IKEA 'Start the Car!' is chosen by TIFF as one of the top 10 essential ads of Canadian Cinema History.

A 200 member cross-country wide panel at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) recently compiled a list of the 150 essential films of Canadian cinema history, including the top ten most influential Canadian ads. I was pleased to learn that IKEA 'Start the Car!' was chosen alongside other iconic tv spots like Dove 'Evolution', the Molson Canadian 'Rant' and Tropicana 'Arctic Sun'.

I created the IKEA spot with Andrew Bradley back in 2005 at an advertising agency called, Zig and we never thought it be a part of history. Congratulations to all the other spots that made the list. It’s a huge honour to be part of it. ‘Start the Car!’ and the entire 150 list will be part of the Canada's 150th Anniversary celebrations, starting in April of 2017.

List of the 150 Essential Works in Canadian Cinema History

IKEA 'Start the Car!'

Director: Mark Gilbert, DOP: Tico Paulakakis, Editor: Leo Zaharatos, Music: Ted Rosnick, Transfer: Technicolor

Zig: Andy Macaulay, Elspeth Lynn, Lorraine Tao, Shelley Brown, Christine Harron, Janet Woods, Sharon Nelson

IKEA: Cass Hall, Nandini Ventakesh, Ravi Krishnan

KBS Tells a Tale of Two ‘Twins’ for BMW

KBS launched a new spot for BMW entitled “Twins” showing how one twin’s decision to purchase a pre-owned BMW sets them apart.

The 30-second spot opens on a montage of the twins going through life matching each other: from being pushed in a double stroller to riding identical bikes in matching outfits to living next door to each other in identical apartments. KBS takes things a step too far when they marry women that look almost exactly the same. (Are they twins too? Does anyone else find this a little creepy?) Their paths finally diverge when one of them buys a red, pre-owned BMW, much to the surprise of the twin, who went for an ordinary, beige sedan. Not pictured: the red BMW owning twin getting pulled over for speeding while the beige sedan driver speeds by. The message, clearly, is that you can stand out with a pre-owned BMW rather than a more ordinary new vehicle, but we’re far from convinced “Twins” was the best way to deliver it. The spot made its national broadcast debut yesterday, following a Spanish language test-run on ESPN Deportes and other outlets a few weeks ago, Campaign notes.

The spot is notable for likely being the last work of chief creative officers Dan Kelleher  and Jonathan Mackler, who got fired in January. Since we’ve yet to hear any word of KBS naming successors to the positions Kelleher and Mackler left vacant, it would appear that the MDC Partners shop is still looking for a new global CCO.

Agency: KBS
Co-Chief Creative Officer: Dan Kelleher
Co-Chief Creative Officer: Jonathan Mackler
Executive Creative Director: Paul Renner
Executive Creative Director: Marc Hartzman
Sr. Copywriter: Daniel Price
Sr. Art Director: Vijay Patil
Sr. Business Affairs Manager: Alesa Blanchard-Nelson
Executive Producer: Drew Lippman
President, Business Leadership: Katie Klumper
Group Business Lead: Erik Schroeder
Account Executive, Business Leadership: Andrew Ames
Integrated Producer: Kirsten Golden

Production: Station Film, Los Angeles
Director: Mark Gilbert
Executive Producer: Caroline Gibney
Line Producer: Sarah McMurray
Director of Photography: Richard Henkels
Production Design: Danielle Clemenza

Editorial: Cut & Run NY
Editor: Jon Grover
Executive Producer: Rana Martin
Senior Producer: Ellen Lavery

Music: Massive Music, New York
Managing Director: Keith Haluska
Creative Director: Elijah Torn
Producer: Diederik van Middelkoop
Composer: Matt Fletcher

Color Grade: CO3 New York
Colorist: Tim Masick
Audio Mix: Sonic Union, New York
Mixer: Paul Weiss


Grey Canada won Canada’s first Lions for its bold “Ladyballs” campaign to raise awareness about ovarian cancer.

