Canadian Advertising Museum honours visionary man, visionary advertising
Marshall McLuhan, the media futurist who gave us the expressions “global village” and “the medium is the message,” is being celebrated with a new award from the Canadian Advertising Museum (CAM) commemorating his contribution to the advertising industry worldwide.
The McLuhan Award will be presented at the Advertising & Design Club of Canada‘s (ADCC) annual awards show in Toronto on Nov. 15. It will honour a Canadian marketer whose advertising, branding, design and digital media efforts embody McLuhan’s view that products and services should be beneficial to the consumer on many different levels, and that advertising is a powerful vehicle for changing consumers’ perceptions.
CAM board members Beverly Atkinson of Humber College’s Advertising and Design program and Doug Robinson of Toronto agency Doug & Serge advocated for the award’s creation and worked on the project together with other board members.
“Dr. McLuhan is internationally renowned, but he is not very well known in Canada,” said Atkinson. “His approach to media ecology looks at how we respond and communicate with new technologies, how we create them and ultimately how they change us. I had a class with him at University of Toronto and, at age 17, I thought he was wild. But a lot of his insights have proven to be true.
“We think it’s important to acknowledge that now there are wonderful campaigns that are being done using all kinds of new media, integrated approaches and creativity for that new media that realize his insightful vision,” added Atkinson.
“[The award] epitomizes the forward thinking McLuhan’s theories brought to communications and the impact that remains today,” said Robinson, in a release.
While future McLuhan awards will be assessed by an independent panel of judges steered by the ADCC and CAM, this year’s inaugural prize was judged directly by the two industry groups’ directors.