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Illustrator: Ihar Turtsou
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Design Forgiving a pretty face

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Digital Responsivenessicity

Illustrator: Bailey Bremmers (Design Apprentice)
A few years ago it [...]

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Culture The Transition

Illustrator: Rodrigo Diaz Mercado
After spending countless lonely nights in cold [...]

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Big Orange Slide

Friday, July 25th, 2014

The Transition

April 9, 2014 by Jedd Jones

illustration by Rodrigo Diaz Mercado (JEDD JONES).psd

Illustrator: Rodrigo Diaz Mercado

After spending countless lonely nights in cold hockey rinks for the better part of the last four years honing my skills as an amateur hockey scout, the bigger question of what I wanted to do with my life became clear. Don’t get me wrong, being a part of the hockey brotherhood is a great experience, but I knew I needed more.

You might be wondering why someone who has worked in hockey for years wants to abruptly change careers? The simple and best answer is: scouting is not a career, but a passion and hobby. A hobby and a passion which I continue to pursue during my free time. It is my undisputed love for the game that keeps me going back to cold rinks night after night.

I can honestly tell you I didn’t do it for the money as I never saw a penny for my hard work. At the ripe age of 27, it was time for change, and that change came in a big way in the form of an Account Coordinator position at Grip Limited.

It’s hard to believe it has been over a month since an excited, yet nervous kid confidently took the elevator to the 6th floor of 179 John St. to start what previously could only be imagined in dreams.

I was led to the 7th floor, where I sat at my desk wondering if all that was taking place was actually being perceived in the cozy confines of a wonderful dream where I was soon to wake up to a cold, hard reality.  It all happened so quickly: A new desk, a new laptop, new surroundings, and most importantly a new sense of self. My first week flew by. It was over in a blink and I was officially in love with everything Grip.

My mind was being filled with anything and everything advertising. All I wanted was more and more knowledge. I’d like to think of myself as a big dry sponge, whose only purpose in life is to soak up liquids. In my case, I want to become fully saturated with as much information and understanding of the advertising industry as I humanly can.

The hustle and bustle of working in advertising was apparent from the start. I am yet to sit at my desk for more than a couple of consecutive hours. If it’s not a meeting that I’m attending, it’s a trip to see clients, or a conference call. The advertising world does not sleep, ­ well, not from what I have seen thus far.

As if starting my dream job at Grip wasn’t amazing enough, I had the privilege to watch Canada’s athletes compete against the best athletes from around the world during my first two weeks. It was particularly marvelous when nearly all Grippers stopped what they were doing to watch the women’s Canada vs. USA gold medal hockey game. It was a surreal moment that I will not soon forget. How many of you can make that statement?

Being at Grip for just over a month now, I have come to understand that everything has a process. Following the different processes is the only way things get done and get done well.  Every individual working within an advertising agency like Grip has ways they like to work and it is of the upmost importance that everyone respects everyone else’s processes.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a small sense of what to expect when my first day at Grip came around. Now I can confidently say that after my first four plus weeks, my expectations have been blown clear out of the water. I could not ask for a more warming group of talented and savvy individuals who know that working, as a team to reach a final goal is the only way to get things done.

Although I now have a much better understanding of the inners of working in advertising, I am still a work in progress. If I can leave work each day with a new advertising concept in my back pocket, that’s a successful day. I’ve only had successful days thus far in my advertising career.

The Season of Giving

December 12, 2013 by Chelsea Thompson-O'Brien

Chelsea's article

‘Work hard, play harder’, the phrase often used to describe our industry’s lifestyle, rings even truer at this time of year. With tighter timelines come office treats, perks and wild parties. The holidays mean the classic ‘Type A’ personality and the casual ‘bro’ can come together to throw back some eggnog and enjoy the generous agency gifts before heading home to enjoy some overdue family time.

Hectic schedules can often leave us forgetting how truly lucky we are to work in such a creative, free-thinking environment that brings together individuals from a variety of backgrounds. Our careers have allowed us the necessities, some indulgence and a reliable support system.

To return my appreciation for these luxuries, I’ve had the honour of volunteering with an organization called Nellie’s. They give women leaving situations of violence, poverty and homelessness a place to find comfort, recount tragic stories and share triumphs with their peers. They help ensure these women regain their independence and stay far away from abuse, offering access to services like medical, immigration, employment, housing and education, both during and after their stays. They empower women to establish a better future for themselves and their families.

