Friday, December 18, 2009

Get the party started

Joey Restaurant Group's Diamonds Are Forever New Year's Party was featured on the cover of today's 24hrs.

Here's the scoop:

Prepare to be shaken and stirred at this James Bond-inspired soiree. Dress to impress and enjoy champagne, drink specials, appetizers and live music. After all, you only live twice.

Tickets are $35 and available for purchase at Joey Broadway.
December 31, 9pm - 2 am

If you're in the mood for more of a culinary evening, Joey Burrard (@Robson) is hosting Dine With Us New Year's Eve, an evening of three-course menus, champagne and drink specials.

Reservations: 604.683.5639 or

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

VISIT Milwaukee Selects Meetingmax

Online housing reservation system to welcome visitors to the jewel of the Great Lakes

Vancouver, BC; December 15, 2009Meetingmax, provider of the travel industry’s most flexible online housing reservation system, today announced the signing of an agreement with VISIT Milwaukee. Through the agreement, the Milwaukee Convention and Visitors Bureau will use Meetingmax’s system to manage convention housing bookings for its more than 60 member hotels.

As part of its selection process, VISIT Milwaukee looked at several other housing systems. The organization primarily selected Meetingmax based on its user-friendly software interface.

“A big part of our mandate is to ensure that guests are warmly welcomed to Milwaukee, and that begins the moment they book their hotel room,” says Dave Larson, Director of Convention Services, VISIT Milwaukee. “Meetingmax’s system makes it easy for conference delegates to quickly search for a participating hotel, explore its features and book a room.”

Milwaukee is a premiere Midwestern meeting destination. In addition to its dynamic downtown and state-of-the-art convention facilities, Milwaukee differentiates itself through its warm hospitality and affordable prices. In 2008, tourism generated $2.7 billion in spending in Greater Milwaukee and supported approximately 66,000 local jobs.

News of the VISIT Milwaukee agreement follows the signing of agreements with Atlanta’s Cobb County and Hamilton County, Indiana. Meeetingmax’s system will be used to manage convention housing bookings at CVB member hotels in both counties.

“Right now we are seeing considerable interest in our system. Given current market conditions, CVBs are looking for ways to make it as easy as possible to manage events in their cities,” says Jeff Duncan, COO, Meetingmax Systems. “Our system offers hotels, planners and CVBs powerful, customizable tools that allow them to efficiently manage their inventory.”

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Jam the Van Calgary

Calgarian Tim Tam lovers we need your help!

Tomorrow the CBC in Calgary is jamming a Purolator van full of donations for The Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank. The CBC's Tim Tamashiro (great name) will be handing out Tim Tam biscuits to donors and demonstrating the famous Tim Tam Slam.

Look for the Purolator van parked outside CBC Calgary. You can't miss it because it will be decorated with Christmas lights and Tim Tamashiro will be sitting on top of it. And he won't get off until it's filled with food.

Click here for more details.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Inside Local Public Eatery

Executive chef Chris Mills takes Vancouver magazine on a tour of the newly opened Local Public Eatery on Kits beach and demos a signature recipe.

Tim Tam does a Tim Tam Slam

Tim Tamashiro, host of Tonic on CBC Radio 2, demonstrates the Tim Tam slam. That's passion for your biscuits.

Monday, November 23, 2009

2010 Hour Olympic Countdown

Elettra's Stephanie Miles (far right) & Kelly Aldinger (second from left) celebrate the 2010 Hour Olympic Countdown at YVR with Trevor Linden and the YVR Communications team.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Kitsilano Blog: Local Public Eatery opens today

Posted by Frances on November 20th, 2009

When Malone’s closed down last year, much speculation was made over who would take over the popular beachfront spot at the intersection of Cornwall and Yew. The rather unassuming name of Local Public Eatery popped up, and we have eagerly waited for interior pictures and outdoor signs and finally– opening day this Friday!

For a gastro pub with franchise origins, Local Public Eatery surprisingly lives up to its “local” label. While Local is a part of the Joey’s restaurant group, it manages to leave out the formulaic feel of chain restaurants. Instead, great consideration has gone into making sure that Local reflects some aspects of the neighbourhood– and no, I don’t mean the many flat screens showing the latest Canucks game (though there’s that too).

