Our story began with a crazy idea called bill folder advertising that we discovered while in South Africa. We were entrepreneurs, saw a market opportunity for this in North America, and decided to roll the dice. After a blur of sleepless nights, we learned everything we could about in-restaurant, out-of-home advertising (we didn’t even know what that was), developed our business plan to get one tiny government grant, and started with only delusions of grandeur.
After about three months, we developed a Montreal network in roughly 100 high-end restaurants and found a manufacturer to produce our bill folder iteration. We thought that if you build it, they will come - only to discover that there were these companies called advertising agencies that we needed to convince to take a chance on us. With only a telephone, five samples, and a lot of hustle, we cold-called every ad agency in Montreal, got hung up on a lot, cried, laughed, almost gave up, but managed to land Media Experts who took a leap of faith with a little brand called BMW.
Now comes the difficult part—it was time to manufacture for the first time. No, just kidding, it was actually the easiest part: we hopped on a plane, met the perfect manufacturer, and still work with our amazing partner to this day. The difficult part came a bit closer to home in the form of our new office: a dim-lit, dusty basement mini storage locker next to the largest man you’ve ever seen, who yelled gibberish and grunted at the top of his lungs every 11 minutes to the second. We were scared - no, truly scared, like diaper-scared - but kept hustling.
Slowly we started to understand that bill folders were not right for every campaign and that we needed new ways to bring value to our trusted clients. Morally, we could never fit a square into a circle, so without hesitation, we started coming up with crazy contextualized ideas whenever we got a client brief to solve the problems presented. The next thing we knew, we had developed a program to send out 120,000 pizza boxes for Bell, and the future began to unfold.
Fast forward to the present day. We still champion bill folder advertising, but have expanded our network nationally to over 15,000 local OOH assets, launched an experiential marketing division, a bespoke OOH division, and truly learned what an ad agency is. Most of all, we owe all our success to our incredible staff, whose dedication and tireless efforts to bring each campaign to life is the reason why we continue to thrive today.
Thank you to our EIUM family, thank you to our industry, thank you to our partners, and thank you to our clients! We love you all.
R & R