Innovative media nets some CMA Gold

The Canadian Marketing Association held its annual awards gala Friday night, celebrating marketers who achieved great results with savvy concepts and terrific creative. Many of the winners deployed their programs via innovative, engaging and finely honed media tactics.

Best of the Best went to Bell Canada‘s beaver-festooned Frank and Gordon brand campaign from Cossette Communication Group, Toronto. The likeable beaver duo – Frank and Gordon – were at the centre of Bell’s pervasive, media-rich campaign to communicate the benefits of its products and services and to promote its sponsorship of the 2006 Olympics.

Bell’s bold strategy was to develop one advertising platform – to be used nationally across all Bell business lines – that would drive response and sales with targeted offers and exclusive content. The centrepiece was the creation of the two mascots, Frank and Gordon, to communicate the benefits and features of Bell’s many products and services: ‘Making it Simple.’

All communication elements featured the spokes-beavers, and included: TV and out of home executions (9 TV spots and 8 billboards – including 3 consecutive and ‘window-smashing’ stunt executions) introduced the characters and reinforced each service’s consumer benefit. Radio and print (five newspaper executions, as well as FSI inserts) promoted a variety of special Olympic offers; while Internet and grassroots featured added-value services and disseminated the Olympic spirit through viral initiatives.

A grassroots effort included nine teams in five markets and 64 locations across Canada, featuring interactive product demonstrations, exclusive Olympic content and integrated retail/online national promotion.

The campaign earned the beavers and Bell a Gold, plus four other awards: Communications Products & Services, New Media-Interactive, Integrated Multi-Media Over $1 Million, and Brand Advertising. The public embraced the beaver buddies, resulting in positive sales growth surpassing objectives. Memorable TV ads resulted in higher impact than would be expected for the level of media investment. And effective media relations supporting the Olympic partnership and touting Frank and Gordon’s launch netted media impressions with a value of $1.2 million in coverage. Ultimately, Bell outperformed other Olympic advertisers, setting new records for brand recognition, mind share and likeability, according to measurement agencies including Leger Marketing and Decima.

One of the more inventive connection plans was the Cadbury Chocolate Couture Collection Fashion Show, for which Cadbury Adams Canada took Gold. Concocted by Toronto-based Strategic Objectives, its aim was to improve its profile among women by combining two of the things women love most – fashion and chocolate – by creating Canada’s first-ever chocolate fashion show. In addition to making its brand more relevant to women 24-54, Cadbury aimed to generate national media coverage of the collection, but also of the company itself, and to increase the sales of its new Thins and Delight chocolate bars.

Five of Canada’s top fashion designers were selected to create a chocolate couture garment. The event took place at Carlu, the only venue with a large enough walk-in fridge for the outfits and models, and featured a pre-show chocolate-themed cocktail hour, professional runway, a leading photographer and show producer, and a chocolate buffet. The event secured outstanding media coverage for Cadbury Adams, generating more than 17 million impressions across Canada and more than 58 minutes of broadcast coverage.

Innovative connection planning, in this case with a budget of over $100,000, sparked the Gold awarded to Church & Dwight for its campaign by Toronto’s Henderson Bas. The concept was to ‘pull’ consumers into its brand with fun and witty creative. Designed to represent a contemporary and pleasure-filled urban loft, featured a series of humorous animated vignettes. The more the user interacted with the site and the featured pleasure personas, the more information the user discovered about each Trojan product – via engaging scenarios associated with specific condoms (new partner, girlfriend, mile high, one-night stand, longevity, etc.). The site also supported safety messaging through passive, user-initiated content within the navigation.

Microsoft Canada took home Gold for its Be Web Aware Internet safety initiative from MacLaren McCann Toronto, which sprang from the consumer insight that many parents are unaware of the risks of allowing their children to search online without supervision. A national, bilingual public education program aimed to ensure that young Canadians benefit from the Internet, while being safe and responsible online – as well as encouraging parents to become involved with their children’s use of the Internet by visiting for safety tips.

Three unique Chat Room Chums – Dylan, Princess and Madison – were conceived and even created into actual action-figure models to appear real. Microsoft then photographed them being pulled off a rack at a toy store and brought home. The emphasis? Internet predators are packaging themselves as something they’re not – grown-ups may misrepresent their identities online and children should know that things are not always as they seem. Print ads encouraged parents to consult resources and information on Results exceeded expectations, attracting 152,000 visits to the site; 339,205 page views and over three minutes on average spent on the site.

General Mills Canada also took Gold for its Lucky Charms Magical Realm website, designed by Toronto’s Fjord Interactive Marketing + Technology, a division of Cossette Communication Group. Kids flocked to a new online site for Lucky Charms Cereal – the ‘magical realm’ at, which was relaunched to align with the new brand promise ‘Magical Possibilities,’ and to educate kids about the magic of ‘Lucky.’ The website featured an interactive map to help kids discover different lands and fun games, exclusive Lucky Charms webisode content and the opportunity to create their own web stories by choosing from over 200 story content clips and characters.

All consumer touchpoints were leveraged to drive kids to the Lucky Charms site, including cereal packaging, TV super and dedicated 10-second TV tags on brand spots, online advertising and integrated messages on Internet properties. Traffic to the site exceeded the original goal of 1 million visits, and unique visitors were double the projections, and General Mills witnessed considerable baseline improvements across the different product SKUs sales compared to the previous year.

CMA’s Lifetime Achievement Award was bestowed on retail guru John Torella, senior partner/senior consultant at Toronto’s J.C. Williams Group, along with the accolade of being the man many believe was most responsible for putting retail marketing and branding on the map in Canada.

A complete list of CMA Awards winners is available at