Terry O’Reilly to deliver keynote address at Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec gala

Andrew Baulcomb, Advancement Officer | Toronto | March 23, 2017
Terry O’Reilly, CBC Radio personality and renowned advertising expert.

Terry O’Reilly, CBC Radio personality and renowned advertising expert.

It all comes down to this. On Monday, in front of a crowded hall at the InterContinental Toronto Centre, finalists in Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec (CNTAE) will vie for top honours in the nationwide case competition.

The remaining 10 presentations, whittled down from more than 200 entries received in January, will be evaluated by a panel of 25 judges comprised of industry executives and university professors. The victors will drive away with two brand new Chevrolet Cruze Hatchbacks.

As part of the day-long affair, CBC Radio personality and renowned advertising expert Terry O’Reilly will deliver a keynote address focusing on the power of counterintuitive thinking. O’Reilly has been the recipient of several major awards, and possesses a lifetime of insightful marketing knowledge. He co-founded Pirate Radio & Television in 1990, and later donated some 50,000 pieces of advertising campaign materials from North America’s most iconic brands to McMaster University. 

Student competitors in this year’s CNTAE were tasked with crafting a marketing plan for MAVEN – General Motors’ new urban mobility platform. MAVEN is a vehicle-sharing service that allows users to login with a smartphone, choose the car they’d like to drive, hit the road, and then return the car to the pick-up station before logging out of the session on their phones. The challenge for CNTAE participants was to help the service break into Canada – hypothetically, of course – and engage young drivers with an interest in ride-sharing.

“Partnering with General Motors for this year’s competition allowed students to work on the cutting edge of digital transformation with one of the world’s biggest companies,” says Mandeep Malik, DeGroote Assistant Professor and founder of CNTAE. “MAVEN is exactly the kind of service these students will be marketing for real in the not-too-distant future. This was a wonderful opportunity for them to gain valuable industry insights.”

“Partnering with General Motors for this year’s competition allowed students to work on the cutting edge of digital transformation with one of the world’s biggest companies…

Now in its second decade of operation, CNTAE is the largest marketing and advertising case competition of its kind in the country. The program encourages undergraduate and MBA students to establish a bridge between the classroom and the real world in order to facilitate a transfer of dialogue and expertise.

A total of $40,000 in prizes was up for grabs this year, and the top 25 entrants received a $1,000 Canadian Tire gift card per team. The winning school’s career centre, marketing associations, and faculty mentors will also be gifted with various awards and prizes.


Want to attend the finals and gala? Student presentations will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, March 27 at the InterContinental Toronto Centre. The evening gala, featuring Terry O’Reilly’s keynote address and the crowning of this year’s CNTAE winners, will be held from 5:30 to 10 p.m.

Purchase tickets here

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Contact Info

For media inquiries, please contact:

Oanh Kasperski
Associate Director, Advancement
DeGroote School of Business
McMaster University
(905) 525-9140 ext. 24871
kasperso@mcmaster.ca

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