Rising young media star: ExceleratorMedia’s Cameron

This is the tenth installment in MiC's series profiling next-gen media minds. How did we find them? MiC and strategy canvassed the industry, asking media shops to single out their top innovative and strategic recruits.

Who: Neil Cameron, media supervisor, ExceleratorMedia (MindShare), Toronto

Claim to fame: Cameron has several, and about all they have in common is a smart consumer insight paired with uniformly unique and creative media ideas. He helmed the first sampling program on Air Canada flights, which had Oral-B Brush-Ups placed on meal trays. For the launch of the Gillette Fusion razor, ghosting of a giant razor was placed on newspaper sports pages during the Olympics, when people were paying close attention to scores and standings.

Cameron’s innovative work for 20th Century Fox includes mock job postings for Runway magazine to promote The Devil Wears Prada. For Flicka, a grassroots campaign was executed with equestrian schools to target girls 9-14 via signage and product giveaways.

The campaign for Borat featured mirrored posters in men’s washrooms designed to look like the guys standing at the urinals were wearing Borat mustaches. The male 18-to-34 demo was further targeted with the ‘Kazakhstan Fact of the Day,’ which Cameron wrote to run on major rock stations across the country.

Background: Because his mother worked at an ad agency, Cameron was exposed to the industry at an early age and knew he wanted to be in the biz. He took creative advertising at Toronto’s Centennial College, then the two-year Communications and Advertising Accredited Professional (CAAP) course through the ICA. He also worked in marketing research at the Toronto Sun. Cameron has eight years of agency experience and has been at MindShare for four.

Which brand, other than your own clients’, would you most want to work on? ‘I would like to turn back time and work on a product like Coca-Cola in the 1980s, when it was all about the cola wars. It would be such an extreme period to work on the brand because it was a battle between Coke and Pepsi, with unprecedented spending. I would like to take that massive brand campaign they were executing for Coke and find unique and innovative ways to connect with the consumer – and to differentiate between it and another mega-brand like Pepsi. I like the challenge of working with fewer options and trying to find the unique way in or the unique twist.’

What would you love to build into a plan, but haven’t been able to yet? ‘I’d love to execute a program to reverse clutter – like purchasing an entire subway car and blanking out all the ad units except one. Consumers are so bombarded with advertising that it would be very effective to give people a free line of sight. It would really make an advertiser’s message stand out. And I think the advertiser would get instant cred with consumers for saying: ‘We value your line of sight.”