Last week, Toronto became the 16th major urban centre in the world to join the NewCo Festival family, recently completing a day-long NewCo Festival that drew nearly 700 first-time registrants and 38 NewCo host organizations.
The event, sponsored and presented in Canada by national advertising agency Cossette, featured host companies representing a wide spectrum of interests, spanning everything from the tech world, to start-ups, health care, culture and education, travel and public service.
NewCo Toronto hosts included such leading-edge organizations as: G Adventures, a pioneer in the adventure travel space; League, a state-of-the-art health and wellness platform; SickKids, a world-leading children’s hospital; and Soulpepper, an innovative theatre company that is pushing the boundaries in live theatre production and development.
Similarly, the festival attracted a broad cross section of participants from across business, technology, the venture capital and investment community, education and the political sphere, according to Valerie Swatkow, Cossette Executive Vice-President in Toronto and one of the principal organizers of the event.
“As a first-time event, participants were signing up without fully understanding what to expect,” explains Swatkow. “But then, when they went into the experience and got to hear the stories of these amazing organizations in such an intimate and up-close way, many were blown away. One of the out-of-town universities that attended is planning to send a bus-load next year.”
Swatkow was particularly pleased with the strong support that the Toronto NewCo Festival received from both the Toronto municipal and Ontario provincial governments. Toronto Mayor John Tory, provincial Premier Kathleen Wynne and Minister of Economic Development Brad Duguid all attended a special pre-event VIP kick-off party for 350-plus people at Cossette’s Toronto offices.
“Both Toronto and Ontario are actively reaching out to the tech community and promoting Toronto and the province as an attractive home for these industries, and The NewCo Festival provides a great opportunity to showcase the incredible success stories,” adds Swatkow.
In fact, Cossette plans to expand NewCo next year to include the Kitchener-Waterloo area, a municipality within an hour’s drive of Toronto that has earned a reputation as a tech hub in Canada and there are further plans to bring the NewCo experience to Montreal and Vancouver as well.
“We couldn’t be happier with the response and support that we received for our first Toronto NewCo Festival. We expect to double the size of participants and host companies next year,” says Swatkow.
Montreal, September 2, 2016—In collaboration with Cossette, VIA Rail Canada is launching its newest campaign, “Why don’t you take the train?” Its goal is to persuade drivers to change their habits by taking the train, especially along the Quebec City–Windsor corridor, where 77% of people travel by car.
The campaign’s video ads create uncertainty by comparing different habits. “The ads are back-and-forth exchanges in which people question specific habits,” said Gilles Legault, Assistant Creative Director at Cossette. “There is no clear winner, and the matter is left as an open question. It was this moment of reflection that we wanted to capitalize on.”
The ecosystem, developed by a partnership between Touché!, Tink and Cossette, includes a number of different touchpoints. Analysis of various routes allowed for the creation of messages that draw on the habits of travellers during their trip and the ways in which taking the train can optimize their experiences.
“Identifying qualified audiences and determining growth potential for each VIA Rail route allowed us to build a clear-cut media strategy that aims to get travellers to consider the train during the planning stage or while travelling, then to qualify and leverage all of the data collected to dynamically push transactional offers,” explained Martin Soubeyran, Vice-President, at Touché!
A campaign web page (http://www.viarail.ca/en/why-not-the-train) was also created to shine a light on drivers’ habits. “With this digital deployment, VIA Rail is putting the focus on personalization and user engagement, based on users’ perceptions of train travel,” noted Jocelyn Couture, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tink, a digital agency. “The digital experience was reconsidered and adapted for each target audience, with a strong focus on mobile.”
The new campaign will run until the 2016 holiday season and include pre-roll; roadside advertising; indoor advertising in rest areas, service stations and restaurants; web banners; and social media. A series of 30-second videos and dynamic YouTube videos, displayed based on subscriber data, will reinforce the message among the public.
The videos are available on YouTube:
Client: VIA Rail Canada
Media agency: Touché!
Digital agency: Tink
Production house: Les Enfants
Director: Maxime Giroux
Toronto, August 18, 2016: Cossette Lab, a Cossette initiative designed to help incubate the growth of tech-related start-ups, is now accepting applications from entrepreneurs with a focus on tourism-related technology, for its accelerators in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
“This is an exciting opportunity for us to broadly help the startup community and bring new ideas to the tourism industry,” says Melanie Dunn, President and CEO of Cossette Canada. “It is also a service to our clients in the tourism sector and our own staff, by exposing our people to the innovative thinking and entrepreneurial culture all around us.”
