Archives

Malick Ba

Bad Ads

September 19, 2017

I work in advertising and I live in downtown Toronto. That means that I live and breathe advertising. Without a doubt, this blog is basically a platform for the best that we talk about in the advertising world. From trends, to commercials, we try our absolute best to focus on the top that this industry has to offer…but what about the bad ones? Working in this industry has taught me that anything you put out there goes against rounds and rounds of approval. Any bad idea (or good idea for that matter) can get tossed in the blink of an eye…so how do the bad ones slip through the cracks? This week I’m going to try and shift our attention to why/how bad advertisements get out there for the world to see.

What makes an ad bad? Is it placement? Is it creative? Is it both? For the sake of this article, lets say both. I’ve been fortunate enough to come from a media background and that’s taught me the importance of the strategy behind where and how you see an advertisement. In tandem with effective and contextually relevant creative the formula for good ads are there. However sometimes that’s not enough. Remember in the early 2000s? We saw websites serving you millions of pop ups and obnoxious ads on a daily basis. Even if the pop up was an ad for something that was targeted specifically for me, I would still get annoyed no matter what was placed in front of me-immediately putting myself off of it. For the most part, most websites I browse now don’t do that. Why? Because that’s bad advertising. Spam has never been an effective advertising strategy and never will. You can show me the same ad a thousand times but if it’s annoying, no one will pay attention to it-no matter how creative it is.

Let’s switch gears to talk about creative and the process that it takes to actually get something out there. This is a tricky one. Like I mentioned before, ads can have a million dollar budget and still turn out to be terrible. Remember that Pepsi ad earlier this year? That had an insane budget but still turned out to be a joke. Bad advertisements from a creative standpoint seem to have a consistent theme: someone approved something shitty. I’m not talking about local ads you find on a telephone pole, or someone handing out a piece of paper on the sidewalk. I’m talking about ads that have money behind them-one’s like Pepsi or that terrible Australian lamb commercial that turned out to be pretty offensive.

That’s a summary version of my opinion on bad ads. It’s a combination of poor placement, poor creative, and poor direction that brings it all together. What’s your favourite bad ad?

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. As an alumni of both the University of Ottawa and Humber College, Malick specializes in communications, advertising, and marketing. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency in downtown Toronto and is looking forward to how he can further leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

#LetsGoToTheEx-Culture and Marketing.

September 5, 2017

City events are what keep city culture alive. I know I’ve spoken a lot about pop-ups, and other consumer focused experiences through marketing but there’s one that happens every year around mid-August. Yep you guessed it, the Canadian National Exhibition. If you can consider it a pop-up, the CNE rakes in approximately 1.4 million guests every year to partake in several activities, games, and food options. What makes the CNE event so popular in Toronto? Is it tradition? Is it advertising? Is it culture? Probably a combination of all three. For the last few weeks, I’ve seen countless ads promoting the event. I think the CNE does such a great job at advertising through multiple channels. First and foremost being Instagram. I’ve seen countless ads promoting the event with simple visuals and event details that it’s impossible to ignore. By also lending users with the #letsgototheex hashtag, it’s iconic scenery of festival grounds literally littered with posts about the event. Why strive for self-promotion when the event basically sells itself?

 

Next up, radio. If you’re a Toronto native, you’re very familiar with that catchy jingle. The “Lets go to the ex” is classic, catchy, and a slight bit annoying but it’s so iconic to those who live in the GTA. While I am not necessarily a radio enthusiast, consistent and classic advertising can be so effective because it’s not subject to any specific demographic. Youth, adults, and the elderly can certainly all recall hearing radio advertising for the ex. If you’re able to create an event that isn’t demographic specific and that’s ultimately affordable and accessible by all demographics…how can you lose?

I know that this article isn’t specific to advertising or marketing in general, but I think a big part of what makes events like the CNE so successful is that it is a platform for city culture-and culture drives marketing. Yes I touched on what makes the CNE’s advertising effective, but it’s really the people that drive the event. By establishing a consistent annual timeline, it creates an image in the consumers mind and with time, this translates into a strong city culture. Every August people know that the CNE is coming to town-and it’s the perfect association with the end of summer. The advertising, tradition, and culture drive the EX to be nothing but a great city experience every year-brands take note.

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. As an alumni of both the University of Ottawa and Humber College, Malick specializes in communications, advertising, and marketing. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency in downtown Toronto and is looking forward to how he can further leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (August 26-September 1)

September 1, 2017

In the world of advertising and marketing, a lot can happen in a week-not to worry, we have you covered. Check out some of the biggest trends, ads, and stories that have happened this week in our recap below!

Written by: Malick, Nick, and Dak

Houston Relief

M: While this isn’t necessarily a specific ad, I had to write about it. As we are all very aware, the flooding that’s happening right now in Houston is devastating. People are forced to flee their homes to save themselves. Charity organizations like The Red Cross are currently raising funds to help those in need, but one of the most amazing things I’ve seen is the number of celebrities pulling together to donate their earnings and bring awareness to the cause. Celebrities like The Rock, Kevin Hart, and most notable Texans super star J.J Watt have raised millions of dollars to help those in need. Watt in particular raising over $10 million. What I found amazing about what I’m seeing is that they are turning it into a challenge where they call out other celebrities to step up and help too. I’ve seen a number of these challenges that don’t really push people to do anything meaningful, but it was nice to see actually helping people turn into a trend.

York Region Removes Ad After Public Backlash

D: York Region, a municipality within the GTA recently released a public health campaign. However, one of the particular ads stood out as it appeared to be victim blaming women that are sexually assaulted. The out-of-home ad shows a shocked girl looking at her phone with Instagram screengrabs below of posts by men that were partying. Check out the caption below..yikes! After the immediate social media backlash, York Region announced on Twitter they will be removing the ad and they issued an apology. If you had to be reminded, this is what the power of social media and an upset audience brings.

Diversity and German Supermarkets

M: Diversity is strength-there’s no disputing it. With immigration tension rising all over the world, a German supermarket proved that without immigrants and diversity, we would be worse off. To emphasize the importance of diversity and acceptance, Edeka (the German supermarket) emptied it’s inventory of all foreign made products. Images of the store’s bare shelves went viral as it really put immigration and the importance of global diversity into a context that everyone can understand. I think this is fantastic-and I would like to see the same thing happen here in Canada. With tension surrounding out borders rises, a method like this really helps people understand that immigrants have built this country and bring so much with them. I love it.

The Air Canada Centre Gets a New Name

N: Well, damn. The marketing brass at MLSE earned themselves some hefty bonus cheques this week courtesy of a new naming rights deal for their main venue. The Air Canada Centre (or ACC) will no longer be the Air Canada Centre (or ACC). Instead Toronto will be going to events at Scotiabank Arena (though we’ll probably still call it the ACC). The 20-year deal went for a whopping $800 million. That’s $40 million per year if you don’t want to pull out your calculator. For contrast, Air Canada paid $4 million for the previous deal signed in 1999.

This is exactly as outrageous as it sounds. Scroll to the bottom of this article from last year for some comparisons. Is the ACC (yes, the ACC) actually worth twice as much as some of the other venue giants in North America? Seems like a long shot.

 

 

That’s our weekly recap to keep you up to date on the best ads, trends, and more that we could find over the week. You can check out our last weekly recap here where we gave our thoughts on the latest Pepsi ad. Think we missed something important? Let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Malick Ba

Pop-Up Shops, Hypebeasts, and Coffee

August 15, 2017

 

On my way to work last Friday, I noticed a very peculiar sight.It was around 8:30am and I noticed several young adults lined up outside of a shop on Queen st. After a closer look, I noticed that the shop that they were standing outside of was an Adidas pop-up shop. As I thought to myself, could these…could these be the hype beasts that the internet has been talking about? For those who don’t know, by urban dictionary a hypebeast is, and I quote: “Sneakerheads who only rock hyped up shit to get props b/c they got no self worth or sense of style.” While this is essentially a “you do you” moment, I started to realize the demand of pop-up shops around Toronto.

