Horse & Cart Agency Circa 2014


This was the 2014 website for the Horse & Cart Agency.
Content is from the site's 2014 archived pages providing a glimpse of what this site offered its clients.


445 Rue Saint Pierre
Suite 302
Montreal QC, H2Y 2M8

Get a quote or drop by for a cup of coffee or tea

We are always looking for the next project, collaboration or adventure.

We think agencies are broken.

We have all worked for and with agencies and peeked behind the curtain. For us, an Agency is not a proxy for your marketing machine, or a gun for hire, but an empowering force that provides recurring value long after a contract is done. Following a holacratic practice, we integrate clients into a flat, agile, hi-octane creative team structure. Just as we empower every member of our team to own, account for, lead and succeed, we inspire our clients to roll up their sleeves, get involved, be their success and have fun in the process.


We're located in the heart of Montreal's Old Port Business District, Square Victoria, a.k.a. ‘Agency Row’, in a beautiful Historic French Gothic building constructed in 1885 by the Fraser Institute - it's pretty vintage and we love it!


Formerly Brendan & Brendan

Brendan & Brendan was the creative brainchild of the Brendans, Brendan Sera-Shriar and Brendan Tully-Walsh, launched in 2012. Both hailed from complimentary fields with a unified vision: to bring fun back into compelling marketing.

Over two years of successful projects, the company grew substantially. What began as a two-man operation quickly became a multifaceted team of designers, programmers, writers, and project managers. Although the mandate hasn’t changed, Horse & Cart was the logical next step in the evolution of the company. Under a new name, Horse & Cart reflects the success story of what started as just an idea, between two men named Brendan and Brendan.



Brendan Sera-Shriar

As of February 23rd, 2015 I put pen to paper and finalized an arrangement to leave Horse & Cart Agency Inc. as Partner and Co-Founder.

Over the past few years a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into building this company from just two guys to an extended family of close to 20 and a roster of clients from small local startups to international brands.

It’s been a crazy adventure and the decision to hand the keys to the kingdom over to my partner took a lot of thought and consideration.

To be clear my departure does not signify the end of Horse & Cart. On the contrary, my former partner Brendan Tully Walsh will continue to run the business. Leaving the company I helped build is probably the most significant move I’ve made both professionally and personally in years.

With this decision comes many questions. There’s a sense of obligation to tell the whole story and explain my actions. But that’s the thing, there’s no big story to tell. Brendan and I have had a great run. We set out to Keep Marketing Fun and that’s exactly what we did...

At some point it became evident that I was spending more time in Excel than Photoshop. I understand that is the role of an “executive” but it needs to be justified for the betterment of the business. I began to feel that my vision for the future of the company was no longer aligned with my partner’s. I wanted to get back to our roots. And I realized the only way for me to do that was to make a bold move — start again on my own.

I’ll make these points brief. I’ll probably expand on them in a future post.

  1. Things always take longer than you expect.
  2. Some clients aren’t worth it. It’s ok to fire a client.
  3. You can’t do everything! Focus on what your good at and stop doing what you suck at and hire the right person for it.
  4. Don’t compare yourself to other agencies. Focus on doing the best you can for your business.
  5. Nothing is ever finished. It’s always a work in progress.
  6. Making mistakes is ok. Don’t beat yourself or others up about it.
  7. You don’t need to yell to make a point stick.
  8. Don’t be afraid to tell your clients you screwed up. They’ll appreciate it as long as you fix it.
  9. Don’t obsess over numbers you’ll just get lost in them and forget what your agency is really all about.
  10. Make sure to tell your staff their doing a great job and thank them as often as you can.
  11. Spend as much time building your brand as you do building your clients.
  12. Be as transparent as possible with your staff, clients and the public. Good communication is key to any business.
  13. Most importantly, if you’re not having fun it’s time to move on.


- Related: I was inspired by the success of Brendan Sera-Shriar and Brendan Tully-Walsh. So for about three years I worked (struggle would be a better word) with several friends who were also designers. Our little creative firm simply didn't get off the ground and we parted ways. I finally landed up working for an e commerce site that sells all sorts of janitorial supples including a huge line with the major brand paper towels. Some of my creative friends might see this as a sell out, but one has to pay the bills and being part of the team that keeps the site up to date, adding new product, creating promos etc is actually fun. The learning curve to gain a depth of knowledge regarding all the different products was steep. I never realized how many different types of just paper products and for instance, their dispensers, are available. CleanItSupply is a huge site. They also sell restaurant supplies, office supplies, along with the janitorial supplies and technology products. Right now my niche is paper products. But friends, do not despair for me. I keep my creative juices flowing. Right now I am writing and illustrating a graphic e-comic for kids. The hero is a roll of toilet paper!



