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Hymn of St. Bernadine - Play
MISSION MUSINGS: A peek through the pearly gates of the Mission

Account Executive Needed!


Hello You.

We’re looking for an energetic candidate to join our Account Services team!

St. Bernadine is mid-sized Vancouver-based advertising and design agency, and we’re looking for someone with a true love for advertising to support the Account Services team and manage projects for a few clients of their own.

This is an ideal position for a detail-oriented, hardworking and social someone with 1-2 years marketing or agency experience, looking to build their career in the industry and work at a great agency! We work with fantastic clients like Okanagan Spring Brewery, Granville Island, TransLink, Mahony & Sons and many more.

If this is up your alley and you’re looking to work and play hard, we want to meet you! Please send your resume in PDF format with a cover letter in your email body to: jobs[at]stbernadine.com

Primary Role

The Account Executive is responsible for supporting the Account Services team and managing some smaller clients directly.

Key Responsibilities

  • Coordinate projects internally through creative and production departments
  • Coordinate client accounts in diverse industry categories
  • Create and maintain project timelines
  • Proofread materials at all stages of project
  • Respond to client and internal requests in a service oriented manner
  • Foster good working relationships with clients and colleagues
  • Remain current on all aspects of client marketing trends and other areas affecting clients’ businesses
  • Manage various clients’ social media and digital projects


  • A post-secondary degree / diploma in marketing preferred
  • 1-2 years’ agency or marketing experience 
  • Experience coordinating projects and managing deadlines
  • Social media and Google Advertising skills are a strong asset
  • Outstanding grammar and proofreading skills are required
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Passion for the advertising industry
  • A “can do” attitude
  • Works well under pressure and deadlines
  • Excellent problem solving skills and an ability to think on your feet
  • A passion for Chinatown and beer pong are also strong assets

To learn more about St. Bernadine visit stbernadine.com

We hope to hear from you! Please send your resume in PDF format with a cover letter in your email body to: jobs[at]stbernadine.com

No phone calls, please. Due to the volume of responses, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Neverland Tea

Tea-Bag-Group Neverland-Small-Bag_All Neverland-Large-Bag_detail Neverland-Bags_Fronts Neverland-Bags_Backs

Bringing the offbeat voice of an iconic cultural festival to life.

Vancouver Fringe Festival

The Goal

Drive additional attendance to the Vancouver Fringe Festival.

The Challenge

For 30 years, the festival has been a celebration of the quirky and sometimes controversial artists who make up the experimental edge of Vancouver’s (and Canada’s) arts scene. With a 30th anniversary in 2014, the festival needed a refreshed, but authentic and accessible brand campaign to help it complete with the numerous other arts festivals and entertainment options that Vancouver offers.

The Insight

The Fringe attracts audiences from all walks of life who enjoy the arts, but are particularly drawn to the diversity, playful energy and completely unique offerings that the festival offers. The Fringe point of difference is simple: the unexpected is everywhere. Our positioning campaign was developed around the insight that Fringe followers are drawn to exploring the unexpected. You can literally see it all at the Fringe Festival. 

The Solution 

The brand positioning campaign included a new logo and web presence, an interactive video for social media that enabled users to participate in the creative platform, as well as television, outdoor and printed materials (including the festival program). Using the line ‘See it all’, the campaign was a celebration of the unexpected and sometimes bizarre people and performances that make the Vancouver Fringe Festival a unique must-see. 

The Results

In 2014, the Vancouver Fringe Festival attendance hit an all time record of over 40,000.

Web traffic for unique visitors was up 25% over the previous year 

Online reads of the program guide was up 18% over the previous year and the pick-up rate for the printed program increased 10% over 2013.

Fringe Festival Logo





Fringe Festival Poster

Fringe Festival Poster

Fringe Festival Poster 

Fringe Festival Website

Fringe Festival Instagram Contest

Brand insights: what’s your story?

This article first appeared in BC Craft Beer News, Nov/Dec 2014

Want to add lasting value to your brand and create an enduring bond with your customers that they want to share? The principles of storytelling, when executed well, can help any brand and business be more successful. 

We counsel our client partners not just on the need for storytelling – but to strive to articulate their story in a way that is relevant, but most importantly – authentic. Because when you tell an interesting story that is genuine, people are captivated. 

