A ‘Fresh’ perspective: 2013 Terry O’Malley Lecture

The young marketing mind behind the Joe Fresh retail sensation shared her story with 400 eager listeners in the David S. Howes Theatre on Mar. 6 for the 12 annual Terry O’Malley Lecture in Advertising and Marketing.
 Lindsay Cook recapped the trajectory of the past seven years since Loblaw’s first introduced Joe Fresh as an apparel line in its grocery stores, which had been expanding to include leisure, home and entertainment merchandise.
By 2010, the modern affordable clothing had enough of its own identity that Cook was helping launch stand-alone Joe Fresh stores in trendy urban settings like Vancouver’s Granville Street.
The strategy worked, and within a year the Canadian phenomenon was invading America. Last year, Joe Fresh completed its journey “from the frozen food aisle to Fifth Avenue” when it launched a new flagship store in the heart of New York City.
Since its early days of selling jeans and tees, the line has expanded to include beauty and fashion accessories. Today, Joe Fresh is the second-largest apparel line in Canada, and its cosmetics outsell industry icons like Revlon and Maybelline.
Meanwhile, Cook told her audience she is now overseeing the rollout of dedicated Joe Fresh Shops in nearly 700 JC Penney stores in the US, which should only accelerate its popularity with millions more consumers.
“The challenge was not just developing a cool, trendy product line,” she said, “but developing a cool, trendy product line and keeping it at a price.”
Many students piled into the lecture hall eager to hear what advice they can hold on to while transitioning from post-secondary education to the working world.
“The O’Malley lecture is an amazing night, that is put on by one of Canada’s greatest hero’s. O’Malley is perhaps the most successful Canadian in the Marketing and advertising world,” said Jesse Kawzenuk – a fourth year Film major who happened to provide the introduction to the lecture.
Kawzenuk went on to explain that “it’s a real privaledge to have [O’Malley] not just organize and fund the Lecture but to be present at Brock for the entire day. Hearing Lindsay Cook speak re-easured students that there can be a successful future ahead. Overall, it was a great day.”
Fourth year Media Communications student Alessya Paoletti was glad to attend the event and then shared her insights about the advice she had been given.
“As a fourth year student about to graduate, I thought the lecture was very motivational. I liked how she said to treat job searching as a job itself, that quote really stuck with me,” said Paoletti.
A highlight of the O’Malley Lecture – named for its founder and sponsor, St. Catharines born advertising legend Terry O’Malley – is the Grant Dobson Case Competition, in which students from the Goodman School of Business and the Faculty of Social Sciences design marketing proposals and present them to a panel of judges.
Winning the gold medal was the team of Shirin Makhkamova, Cherise Smith and Stephanie Maltman. Silver went to the team of Dayna Stephenson and Sean Bouwers. Finally, the team of Erica Seecharan and Lucretia Barraco won bronze. Also, the Best Presenter award went to Dayna Stephenson.
“This year’s event was a massive success – in my experience, the greatest event yet. The entire day was filled with energy – from the Dobson Case Competition through to Lindsay’s captivating lecture. The day was a true celebration of our students, peers and colleagues. Once again Terry O’Malley showed our students just why this is such an exciting and rewarding industry to be a part of. We owe many thanks to Terry,” said Savanna Schaus, one of the coordinators of the Dobson Competition.
For any individuals who were unable to attend, the O’Malley lecture and Dobson Case Competition have both been live streamed by Brock TV and can be viewed at their website brocktv.ca/live. 

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