MOST CREATIVE AGENCIES DABBLE IN B2B.
WE DON’T DABBLE. WE’RE ALL IN.
The way we see it, selling cloud services just isn’t the same as selling cologne. It demands a certain skill set. A certain depth. A certain—some would say obsessive—curiosity.
That’s why ambitious global B2B brands seek us out to help them articulate their unique and authentic voice, tell their most compelling stories, and engage their customers and influencers at every touchpoint in the purchasing journey.
In the world of business-to-business selling, there will always be those who strive to rise above the rest.
At McMillan, we call them our clients.
McMillan Demo Reel
What’s Going On Here?
We asked our families what they thought we did for a living. Here’s the result.
Here are just some of the clients, past and present, that we’ve worked with.
McMillan Expands Its Strategy Team to Meet Growing Demand
Wednesday, April 25 2018
Promotions, new hire, and search for additional talent reflect the B2B creative agency’s commitment to delivering strong brand and demand generation strategies to its clients.
McMillan has revealed significant changes within—and plans to grow—its strategy team.
“To start, I am pleased to announce the promotion of Christine Mikhail to Director, Strategic Services,” said Theresa Forman, who guides the agency’s strategy team as vice president. “Over the past year in her role as a senior strategist, she has worked tirelessly to elevate our brand offering and practice, which has impressed not just her peers, but also our clients.”
Mikhail joined McMillan in April 2017 following engagements with Landor, Siegel+Gale, and Fitch, and brought a special focus on brand strategy, including brand architecture, brand engagement, and customer journey mapping. She has almost two decades of experience with a diverse roster of B2B and B2C clients, including P&G, HBSC, and Dow Chemical.
“I am also pleased to announce that Michael McDonald-Beraskow has been promoted to Senior Strategist,” Forman declared. “Michael is very much sought after by his peers for his ideation, and has proven that he can hold court with even the toughest of CMOs—which is not a job for the faint of heart.”
McDonald-Beraskow joined McMillan as a strategist in February 2016. He arrived from Leo Burnett in Toronto, where he honed his skills in social media and digital strategy.
Along with news of the promotions, the agency announced that Ottawa native Sam Mabey has joined McMillan as a senior strategist. Sam arrives with almost a decade of experience in corporate marketing, most recently at Entrust Datacard, where for three years she was the marketing manager for one of their digital security solutions.
At the same time, the agency is continuing its search for an additional senior strategist, to further expand its in-house acumen and strategy skills in response to demand from its clients.
McMillan Acquires Experience Design Agency
Wednesday, February 14 2018
That’s good for us—and great for our clients.
McMillan is pleased to announce that it has acquired the top talent and intellectual property of Ottawa-based experience design shop Fancy Boys.
“One of the main drivers for this acquisition is to expand our in-house digital acumen and skills to meet the demand from our clients,” said Rob Hyams, President of McMillan. “We see this as adding some serious digital design and UX experience, so that we can continue to create truly great work.”
Founded by Martin Gomez in 2011, Fancy Boys specializes in custom interface design across multiple platforms.
“I’m beyond excited to be part of McMillan’s already exceptional digital team and to work with their roster of global brands,” said Gomez, who joins the agency as Director, Experience Design.
Others from Fancy Boys moving to McMillan include Jason Redmond, in the new role of Digital Operations Manager, and JP Brown, an award-winning experience designer. In addition, Scott Thompson, who has worked previously with both Fancy Boys and McMillan, has rejoined the agency as a senior developer.
McMillan to Furnish a Free Rebrand Again in 2018
Friday, November 17 2017
If at first you do succeed, try, try again!
That’s the approach McMillan is taking with Betterful, the no-charge, free, zero-dinero, gratis, pro bono branding initiative that the agency will offer again in 2018. Ottawa charities and not-for-profits have until December 1 to submit an application—including a short video—through the Betterful website.
Betterful is McMillan’s way of giving back, by giving a local grassroots organization a new brand. The high volume of deserving applicants last year made for a challenging selection process but the agency found an ideal partner in Being (formerly H’Art of Ottawa). During a year-long collaboration, McMillan gave one of Ottawa’s most cherished arts organizations an engaging new name, visual identity, and brand story—a story that fully voices the studio’s unique mission to nurture and champion creative expression from artists and writers with developmental disabilities.
