PHD wins strategy’s Media Agency of the Year

At an awards ceremony in Toronto last night, Jungle Media's Sheri Metcalfe won Media Director of the Year, while DDB Canada took Agency of the Year Gold, and Taxi won B!G Award top honours.

There’s a new media champ in town. PHD was crowned Media Agency of the Year in a ceremony last night held by MiC‘s sister publication strategy.

The agency, with offices in Toronto and Montreal, is known for its emphasis on collaboration and creativity – it sponsors World Creativity Week.

PHD’s winning work dominated television and gaming in innovative ways to come out on top. A campaign for Suicide Action Montreal literally interrupted a New Year’s Eve television special and songs on the radio to deliver a powerful message. For the latest Becel ‘Love Your Heart’ campaign, they fully integrated the message into the Oscars thanks to a partnership with CTV and the creation of two original films in both English and French. And to target young men for Axe, they went where they played, and created the first-ever branded destination experience with Xbox.

This year’s silver went to last year’s champs, Starcom MediaVest Group, for campaigns for TD, Kellogg’s Corn Pops and a CoverGirl campaign that dominated subway platforms and turnstiles. Bronze went to Cossette for work for Gap, Nike and the Santa Claus Parade, and honourable mention went to MediaCom for campaigns for TD Canada Trust, H&M and Diageo brand Guinness.

‘The transformation of how we consume media and use social media to communicate has caused massive change to the way advertising works now, and nowhere is this more evident than in the evolving role of the media agency,’ says strategy executive editor Mary Maddever. ‘In addition to being creative in their planning and innovative in terms of finding new ways to break through the clutter, the winners of strategy‘s Media Agency of the Year competition are defining the science behind it all – compiling intelligence on how people actually use all the new media options to successfully get consumers’ attention.’

Media Director of the Year went to Jungle Media’s Sheri Metcalfe, who co-founded the new Cossette division earlier this year – a stand-alone operation providing specialized services, such as the adaptation of global campaigns to the Canadian market.

At the same event, which was held at The Berkeley in Toronto, DDB kept its Agency of the Year title, having won in 2009 as well. The agency won for clever campaigns including the Subaru Outback ‘Get Out More’ campaign, known for a spot that literally smashed though a Snuggie commercial.

DDB also stirred up sympathy and laughs thanks to a little salt shaker named Salty, resulting in Knorr Sidekicks overtaking Uncle Ben’s as number one in the category, and a gripping campaign asking Canadians to ‘Join the Fight’ helped the Canadian Cancer Society stand out in the not-for-profit space.

Rounding out the work were the inventive pop-up ‘Weak Shop’ for the BC Dairy Foundation, and the agency’s continually clever use of online and social media for the Canadian Tourism Commission.

Silver went to tough competitor Taxi, which earned the spot thanks to work for McCain, BMW’s Mini, Bombardier’s Olympic Torch campaign, Koodo’s latest work that included El Tabador and Yellow Pages’ quirky characters, such as oily muscle-man Randy.

This year’s bronze welcomed Sid Lee to the AOY podium with campaigns for the SAQ, the STM (Montreal subway system), Videotron, Tourisme Montreal and the next evolution for Adidas advertising – which took the party to the street, reimagined a scene from Star Wars and even put augmented reality codes on sneakers, opening up a world of interactive games.

BBDO, Crispin Porter + Bogusky Canada and Lg2 rounded out the top five.

Strategy‘s B!G awards, which celebrates the work of agencies outside the realm of advertising, handed out two trophies to big winner Taxi – a gold and a bronze, for Bombardier’s Olympic Torch program and Canadian Tire Coins, respectively. Silver went to Ogilvy for its Bake, Batter and Roll program for Smucker Foods’ Robin Hood flour brand.

For more information on all the night’s winners, including agency profiles, judges and how winners were determined, visit