“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory.
Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

– Sun Tzu


Strategy should define everything you do. And in a world of dizzying options, it'll also tell you when and why to say no. These are equally important. Defining your objectives clearly from the outset provides the focus you need to lay the tracks toward success. Let us help.

Our Approach:

  • Applying well-honed journalistic skills, we delve into the details, discovering what makes you tick, asking tough questions, and challenging your answers.
  • Exhaustive research into your space and the competition you face helps us become conversant on your industry, where it is and where it is going.
  • We identify your strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities toward the development of an evidence-based strategic recommendation.
  • We present our findings and an iterative, consultative strategy brief which encapsulates our thinking and where we believe you will get the most bang for your buck.



“A product can be quickly outdated, but a successful brand is timeless.”

– Stephen King


Impossible to over-estimate, your brand is the future of your business. There is simply nothing more important. A strong, clear and compelling brand will hook customers at first glance. A weak one may never get a second look. We understand the difference. Let us help you create a timeless trademark that embodies your value, culture and promise.

Our Approach:

  • Whether you're starting from scratch, pivoting, completely rebranding or not sure what branding strategy to follow, we start by helping you verbalize you priorities.
  • Brands have their own language and a near infinite number of dialects to signal their promise. We'll help you discover your market sweet spot and hook your customers at first sight.
  • A brand is not a logo. A brand is the distilled essence of your business - its people, culture, values and promise. We'll not only help you find the right look and feel, but the right words to reflect your company's soul.
  • Once your brand is defined, nothing should be left to chance. While it may evolve over time, we close the loop with a practical guide for logo, font, colour, imagery and sloganry use in every situation imaginable.



“Bring the best of your authentic self to every opportunity.”

– John Jantsch


Ask 10 people how they define marketing and you'll get 10 different answers. For us, marketing is about creating an authentic, valuable presence in your competitive space. That could mean simply showing up. For others it may require some help to ensure they look, walk, talk and give their best.

Our Approach:

  • If yours is a product or service company, chances are you know your market pretty well. It's probably the reason you're in it in the first place. But good marketing always challenges assumptions, and sometimes the smallest tweaks can have an enormous impact. Our first step is validation.
  • How to build visibility amid the noise of big money brands? How to grow a captive audience in a world info-saturated to the breaking point? Creative marketing means having the courage to take risks to tell your story in an honest, authentic way. Done right, the sky's the limit regardless of your size.
  • You can't improve what you don't measure. While there's no proven formula, this simple statement speaks to the heart of successful marketing. Once you realize that it doesn't really matter what you think, but how your customers respond, you'll get the distance you need to start enjoying, nay loving its measurement.   
  • If you imagine yourself the conductor of your orchestra, however big or small, you understand the importance of marketing. Always practicing, and yet always in play, your presence, timing, readiness to learn, creativity and resolve will ensure your efforts carry the day.



There are three responses to a piece of design –
yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.”

– Milton Glaser

Our Approach:

  • We don't restrict the concept of creative to the images and copy that carry your brand. Creative for us touches all deliverables. Like technology, we see it as an essential enabler and accelerator for any undertaking.
  • As any artist has a creative process, our company does too. Working within a holacratic structure, we give full creative reign to every member of our team to invent, innovate, iterate and lead the process.
  • Once we've done our due diligence, research, interviewed you, listened and listened some more, we develop a creative brief that describes the goals and objectives of the work to be done be it a website, campaign strategy or even a full re-brand.
  • The brief plays a key role throughout the process in providing a point of traction to inspire the team, accelerate the process, remove roadblocks and in general align with the client on the core goals of the project.



“Details matter, it’s worth waiting to get it right.”

– Steve Jobs

Our Approach:

  • The idea of being technology agnostic doesn't resonate with us. Although it suggests openness, it also shows a certain lack of faith and courage to commit. While we can work in almost any web environment or CMS, we are staunchly faithful to ZURB Foundation 5 (light responsive HTML 5/CSS3 framework) and WordPress.
  • Creating compelling destinations and experiences online means building for any possible scenario, screen size or device. In an increasingly mobile world, non-responsive websites are brand killers. That's why we ensure that every element on every every panel, page and site are designed from the outset with mobile in mind.
  • Technology wants to be free, and we do our part to help it along the way. Staunch supporters of open source computing, we extend that philosophy to our clients by working to ensure they enjoy complete command of their technology environment.
  • Implicating clients in the technology we deliver means empowering them to use it like pros. As we build and deliver projects, we provide knowledge transfer and training that not only ensures their comfortable in the cockpit, but leveraging operational best practices our experience has given us.