For Betterful 2018, McMillan will once again seek a partner with a healthy appetite for change. Services rendered may include strategic messaging, naming, visual identity, and a plan for brand activation. In short, whatever’s required to help the Betterful partner speak with a clearer and more distinctive voice—and make a greater impact in the community.
To be eligible, applicants must have head offices located within Ottawa city limits and must demonstrate consensus among stakeholders that rebranding is a priority. Charitable applicants must be registered.
McMillan Takes Home Gold and Silver at the Transform Awards North America
Thursday, November 16 2017
When McMillan was asked to develop a creative campaign for the 2017 JUNO Awards—Canada’s pre-eminent music industry celebration—its response was, “Wow, what a great opportunity!” Then, it was: “YOW!”—a riff on the international airport designation for Ottawa, the host city for this year’s event and the city McMillan calls home. We used that to spark ideas for a range of signature assets that helped create buzz ahead of a weekend-long experience—and around the glitzy, nationally televised ceremony itself. In doing so, we won accolades from not only our client, but also many of those who attended the event last April.
Now, we’re delighted that our work for the JUNO Host Committee has also been recognized recently by several award committees in our own industry.
Honoured Across Multiple Categories
Transform Awards North America, recognizing best practices in corporate, product, and global brand development work:
- GOLD – Best Wayfinding or Signage
- SILVER – Best Use of Typography
Davey Awards, honouring the best in web, design, video, advertising, mobile, and social for small agencies worldwide:
- SILVER – Design-Promotional Posters
- SILVER – Video-Online Film/Life Events
Advertising & Design Club of Canada:
- MERIT – Typography Design
Altogether, it was a great start to the month.
To see some of the agency’s B2B creative portfolio, visit mcmillan.com/work.
New Opportunities Mean New Hires for McMillan
Wednesday, July 12 2017
Fast-growing B2B creative agency adds 14 new hires in 6 months.
The first half of 2017 has seen new opportunities and a big investment in growth for B2B creative agency McMillan. The agency has recently added several new clients, including Donnelley Financial Solutions, Thinkwrap, and Appboy.
“We’ve been expanding our roster of clients as well as taking on expanded roles with several existing clients,” says McMillan President Rob Hyams. “In order to meet this growth and serve our clients’ needs, we’ve added a range of new talent across the board, including in creative, strategy, and accounts services.”
McMillan Client HUB International Wins Two 2017 BMA B2 Awards
Thursday, May 18 2017
B2B creative agency’s work tops the Global Brand Strategy and Website, Over $100K categories
McMillan welcomes yet another client to the winner’s circle! The B2B creative agency announced today that its brand and go-to-market work for HUB International won two key categories at the 2017 BMA B2 Awards. The awards recognize the world’s top-performing B2B marketers, measuring the strength of their strategic and creative solutions to business challenges, along with their ability to deliver business impact and perform against KPIs.
Winner, Global Brand Strategy
In spite of being a top 8 global insurance broker with more than 400 offices and 10,000 employees across North America, HUB was not well known to its core audiences before the rebrand. Based on key industry insights, McMillan created a new brand manifesto that focuses singularly on HUB’s customers, paired with an innovative visual design that brought the message to dynamic life. “We wanted to prove to our customers that they’re at the centre of everything we do—and that’s precisely what we did with this new brand,” said Ellina Shinnick, HUB’s Senior Vice President, Marketing.
Winner, Website, Over $100K
HUB initially approached McMillan to lead an overhaul of the brokers’ website in partnership with customer experience agency Rightpoint—and this remained a priority throughout the rebranding process. “What started as a web evolution became a digital-first brand revolution,” explained McMillan President Rob Hyams, who worked closely with HUB’s marketing team to steer the projects to completion. The HUB website became a proving ground for the brand, and its most important articulation. “It’s only fitting that the B2 Awards recognized the brand strategy and website together,” added Hyams.
