CODACAN Media Summit, ADlympics Wrap-up

May 25, 2012 by Dave Haynes

I missed the Canadian Out-of-Home Digital Association’s Digital OOH media summit last week in Toronto, as well as the fun sports/agency awareness thing that ran right after it. Tight project deadline and a LONG drive the next morning to just short of Iowa. Son. Grad.

Anyway, I got a note from a friend who said the event was actually not bad. DPAA President Sue Danaher, I’m told, did a really nice job on her own and then steering a panel of Canadian media planning people.

The big-ish announcement from the event was that CODACAN is now an Association Member of the DPAA, which is smart and probably necessary given how small, in relative terms, the Canuck market is.

“Danaher delivered a polished, insightful keynote address,” I’m told, “and then upped the ante by performing very effectively as the moderator of the Media Panel. It is rare to find an American who can straddle the border and handle, as well as she did, the subtle and nuanced differences in approach and media speak between the two countries (btw, the reverse is true too).”

“The DPAA,” my contact said, “is lucky to have her at the helm.”

Danaher ran a panel, as well, with folks from MediaCom, Media Experts and OMD.

I noted big issues with the vendor-driven panel that had Lyle Bunn talking Digital OOH with guys from LG, Coxcom, Westbury and Aurora Dynamic. All good, smart folks, All with zippo real-world experience in media. My contact shared those concerns, but was pleasantly surprised by how it came off.

Bunn steered the Tech Panel conversation in directions that would have proved relevant, at different stages, to all in attendance – including the media buying fraternity who made up at least 40% of the audience.

Kudos as well to the panelists, who made obvious (to me at least) and effective efforts to ensure that their comments and observations would have some resonance with as broad a swath of the audience as possible.

That’s good. Still don’t think that was the way to go, but at least the recognition was there that this couldn’t be a show-and-tell session for a pile of people who wouldn’t give a crap.

The ADlympics followed at the venue, the Steam Whistle Brewery. The annual event is a way to get agencies together to compete with each other in fun team games, the winner getting $100,000 in digital out-of-home media space, as well as 10  23” monitors from LG.

And I quote:

Starting at 5:00pm, twelve teams from agencies including OMD, PHD, J3/UM, Media Experts, Carat and Twenty6Two swarmed in, sporting brightly-coloured outfits, some even completing the look with animal-themed headgear. At 6:00pm, CODACAN Chair Charles Vachon proclaimed the games officially open and the competition began in earnest.

As attendees enjoyed Steam Whistle beer, or ‘Zoom-tastic’, drinks provided by venue and beverage sponsors Steam Whistle and Zoom Media, the competition became fierce. In the end, however, there could be only one winner and the 2012 CODACAN ADLYMPICS champion was team ‘Project PINK’, from The Collective.

Though the dollars for the media space are always earmarked for a charitable client, The Collective announced that they were upping the ante by donating their individual prizes (LG monitors) to The Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend to End Women’s Cancers.

Troy Edwards (OMD), a team member from last year’s winning team, applauded the win, as well as the meaningful gesture made by the team. He noted that a wonderful tradition has begun to grow in that he personally championed a similar initiative after OMD’s win in 2011.With teams comprised of such enthusiastic and noble competitors, we can only look forward with increased anticipation to next year’s event.


  1. Lyle Bunn says:

    Hope the “almost Iowa” drive was uneventful (they make movies about such drives!). Thanks for the shout out in your comments. It is all about relevance.. when vendors speak effectively to issues around application and business value.. we know we are going in the right direction..

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