I say things (usually) with words.
And I’m looking for a place to do just that.

Hello! I’m Ketan, an ACD Writer from Toronto. And for the first time in over 15 years, I was laid off. But hey! That’s okay. These things happen. I’m restoring a piano I got on kijiji. I have no idea what I'm doing, but it looks and sounds amazing. Maybe I’ll include that in my portfolio. It’s just another example how I can take something that isn't that great and turn it into something magical. We’ll see.

Anyways, over the past 15 years(!), I’ve worked with some great people that not only gave me a chance to do what I do; they also trusted me to to solve a wide range of communication problems within the industry: I’ve developed campaigns for motor vehicles, marijauna, and a multitude of things in between (including things that don’t start with M). In fact, for a while there, I was an expert at things that had to do with your stomach. I’ve won at least 23 pitches. And I’ve designed and programmed some websites (like this responsive gem—seriously, try it on different devices). I even managed to win a few traditional and digital awards along the way—in both writing and design.

So, thanks for visiting. I hope you enjoy your stay. If you’d like to learn more about my background, connect with me on LinkedIn or via email—it’s quite a story on its own.

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Gravol Ginger

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.

TV & Digital
Stomach Character Exploration by Hornet
TV
print
print
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Gaviscon

Typecasting

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.

Extended Cut
If you look closely on the wall of Gaviscon Man’s study (The plant scene), you’ll notice these hidden gems. That’s me talking to Adam Gaudreau during the make-up test. And the graduation photo is a lame stock photo that we made amazing.
My Cameo
Graduation Day!
Below are the two 30s TV spots. The 25 + 5 features an fun (seriously) 5s tag where Gaviscon Man introduces Canadians to new Gaviscon PM for nighttime heartburn relief.
TV 30s
TV 25s + 5s PM Tag
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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.

Case Study
Wonderland CPR Training Event
Safe Zone Microsite
Event Announcement
Toronto Countdown Event
Below is the full 3 minute PSA and five “Making-of” videos made by Cartilage, Inc. A special thanks goes to Vincenzo Natali, Married to Giants, Cartilage, and Heart & Stroke Foundation from rbing this script to life.
Original PSA
Behind the scenes #1 by Cartilage Inc.
Behind the scenes #2
Behind the scenes #3
Behind the scenes #4
Behind the scenes #5
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Waltzing Matilda

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.

Name and Illustration by Wesley Bates
Influencer Pacakge
Influencer Pacakge
Other name options. I really liked Straya and the design for hopper. I had written stories for all of them. People actually believed the one I had written for Adelaide was real.
Wild Posting
Wild Posting
Print Ad
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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.

Digital Preroll
Billy Bishop Digital Board
Escalator Walkthrough
Elevator Wraps
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Vitafusion

Time to Take Your Vitamins

The Ask / Get Canadians to take a moment to chew on their health.

The Answer / People habitually check Facebook and Instagram. Almost to the point where they don’t even know why they’re checking them. And for all the moments people take to check their phones, why not remind them that checking on their health takes just as little time and can be just as fun.

Truthfully, Vitafusion Multivites are quite tasty. I don’t usually endorse the products that I work on, but I did enjoy eating a couple daily at my desk.

Facebook Video
Facebook Video
Facebook Video
Facebook Video
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Black Cellar Wine

Deep in the Cellar

The Ask / Reintroduce Black Cellar Wine to a new, Millennial audience.

The Answer / The mysterious happenings within the Black Cellar. With very little time and very little money, Director Duane Crichton pulled off a miracle. We created these little moments that give you a glimpse of where the wine comes from. Just as you start to realize what you’re looking at, you’re pulled away outside. These mysterious digital videos increased sales in every region they were played. So, enjoy these and stay tuned for more from Black Cellar.

Digital Preroll — The Blends
Digital Preroll — The Taste
Digital Preroll — The Vines
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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.

Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal
OxiClean White Revive sounds racist. It isn’t.
Happy Halloweenie was Trojan Canada’s most successful social post ever. But using a boner joke is pretty much cheating.
Defense
Trojan Personal “Massagers” are perfect for Christmas?
Trojan Lubes
Head in the Game
One of these things doesn’t belong.
Blast Off!
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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.

TV: Celebrate Hockey Firsts
Here are 3 in-game commercial supers I particularly enjoy. They really pay tribute to the silliness of kids hockey.
Hometown Hockey In-Game — Penalty Shot
Hockeytown Hockey In-Game — Icing
Hometown Hockey In-Game — Warm-up
And finally, a couple of Arena murals.
Arena Mural
Arena Mural
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Hungry-Man

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.

The Hungry-Man Pub Homepage
The Hungry-Man Pub Frozen Moments
The Hungry-Man Pub Darts
Obviously, we needed digital banners to get people to visit the pub. Here are a few trade deadline specific ones with lines I like.
Trade Deadline Banner
Trade Deadline Banner
Trade Deadline Banner
Big Box that I still find hilarious
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Prairie Toyota

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.

Prairie Toyota 50th Anniversary
The Toyota Corolla is so reliable, you love it like you love a good woman.
It’s A Corolla — The Break Up Radio
It’s A Corolla — Meet the Parents Radio
It’s just a simple print ad, but I really enjoy the Toyota Venza Venn Diagram.
Toyota Venza — Print
Here’s the Tacomaphobia Campaign. The videos are funny, but take them with the disclaimer that in no way shape or form am I making fun of mental health.
Tacomaphobia — Group Therapy Preroll
Tacomaphobia — Dream Therapy
Tacomaphobia — Yoga Therapy
Tacomaphobia — Group Therapy Full (Probably really offenseive)
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Rebellion Wine

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.

Instagram
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
Instagram
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
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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.

Community-based CPR Event partnership with H&S.
Corporate Stores Brand Ad
Local Print
Local Print
The Mercedes-Benz Corporate Stores include the smart Dealers as well. Here are just a few of the retail ads we did for them.
Zero Due on Delivery Event Print
Theatre Poster — Batman
Theatre Poster — Spiderman
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Interac Association

Introducing eTransfer

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.

Introduction Poster
Introduction Banner
Print
Print
Print
Print
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City of Toronto

LiveGreen 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.

Source Reduction Print — Think More About Using Less
Source Reduction Print — Think More About Using Less
Installation TSA — We’re Drowning in Plastic
EnviroDays Print — Fade Away
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Amnesty International

50th Anniversary

The Ask / Encourage people to get involved

The Answer / Just one more candle. Many people believe one person can’t make a real difference. That simply isn›t true. But sometimes you have to actually see the difference one can make.

50th Anniversary Poster