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Dakarai Turner

Dakarai Turner

Cause & The AXE Effect: How the AXE Brand Achieved Success Through Understanding Their Audience

November 21, 2017

AXE – The brand that evokes feelings of both triumph and disgust, depending on who you ask. The male grooming brand is one that has solidified its place in boys change rooms and college dorms, and this wasn’t by fluke. Whether you agree with what the brand stands for or not, their ability to connect with their audience has been stellar since launching in North America in 2002.

So where does it start?

Understanding your target and your positioning is key. AXE sold the fantasy of women to young men. There was this belief that if you were using the product, it would translate into receiving more attention from females and being “the man”. I mean, all you had to do was walk by a middle/high-school male change room and you’d get a whiff of the excessive AXE smell. The Uniliver owned brand represents being bold, unique, and irresistible.

Let’s define their audience. Surprisingly, the biggest audience for AXE isn’t teenage men. It’s actually men between 20-25. College kids, in a nutshell that typically stay with the brand for an average of 5 years. Through research the brand was able to cater their messaging towards the needs and wants of the consumer. The AXE marketing team capitalized on an interesting insight in 2002 when the brand first entered the U.S: Guys and girls tend to hang out in different social groups. This prompted Axe to stage a viral video in 2002 that shows a cheerleader attacking a football player with the messaging at the end stating, “The AXE Effect”. The brand was born.

“The proposition of Axe is it helps guys be attractive to women,” said David Rubin in 2015, a VP of marketing at Unilever. What AXE did well is execute based on the insights they found. They broke down the average male into 6 target groups and went after the one they dubbed “The Insecure Novice”. This was a guy that tends to be involved in awkward situations and doesn’t really know what he’s doing. Targeting this group in their early days allowed the brand to be the #1 male antiperspirant/deodorant brand in America.

I mean who can forget such gems as the irresistible AXE Dark Temptation ad from 2008? What more do women love than chocolate and the smell of AXE on a man, am I right?

So did the brand just have a bunch of commercials with the same premise over the years? Not at all. The brand also leveraged digital, experiential, and promotional tactics.

2009

AXE sponsors a club in the Hampton’s for an entire summer. Complete with AXE branding everywhere, and free body spray in the men’s washrooms. As lame as it sounds today, it attracted the likes of Lindsay Lohan, Fabolous, Drake, and many other celebrities.

2010

AXE launches a mock infomercial, “Clean Your Balls”, starring Jamie Pressley.

2011

AXE let’s Tunisian men change their Facebook relationship status to reflect a relationship with more than one woman.

 

So what does AXE advertising look like now? The brand has changed with the times and has shifted to a more progressive approach with their “Find Your Magic” campaign in 2016. It’s centred around finding the confidence within no matter how you look or what you do. It goes without saying that AXE has come a long way. The true AXE effect.

 

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

Why The #OneChipChallenge is the Perfect Branded Challenge

November 7, 2017

It seems as though every few months for the last couple of years, there has been a challenge of some sort that takes the internet by storm. Whether it’s the Mannequin Challenge that was started by a class of students, the Water Bottle Flip Challenge, The Running Man Challenge, The So Gone Challenge, or even the Cinnamon Challenge. We’re always on the edge of our seat to see which crazy challenge will pop up next.

 

Why do we like them? In my opinion they are just simply fun to do and they feel authentic. You’re able to join an online movement and participate in something with your friends, challenging others in the process to do the same. Now, one thing that is consistent in most of these challenges is that they aren’t branded. There isn’t a mastermind brand trying to drive sales of cinnamon powder by challenging consumers to eat a spoonful, or there aren’t water bottle companies that are encouraging you to do a bottle flip. The challenges are made by regular people and popularized once the bigger accounts begin to participate.

Now that’s how it used to be, until I came across the #OneChipChallenge. For those of you that are unaware, Paqui, a chip brand founded in Texas has issued the #OneChipChallenge in which they claim to have the world’s hottest chip. One box that features one Carolina Reaper chip. Consumers are encouraged to record and post a video of themselves eating the chip to be for a chance to win prizes ranging from a one year supply of their chips, to a neon sign of the Carolina Reaper.

To provide a bit more context, these chips are now completely sold out.  But not to fear, they are going for $40+ on Amazon if you’re feeling rich. Yes, a box containing a single chip. The challenge became even more well known after NBA legend and analyst Shaq ate one on ‘Inside the NBA’. This immediately made me wonder if other brands can work a challenge aspect into their campaigns. I’m not talking about the typical “submit your idea for our latest product, or answering a generic question on social media to be entered to win. Paqui was able to take the factor that differentiates them from other chip brands to their forefront.

However, for this to work for a brand, it will need to be authentic and make sense at the end of the day. Paqui was known for making hot chips, so creating a Carolina Reaper chip and issuing a challenge spoke to what the brand represents perfectly. Would this kind of challenge take off as well as it did if Lays was the brand behind it? You be the judge.

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

Adidas Jumps Over Jordan Brand for the Number Two Spot

October 24, 2017

Last month, it was reported that Adidas has officially passed the Nike owned Jordan brand as the #2 most popular athletic shoe brand in the U.S, with the #1 spot belonging to Nike. So why should you care? This is a pure example of just how far a proper product can take you. Throughout my whole life when the thought of sneakers came up it was pretty much Jordan and Nike up on a cliff and all of the others (Puma, Adidas, Sketchers, Converse, etc) so far down they barely made the conversation. I have vivid memories of the first days of school where everyone sported a fresh pair of Nike’s or Jordan’s. Whether it was basketball shoes, running shoes, or a casual pair, Nike was the shoe on everyone’s mind. Until now.

Although Nike still has the #1 spot, Adidas was able to make a name for themselves and disrupt the footwear market in 2017. In the first quarter of 2017, the brand pulled in $6.4 Billion which is an 18.9% increase compared to the previous year. What helped drive this growth? Sneakers such as the Superstar (photo below), the NMD Runner, the Tubular Shadow, the Alpha Bounce, and the Stan Smith. It’s certainly worth noting that last year for the first time in over a decade, Nike did not have the highest selling sneaker in the U.S. This spot belonged to the classic Adidas Superstar. One of the first steps in the Adidas takeover.

On top of simply great products that capitalize on the current sneaker trends, Adidas has also leveraged celebrity partnerships such as their highly successful Air Yeezy line of shoes with Kanye West. Often seen as the reason why Adidas is currently #2, although this isn’t exactly the case. I think if anything Kanye West has elevated the overall perception of the brand, which is difficult to attribute to direct sales figures. However, the brand has seen a bigger push with their classic Superstar and Stan Smith shoes.

Although Adidas still has a long way to go before taking over the #1 spot in North America, it is still quite impressive to see how fast they’ve grown considering Nike is like the Coca Cola of the footwear market. This meaning it’s a brand that is widely recognized as the leader in their category that is also seen as the brand that will forever reign supreme. The exciting part about two companies going head to head is that the products they deliver will simply get better. The engineering behind the shoes will be elevated, the marketing campaigns attached with every shoe release will be on point, and the brand’s will continue to push the culture forward. If I’m speaking from personal experiences, my last few shoe purchases have all been Adidas and it might just be a result of seeing them around more often.

What do you guys think? Could you see Adidas taking passing Nike in the near future?

 

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

Racially Insensitive or Exaggeration: Dove’s Latest Ad

October 10, 2017

Maybe you’ve seen the headlines this weekend: “Dove is racist”. This all stemmed from a screenshot released online of a now pulled Dove Facebook ad. At it’s core, the ad depicted a black woman using Dove’s body wash and essentially turning into a white woman. Yikes, right? After immediate consumer backlash, the ad was removed and Dove issued a Twitter apology.

People were not happy with the apology and this turned into a social media uproar filled with angry tweets and consumers stating they would boycott the Dove brand. The problem was that to everyone that never saw the original ad (including me), their only point of reference was the image being circulated with the original Twitter users’ handle stamped in the centre. No matter how hard I dug, I couldn’t seem to find the original ad at the time (without the Twitter handle) which led most people to believe that the ad being circulated was  in fact the real thing. Now if it isn’t completely apparent, the problem with the ad is that it’s tone deaf and depicts a black woman as dirty, and a white woman as clean. It’s worth nothing that this wouldn’t be the first time that Dove has been accused of racially incentive ads as well as products.

 

Several hours later the original ad posted began to submerge and the reaction of consumers took a major turn. What initially appeared as a black woman turning into a white woman was dispelled as there is a third woman that appears afterwards. The purpose of the ad stated by Dove was to convey that Dove body wash is for every woman and be a celebration of diversity“. What the ad lacked was racial sensitivity, and this should be a lesson for every brand out there that is trying to communicate a message surrounding diversity. There is a long history of brands using the idea that a black person is inferior to a white person, and by having the black woman first in this sequence, the message can be misconstrued and taken out of context. Do I believe that Dove is a racist brand that did this on purpose? Absolutely not. However, at the same time there needs to be someone with a seat at the table that speaks up and points out that this ad may come across as offensive. To think that a multi-million dollar brand sold in over 80 countries doesn’t have this person is unfathomable. Simply restructuring the order could have prevented 2 apologies and your brand trending for all the wrong reasons.

Did everyone jump the gun in trashing Dove? Yes, however this is the reality in today’s age. We react towards what is presented to us. There will be a large amount of people that don’t ever see the now released full ad in motion and they will continue on with their hatred for the Dove brand. Who’s to blame? Dove for releasing a tone deaf ad and us as consumers for not digging deeper. This is yet another example on the list for 2017’s racially incentive ads joining the likes of Pepsi, Nivea, and others. Looks like we’ll have to do an end of the year recap with the way things are trending.

I’d love to know your thoughts. Did consumers react too soon or was it justified?

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

Fashion Nova: A Look Into the Viral Store’s Marketing Tactics

September 12, 2017

Can we just take a moment to talk about Fashion Nova? I almost feel like this brand doesn’t even need a set-up. Why? Because ever since 2016 I’ve seen a post about Fashion Nova jeans or their other clothing just about every day on my Instagram feed. Now I don’t follow the brand, but thanks to the thousands of social media influencers, their messaging will get to me one way or another. However, for those of you that don’t use Instagram, Fashion Nova is an LA based women’s retail company known for their low prices and social media domination.

The CEO of the brand has stated that they use anywhere from 3000-5000 influencers online, and this is where this domination comes from. Is the clothing great? YouTube reviews lead me to believe that the clothing feels relatively cheap and average, however, the crazy thing is I’ve never actually met anyone that has bought their pieces.

So let’s talk about the influencers. Fashion Nova has tapped into the audiences of Kylie Jenner (97M followers), Cardi B (9.5M followers), Amber Rose (16M followers), Nicki Minaj (83M followers), and literally thousands more with anywhere from 1K to 10M followers. The sponsored posts are fairly similar in their tone and content. They are all about letting the public know that Fashion Nova is the cheapest way to look great and to use their personal code for a discount. The brand offers $20 rompers, $30 jeans, and $50 dresses on top of a large amount of other pieces.

Richard Saghian, the founder and CEO commented on their strategy in an interview with Vice: “It’s kind of like this ripple effect. The more people shout us out, the more their fans shout us out. Kind of like a viral Youtube video. We’re a viral store”. Fashion Nova does a great job squandering the web for the latest trends and then reproducing them. In fact, as of this year the clothing brand has over 600 employees and is able to produce 500 new clothing designs each week. The numbers are astonishing and it was all primarily built off of the help of influencers. Why does this work? For the simple reason that you’re likely following the influencer (most of the time an Instagram model) because you like the way they look, dress, and their personality. If they were to promote designer brands with a designer price tag, the chances of you breaking the bank are fairly slim. Now if the influencer such as Cardi B is showing you that she wears $30 jeans on a regular basis, and provides you with the source for her clothing, you’re probably going to try it out. Am I right?

Fashion Nova has to be one of the best current examples of how brands can effectively use influencers on social media. Their network of brand advocates easily reachers over 100M people collectively and with the frequent posts, it has allowed Fashion Nova to truly become a viral store. Whatever that means.

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

Overused and Untrue: Marketing to Millennials

August 22, 2017

Let’s talk about the single most popular term in marketing for the past couple of years (don’t quote me); Millennials. Often referred to as 18-34 year olds even though that group is now between 20-36. This is that group of people that are all the rave right now and a term that every marketer spits out every chance they get. Brands are switching the way they communicate, what they stand for, and where they can be found all to appeal to this select group. So what are millennials? Let’s break it down by the numbers.

Now you can spit out all the facts in the world but the reality is millennials aren’t really that special. In my personal experience, some of my habits when it comes to social media, smartphones, and interacting with brands vastly differs from people my age let alone a millennial on the top of the spectrum at 36 years old. Generational divides get tricky because your bound to find all sorts of different habits across a 16 year group of individuals. However, in the eyes of marketers our actions and behaviours are aligned. There is this myth that we can all be reached the same way, on the same platforms, and at the same time.

There are so many different traits that go across this generation to the point where “marketing to millennials” just doesn’t really make much sense. I think Harley Davidson recently hit the nail in the coffin when they said as a brand they are not interested in marketing to millennials, rather marketing to free-thinking individuals with their latest “All for Freedom. Freedom for All” campaign.

Now what happens when you don’t blanket all millennials together is you’re able to zone in on characteristics and behaviour, and effectively target with your campaign. I mean, just google “marketing to millennials” and you can access the countless articles that tell marketers how to reach and interact with us. Is any of it true? Well of course. However, the issue is that portions of the information are true for a portion of millennials. The only stat that could live across the board from 20-36 year olds is most likely that we all have smartphones, and even then it’s questionable.

All in all there are several traits that apply as a blanket statement for millennials as a whole group. However, there needs to be a clear distinction. “Marketing to millennials” shouldn’t be a thing because there are so many differences within the group itself. What do you guys think of this trend of millennial marketing?

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

The Branding Behind 2017’s Most Popular Dating Apps

August 8, 2017

Dating apps – Not the OkCupid’s or the Match.com’s, or even the PlentyOfFish’s. We’re talking about the millennial “dating apps”. This includes the Tinder and Bumble’s of the world. The apps that skip all of the formalities such as a real and developed “about me” section and cater to the young and shallow millennials with a short attention span. This may come across as if I’m against either or but that’s definitely not the case. These differences are simply a result of branding which has created complete different perceptions/expectations for each app.

The interesting thing here is that even if you come across the same person on each of these dating platforms, your expectations will be different because of the attributes associated to the brand as well as their communication. The idea for the article was sparked from a weekend conversation with a friend of mine. He was telling me how great Bumble was because the people on there are better than Tinder users, which is interesting considering the overlap of users between the two apps. This led me to the ultimate question:

How are Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge branded?

Tinder

The most popular of the bunch, Tinder boasts over 50 million users worldwide and over 1.4 billion daily swipes. Being the most popular comes with the curse of being the most judged. It has amassed a stigma of simply being a hook-up app in which it’s difficult to obtain a meaningful relationship. However, due to their large audience, it is still an attractive platform for marketers looking to reach young millennials. Several brands will create Twitter accounts to promote giveaways, launches, and more. An example of this was in the U.K. with a Dominos Pizza Tinder account. Check out a video of their execution below:

Bumble

Funny enough, the CEO of Bumble was a former executive for Tinder. The app is branded as the feminist friendly dating app in which the female user initiates the conversation. They have done everything in their power to not be compared to Tinder and to speak to females in their marketing efforts. An example of this is with their “Be the CEO” out-of-home campaign, which reads: “Be the CEO your parents always wanted you to marry. (then find someone you actually like)”.