What makes them so successful? A combination of factors I’d say, but let’s start with exclusivity. Pop-up shops often offer a variety of exclusive products that are often only available while supplies last or for a limited time. We saw the same thing in the city last year when Kanye West opened up a pop-up shop selling exclusive items of clothing in part of his The Life of Pablo tour. Or even the Adidas store that I passed on my way to work. These limited time pop-up shops often contain rare/exclusive products that are simply irresistible for their respective targets. This is what really brings out the hypebeasts.

The other big thing is that with pop-up shops, a lot of them contain some sort of experiential aspect to it as well which adds a level of exclusivity to it as well. For example, earlier this summer, Nescafe opened up a pop-up shop in downtown Toronto that allowed those passing by on the street to come in to not only try a cup of their new instant coffee product, but take a load off and just hang out. I actually discovered this by walking by with a friend one morning and decided to check it out, why not right?

 

The inside of the café was set up with lounges, hammocks, and couches for those passing by on the street to forget about their busy days and be consumed by a creative execution. What I found super interesting about this is that it’s been an on and off event all summer. These types of pop-ups are great because while yes you are ultimately consuming a product, you get an entire experience out of it which ultimately amplifies product usage or functionality.

I definitely think that living in Toronto lends itself to these type of experiences. Pop-ups have become something that are frequently being used by brands to bring an entirely unique experience for their customers. The era of the pop up shop is among us-and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. As an alumni of both the University of Ottawa and Humber College, Malick specializes in communications, advertising, and marketing. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency in downtown Toronto and is looking forward to how he can further leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap: August 5-11

August 11, 2017

It’s been a while since we’ve done one of these! As we all know, Advertising and Marketing is a business of speed, so there’s no doubt that sometimes it can be hard to keep up with the latest and greatest. Not to worry, as usual The MAD Mix has you covered. Check out our weekly recap that shows some of the best in the business!

Boston Pizza: Gather Round

In case you missed it, Canadian-based restaurant chain Boston Pizza  recently released it’s first commercial under it’s new brand positioning and tagline “Gather Round”. The new tagline was designed in an attempt to help capture the interests of millennials, young families, friends and more outside of the “sports fan” type crowd…and they did just that in their latest :60 ad which was released on August 4th, 2017. The spot “Sharing is Awesome” showcases the variety of food, people, and good times that can be had at your local Boston Pizza. I think the spot was successful in doing just that. Check out the spot below:

 

 

Brahma: Respect the Hangout

I should’ve saved this one for the GIF master himself: Dak. Argentinian beer brand Brahma came out with a spot that talks about taking a break from the endless routines and cycles that exist in our lives on a daily basis. It can also imply that we spends way too much time looking at dumb GIFs and memes all day. I think the spot is super clever. Sometimes it’s good to break free of your daily routine and just hang out. The spot begins with the main character and surrounding characters caught in loops, but ends with him hanging out with friends enjoying a nice cold one with the boys. Here’s the spot:

 

#HEYTWITTER

There’s nothing more that pisses me off than seeing social media giants like Twitter, Facebook and more allowing hate speech onto their platform. In order to counteract Twitter’s loose hate-speech policies, Israeli satirist Shahak Shapia took to Twitter’s German head office to give them a piece of his mind on the matter. According to Adweek, Shapia has reported over 300 tweets for containing threats of violence, homophobia, xenophobia, Holocaust denial and more. How many time has he heard back from Twitter? Only 9 times. In an attempt to counteract these loose policies, he said “If Twitter forces me to see those things, then they’ll have to see them too.” He did this by spray painting a number of the tweets he’s seen online on the ground in front of Twitter’s German head office. I loved this as this is something that I see on a constant basis online, and it ultimately puts the pressure on these companies to do something about it.

So that’s it! Some of the best that we’ve seen this week. Think we missed something important? Let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Malick Ba

Marketing and a Pink Trap House

August 1, 2017

2017 has been an absolute hit for hip-hop music. With Migos starting the year off with their hit album Culture to Jay-Z’s latest 4:44, there’s no doubt that we’ve truly been blessed. For the most part, album releases have been pretty standard. A common marketing trick to an album release makes sure that the album is hyped up enough beforehand to maximize sales right out of the gate. We’ve seen this with Drake’s More Life, which had the launch dates continuously pushed back which left fans waiting with anticipation. Or even Kendrick Lamar’s Damn, which already had a massive amount of hype behind it. This build up of hype definitely relies on the artist, but I find that this front heavy marketing technique is missing something: continuity. There’s only been one album this year for me that had one of the best post launch campaigns I’ve seen to date…Pretty Girls Like Trap Music by 2 Chainz.

The build up of hype for this existed, but not to the same extent as other popular hip-hop albums this year. What I found significant about this was the post-launch strategy that brought the album concept to life.  With the focal point of the album art being a Pink trap house (for those who don’t know, a trap house is essentially a house used for the creation of various drugs-don’t do drugs), he recreated it into a pop up in Atlanta that could be used for various means. Posting on Instagram and Snapchat, he lured the folk of Atlanta to come and check out the album recreation. The Pink trap house instantly became one of the hottest tourist locations in Atlanta.But what was it used for? Definitely not for the production of drugs that’s for sure. Originally the Pink trap house was used as a promotional piece for 2 Chainz’ latest album, but it served several beneficial functions as well. From an art gallery, to holding a church service, to teaming up with the Fulton County Board of Health for free HIV testing, the trap house went beyond selling a product. It brought a community together through music and a killer marketing strategy.

 

This is a fantastic way to bring an idea to life with music. Pop-ups are definitely a huge trend right now, and 2 Chainz did it right. The Pink trap house was a brilliant concept to not only promote his album (which has tons of bangers on it btw), but to increase the longevity and relevance of it post-launch. While yes, Drake, Kendrick, and Jay-Z all released albums this year, I’ll remember 2 Chainz’ the most because it was marketed with functionality in mind.

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. As an alumni of both the University of Ottawa and Humber College, Malick specializes in communications, advertising, and marketing. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency in downtown Toronto and is looking forward to how he can further leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (July 15 – July 21)

July 21, 2017

It’s been a crazy week in the world of advertising and marketing. Not to worry, we got you covered. Check out our weekly recap that highlights some of the best, worst, and hottest in what’s going down in the industry for the week!

Written by Malick and Dakarai.

 

McDonald’s Apparel

M: To compete with Pizza Hut and KFC, McDonald’s has come out with their own line of apparel and goods that’s set to be released on July 26th. Titled The McDelivery Collection, the line will be available via UberEATS in only a certain number of countries. The line showcases a Big Mac onesie, along with flip-flops that read “World Famous”. Honestly, I get that they are trying to compete with with other fast food brands mentioned above, but why clothes? How did this conversation even start? Will people actually wear this stuff?  I get the novelty of it. I can definitely see some of my friends wearing a sweater with a big mac on it just for jokes, but personally I think McDons’ and other fast food companies should stick to what they do best.

Cophenhagen Bus Wrap: Amnesty International

M: This is a great example of creativity combined with proper media placement. To bring awareness to the war in Syria (specifically the city of Aleppo) Amnesty International used a bus wrap that depicts the artwork of a tank. Designed by agency Rober/Boisen & Like-minded, the purpose of the bus wrap was to show that this is what day-to-day life I for the citizens who live in Aleppo. I think it also sheds light on a refugees’ right to security and It allows people to feel a sense of empathy that they may not have direct experience to. Check out the video for it below:

 

BBDO Rolls Out a Food Truck Filled with Toxic Food

D: So how do you spread awareness for people with deadly food allergies exactly? You set up “Khil Mi” a food truck in New York City that serves poisonous food. “Could you EAT” is a PSA for a non profit company by the name of E.A.T (End Allergies Together) and does a great job conveying the message that for some people simply taking a bite out of certain foods could be their last. Make sure to check out the video below. E.A.T. has raised $1.4 Million to date and was founded by two parents of children deceased due to allergies.