Right at the entrance it’s obvious that Local Public Eatery considers the importance of its location: an entire wall is decorated with a blown-up map of the city. And then there’s tiny charming touches, such as their personal take on Kits landmarks printed on the backs of menus. So, just in case you’ve forgotten that Vanier Park makes a good makeout spot, the cheeky menu will be happy to remind you.

Local’s menu is more reasonably priced compared to most chain restaurants, and the drink selection is as wide as it is affordable with nightly drink specials ranging from $5-6. As for appetizers, their Duo of Dips ($11) features a platter of oven-warm crisp tortillas served along with guacamole and cheese. While this sounds like another ordinary sports game snack, Local quite exceeds those expectations. The guac is guaranteed fresh as the server actually mashes those avocados right in front of you, mixing along jalapenos and aromatic cilantro with a dash of lime and a special salt (imported from France, the server confides).

Another seemingly humble side dish that wowed me was the bucket of Yam Fries ($7 a a starter, but free with the burgers). What sets Local’s yam fries above the rest are the evenly crisp fries and the corresponding creamy tangy dip (three words: truffle lemon mayo).

The main course revolves around their burgers, and I was actually intimidated at the size and the construction of my towering Kits Beach Burger ($14) when it arrived. I briefly considered the logistics of fitting half a pound of ground chuck patty inside my stomach. Thankfully, this was an amazing burger. Note that the patty was made of ground chuck as opposed to the usual ground beef, which meant that the patty was much jucier and flavourful than the common burger. The golden brioche buns, with the flaky and buttery crumb, also contributed to the overall richness of the burger.

The menu states that my Kits Beach burger is also known as a “gritty Greer burger.” Apparently, Kits beach used to be known as Greer beach, after Sam Greer the pioneer who battled CPR for the rights to build a homestead on the beach. A quick Google research proves this true. Incorporating a piece of obscure Kits history wins Local some brownie points!

Speaking of brownies, the Caramel Toffee Cake ($6) comes highly suggested by the waitstaff. However, the Gooey Chocolate Brownie ($6) arrives instead, perhaps just so I can make a “brownie points” pun. This dessert is presented warm with a huge cold scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. I don’t know how I managed to eat even more after eating the burger, but I knew I could not miss this one. Drizzled caramel sauce and crushed pecans made the dessert even more decadent. I would definitely come back just to try out the caramel toffee cake, however.

Since Local Public Eatery is still in its earliest days, it would be interesting to see how it will continue to shift to better fit the neighbourhood dynamics. I hear they’re playing the Canucks game tonight. The gorgeous wooden patio will be opening up in the summer, and I hear there’s a takeout shack in the works when beach season comes. Well, when Kits beach is your front yard, you can’t go wrong.

Local Public Eatery opens in Kits

Yay! It's open!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Airport plans - CBC

Kirk Williams reports on Vancouver International Airport's plans for the Olympics.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Atlanta’s Cobb County CVB Selects Meetingmax

Online housing reservation system to help deliver southern hospitality

Vancouver, BC; November 10, 2009
Meetingmax, provider of the travel industry’s most flexible and cost-effective online housing reservation system, today announced the signing of an agreement with Cobb County Convention & Visitors Bureau. Through the agreement, Cobb County will use Meetingmax’s system to manage convention housing bookings for more than 13,500 rooms in 120 hotels.

“In today's market, meeting planners need reliable housing management and accurate pick-up reports for their events,” says Abbey Harwell, Communications & Marketing Technology Manager, Cobb County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We were impressed by Meetingmax’s secure, 24/7 access to online inventory, room block management tools, and useful reports.”

Located just 10 miles northwest of downtown Atlanta, Cobb County is a destination for conventions and trade shows. With 80% of the U.S. population within a two-hour flight, Atlanta is accessible via direct service from most destinations.

As part of its selection process, Cobb County CVB looked at several other housing systems. The organization primarily selected Meetingmax based on its user-friendly software interface.