Bumble stays true to being an app for feminists and with that position the brand isn’t afraid to let it be known. 

Hinge

Launching in 2013, Hinge was originally designed as yet another “anti Tinder” that tried to create more meaningful relationships through showing you users you have mutual friends on Facebook with. However, this positioning didn’t change the way people were using the app which prompted Hinge to re-launch in 2016 with features that sparked conversation about the person’s interests from the start. Hinge is trying to separate themselves from the group of swiping apps and offer something real for their users. Or at least that’s how their messaging comes across.

Most recently, the brand crashed weddings across the U.S. with Snapchat geofilters aimed for those at the “single table”. An execution that would simply not work as well with apps such as Bumble or Tinder.

 

So here’s the thing. Even though you may literally see the same person on each of these three apps, your perception of them could differ. Whether you assume they are ready for a real relationship on Hinge or looking to hookup on Tinder, these perceptions are real and are a result of how the brand communicates, their app interface, and last but not least, their marketing efforts.

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

“I Would Like to Opt Out” – The Boundaries of Market Research

July 25, 2017

“I would like to opt out” – The 6 words that advertisers and marketers do not want to hear. Those 6 words essentially tell you “leave me alone”. As someone that is passionate about marketing and the advancement of both industries, I might not be the best person to speak to when it comes to the question of “how far is too far” in the retrieval of customer information. Now to further explain, this is in reference to tactics marketers use that tracks consumer behaviour and habits.

My take is that I think it’s extremely helpful being served targeted ads based on things I’ve viewed or searched online. For example, I’m currently planning a trip to Montreal and I have been seeing Airbnb ads all over Instagram, and it helps with searching for a place to stay. Most people don’t feel the same way, even though this is a minute example of retrieving data on customers. Marketing is built off insights and research.

What about when an app wants you to opt-in to having your eye movements tracked when you view products? MakeUp is an app that digitally renders makeup products on your face so that you can get a sense of what it will look like before you make the purchase. The app is the result of a partnership between beauty brand Smashbox and ModiFace. You can read more about the eye tracking technology here.

They have revealed that the technology has resulted in a 27 percent increase in overall conversions since it began using it two months ago.

Creepy or not, you be the judge. The way I have always seen retrieving data on customers is that the intentions are appropriate. You get the product that best suits you and the brand gets a boost in sales. Everybody wins, right? Well not necessarily. Most of the arguments I’ve heard in the opposition would say that tracking customer information, habits, and more is an invasion of privacy. It’s definitely a grey area and one that will be consistently pushed further and further as technology advances and other brands want to play around with eye tracking technology for example.

So what does the future look like in this space? Will we slowly become desensitized to brands openly tracking our behavior? Or will consumers band together in support of opting out?

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

4:44 by Jay Z – Does Tidal’s Exclusive Content Work?

July 11, 2017

Maybe you’ve heard of a relatively unknown artist named Jay Z dropping his 13th studio album ‘4:44’ a couple of weeks ago. If you have, chances are a good portion of you weren’t able to listen to it. And why’s that? Because ‘4:44’ was made as a Tidal exclusive, meaning it was only available to their subscribers. So for the majority of us that don’t stream music, or use other platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, or Google Play, we had to wait a full week later until it was available to the rest of the public (except Jay Z doesn’t like Spotify so they’ll never get it). Picture it like watching a wild party happening every day knowing you won’t be able to join it for a full week. The question is: is that desire enough for you to pay for entry? Do you need to listen to something so bad immediately that you’re willing to pay for a monthly Tidal membership, or can you simply wait the full week?

That would be easy to answer if the album wasn’t trending on Twitter with a plethora of different lyrics being tweeted out and solved as if they were written in code. This right here creates FOMO. Tidal hopes that creating FOMO is enough to bring you over to their side.

SO does this work? It’s too early to tell as 4:44 was just recently released, but we can take it back to last year when Kanye West released ‘The Life of Pablo’, a Tidal exclusive. It was reported that Tidal subscribers jumped from 1 Million to 2.5 Million after its release. Keep in mind that this was during a time when a 3 month free trial was being made available, but it would still be a major success if they could retain half of those new members.

Tidal has positioned themselves as that too cool for school club that attracts new users through exclusive content. This is through concerts, video, new music, playlists, etc. With that being said, they still only have 3 million users while Apple Music and Spotify carry over 20 million users respectively. So why isn’t this working for them? This exclusive strategy works just about everywhere else from clothing, tech, automotive, and more.

The issue starts from the product and the way its presented. Tidal has rubbed people the wrong way from the start with their botched product launch. Back in 2015 the service was presented as the second coming of christ. A group of top tier and very wealthy musicians where speaking about how the other streaming services do not pay the artists enough and that Tidal is the solution with their pricing model that was twice that of their competitors.

This right here is a brand and audience disconnect.

I truly believe that this is where Tidal went wrong. At first you could say that Spotify had too large of a grasp on the music streaming market. However, Apple Music launched after Tidal and they have done exceptionally well, so there goes that argument. Exclusive content drives sales when people like the brand and the product. Apple Music offers tons of exclusive albums such as Drake’s ‘More Life’ which broke a streaming record with 300 million worldwide streams in its first week. The service also carries exclusive radio shows with Beats 1.

Will 4:44 bump up Tidal’s subscribers? Sure, but as a service they need to come up with a way to increase subscribers aside from waiting on one of their big name artists to release an exclusive album. If not, they’ll be chasing the likes of Apple, Spotify, and Google forever. What do you guys think? Are you motivated to sign up for a service just to be one of the first ones to use on of their products?

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

#SnapMap – How Much Sharing is Too Much?

June 27, 2017

In the ever lasting battle between Instagram Stories and Snapchat it comes down to the point of difference. What can one platform offer that the other can’t? In the beginning Snapchat was a platform that was much more private. You followed your friends, and only watched their stories. A great feature with Instagram Stories is the ability to see other stories based on the location they were tagged in. For example, I can see all of the stories from random people that tagged their location at a specific event or city. Now I think the team at Snapchat thought: “how can we elevate this idea and make it slightly creepy?”. And this, this is how Snap Map came to be.

For those of you that skipped the video, Snapchat Maps is a new function that allows you to see the exact location of your friends worldwide. Yes, you read that right. You can quite literally zoom in on any street in the world and see the exact location of your friend with their Bitmoji. On top of this, you can see stories worldwide that were shared under the “our story” feature. Before you start to panic about people knowing your whereabouts, you should know that you have the option to disable the feature. You also have the ability to limit which friends can view your location.

As you can imagine, Twitter and Instagram had quite the field day with this new update.

So I just sit and judge and watch… . . #snapchat #snapmap #memesdaily #memes #nochill #savage #recycled #stolenmemes

A post shared by Adam Scavage (@adam_scavage) on

The obvious joke is the invasion of privacy that’s being promoted. In a perfect world where no one is concerned about privacy, this would be a great idea. In the world we currently live in where that’s not the case, most people will not have this feature enabled. Now, that’s not to say there aren’t any benefits that come with this function. If you’re at a large event and you’re looking to meet up with a friend, seeing their exact location would be perfect. Checking out stories across the world through a map function is also a creative idea. Rendering yourself vulnerable and removing your privacy? Not so cool.

It will be interesting to monitor how consumers react with Snap Map, but my prediction is that most people will not want to use it for the simple fact that it feels unnecessary and “stalker-ish”. However, I see this being a huge hit with tweens and teens. Ironically, these being the groups that should be the last to have their exact locations broadcasted to anyone their friends with.

What do you guys think? Invasion of privacy or a great discover feature for Snapchat?

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

Chatbots Revisited – Where Are They Now?

June 13, 2017

Last summer I dove into ‘chatbots’ for one of my articles, since I was amazed at the functionality and convenience that these bots could bring. However, even though I was impressed with the functional benefits, I can be extremely honest and say I still don’t use chatbots almost a year later. I don’t use them and frankly, I don’t know anyone else that does either.

For those of you that don’t know what they are, I got you covered. Chatbots are relatively new tech that allows for one-to-one interactions between brands and consumers. Think of them as virtual assistants on platforms such as: Facebook Messenger, Twitter DM’s, and iMessage. You can simply interact with a brand’s page for certain services. Need specific news updates everyday? There’s a CNN chatbot for that. Need recipes for any food you can think of? There’s a Whole Foods chatbot for that. Sounds pretty awesome right? Of course. However, I don’t think we’re ready for these kind of services. As a society, we’re not at the level yet where we need to send a food emoji to Whole Foods for a specific recipe. Sure that option is fascinating and cool, but I’d argue it isn’t very practical. Sure, we could use the Score’s chatbot for game time sport notifications, but you could also just use their app like a regular person.

When I first wrote about chatbots it was almost like a phenomenon. I envisioned a world where we didn’t need to visit company websites or apps and could simply get the bulk of their services by interacting with their bots. I mean why order a Dominoes pizza through their website when you can ask for one on Facebook Messenger? It all sounds really cool until you take a second and think of the alternative. It is already extremely easy to order a pizza online and I don’t think there’s a person alive that complains about this process.

For chatbots to ever actually kick in, they need to lean away from only being customer service oriented. An example of this would be the L’Oreal bot that was released on Mother’s Day. The “Beauty Gifter” was a bot that would ask you questions about your mother in order to recommend the perfect gift box from a L’Oreal brand. For chatbots to survive, they need to provide unique value for customers. If we can get the same functionality from your chatbot through your site or app, we are not going to engage with the bot. It’s as simple as that.

I’d like to know what you all think of chatbots. You can’t deny that the technology is cool, although the question is whether or not it’s practical. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

From Memes to Sales: What We Can Learn From the RompHim

May 30, 2017

We’re in a time now where literally anything can go viral to put it simply. Whether it’s a Gorilla getting killed (R.I.P.), a Spongebob Squarepants image resurficing and becoming the latest meme, or simply a commercial so bad it gets people talking. The potential to go viral is always there and it’s incredibly unpredictable. Most recently, scrolling through my feed and reading about the “male romper”, titled “the RompHim had me thinking. This was a start-up company that launched on Kickstarter and was getting made fun of so much online that I thought to myself: “no way this is going to take off”.

And here’s the thing that had me puzzled. Despite all the jokes on social media, the RompHim has reached over $360k on Kickstarter with an original goal of $10k. Is the secret to a product launch to be “memed” to death? I mean it clearly works right? With over 3100 backers, there’s a clear market defined to explore and advertise…whether we want to admit it or not. Generally, or at least the way I remember it, when people make fun of a brand, they don’t typically go around purchasing products from said brand, but maybe that’s just the old way of thinking. Have the rules changed? Does this now mean that Pepsi’s sales will explode or that Fyre Festival will sell as many tickets next year as they did this year?

The fact of the matter is that any publicity is good publicity at this point. Whether your brand is getting pulled a part on social media, the takeaway is that at least people are talking about it. Can you force virality? Nope, and this is what makes it perfect. The narrative can’t be controlled or bought by a brand, since it belongs to the general public itself.

Needless to say I won’t be buying a RompHim any time soon. However, the roll out has done the company wonders. Not just on a financial scale but also in the social space. This makes you wonder if memes can translate into sales. All it really starts with is the trial of a product. The viral aspect will create the necessary reach, and the rest is on your brand.

 

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

How to Get Rich Off Memes: A Look into Sponsored Content and @FuckJerry’s Empire

May 9, 2017

Memes – A form of communication, entertainment, and everything in between. Chances are one of your favourite past times are browsing through Instagram/Twitter and tagging friends in memes. Am I right? We’ve spoken about meme culture on this platform before, and it goes without saying that they are at the core of the millennial generation. With that being said, can they be monetized?

@FuckJerry, an Instagram account thats boasts 12 million followers has become nothing short of a franchise of its own. Expanding into clothing, a social agency, a card game, a video channel, and so much more, all sitting under the Jerry Media umbrella which has other accounts such as @pizza, and @kanyedoingthings. Now if you’re just as surprised as I am, you’ll be even more shocked to know that an account like @FuckJerry charges at least $30k for a sponsored post. To put this in context, the page offers 6 to 7 million impressions per post and this is not only attractive, but expensive for advertisers.

The above post was a piece of Burger King sponsored content that when I saw for the first time, the last thought on my mind was that it was paid material. This is the opportunity that brands have in partnering with meme pages such as @FuckJerry. Although the name isn’t the most PG, loosely based off of Jerry Seinfield, their sponsored content appears organic as long as it’s presented in an amusing fashion. Will they be partnering with a Shampoo brand for example? Probably not as their content is going to work better with an edgier brand such as Jack in the Box or Burger King. 2 of their dozen clients.

Brands are subjected to the style of comedy that these pages emulate as well as their fan base that browse the page daily and love to make comments. You’ll get an unfiltered and raw post that has the opportunity to reach over 6 million people and receive 30k comments in one day. Last year, the page earned over $2M in revenue and Jerry Media as a whole is expanding quickly. From launching @JerryNews to expanding on Snapchat and other platforms extending their reach.

So will we start to see more frequent sponsored posts appear on the meme pages we all know and love? Considering how you probably never noticed all of the paid material on the @FuckJerry page, it won’t even matter at this point. If the material “fits in”, then it will be consumed the same.

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

The Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino – Fall for the Hype

April 25, 2017

On April 19th, Starbucks released the “Unicorn Frappuccino“. Essentially it’s a super colourful and syrup filled drink perfectly fit for social media. This limited edition beverage is only available from April 19-23 at participating stores in North America. I’m sure we all had relatively the same experience last Wednesday; Constant Snapchats and Instagram posts of our friends and celebrity figures trying out this drink. I have friends that don’t even typically go to Starbucks that must have been hit with some intense FOMO, since they couldn’t resist posting Snapchat stories of themselves drinking the colourful combination.

Magical forests have them. Now so can you. #UnicornFrappuccino 🦄✨ (Participating stores in US, Canada, & Mexico only.)

A post shared by Starbucks Frappuccino (@frappuccino) on

I think this is an example of a next to perfect product launch, and here’s why

  • Give the people what they want 

First and foremost, Starbucks identified that there was a trend of unicorn-themed food and drinks on social media (who knew?). As a result of this they created a product that was visually appealing and would simply act as an extension and alternative to all of the other Starbucks beverage images plastered over social media on a regular basis. I mean, I’m sure we’ve all seen our fair share of images posted from friends with their name written incorrectly on the cup. Classic.

  • Making a limited edition product creates urgency

Although opinions of the drink were fairly mixed, it didn’t really matter. It was one of those things that you could be told it doesn’t taste good but you want to try it for yourself to be a part of the conversation. You can’t say the drink is terrible unless you’ve actually tried it. It also goes without saying that the simple fact that it was a limited edition item helped contribute to this way of thinking. You had to try it and you had to try it right way before it was too late.

  • The Snapchat Filter

The coffee company created several Snapchat filters in promotion of the new Unicorn Frappuccino. This included transforming users into unicorns and their surroundings into a pink and blue wonderland, as well as filters with the drink itself. This was how I was made aware of its sheer popularity and I’m sure that was the case for many people as well. Of course Twitter users had to voice their opinions on this.

Will these three things work for every brand? Absolutely not. This worked for Starbucks because of the nature of the product. It is unlike anything out there right now and it came from one of the biggest coffee companies in North America. The Unicorn Frappuccino is tailor made for Instagram and this was surely the purpose. Instagram has been looking quite colourful these last few days and Starbucks couldn’t be happier. It will be interesting to see how well the new frappuccino has sold over the course of 4 days, and whether or not Starbuck’s repeats this strategy with another unique product down the road.