“Really?” you might be saying as you put your consumer hat on, “I don’t buy things because of their story – I buy them because of their quality, their price, the instrinic value they have for me.” We’ve sat through countless research studies for dozens of industries, not to mention the numerous beer drinker studies we’ve personally been a part of that unequivocally show that beer lovers are thirsty for stories.

People can recall facts, be motivated by colours, be stimulated by flavour – but what we share are stories. Stories bring us together. Anthropologically, when we share the same legends, myths, and histories with others, we reinforce our identity as part of a group, nurture a sense of belonging, and are comforted. Sharing stories are how we create a sense of self identity, too – the kinds of stories we tell say a lot about who we are.  

Our love of stories is hard wired. We tell them, we listen to them, we consume them. Always have, always will.

Which brings us to the branding of beer, wine, and spirits. The principles of storytelling can be applied to branding / marketing, and when done right, can have  a positive effect. Make no mistake, we’re not talking about manufactured stories – they have to be real. 

When stories endure, they add long-term value to your brand. In a highly competitive market, a good story will set you apart from others. A good story is memorable – and in creating an emotional bond, can create a preference for your product so you’re not competing on price.

Having an authentic story can also help inform the other decisions you make regarding your brand, from operations, to product offerings, to the look and feel of your packaging. Years ago, we rebranded Earls’ house wine family. In the discovery phase, we learned that the Earls team go to great lengths to explore and discover global tastes for their upcoming menus.  Their house wine was no different. Their team travelled to various wine regions, tasted wine, met the vintners, and ultimately found a partner. This story of their travels to find the best wine informed the packaging design we created – with every label inspired by pages from a passport.

Is your story based on why you do what you do? Is it based on your aspirations? Is it based on your commitment to a process? Is there a higher purpose to what you do that would be captivating?

Isn’t Dogfish that brewery that made a beer with lunar dust?
Story:  they are so passionate about creating, they’ll make beer out of anything.

Wasn’t Brewdog the enfant terrible that publicly wrote a disparaging report to the UK government on policy despite the risk of redress? 
Story: they value the beer they brew so much – they’re willing make some big sacrifices.

Wasn’t Sam Adams the brewer that despite a global shortage of hops, and the fact that they had fortunately locked in to a committed supply years prior, when they determined they didn’t require their full supply, they sold the excess to local brewers at cost? 
Story: they love craft beer, be it theirs or others’.

So, how to get started? Before articulating your story, it helps to understand the elements of great storytelling. Key elements include character , setting, obstacle, plot, and detail.  

Character is the character of your brand – take a while to try and determine what your brand character is – we often use celebrities, dog breeds, and brands in other categories in this exercise to help articulate subtle differences. 

Setting is the backdrop against which the story takes place. Is it urban? Pastoral?

The obstacle is the threat or challenge to be overcome. 

Plot is literally “what happens” in the story, and in its simplest form has three elements: 

  • Setup is the backstory – what are the elements that have to be in order for the story to happen?
  • Buildup is the set of events that happen to build tension in the story, leading to the…
  • Resolution. This is where the story effectively “ends,” with either a change to the status quo, or a return to it. 

Detail is the key element or elements you want your audience to notice and remember.

When you are thinking about your story, try to fill in these elements, or articulate your story in these terms.

Moving beyond elements, how can we recognize stories that will have the most resonance? An idea that comes up frequently in any discussion of branding and storytelling is the idea of archetypes. Early advertising theory built on the work of social scientists working in anthropology and psychology. For our purpose, an archetype is a universally appealing story that seems to appeal at an unconscious level.

Any marketer worth their salt will be familiar with Jungian archetypes and Joseph Campbell’s thoughts on symbolism, but if you’re looking for a more accessible position, we’d recommend reading Christopher Booker’s, The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories. 

In short, Booker’s theory is that all great stories, ancient myths to Hollywood blockbusters, can basically be categorized into just seven archetypal themes, and that they recur over and over again in every kind of storytelling. 

The seven archetypal plots are: 

  • Overcoming the monster
  • Rags to riches 
  • A journey – the quest
  • A journey – the voyage and return
  • Comedies
  • Tragedies, and 
  • Rebirth

The Earls house wine work we did is clearly “#3. A journey – the quest,” for example. 

WORK SAMPLE: Earls Rascal Wine Launch & Packaging


We also have firsthand experience in the power of archetypal plot #1. A few years ago, we helped create Original 16 – a beer brand that has enjoyed considerable success in its home market, and continues to captivate beer drinkers as more and more people hear the story. The brand name was inspired by the story of how the company came to be. When two mega brewers merged in the 1980’s, the new merged entity decided to rationalize some production and shutter some aging breweries. 

