Lori Davison joins Diamond as CSO

Less than six months after landing Peter Ignazi, one of the most well-known creative talents in Canada, Diamond has added Lori Davison, one of the best-known marketers in Canada, as chief strategy officer.

“To me, this is a story of Lori joining Diamond. It’s also a story of Lori and Peter coming back together,” said Diamond CEO David Diamond, adding that the pair have created some of the country’s best work ever. “The fact that they are doing it here, changes the agency in very fundamental ways,” he said. “And I’m just excited to be a party to it.”

Davison and Ignazi worked together on SickKids “Vs.” brand platform, when Ignazi was co-chief creative officer with Carlos Moreno at Cossette, and Davison was head of brand strategy for the SickKids Foundation. The campaign was instrumental in driving $1.5 billion in fundraising, and is regarded as ground-breaking for healthcare marketing around the world, winning top awards show honours in Canada and internationally.

In August 2020, Davison left SickKids Foundation to join the ROM, where she once again green-lit a number of innovative, boundary pushing campaigns for the iconic museum.

“I’m really proud of what I was able to get done at ROM with the partnership of amazing agency talent and a strong internal team,” she said. “Among other things, ROM is really well set-up now to activate an enduring brand platform idea and a timeless new visual identity.  I know I have left the brand in great shape”.

Before joining SickKids in 2014, Davison spent most of her career in agencies, including several years at BBDO, where she was a VP and managing director on the accounts side, with Iganzi (and Moreno) leading the creative department. Along with the SickKids work, Davison said the campaigns they created together for RBC and FedEx were “some of the work I am most proud of in my career.”

After nearly 10 years working client side, Davison said she was ready to return to an agency, “back towards a consulting role” and driving strategy and big ideas that is at the core of agency work. “I just genuinely loved the agency energy and I think I’m craving that again,” she said.

She chose to do so at Diamond in part because of the reunion with Ignazi, but also because it’s an independent agency possessing an entrepreneurial spirit and a reputation for smart and effective brand experiences and activations. “I think traditional agencies have been spending the last decade trying to figure out content and PR and brand experiences to drive engagement in this very fractured digital world,” she said. “And I was excited about the idea of going somewhere that has that part figured out.”

She also worked with Diamond on the TD business during her two years at Leo Burnett, just prior to joining SickKids. “They just know how to do that stuff like nobody [else]. To activate brands in every channel, every dimension,” she said. “That’s what I’m excited about doing next.”

Diamond wanted Davison to join the agency not just because of her track record for great work, but also because of his experience working with her in the past. “If you spend time working with Lori, you immediately understand you’re having very rich theoretical conversations, but it’s not rooted in theory. It’s actually rooted in experience,” he said. “This is someone who’s done it and she’s done it over and over again.”

Davison’s list of industry honours back that up. Aside from being named CMA’s Marketer of the Year in 2017, she has won 20 Cannes Lions, and was twice in contention for Grand Prix, and appeared on 42 shortlists.

David Brown