Did you guys give the drink a try? Let us know below!

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

“Where Do I Share My Day?” – The Influx of Social Media Stories

April 11, 2017

In 2017, one of the most difficult challenges anyone under 30 has to face is choosing which platform they want to use to share moments of their day. You have Snapchat where it might be a bit more personal, and is likely something you just want your friends to see. You also have Instagram Stories where you can prepare to get double the views of Snapchat. None of those work for you? Well then you have Messenger Day (pictured below) where you’re probably going to annoy your friends because it is still fairly new. Last but not least (debatable), you have WhatsApp Status in case you want to share your day with your cousins overseas.

A little much..am I right? Facebook, the parent company of both WhatsApp and Instagram has managed to use every possible platform in their arsenal to attempt to steal Snapchat users. It’s starting to feel a little cluttered with Stories features popping out of every possible corner. Over the weekend, I came across the new “Stories memes”.

Y'all takin' this too far 😂 @mememang #WSHH

A post shared by Worldstar Hip Hop (@worldstar) on

Calculators are now lit 😂💯 #WSHH

A post shared by Worldstar Hip Hop (@worldstar) on

 

An accurate depiction of 2017 and it has only been 4 months. With that being said, I wouldn’t put it past Snapchat to introduce a live feature in the next few months. Could it work for the platform? Absolutely. Going back to the personal nature of Snapchat, this is what prevents certain people from using Instagram Live or even Facebook Live. There are things that you don’t think twice to post on Snapchat, but will be reluctant to post on other social media platforms.

Sharing your day with your friends and the public is typical for a millennial, and this is exactly why social media platforms are trying to capitalize on this behaviour. The problem is that when there are so many different options, it can feel slightly overwhelming and claustrophobic. It’s hard to say if the latest platforms such as Messenger Day will catch on quite like Instagram Stories has, but the possibility shouldn’t be overlooked. Instagram was able to do something that Snapchat couldn’t at the end of the day: provide viewership. Now if you think about it, who can provide more viewers than Facebook?

Whatever your platform of choice is, you likely have your reasons for using it over the others. Now what are those reasons? We’d love to know! Hit us up in the comments section or get in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know why you continue to use Snapchat, Instagram Stories, WhatsApp Status, or Messenger Day.

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

More Collabs, More Life: Who Comes Out On Top In a Brand Partnership?

March 21, 2017

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few days, you are fully aware that Drake released his highly anticipated “playlist” titled More Life. With generally positive reviews surfacing, I still found my fair share of “culture vulture” comments as is usual with Drake in the last few years. For those out of the loop, a culture vulture is someone who steals traits, language and/or fashion from another ethnic or social group in order to create their own identity. Drake is often criticized of this for his dancehall influenced songs, speaking patois, and remixing lesser known artists’ songs to stay relevant and propel himself, ultimately leaving them behind. After speaking with one of my friends about this over the weekend, it made me wonder if actual brands did the same thing.

I mean, not in the sense that they are exploiting another brand, but more so with brand partnerships. Is there usually one party that is the clear winner? Below are some of examples of brand partnerships and the winners out of the two.

H&M x Balmain

Both clothing brands released a collaborative collection in 2015 that as you can probably guess, sold out very quickly. The question is, “who’s the winner in this collaboration?” Definitely H&M. If we’re being completely honest here, those who shop at H&M (myself) are not in the same tax bracket as those who shop at Balmain. With that being the case, this collection opens doors for the H&M shopper to get a taste of Balmain clothing. Sure this increases brand awareness for the designer clothing retailer, but the likelihood of this H&M consumer buying a regularly priced Balmain item is pretty low. In the end it increases sales for H&M and heightens consumers perception of the brand.

Winner: H&M

Genius x Spotify

Music streaming service Spotify and Genius, a collection of song lyrics and user/artist generated music knowledge have paired together. “Behind the Music” is a set of  collaborative Spotify playlists that leverage lyrics from Genius for certain songs. This is a partnership that just simply makes sense. Pair the music with the lyrics. However, Genius is the winner out of the two. For most this is just a cool added service that Spotify provides. I’m likely not going to switch my streaming service for this feature or even get Spotify altogether. What I will do if I’m a Spotify user is pay attention to Genius after googling song lyrics. What Spotify should do is buy Genius, but that’s a whole other conversation and article frankly.

Winner: Spotify

 

Red Bull x GoPro

The two lifestyle brands realized they have something in common. They promote the same lifestyle. To further this idea, GoPro provides Red Bull athletes with equipment to capture all of their most thrill-seeking moments, and Red Bull is able to use the footage and sponsor the events. This is one of those cases in which it’s hard to pick a clear winner. Both brands benefit due to the fact that they share target segments.

Tie

The final verdict? In almost any form of collaboration there will be some sort of winner. The trick is to set up a brand partnership or collaboration with Drake that seems to be a match made in heaven. At the end of the day, you want consumers to be thinking “oh, that definitely makes sense”. So about that Drake x The Weekend album…

Any brand partnerships that you wanted to see make the list? Comment below and let us know!

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

Buy a Shoe, Change the World: A Look Into Cause-Related Marketing and the Millennial Mindset

March 7, 2017

Sunday night – scrolling through Facebook as usual making internal comments about people’s posts and then an article jumped at me. A friend and co-worker of mine shared an article about Adidas making shoes from ocean plastic and it was something that I had to read immediately. I suggest you all read the article from Global Citizen, but essentially Adidas will be releasing a pair of shoes that will do its small part in cleaning up the oceans that are filled with 8 million tons of plastic each year. Reading this article had me thinking about cause-related marketing and our expectation for brands in 2017.

According to Cause Good, “64% of shoppers say simply giving money away isn’t enough; they want businesses to integrate social impact directly into their business models“. With that being said, I wanted this article to spark that level of thought amongst whoever is reading this. Especially as millennials, do you personally find yourself leaning towards brands and products that work towards making a lasting, positive impact on the future?

To put things into perspective, these new Adidas shoes are going to come attached with a $220 USD price tag. With that being the case, will you be more inclined to purchase these running shoes over another pair $50 cheaper? Assuming that you love both styles, and the comfort level is the same. The main difference being that one will have some sort of impact on a better future, while the other will not. We strive to be a part of change in today’s age, and this is reflected with the brands we support. Millennials demand instant feedback and usually care to see an immediate benefit as a result of their actions. Buy a shoe, fix the world.

We are seeing several brands over the last few years adopt a cause-related marketing strategy. Attaching your brand to a relevant cause in today’s age is almost an automatic winner, and the reason is simply because we as consumers want to feel as though we are making a difference in the world. Whether it is something incredibly minimal as buying a $220 pair of shoes contributing to reduce plastic waste in the ocean, we are going to do it. Buy a shoe, fix the world.

So why don’t the majority of us simply donate to charities solving the problem directly and eliminate the retail middle men? At the end of the day, yes we want to save the world, but we also want to get something else out of it. Sure, I can donate x amount of money to a charity that solves x problem, but I also want a really nice pair of shoes in which one purchase would cover two purposes.

Millennials are pro-social minded and they support brands that carry the same mindset. These Adidas shoes are going to be something big for the sole (yup) reason that we all want to buy a shoe, and saved the world.

I’d love to know your thoughts on brands that adopt a cause-related marketing strategy. Does a brand’s impact on the world factor in your purchase of a product? Let me know in the comments below or on our Facebook post!

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

My First G-Shock Watch: The Moment I Realized I Was Susceptible to Advertising

February 21, 2017

Let’s take this back to 2011 – When I was in my later years of high school I would say that my style was fairly original. I wore clothes that I liked at the time simply because I liked them, and didn’t follow the opinions of anyone else..so I thought. If you would have asked me back then if “advertising works on me”, the answer would have been no. As a huge hip hop fan, I idolized the greats, such as: Lil Wayne, Eminem, Jay Z, 50 Cent, etc. With that being said, how does a broke 16 year old kid emulate the look of famous and filthy rich rappers?

Eminem sporting a G-Shock in music video

I can vividly remember a time that G-Shock watches were getting a huge push in the media through influencers. Musicians, athletes, YouTube stars and more were all sporting these watches, and it created a desire like no other. For those of you unaware, G-Shock watches were designed in 1983, and for the most part they were utility based. This was a watch that could last for 10 years and that was shock proof, meaning it wouldn’t break if it was dropped or slammed against a wall. Through the use of influencers and attaching the watches to pop-culture figures, the sales and desire for the watches began picking up steam around 2010/2011. Turn on the TV…bedazzled G-Shock watch on Lil Wayne’s wrist in his new music video. Watch a new YouTube video…vlogger wearing a bright coloured G-Shock watch. No matter where I went, I found myself seeing this watch that I still didn’t even know the name of. There is true power behind repetition. Celebrity endorsements and the use of influencers have always been a good marketing strategy, if done right.

  1. Identify your audience
  2. Find out who they admire, and who speaks to them.
  3. Get your product involved with the influencer.

This is the winning formula. The exact formula that got me to buy not one, but two G-Shock watches. As an Eminem fan, I found myself wasting time watching his interviews on YouTube until I stumbled on the following short CNN clip.

 

Eminem, a G-Shock endorser name dropped the brand and mentioned that his watch was only $100. Not only that, but he wears it more often than his Rolex. Whoa. So of course I saved up the money and got myself a G-Shock watch the next week. I had something that one of the greatest rappers of all time had, in the same colour and everything. If you were around me at all during high school, I’ve probably talked to you about my G-Shock at some point. I slept, showered, ate, and everything in between with that thing on my wrist.

Now that I’m older I must say that this strategy still works on me in some ways. I’ve heard constantly that advertising doesn’t work, but I’m willing to bet we all have a G-Shock story. Although you may not notice it at first, there’s a reason you purchase the things you do. And for the most part, there was a strategy created by a team of people to elicit this behaviour.

What was the last thing that you bought simply because a celebrity/public figure endorsed it? Let me know in the comments!

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

Super Bowl Ads: Do You Get What You Pay For?

February 7, 2017

The Super Bowl – A time where just about everyone becomes a football fan. Whether that is for the parties that form around the big game filled with endless snacks and booze, the spectacular half time performance, or if you’re in advertising…the ads. It goes without saying that brands who choose to advertise during the Super Bowl are benefiting from the reach potential and on an awareness level. With just about 111.3 million average viewers tuning into this years big game, it equates to quite the number of eyeballs on a brands product.

The price-tag for a :30 second spot this year was $5M, and this begs the question whether or not having a presence in the Super Bowl is worth the money. For the Coca-Cola’s and Budweiser’s of the world, it’s a no-brainer. However, for the smaller companies that don’t do hundreds of millions of dollars or more in sales, the $5M price-tag isn’t an easy decision. Yes, millions of people will see your ad live, and millions more will see it online for years to come, but will this transfer into anything more than awareness? Below are a couple reasons why I believe Super Bowl ads aren’t worth it for every brand.

The money can be used better

Obviously this one will vary based on the company. However, the ad spot is $5M, which doesn’t include the actual cost to produce the ad which will likely cost millions more. Could a brand be better off using the $5M for a great ad campaign or several, instead of the Super Bowl? Smaller brands are essentially shelling out the kind of money to sit at the big table with the major players that advertise every year. Although, the difference is that I’m willing to bet no one can name all or even most of the advertisers from last year’s Super Bowl. They are great to watch during the game and for a short while afterwards, but no one is looking out for the 2011 Super Bowl ads. Of course, correct me if  I’m wrong.

The competition

The Super Bowl creates such a big stage for advertisers that everyone attempts to bring out their absolute best work possible. Each year there really is just a handful of the standout ads that people continue to talk about. The not so great ads? Well there’s always going to be a few and imagine the feeling of spending that kind of money just to hear that people didn’t like your ad or worse, that no one is even talking about it. This is a reality every year and simply part of the risk behind the $5M price-tag. Viewers are paying more attention to the ads every year and this creates pressure for brands to create something truly entertaining, new, and special. Whether your ad is emotionally driven, humorous, or even both, you want it to be the subject of conversation at just about every water cooler the next day.

The Super Bowl works very well for product and campaign launches. It’s the perfect broadcast medium because of the size of the audience it’s reaching. With that being said, if you are simply having an ad without any real additional digital/social tie in, what are you really doing it for? What do you guys think? Are all the Super Bowl ads worth the money in your opinion?

As always, be sure to like us on Facebook, and our new Instagram and Twitter profiles. If you missed the news, we added two new members, Kathleen Pinho and Bledar Halili. Check out their bios and read up on them here.

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

The Trump Effect: How the Use of Trump’s Name Can Effect a Brand

January 24, 2017

The Trump Effect: It’s sort of like the Midas Touch but instead of gold, everything President Donald Trump touches turns to, let’s say coal for now. Whether the coal is evident in the brands that publicly support Trump being boycotted or the musicians agreeing to perform at his inauguration being crucified online, forcing them to change their decision. The Trump effect is alive and well, and brand’s should learn to keep their distance and avoid offering support of the 45th President at this point. The United States are still in quite the divide, with Americans trying to sniff out and weed out the closet Trump supporters out of their lives.

Back in 2016, sportswear company New Balance announced that they felt that “things were going to move in the right direction” with Trump in power, and this narrative quickly turned into “New Balance is the first major brand to publicly endorse Donald Trump after the election”. To add more context, the Vice President of Communications for New Balance was referring to Trump’s opposition of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This is a trade deal that essentially awards production overseas. Seems fair enough to be in support of Trump and his stance when your company produces shoes locally right? Wrong.

As usual, people flocked to Twitter to upload videos of themselves burning New Balance shoes, attempting to flush the shoes down the toilet, or flat out vowing to never buy another pair. A few days later, New Balance tweeted out a statement in an attempt to clarify their position and repair damages. The Trump Effect is no joke.

Most recently, Trump’s name has been involved with retail company L.L. Bean. One of the members of the company board, Linda Bean donated money to the Trump foundation, and there was an uproar on social media once people found out. Grab Your Wallet, a liberal group has been encouraging people to boycott L.L. Bean. Too much, or is it justified? You can check out the response L.L. Bean made to all of this here.

Last week, Trump did his best to repair the damages of the inevitable “Trump Effect” and sent out a tweet encouraging people to support L.L. Bean.

Which brand will The Trump Effect take over next? In general, it’s probably a fairly good rule to avoid political discussion as a brand and to not choose sides. Especially with Donald Trump being such a polarizing figure, choosing to endorse him or to publicly reject him alienates a good amount of your consumers in practically all sectors. The Trump Effect represents division and avoidance, and it works both ways. Shares of General Motors have dropped after the President tweeted about the fact the Chevy Cruze is manufactured in Mexico and not The United States.

Simply put, there are certain things that are just better left unsaid. My prediction is that we will continue seeing brands support/reject Trump throughout the year. The Trump Effect stops for no one. Drop us a comment below with your thoughts!

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

#Canada150 – A Time for Celebration and a Lot of Ads

January 10, 2017

#Canada150 – A hashtag that you will begin seeing quite often if not already this year. Brands, citizens, and the Government of Canada will all be using this hashtag alongside others to show their pride as we approach Canada’s 150th anniversary on July 1st, 2017. This creates a great opportunity for some brands to get in the conversation and ride on the “Canadian pride train” and be a part of something truly special.

