Well, this was a first — a movie theatre in the service drive-thru of an auto dealership. Its floors were so clean you could lick popcorn off them and its screen was framed by a gleaming ice-blue 2013 Mini Cooper and an Oxford green Countryman.
Esquimalt Road’s spacious new BMW/Mini dealership was the venue for this year’s National Advertising Benevolent Society fundraiser, a social event and screening of the 2012 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity winners.
“Anybody in advertising is thrilled to see these commercials,” said Dan Dagg, chairman of the organizing committee for the event that raised $5,800 Thursday night.
The nationwide charitable organization helps advertising, media and related industry professionals requiring financial aid due to illness, injury, unemployment and financial difficulties; plus counselling and other services.
“In the advertising business, you do something once and it’s ‘Been there, done that.’ Keeping things fresh is important,” Dagg said.
An estimated 180 local business, advertising, media and marketing professionals, as well as University of Victoria, Royal Roads University and Camosun College business students attended. Funds were raised through a silent auction and sales of tickets and red balloons containing gift certificates.
UVic School of Business student Lindsay Rieberger, 20, jumped at the chance to volunteer.
“It’s a great chance to network and get recognition within the advertising and marketing community,” she said. “It’s hard to get in, but if you make a connection right away you can get an internship, job interview or even just a mentor who can help.”
Before the reel showcasing the world’s best commercials started, guests lined up at a colourful banquet of movie treats, including popcorn and jars of candies.
“Nobody’s going to be able to sleep tonight,” laughed Watermint Hotels and Resorts marketing manager Sanem Le Greesley, bracing for a sugar rush.
NABS West regional manager Loraine Brown said the number of clients needing help has risen. The non-profit resource organization helped 1,493 people last year, with the largest percentage in need aged 30 to 39.
“It was surprising,” she said. “People always say, ‘You must use all your money for the older generation.’ We live in a very volatile market and things are always changing. There’s downsizing and people in our industry are feeling that stress.”
Three NABS clients recently died, including a Vancouver father of four in the print media who succumbed to cancer.
“His family is still going through intense counselling, so we’re still helping get his sons back on their feet,” Brown said.
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