“Meetingmax’s software simplifies the reservation process for attendees and decreases reporting time for planners,” continues Harwell. “Users get an instant confirmation when making, changing or canceling their reservations. This will add up to better hotel bookings and happier attendees.”

“One of Cobb County’s differentiators is its southern hospitality,” says Jeff Duncan, COO, Meetingmax Systems. “We are proud that our system has been selected to play a key role in facilitating first impressions with their guests.”

Using Meetingmax’s system, delegates can quickly search for a participating hotel, explore its features and book a room. Hotels can efficiently search, process, summarize, and report on all rooms and reservations for each delegate group. CVBs use the Master Control Panel to easily create an event, assign hotels, set rates and manage inventory.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Condo marketer promises Escape from Boringville

By Eve Lazarus

West Vancouver based Larco Investments has kicked off an unusual print and outdoor campaign to flog condos in their latest development, Morgan Crossing.

Called “Escape from Boringville,” Fingerprint Strategies, a real estate marketing firm, and Spring Advertising have created a billboard art installation, online banner ads as well as print and classified ads meant to make new home buyers think twice before buying a generic condo.

To launch the billboard execution, Spring bought a 1992 Plymouth Voyager and five mannequins and had everything spray painted beige. The mannequins have left the car and are positioned scrambling up the billboard desperate to get a glimpse at life in Morgan Crossing, said Rob Schelycher, creative director at Spring.

A print ad running in local papers shows two beige people outside a row of beige houses and the caption “There’s a ton of stuff to do, if you have a full tank of gas.”

Larco figures that house buyers are looking for more than just a front door, garage and mini van that they have to drive to the corner store.

“It’s a very European style in that it’s a walkable community where everything you want to do is right outside your door,” said Schelycher. “We are taking the people who would ordinarily buy a very generic condo in a generic community and showing them that it’s not a very exciting way to live. We’re giving them Morgan Crossing as an alternative where they can have a life and have fun in their neighbourhood.”

Schelycher said the campaign targets first time home-buyers, people downsizing and those moving from smaller condos in the suburbs.

“So much real estate advertising tends to assume that people are interested in the message. This work is meant to get people interested and paying attention to an alternative real estate message which is not to buy a regular condo but to live in a community,” said Schelycher.

Morgan Crossing offers buyers an escape from Boringville

Real estate developer Morgan Crossing wants home buyers to consider a life outside the suburbs with its attention-grabbing new campaign, "Escape Boringville."

Seeking to grab the attention of suburban home buyers who might not have considered a more urban lifestyle, Morgan Crossing has launched a new media campaign featuring an almost post-modern installation-style OOH exhibit located near the up-and-coming development in South Surrey, BC, Spring Advertising account manager Kevin Cornista told MiC.

The installation portrays a beige minivan releasing a group of frantic-looking beige mannequins, seemingly anxious to scramble up a billboard in order to look enviously at the community depicted within. The idea was a collaboration between Vancouver-based Spring, Barlow Media and Fingerprint Strategies.

The goal was to promote the idea of an alternative lifestyle through the medium itself, says Cornista. The display went live on Nov. 2, 2009, and will stay active until Nov. 23. The campaign also includes a website and a whimsical classified advertising buy in Vancouver's Metro, 24 Hours, Black Press community papers and the Home Buyers Guide. The ads appear to be selling the now-unnecessary goods, such as the minivan, that are supposedly leftover from people's former dreary suburban lives.

"Real estate advertising has a habit of sameness which we wanted to move away from," Rob Schleycher, Spring Advertising CD, told MiC of the creative strategy."The creative dictated the use of alternative media because we were making a statement that this is an alternative to the typical suburban lifestyle."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mannequins, Humans Make the Escape from Boringville

Vancouver, BC; November 3, 2009 – Recently, drivers in a Lower Mainland, BC community were witness to a strange sight: a dull, beige minivan with a group of mannequins pouring out of it and scrambling up a billboard. The mannequins- tired of the dull, beige confines of life in Boringville- were desperate to get a glimpse at a life worth living.

