BY TERRY POULTON
"Our mantra is that creativity is the best, most efficient way to get results."
So says Toronto's Anne Myers, VP/media director at the Palmer Jarvis DDB group of OMD Canada.
Coming from an agency that's renowned for its creativity - in everything from TV ads to package design to media planning - it's small wonder, then, that PJ DDB's media group accounted for $100 million of OMD's $663 million annual revenue over the past year.
At least $10 million of the media group's total came from winning impressive new accounts such as Sobey's ($2 million in media billings), Imperial Oil ($5 million), British Tourism Authority ($2.5 million) and Georgia Pacific ($500,000). Best of all, just a few weeks ago, PJ won the Canadian Tourism Commission account, worth an estimated $75 million, and yes, says Myers, that does include media.
Offsetting the group's triumphs slightly were the loss of Sheraton/Westin Hotels ($1 million) and Café de Colombia ($300,000).
Myers says 2002 highlights included winning a Media Innovation Awards certificate of merit for Energizer and winning Strategy's Best Magazine Plan award for Neutrogena. She's also pleased to report "adding strong professionals to our team in both planning and buying" and "new leadership and commitment from OMD."
Meanwhile, she says, PJ DDB's Vancouver media department has had "a challenging and creative year" developing campaigns for Destina.ca, ZIP Airlines, ICBC Bait Car, British Columbia Dairy's Moo promotion, Telus's ADSL campaign and the launch of Super Pages in Montreal and Ottawa.
PJ's Vancouver office has also been busy tackling local issues affecting fairness in media buying.
The first project involves working with the Vancouver Media Directors Council "to have the CRTC and local TV stations address the local market television spill issue, which gives an unfair advantage to national versus local or regional clients."
The second is a matter of "dealing with the new Radio Industries Posting Policies," which require that clients be invoiced for any overages in audience delivery, while under-deliveries are just issued bonus spots - even if the campaign is no longer on air.
Myers is also excited about something new that OMD is currently in the midst of launching worldwide. "It's a new strategic communications planning process called Checkmate," she says, "but it's too soon to disclose any details."
"The beauty of being part of OMD Canada is that we have access to all of the strategic communication resources and research, intellectual capital and buying power of Canada's largest media operation, while maintaining our integration within PJ DDB's creative culture."
Finally, Meyers says, the whole media department is enjoying a much more active role in every campaign the agency works on.
"Traditionally, media planning and media buying used to be an afterthought in the whole advertising process. But now we're at the table right at the beginning and we're as much a part of the process as the other disciplines."
Keeping media innovation going, and going...
A battery so powerful it can run escalators? What better way to get the message out than by creating that very illusion at major shopping malls using innovative new wraps. That's the sort of creativity PJ's media department prides itself on, and that's the sort it showed in an award-winning plan executed for Energizer last Christmas.
To overcome consumer ennui about the battery category, penetrate consumer awareness, establish brand leadership and build off the product's "Bunny Inside" creative campaign.
In a category where top-of-mind is critical to success, generating buzz is mandatory. So the strategy was to prompt trial of the new Energizer MAX battery with P-O-P placement in the key pre-Christmas time period while driving awareness with O-O-H innovations.
To enhance a base campaign of television, horizontal posters and ENN, the media team sourced a variety of innovative outdoor executions and worked with suppliers to launch new advertising concepts including:
- Escalator Wraps: Energizer MAX was the first advertiser in Canada to do escalator wraps. These were designed to look as if the batteries with the "Bunny Inside" were powering the escalators. The creative in major shopping malls complemented the media placement.
- Building Wrap: A round glass building at a busy downtown Toronto location (Spadina and Dundas) was wrapped to create the visual effect of a massive battery(30' x 40'). The video board above it aired a 15-second version of the "Bunny Inside" TV commercial.
- Sam's Square: Energizer MAX was the launch advertiser for the new Sam's Square at Toronto's downtown epicentre (Yonge and Dundas). Two backlit superboards surrounded the TV board, delivering impact and site domination. The superboards had a 3-D print effect, positioned so the tops of each battery faced toward the TV board, where a five-second "power zap" effect ran prior to each spot, giving the impression that the board was powered by Energizer MAX.
- Mall Banners: Oversize horizontal banners were placed in major malls nationally.
- Superboards: Additional impact in two key markets was delivered with a 30' x 50' mural in Toronto and a 14' x 48' superboard in Montreal.
- Energizer enjoyed one of the highest sales gains ever during this period.
- Many positive comments were received from the sales force, indicating that their own customers had witnessed the effects of the campaign firsthand through sales.
- There was a large amount of PR and buzz from within the industry, with coverage in industry publications as well as local and community news.
- The campaign also showed the success that can be achieved by working in partnership with outdoor companies - they're more than just suppliers. TP