Terry O’Malley Advertising Lecture and Grant Dobson Competition

The Grant Dobson Case Competition

Hosted by the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film, the Grant Dobson Case Competition provides students the opportunity to showcase their superior creativity and presentation skills to a panel of industry experts.

The Case Competition was created by Sharon Broderick, Goodman School of Business, in 2005 and named in 2008 for the late Grant Dobson, who served as the executive director of the Office of External Relations at Brock University.

The establishment of this prestigious event works to further the objectives set by Terry O’Malley as a platform within the Lecture in Marketing and Advertising to deliver opportunities for students to learn about and implement the current strategies and roles of advertising, marketing, and the media.

Winners of this competition are recognized by fellow students and industry professionals as possessing superior creativity, and demonstrating excellent presentation skills. 

Teams are to prepare a proposal as their entry to the competition and three finalist teams will be selected to pitch their marketing and advertising ideas to our panel of industry experts.

If you have questions about the case competition, please email dobson@brocku.ca.

Registration for Dobson 2022 opens October 3rd, 2022. Please review the 2022 contest brief, and contest information below, before registering your team.

  1. Review the brief to explore the challenge teams are asked to address.
  2. Form a team of 2-4 students.
  3. Review the contest rules.
  4. Nominate a team leader and register to enter no later than 10:00 a.m. on the registration date (Tuesday, October 25th, 2022). Team registration must be submitted through the Registration Form. The form requests the following information:

    1. The first and last names of all team members
    2. The Brock University email address of each team member
    3. The program and year of study of each team member
    4. The age of each team member
    5. Express consent for the disclosure and publication of the team members’ names, programs, years of study, and content of responses to the brief and pitches in promotional or other related materials for the Contest.            
  5. Submit your team’s proposal (six pages maximum) no later than 10:00 a.m. on the deadline date (Tuesday, October 25th, 2022) via Sakai.
  6. Up to three finalist teams will be selected from among the entries by a panel of Brock University faculty and staff based on the merits of the submissions on criteria such as creativity, feasibility, and excellence. Finalist teams will be notified by email.
  7. Teams who are selected to be finalists must create a pitch presentation to be shared at a panel with contest judges on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022. A Q&A session will follow the pitch presentations.
  • 1st place: $2,000
  • 2nd place: $1,200
  • 3rd place: $800 

Registration deadline for teams: Tuesday, October 25th, 2022, at 10:00 a.m.      

Deadline to submit response to brief on Sakai: Tuesday, October 25th, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. 

Finality Pitches and Q&A: Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022, time to be announced subsequently


Competition Rules

The Dobson Case Competition (the “Competition”) is run by the Brock University Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film and is governed by the following rules.


The Competition is open only to teams that:

    1. comprise 2-4 members, each of whom are students who are registered in a full-time or part-time course of studies at Brock University for the 2022-2023 academic year and have reached the age of majority, 18 years of age, at the time of entry
    2. include no more than 1 student who has previously been a Competition finalist (i.e. a student who has pitched to the judges or received prize money); and
    3. include no more than 1 student who is a graduate student at Brock.


    1. Deadline for registration: In order to be eligible to submit an entry to the Competition, Teams must register using the online registration form available online no later than 10:00 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, Oct. 25th, 2022.
    2. Confirmation of registration: Teams which have registered by the deadline (“Registered Teams”) will be added to a Sakai site for Competition purposes and receive an email confirmation.
    3. Competition entries: Entries to the Competition must consist of a written response, not to exceed six (6) pages, to the marketing brief posted to the Sakai site, and shall meet all other requirements set out in the brief and on the Sakai site. There is a limit of 1 entry per participating team. Additional entries may be discarded and may cause an entrant to be disqualified, at Brock University’s sole discretion.
    4. Deadline for entries: To be eligible, entries must be submitted to the Competition Sakai site under “Assignments” and received no later than 10:00 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, Oct. 25th, 2022.
    5. Changes to and withdrawal of Registered Teams: Any member of a team or any Registered Team may withdraw from the Competition at any point, by notice to dobson@brocku.ca. Registered Teams may substitute new team members up to the deadline for submission of written entries using the online registration form provided that the team continues to meet the eligibility requirements set out in section 1 above. Changes to registered teams after that date, Tuesday, Oct. 25th, 2022, may only be made with the approval of Brock University where there are exceptional or unforeseen circumstances, such as medical or compassionate grounds for the unavailability of a registered team member.
    6. Retention and rights to entries: All entries received shall be retained by Brock University and not returned. By participating in the Competition, all participants grant Brock University the right to retain, share, communicate, publish, distribute, copy, and modify the entries as may be necessary, in Brock University’s sole discretion, for the purposes of running and publicizing the Competition.
    7. Disclaimer regarding entries, systems and intellectual property: Brock University is not responsible for late, lost, incomplete, illegible, misdirected, stolen, delayed, damaged or destroyed entries, or for any unavailable network connections, failed, incomplete, garbled, or delayed computer transmissions, on-line failures, hardware, software or other technical functions or disturbances or any other communications failures or circumstances affecting, disrupting or corrupting the Competition in any manner. Brock University is not responsible for any third party use of the entries, including any intellectual property in the entries, as part of or arising from the Competition


