JWT named University of Toronto’s first AOR
Mindshare Canada, which pitched for business alongside JWT, its WPP agency sibling, is now U of T’s media agency of record.
The scope of work covers full marketing services for multiple divisions of U of T, including Rotman School of Business, the University Advancement fundraising group, three campuses and various colleges.
U of T did not previously have an agency of record, but JWT won its first big assignment with the university last year, supporting of the launch of a $2-billion fundraising campaign.
JWT created “Boundless,” an integrated campaign that launched in November last year and featured well-known U of T alumni including Malcolm Gladwell and former Prime Minister Paul Martin.
The challenge now is “to make sure all the different parts are speaking with the same voice,” said David Gibb, EVP, managing director at JWT Canada.
U of T “is a surprisingly large and incredibly complex organization” with many groups that have their own marketing people, explained Gibb. “You end up with good messages being sent by each individual piece, but the challenge is to bring coherence to the whole orchestra.”
Unlike more typical marketing assignments for products or services, Gibb said it’s been both challenging and hugely rewarding to figure out what such a complex organization stands for overall.
“It’s a lot easier to do that with chewing gum or mouthwash,” he said.
It was also rewarding to work with bright and accomplished academics “who aren’t really from our world,” he added. “As marketers and advertisers, we deal with our own people. In this case we dealing with professors and deans… who just brought a really fresh and interesting perspective to the things we do day to day.”
Gibb wouldn’t say when its first campaign as AOR will launch, but hinted it will begin when the school year starts.
JWT’s client list also includes Tim Hortons, Johnson & Johnson, Walmart and Mazda.