Here are the 2020 Media Agency of the Year winners

This year, it's Touche!, PHD and UM that have earned top honours in the media discipline.

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Every day this week, strategy is revealing the 2020 Agency of the Year winners. Full coverage, including shortlists for each category and the winners announced so far, can be found here.

On day four of the Agency of the Year virtual reveal, it’s the top media agencies that take centre-stage.

This year, Touché! is taking home the Gold, having impressed the judges with campaigns for BRP, Canadian Tire and Sport Chek.

In second place, PHD has earned a Silver medal for campaigns for GO Transit, Scotiabank and Tangerine.

And finally, UM is the year’s Bronze trophy winner, having earned high marks for work for BMO, Movember and Reese.

Here are the features on each of the winning agencies, which also appeared in this month’s strategy magazine:

Touché! is still all about creativity
PHD taps into the art of science
UM proves its worth

You can get a snapshot of each agency’s winning cases below, including the Dentsu X’s Media Campaign of the Year; for more detailed cases on winners profiles, visit the Agency of the Year site.

And make sure to check back here every day this week to see the winners in the other AOY categories: tomorrow, we’ll reveal the top shops in Agency of the Year and Small Agency of the Year. And for those who missed it, here are the winners in DesignPR and Digital.

Media Campaign of the Year: Dentsu X

No Name TV

Dentsu X scored the highest marks in the Media category for No Name – Simple Check, which helped reintroduced the 40-year-old Loblaw private label brand to a new generation of Canadian consumers. A multi-touchpoint campaign that spanned social, OOH and TV drove comprehension of Simple Check and recognition of the label’s pared-down black-and yellow packaging and increased shoppers’ overall quality perception of the brand.

GOLD: Touché!

Escape Mountain

Snow is falling later in the season (no doubt thanks to climate change). This isn’t good for BRP, because people tend to buy snowmobiles when the first snow hits the ground. Rather than follow its competition and buy reactionary ads late in the season, BRP created a content series that showed five pro snowmobilers racing to escape a snowstorm. Running for four months in the fall, the series was also supported by a doc on Discovery, with sneak peeks in an online teaser campaign.

We Do NewDragonsDen

As part of a broadcast integration, Canadian Tire’s CEO sat in the backstage of CBC’s Dragons’ Den, watching entrepreneurs pitch products and then selecting two for a retail distribution deal.

Leverage the Love

For Sport Chek, Touché! used social listening tools to find what consumers love and hate about Black Friday deals. It then matched their comments with a product that met their needs and targeted them with ads online.


The Roadshow

Most commuters drive because it offers (a) convenience and (b) personal time. It somehow doesn’t occur to them that riding a bus offers them exactly that. To convince car-addicted commuters to use GO Transit, the brand introduced its bus at an auto show with the bells-and-whistles of a sports car launch. The campaign likened the bus to autonomous cars, allowing people to sleep, watch and text while commuting. In addition, PHD targeted people with ads for the new Presto app in unlikely places, like the Google Play store, which helped drive adoption

Path to Impact

To show how Scotiabank supports small biz owners, an installation that showed the obstacles women in particular face, while a choose-your- own-adventure experience on Twitter showed the realities of being a woman entrepreneur.

Bank of Champions2

When the Toronto Raptors experienced its surprise winning streak, Tangerine shocked basketball fans as it fired off real-time, contextual ads that spoke to Playoff moments as they happened.


Jersey Swap

BMO asked 500 soccer fans to donate their old jerseys in exchange for the new 2019 Impact shirt. The brand then turned those discarded jerseys into a soccer net and donated it to a Montreal community. To promote the “Jersey Swap” story during a time when all the attention is given to hockey’s Montreal Canadiens, UM struck a broadcast deal with TVA Sports and RDS, creating 12 integrations for a total of 17 minutes of live programming dedicated to the BMO campaign.


To cut through the clutter of other fundraisers and get more men to participate in Movember, the agency partnered with ET Canada and Sportsnet to create content integrations during sports and lifestyle programming.

Reese The Movie2

And to promote the ASMR-inspired movie for Reese on Crave, UM treated its debut like that of a Hollywood blockbuster, using movie marketing tactics like blanketing the city with wall postings, taking over every ad during The Handmaid’s Tale premiere and running trailers in-cinema.