Canadians are going to feel more patriotic than ever this year, and quite surprisingly in a study published on strategy online, “two-thirds of Canadians were open to receiving advertising from brands about the anniversary”. It will be a crowded space for brands to say the least! One thing to remember when it comes to brands hopping into a conversation is “are they being authentic?”.  Does the brand belong there? Do we want to hear how Taco-Bell is celebrating #Canada150? Probably not. In the same strategy online article, they published the top 10 brands that Canadians expect to do the best job in celebrating the anniversary, based on an IMT report. Check them out below:

  1. Tim Hortons (18%)
  2. Canadian Tire (12%)
  3. Hudson’s Bay Co. (12%)
  4. Coca-Cola (8%)
  5. Molson (6%)
  6. Roots (5%)
  7. Bell (5%)
  8. CBC (4%)
  9. McDonald’s (4%)
  10. Nike (4%)

We will likely start seeing more ads come out as July 1st approaches. However, brands such as President’s Choice and RBC have already gotten started.

PC launched #EatTogether on January 1st. A 90 second TV spot that promotes the diversity and unity behind being a Canadian. It’s emotionally driven and it provides an introduction for their campaign that we are sure to see more of throughout the year. The challenge is to not only define what it “means to be Canadian”, but to do it in a unique and different way than the dozens of other major brands trying to find a seat at the table. My prediction is that there will be a few stand-out campaigns and a large amount of forgettable spots that were created for the sole purpose of riding on #Canada150’s coat-tails.

The official logo for Canada 150

With all of these brands sure to get involved, it begs the question whether or not we will become tired of all the anniversary promotion. With each brand coming up with a new snazzy hashtag, anniversary fatigue might just become a reality. Of course, this is all speculation since the biggest brands have yet to unveil their campaigns. However, it’s something to think about for now.

What are some of the brands that you expect to celebrate #Canada150 the best? Leave a comment below or drop a comment on our FB post!

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner, Malick Ba, Weekly Recap

2016 Annual Recap – The Top 5 Highlights of the Year

December 30, 2016

It goes without saying that 2016 has been quite the year. We’ve witnessed a controversial new president become elected, a fairly high number of celebrity deaths, and of course a plethora of great memes. With all of this going on, we wanted to put together five key moments of the year in relation to advertising and marketing. Check out our recap of 2016 below.

Written by Malick and Dakarai.

 

Instagram’s Competitive Year

Instagram’s new logo introduced in 2016

M: Instagram made some serious competitive moves in 2016. As any frequent Instagram user would know, the ability to display a photo or video for a limited period of time on their profile (also known as a “Story”) was added into the photo sharing app this year. The addition of this allowed fun instances in time to be displayed to whoever is a part of your network. The significance of this more importantly shows competitive action to Snapchat (who basically invented the idea of the Story). From personal experience, a lot of people in my network use their Instagram Story to link off to their Snapchat handle which seems to be counter productive from Instagram’s standpoint, by adding this function in it allows for insight on Instagram’s development from a competitive point of view.

 

Recently, Instagram also added in the ability to “like” comments on someone’s photos which was not previously available. With the importance of staying competitive in the social media game, these additions have really allowed Instagram to develop into an all-purpose platform rather than strictly having the app used for photo sharing. That being said, it will be interesting to see how it develops further in 2017.

Pokémon GO Goes Global

D: If you had told me in 2015 that a year later I’d be walking around downtown staring at my phone and catching Pokémon, I probably would have laughed in your face. To the world’s surprise, this is exactly what happened this past summer. The augmented reality mobile game Pokémon Go was an instant success from the day it was released on the app store. It became quite normal to walk outside and see groups of tweens, teens, adults, and even your grand parents walking around with their phones stuck to their faces in hopes of catching that evasive Pikachu. Because of the games early success, we saw quite the phenomenon with large corporations and small businesses getting involved.

Over the summer, retailers began to offer incentives such as discounts, free WI-FI, and phone charging stations for Pokémon Go players. Fast-forward to the end of 2016 and the game is certainly not as popular as it was in the summer. However, the brand is still trying to figure out new ways to keep the game alive! It will be interesting to see what they do in the new year.

 
R.I.P. Vine

King Bach, Vine star

M: While we did talk about this in one of our previous recaps, Vine’s disappearance from the social media world was a hot topic in 2016. In 2013, Vine was the most innovative, interesting, and entertaining platforms that I’ve ever witnessed. Users could record short video loops of anything they wanted. This turned into what I like to call “YouTube on crack”. Internet personalities like King Bach (pictured right), Jerome Jarre, and Brittany Furlan figured out how to use Vine for entertainment and used those as extensions to their also popular YouTube channels. For me personally, Vine was a lot of fun but I didn’t get on it until years after it was popular. However, 2016 claimed the six-second social media innovation for its own. With a lack of staying current, the development of Snapchat, and the success of Instagram, there was simply no room for Vine. This is the first time that I was there for the development of a social media platform as well as its end, so for me it came down to one thing: Vine’s lack of progress in recent years goes to show that staying competitive in any sphere of advertising and marketing is a key for success.

 

The Meme Takeover

D: Every year we have our fair share of memes and viral hits, but for 2016 there were two that stood out. Although completely separate on the surface, The Mannequin Challenge and Harambe had similarities. For starters, they were “brand-proof”. Unlike, the “Damn Daniel” meme that was easily attached to Vans shoes, The Mannequin Challenge and Harambe were both created organically and didn’t carry a brand attachment.

The Mannequin Challenge started in November in a High School classroom, and quickly turned into a video fad where groups of people would pose in a typically funny way as if they were mannequins. Simple, funny, and cooperative were the driving factors for this meme’s success.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! #mannequinchallenge #GiantsPride

A post shared by New York Giants (@nygiants) on

 

The Harambe meme was one of those things that came as a surprise to everyone. Harambe, the Cincinnati Zoo Gorilla that was shot and killed after a child fell in its enclosure became idolized in 2016. All sorts of merchandise, songs, videos, and candlelight vigils were done in the honour of this Gorilla.

What’s important for brand’s to realize is that they don’t have to be involved in every single thing that happens in 2016. If you have nothing innovative or relevant to contribute when the next big meme comes out, it’s best to just not participate. Leave it for the people to enjoy!

The MAD Mix Won Big!

D: As many of you may know, we took home the “Student Marketer of the Year” award at the CAMP Marketing Awards in November. This was a tremendous accomplishment for us as we’ve done our best to grow The MAD Mix to new heights this past year. What started as a blog that Malick and myself wrote for, quickly extended to a platform that has welcomed over 30 different guest writers across North America. In 2017, we hope to continue to explore new opportunities with The MAD Mix through the addition of new features, team members, and hopefully another shiny award. Check out some of our photos of the event below!

 

That’s our recap of 2016’s best. You can check out all of our previous weekly recap’s here. Think we missed something important? Let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook here. Happy New Year!

Dakarai Turner

Is Instagram a Young Man’s Game or is There Room for Your Parents?

December 27, 2016

The holiday weekend: a time for family, presents, and heated debates around the dinner table. While some families may have been arguing back and forth about President-elect Donald Trump, or any of the other crazy events of 2016, the subject of social media came up at our dinner table. With a wide range of ages present, Instagram managed to makes its way in the discussion. It goes without saying that Instagram is primarily a ‘young persons’ platform, with the majority of their active users fitting in the 18-34 age range. But as we’ve seen with Facebook and Twitter, the older generations tend to catch on eventually and next thing you know you’re getting a follow request from your parents. This was part of the discussion over the weekend. Instagram is a young persons game and is of no interest to those of a 50+ age range. Below is a visual representation of me listening to the family discussion knowing that I will spin it into an article later.

 

So what makes Instagram look like the hip teenager in comparison to other social networks like Facebook and Twitter?

Instagram is visually appealing

I appreciate you reading this and all of our other articles that can be found here, but most of the time people simply want to see images and videos. Instagram is great for it’s appealing photos and minimal text. This is the direction Facebook has been leaning towards. However, we still all know at least a few people that put their whole lives into their status updates. Visuals are the preferred forms of communication amongst a younger audience and this is exactly why you see the GIPHY extension popping up everywhere from iMessage to apps like Tinder. Images are universal and don’t carry a specific language.

 

Instagram is a form of identity

From personal experience I can say that when meeting someone new nowadays, the phrase “what’s your insta?” comes up almost every time if you want to get to know the person further.

Facebook acts as a birth certificate, while Instagram is your passport.

Instagram is that visual representation of the life you have, aspire to have, or simply want others to think you have. It is personal branding on steroids whether you stop to realize it or not. We are living in a time now where we want to be seen more than ever, and the one thing more important than being seen is how you’re being seen. If I look at your birth certificate I will understand the basics of who you are. Now if I look at your passport (assuming you’ve traveled), I can get a sense of your character.

Instagram is ad-free

Aside from sponsored ads that millennials filter out anyway, Instagram as a platform reads as ad-free. Brands have learned how to speak the language and adapt in the ways that young people use it. This means that their posts will generally not have giant 50% stickers on them or even prices for that matter. They will use their profiles for branding purposes in a non-intrusive fashion. One that blends well with your friends posts as well. Check out Air Jodan’s Instagram for a representation of this idea below.

⬛️ + ⬜️ The #AirJordan III Retro 'Black / White' drops Saturday.

A post shared by Jordan (@jumpman23) on

 

So what do you guys think? Are there some other reasons that Instagram isn’t appealing to an older audience yet? I’d love to know your thoughts! Leave a comment below or simply reply to the Facebook post here. Oh, and make sure to follow me on Instagram.

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

The Air Miles Expiring Policy: Shady or Fair?

December 13, 2016

Air Miles, a Canadian based rewards program that many of us are accustomed to using at grocery stores and other commonly frequented check-outs. In case you weren’t aware, the company has been under fire for the better half of 2016 due to their exchange policy that seemed like the best kept secret. Essentially, in 2011 the company announced that an expiry policy would come into effect for unused points at the end of 2016. Anything wrong with this? Not at all. The problem many Canadians found was that for starters, there was no reminder when 2016 came around.

This is where things get tricky. Should Air Miles have done a better job with their marketing efforts and reminded the public about this deadline, or should it all rest on the individual? Due to CBC reporting the news in February, this was how many people found out that this expiry policy even existed in the first place. Now what do you do? Look at all the points you’ve accumulated and settle for mediocre items instead of the big vacation you’ve been saving up years for. If it ended here, it wouldn’t be so bad.

Here is where we get to the even greater issue. Air Miles hit the public with a “just kidding” (okay not really). The company announced last week that they would be getting rid of the expiring policy due to public outcry as well as a pending Ontario legislation that would ban expiry policies for reward programs. I mean, could you imagine having to waste your points on items that you didn’t really want in fear that they would disappear..just to learn that you could have kept your points. On top of this, not getting a refund on the items that you haven’t even received yet? Yikes.

Quick disclaimer: I’ve never had an Air Miles card in my life.

I understand that technically Air Mile’s didn’t do anything wrong here. They told the public that this expiry would be happening years ago, and they followed through as best as they could until unforeseeable circumstances caused them to change their decision. However, from a branding point of view, do you really want to piss off such a high number of customers that have been loyal for decades? It seems as though Air Miles has taken the “don’t like it, too bad” stance, and it’s very unfortunate. Obviously, returning items and points to all outraged customers would not be ideal for Air Miles. However, this may be a situation where they need to bite the bullet.

There can be something said about the duty companies owe to their customers. Whether Air Miles meant to sweep things under the rug and not offer a reminder about their expiry policy or not is something we’ll never know the answer to. One thing to remember is this is simply a luxury and clearly not the end of the world. Depending on a loyalty program to fund your dream vacation for decades might not be the best course of action for next time.

What do you guys think? Should Air Miles offer up a real apology and attempt to fix this mess, or does it all lie on the consumers hands for simply not being more aware? Let us know in the comments section below, or give us a comment on our Facebook post!

 

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

“Why did I buy this?” – The Black Friday Effect

November 29, 2016

zara black fridayBlack Friday, the one day (often weekend) per year that many look forward to and everyone working retail despises. Black Friday has been synonymous with recorded fights in Walmart over discounted televisions, or people getting trampled in clothing stores because those 50% off jeans were too irresistible. For those that don’t know, Black Friday takes place the day following Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. It was essentially formed as “the official start of the Holiday season”, and this is why it’s been a tradition for retailers to offer insane deals throughout the weekend.

So why does something like this benefit retailers? It’s as simple as the fact that by offering deals that are hard to pass up, it will drive more traffic in their stores. Drive more traffic, drive more sales, and everyone is happy. Although over the last few years consumers have been turning to the deals online rather than physically waiting in store. In 2015, between Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday (deals exclusively online the Monday after Thanksgiving), consumers spent $7.5 Billion shopping online. So what is it about Black Friday and Cyber Monday that is so appealing? Why do people go out and buy things that they generally don’t need simply because theres a 60% sale sticker on it? Why do situations like the below happen?

and then there’s Canada…

In my opinion, Black Friday revolves around FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). It’s one of those things that come around for one weekend in the year that you tell yourself “it wouldn’t hurt to check out”. This is the Black Friday Effect. You don’t want to miss out on the possibilities and this is the exact reason you feel the need to buy something once you’ve already made an effort to go the store. My work office is located in the fashion district of Toronto and as you could imagine, this made things extremely difficult when it came to not wanting to spend any money. All the retailers need to do is get you into their store and the rest handles itself.

cyber-mondayNow, how are things shifting? Cyber Monday. The online Monday event has been a genius marketing tool to continue the Black Friday festivities, and exists solely to try and persuade shoppers to flock online for deals. It is worth nothing that it has been working extremely well, with 2015 sales reaching $3.07 Billion, which was a 16% increase from 2014.

Now is there anything wrong with Black Friday? Absolutely not. The actual intention is to simply get your holiday shopping done, and aside from the ‘casual’ Walmart fights and general selfish shopper behaviour, most use this weekend to get things they may have had their eyes on all year. I mean, sure you bought that blender for absolutely no reason, but it was 80% off…so you couldn’t resist. Right?

Do you find yourself usually wrapped in the Black Friday weekend deals or do you stay clear from it? Amongst the friends I asked, it was fairly split in the middle in terms of who went and who didn’t go shopping over the weekend. This was fairly surprising to say the least, but give me your thoughts in the comments below!

 

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

Behind the Meme: The Mannequin Challenge

November 15, 2016

The month of November kicked off in a interesting way to say the least, with the creation and explosion of the Mannequin Challenge. What started as a Twitter video recorded in a Colony High School classroom, later became used at concerts, in NFL locker rooms, talk shows, and even the White House. For those of you that haven’t seen the video that started it all, check it out below.

To give you an idea of just how big the challenge has been so far, it’s reached over 4 million mentions on Twitter since November 1st, and reached over 16 million mentions on Instagram. Now with almost every meme, there is usually someone that benefits from it the most. In this case it’s the rap duo by the name of ‘Rae Sremmurd‘. The rappers have managed to attach their hit song “Black Beatles” to the viral trend, by doing the challenge with their fans on stage to the song. This basically sparked a boatload of challenges that came afterwards. Although the first video didn’t even include any sound, the duo hopped on the trend quick enough to tie their song with the challenge.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! #mannequinchallenge #GiantsPride

A post shared by New York Giants (@nygiants) on

So what has made the Mannequin Challenge resonate so well with just about everyone? Here are 3 reasons: It’s easy, it’s a group activity, and everyone’s favourite part..it’s brandless.