 

 

That’s our weekly recap to keep you up to date on the best ads, trends, and more that we could find over the week. You can check out our last weekly recap here where we gave our thoughts on the latest Pepsi ad. Think we missed something important? Let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Malick Ba

A Story of a Hot-Dog and Augmented Reality

July 18, 2017

If I had told you that a dancing hot-dog would be the biggest thing of summer 2017, you’d think I was completely out of my mind. Over the last few weeks, if you’ve paid any attention to your Instagram & Snapchat feeds you’ll have noticed that the dancing hot-dog is taking the internet by storm. For those who don’t know, Snapchat’s latest round of filters contains an augmented reality piece that allows you to place a dancing hot-dog onto any surface and increase/decrease it in size. To give a bit more detail, one would simply open snapchat, tap on the screen and scroll through the filters until you find the hot-dog. Once that’s done, you can drag it around your screen and resize it with your fingers. Pretty simple-yet pretty hilarious. As you can imagine, the internet has been going to town with the memes. Is it annoying? Is it hilarious? Who cares. What I think the most important part of this hot-dog is how the introduction of augmented reality (AR) on snapchat and other platforms can add another dimension of entertainment in a social setting.

 

For those who aren’t familiar, AR is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by compuer-generated images, sound, video, or even GPS data. Remember Pokemon Go last year? Pokemon Go for me was the first time that users were able to experience AR in a completely accessible and fun way for users to engage.  While the hot-dog is much simpler than Pokemon Go, these two examples show how AR is and can become a huge way we interact online. Moving on from actually using it on Snapchat, the memes that came from this were insane. Here are some of my favourites.

Yes this is another viral craze that will die in a few weeks, but I think the implications from this, something so simple, can be effective not only in a social setting, but in advertising as well. It’s literally just a dancing hot-dog. Think of the potential from a marketing point of view. If brands can figure out how to effectively incorporate AR technology into advertising initiatives, the possibilities are endless. We’ve seen success with Pokemon Go. We’ve seen success with the hot-dog. We’ve ultimately figured it out. Now how do we bring this success into advertising? Only time will tell. Long story short, AR is the future. It’s fun yet scalable in complexity. Pokemon Go was a massive endeavour with plenty of moving parts. A dancing hot-dog is…well not that complicated. Do you see the difference? In the future, I’d really love to see how AR is integrated not only in our social spaces, but how successful advertisers will be able to use it to advance their brand.

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. As an alumni of both the University of Ottawa and Humber College, Malick specializes in communications, advertising, and marketing. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency in downtown Toronto and is looking forward to how he can further leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Guest

Marketing & Hockey: An Inferiority Complex Amongst Fans

July 14, 2017

Written by: Matthew Nafe

Now that all of our favourite and exciting sports have all ended (I’m sorry baseball fans, but just look at that Jays record) it seemed important to put together a musings about Canada’s favourite sport. Hockey is exciting for its mixture of speed, skill, and toughness but when it comes to its marketing , we’ve seen they’ve fallen flat before amongst a positive fanbase. So why is it, when other sports are widely more successful, that the fragile image of hockey is always the one that is taking offence? How many times have you been enjoying your favourite sports memes when you see one centered around hockey, cross comparing injuries from different sports.


My personal favourites being: When Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins) played through a cracked rib, a

punctured lung, and a plethora of other injuries comparing him to Lebron James being lifted off the court by his teammates because of leg cramps. Now I know what you’re thinking, these two sets of injuries are on two different seriousness spectrums and I would agree. However when it happened, I couldn’t help but notice the constant and very annoying repetition of NBA player has X injury: out the playoffs, NHL player has Y injury: Played the entire series and won the Stanley Cup. This is not only from the NBA, but MLB, NFL and other major sports. So the question remains: Why is there this overwhelming disdain for other leagues as a hockey player or fan of the NHL that you need to put down other athletes in a last ditch effort to feel important? As a fan of the NHL, I love the compete level of the athletes and what they give night in and night out is incredible, but where does this fragility from fans stem from? Is it because of the elephant in the room that fans don’t like addressing?

That the NHL is the hands down lesser major sports league? Probably-and this stems from it’s marketing. But this is definitely the reason for hockey’s inferiority complex towards other major sports, they can’t insert themselves into markets like the NBA does. This inferiority complex that exists in the NHL amongst it’s fanbase is a direct result of poor and maybe inaccurate marketing. Will there ever be a time that the NHL is on the same level as other major professional sports leagues in terms of success amongst its fanbase?

It’s hard to say, because interest for other sports grows because of the lower cost of league fees for children comparatively to minor hockey leagues. It’s simple, if you get people to play the sport then people will like to watch it. The NBA is an easier league to market because the sport itself is accessible. The NHL isn’t as accessible simply because hockey isn’t an accessible sport amongst a lot of Canadians-brutal reality. This becomes truly problematic as it divides sports fans and creates this inferiority complex or fragility that I had mentioned.

People don’t understand when fans create: crappy meme pages, awful twitter accounts, and uneducated social media comments (just to name a few), and they get picked up like gospel from other fragile hockey fans. Its good to look up to these athletes and appreciate that they want to put out the best product for their fans, but it is 2017 and there aren’t WWE wrestling matches happening on the ice anymore. Its not explicitly advertised as such, but lets just take a look at the Google search results for “hockey is a tough man’s sport ad”. This is a direct correlation of terrible marketing that the NHL does. Inadvertently, the NHL presents itself as the “toughest sports league” or “fastest sports league”, and this causes fans to believe it.  We don’t need a reason to set our sport apart from the others, because the product on the ice does that enough.

Matthew Nafe is currently attending Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario and aspiring marketing professional. When Matt isn’t writing articles, he is a coach for the Carleton Raven’s Ball hockey team, Stopping pucks, singing songs, or making poorly timed jokes. Find him and his humour on Twitter and enjoy his artistry on Instagram.

Malick Ba

Revisiting Canada 150

July 4, 2017

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a relatively salty article about advertising and Canada 150. My main complaint is that I really just felt that because of the size and scale of the event, advertisers should focus less on a simple tactical event sale and more on you know…anything else. Canada 150 was a big deal and will only happen in the life time of few, so why not do it big or make something bigger out of it? So after the event, I’ve revisited the topic to see if I had any favourite Canada 150 ads, or if I even had any.

Roots: “Celebrating 150 years of being nice”

This ad had a nice sentiment to it. The Canadian stereotype revolves around people just being nice and inclusive and this ad reflects that. While I do think that this is severely exaggerated, this was a decent spot. Essentially, Roots Canada created an ad that focused on Canadians being nice throughout moments of Canadian history. The spot highlights historic moments and footage of history Canadians such as Terry Fox’s run for cancer. I have a big problem with Canadians relishing in the stereotype of just being “nice” when that may not exactly be as true as people thing…that’s why this ad is great. It has a call to action that serves the purpose of raising over $150,000 in support of WE Indigenous Youth Empowerment Programming. This is what being nice is all about. The MAD Mix gives this the official stamp of approval.

Presidents Choice: “Eat Together”

Another great example of advertising that says more than just selling a product. President’s Choice “Eat Together” tells Canadians that rather than being on your phone, or eating by yourself, why not engage with the people around you by simply eating together? So many of our problems as Canadians revolve around being scared or nervous of people who are different than us. People who are from different places and share different experiences than what we know. President’s Choice has done a fantastic job of telling Canadians that most of these problems in our day to day can be resolved if we just sat down and shared a meal together-and I completely agree.

