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Big Orange Slide

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Tips from the Runners-Up


The Orange Grip Juicer Competition was a whirlwind of hard work, new friends, inside jokes, and too many Tim Hortons runs to count. We entered the client briefing meeting as strangers from different programs, not fully comprehending the scope of the project and unsure of what we had gotten ourselves into. The first phase was the toughest. Bringing together six students from three different programs at Humber College with different schedules, skill sets, and working styles proved difficult in and of itself. Not having project experience with one another challenged us to trust the team, and abandon the polite “get to know everyone” stage early on.

We managed expectations with constant meetings, constructive feedback, idea flow, and daily check-ins. We all committed 100% to the meetings and the competition. The sheer amount of work built a strong team culture from day one. Knowing the first phase was only two weeks long, we put our lives on hold and threw everything we had into making the most kick-ass submission we could. We were driven by the bragging rights of winning the Juicer Competition, especially going into internship hunting season. We also wanted to bring it home to Humber for another year. We had high expectations from professors and were determined to live up to them. As we formed bonds within the group we wanted to make the entire team proud.

Reflecting on the experience, we all know so much more than when we walked into that first briefing. Our creatives had no idea of the kind of work account people do, and our accounts team was so impressed with the idea generation process and detail-driven creative execution. The most valuable part of the experience was being included in every step, so we could gleam a better understanding of the work ahead of us in this crazy ad biz. We knew our own roles and could execute them with confidence, but we really had no idea what everyone else did – until now.

Speaking from an accounts perspective, one thing we would do differently is getting started sooner and acting more decisively. Not to hold off on the first meeting, and to have the account team take a step back from the creative ideas at first in order to research, research, research. We found ourselves getting wound up in the ideation process and trying to find a strategy that would match. It wasn’t until almost a week had passed that we took a step back to realize that’s not how it should work, and finally set a strategy.

To all of the future Grip Orange Juicer competitors, just be you. Communicate, know your roles, research the heck out of it, and don’t let the creativity only come out in the creative executions. Make every part of it creative—from the way your accounts team presents the budget, to the way the final submission is created, and hopefully, to the way you present. Be charismatic. Be smart. Be resourceful. Bring snacks. Think outside the box-heck recycle the box and leave it in the dust! And good luck!

Tips from the Winning Team

April 22, 2015 by Big Orange Slide


If you have ever felt the need to become intimately familiar with the strengths, weaknesses, odd habits, suppressed childhood memories, and general breaking points of five of your classmates, the Grip Orange Juicer Competition is for you! I’d also recommend it to anyone who wants to jump headfirst into an industry as dynamic, challenging, engrossing, and enormously rewarding as advertising.

Yes, you will be busy. There will be trials, and hiccups. Your cat will spill water on your laptop. You will receive passive-aggressive Facebook messages from classmates who feel you’re neglecting other assignments. You may have a tumultuous relationship with your Shakespearean enthusiast of an elective professor who is reluctant to excuse you from lecture on pitch day. You will stress over deadlines, and question your ideas. You may lose sleep.

But when you click past that final slide and finish off that question period, and you notice how your mouth has gone dry and your hands are wet, you won’t need me to explain why you’ve put yourself through it. In that moment, while your heart races, and you’re looking at the faces of a dozen or so industry professionals whom you’ve just pitched your work to, you won’t even be appreciating the opportunity. You won’t be thinking about how you’ve been given a springboard to the career you’ve dreamt of, or had a professional experience some people won’t get until they have spent years in the field. No, right then, you’ll just be immensely proud of what you’ve accomplished. And I promise, you won’t be wondering why you’ve put yourself through it – you’ll be asking when you can do it again.

So my advice? Shout, argue, drink beer, listen to terrible ideas, suggest worse ones, look from a different angle, then another, then another – or was that the last one? Laugh at bad sketches, then watch as they flesh into great campaigns. Love your idea, then watch as it gets torn apart, dismantled, and scrapped to make room for one you love even more. Throw yourself into this process, and you’ll be amazed at what you’ll end up taking from it.

Also – rest and eat healthy! Because your brain needs oxygen and your body needs the proper nutrients to function, and you never want to have to apologize for things said in group meetings when hungry. You just don’t.

And the winner of the Grip Juicer Competition is…

March 12, 2015 by Big Orange Slide


We’re always blown away by the talent brought forward by the participants, and this year was no exception.

The winners of the third annual Grip Juicer Competition is Team Orang A Tang from Humber College.

Second place goes to Team Duffle-Bag from Humber College.

Third place goes to Team Agency 546 from Seneca College.

Were you unable to participate this year? If you’re a creative, enjoy big orange slides and being paid for your apprenticeship, email to attend our Portfolio Night.

