by Alex Beetham on July 17, 2014

One of the most endearing parts of summer has to be a trip to the amusement park. What with the games, the food the rides and the nausea. No one loves a good midway more than Anthony Redpath. The proof can be seen right here in his most recent print campaign for Playland, featuring The Playland Hot Seat. The experience took ”losing control” to a whole other level.

Some background on Playland and the hotseat:
Vancouver’s premier amusement park, Playland, hosts an event where winners get free tickets to Playland, with a catch: the entire experience is out of their control. Everything from the rides they go on to the number of mini- donuts they eat is determined by an online audience, voting in real time.

Here’s what  AD extraordinaire Dominic Prevost had to say about the whole thing,

Anthony’s extreme attention to detail and practical thinking was exactly what we needed to bring slick and stylized world of the Playland Hot Seat to life. Anthony immediately understood the concept and was keen to collaborate with us to find unexpected ways to take the execution up a notch — going as far as literally hanging our talent on ropes to have them dangle like “real” puppets!  - Dominic Prevost, AD

And the finished product…….


Creative Director: Ian Grais, Chris Staples
Art Director: Dominic Prevost, Hannes Ottahal
Copywriter: Danielle Haythorne, Jordan Cohen
Photographer: Anthony Redpath
Studio Artist: Jonathon Cesar
Producer: Scott Russell

Check out some other BTS from the day,

IMG_82051_400_by_600 copyIMG_4843Play Land_Anthony Redpath_BTS

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    Vicky Kicks off the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition

    by Alex Beetham on July 4, 2014

    In honour of the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition (TOAE) starting up today, I have the privilege of turning you over to Vicky Lam who was recruited to bring this years ad to life… only to then melt into a puddle. I’ll let her explain.  - Alex

    Every summer, Nathan Phillips Square plays host to the largest and longest running outdoor art fair in Toronto since 1961.   The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition is a sure sign that summer is well under way and is a great chance to see hundreds of local artists at an iconic Toronto landmark.  This year, art director and graphic designer, Una Lee, contacted me to help bring her vision to life.

    Vicky Lam_TOAE_Layout1

    I was excited to work on a local project that would help give exposure to hundreds of talented artists.  However, the challenge was apparent – how could we make our shot look like a blistering hot summer day with melting ice cream? And ice cream letters to boot?   The reality was that it was only the beginning of February in what seemed like the longest and coldest winter Toronto has had in years.  So, I enlisted the expertise of stylist, Christina Yan.  Christina and I have worked on a couple of typography projects before as well as a couple of shoots involving ice cream.  It only seemed fitting that we collaborate once again when the two ideas finally collided in one shoot.  After much deliberation and preperation, we worked with fake ice cream, as well as real ice cream components to get the look for a still image and also animated .gif.  With the help of dry ice, a large chest freezer, letter stencils, lots of ice cream, and a family value pack of Crisco, we embarked into this new territory together.

    Vicky Lam_TOAE_Layout2

    From there, we ended up with this:

    Vicky Lam_TOAE_175_email04

    Vicky Lam_TOAE14_layout

    And here’s a close-up of the great textures Christina created:

    Vicky Lam_detail01_TOAE

    The last challenge was to shoot a melting animated .gif.  Shooting an animated time-lapse meant there was no room for error and no turning back.  We had to use real ice cream to make it happen. We weren’t completely sure just how typographic ice cream shapes would look as they melted, but here it is:

    Vicky Lam_TOAE_Timelapse-03-July

    After two days of careful preparation and styling, we ended our shoot with a giant puddle of melted ice cream on the studio floor:

    Vicky Lam_TOAE_MG_9405

    Many thanks to Una Lee for having us on board for such a fun idea, and to Christina Yan for figuring out how to make the impossible happen!  Be sure to check out the TOAE this weekend and support local artists.  Enjoy the summer sun while you’re at it, and maybe grab an ice cream too.


    Photographer:  Vicky Lam
    Client:  TOAE
    AD: Una Lee
    Stylist: Christina Yan
    Assistants: Michelle Brussolo, Brendan Klem

    All Images © Vicky Lam

    **Editors Note** We (I) deeply regret the loss of perfectly good ice cream used for this shoot.  If you wish to contribute to the memorial, in lieu of cash we (I) would ask that you send pints of Haagen Dazs or Ben & Jerry’s to 70 Ward Street, C/O Alex.  We (I) thank you for your support at this difficult time.  



