Thursday, May 23

9:00 AM

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Kool Haus


Cathy Collier
OMD Canada

Steve Mykolyn

10:00 AM

Incubating Innovation: The New Media Agency Mandate

Kool Haus

The rapid-fire rate of tech innovation has given rise to an onslaught of new marketing communications tools – some fanciful, others practical. After building ad executions on apps like Shazaam and Flipboard, media network OMD decided to take its focus on emerging tech to the next level by partnering with client GE to create a start-up incubator to develop the next generation of advertiser-friendly digital platforms.

In a session introduced by OMD Canada CEO Cathy Collier, OMD U.S. East Coast Director of Ignition Factory Trevor Guthrie will overview new and emerging tech that brands should take advantage of, and will discuss the market realities that led OMD and GE to become directly involved in the world of start-ups, arguing that agencies are not only responsible for identifying new tech, but investing in its development.


Trevor Guthrie
East Coast Director
OMD Ignition Factory

11:00 AM

Storyscaping Across Physical and Digital Experiences

Sponsored by

Kool Haus

We all have a story to tell and an audience to share it with. As technology evolves, we’re constantly being introduced to new, innovative ways of telling these stories, yet physical experiences have remained somewhat disjointed from the digital ones. New and emerging tech is now bridging that final gap, and opening the door to involving audiences on deeper levels.

In this session, SapientNitro's chief experience officer Donald Chesnut will discuss the agency’s storyscaping approach: how stories amplified by technology – from mobile apps to haptic tech – can merge the physical and digital in creative and surprising ways, showing recent examples (the good, the bad, and the ugly) along the way.


Donald Chesnut
Chief Experience Officer

11:45 AM

Cruising for Connections: What Brands Can Learn From Dating Apps

Kool Haus

Back when GPS-enabled smartphones ushered in a wave of location-based apps like Foursquare, it was ballyhooed as fundamentally changing how people would connect. While locative apps haven’t reached the critical mass of Facebook or Twitter, there are success stories, specifically in areas of common interest - such as Grindr, a popular app for men seeking other men with five million members, and hundreds of millions of messages sent annually. Drawing on his research, game designer and author Jaime Woo will compare the experiences of Foursquare and Grindr to outline the design lessons and engagement strategies brands can learn from dating apps.


Jaime Woo
Author, Meet Grindr

1:15 PM

Augmented Creativity

Kool Haus

As 'Math Men' march into marketing departments the world over, concerns are escalating over the threat Big Data poses to creativity. Will the relentless focus on numbers throttle the creative process? Can creativity be reduced to an algorithm?

The opportunity of Big Data is in augmented creativity - using data to prove and improve creative output - argues Kevin Keane, a self-professed "datasexual" and co-founder of Toronto-based neuromarketing start-up Brainsights. Drawing on industry cases, personal experience and Brainsights’ custom research into the brains of Toronto millennials, Keane will highlight ways in which creatives can use data to prove their own genius, refine their product, and more effectively argue their business case to clients that increasingly demand it.


Kevin Keane
Co Founder & CEO

2:00 PM

Make It So: Learning From Sci-fi Interfaces

Kool Haus

Inspired by Nathan Shedroff and Christopher Noessel’s book of the same name, Make It So explores the relationship between science fiction and interface design. In this session, Shedroff shows how sci-fi's imagined interfaces have influenced real world innovation, and vice versa. His research yields practical and eye-opening lessons applicable to the design and understanding of online, social, mobile and other media interfaces. He'll explain what’s more for show — like Minority Report gestural tech — and unlikely to really take off, and what will have more practical applications when it comes to consumer use.


Nathan Shedroff
Program Chair, MBA in Design Strategy
California College of the Arts

3:00 PM

Crowdsourcing: Building Communities Around Ideas

Kool Haus

Fostering and managing an online community is an important part of a brand’s social life. However, online community members often feel powerless to express their ideas in a way that matters to them. In this session, Brennan McEachran, the creator of community engagement app SoapBox, will explain what brands can learn from his experiences crowdsourcing ideas from online groups of consumers, students, gamers and political supporters in order to achieve offline goals while maintaining a highly engaged community through transparency and critical thinking.


Brennan McEachran
CEO & Founder

3:30 PM

What If Advertising Were Invented Today?

Kool Haus

Never-ending developments and innovations in technology and creativity have made this the most exciting time to work in advertising. It’s as if advertising is a blank canvas: it must be relentlessly rethought and integrated across an array of techniques with each new campaign. In this session, PJ Pereira will draw upon examples of boundary-pushing ads from around the world to show how branding and digital can inspire new kinds of application-based identities, how PR and search techniques can be harnessed to disseminate ideas, and how filmic storytelling can work in the digital realm.


PJ Pereira
Chief Creative Officer & Co Founder
Pereira & O'Dell