Original 16 CansThe employees of one of these unwanted breweries were devastated – but 16 production line workers refused to give up, pooled their severance packages, remortgaged their homes, borrowed money, and risked it all to buy the brewery because they believed they could make it work. When the mega brewer saw that they were starting to have some success, they cut off the supply of bottles, but the fledgling company persevered and today is thriving. We had the honour of interviewing some of these 16 men and their families – and used the footage to create 16 video chapters to share their story of passion, pride, and commitment. If your interest is piqued, check out original16.com.  

So, whether you’re creating a new brand, or trying to figure out how to make an established product be more effective, start with story. And, remember, be authentic. 

So… what’s your story?


Brand Insights – Craft Beer


This is the first in a series of articles on branding and packaging, originally published in BC Craft Beer News.

While some of the topics we’ll cover are specific to the beverage alcohol category, for the most part, they are transferable to almost any product. We hope some of the insights we share will either help new start ups save some money by not having to redo the process and address easily avoidable errors, help provide some tips for brands to better stand out in an authentic manner, or help brands realise that packaging, when leveraged properly, is a great tool to help consumers find your product faster.

One of the first things we’d like to share is the necessity of developing a brand architecture strategy. We liken this to creating a blueprint prior to building a house. If you have an understanding of things like how many rooms you want, if you want the option of adding a second level one day, if you can predict what climate you’ll likely face, you can build your house with a considered, efficient approach. Just like a blueprint for a house, we work with our client partners to develop a brand blueprint. As most craft producers don’t have the resources to build their brand through mass media channels, packaging becomes even more important, as it becomes the lead touch point for a consumer to engage with your brand prior to purchase. For us, the discipline of beginning with a brand / packaging architecture strategy has always lead to better work and better results.

 Most motivational speakers will say that you need to visualize what success looks like prior to attempting to achieve it. The same can be said for packaging. Like any brand communications, packaging benefits from a strong strategic backbone. Jump ahead 5 years – if you are to enjoy the success you dream of (be realistic) – what will your brand’s presence in a retail environment look like? Will you have a couple of dusty bombers hidden somewhere in the corner, or will you have a vital presence of a few sku’s enjoying a nice turnover that you can use as a platform for pulsing seasonals or special editions which help constantly bring some attention and regeneration to your brand? If you pick the latter, ask yourself what will your presence look like?

 To answer that question, you first need to make a critical decision way back at Mile 0. Will you be a “branded house,” a “house of brands,” or a hybrid? This decision is important because not only will it make an infinite number of future decisions on packaging design and naming conventions easier, but it should also reflect the personality and objectives of your corporate brand.

 To illustrate – a “branded house” is the system where the corporate name is central in the communication. 33 Acres of Life, 33 Acres of Ocean, and 33 Acres of Sunshine all come from, yep, you guessed it, 33 Acres Brewing. Four Winds Saison, Four Winds I.P.A, and Four Winds Pilsner … all from Four Winds Brewing Company. Bomber Brewing, Steamworks, Okanagan Spring, Granville Island (prior to their recent spin off subsets – Black Notebook Series and Under the Bridge Series), Persephone Brewing, Red Hook, Sierra Nevada, and countless others are all examples of breweries that follow this approach.

Four Winds_Bottles

At the extreme other end is the “house of brands” approach … think Labatt’s Alexander Keith’s, Blue, Kokanee, and Wildcat. Or more locally, think Pacific Western’s Cariboo, Canterbury, TNT, and Pacific Pilsner products – each of them a brand on its own, its own distinct customer base, and its own look, feel, and tone.

Cariboo & Pacific

And then there is the “hybrid model” in the middle somewhere along the tiered continuum, enjoying either an obvious linkage to the maker or a more discrete one, yet still observable. R&B Brewing’s new packaging (which we worked on) is a great example – all their brews come from the same source, each benefiting from the endorsement that it was crafted by R&B, but each has its own identity: Raven Cream Ale, East Side Bitter, Birra Fresca, etc. Another successful example of this approach is Phillips Brewing’s Blue Buck Ale, Hop Circle IPA, Elsinore, and Analogue 78 Kolsch. Or Driftwood with their Fat Tug IPA, Farmhand Saison, White Bark Witbier, and Crooked Coast Altbier. Each system leaves room for each beer to have its own identity and personality, but its lineage is understood – with the maker casting a halo of endorsement on each product.