      George gets Deep & Delicious with McCain

      by Alex Beetham on July 2, 2014

      McCain Foods has been a staple in the Canadian diet for generations. You’ve most certainly eaten their fries before (McCain produces 1/3 of the worlds frozen fries,) and at least the kid in you still knows all about sneaking fork-fulls from this guy.  I can’t be the only one, right?  Well making light of all the trendy treats springing up in recent, McCain’s enlisted the talents of Entrinsic and our very own George Simhoni (wearing his directors hat) to bring dessert back to it’s roots in these fun spots.  Check’em:

      Motion © George Simhoni

      Director: George Simhoni
      Client: McCain
      Agency: Entrinsic
      Executive Creative Director: Anthony Wolch
      Copywriter: Kyle Carpenter
      Content Manager: Rebecca Brown
      Account Manager: Sasha Bricel
      Producer: John Stevancec
      Assistants: Jon Brown, Alex Beetham, Logan Allmendinger

      McCain BTS_George SimhoniBTS © Alex Beetham & his potato



        by Tom Nesbitt on June 24, 2014

        Winters in Canada can be pretty brutal and this past one was no exception. Polar Vortex anyone? Remember that just 6 short months ago it was dark when you woke up and then again just shortly after lunch? I know that I won’t soon forget. But, all that aside, when winter serves up ice make margaritas or something like that.

        This past winter Chris Gordaneer teamed up with Italo Siciliano from DDB to work on some sweet new ESSO imagery. As soon as we read the “open on palm tree” line, we didn’t hesitate and started packing our flip flops & sun screen

        This project included several layouts that conveyed the best parts of the summer road trip theme. There were both still and some moving images to be captured. The time line was tight, but like a true pros, Chris and his team made it all fit within a days work.

        I know what you are thinking, how could they manage down there in that heat and the humidity. All I can say is these guys and gals are total pros, and they didn’t let a little sand, sun and surf stop them from delivering the goods. Have a look at just some of what they came back with……








        all images Chris Gordaneer Photography ©

        When the stills were all wrapped for the day, Chris dawned the motion rig and directed the talent through these scenarios……

        Beach Holiday

        Grama’s House

        Credit where credit is due….
        Client: Esso Exxon Mobil
        Agency:  DDB Canada
        Creative Director: Barb Williams
        Creative Group Leader:  Italo Sicilliano
        Associate Creative Director:  Brendan Sack
        Digital Tech / Assistant: Aric Guité
        Producer: Kirsten White

        Check out some BTS courtesy of Kirsten White and Aric Guite




        Before we sign off, let me leave you with this little ditty.



          by Tom Nesbitt on June 17, 2014

          No, I did’t go, but thanks for askinig. I’ve never been to Cannes or its advertising festival Cannes Lions that has stolen away many of our industries finest. Making this a rather quiet week around these parts.

          From what I have seen there are some local notables on the short lists:

          Media Lion short list includes work from Lowe Roche, Rethink Vancouver, JWT, Taxi and Saatchi & Saatchi

          Mobile Lions Short Lister like, Zulu Alpha Kilo and Publicis Montreal

          Outdoor Hopefuls such as BBDO & Rethink Vancouver (again)

          Even in the in Radio there are possible winning agencies like GREY and BlueBlancRouge

          Best of luck to y’all. Have some tasty bread and cheeses along with a fine rosé (cause thats what the Folly Guide tells me you should be drinking.)

          Have fun everyone.
          Wear sunscreen.
          Stay hydrated.
          And please find your way home.



            With a list of features longer than a cats arm the new KIA Forte Koup is a well stocked automobile. And for just shy of 21K this is a well appointed piece of technology. One feature that is worth celebrating though is the Cooled Ventilated Seats. Yup, you read that correctly. The seats of the new KIA Forte Koup are both cooled AND ventilated. No need to make your whip look like a taxi cab with those beaded seat covers No sir. All you need to do is get yourself buckled into one of these and you’ll no longer need to pack a change of clothes to bring to the office anymore. Here’s what KIA has to say about the whole thing……

            Drives on hot summer days are more comfortable with the Ventilated Driver’s Seat. Three fan speeds circulate cabin air through perforations in the seat leather, helping you stay cool.


            Earlier this year Tyler Gray teamed up with Jon Lane and Brendan Sack from Innocean on a fun bit of advertising. The idea was to showcase the perils of driving cars with NON ventilated drivers seats. From the results, I think you’ll agree, it can be a terrifyingly sweaty experience.

            Here are a few words from Tyler himself on his experience….

            “Had a blast shooting this with Jon and Brendan, we shot during the Sochi Olympics and as you can see in the BTS of Gabe and Mike, we had the Canada vs Latvia hockey game in the background monitor and US vs Czech game in the foreground monitor”

            They weren’t too distracted by the games and the results a pretty awesome.




            Client: KIA
            Agency:  Innocean
            Associate Creative Director :  Jon Lane
            Associate Creative Director :  Brendan Sack
            Digital Tech : Gabe Nivera
            Motion Capture : Mike Rabinski

            And here are some BTS to keep things real…….







              ADBANDS 2014 RECAP: A VISUAL GUIDE

              by Alex Beetham on June 6, 2014

              So earlier this week we posted about Ad Bands, which took place last evening. Its a night of fund-raising for the Tennyson Quance Foundation for Autism. If my hang over is any indication of the good times that were had, then let me say this….. Good times were defiantly had – ouch.  Hundreds of industry folk filled Revival on College St to raise  the devil horns in praise of their peers as they turned it up to eleven. Things kicked off with fresh faced Payback (featured in a previous post), and didn’t let up from there.  If you missed it, here’s what the night looked like:

              adbands_ABPhoto1 copyadbands_ABPhoto2The following images were snapped and submitted by Bettina Bogar.

