NABS busts out with media superheroes

The National Advertising Benevolent Society's annual media auction is now selling spots year-round online. The rebranded fundraiser unveils its promotional campaign, which uses the superhero images of up-and-coming media buyers.

The National Advertising Benevolent Society (NABS) is profiling media buyers from major agencies in the campaign for this year’s NABS Ad Auction, ‘Media Superhero.’ Up-and-coming buyers from Initiative, Mediaedge:cia, Gaggi and OMD are featured in the posters, designed by Doug & Serge Agency, wearing superhero uniforms. The ads will appear in trade marketing publications as well as mainstream press including the Toronto Star, National Post and the Globe and Mail.

‘The primary buyer in the auction tends to be media agencies, so we decided to profile some of those people who have been involved in supporting the auction,’ says Mike Fenton, president and CEO, NABS Canada and Quebec chapter Le Bénévolat d’entraide aux communicateurs (BEC). The mass media buy is meant as outreach to those advertisers who may not use agencies, but are still looking for deals, he explains.

The big change this year is that the inventory will now be sold year-round and can be updated anytime. The main reason for the change is to raise more money for those who need it, says Fenton, but it is also reflective of the change in the media marketplace in the past few years.

‘It’s become a much more short-term decision – that’s just the way media is bought now,’ Fenton tells MiC. ‘The majority of media is bought on a short-term basis, people looking for the best deals and they’re waiting,’ he says.

Several other changes to this year’s auction include a rebranded website, also designed by Doug & Serge. The website connects the ad auction with social media networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and also highlights the most active media packages, timed auctions and weekly discount specials.

This year’s inventory, worth about $4 million in donations from major media suppliers across Canada, can be viewed online at, and purchased for up to 70% off the rate-card price.