R&B_East Side & Raven_Bottle

So what brand strategy is right for you?

In the “branded house” model the source and what it stands for is the hero – it’s what people will seek out and look for. This works well if the parent brand or source brand is strong and transfers positive equity to each product. So, if you visualize your brewery (or distillery, winery, meadery, cider house, etc) standing for something – a way of doing things, embracing a specific tradition, using a specific ingredient, offering something unique (gluten free), leading with a “branded house” approach may make the most sense. Having multiple flavours in this visually consistent model can create great shelf blocking and findability (*up to a point – more on this below).

On the other hand, the “house of brands” approach may be best if you feel the products / styles you’re offering are so different or that they appeal to different groups and that having the common source obvious may actually do each product a disservice for their respective audiences. Or perhaps you’re wanting to specialize in a very specific sub-segment – having multiple brands in the same category can either help you gain market ownership of that category – or even bring some credibility and interest to that sub-segment by the nature of critical mass. This approach requires that each product get more resources and attention to make them successful.

A “Hybrid Model” could be best if you believe people will search out the specific flavour / style first – but having the maker’s endorsement provides a seal of quality, or a seal of craft, or a seal of experimentation (whatever you want your parent / source brand to represent). When the parent brand is strong, the source helps legitimize the product. When the parent brand is weak, the task of legitimizing belongs to the product. This model allows for plenty of opportunity for product extensions, however, the larger the portfolio, the more management is required to maintain the relationship between parent / source brand and the products.

For craft products, this “hybrid model” also provides additional benefit of offering room for growth. While a very tight and consistent branded house approach can give your product line up increased findability within a store, as you become too successful this can work against you, as some craft customers unfairly equate critical mass with mainstream popularity. The recent listing of the largest independent brewers in BC (BC Business Magazine June 2014) lists Phillips at #2 – and they deserve the success they’ve worked hard for – but what made this ranking so surprising is they don’t feel that ubiquitous. Largely in part because they’ve followed a loosely linked endorsement system – where each of their products has its own personality, at times overshadowing the source brand.

Every approach is valid – it just comes down to what is right for you and what best reflects your business and brand strategies. By identifying those early on, you’ll save yourself money and be more likely to achieve the success you’ve visualized.


David & Andrew

Harbour Centre Food Court Launch

Harbour Centre, known mostly for its epic views at the Lookout, now has a new food court to match. We asked people to break out of their usual lunch routine and come down to Harbour Centre to choose variety.


St B. adds some new faces to the team

St. B’s been busy adding a few new people to the team; welcoming two delightful designers – Tierney Milne and Megan Lynch as well as Nima Samadi as a new writer.


Tierney, a crafty Capricorn, joins us for the summer getting some hands on experience while attending the IDEA program at Cap U. In addition to design, her many talents include being able to outrun anybody on the St. B team with her marathon skills and shunning everybody on the dance floor, courtesy of Dance Dance Revolution. When she’s not kerning, setting type, and doing her usual photoshop wizardry, you can find her dreaming about jet setting to Tokyo the best way possible, with no plans in mind. 


Joining her on the design team includes Megan. Born and raised on the West Coast, she originally planned a future studying Human Kinetics. Though, after an allover Euro trek, she decided to follow her heart as they say and do a complete 360 by pursing a career in graphic design. A 2013 graduate of Cap U’s IDEA Program, Megan is deeply passionate about stunning design that inspires people and sticks with them. When she’s not putting her natural problem-solving skills to good use at St. B, she enjoys hitting the slopes snowboarding and paddling with her kayak.


Rounding out the new joins, Nima’s story starts in the Big T – Toronto. Where, following a rigorous year honing his skills and completing a graduate certificate in Advertising Copywriting at Humber College and his student work being recognized by CMYK Magazine and Applied Arts, he enjoyed stints at multi-national shops like Ogilvy and JWT until he decided to move back to his hometown of Vancouver. When he’s not busy creating great ads for great brands at St. B, you can find him keeping things simple with some old-fashion R&R.

 Welcome Megan, Tierney, and Nima! 

From the table to Twitter: How Famoso turned in-store interaction into online engagement.



