Every year the Communications, Popular Culture and Film (CPCF) department runs the Grant Dobson Case Competition for student to create advertising plans and present them to industry professionals. The competition is followed by the Annual Terry O’Malley lecture which welcomes guest speakers with background knowledge and experience in the field of communications.
Terry O’Malley is a St. Catharines native who has achieved great accomplishments in the field of communications throughout his 35-year career. O’Malley, who graduated top of his class from St. Catharines Collegiate, went on to attend Harvard with a scholarship. O’Malley later worked 30 of his years at one of the largest Canadian-owned agencies, Vickers & Bensen Advertising, where he soon became a major shareholder. With his multitude of achievements and his continuation of involvement with the St. Catharines community, he has become a notable, recognized and honoured name at Brock University.
For its 16th lecture, Brock welcomed Andrew Bailey to Sean O’Sullivan Theatre on the evening of November 22. Bailey is the CEO and Partner of the North American agency The&Partnership which helps some of the world’s most recognized brands such as Telus, Wall Street Journal and Lexus. Bailey has been named in Marketing Magazine’s “One to Watch” list, and he’s also been listed as one of the “Top 40 Under 40” in the Advertising Age.
Before Bailey began his lecture, the announcement of this year’s finalists for the Grant Dobson Case Competition were announced. For the Airbnb campaign that CPCF students designed, the winners were Ashley Howard and Mitchell Cowan.
Kidisha Joseph, one of last year’s Dobson Case winners, introduced Bailey as a man with “an inspirational and impressive career”.
“Fact, there’s never been a more difficult time to be in advertising,” said Bailey, explaining that with the ever-changing technology and consumer needs, it can be hard to keep up in the advertising field. “But the industry has grown, and not only that but it has and continues to have a great impact on culture.”
Bailey continued his lecture by outlining how the structure of advertising agencies needs to be changed. “How can this be when there’s no way that young children look at a TV the same way I did as a child?” questioned Bailey, “which means that we have to be really innovative when it comes to advertising.”
“When I got into digital, Facebook didn’t even exist,” said Bailey. “Imagine that.” This was followed with Bailey asking the audience to raise their hands if they have watched a television show from start to finish, with commercials in between, without looking at their phone in the past two weeks. Only four people out of more than 200 raised their hands. “Trust is at an all time low,” explained Bailey, “25 per cent of ads created are blocked by consumers within Canada and the United States.”
“Things have to change in this industry,” said Bailey, describing that the biggest companies such as Facebook, Uber, and Airbnb don’t even own physical objects to sell and yet, they are the largest companies of their kind.
“Sometimes media strategy is everything,” said Bailey. “There are even people who believe that part of the reason that Trump had such success was because he hired a very evolved team of advertising and social media experts. He explained that out of $244 billion spent on her campaign, Clinton only allocated $10 billion towards digital strategy whereas Trump spent $59 billion of his overall $129 billion towards advertising, marketing and communications.
For the remainder of the lecture, Bailey spent it highlighting some of The&Partnership’s key campaigns such as the hoverboard project with Lexus and the ‘#MakeTime’ campaign with Wall Street Journal.
“It’s encouraging to hear about the experiences and knowledge these professionals have about the specific field they’re in,” said fourth-year student Rachel Cole. “It never ceases to amaze me what guidance they can give to young professionals like me.”