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Big Orange Slide

Monday, April 21st, 2014

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.

Freezing the Information Flow

December 4, 2012 by Justine Leetham

Illustration by Andy Slater

By the time this article surfaces, I will be well on my way to Antarctica with my friend and colleague Joanna McFarlane. There are a number of things that excite me about this trip (don’t let me get started on the penguins or we’ll be here for hours) but one in particular stands out: the idea of being off the grid for two full weeks. I’m not talking about the kind of off the grid where your out of office notification is on, but you’re still secretly checking emails and watching to make sure everything is OK. I’m talking about no Wi-Fi, no cell service, no social media. Full stop.

Of course, you’re already thinking, “If she takes a picture in Antarctica without posting it on Instagram, does it really exist?”

We are plugged in as an industry, a community, a country and a continent. We are, dare I say it, addicted to social media. The photos and thoughts we publish are rated, reviewed and ranked based on how many Likes they receive, how many Shares they earn, and how many Comments are made. In advertising, we monitor these metrics for our clients’ social footprint on a daily basis and from these insights we challenge our Social Content Strategists to push harder to develop engaging, shareable and ultimately ‘viral’ content.

Perhaps because of this keen attention to our clients’ engagement rates, an element of this constant monitoring trickles into our own personal social network. How many Likes did my new photo get? How come no one commented on that hysterical joke I just posted? Why isn’t this video of my friend’s cat wearing a penguin costume getting more shares?

Taking time to disengage and refocus can prompt a fresh surge of energy, creativity, and excitement in our work. I don’t think that we have to travel to the ends of the earth to do it, but it can certainly help. For two full weeks we will be completely disconnected. We will be taking in our surroundings instead of just focusing on capturing them (not to mention wondering which filter would make that cellphone picture look better). It will be liberating to spend time on checking out for once, not ‘checking in’.

When we do come back to the connected world I’m sure we will both cave in and post a few #lategrams. And shortly after, Joanna, being the Analytics wizard that she is, will inevitably dig into the numbers behind how successful the trip was deemed based on how many Likes, Comments, and Shares our photos receive. My prediction? We’re bound to get a few extra thumbs up from our social networks than the average photo, but high or low engagement rates aside, taking the time to log out now and then (voluntarily or involuntarily) may be the secret key to keeping your own content fresh.

Editors’ note: for more on the subject of Grip’s experiences having to disconnect, read these past articles!
The Internet Can Wait
Consumer Unplugged