The installation is part the Escape from Boringville campaign for Morgan Crossing, a residential and retail village development in South Surrey, BC. Vancouver advertising and design firm, Spring, developed the campaign in partnership with Fingerprint Strategies, Morgan Crossing’s sales and marketing firm.

“Morgan Crossing appeals to people who are looking for an antidote to a boring, suburban life. The village concept captures their imagination,” says Bryan Woolley, President, Fingerprint Strategies. “We needed an approach beyond the traditional condo marketing of print ads and direct mail, something that would tell potential buyers- as they are driving by in their cars- that a life without total dependency on their vehicle is possible.”

Morgan Crossing is inspired by European villages and traditional Main Streets, places where amenities are a walkable distance from home, and was designed so that living, shopping, exercising, hanging out can all happen in the same place.

“With the Escape from Boringville campaign, we wanted to demonstrate that buying a home is not just a choice about where to live, but also how to live,” says Rob Schelycher, Creative Director, Spring. “The mannequins are simply a metaphor for the desire to escape suburban sameness and find something better.”

A video and photos of the making of the Escape from Boringville mannequin installation can be viewed on the Morgan Crossing website:

Media strategy and buying for the campaign is handled by Barlow Media, and PR is handled by Elettra Communications.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Arts Club Honours

If you're looking for a reason to get all dolled up in November, then look no further than the Art Club Honours.

This swanky bash (on November 30th) will honour three of the Arts Club Theatre's longtime stars, while also raising funds to help support the Arts Club's youth education programs. The evening will include a red carpet reception, followed by dinner, awards show, and after party. It will be a night to remember for theatre lovers.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wanted: One Very Clever Intern

Elettra Communications is hiring an Events & PR Intern. The chosen candidate will primarily assist with planning and executing an Olympic-time event for one of our clients. The candidate will also assist on a variety of other projects, and will provide some administrative support in our office. This is position is suitable for anyone interested in pursuing a career in public relations.


Event coordination:

  • Coordinate event suppliers - provide direction, respond to their inquiries, process invoices
  • Draft briefing documents
  • Maintain an event schedule
  • Be on site to coordinate events
  • Prepare regular reports and a project wrap reports

Assist with a variety of client projects:

  • Draft media releases and other materials
  • Create media lists
  • Conduct research
  • Administrative tasks as required


  • Enrollment in a degree or diploma program in Communications, Business, Public Relations, or Arts
  • High level of interest in public relations
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills.
  • Computer proficiency in MS Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint)
  • Accountability, professionalism, and a high level of attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently or in teams
  • Able to be flexible with work hours


  • Full time
  • Three months - January 4, 2010 – April 2, 2010
  • Compensation: Monthly honorarium

Send resume & cover letter to by October 26th.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Elettra is hiring an Administrative & Communications Assistant

Elettra has an immediate opening for an Administrative & Communications Assistant. The position is temporary (6 months) and full-time. The position is ideal for an individual who has recently graduated from a public relations or communications program.


Provide administrative support to team members, including:

  • Schedule and organize meetings
  • Maintain filing systems
  • Maintain budget files and information
  • Maintain mailing lists and organize mail-outs
  • Prepare correspondence, PowerPoint presentations, and spreadsheets

Provide communication support to team members, including:

  • Manage contact database
  • Handle incoming requests for photographs, publications and speakers
  • Respond to general inquiries
  • Help coordinate events
  • Assemble media kits


  • Post secondary degree or diploma in Business, Marketing, Administration, Public Relations, or Arts
  • High level of interest in Communications and Public Relations
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills
  • Computer proficiency in MS Office, including Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Access
  • Ability to handle deadlines, as well as confidential and sensitive matters
  • Team player and self-starter with good judgment, diplomacy, professionalism and sense of humour
  • Previous experience working in an office environment is an asset

Applicants are asked to send their cover letter and resume to

Friday, July 31, 2009

Elettra is hiring a Media Relations Consultant

Elettra Communications has an immediate opening for a Media Relations Consultant with extensive experience in issues management and crisis communication. The chosen candidate will provide proactive and reactive media relations support to a client in the aviation industry. The position is part time (32 hours per week) and has a one-year term.


