The Agency A List: Pomp & Circumstance

PR that pushes the limits of imagination
Combining a garage constructed of 88,000 lbs of ice, a feet of high-performance vehicles, two adrenaline- charged winter driving experiences and performances from two Juno award-winning Canadian bands, P&C and Mercedes-Benz Canada proved to Canadians that #MBOwnsTheIce.

Combining a garage constructed of 88,000 pounds of ice, a fleet of high-performance vehicles, adrenaline- charged winter driving experiences and performances from two Juno award-winning Canadian bands, P&C and Mercedes-Benz Canada proved to Canadians that #MBOwnsTheIce.

Glance at the Pomp & Circumstance roster and you’d be forgiven for thinking they had been around forever – think clients like CIBC, eBay, Bacardi, Mercedes- Benz and many others. But Toronto-based P&C has only really been a thing since 2015, when industry vets Amanda Alvaro and CD Lindsay Mattick set up their own shingle and began advising some of the biggest clients in the country.

“The vibe you get with Pomp is that we’re scrappy and hunger- driven,” notes Alvaro. “Clients know we’re going to the wall for them every single day. Nobody’s resting on their laurels here. It’s a get ’er done mentality.”

You certainly see that acumen at work as you watch a cluster of Mercedes tear around a frozen lake in Gimli, Manitoba for the perfect social media moment. Or, in an über-feminine pop-up at Stackt Market in Toronto that challenges the masculine vibe of cannabis culture (and helps spin it into part of a wellness routine). Or… in any number of other executions in the last year.

It’s one of the reasons this bespoke PR house has attracted even more premium clients over the last 12 months, adding Earls, Mizrahi, The Hudson Hotel, Añejo, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery and the Stratford Festival to an already impressive roster.

So, what has them lined up for the Pomp treatment?

“Ideas close the deal,” sums up Alvaro. “And, having run agencies for almost 15 years, I don’t say this lightly: I think we’re developing some of the best creative in the country right now.”

To launch their new industry leading travel card benefits, P&C and CIBC Aventura created Gate A: a throwback to a time was less about the utility and more about the romance, the exploration and the discovery.

To launch their new industry leading travel card benefits, P&C and CIBC Aventura created Gate A: a throwback to a time when travel was less about utility and more about romance, exploration and discovery.

It certainly sends a message to potential clients that this shop is not going to let a brand’s vision slide. The creative is baked in from day one. “It signals that they’re going to get strategic advice, as well as ideas that are getting noticed, not just in Canada, but around the globe,” she observes, “award-winning ideas that might make them uncomfortable. But that’s what you need in this kind of environment.”

And, when you consider the current climate – there’s a lot of discomfort and uncertainty – Pomp’s appeal is that they’re willing to steer into the wind.

One area triggering change is the intersection where paid meets earned, and Alvaro says that as a smaller shop, Pomp is able to quickly adapt and bring an integrated media solution to the table and find the sweet spot for clients.

“We’re talking an entirely new language. The landscape of PR has changed more in the last six to 12 months than in the decade prior. Being nimble enough to pivot – that’s obviously been a huge challenge, but it’s also been an exciting opportunity.”

It’s as much about finding opportunities in those challenges as it is finding ways to overcome them. “It’s exciting to be able to tap into new verticals and bring an entire marketing mix full circle. So, we’re doing everything from digital on social, to traditional media, to integrated marketing… there’s nothing that a PR shop can’t do now.”

As brands enter uncharted marketing territory, finding new ways to overcome challenges defines the playbook beyond the PR renaissance.

“Marketing, writ large, is changing,” says Alvaro, “and, knowing that, you can’t be doing the status quo anymore.”

CONTACT:
Amanda Alvaro
CEO & Co-founder
Amanda@pomppr.com