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Canadian agencies once again show their love/hate relationship with advertising

Every year, Canada’s Strategy Magazine asks local agencies to indulge in some creative self-flagellation to celebrate its agency of the year awards. Last year, there were riffs on vending machine stunts, the industry’s culture of long hours and many other advertising-specific issues. And this year is no different, with fun poked at everything from brands co-opting female empowerment to the ridiculousness of “spec” work to the benefits of early targeting. 

What happens when you ask businesses if you can get a service “on spec”? Zulu Alpha Kilo, which proudly has a no spec policy for producing advertising content, shows some hilarious responses from other professions when they are offered this proposition. Our favourite response is the utterly bemused personal trainer: “You’ve gotta start paying day one, that’s just how businesses work.”

Female empowerment through advertising is a popular trend and this agency king (and now queen) of trend parody videos, John St pokes fun at this fixation in its entry entitled John St to Jane St.

The agency has even gone so far as to create a new website for the Jane Street agency.

Insecurities are constantly changing and it can be difficult for advertising agencies to properly exploit them through the power of brands so as one speaker points out in the video, “in order to really stay ahead of the game, we need to be able to identify tomorrow’s insecurities today.”

Millennials are the holy grail for marketers. But what about the next generation? Taxi takes ad creep to a new and much creepier level with its clip about in-utero targeting. 

Leo Burnett wanted viewers to remember the joy of the early days, when pastries were plentiful.

There are plenty more good ones, and you can see the rest of the them here.

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