 The Goal

To promote Famoso’s new menu offerings for Fall/Winter while supporting their “authentic positioning” to encourage guests to try new menu items in store and share their experiences on social media


The Challenge

Getting people to fall in love with these new menu items was not the hard part. Asking people to interact with the brand on social media, however, isn’t as easy. We needed to communicate the promotion with guests and encourage them to upload pictures during their visit while ensuring the message didn’t get lost on a cluttered table.

 Another challenge we faced was developing a promotion without offering a discount in three different markets. In Alberta, there is an established following; people know about the brand so we needed to keep them interested and engaged. BC and Ontario were less familiar with the brand as Famoso had just recently expanded there, and so promoting key brand messages were paramount.


The Solution

We invited guests to join Famoso on a ‘tour’ around Italy to highlight the new and authentic items and ingredients of the Fall/Winter menu via a folded ‘map’ of Italy placed in stores on each table. The map showcased menu items or key ingredients in the region they originate from. Polaroid images of tourists throughout the map had holes where the faces should be so guests could place their photo ID behind the cutouts, giving guests a fun way to interact with the brand and to share their tacky tourist photos with their friends on social media! Guests tweeted pictures of themselves ‘in’ the map with the hashtag #FamosoTour for their chance to win a weekly $50 Famoso gift card.


The Results

Over the 4-week promotion, Famoso received over 933,000 impressions on social media – almost 100,000 more than the previous month. Seventy Twitter photos were entered and Famoso acquired 451 new Twitter followers; almost doubling our average monthly increase.




Joanne Mortensen joins St. B!


We’re excited to announce the addition of Joanne Mortensen as Director of Strategy and Account Services for the Prairie Region.

Joanne is a smart, hockey-loving Capricorn who we first met while working with the Great Western Brewing Company. During her 20+ years with Great Western, she partnered with us to spearhead the launch of Original 16 – the most successful brand development in the brewery’s history. Previously, she has also served on the board for the Dairy Producers of Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Food Processors, and the Saskatchewan Milk Control Board. In her new role with St. Bernadine, Joanne will provide local leadership for our growing list of prairie-based clients.

Results-driven, detail-oriented, and extremely passionate, it’s no wonder our clients are already loving the value she brings.  

Famoso gets a big ‘like’ from the Facebook Studio Gallery.


The Facebook Studio Gallery recognizes and showcases brands and agencies doing best-in-class work on Facebook. Just recently, they featured a Facebook campaign we did for Famoso, called “Authentic Thanks”. The key objectives of this ‘Authentic Thanks’ campaign were to build guest loyalty, keep Famoso top-of-mind, and attract new fans by building an engaged social community.

What better way than to dedicate an entire month to making Famoso guests feel appreciated in an authentic way. We wanted to wow them and generate positive word-of-mouth by finding interesting and unexpected ways to thank them for their support. 

 So we searched through hundreds of Facebook posts to find Famoso’s biggest fans, and shared screen grabs of their comments with a custom message to thank them.


To take the authentic thanks even further, we found a few super-fans who weren’t able to visit Famoso and sent them a special delivery of their favourite menu items. This included surprising a fan with lunch at her office and shipping mozzarella balls to Saskatoon. 


We also hosted sweepstakes each week where guests had the chance to win a Famoso Feast for them and five friends. We leveraged this opportunity to strengthen Famoso’s brand by educating fans about what makes Famoso authentic, and using the answer to a Famoso trivia question as the entry requirement. 


Lastly, for one devoted fan each week, we created the ultimate tribute—a portrait made from the authentic Italian ingredients that Famoso uses every day: its signature tomato sauce, fresh basil, flour, and olive oil. This was a huge success and fans took notice by the hundreds! Over the course of the month, Famoso’s Facebook Page saw a 72.8% increase in fans. Fans responded positively to the campaign’s genuine theme of appreciation, rather than a growth or sales-driven initiative. 


Famoso received 2,258 sweepstakes entries, 4,895 interactions, 1,680,000 impressions and 1,137 new mail list sign-ups, and acquired 1,450 new fans on Facebook—all while strengthening the relationship between Famoso and their customers. 

What’s New on De Menu: How a brand refresh and menu redesign helped boost sales.


If you could boost sales of a specific item by as much as 250%, would you? 


Of course.


New client, De Dutch – a family-style restaurant famous for their delectable Dutch fare, was looking for ways to boost same-store sales and optimize sales mix. Whenever we consult with a restaurant client, one key element we always consider is the menu. It’s a great brand vehicle – letting our clients tell their story to the folks who are already predisposed to like them, but it’s also the best sales tool a restaurant has.