Chevrolet Canada: The Canadian Dream

While I do like the notion of “The Canadian Dream” as it relates to our neighbours from the South, I think Chevrolet did a great job with making sure we as Canadians knew the difference. Chevrolet’s ad focuses less on material goods, and focuses on how personal experience and togetherness is much more valuable to Canadians. At just over 2 minutes highlights what Canada is all about: everyone being welcome and equal. Whether or not that is actually true, it’s a good sentiment that a brand has done to highlight positivity in advertising rather than just selling a product. Good job Chevvy-ya done good.

So there you have it, some ACTUALLY good Canada 150 ads. This is the difference between good brands, and lazy ones. Good brands take the time to produce stories through advertising. It sounds crazy, but advertisers should focus more on storytelling and less on selling products during big events like Canada 150. It makes the difference.

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. As an alumni of both the University of Ottawa and Humber College, Malick specializes in communications, advertising, and marketing. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency in downtown Toronto and is looking forward to how he can further leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

Canada 150 & Advertising

June 20, 2017

With Canada’s 150th birthday coming up, we had to talk about it. Over the last 6-7 months, Canadian advertisers have been trying to find elaborate, yet unique ways to express their Canadian pride. During this timeline, I knew that brands would be working furiously to try and find innovative ways to showcase themselves and truly Canadian. There have been some really cool campaigns that have come out, like Roots’ “Be Nice” campaign, or PC’s “Eat Together”. So as you can see, to not do anything would be a huge miss to some bigger brands! However, with creative minds scrambling and running quickly, this unfortunately can lead to some pretty bland or unoriginal ideas.

What do I mean by bland? Well, I mean to some Canada 150 is a pretty big deal. 150 years of being acountry is definitely something to celebrate to a lot of proud Canadians. So why sell yourself short? For example, I came across an article yesterday from The Brick. I mean, a sale is great. Saving time and money is a huge convenience, but does 60% off select brands of furniture really scream “Oh Canada”? Not to me.

Here’s another one by a Honda dealership. This one has absolutely nothing to do with being Canadian.“Celebrate 150 years of Canada by test driving a made-in-Canada Civic or CR-V”? It’s not like suddenly these are limited edition Canadian cars-it’s literally the same car, any year. This is a prime example of a company using Canada’s birthday as a means to push their product. This isn’t even slightly creative.

 

 

 

Me reading that ad—>

 

 

 

 

 

So as you can see, these are two pretty good examples of some pretty unoriginal examples or how brands are masking their own tactical sales events by using Canada’s 150th. Judging from this, I feel like Canadian brands or companies in Canada are really more into the idea of being Canadian than they actually are. As the week unfolds, I’m sure we’ll see way more tactical sales events options that are Canada 150-esque versus more ads that show country appreciation. Seriously, take a look at some of the advertisements that are coming out until July 1st. Yes. There are some really good campaigns out there that really embody what it means to be Canadian through an advertising lens. Let’s not forget that good advertising is all about storytelling. Ultimately, stamping Canada’s 150th birthday onto a sales event doesn’t nearly do the country justice.

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. As an alumni of both the University of Ottawa and Humber College, Malick specializes in communications, advertising, and marketing. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency in downtown Toronto and is looking forward to how he can further leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

Fidget Spinners: The Hottest Playground Trend Since Pokemon

June 6, 2017

I couldn’t not talk about one of the biggest trends/fads/whatever you want to call it that seems to be taking over 2017. Fidget Spinners. Kids, teens, adults and more are going crazy over what seems to be the most ridiculous gadget ever. One day it seemed like out of no where we were seeing memes galore on Fidget Spinners, so what makes this one of the trendiest topics of the year? It’s almost impossible to understand trends amongst kids. Advertising to children is very complex so without any sort of official advertising behind these things, it’s nearly impossible to see how these are selling so well. Nearly every store I’ve seen that carries them are all out of stock. The catch is, it’s impossible to pinpoint exactly where these took off. Memes? That one kid on the playground that was always the trendsetter with new gadgets or toys? It’s tough to tell, but I’d like to try and explain why these are popular, how they came to be, and if they are here to stay.

So what’s the point of these things? The “purpose” of Fidget Spinners is to help aid anxious, or overly energetic kids by allowing them to fiddle with something with their fingers while they are idle. To me, this is nothing but a great idea and I don’t get how they can be taken as a bad thing. Sure they kind of look annoying, but who cares? As long as kids are having fun and not getting distracted, I don’t really see why they are a bad thing.

As an adult (ish), I have to be honest I don’t really get the point. It’s simply just a few pieces of metal and plastic that spins around your fingers. Why is that so cool? Why is this even a thing? Well I’m sure that our parents 15-20 years ago were saying the same thing about Pokemon Cards, or pogs, or even marbles. Pokemon Cards were maaaasive on the playground back in the day, but really what was the point? Or how about Beyblades? Those were just another playground fad that took over playground back in the day when I was in middle school. So is there an official way to determine why these are super popular: not really. Fidget Spinners are simply just another playground fad that’s sweeping North America, but they may have better credibility than just some pieces of tradeable cardboard in regards to their benefits to kids who can’t seem to sit still.

The point I’m trying to make here is that as insane as these things are taking over, they aren’t here to stay-just like any other playground toy. However as someone who grew up with Pokemon cards, Beyblades, Yu-gi-oh cards, etc, it’s nice to know that the classic playground trends never go away no matter how old you get.

 

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. As an alumni of both the University of Ottawa and Humber College, Malick specializes in communications, advertising, and marketing. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency in downtown Toronto and is looking forward to how he can further leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Guest

Trust me; we aren’t that bad- Reasons for why advertisers aren’t as sleazy as people think.

May 19, 2017

Guest Article By: Carson Sauer

Now I can’t speak for you, but I find that one the biggest perks of being in the advertising industry is the high interest from those who aren’t. It’s fun to discuss current trends and the process of making an effective campaign (it also gives me a chance to talk about myself, and I love to talk about myself.)  However, sometimes with high interest comes high judgement. Questions such as “how do you trick consumers?”  or “are you ready for the cut-throat industry?” come frequently, and I wondered if others shared the view of the “immoral Mad Men”.

 This inspired me to do further research.

As it turns out, the public perception of advertising executives is not overly positive. Regarding trustworthiness, Ad Execs are consistently ranked low compared to other professions. Is this skepticism deserved? Here are some reasons that might help provide the right context for those who don’t trust your occupation.

The Watchdog Effect

 The watchdog effect speaks to the process of making the public aware of inconsistencies and or falsehoods about any significant news happening. Although most commonly used in the world of journalism, the same concept applies to advertising. If an advertisement can be condemned for being boring, insensitive, sexualized, loud, irrelevant or cliché, you can be ensured that a deceitful ad will be ripped apart. A false advertisement often results in a negative brand image for the client and a negative reputation for the advertising agency.

A frustrated consumer, a competing brand or vigilant website, such as The MAD Mix, all work as watchdogs to confirm that advertisements are held to a high and honest standard.

 Uninformed Person: “Advertisers try to trick us.”

 Potential Response: “If you were tricked by an ad would you trust that brand ever again? No? Then I guess tricking you isn’t in our best interest.”

 We are Storytellers.

I’m sure at least a few of you are familiar with the phrase “We are Storytellers”. Not only is it the tagline for Humber’s Advertising and Marketing Communications program, but, for me, it has become the go-to answer for what we do in advertising.

Advertising is exactly that, a story, and like most stories, creative liberties will be taken to intrigue the audience. It is important for critics to understand that the intention is not to deceive but rather provide insight into a brand’s personality. Red Bull doesn’t give you wings, buying a Lincoln won’t turn you in Matthew McConaughey, and there is no such thing as a puppy monkey baby. But that’s perfectly fine.

