MiC Picks: Three things with MPG’s Kevin Johnson

The SVP and managing director of MPG Toronto shares his thoughts on what's inspiring him in the mediaverse today.

To identify the work Canada’s media gurus think best exemplifies smart new media thinking, MiC regularly invites guest curators to share their thoughts on the Really Important Things That Are Happening in the mediaverse. Today, Kevin Johnson, SVP and managing director, MPG Toronto, shares his thoughts on outsized OOH, magazine takeovers and YouTube cleverness.

Ideas to steal: Nokia ‘The World’s Biggest Signpost’ (http://vimeo.com/8758205)

Admitting that its brand was not synonymous with navigation, Nokia set out to inspire people to use its navigational platform on their mobile phones or online. This campaign could have easily ended up as a cool but boring execution on a destination board but Nokia instead chose to play on people’s love of sharing experiences in a big way.

The large-scale installation depicted in the video below was dangled above a high-traffic location in London, England. It was activated by passersby who texted their favourite places to a shortcode linked to the sign, showing the direction of the place, what is there (e.g. a cafe) and who sent the text. The sign could also be activated online. To amplify this location globally, the installation was recorded around the clock on the Nokia website where you can explore the various locations.

Great insight powers great ideas. (MiC also likes the use of a Peter, Bjorn and John song in the video.)

Wish I’d Done That: Tippex

No, I don’t know who uses whiteout anymore but that’s beside the point. This execution demonstrates a unique blend of generated content and traditional banners. Tippex allows the user to type a scene that they want to see the hunter and the bear perform. Based on the user’s answer, the most appropriate scenes are played. I’ll apologize now to employers for decreasing productivity. This execution provides great engagement, the functionality is clear and now I know if I need a whiteout product, it’s Tippex!

Old Media, New Thinking: Maclean’s and GM
Impressive. Innovative. Expensive! Maclean’s Rethink Issue – which includes an issue-wide ad domination by General Motors – demonstrates what we need from vendors across all channels: the desire to continually push the relationship between brand, consumer and media. Here we have a publication that needs a slight change in consumer perception teaming up with an embattled brand. The result is a bold demonstration of this editorially and structurally. Kudos to both publication and agency.