Easy

After participating in two separate Mannequin Challenges myself, it’s not as easy as it looks to stand still for so long. However, the last thing I would say is that this challenge is difficult. All you need to do is strike a pose with your friends while someone records it, and boom! You’ve joined the trend.

 

Group Activity

Everything is funner when you’re doing it with your friends. The larger the group, the better the video. This trend started with a classroom, and now has sports teams, restaurants, and even regular work offices jumping in to give it a shot. When you can do things as a team it makes it that much more enjoyable and also shareable. Just think about if the original person had one person standing still. Would it have caught any steam? Check out my work office doing the challenge below.

Brandless

As I mentioned in my article about the Harambe meme, there is something special about a meme in which you can’t easily trace the origin. A lot of people don’t really know why this challenge started or even why Rae Sremmurd’s song is playing in the background. But one thing I could say is that if it was the #PepsiMannequinChallenge, it wouldn’t be what it is today. Maybe I’m wrong with that thought, but I truly believe that the authentic and simple nature of the Mannequin Challenge is the reason why it’s taken over the internet.

What do you think of this final thought. If a brand had started and was heavily associated with the Mannequin Challenge, would the appeal to be a part of it still be there?

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

Unlikely Pairs: What The Walking Dead and Apple Have in Common

November 1, 2016

The Walking Dead, what started as a comic book series is now a 7 season running strong show viewed and loved by millions. Apple, a technology company that was founded 40 years ago, and is still known to this day for leading in innovation. So at first glance, do these things have anything in common? If I have anything to say about it, they do.

Let me just state from now, if you haven’t seen the season 7 premiere of the Walking Dead yet, this will contain spoilers!

spoiler-alert

 

I’m always trying to stay in touch with the latest news from Apple for the sake of being in the loop, and it goes without saying that they do an excellent job creating hype, and selling new ideas. By selling new ideas, I mean that the brand excels in creating a need for their consumers. The way they present their products has created an unparalleled level of hype for pretty much the last decade.

Now where does The Walking Dead come in? While finally getting around to watching the season 7 premiere, my jaw was dropped for the full hour. I had heard people talk about how crazy the episode was, but in all honesty I never thought it would live up to the hype. A day later (October 27th), I found myself streaming Apple’s Special Event to see what the latest would be, and my takeaway at the end was “hey this was sort of like The Walking Dead”. Below are 3 similarities between Apple Events and the season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead.

Getting rid of the things you love

2016 – The year we lost both Glen and the headphone jack. In the most brutal way possible, Glen one of the main characters and a fan favourite was killed. It was one of those moments that you almost didn’t know the correct way to feel. There was a mix of emotions from shock, disbelief, and then finally acceptance, followed by venting on social media. Glen was an honest character that was loved by all, which brings me to the headphone jack and USB ports we’ve been accustomed to our whole lives being killed off in the same year. In September, the tech giant revealed that the iPhone 7 would not have a headphone jack and the world lost their mind. On top of this, the new Macbook Pro’s will not have a built in standard USB port, so tough luck using the sticks you already own.

 

The post-conversation

This is simply a result of the massive audience that both The Walking Dead and Apple have, but there is always a discussion afterwards. There is literally a television series dedicated to talking about the latest episode, called The Talking Dead. However, I want to focus on the conversation from the public. The season premiere and Apple’s most recent events were both trending on Twitter and Facebook and some great memes were born.

the walking dead season premiere

the walking dead season premiere

Setting up the future

Sometimes getting rid of certain elements helps set up the future. With The Walking Dead, it goes without saying that by starting the season off in such a dramatic way, it sets up an inevitable roller coaster season that is bound to keep fans on their toes. At the same time, with the removal of the headphone jack, whether you like it or not it goes with Apple’s brand image of “leading in innovation”. By removing the headphone jack, it will increase the trial of Bluetooth headphones. Coincidentally, Apple happens to own the leading Bluetooth company, Beats. Checkmate, Apple.

Now at this point you’re either saying that I’m reaching for the stars or that I have a point. Nevertheless, these were three things that stuck out to me when thinking of both Apple’s events and The Walking Dead season 7 premiere. If you have any other similarities in mind, I’d love to hear them. Drop us a comment below!

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

Modern Essentials: H&M’s New Campaign Is Worth Talking About

October 18, 2016

Anyone that knows me well, knows I’m a pretty big fan of H&M clothing, but now I can add that I’m a fan of their advertising as well. The clothing brand enlisted David Beckham and Kevin Hart as the stars and centrepieces for their “Modern Essentials” campaign. David Beckham and Kevin Hart, two of the most recognizable men on the planet to say the least. Modern Essentials is a follow up to last year’s campaign that also included both stars, which you can check out below.

Now this time around, H&M put together the hilarious short film, “The Road Trip”, starring the unlikely pair. You may be wondering, “what’s so special about this campaign?”. Well in my opinion the brand hit a home-run with it’s messaging, and has mastered their selection in terms of brand ambassadors. Don’t believe me? Check out the short film below.

Here are a couple takeaways I have from this campaign:

The Selection of David Beckham and Kevin Hart

The great part about this campaign is that it would not work with just anyone. It is tailored for both Kevin Hart and David Beckham with little room for replacements from a branding perspective. These are two men with completely different personalities and images. You think of David Beckham, and the idea of men wanting to be him, and women wanting to be with him comes to mind. He’s quite simply a sex symbol that is confident in everything he does, or at least appears to be. Now you look at Kevin Hart. He’s a funny, quirky guy that also radiates confidence..not so much the sex symbol but that’s okay. Two completely different body types, personalities, images, and everything you can think of in between. This very idea is something that the brand caters to well and it’s a unique property. If you can think of other clothing brands that can stand behind this idea and messaging, I would love to know, because I’m stumped. Other clothing brands can’t bring the same promise that H&M can; that two completely different looking people can wear the same outfit and both look great.

modern-essentials

Sales Promotions Done Right

H&M Modern Essentials TinderTo bring things back to my first ever article for The MAD Mix about Tinder, H&M leveraged the platform to offer a sales promotion for men. Throughout late September and early October, men using the app in North America may have come across the “H&M Man” Tinder account featuring David and Kevin respectively. Now, of course I “swiped right” because I love watching the ways that brands are using the platform, and it’s usually great screenshot material. I was then sent the following message (image to the right) telling me that I can get 30% off 1 men’s item at H&M just by showing the Tinder message to the cashier. Great part about this is that it actually worked! How to make someone love your brand 101.

At the end of the day, you can see yourself in both of these men, and that is something that H&M took into effect when they were choosing representatives for the campaign. Either that or they chose at random and got extremely lucky, but I’m leaning towards the former. There is quite often this idea that a celebrity can sell anything, and I couldn’t disagree more. When you see certain brand + celebrity partnerships the first thing to think about is “why?”. Does their personality align with the brand in anyway? If the answer is no, the relationship probably didn’t work. I’d love to know your thoughts on the campaign, shoot us a comment below!

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

Unlimited Updates: How Facebook Continues to Grow Its Messenger Platform

October 4, 2016

Can we take a moment to just talk about the powerhouse of Facebook Messenger? Over the last couple weeks, it seems as though there’s been a new announcement of upcoming additions to the platform almost every few days. Sweet old Messenger, remember the platform that everyone hated in 2014? Just two years ago, Facebook announced that Messenger would be a separate app that needed to be installed in order to message friends, and the internet went crazy (as usual). Something about “So now I have two apps on my phone to do the work of the one old app? Wonderful. I’d like to leave zero stars but it won’t let me,” which was a review left on the App Store 2 years ago on top of the numerous low ratings that it initially received. This all sounds ridiculous now since no one cares anymore, and Messenger is extremely convenient. Now let’s talk about these updates in the last few weeks alone and the ways they are elevating the overall Facebook brand. Below is my top three.

Facebook Introduces ‘Marketplace’

According to Facebook, 450 MILLION people per month already use Messenger as a platform to buy and sell products, so creating an official marketplace built in seemed only natural. Marketplace will allow users to post items for sale as well as buy items in their general area. Photos will be listed after clicking the icon, and it will show all sorts of items that are being sold, along with the prices and ways to get in contact with the seller. One thing that isn’t available yet is payment through the app, which I’m guessing will be something introduced later down the road as an update. Think of Messenger as the introduction, what happens after that is between the buyer and the seller. Check out Facebook’s video debuting Marketplace here.

facebook-messenger-marketplace

Facebook adds their spin on a ‘Stories’ feature

So after Instagram was criticized for copying Snapchat Stories, it looks like Facebook’s Messenger platform wants a piece of the pie as well. ‘Messenger Day’ will allow users to post photos and videos with fun filters that last only 24 hours…sounds a little familiar, doesn’t it? The platform is being tested out in Poland and I’m sure it won’t be long before it rolls out to North America if successful. According to The Next Web, the feature is being tested out in Poland due to the fact that Snapchat isn’t nearly as big as Messenger for residents. The crazy thing is, more so than Instagram, I can see Stories on Messenger working. One of the flaws concerning Instagram Stories was that no one ever really uses the DM option with their friends. Commenting on someones story would occur in the DM’s, and Yo Gotti has forever stapled a stigma to it. What’s different with Messenger is that people are already using the platform to have conversations with friends. 

Facebook Messenger Stories

Facebook Messenger brings polls to your group chats

Imagine this, you want to go to a restaurant with your friends and start sending recommendations in the group chat. If you’ve been in this position you understand that barely anyone will answer. Now what if there was a way to instantly create a polling system with options that your friends could vote on? Say no more, introducing Messenger ‘Polls’. If you’re anywhere else than the U.S. you may have to wait a little bit of time for this feature.

Facebook Messenger polls

This was just three of the countless announcements that Facebook has been making for messenger over the past few weeks, and as always you can count on us to bring you the latest. Facebook understands its audience extremely well and I don’t think that comes as a surprise to anyone. They are literally figuring out what their users are already using Messenger for, and optimizing it to better serve them. Apple could learn a thing or two from Facebook…although Apple isn’t really hurting right now. 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

Blogs Out for Harambe: Why the Meme Can’t be Stopped

September 20, 2016

I think it’s gotten to that point where I have to talk about this. Harambe, yes the Gorilla that was shot and killed in the Cincinnati Zoo after a 3-year old fell in his enclosure has been all over the internet for months, if you haven’t already noticed. The question is…why? Well, there really is no logical way to explain it. Right after this situation happened in May, people were genuinely outraged at the fact that an animal had to be killed in the process. The story went on for a short amount of time and then ultimately faded away. But thanks to the wonderful people on Instagram and Twitter, the memes Harambebegan rolling through and they haven’t showed signs of stopping ever since. There have been songs made, merchandise sold, and even candlelight vigils held in cities around the world…for a Gorilla.

Trolls on the internet started the meme “Dicks out for Harambe” and it’s basically being said by just about every person under 25, which makes you wonder what it’s like to be a highschool teacher right about now. There are petitions to change the name of the Cincinati Zoo to the Harambe Zoo, and to change the name of the Cincinatti Bengals to “Harambes”. And to top it all off, in a recent poll, it was revealed that 5% of voters would vote for Harambe in this years election. Every day it seems as though there’s something even more extravagant with this Gorilla’s name attached, and it begs the question…when will it end? Like all good memes, they eventually die. However, it’s simply one of those situations that you cannot possibly predict, as to when. Who would have ever thought that this would gain the attention that it did, and that it would last this long in the first place?

View post on imgur.com

View post on imgur.com

View post on imgur.com

 

So what makes this meme so special?

It started as a movement fighting for the justice of a mistreated animal

When you read that it really doesn’t sound bad at all. People felt as though there were other ways to neutralize the Gorilla and child hostage situation, than to kill, and they expressed their passion and outrage online. There was even a petition with over 500k signatures to have the parents of the boy charged for their negligence. As usual, the internet brings out undercover experts in everything and anything.

It’s Brand-Proof

Quite often when “random” memes such as this one happens, there is usually a brand involved in some way that makes you wonder if it was all planned in the first place. An example being the “Damn Daniel” meme that was associated with Vans sneakers, or even the “Alex from Target” that was evidently associated with the large retailer. “Dicks out for Harambe” is a thing of its own that no brand would dare to touch. You find that as soon as brands get a hold of a meme they tend to die out. It’s kind of like when your mom first got Facebook and it drove you to spend more time on Snapchat or Instagram. The reason this meme has lasted so long in my opinion is because there isn’t a brand that can grab a hold of it. I mean, the Cincinnati Zoo could try and create Harambe inspired events/merchandise, but that would just come off as disingenuous since they were in fact the ones that ended his life in the first place, and have already expressed their discomfort of the memes

There’s no one behind itHarambe

Similar to my last point, this meme belongs 100% to the people. For example, “Damn Daniel” ends because Daniel’s friend, the one the meme belonged to stopped recording the funny videos. It reached it’s peak, and couldn’t be taken any further. You could try and carry it on all you want with your friend that’s also named Daniel, but it’s simply not going to be as funny and will probably come off as a little pathetic. Harambe was in the hands of the people from the start and will end whenever they get bored of it.

Personally I don’t find the memes to be all that funny anymore, but hey people still seem to be enjoying them, and they aren’t really doing any harm, so play on. What do you guys think of the viral success behind Harambe? Drop a comment, I’d love to know!

 

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

The Battle of the Stories: Snapchat vs Instagram

September 6, 2016
Instagram Stories

Instagram Story

It’s been a little over a month since the introduction of the Snapchat copy/paste, Instagram Stories, and I think it’s fair to say that the platform hasn’t necessarily “blown” up yet. The social network carries an impressive 500 million monthly active users (as we spoke about in a June weekly recap), but converting people to ditch Snapchat is going to take a lot longer than they may have anticipated. I mean, we can’t all have the growth of Pokémon Go at the end of the day. Last week, the number’s revealed results that weren’t exactly too shocking if you’ve been observing your Instagram feed the last month.

“About a month into the launch of Instagram’s Stories feature, we are still not seeing a significant increase of time spent in the app versus Snapchat,” said by Danielle Levitas, the SVP of a research group in the U.S. that conducted a study on both platforms. Maybe it’s just me, but I follow almost 700 people on Instagram, and on any given day I don’t see any more than 15 Stories, which is mostly by public figures and brands. The majority of my friends just simply aren’t using it. One thing I did notice is that whenever I would post an Instagram Story, the amount of views I would receive would almost triple my Snapchat views. This is likely the case with most people. You have more followers on Instagram than friends on Snapchat. With that being said, this is the reason why we love Snapchat so much.

Snapchat is Personal

Instagram is your personal brand, while Snapchat is your personal life. By this I mean that we generally post things on Instagram that show us at our best, whether that’s some sort of accomplishment or simply the best possible picture of you at an event. Your Instagram feed is for capturing memories (in my opinion). Now Snapchat on the other hand, is for capturing moments. These are things that you want to share with people right now, and that won’t necessarily matter tomorrow. To some of you this may be incredibly obvious, but this is the reason why I don’t think Instagram Stories will be able to replace Snapchat. The two apps serve different purposes.

Although the reach potential is higher on Instagram, you don’t really post Stories to see how many people are going to view them, unless you’re promoting something or trying to create awareness. For brands, Instagram Stories works well because of the sheer size of the audience. For regular people posting funny selfies and embarrassing videos of their friends, Instagram probably isn’t the best platform.

