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Michael Mayes Writer

A business school grad from McGill University, Michael began his career as an advertising writer 20+ years ago in his hometown of Calgary. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Toronto where he worked at DDB, McCann and TAXI, creating campaigns for brands including Chevy, GMC, Rogers, MINI Cooper, WestJet, The Movie Network, Williams Sonoma, Ontario Wine Council, Tommy Armour, Viagra, Nike and Molson.


In 2005, after years of pining for the West and realizing his ski legs had turned to mush, Michael moved to Vancouver. In 2006, he became Creative Director of TAXI Vancouver, growing the office from zero to 25 people — doing work for Telus, Vancouver Aquarium, Dairy Farmers of Canada, Meinhardt Fine Foods, Crofton House School and other clients. Along the way, Michael’s work has been recognized internationally at Cannes, The One Show, London International Advertising Awards, New York Festivals and has garnered numerous awards within Canada.


In 2010, Michael started freelancing for various agencies and clients while writing longer stories during his off-hours. In 2013, he wrote his first children's book, Which Way Back? for BC's Knowledge Network which became the Number 1 Children’s Title on the BC Bestsellers list the following spring. Michael was part of the Writer’s Studio at SFU in 2018/19 and is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada. His most recent gig was as co-Executive Creative Director at Zulu Alpha Kilo in Vancouver.






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Kind Words


When you have Michael on your team, you can count on him to deliver thoughtful creative solutions to any business problem. He's collaborative and takes pride in his craft. Not only is he prolific and strategic, he's also a pleasure to work with. 

— Dean Lee, Executive Creative Director, Zulu Alpha Kilo


Two words. Hire him.

— Chris Staples, Partner & National Creative Director, Rethink


I had the pleasure of opening the TAXI Vancouver office alongside Michael. He is a thoughtful creative leader, an exceptionally talented copywriter, deadline-driven, solutions-oriented, a genuinely nice person and he's not afraid to get his hands dirty along the way. 

— Karen Pearce, General Manager, TAXI West


Michael is such a joy to work with and fortunately, we get to do it a lot. Unwaveringly reliable and reliably unconventional, he always brings ideas that are equal parts strategic and creative. I would have no hesitation recommending him to the most demanding of us out there, providing you don't monopolize his availability. We all deserve a bit of MM time in our creative lives.

— Nick Richards, Founder & Chief Creative Officer, WILL



Michael is one of the fastest, smartest and most prolific writers I have worked with. He’s a great presenter and an all around charming guy. Michael and I were partners for three years at TAXI Toronto and I’ve hired him on contract numerous times at UNION.

— Lance Martin, Executive Creative Director & Partner, UNION


I really enjoyed working with Michael. He's a talented and smart writer and insightful creative thinker. He's a fantastic collaborator and open-minded partner who looks to build on ideas and help make them come alive. Michael truly cares about people and that shows in his work and the very kind way he treats others. 

— Lara Palmer, Lara Palmer Advertising Creative



Both as writer and interim creative director, Michael helped maintain a strong creative standard through a period of evolution for the agency. He brought a healthy balance of talent, insight, energy and humanity to the task and was a pleasure to have with us. On all fronts, he dove in above and beyond what could have been expected, all while meshing smoothly with the team.

— Derek Shorkey, Senior VP & Managing Partner, Camp Pacific



Michael assumed the role of interim Creative Director during a transitional period at GREY. His impact was immediate. Not only is he a top-notch creative writer, he's strategic and great at jumping in to solve client challenges with smart insights. We always enjoy having him around and he's our first call when we need to pull in a heavy-hitter freelance writer. There's no doubt I'd hire him again. 

— Neil McPhedran, General Manager, GREY Vancouver



Michael is a keen listener and very collaborative while bringing fresh perspective and creativity to all that he does. We've worked with Michael on several different projects and really enjoy the process.

— Lisa Purdy, Director, BBC Kids & Knowledge Kids



Michael always brought forward multiple insightful right answers to our communications and business challenges. I especially enjoyed how he pushed the envelope, consistently innovating new ways to resonate with customers. Michael's strong business acumen was instrumental at ensuring ideas were always completely on strategy.

— Lara Johnson, Associate Vice President, Marketing and Communications, BCIT (formerly Director, Marketing Communications, TELUS)



Michael was a key member of the creative team during my time at TAXI. Partnered with Lance Martin, he produced some of the agency's most iconic work. He was my go-to writer when it came to intelligent storytelling and copywriting. He was always the guy I'd call in to solve a problem when no one else could crack the brief. They just don't make writers like Michael anymore. 

— Zak Mroueh, Chief Creative Officer & Founder, Zulu Alpha Kilo



I had the privilege of working with Michael when he came into Zulu on a freelance contract. Incredibly talented and super nice. That sums him up perfectly. He was an absolute pleasure to collaborate with and we couldn't have asked for better thinking. I'd work with him again in a heartbeat. 

— Shane Ogilvie, Co-Founder, The Garden

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