    1. Selection of finalists: Up to three (3) teams will be selected as finalists (“Finalists”) from among the entries received by the entry deadline by a panel of Brock University faculty and/or staff based on the merits of the submissions on criteria such as creativity, feasibility, and excellence. Finalists will be notified by email by 8 p.m., Friday, October 28th, 2022. Brock University may approve changes to the Finalists before the presentation of pitches due to the non-responsiveness of a team member or Finalist or exceptional or unforeseen circumstances, such as medical or compassionate grounds for the unavailability of a registered team member.
    2. Finalist pitches: Teams who are selected to be finalists will be expected to present verbal pitches before a panel of judges on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022 at a time to be later designated by Brock University. Audio-visual aids are permitted and encouraged. If any members of the student team are ill or otherwise unable to come on campus, they should alert the contest organizers in the CPCF department. Options include that the pitch can be made by the remaining team members or potentially through a pre-recorded video that will be played or shared with the panel of judges.
    3. Q & A session: In addition to the pitch, finalists participate in a question and answer with a panel of marketing experts selected by Brock University (“Judges”) on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022 to answer questions from the Judges and receive feedback on their pitches. If any members of the student team are ill or otherwise unable to come to campus, they should alert the contest organizers in the CPCF department to determine if remote participation arrangements can be facilitated.
    4. Selection of Winners: First, second and third place team(s) and an outstanding presenter (“Winners”) will be selected by the Judges, based on the merits of the pitches and responses to Judges’ questions. Criteria such as creativity, feasibility, and excellence will be used to select winners. Winners will be selected and notified no later than 7 business days following the pitch submissions.
    5. Prizes: There are (4) prizes eligible to be won, consisting of
      • a. One (1) first place prize of $2,000
      • b. One (1) second place prize of $1,200
      • c. One (1) third place prize of $800; and
      • d. One (1) Mark Smyka outstanding presenter prize of $250.
      • The Judges have discretion to award tied prizes, in which case, Brock University may adjust the amount of the prizes to reflect the number of winners.
    6. Awarding of prizes: First, second and third prizes are awarded per team, and will be divided as equally as possible among all team members. The Mark Smyka outstanding presenter prize is awarded to an individual but in the event of a tie, the prize may be divided amongst the winners, at Brock’s sole discretion.
    7. Declaration of results & distribution of prizes: In order to be declared a Winner and receive a prize, each winner will be required to sign a release indicating eligibility and compliance with these Official Contest Rules.

By participating in this Competition, all team members agree:

    1. To follow all public health and Brock University guidelines relevant to their participation in the Competition. For example, participants should be prepared to stay home if sick, to participate remotely with their team or event organizers if needed, and to wear a mask when required by event organizers. Masking exemptions established with Student Affairs will be respected in spaces where masking is required in relation to the competition.
    2. To be bound by these Competition Rules and the decisions of Brock University, whose decisions are final;
    3. To the use of their name, likeness, voice, image, recording, video footage and statements in connection with running and promoting the Competition; and
    4. To release and indemnify and hold harmless Brock University, respective officers, directors, employees, owners, agents, contractors, representatives, successors and assigns from any liability in connection with or arising out of this Competition.
    1. Cancellation and other changes: Brock University reserves the right, without prior notice and its sole discretion, and at any time, to cancel the Competition, alter the rules in whole or in part, or modify, suspend or extend the Competition in any way.
    2. Disqualification: Brock University reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any participant for any reason, including failure to comply with these rules or with the intended purpose of these rules, or to require proof of eligibility, in whatever form Brock University deems appropriate.
    3. Dispute resolution: All decisions made by Brock University with respect to this Competition are final without any right of appeal. This Competition and these Rules are governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the Province of Ontario and the applicable laws of Canada, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules that would cause the application of any other jurisdiction’s laws. Any actions or proceedings arising in connection with this Competition must be conducted in the courts of Ontario, which will have exclusive jurisdiction over such proceedings.