 Uninformed Person: “Advertisements depict a fake reality.”

 Potential Response: “Was the ad memorable? Did you understand the message? Did it evoke an emotion?  These are all realities.

 Don Draper is not our boss

Let me begin with a confession; I have a man crush on Don Draper. I’ve watched every episode of Mad Men, dressed up as him for Halloween and even proclaimed myself as “the millennial Don Draper” to my Intro to Advertising class.  He is a fascinating character in Mad Men’s setting of 1960’s New York, where he finds consistent success as a creative director navigating the advertising industry. However, he has what most people would consider unflattering traits. He is an alcoholic, womanizer and above all else a pathological liar. He lies at work, he lies to family and oh yes, he lied about his identity.  Don Draper’s persona throughout the series was to drink, lie and then come up with a brilliant advertising campaign.

An excellent formula for a captivating anti-hero but a terrible and unrealistic representation of a what an advertising executive by today’s standards. The truth is, Don Draper’s bad behaviour would overshadow his talent and would certainly end his career. Unfortunately, due to the popularity of the show, people may use Don as a reference to today’s ad executive, and that’s simply unfair. It is also important to note that Mad Men was set in the 1960’s- an era where the advertising industry had an entirely different dynamic. Women and minorities had little to no influence, smoking was advertised without health concern, and overall ethics were questionable. Making a comparison to today’s advertising even more unreasonable.

The Don Draper/Mad Men vs. today’s advertisers is a debate for a future article.

Uninformed Person: “Will you become the next Don Draper?”

 Potential Response:“Yes. In a modern era where I intend to form honest relationships with my co-workers, drink only in appropriate scenarios such as networking events where I’ll adhere to the two-drink max rule and won’t leave the office for weeks at a time. So wait…will I be Don Draper?…maybe not.

 What do you think?

 Do you think that advertisers deserve a better perspective? Or is the stigma is justified?

Carson Sauer is a recent graduate of the Advertising and Marketing Communications program at Humber College. Although, he is not done with education quite yet as he will return to Humber for the Advertising Copywriting Post Grad next fall.  Connect with Carson on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

The Key to Content

May 16, 2017

Last night I was locked into game 7 of the NBA playoffs between the Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics. After the game, I tuned into one of my absolute favourite sports related Instagram accounts, Bleacher Report. There have to be a million Instagram accounts dedicated to providing followers with content relative to highlights, scores, etc, etc, etc. Bleacher Report is a bit different. Immediately after a big game 7 victory by the Celtics, BR posted the famous “How do you like them apples” scene from the film Good Will Hunting…but edited the clip to have super-star Isaiah Thomas as Matt Damon in the scene with the Washington Wizards team on the inside of the café. I don’t do the clip justice by describing it, so check it out here under “How do you like them apples?”

BR is known for these swift, precise, and hilarious edits. If you’re into sports, I seriously suggest you check it out. But more importantly, it got me thinking about how these factors weigh into producing content. So what’s the secret? Do you need a million dollar budget to produce clips like this? Absolutely not (but it certainly helps).

What makes good content, good content? Timing helps. Within moments after the game, I saw BR post that clip. Knowing that your audience will immediately be opening Instagram right after the game means that they can get immediately exposed to some new posts. I can’t lie, if you’re an account like BR, you have to be lightning quick in posting content that’s 1) relevant to context. 2) Engaging (funny/honest) or 3) Quality.

Certainly, factors like scheduling, editing, etc are all important when producing content online. This is a way for content producers to measure the quality of their work. But when it comes down to it, no one wants to see anything generic, boring, or not entertaining. It’s as simple as just understanding who you’re trying to engage, and from there building something that your audience might want to look at. People focus so much on tricks to gaining followers or likes, but won’t take the time to actually put in work. You can’t expect good grades if you don’t study for the test right? The most successful online content producers take the time to make sure the work they are putting is relevant to who they want to look at their stuff. Now obviously it takes a lot of time to actually make sure what you’re putting out there is quality. It takes time to get good at what you want to be doing. So what IS the secret? There is none. Just do the work.

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. As an alumni of both the University of Ottawa and Humber College, Malick specializes in communications, advertising, and marketing. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency in downtown Toronto and is looking forward to how he can further leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (May 6 – May 12)

May 12, 2017

This was a crazy week. In the world of advertising & marketing, everything moves so quickly that it’s easy to miss some of the best the industry has to offer. Not to worry, as usual, The MAD Mix has you covered for some of the hottest ads, trends, and more in this week’s recap. Check it out below!

 

Movistar Love Story

K: We all know how big social media has become. All most everyone uses it, from teenagers to our parents or even grandparents.  We use it to stay connected to our family members that are in other countries, see what our favourite artists are doing, follow our favourite brands, stay updated on fashion trends and meet new people. Movistar, a telecommunications brand that operates in Spain and in many Hispanic American countries makes open our eyes again to something we sometimes may forget. The love story shown between two teenagers seem normal and harmless, but as the story goes on you start to think about how will it end. The reveal of the ending is done in a way that keeps you guessing until the last second. It’s a great way to shine light on a topic that really needs to be discussed, especially with teenagers that are starting to use social media.

 

#WestJetVegasSurprise

M: Wow, this was pretty cool. WestJet known for taking experiential marketing to an entirely different level. Remember what they did for Fort MacMurray after the wildfire crisis last year? In their latest spot, they flew to Nevada to really put a new spin on what the Las Vegas experience is really like. Passengers on a plane to Vegas were treated to a fantastic light show on the ground depicting a roulette wheel as they flew in. The catch? It was a real roulette wheel. The wheel spun until it landed on one of the seat numbers “4a”. Whoever was sitting in that seat on the plane got treated to a $2,500 shopping spree during their stay in Vegas. This really impressed me. Quality experiential campaigns are difficult to pull off, but WestJet did it again. Check out the spot below:

The BigBallerBrand Continues to Make Headlines

B: Lavar Ball has become a media mainstay in the NBA world due to his outrages comments and polarizing personality. He has also brought a little bit of flair back to an NBA that seems to be getting repetitive. The NBA finals barring any setback is once again slated to be a rematch between the GoldenState Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Yes, upsets can happen but are they likely too? Not in this Super team era driven NBA. Lavar Ball is a terrific marketer, hands down no questions asked because according to the simple Google Definition a marketer is “a person or company that advertises or promotes something”. Lavar Ball has done a wonderful job promoting all three of his sons Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo but also the BigBallerBrand that just released a $495 pair of sneakers and people are talking about them. Whether you’re a fan of Lavar’s recent tactics or not, he is single handely the most talked about subject in the NBA, during the playoffs.

 

Dove Switches Up Their Packaging

D: To reaffirm their message of body diversity, Dove has brought life to the saying “beauty comes in all shapes and sizes” by offering limited-edition packaging. The new Dove bottles are supposed to mirror the various different body types. I’m still not exactly sure how I feel about this stunt as it’s cool and practice but a little weird when executed. Are people that interested in buying a bottle shaped like a person or is that simply an example of overthinking this campaign in its entirety? Regardless, doing this has created quite the buzz for the brand (both positive and negative) and the overall idea is an innovative way to extend their brand message. Was it a hit? You be the judge.

 

That’s our weekly recap to keep you up to date on the best ads, trends, and more that we could find over the week. You can check out our last weekly recap here where we gave our thoughts on the latest Pepsi ad. Think we missed something important? Let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (April 29 – May 5)

May 5, 2017

Written By: Malick, Dakarai, and Kathleen

As advertisers gear up for summer, you can expect a lot of action in the coming months. Not to worry, as usual The MAD Mix has you covered for the hottest trends, ads, and more. Check out the latest in the advertising and marketing world in our weekly recap below:

 

Nike-Breaking2 

M: If you follow this platform regularly, you’ll know that Nike is a favourite of ours. From quality production to delivering a solid product, they seem to do no wrong in their advertising. In their latest endeavour, Nike has spent time creating one of the most innovative running shoes they’ve created to date. The purpose? Tomorrow, Nike and people form all around the world will attempt to break the two-hour marathon running record. The shoe that they’ve designed has so much technology invested in it that they want to encourage people to do that feat using their new shoe titled “The Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%”. This marathon is all apart of Nike’s constant desire to push the limits of human athleticism time and time again, and if there’s any shoe to do it, it’s this one. Check out the spot they’ve created for it below. Anyone else want to give it a go?