  • Act as day-to-day client contact on key projects
  • Quickly build thorough knowledge of our client’s business and industry
  • Handle incoming media inquiries
  • Develop issues management strategies and key messages
  • Provide guidance and coaching to spokespeople
  • Plan and implement proactive media relations strategies
  • Pitch stories to local media
  • Monitor coverage in traditional and social media
  • Develop written materials including news releases, fact sheets, media statements, articles, web copy, speeches, client correspondence
  • Manage relationships with third party contractors and suppliers of communications services


  • Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Business, Marketing, Public Relations, or English
  • Minimum four years experience handling issues management in a communications environment
  • Direct experience managing communications in crisis situations
  • Experience providing media training and coaching to executive-level company spokespeople
  • Exceptional writing abilities
  • Experience using and monitoring social media including blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, etc.
  • Comfort working in a challenging and fast-paced environment
  • Flexible with hours and able to respond to media inquiries outside the 9-5, Monday-Friday workweek.


  • Preference will be given to candidates with aviation industry experience.
  • International media relations experience is an asset.
  • Previous experience in a PR agency setting and/or doing contract work will also be considered an asset.

Applicants are asked to send their cover letter and resume to

Thursday, July 16, 2009

CTV launches desktop widget

by Gariné Tcholakian

Noise Digital is bringing the after-show water cooler session to the desktop. CTV show fans who want to rave and rant about last night's eps now have a social community online in which to do it, through the new CTV Primetime Widget.

The desktop app, created by Vancouver-based Noise Digital (the first it's developed for any Canadian broadcaster), is integrated with Facebook extensions and delivers CTV-branded content with customizable features, like format choice for content delivery - text-only, text and image, video, flash or animation - and a dynamic skin that can be changed according to show preference. Once viewers identify their picks, the widget filters content so they only receive relevant info, like new ep reminders, links to previews or full online eps on To help keep them engaged, show trivia, games, contests and special interviews are also part of the CTV-branded menu. Viewers can also track upcoming eps through the widget's program sched and sign up for reminders or promo and contest news updates.

Through the Facebook app, viewers can connect with friends around CTV content, create fan pages for their favourite shows or participate in quizzes and polls. (And in true Facebook style, they'll also receive updates on their friends' quiz scores and can find out which shows friends are watching.)

"By creating a widget and integrating it into Facebook, we created a platform that pushes real-time information to people where they spend a lot of their time," Noise Digital president and CEO Trevor Carr tells MiC. "The widget creates a richer TV-viewing experience because it bridges the gap between the broadcast and online experience," he adds.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Noise Digital Creates Desktop Experience for CTV Viewers

Digital ad agency creates CTV widget and Facebook application

Vancouver, BC; July 15, 2009Noise Digital has officially unveiled their latest digital initiative, the CTV Primetime widget: a desktop application with integrated Facebook extensions. The application will push CTV-branded content onto users’ desktops allowing them to stay connected to their favourite CTV shows and characters.

“These digital applications create a much richer TV-viewing experience for fans,” said Trevor Carr, President & CEO, Noise Digital. “Users can access content that is relevant to them and connect with their friends around their favourite shows. This initiative creates the forum for ‘water cooler talk’ for the next generation of TV viewers.”

Noise has designed the desktop widget with a dynamic skin that can be changed based on the show users’ identify, providing access to special interviews, show previews, games, and access to catch-up episodes viewable online at

The widget can deliver content in various forms including text, text and image, video, flash and animation. To help viewers track their favourite shows, the application offers program schedules for upcoming episodes. There is also a feature that permits users to sign up for reminders and receive news about special promotions or contests. The widget is available online at

The Facebook application provides users with the ability to connect with their friends around CTV’s content. Users are given the opportunity to create fan pages for their favourite shows and participate in quizzes and polls. It also allows users to receive updates on their friends’ quiz scores and view which shows their friends are watching.

“The CTV Primetime Widget demonstrates CTV’s steadfast commitment to reaching our audience on their terms,” said Stephan Argent, CTV’s Vice-President, Digital Media. “As an industry leader, we recognize the importance of using evolving technologies to engage with consumers in new and innovative ways.”

