Diamond adds two creative leaders and expands to U.S.

The agency is answering demand for brand work locally and community marketing south of the border.


Diamond Marketing Group has recruited two new senior creatives to help it meet demand for brand work from clients like Tim Hortons and SkiptheDishes, but the agency’s experience in activations are also helping it expand south of the border.

Creative director Pete Gardiner joins Diamond with more than 20 years of experience, including stints with agencies Lowe Roche, Cossette and MacLaren McCann. He has worked on clients including Capital One, IKEA, Mackenzie Financial and Stella Artois.

Diamond has also hired associate creative director Jinah Lee, who most recently worked as a senior art director at Wednesday in New York City. Lee has provided art direction for several high-end fashion brands, including Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co. and Sephora.

The pair of hires will help bolster the company’s creative bench strength while also bringing fresh ideas and perspectives to the team, according to Dave Stevenson, SVP and CD, noting that Diamond now has 20 full-time creatives on staff.

The pair are joining Diamond at a time when the demand for its creative work is on the rise. Known for its experiential expertise, the agency has been investing in a more holistic offering for clients. Even for work based in activations, brand-level thinking has been an asset. “A lot of the work that we’re growing with is in all of the various channels that come out of that term ‘360,’” explains Stevenson.

Tims1Diamond started working with Tim Hortons in the spring of last year, initially providing assistance with regional marketing efforts related to the company’s COVID-19 response.

The agency has also been behind the surprise coffee truck visits for frontline workers. What began as a single project turned into Diamond being awarded subsequent activations, and it has now taken on the lead role on Tim’s activations in 2021.

SkiptheDishes, meanwhile, engaged Diamond in the fall of last year to build a campaign for its new alcohol delivery service. The success of that project has led to additional marketing work with the company this year.

Taking the omnichannel approach to work rooted in activation has also helped point Diamond to its latest expansion opportunity: the agency is extending its partnerships, activations and community practice to the U.S.

Leading the offering from New York is Josh Ellovich, who joins with experience leading new business development at agencies Octagon and Advantage. He will lead the practice at Diamond with Mike Smith, who heads it up in Canada.

Diamond has done work in the U.S. in the past, namely for clients like TD who do business on both sides of the border. Josh Diamond, co-founder and CCO of the agency, said in a release that the time was right to expand that work further, and with a focus on sponsorship, because it has seen that “community marketing is more important now than ever before.” Ellovich adds that Diamond’s “full-service mentality” is what drew him to the agency and will deliver more effective omnichannel experiences based around sponsorship and fan communities.