 

Spotify Awkward Family Moments

K: We all have a song that is attached to a moment or event that happened in our life. Whenever you hear the song it reminds you of that specific time that you will probably never forget. It can either make you happy or sad whenever you hear it. Spotify needed a way to promote their family plan, so what better way than to tie it with your emotions? Spotify decided to play on that but relate it to family moments, more specifically awkward family moments. Some people might find them too sexual but I think it is funny especially the second one. Check out the two videos below.

 
The Sunny Co Bikini Giveaway

D: If you live in the U.S, chances are your Instagram feed was absolutely covered with the same picture of a model in a red bikini. For those of you that are completely lost right now, a swimsuit company by the name of Sunny Co decided to announce a 24-hour giveaway on Instagram a couple of days ago. The now deleted post asked consumers to repost the picture of a model wearing the bikini and tag the brand in order to receive the usual $65 swimsuit for the price of only shipping and handling.

If you can’t already predict what happens next, tens of thousands of people reposted the image, and this ultimately revealed the lack of preparation behind the whole promotion. Following this, Sunny Co decided it would be a great idea to update the conditions of the deal on their website and included a note that stated the company “[reserved] the right to cap the promotion if they deem necessary.”. As you can imagine, they got torn a part on social media and hopefully this serves as a lesson for brands. The whole thing comes off as very “fyre fest-ish”. In the sense of complete unprepared bait and switch tactics or plain negligence. From unknown to hated in 24 hours. But hey, at least people know their name now right? Check out some of the best meme’s below.

 

That’s our weekly recap to keep you up to date on the best ads, trends, and more that we could find over the week. You can check out our last weekly recap here where we gave our thoughts on the latest Pepsi ad. Think we missed something important? Let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Malick Ba

You’re Fyre’d – A Look Into The Worst Event Of 2017

May 2, 2017

Picture a beautiful island vacation combined with a music festival highlighting some of the biggest stars on the planet. Picture seeing Blink 182, Disclosure, or Migos, all in the same festival. That’s literally something for everyone. Now picture spending $12,000 on that. Is it worth it? I mean if you spend $12,000 on anything, you’d expect it to be a quality product. Now…picture that “once in a lifetime” experience going wrong in the absolute worst way possible. By now you’ve probably heard about the beautiful disaster that was the Fyre Festival. For those who don’t, essentially the Fyre festival was partially planned by rapper Ja Rule (lol) as a music festival getaway in the Bahamas. Ideally, it’s pretty important to take a look into these kinds of failures and take a look into why things didn’t go according to plan from a marketing point of view. Without going into every detail, here are a couple of reasons why this went wrong.

Influencers & Promotion:

The event had some pretty big name influencers behind it. From famous models like Emily Ratajkowski and Bella Hadid to Kendall Jenner, the event had some promotion that included some huge stars. However, influencer marketing is risky. You have to think of the product that you’re trying to promote along with the influencer’s brand. If something goes wrong with the product, it not only tarnishes the money spent to use influencers, but it tarnishes the influencer’s brand as well. Kendall Jenner’s recent disaster with Pepsi does not help at all.

In regards to actual advertising, the promotion was poor to begin with from the start as well. Check out the promotional video piece that was created for the event below:

Did anyone get anything out of that? The video doesn’t really show the product that people were looking to buy. Saying it’s a once in a lifetime event with a bunch of hot models dancing around doesn’t realllllly tell anyone what they were buying to begin with. Don’t get me wrong, it certainly gauged some interest, but when it comes down to it, I would not spend any money after watching that video, let alone thousands of dollars.

Risk Management:

This in my opinion was probably the biggest reason why this failed miserably. Yes, music festivals can be difficult to plan. But you always have to expect that there will be a possibility that a big name will pull out. In this case, everyone pulled out. Yes, every big name pulled out of the event. While it is a bit of an unfortunate and unpredictable situation, you have to plan around these things. Event management is all about planning ahead, and even planning a proper risk management program. So what do you do in this scenario? Well, planning proper food and housing would probably a good start. The event offered limited food, and gave people tents that had very limited security. Ultimately when you’re taking $12,000 from people, making sure that you plan for the absolute worst would probably be a safe investment.

All in all, Fyre Festical was a disaster. From lack of product delivery and poor promotion, to lack of proper event planning, to horrible risk management, it’s hard to pinpoint what factor was the tipping point. Let this be a lesson to anyone in event planning. The way you market your product is important, but without delivery and execution you end up with situations like this: a nightmare.

 

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. As an alumni of both the University of Ottawa and Humber College, Malick specializes in communications, advertising, and marketing. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency in downtown Toronto and is looking forward to how he can further leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

I Dream of Memes: Internet Culture and Influence

April 18, 2017

About a month ago, I was having a discussion with Dak about the Grammys. While none of us actually have cable, we both knew of several alternative ways to stream the event on the internet. When I had asked him if he’d tuned in to the “prestigious” (I use that term lightly…Re: Cee Lo Green) event, Dak simply said “I watched it through Instagram.” From that alone, I figured Instagram broadcasted it live, but no. What he meant was that he kept up with it through the influx of memes that had come out about it (again…Re: Cee Lo Green). That had me thinking a little bit. Is this how people keep up with events now? Live updates are nothing new, but memes have almost transcended actual text or broadcasted information.

Remember when people live tweeted events on Twitter? This is exactly what memes have become. This isn’t subject to the Grammys either. Think about it. If you’re like me and are extremely active on Instagram, you’d know that there are memes about literally every big event. NBA finals? There’s a meme for that. Grammys? There’s a meme for that. U.S election? There’s probably memes about that disaster every single day.  The point is that meme’s are apart of internet culture in ways that I never really thought of. While I still think doing research and not taking everything you see on the internet at face value is still extremely important, but memes are accessible to youth culture. Dare I say that this is one of the reasons why Twitter is becoming replaceable?

While I know people are still actively live tweeting, but just based on the number of meme accounts that exist on Instagram, there is always some sort of way to provide information in a comical way. It’s interesting to see the progression of meme culture. It works so quickly that within moments of any big event you can guarantee that someone online is in the process of making a meme about it. At the base root, it’s influencer content. If you own a popular meme account like fuckjerry or Daquan, you have the ability to post content through memes that may influence someone’s train of thought on any given subject matter. While it does seem a bit ridiculous to say that memes equal quality and truthful information through these influencers, the point still stands. People use memes to present information (comical or not).

That’s a lot of information to take in about internet content, but I really feel like memes are a prime example of alternative journalism. The culture around them for the most part is rooted in humour, but the fact that Dak was able to keep up with the Grammys without actually watching it on TV or tuning into a live stream was proof that they are important. Important in not only providing comical relief for events that may be serious, but providing information to a generation that’s not necessarily tuned into traditional media outlets.

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. As an alumni of both the University of Ottawa and Humber College, Malick specializes in communications, advertising, and marketing. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency in downtown Toronto and is looking forward to how he can further leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Guest

And Now We’re Moving to Las Vegas? NHL Marketing in the United States

April 14, 2017

Advertising hockey to Canadians is an easy task. Look at CBC’s opening montage for the 2017 NHL playoffs. Whenever you turn on a television in a Canadian household, you are most likely going to see NHL superstars Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby or Carey Price in a commercial. Even class NHL superstars like Wayne Gretzky or Mark Messier appear in commercials regularly. This is exaggeration but these marketing tactics have a tendency to stick with Canadians.

