Jeremy Gladstone knows that in marketing, it’s not just what you’re selling, it’s how you’re telling.

That is how he and the ad and marketing firm he heads, Gladstone Media, have earned recognition as Toronto Storeys' Agency of the Year.

“We decided to put our heads down and get a group of people together with a common goal, which was to fuse the beautiful notion of intelligent strategic design with commerce, and it’s working,” says Gladstone, who serves as the firm’s creative director.

Mixing artistic flair with cold commerce to sell what’s hot is seldom easy, but Gladstone’s formula is getting noticed in Toronto’s hyperkinetic real estate market.

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“I have a background in the music and entertainment business," explains Gladstone. "For one of our more recent campaigns, our client Reserve Properties partnered with Pharrell Williams.”  Reserve Properties commissioned the Grammy award-winning music artist and producer to help promote the new Untitled condo project slated for the Yonge-Eglinton neighbourhood.

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Williams issued a short video message that was broadcast recently on a giant screen at Yonge-Dundas Square. Williams also has been involved in designing the exteriors, interiors and amenity spaces  for the project, which is being developed by Reserve Properties and Westdale Properties.

Untitled will be two towers with 750 one, two and three-bedroom units and 30,000 square feet of common amenity space.

Collaborating with a celebrated performer and artist such as Williams takes marketing to a new level, Gladstone says.

“Working with someone like Pharrell makes it possible to celebrate the architecture and design features of the project with people all over the world,” he says.

Designing and executing marketing campaigns with this kind of global reach is a challenge for Gladstone’s staff of about 25 people.

“The lead time for this kind of work is about three times as long as it is for a local marketing campaign,” Gladstone says.

Ideas have to be discussed and approved in Toronto and then reviewed for further approval by Williams’ team in the United States, he explains.

Rising to the challenge is what makes Gladstone Media stand out, Gladstone believes.

“It’s hard, but if it were easier then everybody would do it,” he says.

In addition to working with developers, Gladstone Media also has clients in entertainment as well as restaurant, consumer goods and services and experiences such as yoga retreats.

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One key to success for the company is to work with a top-team of in-house designers and then to collaborate with media who can help distribute and communicate the messages that Gladstone’s team creates, he says.

And one of the most exciting things about being Toronto’s Agency of the Year is the Toronto part, Gladstone adds.

“This is an exciting time to be a Torontonian. Millennials in our city are really knowledgeable and brand savvy, and they’re making a difference.

"At one time people in Toronto used to look at itself through the lens of other cities such as New York or London, but now we’re really coming into our own,” he says.

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