What began with a series of simple landing pages turned into, what we call, the “Epic Migration".

Horse & Cart’s initial mandate was simply to design and develop some landing pages and create some content. Our simple mandate quickly increased to some huge projects, such as the Redbooth to an “Epic Migration”, resulting in an easier-to-use CMS (WordPress) and a more cohesive back-end. After a long list of challenges and to-dos, the team did it! It has been an exciting and wild ride working closely with what is already an award-winning online collaboration tool.


  • Previous CMS was difficult to use and only the dev team could update content
  • Poor traffic due to the brand rename from Teambox to Redbooth
  • Exporting data from the current system and importing it into WordPress
  • Difficult to develop landing pages without a standardized system like WordPress
  • Redbooth moving from freemium to paid business model


  • Designed, developed and created content for landing pages
  • Created landing pages for cross-promotions including a Spiceworks campaign and cross-promotion with Barracuda software such as Copy and SignNow
  • Created print assets for conferences
  • Created a breakout landing page for Redbooth’s On-Premise option
  • Migrated from Harmony to a custom WordPress Multisite theme to make development and content creation easier
  • Changed and created new content to formulate a new sitemap
  • Ensured that the site is fully responsive on any device or screen
  • Designed a new resources section for the site
  • Designed ads for various campaigns
  • Complete re-design of home page and features page
  • Creation and execution of a more robust content marketing strategy
  • Creation of and aiding in execution of a more robust social media strategy
  • Translation of home page and features page to French (other teams also produced these pages in Spanish and German) in works for a multilingual site (coming soon!)



Big Download Increase with CakeMail.

The more you know

This web-based email marketing software company needed a channel marketing strategy to increase CakeMail reseller sales. Horse & Cart was chosen to establish an internal marketing strategy. A design element came into play; informative multimedia for all proficiency levels that was equal parts captivating and accessible.


  • Compose specialized copy for wide client base
  • Make clear and concise multimedia instructions for users
  • Design effective internal strategy


  • Create multiple email drip campaigns
  • Write, produce, and edit tutorial video set
  • Create sleek, punctual infographics
  • Conduct international research to define verticals
  • Guide the design of newsletter templates
  • Create detailed marketing theme calendar for an international user-base



Extensive International Project set for Christmas 2014 Launch

Working closely with Wooky and the Charmazing team, we’re well on our way to completing our most extensive project yet. Tight-lipped until launch, Horse & Cart was mandated to be the driving force behind a comprehensive, nation-wide project in the U.S. Driving media production, marketing strategy, advertising, and PR, Wooky Entertainment will be set to release our commercial for Charmazing, a product for tween girls, on Nickelodeon, Disney, and The Hub for Christmas 2014. Horse & Cart is also directing the post-production stretch of the marketing plan by strategizing an elaborate PR plan destined for an international market.


  • Excite a diverse American market by Christmas 2014 and establish brand recognition
  • Create standout promotional media for TV, web, and mobile
  • Coordinate multimedia productions
  • Recommend online channels to foster inclusive community around product


  • Collected extensive market research on tween girls
  • Wrote, developed, produced storyboards
  • Produced a full-length national television commercial (30 seconds and 15 seconds long)
  • Secured ad space purchases on television and mobile channels
  • Designed and created a microsite about the product,
  • Wrote, coordinated, and filmed an internet series of behind the scenes, making of, and product tutorial videos with Lunera Productions
  • Wrote a jingle for the Charmazing commercial, which will be turned into a full-length song
  • Researched and recommended various media channels for community outreach strategy
  • Determined the voice Charmazing should use for the various media channels
  • Created a full social media strategy for the next 3, 6 and 9 months, including a moderation and retention strategy



Some of our work.


Socks by William






Dr. Nikolis



U.N.I. Training Montreal



Redbooth – Work Smarter



Ray Hiltz



MTL Startup Jobs



Redbooth On-Premise









Spaces Real Estate






Dance Equations



Happy Stinky Holidays



M3P Service Conseils