How about the United States? Are they as into hockey as us Canadians?  Definitely not. This might have something to do with having teams in Carolina, Arizona, and Sunrise. In addition, the NHL is expanding its product to Las Vegas! Yes, Las Vegas – a city notorious for gambling, partying and tourist activity will now have its own hockey team. Why Gary Bettman (the NHL commissioner) and his advisors decided this is a good idea is beyond the scope of any rational hockey fan.

Furthermore, for those who are unaware, the NHL is banning players from going to the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. Players like Erik Karlsson and Alex Ovechkin were disappointed at the decision. This is detrimental because it refuses to spread the game worldwide. If you want the world to see your product, you have to send your best players to dress up for their countries.

For hockey, in the warmer climates, the Florida Panthers had the actor Kevin Spacey, a fantastic actor support them with their Spacey Masks. The Panthers were still 24th in attendance last year and 26th this year. They have an active 40 year old veteran that won’t retire playing some of his best hockey in Jaromir Jagr, young studs in Aleksandor Barkov, Aaron Ekblad and Jonathan Hubrdeau. The team still does not fare well.

The Carolina Hurricanes and Arizona Coyotes have also been abysmal with attendance figures ranking 30th and 29th respectively. This article written by Justin Grilliand on the Hurricanes blog illustrates the poor job of how the NHL and Carolina have advertised their product. It does not seem that the NHL cares about the fans of these small market teams. In Glendale, you have the threat of the team relocating, taxpayers becoming infuriated to keep them there and the whole organization aside from general manger and direction, is a mess. If you want more insight into this, I highly suggest taking a look at this article written by Neil DeMausse. Let’s compare how the NBA markets themselves to American fans.

Basketball gets the figures, the attendance and the viewership even when the team is poor. For example, the Los Angeles Lakers are having a historically poor run in the last three years, yet they sell out Staples Center on almost every night. Commercials for the NBA market themselves absolutely brilliantly. Joel Embiid, ‘The Process’ plays for the lowly Philadephia 76ers yet he’s featured in basketballs in his hands for a jolly rancher commercial. Expanding the conversation even further, we can see how smaller markets cater to fans and individuals interested in the sport.

The Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder come to mind. The Utah Jazz had a commercial with Gordon Hayward – the Jazz superstar did with his wife and kid. The commercial promoted feminism, family and the NBA product. Another example is Oklahoma City Thunder. Their team saw Kevin Durant – arguably a top 5 player in the NBA, depart to ball with Steph Curry and the gang in Oakland. Yet, the fans still care about the team. This is because Russell Westbrook is promoted regularly and his jersey sales are extremely high. The NBA actively advertises products which interests the smaller markets and fans.

The NHL should take a page out of their books. If you are expanding teams to sunshine and tourist states, you have to allow for fans to be engaged within the community. In case you were unaware, Quebec City and Seattle are desperate for hockey. They are prepared. If you want money and fans, go there. If you want success in cities, let the fans know you are willing to compromise. Speaking of which, does anyone remember the Atlanta Trashers? Hey Bettman, how’d that go? Nice one, mate.

 

Boyan Antonov is a recent Carleton University graduate currently trying to figure out what to with his life. He has a heavy interest in sports specifically football (soccer), hockey and basketball. With interest comes opinions, and he wants them to be heard. For all things sports, swag, and more, follow him on instagram.

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (March 31 – April 7): Pepsi Edition

April 7, 2017

This is it. A number of you had messaged us about what we were going to say about the infamous Pepsi ad that came out this week-and now we’re here to talk. Because this spot sparked some of the biggest discussions in advertising, we decided to dedicate this weekly recap to talk solely about Pepsi’s extremely controversial advertisement that the brand has now officially pulled. Here are our thoughts. If you have yet to see the actual video, have a look first.

 

M: Is this the worst advertisement ever? I’m just going to dive right into this. It’s hard to pin point where this went wrong. Was it when they chose to trivialize actual social issues? Was it when they chose Kendall Jenner to be the hero? Was it when they decided that Pepsi heals all wounds? I don’t know, but these factors combined definitely make this one of the worst advertisements I’ve ever seen. As someone who works in advertising, I know that coming up with a creative concept to sell through usually takes multiple versions, with revisions, etc. An initial idea or concept rarely ever gets client approval right on the spot. So it makes me wonder what the process of approval was for this spot?

Me watching the spot

I find it incredibly hard to believe (especially considering the immense amount of backlash) that not one person on that marketing board had stood up and said “hey guys, don’t you see how this could go very, very…very bad?”.  With a company as big as Pepsi, and the logistics behind all of it, how did no one see that this was a horrible idea from the start? Pepsi will ultimately have to regroup on their advertising and marketing processes after this. It truly starts within.

D: Ladies and gentleman, this..this is why you have advertising agencies. This spot was created by PepsiCo’s internal team, and not to say this is the reason it failed, but this shouldn’t go unnoticed. Brands as big as Pepsi need that outside voice that is able to say “No” in a meeting. My guess? There were a few junior members of the PepsiCo team that knew this was not the proper way to “reach millennials”, but didn’t have a say in the matter. Pepsi is a brand that has done a great job in the past connecting to the culture by using figures such as Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, and Beyonce. However, to quote the brand itself, they “missed the mark” with this one.

If I’m being honest, moments like these excite me. Crisis management is such an important skill and also opportunity for a brand. Not to say you should aim for a crisis, but this is truly going to test the strength of Pepsi as a brand. I wouldn’t put it past Coca-Cola to capitalize on this soon either. Now the one thing Pepsi did well is unite the Internet. Check out a couple of our favourite tweets below:

 

That is our recap of the week! We believe it was important to talk about Pepsi from an advertising perspective. This was an ad that truly upset a huge amount of people and that cannot go unnoticed. It will be interesting to watch if people still care in a couple of weeks. By then, who knows what mistake a brand will make next. As always, be sure to follow The MAD Mix on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

 

Malick Ba

Emoji Culture

March 28, 2017

A few days ago, we posted about an article on how 48 new emoji’s will be released in the near future. As someone who uses emoji’s profusely when texting, snapping, and all that jazz I was intrigued. It got me thinking about how the use of emoji’s through various platforms has become almost an entire method of communication alone. Think about it. We know something is supposed to be funny when we post the laughing emoji with the tears. We know something is sad when we post a heartbreak or a sad faced emoji. And when someone posts the eggplant emoji? Well, I think we all know what that means. As strange as it sounds, emoji’s have become such an ingrained part of the way that millennials communicate with each other.

 

This isn’t new either. Those like myself who were raised using MSN know that emoticons were like the precursor to emoji’s. They allowed us to convey a type of language that transcended speech. Or in many cases, they allowed you to say something without actually saying it. I find it fascinating that they indicate a sense of tonality in communication that doesn’t necessarily translate when using regular symbols like exclamation marks or other various keyboard functions. Over time, the use of these symbols has seemed to evolve into how we use emoji’s.

MSN Emoticons

Dare I say that emoji’s almost have a sense of political undertone within them? What I mean by that is as a part of the release of the new emoji’s, they will include different faces of people including a woman with a headscarf on. To expand on that, this is a clear sign that the developers are looking to diversify the use of emoji’s beyond just your classic smiley faces. Remember when they unveiled that you could change the skin colour of your emoji’s? That brought an entirely different dimension to how we use them and how they represent us on a more personal level.

