Toronto ad vets open a new agency

Juniper Park co-founders Terry Drummond and Alan Madill have opened Good&Ready, offering bespoke teams across services.

Former Juniper Park\TBWA co-CCOs Terry Drummond and Alan Madill have started their own venture a little more than one year after exiting the agency they helped found.

The doors to their new Toronto-based branding and advertising shop, Good&Ready, officially opened on Dec. 5. Its model is similar to those of other recent startups, offering a core of senior-level expertise supported by bespoke teams of contract and freelance workers that carry out project-based assignments. The founders say their goal is to offer CMOs senior creative talent without the costs of hiring a large agency.

“If you look at a CMO’s life, it’s pretty harsh,” says Drummond, noting that the role and expectations of senior marketers have grown more complex and challenging, even as their budgets have shrunk. “Companies rely on them to deliver more, and they have to handle more just to reach consumers.”

Good&Ready will work on a project basis, structuring their teams around clients’ specific needs. They see their capabilities as spanning the full suite of services, including creative, design, social, digital, influencer, PR and web development.

Their model is one that is popular among new agencies. Just last month, agency vets Mike Davidson and Paul Riss launched Round, a multidisciplinary network of freelancers aimed at solving clients’ business problems.

“We think it is a trend,” says Drummond. “It’s the way of the future, because I just don’t believe that today’s CMOs always need the big agency machine to support them.” Rather, he says there should be hundreds of smaller agencies cropping up to replace large legacy players. Instead of competing with other shops, Drummond and Madill say they believe the model opens the door for more agency collaboration.

Along with Barry Quinn and Jill Nykoliation, the duo helped found Juniper Park in 2007. Their agency merged with TBWA\Toronto in 2015, at which point Nykoliation was named CEO and Drummond, Madill and Quinn became co-CCOs. Drummond and Madill announced their departure from the agency in September 2017.

“We got into this business to produce brilliant creative, not managing people and taking meetings,” says Madill of their reason for opening their own shop. “What we really want to do is solve our clients’ problems.”

To date, Good&Ready has only been in discussion with potential clients. As creatives, they feel they are particularly good at early-stage work, such as helping brands define their positionings and brand narrative, which could make them appealing to startups and new ventures. Between the two of them, they have worked in almost every category, including CPG, financial services, automotive, telecommunications and retail, and they gained exposure to the American market through their work at Juniper Park, notes Drummond.

While their goal is to remain small and nimble, the duo are prepared to work anywhere and won’t discount the possibility of eventually opening operations elsewhere.

Referring to their opening as the agency’s “worldwide launch,” Drummond says, “We can do anything from Toronto. We’ve done it before.”