“Innovation is a top priority across our entire organization so it makes sense to reach out to those entrepreneurs who only need a little help to take their exciting ideas from concept to reality,” adds Malik Yacoubi, Chief Digital Officer of Cossette Montreal and founder of Cossette Labs.
The accelerators in all three cities aim to incubate a start-up’s development during a hosting period of anywhere from six to 12 months. As well, the Labs will establish a relationship with Cossette personnel and search for cross-market opportunities by connecting them with Cossette’s tourism clients.
Cossette has a broad portfolio of tourism related clients across the country including, Tourisme Montréal, Via Rail, Aeroplan, and most recently Tourism Yukon.
The start-ups that Cossette Lab selects need to have reached a sufficient maturity level in the development of their technology and business model. To qualify, businesses must develop a technology that will benefit Cossette, the agency’s clients or potential partners.
Cossette Lab launched in Cossette’s Montreal office in 2012 and has expanded to Toronto and Vancouver. To date, Cossette Lab has hosted approximately 14 start-ups.
Applications are now being accepted at cossettelab.com/en. Interested startups have until September 15, 2016 to apply.
Claude Lamoureux is joining Cossette Media as Senior Vice President and General Manager, Quebec and East, rounding out the media agency’s leadership team in Canada.
“We are incredibly excited to welcome Claude to our national executive team,” says Joseph Leon, President of Vision7 Media. “He brings a unique agency and media perspective to the team and a passion for innovation and emerging media. He is a highly strategic thinker with a clear vision, and is the perfect fit for both Cossette Media and our partners.”
Lamoureux moves to Cossette Media from Cogeco where he was General Manager at Métromédia before leading Cogeco Media’s shift to digital as Vice-President, Digital Development. Prior to Cogeco, Lamoureux held senior roles at agency Bleublancrouge, including Media Director and Vice-President, Account Services and Media. He has made major contributions to a cross-section of leading brands, including Loto-Québec, SAQ, L’Oréal and Toyota.
“Media agencies are currently undergoing a period of unprecedented vitality. Data and technology are influencing business, brand and media strategies, and opening the door to incredible new opportunities for innovative agencies,” says Lamoureux. “I’m thrilled to be joining Cossette Media, an iconic Canadian agency, already ahead of the innovation curve and propelled by a unique and talented team.”
Lamoureux will join Brooke Leland, SVP and General Manager, Ontario and West, and Mike Rumble, SVP and Chief Strategy Officer as part of the Cossette Media national executive team.
“Claude’s arrival rounds out an exciting new agency leadership team, full of potential. Cossette Media is primed to build on our recent success and usher in a new period of evolution and growth,” adds Leon.
Having earned a Bachelor in Business Administration and Advertising from Université du Québec à Montréal, Lamoureux currently teaches at Université de Sherbrooke and works as a media strategy coach for Campus Infopresse. He was previously a member of the jury and chair of the board for Infopresse’s Prix Média, in addition to serving on committees for NADbank, the OMAC and the CDMQ.
The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) today launches a new brand identity aimed at making its role and product offering better known to a greater number of entrepreneurs across Canada. The modernized brand image will be supported by a multi-faceted advertising campaign which will appear across Canada beginning this week.
Market research conducted at the end of 2014 on the awareness of BDC in the Canadian marketplace demonstrated that entrepreneurs were not familiar with the company and its services. “We have an important role to play at BDC—to help entrepreneurs succeed and grow—and we must not shy away from communicating it if we want to be able to help more businesses get to the next stage of their development,” said Michel Bergeron, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Public Affairs.
Small and medium-sized businesses are the engine of Canada’s economy. They account for 99.9% of all Canadian companies and employ close to 90% of private sector workers. However, only a small portion of these businesses are aware of BDC’s unique role and the services it offers. It is for this reason that the organization is looking to address its low awareness rating by being more visible to both entrepreneurs and its partners, such as bankers, accountants and other professionals.
Along with its agency of record, Cossette, BDC has developed a brand image to reflect that it is a different kind of bank and Canada’s only bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs. “Our new logo includes an evocative maple leaf which boldly states that we are a proud Canadian organization serving the needs of Canadian small and medium-sized businesses from coast to coast,” Bergeron continued. “The lower-case font calls to mind our openness, accessibility, and our willingness to work more closely with entrepreneurs.”
BDC’s new signature─“financing. advising. smarts.”─ is meant to clearly position BDC as offering a unique combination of financing, such as loans, venture capital, subordinated debt and private equity, as well as advisory services. The organization will use the third element of the signature to portray a shared quality between the entrepreneur and BDC.