 

The emoji promoted through Drake’s More Life Album

I’d also like to mention how they’ve been popularized as well. To use a recent example, Drake singlehandedly boosted the use of the pink flower emoji to the absolute max with his latest album More Life. The emoji has almost become a symbol for the album, and a reference to life, happiness and peace. While I don’t necessarily have concrete statistics on how the use of it has increased significantly since the release of More Life, I do know as an avid Instagrammer that I had maybe seen it used once or twice tops. But now it seems to be in everyone’s captions, comments, etc. As an ambassador for Apple, it doesn’t surprise me that Drake and his marketing team made sure that the emoji was included in every recent post, but that’s a different story.

 

Essentially, emoji’s affect the way that millennials interact with each other. We use them to lighten the topic of a conversation, to convey emotion, or to express ourselves in ways that we can’t through words. It’s interesting to see how much our (as millennials) conversational skills have evolved throughout the years. Is it weird that I can’t see myself not using them at this point? Guess we’ll never know.

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. As an alumni of both the University of Ottawa and Humber College, Malick specializes in communications, advertising, and marketing. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency in downtown Toronto and is looking forward to how he can further leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

Online Video Content Killed My Cell Phone Bill

March 14, 2017

 

Ever scroll through your Facebook timeline outside of a wifi zone and panic at the thought of those auto-play video functions? It drives me absolutely insane. As someone who is already going over their data on a regular basis, it’s brutal to constantly scroll through my timeline (which in hindsight I should be more conscious of) and see an influx of video axing at my cell phone bill. While my frustrations have decent reason (ok maybe not a whole lot of reason), something occurred to me the other day. In the last 3-4 years, the amount of online video content that’s constantly being produced by advertisers and users of social media has noticeably grown. Is it effective (aside from my mindless scrolling at bus stops)? Absolutely.

 

Online video has definitely been a focus for big advertisers over the last couple of years in terms of content creation. According to an article from Think With Google, spending on desktop online video alone is projected to grow 21% every year until 2019. That’s a lot of spending, excluding mobile. But with all of this money going into online video, is it really more effective than other forms of content? Definitely. Speaking from personal experience, I’m a visual learner. That means I learn more when something is presented in front of my eyes that I can engage with, rather than reading, or listening. Online video content provides excellent potential for 2-way content engagement versus an ad that you can see on TV. How? There are a few different reasons.

 

Lets assume you’re viewing a sponsored post on Facebook or Twitter. The ad is hilarious and actually inspires you to maybe actually buy the product, who knows. But more importantly, you can share that with everyone in your network. You can view it at different times. It can go viral. You can actually engage with the entertainment value that it’s supposed to supply! These are only a few qualities that online video content can provide for your brand.

Moving away from strictly advertising, social media platforms over the last two years has added new functions that allow you to live stream, post, and share videos with the click of a button. This allows online video content producers, or regular people, to add an entirely different dimension of communication that was lacking on the internet previously. Simply put, it gives more personality to a once text dominated era.

Online video facilitates better communication, advertisement or non-advertisement. It’s something that I’ve definitely grown to notice and appreciate the way people and brands communicate to me…even if it’s quickly chomping away at my cellphone bill…

 

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. As an alumni of both the University of Ottawa and Humber College, Malick specializes in communications, advertising, and marketing. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency in downtown Toronto and is looking forward to how he can further leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

Humber Connect: Networking 101

February 28, 2017

Tonight I’ll be attending Humber Connect, my old school’s networking event designed for students to speak to industry professionals in hopes of getting a great internship. However, this time It’ll be the other way around. I’m going to be representing my agency. So students, what advice can I give to you on your glorious night? Here are some of my experiences that I once had.

Was I nervous? 100% .The people that I would be talking to that evening could’ve been my future co workers. So many questions ran through my head. “How do I approach someone? Who do I approach? Can I drink?”. That last one was made up…sort of. But in all seriousness, networking events can be hard. When I was a student, the only thing that I thought about was who I was going to meet, and how I was going to get a job from that. Which was both the right and wrong way to look at things, and I’m going to tell you why. There are so many other things to focus on at a networking event. Yes, the people you meet will ultimately help you get an internship/job, but here are a few things from my experience that might help you land your dream internship.

It’s not an interview

When I attended my school’s networking event, I had great grades, a decent resume, and a lot of things I could use to talk about myself. After chatting with a few industry professionals about how great I was at communication, or how my technical skills were impeccable, I could see the eyes of the recipient of my talking start to wander. People are always interested in candidates who have those skills, but holding a conversation, asking questions, and learning are such a big part of what networking events are. If you have great communication skills, show you have them but asking strong questions and engaging with what they are telling you. It’s good to talk about your qualifications, but don’t forget that showing your character and who you are is just as important.

Don’t wait to make a move

Being confident is literally the key to your success in a networking event. When the first few professionals walk in the door, you’re going to feel your heart racing. That’s ok. The people who are coming to these events want to talk to you. That’s the whole point. As Big Sean would say, make moves.

Talk to everyone…yes everyone

Even if it’s not your desired destination, try to talk to every single person in the room. The representatives from agencies the that you want to intern or work for may not show up until later on in the night. Use that time to speak to every person and practice what it’s like to get into the groove of these things. That way, once you see the right people, you’ll know exactly how to approach them and what to talk to them about.

These events can be very beneficial. The reason why I’m in my position right now is because of an event like this. Be confident in yourself and your skills. So for you Humber College students, if you see me tonight, don’t be afraid to come chat with me, I’ll be there to help.

 

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. As an alumni of both the University of Ottawa and Humber College, Malick specializes in communications, advertising, and marketing. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency in downtown Toronto and is looking forward to how he can further leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

Valentine’s Day & Being Single: A Match Made In Heaven

February 14, 2017

Valentine’s day, the one day a year where couples rejoice in their togetherness and where single people feel lonely. What an interesting mix wouldn’t you say? Consumerism plays a huge role in advertisements of Valentine’s Day. Boyfriends and husbands, or girlfriends and wives exchanging gifts on Valentine’s Day with their loved ones is something that’s happened since the “holiday” started.  But what I find pretty interesting is not the lack of advertising, but the lack of advertising towards single people there is on this exclusive day. According to Stats Canada, approximately 14,357,875 are single in this country. That’s just under 40% of the population who are not only potentially forever alone on Valentine’s Day, that’s a lot of people who aren’t being targeted by expensive advertising campaigns.

 

Singles are valuable people (even though you might not have a date tonight), don’t forget that. According to a study by Naveen Donthu, a research professor of marketing at J. Mack College of Business at Georgia State University, there is a lot of value in targeting single people on this day. How? Donthu surveyed 761 singles about their purchasing preferences, behaviours, and mannerisms and discovered that single people are more brand conscious, spend more time watching TV than married or non-married couples, are more impulsive, and have more active lifestyles. A quote from Donthu’s article explains “…we found that singles, especially those trying to cope with loneliness, spend more time watching television.” Damn, I feel ways about that. Netflix anyone? Anyways…

Key take away? They are more impulsive. Think about it. Single people ultimately don’t have anything to spend money on other than themselves. Being impulsive indicates that they can be subjected to more luxury, or higher class items than let’s say a married couple. A single person’s willingness to buy things on a whim makes them perfect targets for expensive stuff.

 

So why aren’t huge advertisers coming out with more single targeted advertising? Who knows. Of course, for some brands it makes more sense to target couples, for example jewellery, on days like today, but in the future, wouldn’t it be wise to capitalize on the lonely market? Donthu’s research makes an excellent yet underlying message to it as well. Single consumers can be more receptive to emotional advertising than campaigns based on information. This seems like it’s a perfect fit. A match made in heaven. The moral of the story is, there are a lot of single people to target on Valentine’s day, why not capitalize that. Whoa, was I still referring advertising there? Who knows…anyways, time to go be impulsive and binge watch some TV…

 

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. As an alumni of both the University of Ottawa and Humber College, Malick specializes in communications, advertising, and marketing. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency in downtown Toronto and is looking forward to how he can further leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.