Canadian show taps into current political climate to get people to enter their awards race

Advertising, Awards, Festivals

Over the past year, politics have found a way to dominate everything from the TV to people’s newsfeeds and collective psyches. And while it’s safe to say all had enough of it, politics have a funny way of dominating advertising award shows too.  As Canada’s largest and premier creative awards show, the Marketing Awards set out to change this perception.

With the help of agency Zulu Alpha Kilo, they created a timely campaign with a nod to the recent, unexpected US election results. The first ad launched with a print ad in trade publication Strategy Magazine featuring an image of the White House and the headline ‘Sometimes the entries you think have the least chance end up winning.’ The call to action: ‘Enter your long shots too’ with the campaign slogan being ‘Less politics. More creativity.’

To promote the final call for entries, they have also released two politically inspired videos featuring top Canadian creative directors protesting agency award show budget cuts.

The call to entry campaign was rounded out with online banners, e-blasts and social posts that applied common political jargon to the awards show itself. Some of the slogans included “Occupy the podium”, “Build that awards wall” and “Dog walkers have rights too.”

“From jury selection to the deliberation process, we’re doing everything in our power to keep politics out and let the best work win,” says Mary Maddever, SVP Brunico Communications, publisher of strategy, which runs the Marketing Awards. “With awards budgets being under siege, it’s important agencies know this. We also believe that in an era of data and tech-driven decision making it’s time to stand up for the power of pure creativity – it is worth celebrating in its own right.”


  • Agency: Zulu Alpha Kilo
  • Creative Director: Zak Mroueh
  • Art Director: Andrea Romanelli
  • Writer: George Ault, Jon Taylor
  • Account Director: Laura Robinson
  • Client (Company): Brunico Communications
  • Clients: Mary Maddever, Kate Wilkinson, Natalya Chernova
  • Studio Artist: Brandon Dyson, Greg Heptinstall, Ashleigh O’Brien, Andrew Martin
  • Agency Producer: Jackie Pal, Laura Dubcovsky, Ola Stodulska
  • Director: Zak Mroueh
  • DOP: Jay Baker, Laura Friedmann
  • Production Company: zulubot
  • Developer: Thomas Schemmer, Justo Tellez, Gillian Black,
  • Editor: Jay Baker, Michael Headford
  • Sound: Josh Mancuso

In addition to marketing and media brands strategy, stimulant and Media In Canada, Brunico’s portfolio of national business publications includes Film and TV industry journal Playback. Toronto-based Brunico also publishes the leading magazines and daily news for the international children’s entertainment industry and the global non-fiction content market, Kidscreen and Realscreen, respectively. Brunico produces conferences and marketplaces across North America, Europe and Asia that connect content producers, buyers and brands from around the world, such as Scripted, Realscreen Summit, Kidscreen Summit and the Banff World Media Festival.