The Internationalist names Toronto’s SMG Innovation Agency of 2008

Three Canadian agencies win top Innovation awards.

After receiving four top awards at The Internationalist magazine’s inaugural Awards for Innovation in Media, Toronto-based Starcom MediaVest Group was named the Innovation Agency of 2008.

The New York-based Internationalist Awards for Innovation in Media are the first global awards scheme based upon a campaign’s geographic reach: global, regional, local execution of a multinational campaign, and local campaign worthy of international adaptation based upon world-class standards. Entries were submitted from more than 30 countries and judged by an international jury, chaired by Andrew McLean, CEO of Mediaedge:cia.

SMG shares the Grand Prix, which it won for the Johnnie Walker Chinese New Year campaign, with another Canadian agency – Toronto’s OMD, which used breakthrough media tactics to reach young snackers for ‘Doritos Collisions,’ including digital OOH projections that allowed interaction through mobile phones.

Starcom’s Johnnie Walker execution increased brand consumption among three Chinese cultural sub-groups by participating in a New Year custom called Fai Cheun. The traditional red paper posters offering special greetings for wealth, good health, luck or success were Johnnie Walker-ized, and distributed in a Chinese shopping complex. In addition to the Grand Prix, Johnnie Walker received a silver award, and Starcom also won golds for its Oreo and Pogo efforts.

Both OMD and Starcom won in the Local category, which according to criteria is deemed worthy of international adoption. PHD Canada won for the local execution of a multinational campaign for Italy’s Peroni beer, which included TSAs and night projections in Toronto and Vancouver’s trendiest districts.

In addition to picking up awards, Oxford University may use the case studies as teaching materials for their Business School program.