Meet the 2014 Media Innovation Awards jury co-chairs

Two industry heavy-hitters discuss innovation and change

Marketing is very proud to announce the co-chairs for the 2014 Media Innovation Awards jury.

Karine Courtemanche

Karine Courtemanche

Karine Courtemanche, president at Touché in Montreal and Toronto has been a judge at the MIAs three times and was a judge in Cannes earlier this year. She joined Touché PHD in 2003, playing an instrumental role in the growth of the agency in the years that followed before being promoted to president in 2010.

Joining Courtemanche as co-chair is Geoff Craig, chief marketing and communications officer at Heart and Stroke Foundation. Craig has spent most of his 30-year career at two of the biggest marketing organizations in Canada – Unilever and Maple Leaf Foods — where he was responsible for a number of award winning campaigns (including two from the Festival of Media) before moving to H&SF in 2012, where he has kept up his winning ways.

“We were thrilled to have such brilliant and accomplished media thinkers lead the jury for 2014,” said Marketing editor-in-chief David Thomas. “Aside from her massive contributions to Touché, Karine has been a fantastic contributor and enthusiastic supporter of the MIAs, while Geoff’s record of successes as a marketer says everything that needs to be said about why we asked him to take part.”

Geoff Craig

Geoff Craig

The deadline to enter the 2014 Media Innovation Awards gala is coming up and Courtemanche and Craig are finalizing their jury now.

As chairs the duo also reviewed and updated the categories, and will guide two rounds of judging to determine the very best in Canadian media thinking from the last year.

Marketing also asked them to share some of their thoughts about media innovation in 2014.

What does digital innovation mean to you?

Geoff: Innovation, to me, is creativity commercialized. And commercialization is both an art and a science. We have to use the science of measurement, but it’s only as good as the creativity behind it.

Karine: At the industry level, media innovation means nothing less than survival. Consumers are finding new, sophisticated ways to avoid advertising, so finding new ways to engage in conversation makes brands meaningful to consumers in an era of perpetual changes.

Change begets innovation and vice-versa. What big changes do you see in media today?

Geoff: With the plethora of delivery vehicles now, there are literally hundreds of options. That complicates measurement. You can’t just buy a GRP and know you will get what you want for it. It’s complex, but you have to try to work so you can be innovative but you don’t waste a lot of dough in the process.

Karine: Consumers now act the same way with brands as they act with strangers: they will only open up to a brand if they feel the brand is relevant to them, if they feel it’s different and it can bring value to them. That’s what great media innovation does: it fosters a dialogue between brands and consumers.

What matters in media today?

Geoff: Contextual is a critical thing. You can do a lot of innovative things, but it needs to be within the context of, ideally, a need, a desire and a purchase decision. Nothing has changed in that regard.

Karine: The notion of “touch points” is important. Media should not be limited to providing information or entertainment. Any way to bridge the gap between a brand and a consumer should be considered a valuable touch point. If you use this definition, there is no limit to the number of ways media can touch a consumer.

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