Promotion

Storytime Trail

Moved by Stories

Storytime Trail is an outdoor reading program that activates students to take action on issues like climate change, mental health, LGBTQ and reconciliation. Canadian stories are represented as a series of signs with QR codes linked to videos that feature subject experts and the book creators themselves.

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Ontario School Board Elections

Equity, diversity and inclusion are essential facets of public education so asking Ontario voters what kind of us they want us to be was the underlying question for a pair of public service spots I created in 2014 and 2018.

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CGA Ontario

The Name Brand for Business in Canada

At 20 years, We’re the Name Brand for Business in Canada” must rank as one of the most enduring BTB campaigns ever. Of the numerous TV and radio spots, outdoor, transit, magazine and newspaper ads I created, here’s a small creative sample. Like you, I had no idea how much fun accountancy could be.

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Ben McNally Books

Read the fine print

Ben McNally wrote the book on how to run the kind of bookshop big chains and Amazon can only dream of. This launch campaign leveraged his bravely-located store tucked between towers in Toronto’s financial and legal neighbourhood.

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Trimark Mutual Funds

If you have nothing to say, sing it,” an advertising genius once declared. For my first solo client, Trimark Mutual Funds, I embraced David Ogilvy’s cynism by connecting the choral verse of the Rolling Stones’ You Can’t Always Get What You Want to people’s fantasies about retirement. Humour made the point better than ROI figures and helped Trimark become the second-biggest fund company by assets in Canada.

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CBC Radio

Editing cut-out shapes by hand may not rival digital animation but its Terry Gilliam-style neatly undercut the reputation of Canada’s largest broadcaster as stodgy and predictable. These samples (3 of over 25 spots) proved that minds were no longer made up about CBC Radio.

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Automotive

AWIN Auto Group

Finding words to express the value of Diversity is easy. The hard part is asking sales, admin and technical staff for their trust as the central and highly visible elements of an ad campaign. Gratefully, We Are You features hundreds of staff from 17 car dealerships whose willing participation made all the difference.

Until they ran their course in the early 2000’s, I created over 250 weekly print ads in Broadcast Week for AWIN stores such as Lawrence Park Volvo and Land Rover. Here’s a tiny sampling.

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Molson Canadian

Are You Ready for a Brand New Beat?

Long before Glen Hunt wrote his epic I am Canadian rant – even before Much Music – a junior team at Maclaren wondered if their boss had lost his grip. The upheaval of the Beer Wars emboldened Dennis Bruce to assign Bill Durnan and me to re-launch Molson Canadian. We had nothing to lose. In opposition to jingles, we poured our nervous energy into attaching tunes we’d loved as teenagers to pictures of the perfect summer day. There were a lot of animatics and focus groups. But, with Director Bruce Dowad’s stylish direction, what unfolded was a campaign that stunned an industry. This commercial created some ad history and incidentally ignited two fledging careers. The good, old days weren’t always good but here’s to 30 seconds of youthful, unadulterated creative.

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Speedy Muffler KIng

What’s making that sound?

Marketing makes a lot of noise about Cannes Lions. I won’t argue that such a prestigious award doesn’t set standards, or build morale and businesses. Prizes – especially this one– can do that. But, of a hundred or so other awards I’ve been lucky to receive, this 1988 Silver Lion is the only one I’ve kept my eye on. For 35 years, this creature has stood still inside a brass-hinged red box swaddled in satin and never once made a sound. He’s always quiet. That’s me you hear purring.

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Credit Valley Hospital Foundation

Accommodating patience

What if you were a burgeoning hospital in the GTA and needed to raise funds for a new parking building? You would wisely develop posters for construction hoardings (and a PSA) so encountering construction could become an opportunity to convert visitors into donors. Fundraising went through the steel-reinforced roof.

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