The Really Brief — Week of May 10

May 12

The Globe and Mail has launched its daily news podcast The Decibel, exploring a new topic in depth every weekday morning through conversations with reporters and experts. Mini signed on as the launch sponsor for the first eight weeks.

“Mini’s mission is to reimagine city life,” said Adam Wexler, national manager, Mini brand communications. “Through this innovative digital partnership, we’re putting Mini in front of young, urban professionals who care about the world around them. We believe our shared passions will ignite their curiosity about the hot topic of electro-mobility and vehicles like the new, all-electric Mini Cooper SE.”

Mosaic has made a number of structural and personnel changes as part of an overhaul that began with the hiring of Subtej Nijjar as president last fall. “We’ve completely reimagined the agency structure to operate as a single North American team,” said Nijjar in announcing changes within the agency’s creative, design and strategy departments.

Creative: Justine Greenwald, based out of Chicago, was named senior vice-president and executive creative director for the North American team, while Laura Serra was promoted to VP, ECD of the Canadian office, Jef Moore was promoted to CD, Anthony Hachez to CD in Montreal, and Kareem Halfawi to ACD.

Design: Nick Pilon and Steve Gauder were promoted to CD, Sheldon Powers and Karl Chen to ACD, Mark Mabey to senior designer and Ilze Lardins to senior art director.

Strategy: Meg Kerr was promoted to senior director of strategy, Lavana Pauk to director, and Ben Driver to senior manager, measurement.

Engine Digital has added three team members to its strategy and design groups as the agency sees growth in 2021. Laura Falconer joins as strategy director and will lead brand experience, ecommerce, and product design engagements; Miquel Pons joins as associate design director; and Connie Huang joins the strategy group as an intermediate UX strategist. The hires follow the earlier addition of Mike Kingsborough as design director.

“For most businesses, 2020 was a year of uncertainty,” said Dean Elissat, VP growth at Engine Digital. “We’re now seeing the direct result of the pandemic fuelling a desire by many businesses to speed up digital transformation efforts, improve services through online channels, and deliver on expectations set by changing consumer demand.”

May 11

Cogeco’s launch campaign for its new EPICO IP service combining Internet and television debuted last month. Developed by Havas Montreal, the brand identity and campaign presents the ways EPICO helps its customers “transform their entertainment experience in an epic manner.” Creative shows suburban neighbourhoods transformed by the immersive content experience delivered by EPICO.

“The birth of a brand is a really special time in the client-agency relationship,” said Carle Coppens, creative vice-president at Havas Montréal. “The entire EPICO identity was developed in a way that shows how Cogeco wants to offer the consumer the opportunity to be in control.”

“When you see the contrast between the cookie-cutter suburban setting and the home of the EPICO subscriber, the promise is very visually impressive,” said artistic director Félix-Antoine Brunet. “We created a really large universe where we can have fun without too many limitations.”

Michael Garron Hospital Foundation worked with Field Trip & Co for a new awareness and donation campaign called “Welcome to the Neighbourgood.” The six-week campaign includes a mix of radio, out-of-home, TSA, print and digital/social media targeted at those living in East Toronto.

Creative is intended to highlight how a redevelopment of the hospital will create a better patient experience, and transform the way the community experiences healthcare.

“I think the images and messages of this campaign are powerful and will signal to our neighbours that a donation to the renewal of Michael Garron Hospital, their hospital, is not just about bricks and mortar, but about building and sustaining a world of expert and quality healthcare—close to home,” said Mitze Mourino, president at Michael Garron Hospital Foundation.


May 10

Zulu Alpha Kilo has announced new additions to its creative and client service teams, including associate creative directors Juan Torres and Dane Boaz. The duo spent the past eight years at Grip/DentsuOne, where their work included the “KFC Bitcoin Bucket.” They have worked with a wide assortment of brands including RBC, Lindt Chocolate, Molson Canadian and Expedia.

The agency also announced the hire of Lisa Walton-Rixon as group account director, working on the D2L, Whirlpool, Ratesdotca and Consonant accounts. Walton-Rixon has extensive international experience in the U.K., Bangladesh and New Zealand, overseeing integrated campaigns for brands including McDonald’s, Kellogg’s, Wrigley and HSBC. Working with Unilever, she oversaw global work across 27 markets.

Maura Kelly has also joined the agency as account director on Subaru after spending the previous three years working on Chevrolet at McCann Canada, helping launch the Chevrolet Blazer and Trailblazer and leading integrated campaigns under the brand’s “Canadian Dream” platform. She was also involved in establishing the network’s Women of Worldgroup Committee, an internal initiative championing the growth of women leaders.

GoDaddy Canada has launched a new video series in support of its ongoing “Small Business Big Impact” program. Part of the company’s ongoing association with MLSE, the series stars the Toronto Raptors’ community ambassador Jamaal Magloire showcasing Black-owned businesses in Toronto that have used GoDaddy’s Website + Marketing tool to power their business.

The videos profile Toronto business owners Kerin John of Black Owned Toronto, a directory of Black-owned businesses in the city; Dana Baker of vegan and cruelty free makeup line Zoe Marie Cosmetics; and Cory Hudson of woodworking company HUDS-ON Woodworking. GoDaddy and MLSE also provided a $10,000 grant to each business owner.

“We are excited to be continuing our partnership with MLSE and the Toronto Raptors to support Canadian small business owners,” said Anne De Aragon, vice-president and country manager with GoDaddy Canada. “It has been so inspiring to see the resiliency of small business owners over the past year, including Black Owned Toronto, Zoe Marie Cosmetics and HUDS-ON Woodworking.”


Chris Powell