Up to the Minute: Who made the first Idea shortlist?

Plus, Rodeo acquires BLVD to unify production offerings, Marwick expands to U.K. and Effies Canada reveals 2020 finalists.

Idéa Awards releases its first shortlist

The A2C announced the shortlists for its first edition of the Idéa Awards, created by combining five previously separate discipline-specific awards programs. Of the 1,275 submissions, 500 were selected as finalists, led by Cossette, Lg2 and Sid Lee. The awards will be held on Sept. 24 during a virtual gala (a planned broadcast at a Montreal drive-in theatre had to be cancelled due to the Quebec government requesting stronger social distancing measures from the public).

Rodeo FX adds BLVD-MTL to its offering

Montreal visual effects studio Rodeo FX acquired creative production studio BLVD-MTL. Founded in 2006 as a sound design studio, BLVD has since layered on a suite of production, post-production and experiential services, all of which will help Rodeo FX offer the services of a “well-rounded, full-service creative studio” and allow the companies to collaborate on larger-scale production projects.

Founded as a visual effects studio in 2006, Rodeo FX began its work in film and television – recent projects include Stranger Things, Watchmen, Lovecraft Country and Blade Runner 2049 – though it has added to its commercial services and expanded its offerings. Last year, it acquired Rodeo Production, bringing its roster of photographers and directors into the fold. Andres Norambuena, BLVD’s CEO and owner, will lead an offering that combines the three companies’ advertising, content and experiential capabilities for commercial clients.

Effie Canada begins rollout of 2020 winners

The ICA has also revealed the finalists for this year’s Effie Canada awards, recognizing advertising work that drove results for clients. The Bronze, Silver and Gold winners will be announced every Wednesday for the remainder of September, with the Grand Prix, Agency of the Year, Independent of the Year and Client of the Year winners announced on Oct. 1, during the Canadian Creative Effectiveness Summit. Among the 46 finalists, SickKids was the client with the most nominations at six, with McDonald’s Canada and IKEA following with three each. Agencies Rethink and Cossette led agencies in nominations with six each, followed by John St. with five.

Marwick Marketing expands overseas

Vancouver-based search marketing agency Marwick Marketing plans to expand to the U.K., with an office based in the southwest of England. The expansion will make Marwick Marketing one of only two Google Premier Partner agencies based in the southwest of England, though several partners operate in cities like London, Edinburgh, Leeds and Manchester.

Christian Thomson, CEO of Marwick Marketing, says the business challenges of the pandemic made the agency an important partner for small- to medium-sized businesses like Active Baby, Birken Lakeside Resort, Bark Busters, School of Music and Dance and Freeride Boardshop, an opportunity it is taking into “a new business frontier.” Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Marwick says the company has grown by 15% in 2020, and was named the 11th fastest-growing company by Business in Vancouver Magazine.