The 2021 competition challenged participants to develop gamified marketing tactics and to drive sales for personalized candies amongst Gen Z consumers. The event was document by The Brock News.

First Place: Plinko for the People
Owen Angus-Yamada, MSc in Management student
Syed Zarif Samdani, MBA student

Second Place: After Dark
Naomi Barber, Business Communication, 4th year
Mackenzie Rockbrune Business Communication, 4th year

Third Place: Face 2 Face
Glory Plume, Business Communication, 3rd year
Sam Pearson, Business Communication, 3rd year
Jack Ellsworth, Film Studies, 3rd year
Matthew Cancilla, Business Communication, 3rd year

Dobson 2020 – TikTok Challenge for Crocs

The case competition was held virtually in 2020. Teams were invited to review a case study on digital marketing targeting Generation Z and develop a creative campaign focused on increasing brand engagement on the social media platform TikTok.

Read more about the 2020 competition here.

First Place: Croc Around the Clock

Gracelyn Blundell – 4th year, Psychology
Danielle Hynes – 4th year, Business Administration (Marketing)

Second Place: Croc It Your Way

Sania Chumber – 4th year, Business Communication
Laiba Sheraz – 4th year, Business Communication

Third Place: Croc Olympics

Hayden Maass – 3rd year, Business Economics
Rebecca McCormick – 3rd year, Child and Youth Studies

Dobson 2019 – Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

Teams were tasked with developing a creative idea and strategy to encourage 18-24 year-old Canadians to organize shoreline clean-ups. The goal was to inspire young adults to act.

Read more about the 2019 competition here

First Place: Brighter Blue

Cheyenne – 4th year, Honours Business Communication
Janelle – 3rd year, Media & Communication


Second Place: Generation Change

Rita – 3rd year, Business Communication
Simar – 3rd year, Media & Communication
Isabella – 3rd year, Business Communication


Third Place: Clean Up to Fill Up

Kelsea – 3rd year, Business Communication
Samantha – 3rd year, Business Communication
Fabian – 2nd year, Business Communication

Dobson 2018 – Marketing Cannabis

Coinciding with Canada’s new laws legalizing recreational cannabis, the 2018 competition brief asked teams to develop a detailed communications plan to establish brand awareness for a new licensed producer of recreational cannabis.

Read more about the 2018 competition here



First Place: Elevate

Bryan Haakman – 5th year, BBA Co-op Finance
Julia Baird-Oryschak – 3rd year, BBA Co-op Dual Degree







Second Place: Higher Society

Ramie Bilowus – 3rd year, Media and Communication Studies
Lucas Hansen – 3rd year, Business Communication
Ian Hart – 3rd year, Business Communication
Matthew Scott – 3rd year, Media and Communication Studies






Third Place: Dragon’s Puff

Niveditha Sethumadhava – 3rd year, Business Communication
Ayomilekan Hambolu – 3rd year, Accounting Co-op

Terry O’Malley Lecture in Marketing and Advertising

Created by St. Catharines native and advertising icon Terry O’Malley, the lecture honours O’Malley’s legacy as one of the most legendary creative talents in modern Canadian advertising. For the past 20 years, the lecture series has exposed Brock students to some of North America’s top marketing and business communicators.

20th annual terry o’malley lecture in marketing and advertising

Thursday, November 19 at 6pm.
Lifesize link
Special Collections Exhibit

Looking back, to see the future
What the biggest marketing, media and advertising stories of 2020 can tell us about 2021 and beyond.

As editors of The Message, Chris Powell and David Brown spend every working hour (and many non-working hours) tracking and reporting on the most newsworthy marketing, media and advertising stories from Canada and around the world.

In this fast-paced presentation, they will review some of the key stories from the past year, which they think are important signals for where the industry is going.

David Brown joined Marketing magazine in 2005. As news editor, he had a front row seat for the digital transformation of the industry—there for the first Marketing stories about Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. He was eventually promoted to executive editor, responsible for all day-to-day editorial output for the magazine. David left Marketing in late 2014 to explore the fast-growing world of content marketing, while remaining a regular columnist and contributor until its closure in late 2016. He co-founded The Message in 2018.

Chris Powell has been covering Canadian media, marketing and advertising since first joining Marketing magazine in 2001. He witnessed digital’s transformative effect on the legacy advertising industry first-hand, and has spent the past two decades covering the “new” ad world. His work has also appeared in Maclean’s, Canadian Business and The Globe and Mail. He co-founded The Message in 2018.

