11:11′s Nicolas Massey envisions a new way to work

The former Publicis CD has a new freelance collective he believes is better suited to the needs of modern-day advertising.


The co-founders of 11:11 Creative Alignment: Nicolas Massey (left) and Luc Deschambeault.

Nicolas Massey has spent much of his career balancing his passion for advertising with his entrepreneurial spirit – and he is doing so once again with the launch of 11:11 Creative Alignment.

The company, which Massey has co-founded with former Communications Voir artistic director Luc Deschambeault, is the latest freelance collective to launch in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As with others of its ilk, it has a small headcount of four full-time staff, supported by freelance creatives. That structure allows for a top-down execution of work that is nimble and decisive, rather than being bogged down by too many intermediaries and meetings.

“We wanted to build a small unit that could move very quickly for clients, be very reactive and agile and create as much content as possible to feed social media and all of their other platforms,” Massey explains.

A_rdr_insta_1080x1350_believeThe agency offers branding, graphics, digital and traditional design, content creation, branding and cybersecurity services, and has worked with the likes of Polysleep, Cora, the Liberal Party of Quebec, Cybershell Consulting and Casacom since soft-launching in November. It also just launched a campaign for Rescue Dogs Rock NYC (seen left).

Massey has worked for the past several years as a freelance CD himself, and the timing of 11:11’s launch is no coincidence – he says that the pandemic, for all of its adverse impacts, also aided in the surfacing of a new way to do advertising work.

“The pandemic gave me the confidence to work more closely with a client in Zoom meetings. We were able to create things even though we weren’t in offices and working in a traditional way,” he explains. “It gave us the motivation and the understanding of a new way of working that is much more efficient, and even when the pandemic passes, we’re going to keep these ways of doing things.”

Massey previously co-founded the Montreal-based agency Amen, and held the role of creative director with it until it was bought by Publicis in 2009. After the sale, he transitioned into a senior leadership role in Publicis Montreal as VP and CD.

In that time, he says, he acquired plenty of experience with large accounts – he worked on brands including L’Oréal, Coca-Cola, Ubisoft, Rogers and Metro – and while he respects the holding companies, crediting Publicis as “an amazing place to learn advertising and big accounts,” he believes there’s demand for the new model of working that 11:11 offers.

“Today, because of technology and social media and the way money is spent, there’s a new way to serve clients in the digital world,” he says. “I love advertising. I love the craft. But I strongly believe in today’s world, we need to be leaner, quicker, cheaper and still have a strong creative product.”