About Noise Digital:
Noise is a digital advertising agency providing online marketing solutions for leading national and global brands. The company’s success stems from its belief in truly integrated marketing strategy, cutting edge technology and breakthrough creative design. Noise was founded in 1998 and has offices in Vancouver and Toronto. Its clients include: Nokia, adidas, Sony PlayStation, Johnson & Johnson, Ferrero Brands, Canadian Direct Insurance, Maple Pictures and CTV.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

simpleview Teams Up With Meetingmax

Duo to Provide Online Group Reservation Technology to Destination Marketing Organizations

Tucson, AZ and Vancouver, BC; July 14, 2009simpleview, North America’s fast-growing provider of technology solutions to the Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) industry, announced today a partnership with Meetingmax Systems. Through the relationship, simpleview will market Meetingmax’s flexible and cost-effective online housing reservation system to its roster of DMO clients in North America.

“This new relationship presents great opportunities for our clients as well as for both companies,” says Ryan M. George, CEO, simpleview. “Meetingmax’s comprehensive online housing system rounds out our product offering and will provide our clients with new abilities to win group business.”

As part of the agreement, the two companies will begin integrating simpleview’s content and customer relationship management software with Meetingmax’s online housing system. This will help clients avoid the cost and hassle of working with independent systems and create a seamless experience for the user.

“This relationship makes sense on every level,” says Jeff Duncan, COO, Meetingmax Systems. “simpleview has established relationships with an extensive list of DMOs, but housing system technology hasn’t been their focus. With our background in meeting and event planning, we have been able to build a system that meets the needs of DMOs, event planners, and hotels.”

While the companies will initially focus their marketing efforts on the U.S., the organizations are also jointly pursuing growth opportunities in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

About Meetingmax:
Meetingmax Systems provides the travel industry with the most flexible and cost-effective online housing reservation system. Initially developed to meet the needs of Meetingmax’s meeting and event planning arm, the system provides convention and visitors bureaus, event planners and organizations with a simple yet powerful means to manage conference and event room bookings. The system boasts real time processing for hotels, a dynamic pricing model based on the length of the booking, and customizable features to meet each client’s needs. Meetingmax is based in Vancouver, BC and can be found online at

About simpleview:
Inc. magazine ranks simpleview #2 among the fastest-growing, privately held U.S. companies in the travel and tourism sector. Since 1991, the company has maintained a 99% client retention rate while capturing the largest market share in its field, helping 125+ destination marketing organizations (DMOs) get the most out of technology, the web and interactive marketing. At the highest level, simpleview develops big-picture strategies for DMO sales, marketing and operations. On a tactical level, they offer integrated products and services tailored to destination marketing: dynamic websites and content management, search engine optimization, interactive marketing services, social media management, design, content and multimedia production. To date, the company’s Web-based destination management system has driven $6.8 billion in economic impact for its customers, which includes destinations ranging from New York City to Portland, Oregon, Boston to Jacksonville, Toronto to the Bahamas. simpleview employs 60+ people in Tucson, Arizona and San Diego, California.

Monday, June 29, 2009

New Noise appointment echoes growing digital convergence

People Moves

by Gariné Tcholakian
Media in Canada

Noise Digital has just appointed Michael Milardo as its co-creative director. The move, which follows the opening of Noise's Toronto office earlier this year, is part of the agency's efforts to strengthen its resources to address the needs of an ad client base that is seeing increasing convergence between traditional and digital.

The award-winning copywriter's first project with the agency, "Zombie Singles", won the Bronze Cyber Lion at Cannes last week. (Milardo, who worked on the campaign on a contract basis at the time, helped set the tone and a unique sense of humour to the zombie dating profiles which contributed to the user experience.)

The newly created role is being shared with Noise's current CD, Brock Ellis, with whom Milardo will be working to develop campaigns for clients including Nokia, Sony PlayStation, Ferrero, Tic Tac and Johnson & Johnson.