              So many 80′s metal wigs…
              adbands_by_bettinabogar-04 adbands_by_bettinabogar-07 adbands_by_bettinabogar-10 adbands_by_bettinabogar-12 adbands_by_bettinabogar-13 adbands_by_bettinabogar-14Images © Alex Beetham & Bettina Bogar

              Look out for Westside’s band next year…


                AD BANDS – 10TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY

                by Tom Nesbitt on June 3, 2014

                Wow, it seems like only yesterday I went to my first Ad Bands night and learned that White Spoonable Dressings were good for more than just sandwiches. Now this annual fundraiser for the Tennyson Quance Foundation for Autism is turning 10 years old & the Dressings (as they are known to their diehards) are still kicking out the jams. Ad Bands is so much fun. It invites people in the advertising industry to assemble a band and preform in front of an audience of their peers for one rawk filled night.  100% of the minimum $20.00 donation at the door goes directly to the foundation.  The night also benefits Autism Ontario through its corporate sponsors.


                The evening takes place at Revival 783 College St. Toronto.

                Doors open at 18:00

                Why so early you ask? Well, the first band of the night is Payback. They have an average age of 9, yeah, thats right NINE. So they need get to bed at a reasonable hour as it really is a school night. Paybacks connection to the ad world comes through their parents and includes the off spring of Ad Band founder Craig Brownrigg. His son Josh, much like his old man, plays drums.  Also, Liam Gordaneer, Paybacks bass player, is the son of Westside’s very own Chris Gordaneer

                Just have a look at these lady killer would ya!

                These kids are gonna steal your hearts and rock your socks off and in the process.

                Gordaneer just recently snapping these shots for their press kits which are being shopped to A&R reps all over the place. You should get one signed, while you still can. Seriously.

                LiamBand-0203f copy

                LiamBand-0042b copy

                LiamBand-0138c copy
                ©chris gordaneer

                So please, if you can, make it out this Thursday June 5th to AD Bands 10th year anniversary and cheer on your pals while you raise some much needed funds for a very special cause.

                See you there!



                  by Alex Beetham on May 28, 2014

                  Every year thousands of hopeful creative students from around the globe will graduate and breath a brief collective sigh – Because, now its time to get down to the business of getting a job. So they will gather up their blood, sweat, and tears into portfolios of what is their life’s work and start pounding the pavement. Spending weeks, months, even years trying to get eyes on their books. Searching for that one connection that gets their foot in the door, rather than the usual door in their face.
                  Sounds a bit daunting doesn’t it? Well, what if I told you there was an alternative? An opportunity to share your work with a massive, hand picked selection of the industries top creatives. All under one roof for one evening. Don’t believe me? Doubt at your own peril. This very real opportunity is aptly named Portfolio Night.

                  This year marked the 12th annual Portfolio Night which took place simultaneously in 24 cities around the globe.  Westside was a proud sponsor of the Toronto event, hosted this year by one of the best in town:  The Hive.  In order to promote this event, The Hive partnered up with Matt Barnes (and a whole lot of latex) to turn 3 of Toronto’s top Creative Directors into gluttonous beasts, ready to devour any and all talent placed in front of them.

                  Simon Creet – The Hive


                  Brent Choi  - JWT


                  Isreal Diaz – Y&R


                  Take a look at their incredible transformation here.

                  As for the big night itself last week, it was a huge success.  Hundreds of students showed off their chops to Toronto’s big wig creatives, and not TOO many tears were shed.  But seriously, there was some incredible talent on display.  There certainly isn’t a shortage of blossoming creativity here in Toronto.  Here’s a quick look at how the night went down:



                    Tuesday travels

                    by Tom Nesbitt on May 27, 2014

                    Hey its Tuesday. Why don’t you take a trip with Tyler Gray as he explores the back roads of southwestern Ontario……..

                    One of my favourite things about spring is hopping in the Polara and driving to places i’ve never been to. A few weeks ago I headed out to start a casual photographic journey along HWY#3’s rich 200 year history. All the north shore of Lake Erie is agriculture and I stumbled across a place called Mennomex which is essentially a grocery store run by Mexican Mennonites. If you want authentic Mexican food for dinner this weekend, this is the place to go if you have 4 hours to kill driving there and back. My next unplanned stop was at the Aylmer Stockyards. It was set back from the highway so after a quick U-Turn I ventured in to find a cool little “down home” cafe that had just finished serving local farmers breakfast before the weekly (wednesday) livestock auction began. Again, given the rich population of Mexican Mennonites and migrant workers in this area, a typical serving was pork tacos with a side of rice and mashed beans. Not into ethnic? No prob, they also serve egg sandwiches. Awesome!



                    If you wanna keep track of Tyler’s exploits why don’t you check out his Tumblr?