McMillan Deepens Its Strategic Services Expertise
Monday, April 24 2017
McMillan, one of Canada’s leading B2B creative agencies, has announced new additions to its strategic team. “B2B clients are recognizing the value of deeper focus in their brand and demand generation strategies. As a result, we’re growing our team to accommodate those needs and that pace,” says Theresa Forman, McMillan’s VP of Strategic Services. “We are very excited to welcome Carrie-Anne Mercer and Christine Mikhail to the team. Their extensive experience creating and executing brand and go-to-market strategies will continue driving our clients’ success.”
Mercer joins McMillan following engagements with Entrust, Chipworks, and Recognia. She has 20 years of experience building go-to-marketing strategies for B2B clients, with a focus on demand generation, sales enablement, segmentation, and the buyer journey.
Mikhail joins McMillan following engagements with Landor, Siegel+Gale, and Fitch, and brings a special focus on brand strategy, including brand architecture, brand engagement, and customer journey mapping. She has 16 years of experience with a diverse roster of B2B and B2C clients, including P&G, HBSC, and Dow Chemical.
McMillan Ends 2016 with Two Major Client Wins
Tuesday, January 10 2017
B2B creative agency adds United Rentals and ServiceSource to its client portfolio.
McMillan is proud to announce the addition of two major international brands, United Rentals and ServiceSource, to its client roster.
United Rentals, the world’s largest equipment rental company
McMillan has been selected as the lead agency for brand strategy and development for United Rentals, the world’s largest equipment rental company with a network of nearly 900 branches in North America. As part of this work, McMillan will also lead the company’s brand activation and 20th-anniversary celebration projects in 2017. According to Chris Hummel, SVP and CMO, United Rentals, “Simply put, McMillan presented a stronger, bolder vision than any other candidate, and convinced our CEO and senior management that they could deliver on it.”
Announcing the win to agency staff, McMillan CEO and Chief Creative Officer Gordon McMillan said, “The project is huge and so are the client’s expectations—which is just the way we like it.”
ServiceSource, managing and growing $10B in revenue
McMillan will also be busy this year reimagining the brand and customer experience for ServiceSource, which helps drive customer adoption, expansion, and renewal across more than 67,000 partner relationships. “We have very aggressive growth targets for 2017 and beyond, and after an exhaustive look at 25+ agencies we decided that McMillan offers the right mix of creative vision, strategy, experience, and personality to help us pursue our 2017 goals,” said Ryan Thomas, SVP, Worldwide Account Management, Channel and Marketing, ServiceSource.
“We choose our clients carefully,” says McMillan President Rob Hyams. “We look for companies that want to build a brand and a business, not just an ad campaign or a website. With ServiceSource, we have an opportunity to reposition an already-successful organization for massive growth. That’s a challenge truly worth taking on.”
McMillan is awarded silver at the Transform Awards North America
Thursday, October 27 2016
McMillan is proud to announce that its work on Eastwick’s (now Hotwire PR) brand overhaul was awarded silver at last night’s Transform Awards North America. Our achievement at the awards recognizes our excellence in rebranding and brand development.
The awards consistently set a stronger benchmark for work in brand development while reflecting the growing significance of brand in strategic corporate communications. The corporate brand—and its implementation, positioning, and creativity—has become one of the most valuable assets a business owns.
Established seven years ago in Europe, the Transform Awards has evolved into a global celebration of the indispensable talent that exists within the branding sphere. Since the launch of Transform magazine in April 2014, the global publication has led the way in reporting on those leading the way in both creative and strategic branding. With shortlisted companies from all over the United States and Canada, this evening has proved there is much to be celebrated in North America.
McMillan CEO and Chief Creative Officer Gordon McMillan said, “We love to do the work, but we’d be lying if we didn’t say it is exceptionally gratifying that peers in our industry also concur with its quality. Thanks, Transform Awards!”
One of the judges said, “It was great to see everything, from schools to packaging manufacturers and household names. And it was an honor to judge this second year of Transform Awards in North America, as it gave me the opportunity to read some amazing work, and [I] was truly impressed by the quality and diversity of the projects. The winners should be proud, as their submissions represent some of the most innovative brand strategy and creative work in the industry.”