With that being said, there are a lot of improvements Instagram needs to make in order to have people flocking towards it. For starters, distancing themselves from Snapchat would be great. As of right now it appears as the lesser exciting twin of Snapchat, and in order to grow, they’ll need to establish themselves as a separate entity. There needs to be clear features on Instagram Stories that can’t be done on Snapchat. Obviously this is easier said than done.

Instagram Stories

The fact is, it’s only been a month. I personally think that there will be plenty of interesting updates to come to Instagram Stories throughout the rest of the year. And as always, we’ll be talking about them here! For now, you can follow me on Instagram and look out for my amazing stories. Also, I’d love to know your thoughts on both platforms, so drop us a comment below!

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

How Ryan Lochte Sank: The Factor That Causes Brands to Drop Their Celebrity Partnerships

August 23, 2016

Brand and celebrity partnerships. They can be extremely lucrative for both parties, increase each parties platforms, and even boost sales (which is the point at the end of the day). Just look at the power couple of Nike and Michael Jordan. 30+ years later and still profitable for both the brand and the star. With that being said, this brings us to the most recent case of partnerships gone wrong: Ryan Lochte. If you haven’t heard of the recent news, due to the incidents that took place in Rio, with Ryan lying about a gas station incident, he has been losing his sponsorships by the hour. First, it was Speedo that ended a decade long partnership with the Olympic athlete in the following tweet:

Ryan Lochte SponsorsSecondly, Ralph Lauren put out a now deleted tweet that stated they would not be renewing their partnership with Ryan Lochte. Among the list of other sponsors that have publicly dropped Ryan include Airweave and Syneron-Candela. So the question is, is it necessary for them to pull the sponsorships? That is one thing that always sat in the back of my mind when situations such as this one come along. Celebrity does something stupid, the public gets mad, and the sponsors run for the hills. But what if they stayed? How long does the general public stay angry at a certain situation before it becomes old news, and in that time will they purchase less of a product based on who the brand endorses?

I am by no means condoning the behaviour of Ryan Lochte. However, I highly doubt Speedo sales would plummet because of their continual endorsement of the athlete. This makes you wonder if it even has anything to do with sales and rather the elimination of the potential risk. By separating yourself from the athlete, you are positioning your brand in a better light and showing that you are completely against the actions they took. On top of this, it is basically a domino effect. Meaning, Speedo was the first sponsor to back out, and if the rest had stuck around it would make them look terrible in comparison. The keeping up with the joneses of brand partnerships!

Ryan Lochte OlympicsThe reason this happens so often is the fact that in today’s age, the public voice is unignorable and extremely loud. A brand could not afford to stick with a celebrity that has clearly done something wrong. I mean, unless you’re Apple, since they can do anything they want, right? So would Speedo or Ralph Lauren’s sales drop if they kept Ryan Lochte? Who knows. However, the image they worked so hard to maintain would sink along with the Olympic swimmer.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this whole situation below!

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, who is currently completing an internship in account services for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect on LinkedIn to learn more about him.

Dakarai Turner

Chatbots – The Virtual Assistants You Need to Know About

August 9, 2016

The first question your mind must be “What is a Chatbot?” If you would have asked me a week ago, I would have no idea either. In April, Facebook announced the use of Chatbots for their Messenger App, and rather than simply telling you exactly what these Chatbots are and what they do, I’d much rather show you.

While browsing articles online, I stumbled upon “Whole Foods’ Messenger Chatbot Lets You Discover Recipes Using Emojis“. The article explains that you are able to interact with the Whole Foods Facebook account on the Messenger App, and essentially send them an emoji you would like to see recipes for. It sounded cool enough, and I was bored enough to give it a try. After searching for Whole Foods on Messenger, I was prompted with the option to “Get Started”, and  after going through a series of click options with the Chatbot, I was able to search through the whole collection of recipes with either text, or even a food emoji.

Whole Foods Chatbot

Sending a pizza emoji brings up pizza recipes

Sending a pizza emoji brings up pizza recipes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not bad right? The interaction I had with the Whole Foods Chatbot was so easy, it became almost like a game that I was playing, and it made me wonder if everyone around me knew about this technology, or if I had stumbled on a goldmine. After pretty much asking every friend, I found that no one else seemed to know what a Chatbot was, or have even heard of it. To be fair, they’ve only been open to the public since April, but it makes you wonder when the real push behind them will start. Will the option to buy products through a Messenger bot ever exist, or will it simply act as a second interaction for an already existing service? By this I mean, will retailers use Chatbots to help you find a specific product that you can then buy online, or will it just act as a customer service tool? Chatbots provide curation to put it simply. You can tell this bot exactly what you want to find, and have it presented to you instantly. Obviously, this does depend on how the particular company has built the bot, and the purpose that they intend to use it for. I wanted to share with you guys two other Chatbots that I will be using regularly.

 

CNN

CNN’s Chatbot is great because it will bring the news directly to you. Upon starting the conversation, you are asked whether you would like to see the “Top Stories”, “Stories for You”, or “Ask CNN”. Based on repeated use and the articles that you read, the Chatbot will be able to learn more about you and dish you content that you’re sure to enjoy. Now, maybe a decade ago this would have sounded scary, but it’s already happening with even the ads we see on the Internet, so this form of tailored content is here to stay.

CNN Chatbot

CNN Chatbot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TheScore

TheScore Chatbot provides you with real time game updates, scores, and news from your favourite team. The bot will ask you what your favourite team is and what sort of updates you would like to receive (end of game updates, end of quarter updates, etc). Now, this isn’t that much different than the actual TheScore app. However, this is all done on an app (Messenger) that you are already speaking to your friends on. It’s yet another platform to interact with the brand. The challenge is to make it a different experience than the app or company website, or what’s the point?

1-800 Flowers Facebook Chatbot

1-800 Flowers Facebook Chatbot

Chatbots on Messenger have only been out since April, but it makes you wonder how long it will take for the general public to truly take notice. Brands need to find a way to provide a clear reason why you should be using their Chatbots as opposed to downloading their app, or whether or not it works best in addition to the app. And ultimately answer the question ” What sort of unique experience does this Chatbot provide?”.

Try it our for yourself if you have the Messenger App, and let me know what you think of the interaction below!

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, who is currently completing an internship in account services for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect on LinkedIn to learn more about him.

Dakarai Turner

Coming in Live – Why Livestreaming May Be Twitter’s Last Hope

July 26, 2016

Twitter, the social media giant that used to be in the “will replace Facebook” conversation, and now has reached a stand still to say the least. Early this year, Twitter released their fourth quarter figures, and they weren’t very impressive. Over the last few months there have been many changes to the social network, in an attempt to keep the ball rolling, and turn things around (don’t you just hate when your company only has 320 million active users?). We’ve seen changes such as: the removal of the 140 character limit, and the ability to re-tweet yourself, just in case your friends didn’t see it the first time.

Twitter Problems

All of these minimal changes are now about to be overshadowed by a line-up of high profile live streaming deals that Twitter has finessed their way into. Live streaming puts you right in the midst of the action, and the platform that is all about “at the moment coverage”, is now going to be a direct source of the entertainment. In April, Twitter paid $10 million for the rights to stream NFL games, starting next season. With 800 million users, and only 320 million active users, this is a great way to bring people back to the platform. Not only is this great for Twitter, but the NFL is able to reach the “cord cutting” audience more effectively.

Twitter has also just recently inked deals with the MLB and NHL to stream games on their platform as well. They will be streaming out-of-market games on their platform for users and non-users. On top of this, they will be debuting a new show called “The Rally“, that provides sports highlights, ranging from college to Olympic events. With Twitter stepping into the content creation space with “The Rally”, this can open opportunities for the brand to stream the premiere of a new show, or even a full music festival. Although their numbers (active users) have been stagnant this past year, the potential to reach 320 million users in some way shape or form will be attractive to any business.

Twitter Live Stream Political Convention

Aside from sports, earlier this month Twitter announced a deal with CBS to allow them to live-stream its coverage of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, which will take place July 18-21 and July 25-28. People are already using the platform to talk about these events that are happening, so why not be one of the main sources providing the entertainment? The reality is that social platforms are becoming the new TV, if that wasn’t already apparent. When a story breaks, you’re probably going to hear about it on Twitter and Facebook before you can flick on the remote. Personally I see this as just the beginning. If the companies partnering with Twitter get the amount of views and engagement they are looking for, we are going to be seeing a lot more live streaming on the platform. And if not, well then I guess I was wrong. Back in 2011, I was one of those people that said Twitter would surpass Facebook. So needless to say, I want to see them succeed. Then again, I also said Blackberry would always be better than the iPhone so we’ll see.

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, who is currently completing an internship in account services for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect on LinkedIn to learn more about him.

Dakarai Turner

From Pokémaster to Paying Customer – What the Early Success of Pokémon Go Means for Local Businesses

July 12, 2016

Whether you’re a fan of Pokémon or not, between last week (July 6th) and today, you’ve probably thought about, or already have downloaded the Pokémon Go app, for one of two reasons. You grew up playing Pokemon and love their games, or everyone around you is playing and you decided to give it a shot. Regardless of the reason, the augmented reality driven platform has taken the world by storm, and has already been a proven success for Nintendo. It was recently reported that Nintendo’s share price rose 24.52 percent in one day, adding $7.5 Billion to their market value. Phenomenal to say the least.

The object of the game, for the unaware, is to catch various monsters that pop up as you navigate the real worldMan playing Pokemon Go, as well as battle other players for territory. Just go outside in a well populated place and you will most likely see people walking around pointing their phones at the floor as if it were a metal detector. The app currently has more installations than Tinder, and is currently being used for 43 minutes a day on average in the U.S. For comparison, Snapchat’s daily usage is 22 minutes. To be fair, this is an app fresh out the oven that is living off of hype for right now, so time will tell if its success will last. Personally, I have never really been into Pokémon, but I am strongly considering downloading the app because of everyone around me talking about it…FOMO is real.

So what does this all mean for small businesses and marketers?

With Virtual and Augmented Reality reaching an all time high in terms of use, it opens a great world opportunities for brands to explore new media channels and create experiences for their consumers. Why does Pokémon Go appeal to so many people? It’s something different. There could have simply been a new Pokémon game that would definitely do well in terms of downloads from fanatics alone. However, what makes Pokémon Go special, is clearly the experience it provides. It forces you to gClothing store using Pokemon Goo outside and explore your city, all while interacting with the game.

It’s pretty early, but local businesses are already taking advantage of the popularity surrounding the app. “Pokéstops” and “Pokégyms” are real life locations that include various local businesses that are pre-determined. As you can imagine, with flocks of teenagers and young adults flocking around a local business, it’s on them to turn them into paying customers. Check out an example to the right of a local clothing store that is registered as a Pokéshop.

Users can make an in-app purchase for Lure Models. Essentially it creates a hot zone in the designated area that will attract Pokémon, and inevitably other players for 30 minutes. I mean, is it really that hard to imagine a local coffee shop using this feature to attract players near their store. Throw in an outdoor sign with a fantastic promotion aimed at Pokemon Go players and there you go! The Lure Model would only cost $1.29 per hour.

Pokemon Go store

It’s only been a week and Pokémon Go has taken complete control of the internet. It’s the subject of every water cooler conversation, and your mom is probably messaging you to tell her how it works. In the coming days we will definitely be seeing some creative ways that businesses are using the platform. The one question that arises when this much hype is involved, is will it last? Only time will tell.

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, who is currently completing an internship in account services for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect on LinkedIn to learn more about him.

Dakarai Turner

Caution: Reddit Ahead – Why Brands Should Tread Lightly In Using the Platform

June 28, 2016

Reddit, branded as “The Front Page of the Internet” has quickly grown to be quite the phenomenon. Since launching in 2005, 11 years later, you may have not heard of it, but Reddit has grown to 234 million active users and is usually the reason why something goes viral. If you’ve ever wondered where those immensely popular cat videos or dancing baby videos that you see on Facebook originated from, the answer is more than likely Reddit.

So what makes the platform so special and unique? In my opinion, is that it’s still organic. For the most part you can say exactly what you want to say, where you want to say it, without the embarrassment of having people your personal network view your activity. It is a community driven site in which “Redditors” can submit links to basically anything in a given “subreddit. Each post relies on “upvotes”, where each upvote is essentially one person saying that they like the material being posted, a downvote is the exact opposite. Just check out this screenshot of a few of the links on the front page of the platform. The higher the upvotes, the higher the visibility.

Screenshot of the front page

 

There’s everything from political discussions, to interesting pictures, to a “today I learned” section, which is pretty self explanatory. There are over 800,00 subreddits which are essentially communities or forums. In the subreddit dedicated to politics you’ll find just that, and in a more niche subreddit such as “hiphopheads” you’ll find discussions of new hip-hop music and topics of that nature. Now let’s go back to when I called Reddit organic. I say this because the platform is 100% free to use, and you are unable to pay your way to the top. In a world where you can pay for phony likes on Instagram and Facebook, Reddit upvotes are not for sale.

Now with that being said, how do brands effectively use this platform? First things first, Reddit can be a scary place for even a regular person, let alone a brand. Redditors aren’t scared to tell you exactly how they are feeling in the moment, and will let their opinions be heard. For the most part it’s anonymous, since your real name and picture aren’t plastered all over your account.

The key for brands to survive on Reddit is to be authentic. Understand the community that you are posting in, and follow the rules that each subreddit has established. I’ve always been a big fan for the way the NBA handles Reddit. With such a big organization there is bound to be a community that’s already been formed in your name, and the NBA does a great job interacting with this community. From posting their new ads, to providing original content, such as a Kobe Bryant mixtape, or Steph Curry’s pre-game routine. Content for the fans to enjoy.

 

NBA fans respond in a funny way

NBA fans respond in a funny way

 

The reason every brand isn’t currently putting their marketing efforts into the platform is because of a lack of understanding, and a great degree of fear. Even with myself (a 2 year Reddit user), I’m nervous to make a comment or post a link in fear of what the trolls will have to say to ruin my day. I’m sure with that being said you could understand why brands would be hesitant.

A recent example of the brutal honesty of some Reddit users is with the AMA (Ask Me Anything) community. Wyclef Jean used the platform to promote the 20th anniversary of The Scorea Fugees album. What started out as a discussion about his music quickly went south. Check out a few screenshots below that prompted Wyclef to end the AMA early, and effectively delete his account.

 

Reddit users fire at Wyclef Jean

 

 

Reddit is tricky to master, and although the physical number of audience members is there, brands need to truly assess whether or not this is the right platform to get their message across. What do you think of the platform, and the way brands/public figures use it? Drop a comment below, and be sure to like us on Facebook here for new updates!

 

Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, who is currently completing an internship in account services for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect on LinkedIn to learn more about him.

Dakarai Turner

Sometimes It’s Not Worth The Wait – Why Apple’s WWDC Left Me Unsatisfied

June 14, 2016

With yesterday’s WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference), it seems only fitting to talk about Apple. For those of you that don’t know, WWDC is an annual event where for the last 33 years Apple has been introducing new changes and products to the tech community. Previously an event that only interested the “geeks”, but now streamed by those such as myself that just want to stay updated with the latest. Whether you’re a die hard Apple lover or hater, there has to be some sort of respect for what they’ve been able to accomplish.

Now I am no tech genius (someone tell my mom this), but i’d love to share with you some of my favourite takeaways from watching this years event from the comfort of my desk at work.

