Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec competition concluded at a closing ceremony gala recently. This year’s task was to develop a pre-launch campaign for the Chevy Cruze using non-traditional media. My boyfriend and I were lucky enough to represent Canadian Marketing Asociation (CMA) at the gala (CMA is one of the event’s resource partners), hear from advertising leaders and share in the excitement of the finalists as they waited patiently to find out who won.
The evening began with an introduction by Doug Turney, President & CEO of MacLaren McCann, who spoke to the evolution of the advertising industry, and how lucky we are to have the tactics and tools that allow us to be ‘that much smarter at what we do and to re-understand what our business is really about’. Doug praised the intelligence and resourcefulness of the new generation of aspiring advertising and marketing professionals and the growth of the Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec program: 355 entries were received for the 2010 competition, a 40% increase from last year.
Frank Trivieri, General Director of Marketing at General Motors was next at the podium - delivering a charismatic and quirky speech on the struggles of the auto industry over the past year, and providing some insight into the direction and future of the industry and GM. Frank conveyed his amazement at how creative the submissions were and announced that some of the ideas from the competition will be incorporated into the actual product launch of the Cruze.
Terry O’Reilly made his way to the podium after dinner, and delivered a wonderfully inspiring and thought provoking speech. He began by talking about the 1956 Volkswagen Lemon campaign, which was shocking for its time, and would undoubtedly create a stir even today. The idea that an auto maker would speak to a defective product in an ad was revolutionary because it spoke to the public directly in an honest voice. O’Reilly affirmed how our industry solves client’s problems with ideas and intuition and the only obstacle to great ideas is lack of imagination.
In an unforeseen outcome – not one ‘team’ won, but two! Mark Scattolon from McMaster University along with Rachel Zimmer and Bram Warshafsky from Queen’s University made their way to the stage to a standing ovation. The judges found both teams deserving of being named Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec, and for their win, each of the three students were handed keys to their very own Chevy Cruze! And a fun evening was had by all.
By Adam Adamek and Florentina Stancu-Soare @ CMA