Michael Beckerman is vice-president, marketing and international for Chicago-based MVP.com, where he oversees the company's strategic marketing direction, including its advertising, promotions, direct marketing, event marketing, Web site and public relations. He is also responsible for developing the company's international strategy.
Beckerman joined MVP.com in February 2000, after two years as vice-president, marketing at Canadian Airlines. Before that, from 1986 to 1998, he worked at Nike in a variety of international assignments that included stints in Canada, Hong Kong, Germany, the U.S. and the Netherlands. His responsibilities ranged from marketing director of Germany, to director of advertising for Europe, to marketing director of Asia Pacific. He also managed Nike's retail marketing division and retail operations in Chicago from 1997 to 1998. In 1995, he was named one of the top 40 marketers in Europe by the European Marketing Association.
1. Molson Canadian, "Rant" TV spot, by BensimonoByrne D'Arcy.
2. Ontario Toyota Dealers, "Real Dealers Can't Jump" cinema/TV spot, by Gee, Jeffery & Partners Advertising.
3. Covenant House, "Bus Shelter" TV spot, by TAXI Advertising & Design.
1. "There is a better breadth of work distributed amongst more agencies, which is a healthy indicator for the Canadian advertising community.
2. Canadian advertising has evolved from Saturday Night Live vignettes to much more powerful storytelling.
3. It stikes me that the philanthropic groups take more risks than the traditional clients.
4. Special mention should go to the Zellers work, as it breathes fresh life into the difficult arena of retail advertising. Retail advertising does not need to be boring advertising.
5. As brands and consumer purchasing behaviour become more global, it is more important than ever for Canadian agencies to develop kick-ass creative, and to showcase this creative in the international shows. Canadian agencies have become experts in paying attention to the core message and consumer insight, rather than being overly reliant on post-production wizardry."
JoAnne Caza is director, marketing and public relations, with Toronto-based Mercedes-Benz Canada.
"I have one of the best marketing jobs in the industry" is a comment she has often been heard to make. In her 12-year tenure at Mercedes-Benz, the company has experienced sales growth of more than 300%.
Caza joined the company in 1989 as central zone manager, working in the field with dealers for three years. She then moved to the marketing department, and filled a variety of roles before taking over her current position in 1994.
A marketing and communications graduate from Montreal's Concordia University, she worked at Volkswagen Canada and Gulf Canada before moving to Mercedes-Benz.
1. Pine Sol, "Dog Tired/Bad Aim" TV spots, by Palmer Jarvis DDB.
2. Molson Responsible Use, "Plastic Surgeon/Wheelchair" TV spots, by TAXI Advertising & Design.
3. University of Toronto, "Great minds for a great future" newspaper and magazine ads, by TAXI Advertising & Design.
"The use of humour was prevalent in most of the work I perused.
"In several cases, humour conveyed the message very well, provided good recall, made me smile and in a few cases made me laugh - in one case, hysterically. I am convinced these ads also managed to sell the products for the clients.
"However, in some other cases, the 'wannabe' funny material erred on the high side of stupidity and forced me to dismiss products I know could have been worthy of my consideration.
"Humour is a complicated and delicate advertising tool which should command more respect than it unfortunately gets."
Mark Childs is vice-president, marketing with Etobicoke, Ont.-based Kellogg Canada. As leader of the company's ready-to-eat cereal and convenience foods marketing team, he is responsible for strategic development and marketing plan implementation for existing and new product initiatives.
A native of Great Britain, Childs attended Groupe ESC Business School in France. In his 13 years with Kellogg, he has held a number of marketing positions in the U.K., the U.S. and Canada. Before taking up his current post this past March, he was vice-president, cereal marketing at Kellogg Canada.
1. DaimlerChrysler Canada, PT Cruiser campaign, by BBDO Canada.
2. Polaroid Canada, I-Zone campaign, by BBDO Canada.
3. Molson Canadian, "I AM Canadian" campaign, by BensimonoByrne D'Arcy.
"Overall, clearly a sampling of some of the best Canadian advertising, with some really outstanding creative work.
"My impression was that the outdoor and print work was as strong if not stronger than the TV creative - as in the case of Polaroid or The Weather Network.
"The outstanding examples combine well-integrated insight with creative expression in a totally fresh way, as PT Cruiser does.
"The insights leveraged in the not-for-profit work are extremely powerfully expressed in the creative - witness AIDS Walk and Covenant House."
Mario D'Amico is vice-president, marketing with Cirque du Soleil in Montreal.
A graduate of McGill University, he began his career in the industry 20 years ago at Culinar, where he headed up marketing for the company's U.S. operations. From there, he joined ad agency Scali McCabe Sloves.
After a year-long hiatus spent travelling in Asia, D'Amico joined Publicis Canada. He spent 11 years at this agency, the last two as managing director of its Montreal operations. In June 1999, he joined Cirque du Soleil, assuming responsibility for developing the Cirque's brand on a worldwide basis.
1. Rogers@Home, "News Event" TV spot, by MacLaren McCann.
2. Becel, "Elevator" TV spot, by Ogilvy & Mather.
3. Molson Canadian, "Rant" TV spot, by BensimonoByrne D'Arcy.
"Most of the work that I saw offered compelling reasons to keep Canadian advertising work in Canada. Kudos to the nine agencies in the running for Strategy's Agency of the Year."
Patrick Gedge has been managing director of Travel Alberta since April 1999.
A graduate of University of Saskatchewan, he has 20 years of marketing and sales experience with a variety of national and international corporations. He served as vice-president and general manager, traveller's cheques with American Express Canada, and most recently was vice-president, marketing and sales for TransAlta Corporation in Calgary.
1. Molson Canadian, "Rant" TV spot, by BensimonoByrne D'Arcy.
2. Royal Bank Financial Group, "Dreams" TV spot, by MacLaren McCann.
3. Elliott & Page, print campaign, by Ogilvy & Mather.
"I was impressed by the diversity and depth of Canadian talent at all the agencies.
"I was very pleased to see excellent work involving social issues and non-profit organizations, such as the Colorectal Cancer Screening Initiative Foundation, Molson Responsible Use and Covenant House.
"There were some very memorable market positioning statements, such as "I AM Canadian," "Go ahead, get dirty" and "How young do they have to be before we give a damn?"
Danielle Sauvage is director of communications for the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal.
A graduate of the University of Montreal, Sauvage has been active in the communications and cultural fields for more than 30 years. She has been special assistant to the Secretary of State, worked on the organizing committee of the Montreal Olympic Games, and headed French acquisitions for First Choice/Premier Choix.
Since 1988, Sauvage has headed up communications with the Musée des Beaux-Arts. In this role, she is responsible for sales and marketing, advertising and sponsorship, public relations, publications and educational and cultural programs.
1.Ontario Tourism, "Wake-up Call" TV spot, by BBDO Canada.
2. Royal Bank Financial Group, TV campaign, by MacLaren McCann.
3. Molson Responsible Use, "Plastic Surgeon" TV spot, by TAXI Advertising & Design.
"Lots of good stuff; it was difficult to choose my favourite ads. Being from Montreal, and watching very little TV, I was seeing the great majority of these ads for the first time. I did like the Molson Canadian [campaign] very much - but is that because I've seen it so often?"