19th annual terry o’malley lecture in marketing and advertising

Thursday, November 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Built From Scratch
An Entrepreneur’s Journey
Advertising Executive Dave Lafond is the 2019 O’Malley Lecture in Advertising and Marketing speaker. Hear his remarkable career journey from account executive to agency president to the highly successful launch of his own agency, No Fixed Address. Lafond will provide a rare and intimate look into the thrills and the agonies of launching your own business and starting an ad agency from scratch.

Dave Lafond is President and Co-Founder of No Fixed Address.
Dave spent his formative years building, launching and transforming some of the top agencies in Canada. He joined Publicis in early 2000, where he spent 11 years rising through the ranks, including launching Publicis Modem in 2007, a digital agency that grew to a team of over 120 experts. In early 2011, as President of Proximity/BBDO Canada, Dave honed his hybrid skills and built bridges between digital, traditional, and CRM. In late 2013, he joined Cossette, one of Canada’s largest independent agencies, as President of English Canada, with the mandate to transform its creative and digital acumen.

Dave launched No Fixed Address three years ago with CEO and Co-Founder Serge Rancourt.

18th annual terry o’malley lecture in marketing and advertising

Held on Thursday, November 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre at Brock University.

Read about the winners here

Learn more about Peter Shier’s talk on cannabis here

The 2017 Terry O’Malley Lecture in Marketing and Advertising was held on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre at Brock University.

About the speakers

This year’s lecturers are Peter Ignazi and Carlos Moreno from Cosette Communication Inc.

Peter is one of the most successful creative directors and copywriters in Canada. Under his leadership, both BBDO and Cossette have been named Canadian “Agency of the Year” by Strategy Magazine – firsts for both Agencies. He has twice been included in the top ten list of most awarded copywriters in the world by the Gunn Report. In 2013, he was ranked #1 Creative Director in Canada by Strategy Magazine. In the past decade, he has won 21 Cannes Lions for 10 different clients in 8 categories ranging from film to cyber to integrated.

A native of Hamilton, Ontario Peter earned a B.Sc. in Chemistry from McMaster University before enjoying a successful career as a Research Chemist with Dow Chemical in Germany. He also has an MBA from McGill University. Peter has worked as a Copywriter and Creative Director in Toronto and New York for such agencies as TAXI, McCann and Downtown Partners DDB. In 2015, Peter brought his skills to Cossette where he runs a variety of blue chip accounts, including McDonalds, General Mills and SickKids.

Carlos Moreno is one of the most successful creative directors in Canada. In his tenure as ECD of BBDP, it was named Canadian Agency of the Year by both Strategy Magazine and the Advertising and Design Club of Canada. He was responsible in making the Toronto office a top 4 agency in the BBDO global network. in 2013, he was ranked #1 Creative Director in the country by Strategy Magazine. From 2004 to 2006, Carlos was Creative Directors and Partners at Amalgamated in New York working on Ben & Jerry’s and Cablevision. He has been twice included in the top ten list of most awarded art directors in the world by Broads Magazine and The Gunn Report.

In 2006, he brought his skills to BBDO where he runs a variety of blue chip accounts, including FedEX, PepsiCo, RBC, Wrigley and Mars. Carlos is a native of Guatemala. In 2011, he was nominated as one of the most Influential Hispanics in Canada by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. As of 2015, Carlos has brought his talent to Cossette run McDonalds, General Mills, Intact, Sick Kids and Telus.

  • Read about the winners here

Overview: According to Jackie Botterill, Associate Professor in the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film (CPCF), the Grant Dobson Case Competition is the culmination of years of learning, writing and thinking demanded of students in Brock University’s business and communication degree programs.

“Students focus their creativity, discipline their ideas, exercise strategic thinking, apply research, media and marketing skills and communicate persuasively with the goal of encouraging action in the marketplace.”

And the opportunity to encourage action in the marketplace is very real. The annual event, presented in conjunction with the Terry O’Malley Lecture in Marketing and Advertising, has a long history of creating valuable industry relationships for students.

In this year’s competition, teams were challenged to develop a marketing campaign for the luxury brand Canada Goose.

Ten teams submitted written proposals. Faculty members from CPCF and the Goodman School of Business reviewed the submissions and selected the top three finalist teams. Finalists pitched their campaigns to an esteemed panel of judges including:

Ania Lindenbergs, Executive Director of Brand Marketing – University of Toronto
Greg Plata, Team Lead, Sponsorship & Experiential Marketing – WestJet
Matthew Santoro, YouTube personality and entertainer and speaker at the 2015 Terry O’Malley Lecture in Marketing and Advertising
Peter Shier, President and Partner – Naked Creative Consultancy
Dianne Wright, Co-founder and Partner, Strategic Evolution – Chimpanzee