Enablers

2005
Paul Lavoie

I tend to describe what I do as storytelling, because at the end of the day that’s what we do very well. We tell our clients’ stories in a very strategic and very compelling way.”

In 1992, Paul co-founded TAXI with partner Jane Hope, successfully combining the disciplines of advertising and design. They believed this powerful combination would give a brand a more coherent and stronger voice in the marketplace.

Paul also felt fresh thinking was often stifled in the unwieldy corporate world of traditional agencies. So, TAXI reinvented its own minimalist structure. The belief being that a small, select team of experienced experts, just enough to share a cab, should take responsibility for every dimension of a brand.

“Doubt. The word doubt. “Doubt the conventional. Create the exceptional,” is the mantra at TAXI. Doubt is the most important state to be in if you want to create. Doubt is never assuming. When you’re solving a problem, you open up to new possibilities. Doubting is something we do at the beginning of every creative exercise.”

Their hunch proved correct as TAXI immediately became recognized in the industry for creating consistently strong brands through their fresh, unconventional approach. In November 2001, Taxi was named Agency of the Year by Marketing Magazine. Strategy Magazine, another leading Canadian trade magazine, has listed Taxi as one of Canada’s top ten agencies for nine of the past ten years. In December 2002, Taxi was named Agency of the Year by Strategy Magazine. Paul has appeared on many international award juries and is an active speaker and contributor to the Canadian Advertising & Marketing community. Paul chaired this year’s London International Advertising Awards, a first for any Canadian creative director.

Some of Taxi’s high-profile clients include MINI, Molson Breweries, Viagra, Telus , Astral Media ~ The Movie Network, Williams-Sonoma and the Wine Council of Ontario. In the past year alone, Taxi’s work has been recognized by virtually every major international show — Cannes, One Show, British Design and Art Direction and TAXI was listed at #35 in the 2002 Gunn Report’s Top 50 Most Awarded Agencies in the World in 2001.

“A brand that has never really been taken care of: Canada. I think Canada is a great product and a lousy brand. We’re seen as emulators. We’re not seen as innovators…We have all the ingredients that go into a great brand – a great story, innovation – but we haven’t been able to rally and organize to give them consistent meaning to ourselves and to the world. We don’t need any new logos. We have one. It’s a flag with a leaf on it.”

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