30 Under 30: Brad Canario

August 27, 2012  |  Kristin Laird  |  Comments

The future of Canada’s marketing industry will be shaped by its youngest talent—the super-worldly, plugged-in, brilliant and creative youth who are already making a name for themselves. Marketing put out the call to the industry to find the top 30 standouts under the age of 30 who have already made their mark on the industry.

From PR to advertising to media and beyond, our 30 Under 30 showcases the smartest, bravest and most creative ones to watch in the business.

Brad Canario, 27

Brand manager, Pepperidge Farms, Campbell Company of Canada

During a six-hour flight, Brad Canario watches a mom try to entertain her young kids. She pulls out an oversized bag stuffed with crayons, note pads, Gameboys and a bag of Goldfish crackers. In the end, it was the crackers that distracted the kids while also satisfying any hunger pangs.

It’s an anecdote Canario had heard from moms around the Campbell office but not one he had ever witnessed first hand. Canario was inspired, and wanted to bring the idea to life. He worked closely with Weber Shandwick to develop the “Goldfish Moments” social media campaign that encouraged moms to share their Goldfish stories on Twitter.

“We reached out to mom influencers in the community and they reached out to their following and it caught on fire,” he says. The effort garnered over 3.2 million impressions, a social media record for the company. Canario was recognized internally at Campbell with a 2012 Creativity Award.

Canario has been with Campbell Company of Canada since 2008 and started working on the Goldfish brand the following year. Since then, annual retail sales for the brand have nearly doubled. As of July, the brand had experienced 53% growth compared to the same period the year before.

Canario has no problem coming up with strong, creative brand ideas on the fly. Last March, he and his partner Aaron Nemoy participated in The Globe and Mail’s 2012 Young Marketers competition (part of the Young Lions) and were given 24 hours to write a two-page creative brief to help drive awareness for the YMCA. In that small window of time, Canario and Nemoy visited a few YMCA locations across the Greater Toronto Area and discovered that many Canadians are unaware that membership fees help fund social programs.

“Instead of lining the pockets of big corporations it actually goes back into society,” he says.

The duo won Gold, beating out 48 other teams from across Canada for the “Your Membership is Your Donation” concept, securing them a trip to the International Festival of Creativity in Cannes to represent Canada in the official Young Marketers competition. There, teams were asked to develop a creative brief for a product or service that would benefit Room to Read, a global organization that focuses on literacy and gender equality in education. Canario and his partner won Bronze.

Cannes, says Canario, is unlike anything he’s ever experienced and is his proudest accomplishment to date. At one event, Canario chatted for 30 minutes with a man who said he was an “executive at an agency.” Turns out he’s the CEO of Leo Burnett in Europe.

Based on what he’s done so far, don’t be surprised if big-shot execs are soon excited about talking to Canario.

You can read the full 30 Under 30 list in the Sept. 10 issue of Marketing magazine.

Photo: Mike Ford

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