web portal that brings all 65 major advertising agencies in Quebec under one roof to bring new clients to the province.

The first official trade mission as part of the lab will take place on Nov. 19 and 20 in Chicago, and will be supported by Cirque du Soleil president and CEO Daniel Lamarre, who will be hosting a special soft opening of Cirque’s new show. Representatives from some of the Quebec agencies will meet Chicago-based CMOs in an effort to drum up American business.