Message From the Chairs


Laurie Young
Managing Director, Ogilvy & Mather Toronto

It is so fitting that the CASSIES be the event to kick off Ad Week, a week that celebrates the industry's achievements and inspires future success. Now in its 20th year, the CASSIES has done just that: awarded in-market success stories, and year over year set the bar even higher for exceptional ideas. Ideas that inspire consumers when we bring them to life through our craft. And that bar is high. The CASSIES is the toughest award show in Canada, with its winners proving that creativity in communications indisputably drives business results. Lest there be any doubt about the power and impact these award winners have had, look at the Grand Prix winners of the past 10 years, profiled as part of tonight's event: Molson Canadian, Diet Pepsi, Familiprix, Lait au Chocolat, Dove, Shreddies and SunChips. The industry has pushed for better work, more accountability in terms of results - and it shows. This work, and the work we're celebrating tonight, has succeeded in a decade when the rules of our game have changed remarkably - what an understatement. Today ours is an environment characterized by more messaging, more skepticism, more choice, more brand presence over more channels... and less consumer attention, less tolerance, less loyalty and less certainty. Today our work really needs to work. Hard. No celebration like tonight's event comes together without the efforts of many. Let's start with the marketers, who allowed and supported work that pushed the envelope, and the case writers, who captured it all in writing. Some of you even made the original deadline. Thank you so much. To the sponsors of tonight's events, the Globe and Mail and TVB, we are indebted. Your support makes this happen. And to the Brunico team, Meaghan Reid, Stephen Stanley, Russell Goldstein and Mary Maddever, you bring it home: an event that entertains and inspires. Congratulations. Finally, a tribute to the CASSIES queen, Jani Yates, to whom we all owe a huge vote of thanks. Without her skilful organizing, her cajoling, her problem-solving and her passion for the CASSIES, it simply wouldn't happen.

Geoff Craig
SVP, Marketing and Innovation, Maple Leaf Foods

I have had a long and very successful association with the CASSIES from a selfishly personal perspective. This has nothing to do with the wins (there have been some) or the losses (there have been many), but strictly from garnering wisdom from writing, reading, debating the merits of, and adjudicating CASSIES cases. Through this process that has included judging, benchmarking and, this year, the pleasure of being the Chair of Judging, I measure this success in terms of the enlightenment that I have received being associated with the brilliant marketing work of others. This year's entries were exceptional in a world where there is no surety of a winning formula between traditional media and expanding digital options. Decisions had to be made between the screaming options of mass media ROI plays, and countless choices of Return on Engagement where transparency, authenticity and meaning are the gateway to success. The submissions embodied a courageousness and adaptability to these challenges that were rewarded with success. The winners also proved that creativity and effectiveness do indeed make wonderful bed partners. All this in a world where economic indicators are seesawing week to week. Against this complex and competitive business backdrop, a diverse yet select group of judges was assembled to accept the challenge of determining the elite of the submitted successes. This group represented all facets of our industry, regions of our country, and the panache of personal insight and opinion of what truly qualifies as effectiveness and excellence. I thank them for their time, good humour, and exceptional intellect in completing their task, making my role that much more gratifying. The environment will continue to change and challenge, and the successful advertising, as awarded by the CASSIES, will remain an amorphous repository curated by all leaders of our craft. I hope that you agree, and will take up the challenge and enter next year's CASSIES, newly enlightened and inspired.