Objectivity ✖ Subjectivity = 🔥
The moments to really make a difference are few and far between. As an ACD Writer and Strategist, I'm all about making sure they count — whether it's in print, on television, or online. If I were to really describe what I do, I'd say it's tell stories. The medium is only the vehicle to get them out. Fortunately, I've had a long history as a designer, writer, strategist, and teacher to help understand how people respond. I even managed to win some awards along the way — in both writing and design.
Here, on my fancy responsive website that I built from scratch, you'll find a curated portfolio. My Vimeo page has more TV and radio work and Instagram will help you get a glimpse of the projects I do for myself. But if you really want to be entertained, check out my LinkedIn profile.
Thanks for dropping by. Hope you enjoy your stay.
Bring a Little Happiness
The Ask / Inform Canadians of Gravol Ginger’s new Health Canada indication—that it’s now for upset stomach and indigestion, not only nausea.
The Answer / Gravol Ginger brings a little happiness to your Upset Stomach. In a category filled with over-the-top slap stick or medically informative communications, we wanted to create a platform that truly captured the product’s benefits while being memorable and touching. The results are two adorable characters in two lovable spots brought to life by Dan & Jason from Hornet, Inc.
The Ask / Let people know Gaviscon also neutralizes acid, in addition to blocking reflux.
The Answer / Give Gaviscon, the man, tell his story for the first time. He’s a regular guy, known for doing one thing. But he blocks AND neutralizes acid—and finally he gets his chance to tell the world in this documentary-style spot.
Director Craig Brownrigg really understood what I was trying to do with this character, and Adam Gaudreau brought him perfectly to life. And with the final touches provided from Editor Dave Di Carlo and Voice Director Art Mullin, this concept was strange and awkward perfection IMO.
Heart & Stroke Foundation
The Undeading at Wonderland
The Ask / Create a ‘viral’ video that teaches Canadians how to do CPR.
The Answer / CPR Makes You Undead. When your heart stops, you’re either madly in love or dead. CPR however, can bring you back to life—just like zombies of course. And what began as an exercise to develop a shareable video directed by Vincenzo Natali (Director of Cube and Splice) quickly became an entire CPR training program that last 2 months and involved a zombie apocalypse and a North American record held at Canada’s Wonderland. This campaign really caught on. Watch the case study video, it’s worth it. Or watch the 3 minute PSA. It’s also worth it.
Between us, the agency, the client, and the production teams, every person that touched this project felt like it was theirs. It truly was a team effort.
What I've Always Wanted
The Ask / Develop a branded campaign to get people to switch to Prolia.
The Answer / Since this is a pharma ad, I can't really talk about what the drug is for. But I can say the campaign was meant to empower senior citizens to take control of their health. It began as a simple print and out of home campaign. But based on effectiveness of the work, the media buy was expanded to include radio and television. The end product is a robust multichanneled campaign that was beautifully executed and hugely powerful. It was a great project with a great client.
Product Naming & Launch
The Ask / Name an Australian Wine that speaks to Canadians’ senses of adventure.
The Answer / The Unofficial National Anthem of Australia. Waltzing Matilda was written by Banjo Paterson in 1895, and describes sheep theft, a chase, and the death of a Swagman. Literally meaning to walk with a sack, the song is filled with Australian slang and can’t-get-out-of-your-head melodies. Even though the main character in the song ends up killing himself out of necessity, there was something curious about a nomad from South Australia who travelled with nothing more than a billy (a tin cup), a tucker bag or matilda (essentially a hobo sack) and a jumbuck (a sheep...that he stole).
We explored many names but there was something that just felt right about using the song title—it conveyed the spirit of adventure and was unmistakably Australian. Barb Vrhovsek did a great job with the Art Director, including the designs for the other names. Even I chipped in by designing the WM mark. That’s right, still got it.
Nausea is creeping
The Ask / Ensure Canadians know that Gravol is the trusted brand to help nausea.
The Answer / Ever feel like nausea is creeping up on you? These projects were concurrent but not related. Gravol.ca needed a major refresher. So we used the opportunity to make it the go to place for all product and symptom questions. The TV spot was intended to be an integrated campaign. Sadly, I was unable to see the project through to the end. It could have been great.
Bank of Montreal
BMO SmartFolio Launch
The Ask / Let people know there’s a new way to invest online.
The Answer / A Rube Goldberg Machine. There’s a lot to know about investing, especially if you want to do it yourself. BMO SmartFolio however, makes it virtually effortless. All you do is put a little money in your account and watch it happen—as real portfolio managers take care of everything else. What began as a quest to make everything as effortless became flat comparison of everything else in life that is effortless.
