Jamie Way and the ADCCs
Oct 2013 19

Since I seem to be stuck for content lately (read: too busy, too lazy), here’s a retread piece from my column this week over at the RMW Music page which I write every Thursday.

Years ago at MacLaren McCann one of our group CDs, Jamie Way, came into the lounge and threw down a series of books on the glass table one by one. SLAM. THUD. BANG. Jamie had, and still has, a flair for the dramatic. I love his passion for ideas and life in general, so nothing he did really surprised me. I looked forward to the daily Jamie Show.

“Look at these fuckin books guys!” he said to us junior kids that were brainstorming together (AKA: playing Playstation hockey). “These are awards annuals from all over the world.”

Jamie wanted us to look at the ideas in the books, but he also pointed out that these annuals were hardbound, quality books with interesting concepts for covers and had a real ‘poundage for the money’ feel about them.

Then he brought out an ADCC annual from that period (think 1990s). It was coil-bound, soft cover and maybe resembled a Grade 12 report called ‘Georgia O’Keefe – Flowers, or a Whole Lot More?’ instead of an Awards Annual. Jamie said he wanted to revamp the ADCC annual that year. He wanted to make it a book that looked as high-quality as the work inside of it. He said that Canada produced some of the best work in the world and our annual should reflect that. It should be something that you could throw down on any airport lounge table in the world and people would be drawn to it, to pick it up and see the fucking amazing work that Canada does.

Ya, great Jamie. You the man Jamie. Do it! Do it! Do it! We all went back to brainstorming (AKA: unpausing Playstation hockey round robin tournament).

But he did it.

Since that year the ADCC Annual is a book you want to keep. Every year it showcases the best work in Canada, but also the book itself is a piece of amazing design and art direction – proven by the fact it is frequently honoured in its own award show the following year. It’s a book you want to make sure you get at the end of the ADCC awards show night. And a book you certainly don’t want to drunkenly leave in a cab. Or at the Inter-Continental. Or in a washroom. Or at the bar you go to after the Inter-Continental or the one after that one.

My point this week is … go to the ADCC Awards Show on November 7th. Support the club, the work, and the industry. If you’re an intern or a junior and you don’t think you can afford it, ask your Creative Director to invest in you going. If you’re a student, put it on your Visa or your roommate’s Visa. It’s worth it.

I was lucky enough to be asked to participate in the committee selecting the Les Usherwood recipient this year – thanks Brian Howlett – and it reminded me what a great event this night is. And what a great club we have. And as Jamie always said, what great fuckin talent we have in this country. Our best work can stand up to any work in the world. Yes, sometimes we pat ourselves too much on the backs in this industry about stuff that really doesn’t amount to a hill of beans (as Bogart said), but the ADCC Directions event always reminds me that I love what I do, and the people I do it with.

So go. And thanks Jamie.


Sep 2013 27

Barilla sucks.

And I don’t mean because of the pasta company President’s comments this week about how he doesn’t believe gay people have a place in the company’s advertising (and that if they don’t like it, they can buy another company’s product). I mean, yes, his comments aren’t cool. But I actually won’t buy Barilla anyway cause I hate their ads. Hey, why work in advertising if you don’t make decisions that reward good advertising? My particular favourite one to make fun of, and has been for years, is the one below featuring the peeping tom who gets away with spying on his neighbour because he’s handsome. “Yes, sometimes I have my penis out and in my hand when I look at you across the alley. But I gave you that Barilla pasta, so y’know… It’s okay. Look at it. Look…”

Anyhow, today seems like a great day to go back into the vault of the advertising agency once known as Zig. Here’s a fantastic spot from 2005, thought up by Rosalinda Graziano and Jennifer Wilson – two of my favourite people I have ever worked with – and directed by David Hicks. It gets its point across in a very clever way. I always liked this spot and wish I did it. Zig championed a lot of causes in its time, and although the agency was founded (in a way) on Women’s issues and how they are portrayed in Marketing, the sticking up for the unrepresented point-of-view found its way into lots of other endeavours.

Obviously, I don’t agree with the comments from Guido Barilla. But really, anyone in advertising knows that his point of view is not unique. And unfortunately it spills over into many other things like not showing interracial (I hate that term) couples – See Cheerios – overweight people, or even redheads (ask Quebec about that one). Mr. Barilla said something that many other presidents and people that can affect Marketing believe as well. It’s not like some other advertiser is leading the way here and Barilla is alone on an island.

Sure, a boycott might make a point. But really, if we depend on advertising to lead the way about how we should treat each other in the world or how children should define what is right and wrong … aren’t we already failing as a society? Some dumb comments by the President of a spaghetti factory about his advertising – a constructed fabrication of ‘reality’ that nobody should look at as indicative of anything really – aren’t worth getting in a tizzy over.

We have other real work to do to change the world, don’t we?

Sep 2013 21

During a session this week, I was compelled to document this with my crackers while sitting at the mixing board. Why? I do not know. But I ate them right after this.


IKEA ‘Pedicure’ :30
Aug 2013 23

The IKEA Summer Sale not only means up to 50% off select items. It also means I get to direct a fun script from the fine folks at Leo Burnett.

‘Pedicure’ :30

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Copywriter: Andrew Caie
CD: Morgan Kurchak
Engineer: Kyle Gudmundson, RMW Music
Director: Andrew Bradley, RMW Music

Jul 2013 19

Rumours of this website’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Since I got back from Seattle it’s been non-stop work. Back soon. With lots of battle stories to tell.

Besides, it’s gorgeous out. Get off the computer and get the hell outside.