If Sex Sells, Humour Sells Way More

    For Canada's first-ever Advertising Week, Canadians get candid about what
    works and what doesn't in revealing survey

    TORONTO, Jan. 15 /CNW/ - Canadians have called it - humour trumps sex,
and by a surprisingly wide margin. A full 67 per cent of Canadians say humour
is the secret ingredient that makes an advertisement most persuasive, compared
to only 7 per cent who feel that ultimately, sex sells. Moreover, 65 per cent
of Canadians believe this country should veer away from European-style
commercials that are considered risqué. This is according to the latest
research conducted by the Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA) and Leger
Marketing in a revealing survey released for Canada's upcoming, inaugural
Advertising Week (January 26-30, 2009).
    Inspired by the blogosphere, this survey entitled the Adosphere Report,
asked Canadians to have their say in advertising. The findings reveal a lot
about who Canadians are and how they see themselves.
    Want to know more about Canadian culture? Consider analyzing Canadian
advertising. A large majority of Canadians (73 per cent) believe this
country's unique culture shapes Canadian advertising and reflects it. Sixty
per cent of Canadians also say that patriotic advertisements have them
brimming with national pride, inspiring them to cheer for Canada either loudly
and proudly, or quietly, in true Canadian style.
    "Our survey findings indicate that Canadians have a real personal
interactivity with this country's advertising," said Gillian Graham, CEO of
the ICA. "Canada's first-ever Advertising Week was designed to recognize and
celebrate that relationship on a platform that brings the advertising industry
and the public together."
    Indeed, according to the Adosphere Report, nearly 6 in 10 Canadians (59
per cent) admit looking forward to their brands' favourite advertising. That
statistic jumps to 76 per cent among the Generation Y group. Canadians do not
appear to be a star-struck bunch however. More than half of the survey
respondents (53 per cent) think celebrity endorsements in advertising do not
    The survey results also suggest that this country is headed for an
Advertising 2.0 world. Almost three out of four respondents (71 per cent)
believe advertising will become increasingly interactive, reflecting the new
Web 2.0 world.
    As well it should, considering the fact that advertising touches just
about every person across the country. The advertising industry contributes
more than $24 billion to the Canadian economy, generates $1.5 billion for
programming, and donates more than $500 million in pro-bono work each year.
    Canada is now in the company of France, the US and many other countries
around the world that host their own Advertising Weeks. With special guest
appearances from key international figures such as marketing mogul Sir Richard
Branson, and brain scientist and best selling author Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor,
Canada's Advertising Week is poised to inspire Canadians from coast to coast.
    Various public and industry events including keynote and panel
presentations, thought-leadership conferences, student mentoring initiatives
and agency open-houses will be held across Canada in cities such as Halifax,
Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver. Many of Canada's top
advertising gurus such as Frank Palmer, Paul Lavoie, Miles Nadal and Sunni
Boot will also take part in Advertising Week.
    Tickets for the various must-attend events across Canada are on sale at
www.advertisingweek.ca. Seating is limited for various events and will sell
out quickly.
    This study was conducted by Leger Marketing through telephone interviews
among a representative sample of 1,504 Canadians, 18 years of age or older.
The interviews were conducted from October 28th to November 3, 2008. The study
has a margin of error of +/- 2.53 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
    Advertising Week is made possible by the generous volunteer contributions
of several leading agencies who are 'Founding Partners', including: DDB Canada
(public relations services), Bos (graphic and web design, advertising,
interactive and guerilla marketing services), Marketel (public service
announcements), Publicis (Youth Day events), Cossette Communications
(communications services and leadership of a luncheon for the financial
community), PHD Canada (media buying services) and Bensimon Byrne (Ad Women of
Toronto initiative).
    Advertising Week is being spearheaded by the ICA, with support from the
following "Founding Contributors": Association of Canadian Advertisers,
Advertising Standards Canada, Canadian Marketing Association, Canadian
Newspaper Association, Canadian Community Newspapers Association, Association
Marketing de Montreal/PCM, National Advertising Benevolent Society, Radio
Marketing Bureau, Association of Quebec Advertising Agencies, Interactive
Advertising Bureau of Canada, Out-of-Home Marketing Association of Canada,
Canadian Advertising Research Foundation, Canadian Media Directors' Council,
and the Ad Club of Toronto.
    Key media sponsors of Advertising Week include: Corus Entertainment, CTV,
Canwest, CBC and Torstar. Marketing Magazine is a silver sponsor. Additional
bronze sponsors include: Leger Marketing, the Globe and Mail, Puma,
Transcontinental PLM, Yahoo! Canada, Colour Innovations, Pollination,
Cinélande, 4WS, Studio Apollo, Sonart, AICE and Stealing Time. Several others
are pending.

    About Advertising Week

    Canada's inaugural Advertising Week (www.advertisingweek.ca) is taking
place from January 26 to 30, 2009. The week is designed to celebrate the
advertising industry's social and economic impact to the Canadian landscape,
create a dedicated public platform to showcase the industry's creativity in
business communication, and to inspire and develop the next generation of
talent for this industry.

    About the ICA

    The Institute of Communication Agencies or the ICA (www.icacanada.ca) is
the professional business association which represents Canada's communication
and advertising agencies. ICA promotes thought leadership, higher standards
and best practices. It serves as the largest source of information, advice,
education and training for Canada's communication and advertising industry.
ICA's member agencies and subsidiaries account for over 75% of all national
advertising in Canada, with an economic impact worth more than $18 billion

For further information:

For further information: Media requiring further information, images or
interviews, please contact: Keka DasGupta, Martine Lévy, DDB Canada, (416)
972-7727, (416) 972-7719, keka.dasgupta@ddbcanada.com,

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