The campaign was awarded a Silver Lion in the Fundraising and Advocacy category of the Health & Wellness competition, part of the Health Lions handed out Saturday evening in Cannes. The campaign was nominated twice in the competition.

A day later, the campaign received more accolades when it was shortlisted in the Glass Lions competition. The Glass Lions were just added to the Festival last year, created to recognize work that is “confronting prejudice and inequality through progressive, socially-conscious representations of gender.” In that first year, Canada won for Leo Burnett’s “#LikeAGirl.”

Since its January debut, “Ladyballs” has become a runaway success for Ovarian Cancer Canada. According to the organization, the campaign led to a spike in calls across the country, with one caller in particular citing radio spots as the reason for her $100,000 donation.

Less than two months into its run, “Ladyballs” earned approximately $60 million in earned media impressions and led to a 118% increase in requests for Ovarian Cancer Canada’s By Your Side, a resource provided to women diagnosed with the disease.

The Glass Lions will be handed out during an awards gala in Cannes on Monday night.

Station Film director Mark Gilbert on John Oliver tirades, quality television and challenging the status quo.

What’s the best ad campaign you’ve seen recently?

I’m particularly fond of the We’re The Superhumans ad for the Rio 2016 Paralympics. It was very clever yet it still managed to pull at the heartstrings.

What website(s) do you use most regularly and why?

I use the New York Times as my homepage. It’s a great place to start out the day. But I suppose I’m usually on YouTube watching some sort of Jimmy Fallon skit or laughing along with one of John Oliver’s insightful rants.

What’s the most recent piece of tech that you’ve bought and why?

Tesla. It’ll go down in history as the one single piece of technology that will change how we will relate to transportation. I love the idea that we can step away from fossil fuels and start to be more self reliant as a society.

I think when the Model 3 comes out we will see a massive shift from gas to electric. I’m looking forward to the day when we are all driving electric and combustion engines are just a novelty item that are just rolled out for the classic car shows.

What’s your favoured social media platform?

I’m a long time fan of the classic chit-chat.

What’s your favourite app on your phone?

I’m constantly on WhatsApp as I have close friends in Switzerland, Hong Kong and France, so it keeps me close with those folks.

What’s your favourite TV show and why?

I can’t pick one. Boardwalk EmpireBloodlineHouse of CardsHomelandNarcos. All great TV. I had refused to watch Game of Thrones for years, but last year I tore my achilles tendon and was laid up for a couple of weeks, so I ripped through all five seasons in a week.

What film do you think everyone should have seen and why?

I loved The GraduateGandhiThe Social Network and anything by Wes Anderson, but I think everyone’s film choices are very personal so I would never offer why people should see a specific film.

Where were you when inspiration last struck?

On the beach in Portugal with my son splashing around in the surf, thinking how painfully beautiful life can be.

What’s the most significant change you’ve witnessed in the industry since you started working in it?

I would say the most positive change is that since there is so much clutter in the world of advertising that clients are having to go above and beyond their acceptable levels of normal to get noticed. They are breaking out of the status quo of what is traditional about their brand and trying new things.

That gives agencies and directors more latitude to take brands further than they’ve ever gone before. It allows room to innovate the idea of what that brand means to consumers.

Great agencies stand out. Great work stands out. That will never change. Great work has now become accessible to the masses no matter where you are in the world. I think that is forcing clients to try to rise above the clutter in their own backyards and experiment with their brand’s potential.

If there was one thing you could change about the advertising industry, what would it be?

I would say it ties in to my earlier answer. The clients need to be supported to make an effort to rise above the mediocre and have the intention to make something great.

What or who has most influenced your career and why?

Two fellows named James. James Bland of Blink Productions in London, who got me into the industry and remains a dear friend. And a fellow James, James Davis, who founded Reginald Pike. An executive producer with great taste and creative insight who was kind enough to show me the ropes.

Tell us one thing about yourself that most people won’t know.

I’m a little on the short side for a tall person…kind of an optical illusion.