Cossette (Media) Group Photo

Bronze — Cossette (Media)

Despite another busy year from a corporate perspective the opening of a stand-alone media agency across the street, and acquisition of a mobile techco to help position the agency for the future Cossette Media has found itself, once more, in our MAOY top three, bagging a Bronze again this year.

Its success is due, in large part, to the creative thinking the agency considers part of its culture. It permeates the winning media work, which includes a topsy-turvy execution for Gap’s flagship store in Vancouver, a patriotic presence at the Vancouver Olympics on behalf of Nike Canada and some cautionary yet sage advice for Torontonians in advance of Santa’s annual pre-Christmas visit.

Part of creative thinking in this day and age, says Terry Horton, Cossette Media’s newly minted VP, media director, is being on top of the new digital opportunities, particularly mobile, that keep popping up. Creativity in media departments, he says, is increasingly becoming linked to new devices. What’s going to matter more is familiarity and deeper understanding of how devices (iPhone, iPad, Android, etc.) are actually used.

“They’re adding an aspect to media that was never available before, which is location dimensions,” says Horton. “It’s no longer about TV, but it’s TV on the mobile device and its capabilities. So really understanding the technology and how the consumer acts with it will make for a much stronger communications plan.”

On top of making sure staff has access to all the new toys, Cossette acquired Montreal-based mobile tech company Mobilito in June, with one of its founders, Malik Yacoubi, named VP of mobile marketing at Cossette’s Fjord Interactive Marketing + Technology. This enables the agency to retrofit creative work across all sorts of mobile platforms.

“Having that technical expertise in the background is incredibly important and it’s probably 80% of the game,” says Horton. “The other part is having people who are experts at communicating within that particular area.”

Another new addition to the Cossette family is Jungle Media, which opened its doors adjacent to Cossette Toronto back in April. Headed by Cossette alumnus and VP, co-managing director, Sheri Metcalfe, who happens to be strategy’s Media Director of the Year (see p. 31), its mandate differs from the convergent service offering provided by Cossette Media. With Ikea Canada on board as its first new client, it’s taking aim predominantly at international, media-only business, offering clients Canadian solutions for their global campaigns, adapting them regionally or nationally.

As for the not-so-immediate future, Cossette Media has started discussing the notion of experience designers, says Horton. It recognizes that traditional planners and creatives might not be able to replicate work across the plethora of platforms, old and emerging, and there will be a need for people who are good at streamlining that. The agency is looking at implementing the role in the next few years, says Horton, after they’ve let platforms evolve, eliminating the glaring differences between distribution networks.

“I think online, publishers are going to start to offer much richer advertising experiences than we see today, so you add mobile platforms to that, you need expertise to understand how the consumer goes through all these technologies and how to communicate properly,” says Horton. “The role of experience designers, how it goes from the digital world to the physical world, is going to be increasingly important.”