The long-time chief executive of Halifax agency Colour is leaving the ad world to become CEO of the Atlantic Lottery Corporation.
Chris Keevill has led Colour for a little more than 17 years, overseeing its transition from Corporate Communications Limited (CCL) to Colour in 2004. Keevill will replace Brent Scrimshaw as CEO of the ALC May 1, while Paul Lockhard will take over as Colour CEO on April 1.
Keevill has been the sole owner of Colour since a short-lived takeover by now defunct holding company The CHR Group in 2015.
Keevill will remain owner of Colour, but the company will be placed in trust and not be eligible for any ALC work while he is with the organization.
“Colour doesn’t currently do any work with the lottery and we won’t do any work with the lottery as long as I’m CEO,” said Keevill. ALC has a roster of agencies it works with, including Arrivals + Departures.
Colour has worked with ALC in the past but it has been several years, in part because the agency has been in the midst of transitioning away from much of the traditional advertising work done for ALC, said Keevill.
“We don’t do that kind of work. We don’t do traditional advertising promotion work that is strictly analog, offline,” he said. “And we don’t do public sector work at all.”
Instead, the agency has been evolving to become an agency where digital media, planning and analytics are considered as important as creative ideas to help clients build connections with consumers. It is the “intersection of data, technology and creative,” said Keevill.
The agency fluctuates between 20 and 30 people depending on assignments, working across offices in Halifax, Toronto and New York City for clients across Canada and the U.S. Lockhard will be based in Toronto, while the digital media planning, buying and strategy is overseen by VP of media and strategy Randy Newman, working out of New York.
Lockhard joined Colour as president in March 2018 from Environics PR, where he had been president. “Colour has a deep team and great clients,” said Lockhard in a Colour release. “Our agency partner network that includes subject area experts in CRM, and technology gives breadth to our capabilities, particularly in the areas of wellness and financial services marketing.”
Keevill said his priorities at ALC will be responding to the growing competition for consumers against unregulated online gaming, and to develop new products that will increase its relevance among people 35 and under. His digital focus in recent years will be important in both regards.
“The traditional state- or provincial-run lottery business around the world is in need of quick adoption of digital and online channels for service delivery, customer experience, and gaming,” he said.
“Keevill’s proven track record of execution and extensive experience with digital transformation and innovation, combined with his personal commitment to his community, will serve him well as he steers Atlantic Lottery into the future as a competitive, innovative, responsible gaming company,” said Sean O’ Connor, chair of Atlantic Lottery’s board of directors.