MAOY Honourable Mention: Media Experts’ competitive edge

Canadian media industry maverick Mark Sherman and his team earn a respectable fourth place finish this year with strong plans for Telus, WestJet and new client Kodak Canada.

Canadian media industry maverick Mark Sherman and his team earn a respectable fourth place finish this year with strong plans for Telus, WestJet and new client Kodak Canada. Media Experts, which has offices in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal (where it all began in 1982), hired 15 new staff this year to bring the total employee count up to 120, in part to service new business wins like Cobs Bread and BMW/Mini, after a strong run of new accounts in 2008 including HBO Canada and Playhouse Disney Canada, the UPS Store and Koodo.


Kodak Canada prints and prospers

To convince consumers to abandon their current printer and switch to a Kodak model, Media Experts created a fictional character named Fiona who represented the target: a feisty, frugal, 40-year-old woman who is the household COO, responsible for printing family pictures and school projects.

The agency sought to engage consumers when they were actually printing. The two-phase plan launched with a one-day takeover of websites, TV and newspapers that drove to Kodak’s ‘Print and Prosper’ microsite, where visitors could discover how much money they could save by switching to a Kodak printer.

In phase two, TV moved to tactical call-to-action messages with 15-second mock ‘print advisories’ on HGTV and Food Network that cautioned viewers that they were about to see something they may want to print, such as recipes or design templates – and that could be costly using their current printer. Online, ‘point of print’ buys put Kodak ads on the printable content of the web page, which significantly extended the life of the campaign, since people tend to keep printouts.

Kodak saw a spike in printer sales within two weeks of the campaign launch [numbers were provided], with subsequent weeks seeing solid sales increases.

Telus TV HD invades Quebec

The launch of the Telus TV HD service in smaller Quebec markets like Rimouski and Baie-Comeau with limited media options – and a limited marketing budget – required a grassroots, market-by-market approach. Using a ‘shock guerrilla’ tactic in these markets ensured that the campaign would quickly get noticed.

With the frog selected as the critter of choice for the new Telus TV product, Media Experts created the illusion of a ‘frog invasion’ through the careful synchronization of experiential media, newspaper and radio. The campaign began with hundreds of vinyl frog decals placed on vehicles in public spaces such as mall and grocery store parking lots. This amphibious assault was augmented by a series of 10-second radio ‘news bulletins’ advising listeners of a frog invasion in the area. Finally, local newspapers ran mock front page stories detailing the so-called frog invasion. Local TV, a 30-second radio spot, web and cinema advertising ultimately revealed the reason for the invasion – the debut of Telus TV HD.

Awareness increased dramatically over the four-week campaign period, and sales objectives were exceeded [numbers were provided].

WestJet wins the newspaper game

Faced with the fall travel advertising clutter, Media Experts created a promotion to increase travel to WestJet’s new and existing southern destinations via a series of market-specific multimedia campaigns under a common national ‘Fly Free’ theme.

To earn the support of newspaper publishers, a ‘forced reading’ element was incorporated to help boost readership, which motivated unprecedented collaboration between Canwest papers and independent dailies in Toronto, Halifax and Winnipeg. Publishers also augmented the promotion with TV, radio, online and outdoor.

The contest was introduced with a teaser asking readers to watch for a game both in the paper and online to win one of six $15,000 trips over the next six weeks. In week two, the agency introduced the ‘Fly Free’ game board, a double-page spread containing six different ‘destination shapes,’ which the reader had to search for daily, clip and attach to the board. Each spread featured region-specific stories and advertisements, and every Friday there was a new winner and a new game board in each market.

The promotion produced significant year-over-year revenues and load factor increases [numbers were provided], and WestJet significantly grew its JetMail database. Canwest, meanwhile, saw a remarkable

year-over-year increase in overall travel advertising, as WestJet’s competitors attempted to keep pace.

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Media Director of the Year: Starcom’s Lauren Richards

Next Media Star: J3′s Trevor Bozyk

Gold: Starcom MediaVest Group

Silver: OMD

Bronze: Cossette

Judging panel