We consider food costs, sales velocity, and “signature” items when considering what to highlight in a menu – obviously boosting sales of high margin items adds to the bottom line, and bolstering high velocity items keeps cash flowing. Signature items help differentiate and tell the brand story. Emphasis can be placed on items and elements for other strategic reasons as well. De-emphasizing price, for example, reduces price browsing and helps customers focus on the menu items themselves and find a dish that they might actually prefer instead of one that costs less.

 DeDutch_Menu_detail 2_blog

So far, the results have been great.


Sales of signature items like their Pannekoek (a plate-sized pancake slightly thinner than a crèpe – you’ve gotta try one) increased by up to 49%, and their Bitter Ballen (think deep fried soft meat balls, crunchy on the outside and smooth on the inside) increased by 252%.


Sales of more standard fare – vegetarian wraps and burgers – were up dramatically, reflecting well on our desire to increase the lunch crowd.


We also ensured sufficient space and placement for key brand messaging, explaining the more traditional food items, and a bit about the history behind De Dutch.


Overall, the client is very pleased with the result and can’t wait to roll out the refreshed look to other parts of their business. And don’t forget: Try the pannekoek. 

 DeDutch_Menu_detail 3_blogDeDutch_Menu_detail 1_blog



By Mike Krafczyk

About a week ago, I was asked to speak on “the future of advertising” at the BCAMA Creative Mornings Breakfast. Insert ominous sound effect.

Disclaimer: Nobody knows anything. That said, here goes my best stab at predicting the future:

Prediction #1:
We’ll have new tools, but we’ll always have the same job.


Despite some handwringing about how fast things are changing, I think the future of advertising is very bright. Sure, the landscape has changed, but advertising is still advertising – persuasion powered by insight and creativity.

We live in a significantly more fragmented and complex media universe. We’ve seen a massive dislocation over the past twenty years that has opened up possibilities for communicating with, listening to, and selling to customers that couldn’t have been dreamed of back in the days when Pearl Jam first started touring.

We’re no longer primarily in the business of interrupting primetime TV for a place in the consumer’s mind. Now, advertising is an ongoing, real-time, two-way conversation. It will be our job to break the ice and to keep the conversation going.

Knowing how and when to use what tool will be crucial.


Prediction #2:
The customer will be righter than ever.


The most powerful person in the conversation has always been the consumer, but we’ve never been able to hear their voice speak as loudly as it does today. In a lot of ways, your customers are now co-authors of your brand story. I predict that brand managers will spend 50% of their time viewing, responding to, and managing customer service issues, and customer service as a department will report into brand management.

Too often, we think about customer service as managing a problem – damage control. And we place policy before good old-fashioned customer service.
Good, bad, or indifferent, your customer can share their experience with hundreds of friends on Facebook, tweet about it, and even write about in their blog.

 We’ve all heard the stories. Or, in the case of “United Breaks Guitars”, heard the songs. More recently, Air Canada was in the spotlight after refusing to honor the transfer of a travel voucher between two spouses because they had different last names. One tweet and a status update later, thousands of people were made aware of Air Canada’s 40-years-too-late policy “in an effort to prevent fraud”.

Mike BCAMA copy.key

Now, cut to WestJet. When asked to weigh in with their policy, their response was: “You can transfer your voucher to anyone you want.” I think about how both airlines’ responses lined up perfectly with my perceptions of their respective brands. Bureaucratic and inflexible? Meet nimble and friendly.

Think about it. Every time anyone at your company interacts with a customer, that interaction becomes part of your brand advertising program. So we’re going to embrace the fact that our customers are co-authoring our brand stories, and we’re going to start to systematically look for customers who have reached out to us for help in some way. Imagine the power of a steady beat of customer-generated stories about how you blew their expectations away. Can we use the creativity at our disposal and make finding those opportunities a systematic part of brand marketing? I think we can. And I predict we will.


Prediction #3:
The worlds will begin to collide.

Brace yourselves. Well-integrated multi-screen campaigns are going to become a bigger and bigger part of our conversations. TV, desktop, laptop, tablet, phablet, smartphone, out-of-home video…we’re spending more time in front of screens than ever before. Sometimes two or three at once. Virtually all of us move between multiple devices on any given day.