To showcase the new brand image, Cossette and BDC have created a multimedia campaign that includes TV commercials, radio spots, print advertising and a significant online presence.
“The idea behind this campaign was to show the close relationship between BDC and entrepreneurs,” said Antoine Bécotte, Cossette’s Chief Creative Officer. “We chose an approach that highlights the common values that drive them both, including passion, determination and drive. We hope to reach entrepreneurs across the country and remind them of the extent to which BDC’s know-how can help them succeed.”
The campaign will run nationally in English and French.
Client: BDC – Michel Bergeron, Annie Marsolais, Pierre Ménard, Roxanne Romani
Media: Cossette Media
Production house: La Cavalerie
Director: Guillaume de Fontenay
Post-production: Fly Studio
Sound: Apollo Studios
Music: Apollo Studios (J.S. Houle)
Photography: Shoot Studio (Martin Girard)
Goal is to redefine strategy and deliver the power of integrated thinking
Toronto, May 16, 2016: Cossette has expanded its strategic capabilities in Toronto as part of a broader move to redefine how brands connect with consumers.
“We’ve added new talent in CRM, brand and digital and integrated them into one group with a plan to create an industry-leading, next generation of strategic service for our clients,” says Cossette Chief Strategy Officer Jason Chaney. “Increasingly we are seeing strategy become as much a part of the product as creative. By working together as an integrated strategy and creative team, we are able to create better informed brand creative and better brand experiences as we continue to move closer to a truly one-to- one world.”
The hires include Sarah Thompson, new Vice President Strategy, who joins Cossette from Corus Entertainment where she was Manager of Social Media. Thompson has a diverse media and agency background, having worked in digital and social media across a variety of industry categories.
Also new to the strategy team is Lisa Hart, who joins Cossette as Director of Strategy. Hart was most recently with Trevor/Peter Communications and before that Leo Burnett and Tribal DDB. Hart has worked on brand strategy for a broad range of high profile brands, including award-winning work for such clients as IKEA, Yellow Pages and McDonald’s Restaurants.
Other recent strategy hires include Senior Strategist, Olie Navrotska and Strategy Director Fernando Aloise. Navrotska was a freelance CRM consultant prior to joining Cossette and before that was with FCB working on OLG and Purolator. Aloise joins Cossette from DentsuBos where he worked on brand strategy for such clients as Toyota, Sleeman, Sapporo, CAMH and Constellation Brands (Wine Rack stores, Naked Grape, Sawmill Creek, Bodacious wines).
“Our investment in strategy reflects a wider trend that’s being driven by client demands and a need for new approaches to problem-solving,” says Chaney. “We need people who straddle all the areas of digital, social, data, CRM, strategy and creative and we need to find ways of cross-pollinating their thinking and their expertise.”
With just 100 days to go until the next Olympic Games, The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) launched its Rio 2016 brand campaign Ice In Our Veins – the largest campaign in Team Canada’s history.
The campaign builds off the success of the COC’s Sochi 2014 #WeAreWinter campaign. This campaign highlights how Canada’s icy landscape helps create fierce athletes with iron will and determination – regardless of whether they compete at a winter or summer Games.
Developed by ad agency Cossette, the campaign includes a cinematic 60-second spot, a 30-second spot, out of home, digital, and seven specially created 10-second spots to be used on digital channels.
For the first time ever, the campaign was shot at a central location, bringing 12 athletes together over a two day period on a remote beach on Georgian Bay, with more than 40 hours of video footage shot and edited. The 12 Rio 2016 Olympic hopefuls include:
Ice In Our Veins, a three month campaign, was unveiled first on Team Canada’s digital channels and via the social media platforms of Canada’s athletes to give fans the very first look. On July 1 - Canada Day - it will launch more widely to all Canadians via TV/video, print, out of home, digital and social with further details around some exciting new partnerships coming soon.
Advertising Agency: Cossette, Canada
Director: Mark Zibert
Production House: Skin and Bones
Editing House: Saints Editorial
Media Agency: OMD
Communications Agency of Record: North Strategic
“Our Olympians taking on the world for Rio 2016 aren’t just summer athletes, they are Canadian athletes. Winter is in our blood and is part of our DNA. This campaign taps into our summer athletes’ swagger, who have the attitude of taking on all comers. It’s a stunningly shot, cinematic celebration of the heart, grit, fire of our Canadian athletes competing in Rio. It recognizes winter made us who we are and defines us as a country no matter the season our athletes compete in.”
