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The Work That Made Me: Matt Litzinger

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The co-founder, president & chief creative officer of The Local Collective in Toronto ponders Mean Joe Greene, early AirJordan work and putting a whole Toronto neighbourhood up ‘for lease’

The Work That Made Me: Matt Litzinger
Matt Litzinger is the co-founder, president & chief creative officer of The Local Collective in Toronto, Canada. Matt has spent more than 20 years developing ground-breaking, strategic creative solutions and campaigns. He's been Internationally recognised and awarded for campaigns he's led on brands such as Rogers, General Mills, McDonald's and Cadillac to name a few. His creative and strategic leadership has helped these brands through some of their most transformational and successful years in their Canadian history. 

Matt leads the vision at Local. His focus is to develop creative solutions that are never constricted to a media channel, and instead break through from a deeper understanding of local truths.

Below, Matt reveals the creative work that’s shaped him and his career. 



The ad from my childhood that stays with me…


Probably the first one I really remember as a little kid. Mean Joe Greene for Coca-Cola.
Ok, I know this is dating myself and for the record, I was really young when I saw this. I’m the youngest of four and being physical and playing sports were a pretty big deal in our house growing up. Mean Joe Greene was a football icon and was part legend…there wasn’t any other form of media really, so you only saw the ‘brand’ presented the way they wanted it. Coca Cola knew this… and that’s why the story played so well.





The ad that made me want to get into the industry…


Nike’s early Air Jordan work. All of that work then was so ground-breaking, and I was right in the ‘age pocket’ to be incredibly influenced by that work. They were captivating, rebellious, humorous and set a new way of advertising. And it was Jordan. So, yeah.





The creative work that I keep revisiting…


I really love the simplicity and intelligence of the music video for the song Just by Radiohead. Directed by Jamie Thraves, I was always drawn into the filmic story. And I really like the moral of the ‘story’. It’s a great album and this song is timeless.





My first professional project…


My first ‘real’ project was a television commercial for a brand within Cincinnati Bell called i-wireless. Before that I had kicked around various places doing some freelance, and then helped out on some projects, but more from only a layout perspective. This was my first real ‘brief to finish’ project.



The piece of work that made me so angry that I vowed to never make anything like *that*…


Hard to answer for me, I’m not sure I really remember the things I dislike. In fact, I might make a point to try and forget them. So sadly…I got nothin’.



The piece of work that still makes me jealous…


Fox Sports has done a bunch of amazing campaigns over the years. But the ‘Sports News from the only Region you care about. Yours’ work done by Cliff Freeman in I think 2001 is just perfect! A close second is probably Outpost.com…also Cliff Freeman. God, I miss the days of humour in advertising…hopefully it’s on the rebound…we could all use it. And it will help with my jealousy.







The creative project that changed my career…


The next one. Hopefully, it’s always the next one.



The work that I’m proudest of…


Probably a project for McDonald’s. It’s called Around the world. It ended up getting globally adapted, ran in a bunch of markets and was a cool social experiment, before trendy social experiments.





I was involved in this and it makes me cringe…


Hard to answer, like I said…I make a point to not dwell on the stinkers. Plus, there’s probably waaaay too many to choose from. So, let’s just move along…nothing to see here…



The recent project I was involved in that excited me the most…


We just finished a project during our country’s (or more specifically our city’s) second Covid lockdown. It was designed to show people how their support of local businesses can dramatically affect neighbourhoods, property values and life.

It’s called the Not For Lease Campaign. In a coordinated effort we covered a whole neighbourhood’s businesses with For Lease signs. When the residence awoke, it appeared like the whole community had gone up for lease. The response was very dramatic. Every national news network covered the event and it netted over 250 million media impressions…and most importantly cause a dramatic ‘Shop Local’ narrative across the country.


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The Local Collective, Mon, 26 Apr 2021 14:16:52 GMT