You can now delete pre-installed apps

You know that “Stocks” app that you’ll never use, or that iBooks app you haven’t opened yet? Say no more, you can now deleteios-10-delete-apps-970-80 them all. This seems like such a basic function that should have been done a long time ago, but hey it’s Apple. The fact that I am even excited about this says a lot about Apple as a company, and the way they operate. It’s basically like they will give you an unfinished product, that they can just keep slightly updating with cooler things to keep you coming back. Apple understands how long they need to make people wait to truly “wow” them.

 

Siri will be available on Mac

siri on macI think I’ve used Siri maybe 3 times in my whole life. I don’t know what the numbers are for use, but I’m sure they will rise with this new addition. You’ll be able to ask Siri to open files on your desktop/laptop, do some quick math, and even switch between apps. Apple also announced that Siri will now be open to developers. Let’s just imagine ordering an Uber from Siri. I’m sold!

Voicemail transcription

It’s a busy world out there, sorting through voicemails just to get rid of the notification gets time consuming. With the newly added voicemail transcription, it will display on your device a text version of what’s in your voicemail. This is one of those ideas that sound great in theory, until you realize people record voicemails in the most unclear fashion, almost as if it’s on purpose. Reading these transcripts should provide quite the entertaining screenshots posted on Twitter.

For a 2-hour long conference, you would think it would provide a bigger list of excellent takeaways beyond deleting apps, and voicemail transcription, but in my opinion Apple truly missed the mark. Instead of interesting upgrades to iMessage, Apple announced bigger emoji’s, the ability to draw a message, and an emoji predictor. As if we needed anymore emoji related news in 2016. All I thought was just absolute clutter.

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 11.09.16 AM

All in all it just felt like there was no real “wow” factor throughout WWDC. There were moments where they would introduce something, and all I would be thinking is “this should have been done 2 conferences ago”.

At the end of the day it seemed as though people were generally satisfied with the conference, as is usually the case with WWDC. It will be interesting to see any new developments and announcements from Apple in the coming months. If you’ve checked it out, let me know your thoughts. Overall, were you impressed with the conference?

To check out all of the features announced at WWDC, check out this article.

 

Dakarai Turner is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing. Armed with strategic thinking, people skills, and a cheeky smile, he is ready to get his career started in client relations for an advertising agency in Toronto. In his free time he will most likely be eating, browsing AdWeek, or studying Donald Draper. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect on LinkedIn to learn more about him.

Dakarai Turner

“Advertising Doesn’t Work On Me” – The Lie Detector Determined That Was a Lie

May 31, 2016

“Advertising doesn’t work”

“I’m not going to buy that just because of a commercial”

Words we’ve all said or heard, usually in the spur of the moment, after seeing a new Coca-Cola ad, and wondering why they even bother. They are at the top, everyone knows who they are, why do you need to still advertise?

I’m just going to leave that unanswered for now. After a recent conversation with a friend of mine, I quickly learned that he is quite the “advertising aficionado”, when he told me that he blocks ads online with AdBlock (so do I, that’s another story…or better yet a previous article), watches TV online, and intentionally ignores billboards (quite the rebel). This is one of those situations where you just have to stay clear of the argument, because they are anchored in their thoughts. I replied with a “that’s nice”, and proceeded to write this article.

So what is the point of advertising? Does McDonald’s want you to run out immediately after seeing their new commercial and purchase a burger? Sure, that would be the best case scenario, but it’s not the intent. Advertising is all about building awareness. When you’re on the corner of Queen and Spadina and starving, the McDonald’s might start to look pretty attractive to you, and their latest burger from the commercial that you can’t believe you remembered starts to look like an option. Ever heard of effective frequency? It’s an advertisers best friend. The more you hear a message, the quicker you remember it, and that’s simply a fact.

The way we perceive brands is all due to effective advertising. Should I have asked my friend what made him want to purchase his flashy gold watch, or wear the expensive basketball shoes he had on? Probably, but I’m not in the business of embarrassing people. We rate brands, we perceive some as better than others, we stick to the ones we trust. These perceptions are instilled in us, because of the brands advertising and marketing efforts, whether direct or not. I mean, what Pattison-imagemade you choose the iPhone in your hand, if we’re being completely honest with each other here?

One thing to always remember when talking about the effectiveness of advertising is whether or not you’re the target audience. If I’m seeing a Revlon ad on the bus, chances are it will mean nothing to me. That’s because a 21-year-old man is not their intended target audience. Now if I’m seeing an ad for *insert something manly*, it may resonate with me a little better. One thing I will personally admit is I am highly susceptible to ads.

Advertising is meant to create awareness for a brand, product, or service. The intent can be to remind, inspire action, or simply inform. Whatever the purpose, if done right, it’s working on somebody.

Oh yeah, and to get back to Coca-Cola. Sometimes when you’re at the top you just need to remind people why you’re there, and show face.

 

Dakarai Turner is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing. Armed with strategic thinking, people skills, and a cheeky smile, he is ready to get his career started in client relations for an advertising agency in Toronto. In his free time he will most likely be eating, browsing AdWeek, or studying Donald Draper. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect on LinkedIn to learn more about him.

Dakarai Turner

Views Behind the Meme – The Viral Success of Drake

May 3, 2016

It’s only fitting that I dedicate this Tuesday’s article to the “Meme God” himself, none other than Aubrey “Drake” Graham. With Drake’s heavily anticipated album, Views that was released as an Apple Music exclusive on April 29th, it has been the subject of discussion at just about every water cooler or Twitter feed the past few days. To put it simply, the man can’t be stopped.

The once actor, now rapper and Global Ambassador for the Toronto Raptors, has been able to further launch his career at the hands of internet memes. I mean, who could forget the Hotline Bling music video from last year? At this point, I knew Drake was completely aware of what he was doing. Poking fun at himself knowing that doing so would result in viral success online. Through the use of his almost cringe worthy dance moves at times, and the funny nature behind the video, it was sure to makes its way all over your timelines and news feeds. To this date, the video has reached over 700 million views on YouTube alone, and is by far his most watched music video. The video inspired various parodies, halloween costumes, provided me with new dance moves, and was easily the biggest meme of 2015. This led the 6 God to becoming the most important person in pop-culture that year. Moment of silence for those that disagree.

 

ellen viewsApril 24th, Drake releases the cover art for his album Views, and the internet goes crazy. The memes start to flood just about every social network, and it just reaffirms the belief that Drake knows he will be made fun of, and he’s okay with it. With a clearly obvious and poorly photoshopped image of the rapper sitting on top of the CN Tower, it takes the full album title, Views from the 6 quite literally. Websites begin to pop up that transform whatever image you want into a personalized Views album cover, featuring a photoshopped Drake sitting down wherever you choose. I think most of us can say we tried it out, whether or not we shared it online..your secret is safe with me.

 

This is exactly what Drake wants, and is exactly the kind of promotion that helped the album sell over 800 thousand copies in just 2 days….2 days!! This is practically unheard of in 2016 unless your name is Adele at this point. Now am I saying that he only hit this number because he became a meme? Well yeah I kind of am, because of the fact promotion like this exposes you to an audience that would of never cared before, or would have been slow to the table. It’s almost impossible to go a day without hearing about Drake, and its due to his ability to make fun of himself and take a hit. Rather than get upset at all the memes, he embraces them and understands that they help his brand at the end of the day.

Proud of the guys. On to Round 2.

A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on

VIEWS

A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on

 

Maybe Drake is completely oblivious about what’s going on, and is just generally a funny guy. Or, maybe he makes calculated moves, and understands what it takes to go viral. You be the judge.

 

Dakarai Turner is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing. Armed with strategic thinking, people skills, and a cheeky smile, he is ready to get his career started in client relations for an advertising agency in Toronto. In his free time he will most likely be eating, browsing AdWeek, or studying Donald Draper. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect on LinkedIn to learn more about him.

Dakarai Turner

Introducing the Tim Hortons Raptors – Ad Placement on NBA Jerseys

April 19, 2016

Being an NBA fan has been quite amazing this season, and especially this past week. We got to watch Kobe Bryant score 60 points as he ended his illustrious 20 year career. We got to witness history in the making, with the Golden State Warriors winning their last game of the season, breaking the bulls 72-10 regular season record that was set in 1997. And last but not least, the start of the NBA playoffs! In the midst of all this great stuff happening, there’s some potentially not great news. The NBA Board of Governors met on April 15th, and ruled in Jersey-adfavour of jersey sponsorships.

So what does this mean exactly? Starting in the 2017-2018 season, NBA jerseys will feature a sponsored 2.5×2.5 cm patch on the top right corner. The Golden Arch’s are coming to a city near you! Now you’re either thinking “this sucks” or you’re thinking “this isn’t too bad”, I have to say that I sit right in the middle. As a student studying advertising, I can understand the benefits from an advertisers perspective:

  1. The NBA provides visibility, and having your logo on a teams jersey could associate your brand with the teams core fans

  2. It will open the door for other brands to partner with the NBA, with a projected $150M additional annual revenue

  3. The more companies involved with the NBA, the bigger the sport will become

Yes, this may all be true…but where will they draw the line? The NBA has announced that this change will be a 3 year pilot program, which begs the question..what happens next? A wise person once said, “Give someone an inch, and they’ll take a mile”. It may start at 2.5×2.5 cm but will it end up taking over the team name down the road? “Introducing the State Farm Clippers“. Maybe I’m getting out of hand, but who knows what the future holds.

One thing that can be said is the general public is not a fan of this new decision. Just search for it on Twitter, and you’ll find enough content to keep you entertained, check out some of my favourites below:

There’s a time and place for everything, and it’s always been that way. Having ads around the baseline and sideline of the basketball court doesn’t receive any complaints because we’ve tuned them out at this point. Will that be something that we’ll be able to do with these new jerseys? The retail version will not feature the ads, so you’ll only be able to see them on the players (thank god). With NBA players constantly inking sponsorship deals, it will be interesting to see their take on the situation. I can already imagine a team being sponsored by a brand in which a player is involved with their competition.

Although the NBA is receiving backlash from this recent decision, I’m sure they are fully aware that a small sponsored patch is not going to lose a substantial amount of viewers, and the public will accept it overtime. You are not going to stop watching Steph Curry and LeBron James constantly make history just because they have a M.A.D. Mix logo on their jersey…at least I hope not.

The inclusion of ads on NBA jerseys might be a great idea for the professional basketball league, with the additional revenue it will generate. However, at what point do you stop and listen to the input from the fans, finding a common ground?

How do you guys feel about having ads on jerseys, and do you think it would get out of hand? Drop a comment below!

 

Dakarai Turner is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing. Armed with strategic thinking, people skills, and a cheeky smile, he is ready to get his career started in client relations for an advertising agency in Toronto. In his free time he will most likely be eating, browsing AdWeek, or studying Donald Draper. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect on LinkedIn to learn more about him.

Dakarai Turner

UberPitch – A Million Dollar Ride

April 5, 2016

If you’ve been following the articles we write, you have probably learned a few things about the guys at The M.A.D. Mix.

  1. We love making Drake references
  2. We love Snapchat
  3. We’re pretty handsome (had to throw that in there)
  4. We love Uber.

Ever since my first Uber experience (can be found here), I have become nothing short of an advocate for the transportation network, taking the world by storm, just ask my friends.Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 10.10.45 PM

Yesterday, I received an e-mail from Uber notifying me about yet another extension that they are implementing…UberPitch. UberPitch is a dragons-den style interaction that takes place in an Uber ride, and lasts for 15 minutes. Crazy right?

Entrepreneurs will have the chance to share a 15-minute Uber ride with some of Canada’s top investors, and get this…the ride is 100% free. If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking that people can just get a free ride and share a conversation with someone for 15 minutes. However, the Uber will essentially kill time driving for 15 minutes, only to bring you back to your original destination. UberPitch is literally bringing the investors to you.

The service will run from April 7th, from 11am-3pm in start-up communities using the self-respected promo codes, such as Toronto (PITCHTO), Montréal (PITCHMTL), and Ottawa (PITCHOTT). Entrepreneurs will have 15 minutes to pitch their big idea to investors with the capacity to make dreams come true. Whether your idea is ready for production, or still in the beginning stages, a free 15-minute session with a multi millionaire couldn’t hurt, right?

uber pitch ride tampa

UberPitch ride in Tampa

 

Want to find out who some of the investors are? Check out this page to learn more about each one of them.

It will be quite fascinating to hear some of the feedback from both the investors and entrepreneurs involved with UberPitch. If successful, this could attract quite a few investors that are searching for the next big start-up. Of course for this to take off, there would need to be an incentive for the investors. Perhaps in the form of a screening and selection process in which they can handpick the people that they would like to share a ride with. Entrepreneurs could create profiles that briefly explain their idea, and the investors could essentially select the ones that they are most interested in. Think of Tinder for investors…but I digress.

UberPitch is a fascinating idea that provides a collaborative opportunity, as well as a foot in the door for entrepreneurs to connect with investors. All while making Uber look amazing for facilitating the relationship.

At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Wow Dakarai, you should definitely pitch The M.A.D. Mix to an investor”. I’m three steps ahead of you, and I’ll give you on update after my million-dollar meeting on Thursday.

What do you think of UberPitch? I’d love to know!

 

Dakarai Turner is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing. Armed with strategic thinking, people skills, and a cheeky smile, he is ready to get his career started in client relations for an advertising agency in Toronto. In his free time he will most likely be eating, browsing AdWeek, or studying Donald Draper. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect on LinkedIn to learn more about him.

Dakarai Turner

“Sex Sells”: Myth or Fact?

March 15, 2016

“Sex Sells”, we’ve all heard it one way or another. But is it true? After searching the depths of YouTube for all things Donald Draper (classic Sunday), I stumbled across a rather interesting clip from Mad Men. In this clip, Peggy (Creative) presents spec work to Donald (Creative director) for approval. She defends her work by stating that sex sells, while Donald Draper tells her that she is wrong and that ‘the customer feeling the product’ is what sells, and not simply a woman in a pencil skirt. Watch it for yourself and get back to this article.

So does sex sell or not? The quick and easy answer is yes (shortest article ever, am I right?).

The not so easy answer is, sometimes.

I’ve had my fair share of discussions with friends and co-workers about the power of advertising and consumer behavior, and I seem to hear quite often that a gorgeous girl in a bikini could sell anything. Evidently not, I mean just ask TomTom and their banned ad of a woman running “strapless”, and check it out below.

A Calvin Klein billboard in NYC

Simply put, sex sells when it’s relevant to the brand. Can a brand like Calvin Klein use sex to sell underwear? Absolutely. Can Apple use sex to sell iPhones? Probably not, but then again it’s Apple so they can do no wrong…right? My point is that brands needs to be careful with the content and subject matter they use in their ads. You cannot simply put Kate Upton in every commercial to boost your sales. Will it boost your views online? Absolutely. Now here’s the confusion that anybody that says “Sex Sells” usually makes.

Sure, they will remember your commercial if it’s sexy, but they will forget your product. Meaning, sure the video will rack up an impressive amount of likes on social media and views on YouTube, but these are purely “Vanity Likes”. The sales will not increase, and viewers will not remember what you are trying to sell at the end of the day. A study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that “As sexual content increases, memory of the brand, attitude towards the brand, and buying intentions of the brand’s product decreased. Now it’s important to remember that this is relative to the product. I have absolutely no doubt that a shirtless Isaiah Mustafa in the iconic Old Spice ads increased sales for female audiences.

old spice guy

Isaiah Mustafa in the Old Spice Ad

The same idea of unnecessary sexual content in advertising has often been seen in the automobile industry. “90% of women either lead or have a say in their family’s car purchase but only one in 10 females feel car advertising talk to them” according to a ‘Hello I’m Venus” study in 2014. 

