A burly bouncer-looking dude answers the door at advertising agency MacLaren McCann Canada. Tattoos run up and down his thick arms. This is the man I’ve come to see: Mike Meadus, the agency’s seriously gifted, if not offbeat, advertising whiz. Talent oozes from Meadus’ inky pores. Why else would a reputable national advertising agency, with 650 employees nationwide, keep its youngest vice-president ever, a guy with more tats than your average Hell’s Angel?
Meadus guesses he has 50 or 60 of them: a panther, a Samurai, a dragon and traditional Japanese art. The list of art covering his body goes on. . . and on. “I won’t do anything crazy like the face,” he says. But even if he did, MacLaren McCann would still probably keep Meadus around. Over his 15-year career, he has garnered more than 200 local, national and international advertising awards. A few years back, industry publication Strategy Magazine even named him one of the top 15 creative marketers in Canada.
Born in St. John’s, N.L., the son of an artistically inclined RCMP officer, Meadus grew up drawing with his dad. Back then, he knew he’d never be a cop. “Cops’ kids are the worst,” he says. “I gave my parents grey hair before they deserved them.”
In 1993, he attended the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Advertising seemed a good way for bad boy Meadus to employ his artistic DNA and not suffer as a starving artist. He then worked his way through several ad agencies before landing at MacLaren in 2003. Meadus says his parents are happy – maybe even relieved – with how he turned out. “They probably knew I’d have as many tattoos as I have now,” he says. “They just thought I’d get them in prison.”
Art director and
Creative director and
Ad Rodeo Society
Dietitians of Canada
of Alberta campaigns