20 years of big ad ideas

The newsprint is gone, ’80s fashion is back and strategy is happily celebrating its 20th birthday this year.

In 1989, Molson Dry, Pull-Ups Training Pants and Sugar-Free Dentyne were born. An upstart newsprint bi-weekly called Playback Strategy also hit the street, with dubious hairstyles, shoulder pads and astute coverage of the Canadian marketing industry. The newsprint is gone, ’80s fashion is back and the magazine is happily celebrating its 20th birthday this year.

We thought we should mark the occasion with something a little more substantial than cake. But rather than stroll back through our archives, we asked industry leaders to curate the major marketing events of the last two decades. To supply some front-line context on where we’ve been and where its all heading, Ken Wong, Nancy Vonk, Hugh Dow and Frank Palmer share their top five picks on the factors and forces that had the most impact on marketing, creative, media and the agency biz, respectively.

We also sought a more graphic summary of the massive change the last 20 years have wrought. In the spirit of user-generated everything, we opened up our cover to some of Canada’s top agencies for their interpretation and design thinking. Congrats to Sid Lee who won pride of place on the cover; now check out more POVs on what a difference two decades makes.

Ken Wong: 20-year review – The marketer’s view

Nancy Vonk: Five Canadian creative game-changers

Hugh Dow: Beyond transformation – 20 years of media

Frank Palmer: Frank’s big five – The ad biz revolution

Covering 20 years: The strategy cover challenge winner and finalists