The Agency A List: doug&partners

Nimbly addressing client needs
doug&partners created a series of 15-second online videos for the Ontario Honda Dealers Association using simple, entertaining animation to illustrate vehicle features. The spots performed well with high completion rates.

doug&partners created a series of 15-second online videos for the Ontario Honda Dealers Association using simple, entertaining animation to illustrate vehicle features. The spots performed well with high completion rates.

For Toronto’s doug&partners, the motto “creativity for commerce” works on a couple of levels.

“Every client requires a bespoke service solution to find the voice that will most effectively generate results,” says executive creative director Matt Syberg-Olsen. “That’s where we apply that creative thinking – whether it be how we strategize and build the team around the client or the creative output. Everybody jumps to the latter, but it’s the creative way we approach their business that leads to success.”

A reminder from the Indian River Reptile & Dinosaur Park that it’s far better to visit the reptiles than vice-versa.

A reminder from the Indian River Reptile & Dinosaur Park that it’s far better to visit the reptiles than vice-versa.

Later this year d&p will launch several campaigns that have been in the works for a year or more. “A decade ago agencies would wait for a comprehensive brief to drop,” says VP managing director Caroline Kilgour. “Now we’re co-authoring those briefs, identifying strategic opportunities and going all the way through to execution with clients. We’re on long journeys with them and digging into the depth of their organizations.”

The 36-staff agency, founded in 2002 by CEO Doug Robinson, thrives on diverse challenges. “One prospective client needed a fast turnaround model on multiple, time-sensitive digital units,” Kilgour recounts. “Working with other partners, they could get only a limited output in a certain amount of days. They said, ‘If you can crack this nut, the workflow’s yours.’ So we did, and reduced production time by 50%. It was a unique ask. We’ll solve anything from small production issues to problems of mass complexity with long timelines.”

Built-in flexibility was required for a Honda campaign consisting of 23 x 15-second and six-second spots running as instream, outstream and social units demonstrating vehicle features with animated characters. Heated backseats hatch a nest of chicks; a “moonroof” is

handy for a howling wolf; and sliding seats keep a dog and cat safely apart. While the six-second spots were forced view, media reporting indicates the 15s had completion rates above industry benchmarks.

Honda required banners accompanying the videos that could be adjusted and redeployed to reflect pricing and rate changes. “For Honda, everything needs to lead to a sale or drive traffc to the dealership, and we found a way to use technology to allow them to react to changes in the market,” Syberg-Olsen says.

The University of New Brunswick’s three-ad Snapchat campaign captured gold at the Education Digital Marketing Awards.

The University of New Brunswick’s three-ad Snapchat
campaign captured gold at the Education Digital Marketing Awards.

Sometimes the focus is on a single platform, as in a University of New Brunswick promotion to Snapchat’s young demographic. Three units were produced, pointing to the school’s unique experiences, information events and an open house. Users could swipe for more details. The campaign won gold at the Education Digital Marketing Awards.

d&p ramped up its online intelligence last year with the hire of Moxie Garrett as head of digital experience. She has used her analytics and digital-strategy expertise to help the shop customize creative work, adding another tool to its kit.

Meanwhile, it was OOH for the Indian River Reptile & Dinosaur Park outside of Peterborough, Ontario. Three posters enticed visitors to the facility, which houses reptiles in a natural setting. The posters humorously show reptiles in everyday human environments – at a backyard swimming pool, in a bed and in a shoe – accompanied by the caption “It’s better if you visit them.”

“We’re incredibly flexible in terms of our skill set,” says Kilgour.

“We’re doing a lot of work that falls outside of the traditional engagement you would have seen with agencies in the past, and that has led to conversations with many different companies. We’re always happy to answer another call, though.”

CONTACT:
Caroline Kilgour
VP managing director
caroline@dougpartners.com