Enablers

2010
Geoffrey Roche

Lowe Roche


Born and raised in Toronto, Geoffrey attended Northern Secondary School and OCAD, where he won the George E. Wright scholarship. He started out as a Zippo lighter salesman working for his Dad before talking his way into a job as an art director with Alan Gee at Glowinsky & Gee. In 1978, he left Canada to work in the U.S. for the likes of Chiat Day New York, and Seattle and Hal Riney & Partners in San Francisco. After numerous One Show Silvers, bronzes, and a couple of prestigious Kelly Awards, he headed home.


In 1985, Geoffrey became Creative Director of FCB Toronto, where he won a bunch of awards including gold at the One Show. Then Chiat Day called again, this time to be Creative Director. Two years later he was fired. This was Geoffrey’s lucky day. After a nice summer spent in his garden and a swish trip to Barbados he decided that opening his own restaurant was not the smartest idea. “Good at what you are stick on young Skyroche,” said Yoda. Geoffrey believed there had to be a better way to get truly effective work done more often. He envisioned an agency with a more streamlined model, refocused account people, and a flat structure for results-oriented advertising

In 1991, Geoffrey B. Roche & Partners was launched with their first account; the ROM. Within 8 months the agency won the coveted IKEA business. On the day Geoffrey arrived home from having won the account in the final round there hung a flaming Chiat Day T-shirt on the porch courtesy of his wife Marie-Claire. Named Agency of the Year the second most times of any agency in the country and having never missed the top 10 it was no surprise when Lowe Roche was named Agency of the Decade. But perhaps best of all, the agency was named Advertising Age International Agency of the Year in 2000 on Geoffrey’s birthday (coolest present ever). Lowe Roche has been featured in Communication Arts, Adweek, The New York Times, and on CTV and CBC. Geoffrey has Co-Chaired NABS twice, he Co-Chaired the “Night of the Unboring” for OCAD, and got David Miller elected twice against much more moneyed candidates.

In 2006, the agency swept the Digital Marketing awards, proof that the investment they made in online in 2000 was paying off. Geoffrey and the Agency have won over 1500 awards from Cannes Gold Lions (including three in one year), One Show golds, too many Marketing Awards to count, and even a German Effie (roughly translated: a German Cassie). This past year the Agency again placed in the top 5 for Agency of the Year.

And just so he had something to do in his spare time, Geoffrey started Dogbook and Catbook in June 2007 with his son Alexandre, an application on Facebook and now an iPhone app that has over 3 million users worldwide. He has also started 4 spin-offs called My Babybook, Horsebook, Rodentbook and even Ferretbook. The Ferret-lovers (mostly from Nordic countries) are thrilled.

What is Geoffrey most proud of? Still getting Marie Claire to laugh at his jokes, put up with him and help pick his ties. And their four amazing kids that are smarter and more successful than he is, or ever will be. Then there’s Oliver the family dog who likes him third best but he’s working on that.

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