// brand building north

// Chris Powell is editor and co-founder of The Message, a new voice for Canada’s marketing, media, advertising and commercial creative sectors and authored the article, How ‘We The North’ came to define a team, a brand and a city. Chris unfolded the story behind agency beginnings to #WeTheNorth in an interview with Tom Koukodimos, Sid Lee Toronto’s Executive Creative Director and co-managing partner. 

Taglines have no bearing on a team’s performance, but a legitimate argument could be made that the April 16, 2014 introduction of “We the North” is a signature moment in the franchise’s growth as a brand, a dividing line between its often painful past and a prideful future. There were also a countless number of aborted slogans along the way to “We the North,” yet there was something about the phrase—one of many ideas that lined the walls of the agency’s Raptors war room—that led the team at Sid Lee to decide that it was a winner. It worked for two main reasons, says Da Silva: It felt like a declaration (a kind of “we the people” for basketball fans), and it also sounded wrong in just the right way.”

About The Message

The marketing industry is in the midst of radical change, but Canadian marketing media has stayed the same. The Message will be a new voice for a new age of Canadian marketing. How?

  • A more efficient newsfeed: We’re going to cover a lot of ground in the newsletter. But we’re also going to be more efficient in how we report the news. The goal is to quickly and efficiently make busy readers smarter and more informed.
  • Beyond news: We’ll go deeper on a carefully curated selection of stories that truly deserve more time and attention, providing real insight, context and analysis—these are the stories where we go way beyond the press releases to explore the issues that touch all corners of the industry in profound ways.
  • An unapologetic editorial agenda: We will strive to raise the profile of the marketing and commercial creative sector in Canada by telling stories that go beyond the handful of big brands and advertising agencies. Ours will be a concerted effort to find creative thinkers and doers—in all sectors and regions—who deserve more attention, bringing fresh voices and perspectives to the conversation.

The Message is David Brown and Chris Powell, two award-winning journalists with a combined 25 years reporting on marketing and media in Canada.