Open Book Night


The Orange Juicer 2015

December 3, 2014 by Big Orange Slide

The 2015 Orange Juicer Apprenticeship Program is just around the corner. Take a look…

16191-Grip Juicer Poster Insert[1]

Please check out for more details, or email

#GripLabLive – Elias Theodorou

November 12, 2014 by Big Orange Slide

Grip Associate Partner and MMA fan Ben Weinberg sat down to interview Canadian martial artist and UFC competitor Elias Theodorou. Topics ranged from fighting to branding, to romance novel cover modelling. No injuries were sustained and no medical suspensions were issued.

#GripJams: Lisa Byers

October 16, 2014 by Lisa Byers

#GRIPJAMSIllustrators: Rodrigo Diaz Mercado & Lisa Byers

Nas, Biggie, Tupac. Who ruled the hip hop world? Take a hit of some of Hip Hop and R&B’s best as Social Content Strategist, Lisa, brings us her favourite classics. #GRIPJams

#GripLabLive – Dave Seglins

Randy Stein – Partner, Creative – recently had the pleasure of talking to CBC Radio’s investigative journalist Dave Seglins. Topics included the rapid change of how news is reported, and consumed, as well as some current affairs including, yes, Rob Ford.

Pingpong for Good

illustration by Rodrigo Diaz Mercado

Illustrator: Rodrigo Diaz Mercado

Grip promises to create remarkable connections by engaging our communities in the most inspiring, meaningful and enduring ways. We push the boundaries to build lasting bonds and maintain loyalty from an audience skeptical of most media messaging. We apply this thinking to every piece of business we touch, but also every relationship we manage internally.

Grip is a strong believer in the power of mentorship, recently launching a program to help young Griplings find their footing and develop their professional character during their time at Grip—and beyond—with the help of some of our most influential colleagues.

Grip’s commitment to mentorship, combined with a love of beer and an emphasis on the importance of supporting Grippers’ outside passions, lead to a recent donation to Paddle Royale, a ping pong tournament supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters Toronto. The event is organized by BBBST Young Leaders, of which myself, Jill Patterson and Ann Tsunakawa are proud members. To commemorate the donation, we decided to hold an internal ping pong tournament to get the agency talking and show some orange pride the day of the event. With over 55 Grippers including our CFO signing up, the competition was fierce and the smack talk ran throughout the agency. In the end, Director of Interactive Production Todd Harrison and Editor Duane Vandermeulen will officially represent our agency at Paddle Royale 2014, competing against top talent like myself, Jill Patterson and Ann Tsunakawa.

Paddle Royale takes place on August 21, 2014 at 7PM. Over 55 teams have signed up to compete in the tournament, raising a minimum of $500 each for the youth of Toronto. It’s not too late to register a team for some light-hearted (unless you’re Jill Patterson) competition, and it’s definitely not too late to get your name on the guestlist by donating $30 to the cause. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for answers to any of your questions. Hope to see you at the table or dance floor.

Copywriting Isn’t Pretty

August 12, 2014 by Ryan Kukec

illustration by Rodrigo Diaz MercadoIllustrator: Rodrigo Diaz Mercado
“Thankfully, persistence is a great substitute for talent.”

   - Steve Martin, Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life

“Your ad is the comedian who comes on stage before a Rolling Stones concert. The audience is drunk and they’re  angry and they came to see the Stones. And now a comedian has the microphone? You had better be great.”

   - Luke Sullivan, Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to   Creating Great Ads.

All Joking Aside

It’s hard to get people to laugh. It’s really hard to get seven uncomfortable people to laugh in an empty bar. Especially since they’ve already seen 15-20 comics perform. Laughing can be draining.

The host says my name incorrectly. He’s managed to add both an “L” and an “R” to my last name. I walk onstage. Take the mic from its stand. An audience can smell fear, and once they have, good luck. So I pretend what I’m doing isn’t a weird breach of social contract. I say my first joke. I hear a few chuckles. Not bad for midnight on a Tuesday. I finish my five minutes. Walk off stage and bike home.

I repeat this process three or four times a week. Why keep working at something so ridiculous? Something so absurd?

Because there are great shows.

Shows where the venues are packed. Shows where all the comics are your friends. Where the audience trusts you as a comic. They go on a journey with you. They accept your point of view. They want to hear your story. They know you’re funny. These moments are to be savoured. It makes every bad show worth it. On nights like these, your instincts take over and you’re able to step outside yourself.

And that’s what doing great work in advertising feels like. You           put as much effort into difficult clients and less glorious work as you do with the great ones. It’d be difficult to be proud of great work if you didn’t have a dog walker ad to compare it to. It’s all a part of the process. You put your head down because you look forward to the interesting/one-of-a-kind work. You do it for that one ad or campaign where the client trusts your instincts and lets you guide them towards a solution you believe in. And when that happens, a point is reached where the solution is bigger than both the agency and the client.

