The long-time creative partners steered campaigns at Ogilvy & Mather Toronto before launching Swim, a training and professional development firm. Ad Age listed the two as “groundbreakers” alongside Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres and several others from the marketing and media worlds.
To read Kestin and Vonk’s write-up in Advertising Age, click here.
To see the full 100 Most Influential Women in Adverting, click here.
Former Ogilvy Toronto Co-Chief Creative Officers Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk arguably are the most famous and beloved creative duo in Canada. The pair (with the support of then-client Silvia Lagnado) led Dove and Ogilvy to fame with the highly decorated “Evolution” film from 2007 that uncovered the dirty business of female “glamification” in mass media, the cornerstone of a larger “Real Beauty” initiative that sought to instill self-confidence in young women.
They are longtime advocates of nurturing industry talent, both male and female. In 2005, they co-authored “Pick Me,” a book about building and maintaining an ad career. They also write an advertising advice column, “Ask Jancy,” for aspiring creatives. Last year, they started Swim, an organization that aims to build the industry’s next generation of creative leaders, who (the women especially) will appreciate this two cents from Kestin: “Stand for something, be clear, be heard. Women [tend to] let themselves be made smaller. Be bigger. Reach. And if you can’t do it where you work, work somewhere else.”