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Advertise Here

By Maria Papadopoulos

License to Thrill, an international advertising showcase was hosted in Toronto by Magazines Canada. The event took place at the Kool Haus and showcased the best ads from around the world including the 24th Magazine Publishers of America Kelly award winners for Outstanding Advertising. Despite treacherous mid-February weather conditions, hundreds of people from all echelons within the magazine industry attended the event. Revellers schmoozed and lifted their glasses to great advertising.

“Magazines work in powerful and engaging ways and are truly licensed to thrill,” said Gary Garland, executive director of advertising services for Magazines Canada.

The MPA celebrates the best in magazine advertising and was established in the early 1980s. It promotes the highest standards in magazine advertising and focuses attention on the importance of achieving results. The Kelly Awards winners and finalists are announced in late spring each year.

Each year, an agency is awarded the $100,000 grand prize. In addition, a Gold Kelly and a Silver Kelly are also awarded. Agencies submit their best magazine advertising campaigns. A panel of judges including top creative directors and leading advertising and marketing talent, select 25 style finalists. The winners are then selected from these finalists.

But the question that remains is, what makes good advertising? Magazine people at the show offered various answers.

“What will engage the reader as they are moving through content. Magazine readers indicate that the great part of the experience of reading a magazine also includes the advertising and that’s opposed to what other media find,” said Mark Jamison, chief executive officer of Magazines Canada. “Magazine advertising needs to compliment or does compliment the content in the sense that it is appealing to a reader, the demographic. The type of publication and the advertising has to work in that context.”

Gary Davidson, Art Director of Explore Canada’s Outdoor Magazine, said: “If advertising works well with the editorial content, they have a symbiotic relationship. Ads that make you spend an extra moment or two, figuring it out and then figuring hey that’s really clever. A clever ad makes for a good ad.”

Canadian Business, Profit and MoneySense publisher Deborah Rosser said: “Something that really engages the reader in terms of their imagination and aspiration. It exposes people to all kinds of products and services that they may not be aware of and it also generates great revenue for magazines.”

“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark,” said American psychologist Steuart Henderson Britt. “You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.”

Florida-based advertising agency Crispin Porter and Bogusky’s ads swept the Kelly’s winning the top prize and the gold prize for their Molson Canadian ads.

The ads appear as mock magazine covers with names such as Aspiring Groom and the Animal Rescuer, but they actually mask beer advertisements.

Some of the notable finalists included Target with its raining bullseyes campaign by the Peterson Milla Hooks company and the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation with its 1960 Presidential campaign done by the Martin Agency. Many of the finalists were ads for cars from Porsche and  BMW.

Winners from the New York Festivals, the London International Advertising Awards and the Epica awards were also on display.

Canada’s efforts included an ad for the TV show Six Feet Under by the Foole Cone and Belding agency and a Jergen’s ad for skin care products by the Taxi agency.