More and more, mobile is becoming a central fact in consumer life and learning how to tell brand stories and sell products across different screens is something we’re all getting better at.


But right now, just over a quarter of multi-screen campaigns are managed in a fully integrated fashion. Most are managed in a silo model by different people, using different methodologies and different measures for success.

According to Nielson, marketers overwhelmingly want a single set of metrics to measure campaign effectiveness across all screens. We’ve got too many metrics that are thrown around because they’re easy to get, regardless of whether they’re even useful or instructive. But there’s a demand for useful common metrics, and it’s going to be filled.


 I predict we’re going to know, reliably, how many actual people in our specific target viewed a piece of content with their actual eyes, on which screen, and how many times. And we’re going to know how many, and which ones, based on what stimulus, responded in some meaningful fashion.

With this information consistently captured and reported across all devices, we’ll be able to make better, more integrated, more effective content.


Prediction #4:
Spoiler Alert: TV isn’t going to die.

Mike BCAMA copy.key

Mediums of communication tend to be very stubborn things. Word is that when papyrus was invented, it had the stone tablet business very worried. But, would it shock you to know that more information was carved on stone tablets last year than at the height of the Egyptian Empire?

It shouldn’t. New technologies and platforms keep pushing the pace of change. But the truth is, mediums don’t tend to disappear, they evolve and get added to.  

Mobile screens are increasing our total media consumption by up to 20%, but they’re not really cannibalizing from other mediums, unless you count staring out the bus window or paying attention to where you’re going as mediums.

Mike BCAMA copy.key

Canada leads the world in time spent on line with an average of 45 hours a month, nearly twice the global average. Still, according to BBM, the average Canadian watched 30 hours a week of TV in 2013. That’s about 120 hours a month, or the equivalent of five solid days. Think about it. We’re about the most web-friendly country in the world and, on average, we still spend nearly three times as much time watching TV.

What’s more, a quarter of us regularly surf the web on other devices while we watch TV – which I find both disturbing and wonderful. If there’s a more perfect visual for the opportunity in front of us than someone becoming aware of something while watching TV and having a connected device in front of them to get more information or purchase it directly, I can’t think of it. Pretty soon, that device might even be the TV itself.

Zenith Optimedia is forecasting that global share of spending for TV advertising is projected to fall precipitously from 40% in 2013 to 39% in 2016.  Wow.

So in a world where we’re literally swimming in media, let’s tone down the rhetoric and hyperventilating about dead mediums. It misses the point.


Last but not least, prediction #5:
Good stories will sell themselves.


Mediums will shift, new technologies and platforms will continue to present themselves. But, the power of storytelling will never go out of business.

People are bombarded with information. Things that have emotional value are what they remember and share. It’s our job to find interesting, engaging stories that strike an emotional cord …so that people listen to them, share them, and come back for more. Now that doesn’t mean harp strings and sweeping helicopter shots. Or even cats. But if it delivers information that makes you feel something, that’s got a lot more brand value.

Check out this 6-second Vine video from Lowes.

If you’ve never had to deal with that problem, believe me, it can be soul destroying. Those six seconds had a real positive impact on the way I feel about the brand.

Another example: Original 16. St. Bernadine was tasked with launching a beer to go up against the large domestic brewers. We avoided all the major conventions. No beer babes. No backyard barbeques. No slow motion cheersing. We had a brewery that was born when two of Canada’s largest merged in the 80’s – and were closing plants all across the country.

A bunch of brewery workers, 16 in all, risked their severances, remortgaged their houses, borrowed money – whatever it took, and bought the brewery.

This new beer would celebrate that spirit. So we told their story. Our heroes were retirees – including a 90 yr old. They were tearful surviving children. And widows.

Here’s a snippet from some of the digital content we created.

 Not exactly beer category conventions.

And it became the best-selling domestic premium beer in its home market within a year, way ahead of projections, and is taking more market share from the majors on a daily basis. All because we made a simple, emotional connection between a bunch of really old guys and a 22-year old beer drinker.
So there you have it. Advertising will survive for another ten thousand years as long as we remember, advertising = persuasion powered by insight and creativity.

Customer service will continue to be in the public realm. We’ll see better integration and common metrics across multi-screen campaigns. TV won’t die. And, at the heart of advertising, will always be stories with emotional resonance.

The future for forward-thinking brands and agencies is bright with opportunity. Now, let’s seize it.