Allan Kazmer’s successful career in the advertising business began at the age of 19, as a junior copywriter for an insurance company in Detroit. In 1968, he made the move to Canada and from there his innate talent fueled his passion as an ad writer and later as one of Canada’s most successful creative directors and mentors.
Retired for the past 14 years, Allan was Senior Vice President and Creative Director of Doyle Dane Bernbach (later DDB Needham Canada) for over 14 years. As a Creative Writer/ Director, Allan thrived on fostering a safe and encouraging environment for young and talented creative minds, where they could flourish in the industry. As a mentor, Allan emphasized positive, thoughtful risk taking and collaborative creativity.
Allan’s proudest accomplishments throughout his lengthy career, included seeing many of the young people he worked with go on to become some of Canada’s most successful award winning creative marketers. Most are currently running the creative departments of major international agencies or running their own agencies.
In 1989, Allan was asked to create the first advertising writing course to be taught at the Ontario College of Art & Design, a course he taught for 14 years, until retiring three years ago. As an Associate Professor at OCAD, Allan helped students develop the skills the advertising and marketing community needed in order to succeed in the industry.
Throughout Allan’s career, he has won hundreds of national and international awards and as a Creative Director; he has helped others achieve similar levels of success.
With the amount of success that Allan has achieved throughout his professional career, it would be impossible to list every award he has received. Instead, his most memorable and proudest accomplishments are included.
In 1966, Allan won his first award for a magazine campaign for Chevrolet Division at General Motors. The award was the Certificate of Merit from the Detroit Art Directors’ Club, in recognition of the “Soap Box Derby Campaign.”
In 1975, in recognition of a Ritz Crackers Print Campaign, Allan won the One Show – Gold Pencil award. Before his retirement, Allan’s work and the work of his agency were honored on an annual basis at the Communication Arts Awards.
Allan’s most treasured award was given to him in 1989 — The Les Usherwood Lifetime Achievement Award, for his demonstrated excellence in the field of communications arts.
Throughout the late 1980′s, Allan’s work and the work of his agency always had great success at the Marketing Awards. This success also followed him to the Hollywood Radio & TV Awards, as well as winning over half a dozen Clio Awards over the course of his career.
In 1992, Allan won a Bronze Medal for the VW Eurovan campaign at the Cannes Lions and Merit Awards. He collaborated with Marta Cutler, who wrote the script and Duncan, who was art director. He also won several awards of merit at The One Show. Finally in 1994, Allan won the Fritz Speiss Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Canadian Advertising Industry.
Allan Kazmer’s career spanned decades filled with many remarkable achievements and awards. Even in retirement, Allan is still admired as one of the most successful Creative Directors and advertising mentors in Canadian history.