Derek Kent, Chief Marketing Officer, Canadian Olympic Committee
When it comes to sports, people like the back story as much as the event itself. In Canada, the story that gets written by others from around the world is that we are a winter country and that holds true. Winter makes us tough- it makes us even stronger ... in all sports."
Peter Ignazi, Chief Creative Officer, Cossette
“It is an incredible honour to be a part of the Ice In Our Veins campaign for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. We are a winter nation, and that shapes and influences everything we do, including our training and preparation for the summer Games. It makes us tough, and that Canadian grit is what I will bring to Rio.”
Jennifer Abel, two-time Olympian, London 2012 bronze medallist
Search Begins For Innovative Businesses To Act As “Host” Companies
Toronto, April 19, 2016: NewCo, a revolutionary concept that creates a platform to learn, connect, and celebrate the world's most intriguing businesses and organizations, is holding its first Canadian NewCo Festival this Fall in Toronto.
NewCo represents a radical departure from the traditional conference format. Rather than learning in a conventional, theatre-style setting, festival attendees visit companies of their choice throughout an urban setting. Attendees learn about the companies first-hand from leaders and CEOs, right inside the offices where they work.
The brainchild of Wired magazine co-founder and media and tech entrepreneur John Battelle, NewCo launched in 2012 in San Francisco and is now operating in over 15 diverse cities around the world including Istanbul, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Mexico City and Barcelona. The events have attracted over 25,000 curious and influential festival-goers and well over 1,000 companies have participated across North America, Europe, and Latin America.
“With its reputation for innovation and forward-thinking, Canada became the logical choice for our next NewCo Festival, particularly in Toronto where there is such a diverse cultural mosaic and a flourishing business start-up community,” says Battelle.
The one-day Toronto NewCo Festival is scheduled for September 15.
The September event is being produced by Canadian ad agency Cossette, NewCo’s Affiliate Partner and Producer in Canada. Cossette is a national marketing communications agency and among the largest in Canada. The City of Toronto has also joined the initiative as an official Festival Partner Sponsor.
“We felt instantly drawn to the innovative format of the festival, which combines the learning of a business conference, the atmosphere of a music festival and the informality of a company open house,” says Brett Marchand, President and CEO of Cossette and its parent company Vision7 International.
“We also very much believe in the philosophy behind the NewCo concept, as envisioned by its founder John Battelle – which is to provide a platform for innovative and entrepreneurial companies that are on a mission to bring about positive change in their communities.
“We are thrilled to be able to provide such companies in Toronto with the opportunity to tell their stories and also to connect them with others who will benefit by learning from their experience – and maybe even helping to propel them further,” adds Marchand.
NewCos are seen as organizations that are redefining the world for the better. They can be involved in any aspect of society from industry, to culture, the arts, technology or the scientific community.
The NewCo Toronto Festival has already signed up five host companies that are all examples of organizations that are pushing the boundaries and helping to redefine their industries and the way we do business. They include: Google Canada, G Adventures, Wattpad, Soulpepper and Wealthsimple.
“As a company that constantly looks to push the boundaries of what is possible, it is an honour to be a HostCo because it enables us to engage individuals most excited about our business in a conversation within our office environment,” says Sam Sebastian, Managing Director, Google Canada. “We have been a NewCo host in six cities across the globe and are truly excited to make it seven by working with organizers to bring this amazing global event to Toronto.”
Toronto NewCo is actively recruiting more HostCo participants. The festival is looking for companies or organizations that are driven by innovation and who are on a mission to change the world.
Applicants will be reviewed by a diverse panel of cultural and business leaders, including: John Battelle, CEO, Co-Founder & Editor in Chief, Chairman, NewCo; Brett Marchand, President and CEO of Cossette and Vision7 International; John Ruffolo, CEO, Omers Ventures; Albert Schultz, Founding Artistic Director, Soulpepper; Sam Sebastian, Managing Director, Google Canada; Bruce Poon Tip, Founder G Adventures; and Angela Strange, Co-Chair C100.
Any organization wanting to join the festival as a hosting company can apply by clicking on this link http://tor.newco.co/apply-to-be-a-newco/. Successful candidates will be notified by June 23, 2016.
NewCo Toronto festival tickets will go on sale beginning July 21.
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As the winner of seven awards—three gold, one silver, one bronze, and two Orders of Excellence—Cossette set a new record and became Canada’s most highly acclaimed agency at this year’s GLOBES. Organized by the Marketing Agencies Association Worldwide (MAAW), the GLOBES recognize the best brand activation campaigns from across the world. Cossette is ranked fourth.