Regardless, I really like the spot and the inclusion of the human helping the machine along. And after 118 attempts, we finally got the perfect take. The ball made it to the end 17 times and reached our actor only 24 times. But in the end, it worked.
Church & Dwight Canada
A Medley of Digital & Social Work
The Ask / Keep C&D’s vast portfolio of brands top-of-mind with stock photography and pack shots.
The Answer / Church & Dwight’s portfolio of brands includes Arm & Hammer, OxiClean, Trojan, amongst others. And a lot of their larger brand projects are done out of the US. Leaving us Canadians to figure out what to do with very few dollars and even less time. So, what do you do when you have a great set of brands and no money? Have as much fun as you possibly can. Enjoy this random sampling of Facebook creative. There are hundreds more where this came from, these are the ones I especially liked.
Dodge Caravan Kids
Proud Sponsors of Hometown Hockey
The Ask / Let Canadians know Dodge Caravan’s contributions to the game we love.
The Answer / Show the kids Dodge Grand Caravan has helped play the game they love. Not by focusing on the inspiring, tug at the heartstrings scenes you’d expect. We wanted to see the wobbles, the falls, and the hilarity that comes with kids on ice. The main spot was constructed using B-Roll footage celebrating hockey firsts.
The Digital Pub
The Ask / Remind Canadians that in the frozen food aisle, there’s only one Hungry-Man.
The Answer / Hockey is a world dominated be hungry men (and women), and on trade deadline day fans are equally hungry for players that can push their team over the top. Partnering with NHL.com, we developed The Hungry-Man Pub where fans could connect with each other, throw some darts for prizes, and discuss the trades that would change the NHL landscape.
All season long, Hungry-Man sponsored NHL.com’s nightly “Frozen Moments” and showcased those images within the Pub interface. This along with our cool darts game gave people a reason to keep coming back…and learning about Hungry-Man’s lineup of dinners.
From Our Family to Yours
The Ask / Give Toyota a unique personality to reach the people of the Prairies.
The Answer / Toyota has quickly become one of the most popular automotive brands in Western Canada, specifically because we took the time to really make sure the brand represented the spirit of the Prairies. The 50th Anniversary spot happened shortly after the big flood in Calgary (from which I was evacuated). Rather than dwelling on what had already happened, we wanted to look forward. The other spots are just silly fun, something people who live in the Prairies seem to love.
Born Rebels Launch
The Ask / Introduce the people of BC to new Rebellion Wine.
The Answer / We were born rebels. Rebellion doesn’t mean throwing rocks or overturning governments. It means living life on your own terms and doing things your way. When Rebellion entered the saturated wine category it was important for us that they get a following, rather than just people trying the wine. With a limited budget, we decided Instagram was the right medium to start the Rebellion.
Copy I / Striking with the right amount of spice. We were born rebels and this is our Shiraz. Discover #rebellionwine at BC liquor stores.
Copy II / Lively, light, and subtly sweet. We were born rebels and this is our Pinot Grigio. Discover #rebellionwine at BC liquor stores.
Copy III / Before conformity and stigmas; before social obligations; we played by our own rules. We were born rebels. #rebellionwine
Copy IV / Take a trend. Put your own spin on it. Pair it with #rebellionwine.
Copy V / Made for, and be, those who live on their own terms. Share your story using #rebellionwine
Copy VI / Raise a glass for the country that lets us live on our own terms. #rebellionwine #canadaday
Mercedes-Benz Toronto Retail Group
Dream Big Rebranding
The Ask / Rebrand the Toronto Area Retail Group to Mercedes-Benz Corporate Stores.
The Answer / Dream big. The Mercedes-Benz Corporate Stores are 7 Toronto-based retail locations all operated by Mercedes-Benz Germany. That meant better service, better selection, and better integration and support for the individual communities in which each operated. This rebrand gave us the ability to get really targeted in our local advertising rather than relying on overarching national brand platforms.
The Ask / Launch Interac eTransfer.
The Answer / Send money to the people that matter. Interac eTransfer used to be called Email Money Transfer—a name that failed to alleviate the concerns people had over the safety and security of electronic money transfers, even the purpose of them as cheques were still widely used. Now, things are different. You’re welcome.
City of Toronto
The Ask / Inform Torontonians of the city’s environmental initiatives.
The Answer / The city had (and has) many great environmental programs that need to be communicated. Sometimes it’s a simple reminder with a simple headline and a clever delivery so that there are no mistakes when, where, and why the Torontonians need to LiveGreen.