In comedy and in advertising, it’s the great work that keeps you coming back for more.

Hey, Anyone from Out of Town?

There’s no secret formula to comedy or copywriting. Comedy and copywriting share a universal truth: one only gets better by doing.

And hoo boy, is it a big, empty universe until you get good.

But that’s the fun part. Right? Challenging ourselves and discovering our strengths, weaknesses and everything in-between.

As far as I can tell, everyone fakes it for those first few years. And I’ve learned that the only way to get good at either is by trying again. And again. And again. And right when you think you can’t, you try again. It’s hard work that you have to love doing.

We’re All Pals, Here

The wonderful thing about comedy and advertising is the people. We take risks. We all come from different backgrounds. We push one another. We develop thick skins. We do and say things others only dream of. We push the boundaries of what’s acceptable. We aren’t afraid to fail. Well, when we can blame it on the occasional bad audience… the client… creative… or accounts. And that’s something to be proud of.

If you want to get good at something, surround yourself with people that are better than you. I learned that from a fortune cookie. Not from a single cookie or a single fortune. I had to get about fifty cookies before I had the right combination of words to piece together my own fortune. Sometimes you have to take your destiny into your own hands. That, or get creative with the surplus of fortune cookies in your kitchen drawer left from years of getting takeout.

Like Copywriting, Like Comedy Writing

Standup comedy is copywriting’s younger, cooler mooch of a brother. At least that’s what my brother tells me. Or says about me. I can never remember.

Anyways. I do both. I love both. And I’ve made some hilarious and not-so-hilarious observations.

  1. Both are career choices that make parents very uneasy.
  2. A pun has the power to ruin your entire career.
  3. Our spare time is spent practicing. No wait. Drinking. Our spare time is spent drinking.
  4. You have no time for relationships, but surprisingly, you have a lot to say about relationships.
  5. Cynicism is proportional to experience.
  6. Those that have never done either think they’d be great at it.
  7. Never jump out of a giant cake while onstage or in a meeting. It’s just not as funny as you think.
  8. If you bring gum, bring enough to share with everyone.
  9. The words “kill,” “bomb,” and “destroy” apply only to comedy.
  10. Telling people about your dreams is only interesting to you.
  11. They both have the power to ruin perfectly normal conversations and parties. I’m not fooling anyone when I test out a new joke, trying to pass it as regular conversation. The real tell is when I pull a microphone from my jacket and ask my friends, “so, anyone from out of town?” Or when I tell my friends they’d make for great ‘before’ photos in an ad.
  12. They’re both highly competitive industries. Except one has lots of money and the other has lots of brooding sadness.
  13. The best ideas come to you at night, when you’re huddled in a dark corner of your room. Rocking back and forth just waiting for that idea. But not really. I have no idea where ideas come from. You just have to be aware of one when it presents itself. Like the time I was in Grand Prairie, Alberta. There I was, sitting on a bus, and a thought occurred to me, “I need to get the hell out of Grand Prairie, Alberta.”
  14. Both are rooted in the moment and rely on immediate payoffs. Most jokes and ads will only ever be as relevant as the moment they’re made in. Their cultural impacts are short-lived and the vast majority go unnoticed. A by-product of this reality is the sheer amount of ideas copywriters and comedians are responsible for generating to maintain relevance. In other words, they are crafts that go hand-in-hand.
  15. Both require the writer to be heavily involved with the world around them. They must be pop culture junkies. Your job is to relate to people or uncover an insight that can hold an audience’s attention long enough to get them to buy into an idea. Whether that idea is an opinion, social commentary, or product, you’re job is to be entertaining. To get people to see the world differently, no matter how slight.
  16. Guys, where is Carmen Sandiego? Seriously. She told me she was just going out for a pack of smokes. That was six months ago. (i.e. Don’t be embarrassed to show people everything you write. No matter how terrible. Show it. There might be merit.)
  17. Both have left a trail of half-baked, terrible ideas in their wake. Copywriters and comedians have seen a lifetime of confused faces, cringing and uncomfortable shifts in chairs all before the age of 25. They’ve heard plenty of silence. Oh the silence. Embrace the silence. Tip: silence is the perfect opportunity for making a fart noise.
  18. The stronger the performance, the more the audience buys in. Confidence is key. Present your ideas with conviction, like they’ve never heard a funnier joke or a more clever headline. I had a university prof always say “sell the steak, not the sizzle.” I was a vegetarian at the time. So the lesson was lost on me.
  19. A copywriter and a comedian walk into a bar… stop me if you’ve heard this one before. And please tell me. Seriously. I have no idea what the punchline is.
  20. Steve Martin said it best: “Comedy isn’t pretty.” And neither is copywriting.
  21. Oh and, writer’s block is _________.