Two of Cossette’s campaigns combined to win the seven awards. First, the Amazing Contest, created for Mentos as part of its partnership with The Amazing Race Canada, was honoured four times—it took gold for both “Consumer Products ‒ Food” and “Short Term ‒ Trial and Awareness,” bronze for “Sponsorship,” and an Order of Excellence in the “Fully Integrated” category.
Cossette also received three awards for the December 10 campaignit mountedon behalf of Amnesty International to mark Human Rights Day—gold for “Cause Marketing,” silver for “Small Budget Campaign,” and an Order of Excellence in the “Not For Profit, Charity and Public Sector” category.
“This outstanding performance proves that our product is world-class,” said Antoine Bécotte, Chief Creative Officer at Cossette. “Knowing that agencies from all over the world submitted their campaigns, being ranked amongst the best means that we’ve created memorable campaigns and that our people are some of the industry’s top talent. It also speaks to the extraordinarily strong relationships we have with our clients, without whom none of this would have been possible.”
The Globes is an annual contest that features a panel of more than 100 judges from some 15 different countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, the U.S. and the U.K.
Cossette co-founder and chairman Claude Lessard will be inducted into the Association of Creative Communications Agencies (A2C) Hall of Fame for his outstanding contribution as one of the industry’s great builders in Quebec. At last night’s Créa Awards gala, the A2C announced that it was creating the Hall of Fame to recognize the great visionaries who have helped make marketing communications the booming excellence-driven industry it is today. These remarkable individuals will be inducted under the title of Builder, Beacon or Ally.
Chosen by the A2C’s Board of Directors, “builders” must be senior managers who have distinguished themselves through the impact of their work. This year, the Prix Hommage was awarded to Mr. Lessard for his pioneering spirit, leadership and invaluable contribution to the exceptional growth of Cossette, a trailblazer in the world of communications agencies.
“I am truly honoured to receive this award from the Association of Creative Communications Agencies. To me, it represents more than 45 years of commitment and collaboration with the talented people I have had the good fortune of meeting over the course of my career,” said Mr. Lessard. “Above all, I am delighted that the agency I started as a young entrepreneur has become everything I dreamed it could be. Over the years, Cossette has shaped the industry’s top talent, developed campaigns that were both memorable and impactful, and set more than its share of trends. Today, I am proud to say that its sights are firmly set on the future, which is looking brighter than ever,” he added.
“Claude Lessard has always embodied a revolutionary management philosophy based on an integrated communications approach. By maintaining a perfect balance between management and art, he left lots of room for creativity, which gave rise to spectacular campaigns that have left their mark on all of us,” noted Mélanie Dunn, President and CEO of Cossette in Canada. “He is without question a key figure in the history of Quebec’s marketing communications industry,” she said.
“I don’t think that Cossette would exist today if it weren’t for Claude Lessard. His human, offbeat approach, innovative vision and business acumen are the foundation of the nation’s leading marketing communications agency,” added Louis Duchesne, Executive Vice-President and General Manager of Cossette in Quebec, and board member of A2C.
From humble beginnings come great things
When he was just 21, Lessard joined Cossette, then a small design studio in Quebec City. In order to get his foot in the door in the world of advertising, he offered to work for free. One year later, he and six colleagues got together and bought the company. And the results speak for themselves—the eight-person team grew to a workforce of 1,200 people in 12 countries, whose portfolio of clients is among the most prestigious in Canada, including McDonald’s Restaurants, Aeroplan, GM and General Mills.
Lessard is a man of conviction with strong ties to his roots—it’s no coincidence that the headquarters have remained in Quebec City, the company’s hometown, if you will, even though Cossette and its affiliates have offices in Montreal, Halifax, Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.
Married for over 45 years, father of three and grandfather six times over, Claude Lessard has always kept a low profile, preferring good hard work to adulation. The numerous accolades he’s received from industry leaders and specialists demonstrate the high esteem in which he’s held both at home and abroad. In October 2001, he received the Quebec Entrepreneur of the Year in the Media and Entertainment category, and the National Entrepreneur of the Year for Service Excellence from Ernst & Young. In 2002, Université Laval bestowed an honorary doctoral degree on Lessard. In January 2006, he was inducted into Toronto’s Canadian Marketing Hall of Legends and in June 2011, he was given the title of Grand Québécois 2012—Economic Sector.
The ceremony to honour inductees and celebrate their achievements will be held in May 2016.
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