Monday, June 17, 2024

Canadian Marketing Awards Go Virtual to 1300 attendees; Subaru, SickKids, HSBC, Sobeys win top awards

Subaru Canada named top winner at 2020 CMA Awards Show

Organization announces creation of National Marketing Week annually in November.

Subaru Canada, in partnership with Zulu Alpha Kilo, and Sick Kids Foundation, in partnership with No Fixed Address, were among the top winners at the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) virtual Awards Show and Gala this evening.

The Gala, presented by TD, honoured the best in Canadian marketing, with more than 1,300 marketers registered to attend the immersive online experience built exclusively for the event. Attendees connected with hundreds of marketers across Canada through a chat feature and explored an online platform that featured a mixologist, magician, photo booth, giveaways and more. The show was emceed by returning host, Rick Campanelli.

“Each year, we are amazed by the quantity and quality of noteworthy submissions. This year was no different,” said John Wiltshire, president and CEO, CMA. “We take pride in recognizing marketing professionals at the top of their field, who worked hard to build creativity, resilience and success for their brands despite the challenges of 2020.”

Winners of the premiere awards were as follows:

The 2020 Best of the Best was awarded to:

  • Subaru Canada, Greatest Outback of All Time (GOOAT), in partnership with Zulu Alpha Kilo

To engage a younger audience than the typical Subaru loyalist, the GOOAT campaign compared the new tougher, stronger and more durable 2020 Subaru Outback to a mountain goat, mirroring its ability to traverse difficult terrain, carry heavy loads and tough conditions. The campaign highlighted special features that make the Outback unique while disrupting typical auto marketing conventions.

The 2020 Top Cause was awarded to:

  • SickKids Foundation, SickKids Airbnb, in partnership with No Fixed Address

To demonstrate the need for a new hospital following a decline in donations, SickKids Foundation partnered with Airbnb to give media, consumers and new guests the ability to see life in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) by transforming a hospital boardroom into a replica of a PICU and posting it on the popular short-term rental site. The campaign leveraged popular Torontonians, including Toronto Raptor Fred Van Vleet, which increased its online exposure reach and helped generate over 139 million earned media impressions.

This year, the 2020 Marketer of the Year category, presented by IGM Financial, ended in a tie, resulting in two winners:

  • Sandra Sanderson, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Sobeys Inc.

Sandra oversees marketing across a broad portfolio including Sobeys, Safeway, Thrifty Foods, Foodland, FreshCo and Lawtons. She has changed the way Sobeys connects with customers through strategic and transformative campaigns and initiatives such as “Say Goodbye to Plastic Bags,”Community Action Fund, FreshCo 2.0 and more. Learn more.

  • Cindy Wong, Regional Head of Marketing, HSBC North America:

With 30 years of experience at HSBC, Cindy oversees a team of 70 in Canada and sits on the Global HSBC leadership team representing North America. She is the first Canadian to hold this role. As an executive stakeholder, Cindy is a vital contributor to the development of the bank’s business strategy and plays a pivotal role in driving growth and managing risk. She is a sponsor in HSBC’s Accelerating Female Leaders Programme. Learn more.

The 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Kaiser & Partners, was awarded to:

  • Steve Levy, Chief Client Officer, Ipsos:

Steve leads Ipsos’ Client Organization Group, a team of senior executives who are responsible for delivering strategic value to leading Canadian organizations. He is the originator of the annual Most Influential Brand (MIB) study, where he interviews many of Canada’s top CMOs to understand the drivers behind their brands’ influence in any given year. A long-time industry advocate, Steve has been a member and volunteer with the CMA since the early 2000s. He currently sits on the CMA’s Member Engagement Committee. Learn more.

Two new special awards were introduced this year: the Canada Post Integrated Marketing Award and the LinkedIn B2B Marketing Award, which were won by Plan Canada (in partnership with RI) and FCB Canada Inc., respectively.

In addition, a series of awards were presented across six disciplines: brand building, business impact, customer experience, engagement, innovative media and martech. Within each discipline, entries competed in one of nine categories (automotive, business, consumer products, consumer services, financial, food & beverage, health care, retail and social causes). The Top Cause and Best of the Best winners were chosen from the highest-ranking entries across their respective disciplines and categories.

During the event, Wiltshire announced the establishment of National Marketing Week, to take place in the third week of November each year.

“National Marketing Week will increase awareness and recognition of the important role that marketers across Canada play in supporting local communities, stimulating the economy and serving consumers,” Wiltshire noted. “It will culminate in a celebration of excellence at the CMA Awards Show and Gala.”

This year’s awards were reviewed by a record number of judges from across Canada, through a three-round virtual process. The judging committee was co-chaired by Hope Bagozzi, chief marketing officer, Tim Hortons, and Shelley Brown, chief strategy officer, FCB Canada.

A portion of ticket sales were donated to nabs – a charity that is supporting a record number of individuals and their families in the marketing communications industry during the pandemic.

All CMA Award finalists qualify to enter the 2021 Marketing Agencies Association GLOBES, an international celebration of the best campaigns from marketers around the world.

A full list of CMA Award winners can be found at


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Jennifer Evans
Jennifer Evans
principal, @patternpulseai. author, THE CEO GUIDE TO INDUSTRY AI. former chair @technationCA, founder @b2bnewsnetwork #basicincome activist. Machine learning since 2009.