Grip has decided to support this incredible organization by hosting the second annual Secret Santa Shuffle. The concept is similar to most gift exchanges, only with a unique twist: draw a name, purchase a gift as if the recipient was a five-year-old, exchange the gifts and then donate them to the families at Nellie’s.

So, if you’re a Grip employee, expect a visit from one of my fellow ‘elves’ or myself shortly. If you’re not a Grip employee, you are still encouraged to offer your support, because Nellie’s currently has a ghost sponsor who is willing to match every donation.

I’ll end on a positive, necessary cliché: every little bit counts.

The Orange Juicer

December 9, 2013 by Big Orange Slide

The 2014 Orange Juicer Apprenticeship Program is just around the corner. Take a look…

infographic 3 copy, dec 9[1]

So, let’s get juicing. Send us your most off-the-wall juicing techniques using #OrangeJuicer, and we’ll make them a reality at GripOrangeJuicer.com.

Need a little inspiration?

Check out the first Juicer entries now.

Grip + Apartment Therapy

November 25, 2013 by admin

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Earlier this month, Grip’s “Creative Playground” of a workspace was lucky enough to be featured on Apartment Therapy. We were thrilled by the opportunity to share the philosophy and process behind transforming Grip into what it is today, and thought we’d share our favourite excerpt and photos from our feature right here on the blog.
 
Props to Apartment Therapy, Rich Pryce-Jones and Justice Darragh for capturing our personality perfectly! For the full article, click here.
 
Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Industrial Chic.

Inspiration: Somewhere between the Coliseum, a children’s playground, a mechanics service bay, and a nightclub.

Favorite Element: The big orange slide.

Biggest Challenge: There were several. Probably the biggest hurdle was cutting the holes in the top floor to create the 3-storey atrium. That, and convincing my CFO that we should cut holes in the floor to create a 3-storey atrium.

What Friends Say: Can I try out the slide?

Biggest Embarrassment: When clients try out the slide.

Proudest DIY: Not really DIY, but Kardinal Offishal shot a music video here last year.

Biggest Indulgence: Probably the slide, and the fire pole. And the 9000 square foot rejuvenation spa and Brazilian waxing emporium. Okay, I was kidding about that last part.

Best Advice: Hire a great designer that collaborates with you. Show them what you like, but give them a blank canvas and keep an open mind. We had a very tight budget, so we tried to use inexpensive materials in a creative way.

Dream Sources: Inspired by the work we do, we tried to make elements of our space represent some of our clients. The dining booths were inspired by our YUM! Client (KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell). The silver boardroom (which we call the “Beer Fridge”) was a nod to Labatt, our beer client, and the large black circular reception desk represents an oversized tire, for our Honda/Acura client. At least that’s what we tell them all. Hopefully it makes them feel a little guilty if they decide to fire us.
 
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David Bowie is…

November 22, 2013 by Lana Pawziuk

The David Bowie is exhibit, on now at the AGO until November 27th, has drawn a crowd of spectators that spans the generations. The multi-media trip, covering five decades of Bowie’s career, explores what influenced him early-on, as well as his own influence on culture.

Set to audio clips from interviews and musical tracks, the exhibit is a blend of cultural and pop history, photography, costume design, videos and art. (Check out this gem from a 1979 appearance on Saturday Night Live).

It also includes 300 objects from Bowie’s personal archive and a unique installation of Bowie’s 100 must-read books. The exhibit’s end features contemporary artist Paul Robertson’s Periodic Table of Bowie which truly captures the depth of Bowie’s influences and nods to Bowie, the chameleon.

The exhibit shows that David Bowie is many things: musician, illustrator (Bowie started his career in advertising), experimenter, artist, actor, and inventor.

Over the years, Bowie has used his talent to transform himself into different characters – often setting the stage for things to come. One of the earlier examples is when Bowie brought the androgynous Ziggy Stardust to life in 1972. More recently, after a long design process, Bowie chose to alter his Heroes album cover to be the cover for The Next Day album. While it appears like a quick and simple design decision, it was much more than that.

After five decades of entertainment, Bowie is still going strong. He’s a true multi-disciplinary artist and an important icon and definer of pop culture. The David Bowie is exhibit brings Bowie in all his myriad forms to life. See it while you still can, – only a few days left at the AGO!