"We believe that ideas dictate the media," Mark Nishiguchi, managing partner at Noise Digital tells MiC."Media and creative are becoming one strategic and planning entity, and technology is the reason why these lines are blurring. It reflects the fact that digital is not a singular communication channel: it's the thread that links all media channels together, so Michael's knowledge and expertise in traditional channels is critical to our strategic positioning as a full-service digital partner."

"It's pretty clear where the industry is headed, and I wanted to be a part of that," said Milardo, in a release. "A great idea can live in any form; moving online with Noise just made sense. They work with global brands, and there's a ton of opportunity online."

Formerly of Rethink and TBWA, Milardo's past experience also includes working for BBDO Berlin and Ogilvy Copenhagen, and with clients like Bell Mobility, Vancity, BC Lotteries, HSBC, Volkswagen, Sobeys Foods and McDonald's. He's won over 30 awards, including Communication Arts, One Show Interactive, the Clio Awards and London International.

"Digital agencies are no longer just adapting existing creative for the web," said Nishiguchi in a recent release. "We now have a lead role in overall campaign development. Michael's expertise strengthens our ability to deliver breakthrough creative, strategic insight and technical ability."

Expanding further on the statement, Nishiguchi later tells MiC: "In order for truly integrated executions to be successful, media needs to be at the centre of planning and strategy. In a more fractured media landscape it is becoming more important to acknowledge that earned media vs. paid media is becoming the norm vs. the exception. Truly successful agencies will create time, not buy it."

Friday, June 26, 2009

Single, male, undead

Susan Krashinsky

Globe and Mail,

"That’s one thing about zombie fans: they take it really seriously. So it had to look really good. We couldn’t just take a picture and put a hole in somebody’s head." - Mark Nishiguchi, managing partner at Vancouver-based firm Noise Digital

There are some markets Lavalife and eHarmony just don’t serve. Zombies, for example. The undead need love too. Luckily, Zombie Singles fills that void. The site includes listings from Gorey Gretta, “a female zombie seeking a male for casual feeding.” and Guhhhhhh, who likes “blocked exits” and “people buffet,” and dislikes “the hunger.” In truth, Zombie Singles is the award-winning brainchild of Noise Digital, which created the faux dating site last year to advertise zombie-themed mobile phone-based video game Resident Evil Degeneration. The campaign won bronze in the cyber competition at the International Advertising Festival in Cannes this week. A particularly attractive candidate is Kiki from Indonesia, whose “fiends” list is positively gutted – er, glutted. We hope he finds love. The bar scene can be such a meat market.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Noise Appoints Michael Milardo as Creative Director

Vancouver, BC; June 24, 2009 – Following its Bronze Cyber Lion win this morning, Noise Digital has announced the appointment of Michael Milardo as Creative Director. The award-winning copywriter will join Noise’s current Creative Director Brock Ellis in this newly created role. The pair will act much like creative teams at traditional advertising agencies, developing campaigns for clients including Nokia, Sony PlayStation, tic tac, and Johnson & Johnson.

Milardo’s expertise, gained from years at tier one advertising agencies such as Rethink, TBWA, BBDO Berlin, and Ogilvy Copenhagen, will add significant weight to the creative resources available to Noise clients.

“We created this new position to further address the convergence of traditional and digital advertising,” said Mark Nishiguchi, Managing Partner at Noise Digital. “Digital agencies are no longer just adapting existing creative for the web - we now have a lead role in overall campaign development. Michael’s expertise strengthens our ability to deliver breakthrough creative, strategic insight and technical ability.”

Milardo has won more than 30 awards during his career – including Communication Arts, One Show Interactive, the Clio Awards, and London International. Milardo has worked with numerous clients including Bell Mobility, Vancity, BC Lotteries, HSBC, Volkswagen, Sobeys Foods, and McDonalds.

In recent months, Noise has invested significant resources in adding to its capacity. In February it opened an office in Toronto to meet the growing demand for digital advertising services across Canada.

“A great idea can live in any form; moving online with Noise just made sense,” said Milardo. “They work with global brands, and there’s a ton of opportunity online. It’s pretty clear where the industry is headed, and I wanted to be a part of that.”

