All-or-nothing approach to brand realization

Zerotrillion's SweetChops and Veld startups exemplify an entrepreneurial spirit to which clients can relate.

There’s a method to the madness in naming an agency Zerotrillion, says CEO Alex Paquin.

Zerotrillion was tasked with developing Seoul-based prototyping software company ProtoPie’s first brand campaign. The insight was that ideas in your head are worthless until you turn them into a prototype. A high-quality animated short was crafted and supported with a paid- media campaign.

Zerotrillion was tasked with developing Seoul-based prototyping software company ProtoPie’s first brand campaign. The insight was that ideas in your head are worthless until you turn them into a prototype. A high-quality animated short was crafted and supported with a paid- media campaign.

“It’s a promise to our clients that in everything we do we’ll aim for a trillion, because giving you anything less is giving you zero,” he says. “And it’s a reminder to ourselves that this is not a place where we aim for a middle – it’s all or nothing in the work we do.”

Paquin, former CEO of Nomads Agency in Amsterdam, launched Zerotrillion in 2019 in Toronto and Amsterdam with former Nomads creative director Adam Fierman, Canadian actors Robbie Amell (The Flash) and Italia Ricci (Designated Survivor) and producer Simon Devenyi. The creative agency opened a New York office in March.

Zerotrillion’s wide-ranging offerings include brand strategy and design, advertising, and public relations.

A one-hour special featuring Alessia Cara launching her new album at Niagara Falls paid off with multiple networks airing the content and earned Niagara Falls Tourism 240.7 million impressions.

A one-hour special featuring Alessia Cara launching her new album at Niagara Falls paid off with multiple networks airing the content and earned Niagara Falls Tourism 240.7 million impressions.

Amid the pandemic, Zerotrillion used its all-or-nothing approach to full effect with client Niagara Falls Tourism.

Instead of a conventional campaign with the predictable message “Come to Niagara Falls when the pandemic’s over,” Zerotrillion used the media budget to produce an Alessia Cara concert in Niagara Falls and offer the content – valuable when little was being produced – to the highest bidder.

The one-hour special Alessia Cara Live from Niagara Falls was filmed at five Niagara Falls locales and broadcast on CTV and MTV around the world. Also, the Grammy Award winner’s live performance of “Sweet Dream” on a Niagara City Cruises vessel aired on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last July.

“The strategy was, ‘Let’s offer something inherently entertaining, and then Stephen Colbert will want it,’” Paquin says. The notion was the Colbert show would draw more viewers than a conventional Niagara Falls Tourism ad on YouTube.

For the CNIB Foundation (Canadian National Institute for the Blind), Zerotrillion used raised-polymer printing to create an inclusive visual identity in Braille that can be read by the visually impaired. The campaign received a dozen international honours.

For the CNIB Foundation (Canadian National Institute for the Blind), Zerotrillion used raised-polymer printing to create an inclusive visual identity in Braille that can be read by the visually impaired. The campaign received a dozen international honours.

The content earned 240.7 million impressions for a campaign that, according to Paquin, had a media budget that would have normally allowed for 3 or 4 million. It reached 98 million households, gaining 61.7 million impressions in media coverage from news outlets and 92.5 million social media impressions. Niagara Falls hotels had twice as many bookings during the broadcast period than pre-pandemic.

The special took home gold in the branded documentary category at the New York Festivals TV & Film Awards and won the music and entertainment prize at The Drum Awards in the U.K.

Paquin says that as a young agency, Zerotrillion aims to work with clients “on the forefront of the big ideas of our time.”

These, he adds, include companies in cannabis, cryptocurrency, blockchain, autonomous robotics – “anything where we have the opportunity to help big thinkers, dreamers and doers make their ideas happen. Everything we work on has a futuristic slant.”

With interprovincial travel discouraged during the pandemic, the agency produced two spots convincing Ontarians to consider well-worn Niagara Falls as an exciting destination. The spots showed people in the afterglow of trips to the Falls, and led to a massive increase over even pre-pandemic booking levels.

With interprovincial travel discouraged during the pandemic, the agency produced two spots convincing Ontarians to consider well-worn Niagara Falls as an exciting destination. The spots showed people in the afterglow of trips to the Falls, and led to a massive increase over even pre-pandemic booking levels.

One example sees Zerotrillion doing brand, strategy, creative and comm services work for Cartken, a Silicon Valley autonomous delivery robotics firm.

It’s also working for cannabis producer Organigram, and on a first campaign for Florida-based Green Gruff, which makes all-natural dog supplements with and without CBD.

As AOR for crypto firm FRNT Financial, Zerotrillion marketed the company’s IPO, created its brand, and has done PR, website design and campaign work. It’s also doing brand, advertising and PR work for blockchain tech giant nChain.

In addition to its client gigs, Zerotrillion is developing creative entrepreneurial ventures, which Paquin says resonates with clients. “They see us treating their money the way we treat our own money in our ventures,” he says.

For former cannabis client Flowr, Zerotrillion created a brand film to show that stigmas around cannabis use remain despite the fact the product is now legal in Canada. The campaign won the Grand Prix at the Clio Cannabis Awards and 10 more Clios.

For former cannabis client Flowr, Zerotrillion created a brand film to show that stigmas around cannabis use remain despite the fact the product is now legal in Canada. The campaign won the Grand Prix at the Clio Cannabis Awards and 10 more Clios.

In Toronto, the agency created a plant-based restaurant concept called SweetChops and brought on Top Chef Canada: All-Stars finalist Dustin Gallagher to create a menu from scratch. To prove the concept worked, it ran a pilot kitchen for six months in Toronto. It’s also partnered with Adam Gilbert, former VP marketing at Pickle Barrel Restaurants, and is raising money to open nine SweetChops locations in the U.S.

Meanwhile, Zerotrillion has launched Veld – a sustainable, high-end leisure wear brand designed by its Amsterdam creative team and handmade in Portugal with 100% organic cotton.

Says Paquin, “Something that works well in our favour is we can look a CEO in the eyes and say, ‘We know what it’s like spending money you raised to build a business, and needing to be accountable for every dollar you spend.’”

CONTACT:
Alex Paquin
CEO
alex@zerotrillion.com

The 2022 A-Listers:

Intro

Zulu Alpha Kilo: Firing on all cylinders

UM: Powering a culture of innovation

Initiative: Reinventing the rules of media

Media Experts: An audience tailored approach to brand and client growth

123W: One team, One mission

Leo Burnett: Redesigning the consumer-brand relationship

Dentsu: A long-term view

Pomp & Circumstance: A grander vision

Elemental: Finding meaninful connections

Anomaly: Solutions designed for good

Camp Jefferson: Designing choice