#GripLabLive Presents: Alan Cross

October 8, 2013 by Big Orange Slide

Pat Andrews – Associate Partner, Creative – recently had the pleasure of talking to Canada’s foremost and self proclaimed music geek: Alan Cross. Topics discussed? The Ongoing History of New Music, chick-lit, Can-Con, Reach for the Top and Disco Duck. Enjoy!

#GripLabLive Presents: Terry O’Reilly

September 6, 2013 by Big Orange Slide

Last month, GRIP was honoured to host Terry O’Reilly at our first #GripLabLive. Watch as Creative Partner David Chiavegato interviews the award-winning copywriter, best selling author and host of CBC Radio’s The Age of Persuasion.

The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture

I remember explaining my job to an acquaintance a few years back. I had given, what I thought, was a fairly detailed description of my job as an advertising creative. It was met by a somewhat blank expression followed by a sudden look of comprehension. “Oh, you make jingles!” they exclaimed excitedly. I gave up. “Yes. I make jingles!” I replied, less enthusiastically. What I could not do at that time was suggest my acquaintance read a fascinating primer on the somewhat crazy world of advertising called The Age Of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture by Terry O’Reilly.

Like Terry’s CBC radio show of the same name, the book presumes an in-depth knowledge of marketing and advertising. Those of us in the industry appreciate the fresh perspective on the topics covered, which helped to contextually place ‘new’ trends such as branded content (which actually began over 90 years ago with the birth of agency-created soap operas.) Even the more mundane topics are refreshed with Terry’s wit, quirky factoids and personal anecdotes (like the time Bob Newhart punched him in the face – okay, I may have exaggerated that encounter a bit).

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Terry at the very beginning of my career, and can promise the voice you hear in the media is pure Terry – funny, engaging and always entertaining.

Grip Limited is fortunate enough to be hosting a visit by Terry at the agency on August 1st. Stay tuned to the Big Orange Slide for updates – who knows, he may even have a few words to say about ‘making jingles.’

Grip Does Cannes

BigOrangeSlide_image_2 Cannes

This year, I had the opportunity to attend the 60th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. I had heard a number of interesting stories about the festival, but never experienced the event myself. I heard about late nights at the Gutter Bar, countless meals at the beach and even one particularly notorious story regarding a seasoned creative showering (inappropriate) praise upon an aspiring Young Lion. Beyond these stories, I wasn’t sure what to expect — I needed to participate and find out for myself.
Our first, and most necessary task was to ensure that a healthy supply of Stella Artois and bourbon was stocked at the condo. Next, we were to obtain our delegate passes and formally plan our agenda. In retrospect, maybe this should have happened in reverse order.
Over the course of the week, Cannes exploded with 10,000 creative minds from all over the world. Most events occurred at the Palais des Festivals, a stadium-sized space with dozens of viewing rooms, auditoriums and annexes. From here, we were able to take in the likes of George Lois, Lee Clow, Conan O’Brien and Vivienne Westwood, to name a few. It was an excellent combination of laughs and inspiration.
Outside the Palais, a number of agencies and technology companies conducted workshops and seminars. If you were looking to learn something new, something innovative, something different, the possibilities were endless. If you were looking to put back a few pints, the possibilities were even endless-er. At night, Cannes turned into the ultimate celebration of creativity; “creativity” of course being the French word for a drunken orgy of agency-financed spring breakery. Wisely, the city employed an army of street sweepers that made their way down La Croisette every morning to clean up the previous night’s debauchery. Those are the guys that deserve an award for how they are able to rejuvenate the city after it looked as though it had been through a riot.
Then finally, the raison d’être (that’s French, in case you didn’t know) for my trip to Cannes: the final night. The Movie Out Here had been shortlisted in Branded Content and Entertainment.
We won two Gold Lions in Best Integrated Content as well as Best Fictional Program Series or Film Where a Client has Successfully Created a Drama, Comedy or Miniseries Around a Product or Brand, and one Silver Cyber Lion for Website and Microsite in the Food and Drink Category.
Taking the stage with Randy Stein, a founding partner at Grip, who was with this project from its inception over 20 months ago, was by far the best part of the entire experience. Accepting an award at Cannes, let alone gold, is a goal every advertising professional should aspire towards. It was an absolute privilege to have worked with such a remarkable team — the blood, sweat and tears were well worth it. I’d like to extend a genuine thank-you to our amazing client and everyone who touched this project. Because of all of you, Cannes is an experience I’ll never forget.
Except for all the parts of Cannes I don’t remember.

