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The Terry O’Malley Lecture Series

Photo credit: Brock University

The Terry O’Malley Lecture in Marketing and Advertising was created by St. Catharines native and advertising icon Terry O’Malley, the lecture honours O’Malley’s legacy as one of the most legendary creative talents in modern Canadian advertising. For the past 15 years, the lecture series has exposed Brock students to some of North America’s top marketing and business communicators.  

When I was first asked to be the keynote speaker for the Terry O’Malley Lecture series, I was honored, but to be honest I wasn’t entirely sure what exactly I had signed up for. Another request, to create the brief for the Grant Dobson Case Study Competition, again, always happy to help my alma matter, but was this another make work project at a time when we were ramping up our MarComm efforts at WestJet and on the heels of WestJet Christmas Miracle: Real-time Giving…

Fast forward 5 years later and the Terry O’Malley Lecture Series has evolved into more than just a one-off event, he’s become somewhat of a mentor, an advocate and a friend (turns out he played professional hockey with my uncle!). Each year, a new and exciting speaker, a challenging brief and the opportunity to see what the next generation of great minds can come up with in the realm of Marketing and Advertising.   

This year the focus is on Cannabis, with Peter Shier, President of our very own Naked Creative Consultancy, as the keynote speaker and category expert on all things cannabis.   

The hot topic across Canada with the end of prohibition, but no easy task given the restrictive regulations and the uncertainty around what is defined as ‘the grey area’. Students are faced with a real world problem, with no real world solution. A category where advertising isn’t necessarily the solution, but more so the problem. How will students use creativity as they approach a potential solution? I’m excited to see their thinking and the ‘why’ behind their approach.

-Greg Plata