CMAs honour Salem with Marketer of the Year; Mroueh for Lifetime Achievement

Nearly 1,000 people from across Canadian marketing and advertising were at CMA Awards Friday night, where Canadian Tire’s Eva Salem was named Marketer of the Year.

After a short introductory video in which family, colleagues, and co-workers congratulated her (see the extended version below), Salem took to the stage for a well-received speech, thanking those who have supported her during her career, while also talking about her love for marketing and adding a call-to-action for the industry.

“My favourite part about marketing is finding creative solutions to problems,” she said. “The world needs it now, more than ever. But somewhere between the accountants, the consultants, and the techies, we have lost our swagger as an industry. And it’s time to bring it back.”

As an association that represents all parts of the marketing and advertising industry in Canada, the Canadian Marketing Association’s CMA awards have long been one of the industry’s most popular events. In total, 150 awards were handed out across seven distinct disciplines (see the show reel below).

“Marketing and creativity are core to business growth, and this year’s winners truly embodied the theme by expanding our notions of creativity and reinforcing that the future of Canadian marketing is truly boundless,” said Alison Simpson, president and CEO, CMA. “Canada continues to innovate and push the boundaries of creativity.”

FCB and BMO were awarded the Best of the Best honour as the top campaign of the last year.

The award was for “BMO Gamer’s Branch,” part of BMO’s NXT LVL platform which sees BMO’s “Gaming Relationship Specialist” bridging the gap between gaming and finance through weekly Twitch streams and Discord content.

The other big individual honours of the night included the Lifetime Achievement Award given to Zulu Alpha Kilo founder Zak Mroueh, one of Canada’s most successful and respected creatives.

“Looking back on 37 years, I can’t believe I’ve gone from writing on a typewriter in the ’80s, to writing on a Mac in the ’90s, to ChatGPT writing this speech for me this morning,” said Mroueh to begin his acceptance speech, before first thanking his family and colleagues at ZAK.

“As I reflect on all the marketing successes I’ve been fortunate to have been part of, they all had one thing in common. A leap of faith,” he added. “I’m thankful to all the incredible client partners who’ve taken a creative leap with me and our team over the years. I’m grateful for their trust and belief in the power of creativity.”

New this year was the Achievement in Marketing (AIM) Award, given to junior to mid-level marketers and introduced to spotlight the next generation of Canadian marketers. The winner was Kruger’s Ashley Faccenda, associate marketing manager at Kruger Products.

“The tremendous calibre of our 2023 CMA Marketer of the Year, AIM Award Winner and CMA Lifetime Achievement Award Winner demonstrate the vibrant health of our profession at every career stage,” said Simpson. “The future is bright for marketing in Canada.”

David Brown