To see more of our award-winning work, visit mcmillan.com/work.
McMillan Appoints Two Veeps to Manage Agency Growth
Monday, July 04 2016
Wow. Two veeps in one day.
McMillan, one of Canada’s largest, fastest-growing B2B creative agencies, announces two new additions to its executive team. Theresa Forman has been named Vice President of Strategic Services and Dawn Kadlec has been named Vice President of Operations.
Theresa joined McMillan in 2007 as a senior strategist, having previously worked as a marketing leader at Chipworks Inc., Corel Corporation, and Ericsson Communications. Theresa was promoted to director of the Strategic Services department in 2014, assuming leadership responsibilities of the strategy team.
“Theresa is a triple threat. She has an innate knowledge of marketing and brand strategy, serious business acumen, and deep experience in B2B,” said Robert Hyams, president of McMillan. “She quickly becomes a trusted advisor to her CMO clients and has successfully grown the strategy team and capabilities at the agency. She knows her shit and is a big part of our double-digit growth over the past few years.”
Dawn Kadlec began her career at McMillan in 2005 as an account executive. Dawn was appointed studio manager in 2009, coordinating the multitude of projects passing through the agency. In 2012, she was promoted to director of creative operations, co-managing the company’s creative resources, and subsequently assumed the role of director of the agency’s operations in 2014.
“It was evident from day one that Dawn would contribute to McMillan’s growth strategy and success,” says Hyams. “Her attention to detail, tenacious attitude, and insatiable appetite to learn everything about our industry are unwavering. And there is a lot to know when it comes to overseeing the human resources, facilities, and day-to-day operations of a dynamic 75-person shop in a 160 year-old building.”
McMillan to Rebrand H’Art Of Ottawa in Agency’s ‘Betterful’ Pro Bono Initiative
Thursday, June 16 2016
No fewer than 28 regional charities had thrown their hats in the ring, but only one could be chosen.
H’Art of Ottawa will receive a free brand overhaul, in McMillan’s Betterful initiative, the agency announced this morning during a surprise media event at the H’Art office in Ottawa.
“With so many great applications, it was a difficult selection process to say the least,” said McMillan associate creative director Megan Findlay. “But H’Art stood out as uniquely prepared to take advantage of a new brand. After fourteen years’ supporting the creative practice of artists with intellectual disabilities, H’Art of Ottawa is poised for re-visioning and rebranding. We are confident that we have an excellent Betterful partner and we’re excited to get started on the rebrand.”
H’Art hopes to find a new studio. A permanent gallery space. More community partnerships. But their most ambitious plan of all is to change Canadians’ minds about this type of art. In the U.S., artists with similar disabilities benefit from respect and high demand. Not so here at home. H’Art is about to change all that, but they can’t do it alone. That’s where Betterful comes in.
Together, we’ll re-launch H’Art with a bold new name, new logo, new colours, new style—and, importantly, a new, more accurate story to tell about who they are and why they matter. We’ll help them transform their identity so that they can transform their artists’ lives.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the creative and strategic minds at McMillan,” said H’Art’s executive director Lin Rowsell. “A brand overhaul will no doubt make a profound difference in our ability to get our message out and reach more people who can benefit from our services.”
On March 22, McMillan launched Betterful as part of its 20th anniversary celebration as a way to give back to its community. The goal was to find an organization with the desire—but not necessarily the means—to completely rebrand. Charities were invited to apply online (betterful.mcmillan.com), by submitting a short video describing what the organization could gain from a new brand.
McMillan and H’Art will work together on the rebrand for upwards of 12 months. The goal is to collaboratively craft an all-new and strategically sound organizational brand. The services on the project may include strategic messaging, naming, visual identity, and a plan for brand activation.
About H’Art of Ottawa
H’Art of Ottawa is an innovative and inclusive visual arts studio that supports and facilitates the creative practice of artists with intellectual disabilities.
The studio’s unique art and literacy program fosters and promotes creative and cultural experiences, collaboration, self-expression, and self-determination. Exhibiting their work through the studio, galleries, and community venues, the artists participate in society in a meaningful way.