About Noise Digital:
Noise is a digital advertising agency providing online marketing solutions for leading national and global brands. The company’s success stems from its belief in truly integrated marketing strategy, cutting edge technology and breakthrough creative design. Noise was founded in 1998 and has offices in Vancouver and Toronto. Its clients include: Nokia, adidas, Sony PlayStation, Johnson & Johnson, Ferrero Brands, Canadian Direct Insurance, Maple Pictures and CTV.

***FLASH***Cannes hands Canada four more Lions

by Carey Toane and Mary Maddever
Media In Canada

If zombies make your heart pound in a good way, then the news of Canada's only Cyber Lion will set you a-flutter. Vancouver-based Noise Digital won Canada's only Bronze Lion for "Zombie Singles," an undead dating site to build buzz for Resident Evil: Degeneration on the Nokia N-Gage platform.

Dubbed the "official dating site of the walking dead," invites lonely brain-cravers to upload photos to be "zombified," browse and rate other gruesome profiles or let the matchmaker take a crack at finding love for them.

"It was a big hit," says Canadian jury member Stephane Charier, ECD at Taxi Montreal. "We laughed, had so much fun. Juries are human - just because of that I think it inspired a lot of love."

"Zombie Singles" was the only win out of the eight entries shortlisted yesterday, and Charier notes that the Canadian work submitted "was very good, but Cannes is like the Olympics...We're still doing safe work, still doing microsites, not involving the consumer enough."

The jury awarded three Grand Prix, the only category required to do so, for the top Website and Interactive Campaigns, Online Advertising and Other Interactive Digital Media, and Viral Advertising. Entries dropped more than 500 from last year, with a total of 2,205 entries this year. Out of the 208 shortlisted, 80 went home with a medal.

All three Grand Prix went beyond the limits of the typical microsite, involving consumers in real-world conversations and collaborating with other kinds of marketing and media says Cyber jury president Lars Bastholm, chief digital creative officer of Ogilvy, North America. "Digital no longer lives in a vacuum, it's part of larger campaigns."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

SPARC BC and Tourism Industry to Bust Myths

On June 4, 2009, the Social Planning and Research Council of BC (SPARC BC) will mark Access Awareness Day with Conversation is the Key, a round table discussion focused on dispelling myths about employing people with disabilities. The event will bring together voices from the tourism sector and is part of a campaign to increase the number of people with disabilities working in tourism.

During the event, SPARC BC will welcome representatives from organizations including Flight Centre, Delta Burnaby Hotel, TransLink, and Tourism Vancouver, as well as individuals with disabilities and employment agencies specializing in placing people with disabilities. Together, they will uncover and address the discouraging myths that can prevent an employer from hiring someone with a disability, or prevent an individual with a disability from applying for a job in tourism.

“The best way to tackle these myths is to talk about them,” says Emese Szücs, Manager of Accessibility Programs at SPARC BC. “We recognize that it’s not always an easy issue to discuss, so we’re so pleased to see that so many businesses and individuals have the courage to talk about the myths and find creative solutions.”

Research gathered by SPARC BC shows that, despite a myriad of resources that exist to help employers hire people with disabilities, and despite evidence of the benefits of hiring people with disabilities, the employment rate for people with disabilities is still significantly lower than for those without a disability.

A January 2009 report from BC Stats shows that in 2006, the employment rate for people with a disability was significantly lower than the rate for those without a disability (59.1 per cent vs. 74.3 per cent, respectively). The same report also states that 12.8 per cent of British Columbians of working age have a disability.

According to go2, BC’s tourism industry human resources association, the tourism industry is projected to face a labour supply shortage that could become acute. People with disabilities represent a talent pool that can help fill these jobs.

“We have chosen to focus our campaign on the tourism sector because it has the potential to demonstrate to the world that British Columbia is an inclusive and accessible society,” continues Szücs. “But there is also a solid business argument for it. People with a disability can play an important role in easing the anticipated labour shortage in the tourism industry. And businesses that offer an accessible workplace to employees are also accessible to travellers and residents, which is simply good for business.”