This year, I had the opportunity to attend the 60th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. I had heard a number of interesting stories about the festival, but never experienced the event myself. I heard about late nights at the Gutter Bar, countless meals at the beach and even one particularly notorious story regarding a seasoned creative showering (inappropriate) praise upon an aspiring Young Lion. Beyond these stories, I wasn’t sure what to expect — I needed to participate and find out for myself.

Our first, and most necessary task was to ensure that a healthy supply of Stella Artois and bourbon was stocked at the condo. Next, we were to obtain our delegate passes and formally plan our agenda. In retrospect, maybe this should have happened in reverse order.

Over the course of the week, Cannes exploded with 10,000 creative minds from all over the world. Most events occurred at the Palais des Festivals, a stadium-sized space with dozens of viewing rooms, auditoriums and annexes. From here, we were able to take in the likes of George Lois, Lee Clow, Conan O’Brien and Vivienne Westwood, to name a few. It was an excellent combination of laughs and inspiration.

Outside the Palais, a number of agencies and technology companies conducted workshops and seminars. If you were looking to learn something new, something innovative, something different, the possibilities were endless. If you were looking to put back a few pints, the possibilities were even endless-er. At night, Cannes turned into the ultimate celebration of creativity; “creativity” of course being the French word for a drunken orgy of agency-financed spring breakery. Wisely, the city employed an army of street sweepers that made their way down La Croisette every morning to clean up the previous night’s debauchery. Those are the guys that deserve an award for how they are able to rejuvenate the city after it looked as though it had been through a riot.

Then finally, the raison d’être (that’s French, in case you didn’t know) for my trip to Cannes: the final night. The Movie Out Here had been shortlisted in Branded Content and Entertainment.

We won two Gold Lions in Best Integrated Content as well as Best Fictional Program Series or Film Where a Client has Successfully Created a Drama, Comedy or Miniseries Around a Product or Brand, and one Silver Cyber Lion for Website and Microsite in the Food and Drink Category.

Taking the stage with Randy Stein, a founding partner at Grip, who was with this project from its inception over 20 months ago, was by far the best part of the entire experience. Accepting an award at Cannes, let alone gold, is a goal every advertising professional should aspire towards. It was an absolute privilege to have worked with such a remarkable team — the blood, sweat and tears were well worth it. I’d like to extend a genuine thank-you to our amazing client and everyone who touched this project. Because of all of you, Cannes is an experience I’ll never forget.

Except for all the parts of Cannes I don’t remember.

The Evolution of the Holiday Card

December 21, 2012 by Lana Pawziuk

Stella Artois Holiday Infographic

I mailed Holiday cards 5 years in a row, and then last year I decided not to. This year, it’s not happening again.

Lana-Facebook-Post

I know Holiday Carole and the wonders of Google Street View integration are going to wow my parents like they wowed many others to date. I can already picture us all sitting around my parent’s living room, with the laptop plugged into the TV playing load and clear. If there was a kid watching maybe they’d even get confused and run to the door to look outside for Carole and her friends!

It makes me sort of sad that I have neglected to send holiday cards two seasons in a row, yet part of me likes the idea of saving paper, money and time. When technology makes it so easy to send nicely crafted and designed greetings at anytime of the year, it’s no wonder receiving cards in the mail feels a bit like a thing of the past.

Whether you send and receive physical or digital cards, send a quick text, talk on the phone, or have the pleasure of sharing a warm embrace this season, the important thing is to count your blessings and share your good tidings. At Grip we do a nice thing called “Secret Santa Shuffle: Give, Receive and Give Again” where we pick the name of a colleague, buy a gift for their 10 year old self and then donate all the toys to a local charity.

There are so many ways to spread cheer throughout the Holiday season. Donate blood, give someone a friendly smile and spend time with people you love. Seasons Greetings :D

Editors’ note: The Stella Artois Holiday Carole app was developed by Mother. Social media amplification is being handled by Grip. Check it out.