Sunday, November 29, 2009

Canadian Marketing Awards: My Highlights

Friday night I attended the Canadian Marketing Awards at the Westin Harbor Castle. It was my first time attending this show, and it definitely won’t be my last!

It was a fabulous evening that celebrated spectacular work in Canada from various marketing disciplines like traditional advertising, digital, promotions and of course a few PR campaigns made the list.

The big winner was
DDB Toronto for their work on Subaru—you know the ads with those loveable, hunky, Sumo wrestlers! Go Big or Go Home! And they did go home, with tons of awards. It was the Ben Hur of the evening. DDB were up on the podium seven times – sweeping category after category and then finishing with the top overall award of the night. I had the pleasure of having drinks with the DDB team and the Subaru client just prior to the show and their wins couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of guys! Thanks to Prez David Leonard for buying me all those very expensive cocktails! Next one is on me.

Other highlights of the evening included big wins for
John Street and their War Child campaign; McDonald’s Free Coffee campaign; Rethink’s Coast Capital Savings; TAXI II for Mini (nice going Lance!) and my pals at Doner Canada for their win on MAZDA3 “33 Keys” – that was a proud moment for Maverick too as our little agency helped spread the word on that campaign. Nice work Dave! Get Strategy Magazine that will run down the bronze, silver and gold award winners in full.

However, the best part of the evening for me was connecting with all the ad agency folks I have done business with in the past and continue to. The blessing of the evening was the fact that I didn’t run into any smarmy PR folks .. so refreshing to mingle with creative and agency heads who don’t speak to you like their on a message track.

I ran into my friend, Geoffrey Roche (his agency won an award for their work on
ALS, a very moving, compelling spot); Aldo Cundari who was a major sponsor of the show and took home some hardware too for work with the LCBO; the dynamic duo Bill Sharpe and Tom Blackmore, the most sincerest and funniest guys in the biz and finally met Mitch Joel of Twist Image very cool guy, he looks just like his blog photo. But making my highlight reel complete is when I ran into Tony Chapman of Capital C. The guy is truly one of Canada’s most creative guys and knows the value of PR for his own brand, even better than Lavoie. So I see him, and I say “Hi.” I get the blank stare, he has no clue who I am, and I don’t blame him. He probably knows like a million people and I have one of those forgettable faces. So I’m like, “Remember me? Julie from Maverick.” Ahhhh, the fog lifts, he puts two and two together. “Ya right, how are you? You’re independent right? We should do some business together.” Yeah, I’ve been waiting over a year. So call me already! By the way Tony, nice skinny tie you were wearing, you pulled that look off.

I have to give a special shout out to two people who literally saved my night. As a last minute ticket buyer, I was relegated to the backwoods table – you know the one, the sorry ass singles table where they forget to put the centerpiece, no wait staff and you are up in a corner with dim lighting talking to a guy selling post cards. Well,
David Engel of Innovative Graphics (a client of ours) and marketing maven Mona Goldstein come and whisk me away from purgatory and placed me at their very prominent table holding centre court. That was sweet! Thank you sooooo much!

'Cuz in the words of the immortal Patrick Swayze … “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.”

To next year. I’m buying my ticket early!


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