MAOY Bronze: Mindshare dives into digital bridging

Mindshare's work for brands like HSBC, Hellmann's and Ford results in a Bronze win.

Mindshare has had a successful year in which it produced standout work for brands like HSBC and Hellmann’s, and won new accounts including Boehringer Ingelheim, Movie Central, HBO brands and Randstad, and capped it all off with a Media Agency of the Year Bronze win. It’s the agency’s first return to the podium since it nabbed Silver in 2006.
Digital is a priority for the agency and for some time now it has been ensuring that staffers are equipped to help boost its digital depth. Mindshare got the jump on this about seven years ago when it seeded digital expertise throughout its Toronto, Montreal and Calgary offices, but it’s a constant focus to keep evolving.
“We called it ‘digital bridging,’” says Karen Nayler, 30-year media vet and Mindshare’s long-time president. “We had our silos and we realized it wasn’t going to work, so we cut bait. We said, ‘that’s it, every planner in the shop, we’re going to train you [in digital] and you’re all going to do it now.’ It was the only way of getting it out of becoming a line item, and it worked beautifully.”
Given the speed with which digital platforms have evolved, Nayler says the agency is a bit of a hybrid, with digital generalists as well as experts that infuse what they know back into the team. In this new content and tech-driven mediascape she says that finding and cultivating talent is a priority: “talent’s what it’s all about.” The one silver lining of the sad economy elsewhere in the world, notes Nayler, has been that overseas recruitment has been easier. She’s had success talent farming in Europe where, in the U.K. in particular, the media model is close to that of Canada.
A challenge for Mindshare now is aligning its brands with how consumers are digesting content – where and when they want to.
“It’s about finding the intersection between the brand, the content and the consumer, and it’s got to be relevant,” says Nayler, adding that in many cases it’s media based on greater platform understanding, and that has enabled the shop to often take the lead on inter-agency teams working with mutual clients.
Mindshare is also working with specialist partners to ensure it stays on top of emerging platforms. For instance, it’s pulled in online gaming company Wild Tangent for gaming content. It’s a focus reflected in Mindshare’s upper echelons, with its North American head office recently naming former Mindshare Interactive associate director, gaming strategy, Geoffrey Greenblatt as its director of gaming, a newly created remit. Social and mobile are also areas where Mindshare is currently making significant forays.
Going forward, Nayler says Mindshare must ensure that it feeds really good content across platforms, adding that there is lots of opportunity to do so.
“The neat thing with the choices we have now is that the technology opportunities are just massive,” says Nayler, adding, “A lot of these players haven’t even thought of the marketing opportunities.”
Further to that, a big focus for the agency will be going deeper with clients than it has ever gone before due to its content/context expertise, but also developing analytics to help identify what’s working in the newer areas without proven metrics.
Group M company Xaxis, a New York-based behavioural targeting and database-management company, has “taken on more bandwidth” and is “really going to be a hub for us in terms of analytics,” says Nayler. Mindshare’s Canadian teams will make sure that Canadian databases are feeding into this resource.
The Holy Grail, says Nayler, is to discover what she refers to as the “waterwheel algorithm,” an accurate, measurable understanding of the correlation between paid, owned and earned media.
“Where we need to get to is the long-term value of advocacy,” says Nayler. “That’s the tougher measure, and it will vary by campaign – and then the challenge is, how do we track that advocate and keep them engaged?”
Sounds like a job for a digitally bridged media agency.

Agency stats
Staff: 190+
Offices: Toronto, Montreal, Calgary
New business: Boehringer Ingelheim, Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central, HBO brands and Randstad
Notable hires: Sheri Cooper, managing director, client leadership; Heather Dawson, director, invention; Tessa Ohlendorf, associate director, digital analytics

