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2007 CMA Awards

Posted on November 26, 2007 and read 3,312 times

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It’s all about the numbers.
Or is it really about the party?

Last Friday I attended the Canadian Marketing Association’s 37th annual CMA Awards Gala, billed as “the largest marketing awards celebration of its kind in Canada.” I was one of more than 2,100 marketers that attended the event at Toronto’s Westin Harbour Castle, setting a record for attendance at the CMA Awards.

For those who don’t know, the Canadian Marketing Association Awards are “proud to have one of the most unbiased judging processes of any Awards show program.” During this judging process there is no debate among the judges at any point. There are no trips to a conference on the beach for the judges to think it over and talk about the merit of one component or another. No opportunity for a strong voice to sway the group in any way. Each judges’ opinion is treated equally, but to win a coveted CMA Award, the work must demonstrate to the judges (137 unbiased marketing experts for 2007) that elusive mix of great creative and measurable results.

To win Gold, an entry must reach a minimum score of 80% with the judges in aggregate. Silver requires at least 75% and an Award of Merit must rise above 70% (think: A, B+ and B). For 2007 less than 15% of the 705 entries to the CMA Awards won a Gold, Silver or Merit.

This year the online ad campaign for Reversa, the anti-aging product that features older women hooking up with cougar-friendly twenty-something hunks, took home top honors and the most laughs. With TAXI Montreal picking up the Best of the Best Award for developing the Reversa “See More Side Effects” website – for its client, Montreal-based Dermtek Pharmaceuticals to go along with their double gold awards from the International Advertising Festival in Cannes this past June.

Ogilvy again snagged more Gold for Unilever to go along with their two Grand Prix awards from the Cannes Advertising Festival for their Making Dove Fly – Evolution campaign that by now most people in the ad business are very familiar with.

Oh, you’re not familiar with Evolution? Here’s an expert from the entry to the CMA Awards that demonstrates how the great creative and measurable results blended together for Dove:

“Evolution landed over $150 million of free media worldwide, including coverage from BBC,, Good Morning America and Entertainment Tonight. Dove sales are up 12% over 2006. And, Dove achieved 55,000 touchpoints (defined by spending at least one hour interacting with a Dove Self-Esteem program, whether at a workshop or online), which well exceeded its goal of 30,000.”

Check out all the winners from the Canadian Marketing Association’s 37th annual CMA, here.

One of my favourite moments of the awards show proceeding was listening to and watching The Globe And Mail’s Phillip Crawley, Publisher and Chief Executive Officer go off on the business of advertising and more specifically all the successes The Globe And Mail has had this year contrary to popular belief.

I got the last bit on video, see it here.

Another great moment from the award show was the induction of the newest CMA Honorary Lifetime Members, Publicis VP/Managing Partner Bianca Barbucci and FUSE Marketing Group SVP/GM Stephen Brown who were at the time sharing the Master of Ceremonies role during the CMA gala were both presented the CMA Honorary Lifetime Award by James McPhedran, Managing Director & Head, Scotia Private Client Group, Scotiabank and John Gustavson, President & CEO, Canadian Marketing Association in a surprise presentation. They honestly looked surprised, which was a nice, well…surprise.

But as soon as the awards were all handed out and the dinner was over the party really got going and everyone seemed to be in the mood to unwind. Checkout the photographic evidence below.

And this ultra-exclusive video from the dance floor that was shot early on in the evening and reminds me of the glory years of advertising.

80s Flashback on the dance floor.

Jay Thompson
VP of Stuff




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