Ottawa’s Creative Agency Celebrates 20 Years, Rebrands for Global B2B
Sunday, May 01 2016
Ottawa creative agency McMillan celebrated 20 years in business on May 1st, 2016, with the reveal of a new brand focused exclusively on global business-to-business (B2B) enterprises at a celebration with 350 invited guests.
“The decision to resign our consumer-based accounts and focus exclusively on B2B was a difficult one,” says McMillan President Robert Hyams, “but we knew it was a sound, strategic decision. CMOs in global B2B enterprises are looking for specialists – people who can efficiently ramp up on their business and understand the B2B landscape. And frankly, that is our true strength.”
McMillan celebrated its anniversary at a long-abandoned paper storage facility on Albert Island, bringing the space to life with a spectacle of interactive digital technology to represent the shift from print – the dominant medium when McMillan opened its doors in 1996 – to digital marketing and communications, the present focus of the agency’s work.
“The idea that we are leaving our teens and entering our twenties would suggest we are growing up,” said company founder and CEO Gordon McMillan. “In some ways, yes, we’re bigger. Our customers are global, like Intuit, Commvault, Schneider Electric and Hub International. But you know, we’re still like kids in a candy shop.”
McMillan’s Betterful Initiative Seeks to Rebrand a Deserving Regional Charity—for Free
Tuesday, March 29 2016
That’s the promise of Betterful, a new initiative from Ottawa-based creative agency McMillan. The agency is seeking a charity with the desire—but not necessarily the means—to rebrand. While agency-charity relationships often focus on a single time-sensitive campaign, Betterful offers something more lasting: an immersive relationship that will last up to 12 months and culminate in a new, re-energized corporate brand. Services rendered may include strategic messaging, naming, visual identity, and a plan for brand activation. Essentially, whatever it takes to help the chosen charity have a much greater impact in the community.
“We’re seeking a charity with the appetite for big, bold change,” says McMillan president Rob Hyams. “Our goal is to help that charity build awareness with the confidence and visibility of a new brand. It’s our way of giving back to the community that has been our home for 20 years, using the most valuable currency we have: our skills and experience.”
McMillan has a history of producing award-winning creative for a notably diverse roster of cause-worthy clients, including the Ottawa International Animation Festival, Citizen Advocacy, the Mental Health Crisis Line, Opera Lyra, and currently the Shepherds of Good Hope, Ottawa’s largest organization dedicated to serving the poor and homeless. Betterful continues this tradition by inviting charities of all types to apply. The only criteria are that they must be registered, must have their head office within the Ottawa city limits, and must demonstrate consensus among stakeholders that rebranding is a priority.
Those interested are encouraged to submit their application online at betterful.mcmillan.com. Submissions will be accepted from March 22 to May 17, 2016. The selected charity will be announced during the week of May 23.
McMillan’s Strategic Services Team Grows
Wednesday, February 24 2016
Spring brings new growth to McMillan, as the Ottawa-based creative B2B agency announces three key additions to the company’s Strategic Services team.
Lubna Sadik joins the company as Senior Strategist, Michael McDonald-Beraskow arrives as Strategist, and Maxine Patenaude comes to the team as Engagement Strategist.
“During this period of growth,” says Theresa Forman, McMillan’s Director, Strategic Services, “we are very excited to welcome Lubna and Michael aboard, and to have Maxine move onto the Strategy team. Their extensive experience building and executing brand and communications strategies will continue driving our clients’ success.”
Sadik joins McMillan following engagements with Chicago-based Arment Dietrich and Canada Post. She has 18 years of experience building marketing strategies for B2B and B2C clients, in both traditional and digital environments.
McDonald-Beraskow arrives from Leo Burnett in Toronto, bringing a special focus on social media and digital strategy. He has worked with a diverse roster of B2B and B2C clients, including IKEA and Enbridge.
Patenaude is a driven public relations and communications strategist with a deep understanding of social media engagement and digital strategy. Before joining the Strategy team, she was a member of the McMillan Client Services team, working with clients including Intuit and Commvault.
These new additions in Strategic Services demonstrate McMillan’s commitment to attracting and securing top industry talent to further drive client success.