Ford Fiesta gets a lift with Erica

Ford wanted to create rich, multi-platform and content-driven marketing for the new Fiesta. It also wanted consumers to feel positively different about the brand, and take action as a result of the experience.
The tech-savvy target lives in a world where innovation is measured in minutes, not years, and where 24/7 access to information and entertainment is the norm. They are regularly multi-tasking with multiple devices (including TV).
CBC’s Being Erica was chosen because it resonates with the Fiesta target demos. The show could also deliver seamless integration with unique multi-platform enhancements.
A storyline was developed where two key characters, Julianne and Erica, become co-owners of a Ford Fiesta. It provided opportunities to demonstrate the vehicle’s key features over several episodes. The partnership was extended to a larger broadcast audience and online via talent vignettes and an interactive five-part webisode series.
The activation was supported by digital and broadcast media sponsorship including brandsell, billboards, animated lower-thirds and logo inclusion on CBC promos.
Ipsos Reid research showed that consumers feel positively different about the brand as a result of the integration, with 77% of the test group saying the integration was seamless, or noticeable but appropriate. Also, 58% were impressed by the features of the Ford Fiesta, 30% trust Ford more after seeing it associated with Being Erica and 29% said the episode changed the way they see Ford.
The webisode resulted in 7,143 average views per week. And in terms of getting consumers to do something as a result of the experience, 39% said they would like to find out more about the Fiesta, 40% would be proud to own one, 28% would tell their friends and family about it, 30% would visit the website and 30% said they would visit a dealership.

Hellmann’s reaches moms on FarmVille

Unilever brand Hellmann’s wanted to inspire moms to make more sandwiches by providing new recipes. Busy moms have very fragmented media consumption and it is difficult to get their attention, but they love online gaming. So Mindshare partnered with FarmVille, the extremely popular online game, where attention to the messages would be rewarded with FarmVille currency; the more time spent, the higher the reward.
Paid media attracted moms with the ability to receive five free “coins” to be used on their FarmVille account. Once they clicked, moms were moved to Hellmann’s owned content where they browsed recipes and videos created by acclaimed celebrity chef Chuck Hughes. After viewing the recipe cards, moms could learn more by clicking through to Hellmann’s homepage.
Mindshare also developed a widget that took a “mom sandwich recipe” and paired it with a “kid sandwich recipe.” Moms could “kid-ify” a recipe and kids could “mom-ify.”
The “real food” context aligned perfectly with Hellmann’s positioning and their social initiatives within the Real Food Movement.
FarmVille had no Canadian representation, which necessitated tracking down a supplier in the U.S. Ultimately, the American SV network facilitated the execution.
By the end of the campaign there had been nearly 300,000 interactions with FarmVille placement including nearly 100,000 video plays. The average number of interactions per visitor was nearly four. And 81% clicked through to the site.
Finally, moms spread the word: 45% opted to share via Facebook, with a 15% click-through rate among their friends.

HSBC’s Business without Borders

Targeting an extremely niche audience – C-level executives of domestic business looking to expand internationally with annual sales of $1 million – HSBC wanted to elevate the awareness of its commercial banking brand to the number one position among its competitors, while delivering aggressive, highly qualified prospects over a two-year period.
The strategy was to develop a digital hub, offering content and tools for the target using many credible partners. Mindshare positioned HSBC as the consummate authority on international trade by creating the program/brand “Business without Borders,” making the main hub of information.
BWOB was developed in partnership with HSBC, Rogers Publishing (Canadian Business, Profit, Maclean’s, L’Actualité and Small Business magazines) and The Economist.
Research of over 800 Canadian business decision-makers provided insights on exporting, and relevant content was written by editor specialists. Both on and offline was treated as editorial (versus advertorial) to ensure its credibility and value, along with an aggressive CRM and PR push, driving traffic to
By opting in, clients received access to proprietary tools and exclusive research. BWOB also featured an online forum for conversation and
idea sharing between business owners and industry leaders, government and academia.
BWOB breakfast series were launched in markets across Canada, with all partners participating.
The inaugural HSBC Business Awards, Canada’s first awards given to successful businesses expanding outside of Canada, were also launched to raise BWOB’s profile.
HSBC Commercial Banking has achieved the highest awareness among the target audience for providing information for businesses expanding outside of Canada. BWOB is ranked higher than any Canadian government website for information on exporting.
At the halfway point (year one) it has achieved 50% of the aggressive qualified leads. The site has received 153,230 total visits (104,668 unique), as well as 361,668 page views, and average time spent on the site has increased to 2.38 minutes.
Based on the current success, HSBC is rapidly closing the gap with its competitive set, and this Canadian program is now being expanded throughout the entire HSBC worldwide network.

Jump to:

MAOY intro

Media directors of the year: Terry Horton, VP, media director, Cossette Media and Mark Sherman, founder, owner, executive chairman, Media Experts

Next Media Star: Shahnaz Mawji, supervisor, communications strategy at Carat

MAOY Gold: MediaCom’s innovation evolution

MAOY Silver: Media Experts stays ahead of the curve

MAOY Honourable Mention: Starcom’s streak stays alive

MAOY process and scores

MAOY jury