Products that directly interact with personal image and beauty are more likely to use sex to promote their product; at the end of the day this just makes sense. Again, this is all about understanding the market you’re in and understanding what your audience wants to see. It is easy for brands to believe this notion that sex sells and later go on to offend and even alienate their loyal customers, simply because they thought they were following the perceived golden formula. You know the one: woman in a bikini + woman holding your product = profit??

kate upton burger

Kate Upton in the Carl’s Jr Ad

If sex sells, I’m in the wrong industry. I strongly believe that the best ads are the ones that make you feel something, and the ways to achieve this feeling is what advertisers should be trying to solve.

So once again, the easy answer is that yes, sex sells. It’s an undeniable fact that we are all biologically wired for sexual attraction, its just part of our DNA. If an advertiser capitalizes on this by using tasteful attractive images that are relevant to the brand, they struck gold. In every other case, using sex in advertising fails to establish a direct connection from the consumer to the brand, but rather a connection from the consumer to the ad.

I’m sure some of you think I’m wrong, and I’d love to hear your opinion on the subject. Drop a comment and share your thoughts!

 

Dakarai Turner is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing. Armed with strategic thinking, people skills, and a cheeky smile, he is ready to get his career started in client relations for an advertising agency in Toronto. In his free time he will most likely be eating, browsing AdWeek, or studying Donald Draper. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect on LinkedIn to learn more about him.

Dakarai Turner

All-Star Weekend: Where Advertising Happens

February 17, 2016

Being the huge basketball fan that I am, and a Toronto native, it was only mandatory that I be glued to my screen throughout All-Star Weekend. This is exactly what happened, and I loved every moment of it.

One thing I did notice though, was the huge amount of branding being shoved in my face almost every moment. The ads were very Super Bowl-esque in their extravagant nature, but even better since they involved the NBA players themselves.

I’ve put together some of the top sponsors throughout the weekend:

 

 KIA Motor-Sports

KIA is the first non-apparel brand to be featured on an NBA jersey, and this is a huge deal. Having your brand appear in essentially every picture taken of a player, and on every All-Star jersey available in retail stores across the U.S and Canadais the kind of publicity that must be worth the hefty price tag attached to it. Anyone that watches the NBA is aware of KIA’s branding due to the various commercials starring LeBron James, and the sponsorships, including Sunday Night’s All-Star Game, which is the main event of the weekend.

kia jersey

The 2016 West All-Star Jersey

 

 State Farm

Through the hilarious NBA commercials and sponsoring the State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, State Farm and their “Meet the Hoopers” campaign, which was debuted throughout the weekend has created a fun image for such a boring industry. Attaching themselves with NBA broadcasting is a fantastic way to reach a young, energetic, and tech savvy audience. Continuing this relationship is just as important. It will establish a sense of loyalty and recognition amongst NBA fans. When it comes time to think about auto, homeowners, or life insurance, take a guess which brand will be at the top of their mind? Well, I’m in Canada so it will probably be AllState.

Taco Bell, Foot Locker, and Verizon

taco bell skillsAll three of these brands were involved in sponsoring an event under the Saturday Night umbrella: the Taco Bell Skills Competition, the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, and the Verizon Slam-Dunk Competition. Just about the only one that makes sense right off the bat would be Foot Locker, but hey Taco Bell has been a long time sponsor, so it’s basically tradition at this point.

Intel

Intel, the multinational technology company partnered with the NBA to provide 3D generated experiences of key moments throughout the game. Essentially every time there was a big dunk, or an elaborate play, they would cue to “the Intel instant replay and watch the 3D magic. This was through the use of “FreeD format” which uses 28 cameras and intel technology to recreate the video in 3D. Check out an example below:

Aside from some of the cringe worthy brand placements in otherwise normal sentences, All-Star weekend was undeniably a success. The NBA is doing something truly special in the moments that they create, for not only the players, but also the audiences and even brands they partner with.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to stop at a Taco Bell on my way to the KIA dealership, in my brand new Jordan shoes purchased at none other than Foot Locker.

 

Dakarai Turner is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing. Armed with strategic thinking, people skills, and a cheeky smile, he is ready to get his career started in client relations for an advertising agency in Toronto. In his free time he will most likely be eating, browsing AdWeek, or studying Donald Draper. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect on LinkedIn to learn more about him.

Dakarai Turner

Super Bowl 50: Let’s Talk About Ads

February 3, 2016

 

If you’re like me, you truly believe that the best parts of the Super Bowl are the ads. If you’re also like me, you live in Canada and aren’t able to view all the extravagant (and expensive) ads in real time, so you make sure to watch them as soon as they are posted online. Someone remind me as to why they do this to us again?

old_spice

Famous Old Spice ad that aired during the 2010 Super Bowl

The Super Bowl brings out the biggest and best work out of the advertising industry, hands down. All of the big name brands partner with all the big name agencies to put together a 30-second masterpiece that is sure to get you talking. In 2014, a 30-second Super Bowl ad would run advertisers $4.5 million at the very minimum. Just two years later and it has increased 11% to now a record $5 million. Is it worth it?

With 114.4 million people on average tuning into the Super Bowl in 2015, not including every single person watching collectively, the price is right for some. For others, just the fact that people will see their brand during the Super Bowl is almost enough if they have $5 million lying around. We perceive brands in the Super Bowl as elite, and cream of the crop. It’s the thought that if you have millions to spend on a 30 second commercial, this means two things.

            #1. Your brand is doing so well that it has the money to shell out

            #2. You care enough about your product to spend that kind of money

Whether this is actually the case, it’s in the mind of the consumers.

For $5 million, you want viewers talking throughout your ad and afterwards. It will be quite interesting to see which brands are trending on social media after their commercial airs, and which brands make the list of the best ads. With such a high price tag for a 30-second spot, there will likely be more product-focused ads instead of simply entertaining the audience with no real brand message or brand link as there have been in the past.

I want to share with you my top 3 Super Bowl ads (so far). Let me know which ones made your list.

 

Acura

Acura looks to make their Super Bowl debut with their new NSX Supercar. This is said to be the Super Bowl’s most expensive car advertised, at $156,000.

Doritos

This being the last year of the famous “Crash The Super Bowl Contest”, this is my personal favourite that I hope makes it to the big screen.

Shock Top

This could take the cake for funniest Super Bowl ad this year. The ad features a hilarious banter between the Shock Top character and comedian T.J. Miller, who is also the brand’s spokesman

See you on game day!

 

Dakarai Turner (Dak) is an ambitious professional approaching his final year of the Advertising & Marketing Communications program at Humber College. Over the course of the summer, Dakarai spent his time working as a Communications Intern for the digital and marketing agency thinkCOMPASS, as well as the Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals as a Marketing Coordinator. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect on LinkedIn to learn more about him.

Dakarai Turner

R.I.P. to the iPhone Headphone Jack

January 12, 2016

In an effort to make the iPhone 7 slimmer, Apple may say goodbye to the headphone jack.

 

With rumors surrounding the new iPhone 7, it’s being said by numerous sources that the phone will not feature a headphone port, in an effort to make the smartphone slimmer. Now, whether you’re #TeamSansung, #TeamiPhone, or #TeamBlackberry (didn’t leave you out), if true, this news is very important.

People aren’t very happy, Rightfully so?

With a 3.55mm headphone port, it prevents the phone from getting any slimmer than a certain point. Remove it, and we’ll all finally get a slimmer phone, we all want that…right?iphone7

So how will we listen to music? One of the rumors is that the iPhone 7 will use a lightning cable. Essentially the headphones will plug into the lightning port (the port you plug your charger into). This will create a digital connection rather than the standard analog connection for headphones. Yes you read that right. This will prevent users from charging their phones and listening to music at the same time, as well as draining the battery much faster. Not only that, but external headphone manufacturers would need to provide lightning cables with their headphones so that users could use them with their iPhone 7’s. This just seems like so much extra money being spent for something that you never needed in the first place. As funny as it is to joke about Apple being so expensive, they would probably make an adaptor so that you could plug regular external analog headphones into the iPhone 7. This would be an accessory for $50+ of course.

Another option would be Bluetooth wireless headphones, which seems like a better alternative since they are already being used. However, just from a personal standpoint, I have absolutely no problem with wired headphones and the way things are now, and I am sure I’m not in the minority with this opinion.

With over 200,000 people signing a petition for Apple to stop the removal of the headphone jack, it really makes you think if this will hurt the sales of the iPhone 7. Or is this just short-term anger that people will learn to love and simply forget about? I mean, we are talking about APPLE here: the powerhouse company that could sell phones with chargers sold separately if they wanted to.

Apple is taking huge steps in terms of advancing their smartphones. A move so big that if proven effective, Samsung would be sure to use in their new phones in order to compete.

From reading thiApple-logo-profit-554804s article you may have gathered that I strongly dislike Apple. However, it is the complete opposite. I am a happy MacBook and iPhone 5 user. There are so many great things to say about a company like Apple; with a special way to go about marketing, they have convinced us that we need every single one of their products, and the accessories they come with.

One thing to remember is that Apple has yet to officially make a statement on these rumors. For all we know, they could be 100% false. Apple is exactly the type of company that would ignore the poor public perception, and give us (the public) something we didn’t want, but now need.

 

Dakarai Turner (Dak) is an ambitious professional approaching his final year of the Advertising & Marketing Communications program at Humber College. Over the course of the summer, Dakarai spent his time working as a Communications Intern for the digital and marketing agency thinkCOMPASS, as well as the Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals as a Marketing Coordinator. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect on LinkedIn to learn more about him.

Dakarai Turner

Santa Changed…A Lot!

December 29, 2015

A look intro the viral success of the #YorkdaleFashionSanta

 

2015 – The year where Santa Claus started wearing less and going out more. Now that I got my daily Drake reference in, let’s talk about the Fashion Santa at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto this past Christmas.

Paul Mason, a Canadian model for over 30 years, took the Internet by storm and went viral when he suited up in designer clothing, sporting the white beard and partnefashion-santaring with Yorkdale Shopping Centre to be the “Fashion Santa” of the mall. Essentially Paul is seen and branded as a Santa for adults. A Santa that doesn’t sit down, and you don’t have to pay to see. While the traditional Santa sits with kids on his lap asking them if they’ve been naughty or nice, Fashion Santa is posted up encouraging the older audience to pull their phones out and snap a photo with him.

If you’re like me, you’re wondering, “Okay cool, but what’s the purpose behind this?”

For every picture taken with Fashion Santa including the hashtag #YorkdaleFashionSanta, Yorkdale will donate $1 CAD to the Sick Kids Foundation.

It has gotten to the point where the line to meet the new revamped Santa has surpassed the line to sit down on the lap of the traditional Santa. I mean, just check out Justin Bieber’s picture with Fashion Santa (The moment I started to take notice of course)

justin bieber fashion santa

Paul Mason has received all sorts of media attention, including articles in the Huffington Post, The Toronto Star, and TIME Magazine, just to name a few. Can’t forget the community articles on Buzzfeed where women speak about how “irresistible he is”.

Yorkdale teaming up with Paul Mason has done a fantastic job. A campaign such as this one brings a fun and approachable feel during the busiest and most important time of the year for a shopping centre. Having the Fashion Santa has made it easier for Torontonians to choose which mall to start/finish their Christmas shopping. Not only that, but it gives people a reason to stay longer, which is key for any business. Attaching the donations to Sick Kids is a great way to establish a positive and caring corporate image for Yorkdale, on top of the fact that it is simply helping those in need. Similar to initiatives done by Bell with the #BellLetsTalk campaign, getting people to speak about your brand in a positive fashion and have it trend on social media will do nothing but good.

Fashion Santa is an interesting spin on something we all have grown up on, learned to love, and now watch young kids enjoy. Maybe he needs a change and this will be a continuous trend, or maybe this is just something fun to enjoy for the moment. Regardless, Paul Mason and Yorkdale have gone viral for all the right reasons.

Did you get a chance to take a picture with #FashionSanta?

 

Dakarai Turner (Dak) is an ambitious professional approaching his final year of the Advertising & Marketing Communications program at Humber College. Over the course of the summer, Dakarai spent his time working as a Communications Intern for the digital and marketing agency thinkCOMPASS, as well as the Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals as a Marketing Coordinator. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect on LinkedIn to learn more about him.

Dakarai Turner

McCafé: All Grown Up

December 16, 2015

 

If you haven’t heard the news, McDonald’s Canada launched their first stand-alone McCafé shop last week Wednesday in Union Station, located in Toronto, Canada. Can we just take a second to appreciate the team at McDonald’s? Who could have ever predicted a few years ago that McCafé would detach from its parent and become something of its own? All grown up.

 

union station mcdonaldsMcDonald’s Canada has been seeing a slight decline in overall sales recently, with consumers choosing to take their money and time to other burger spots, such as Five Guys and Hero Burger. These are destinations. These are places that you plan to visit with friends. McDonald’s (for a very long time) has been a place that people go to because “it’s right there”, not really because they want to. If I’m wrong, you should stop reading right here.

 

Obviously you’re still here, and my above statement is still true. This is a perfect way to extend the McDonald’s brand and essentially try something new without affectinmccafe coffeeg regular McDonald’s stores. McCafé’s will offer a whole new range of products, such as: all day breakfast, pastries, fresh salads, yogurt, and of course their famous coffee.

Relating this back to an article I wrote about Uber, you just got to love watching a new competitor fight for room in an existing market, although the situations differ.

It’s quite obvious who the main competitors will be: Tim Hortons and Starbucks, and in another universe maybe Coffee Time. My personal opinion is this is truly going to come down to location, location, and location. McDonald’s has already proved to Canadian consumers that they have fantastic coffee, and they’re currently still going through the appropriate steps to change consumer perception of their brand. The question is can they steal some of Tim Horton’s and Starbuck’s customers simply by putting McCafé locations in similar areas? I know if it was up to me, that’s exactly what I would do.

McCafé could turn into an actual destination and no longer somewhere to go because “it’s right there.” I mean, could you imagine people having McCafé dates without sounding incredibly cheap? I personally can’t, but never say never.

With it’s first small location being Union Station, I can say that I will have my eyes peeled on where they decide to open their next few stores, and how close to a Tim Horton’s, Starbucks, and Coffee Time (in the alternate universe) they’ll be.

 

Dakarai Turner (Dak) is an ambitious professional approaching his final year of the Advertising & Marketing Communications program at Humber College. Over the course of the summer, Dakarai spent his time working as a Communications Intern for the digital and marketing agency thinkCOMPASS, as well as the Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals as a Marketing Coordinator. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect on LinkedIn to learn more about him.

Dakarai Turner

Tales from a Hypocrite – Why I use AdBlock

December 5, 2015

AdBlock, from an Advertising students perspective

After a long conversation with a co-worker about the advertising industry, he said something that I’m sure we’ve all heard at some point in our lives, but with an added piece. You know the saying:

“Advertising doesn’t work on me…I use AdBlock”

This had me thinking…does he really think that he is immune to advertising simply because he blocks out YouTube and banner ads? Does he really think the estimated $189.38 Billion spent in 2015 on advertising alone was wasted?

His statement eventually had me pointing all sorts of fingers at myself. Why on earth do I use AdBlock as a student that wants to work in the industry?

For those of you that aren’t familiar, AdBlock is a Google Chrome extension that you can download for free in order to block out web ads, such as: Banner Ads, Pop-Up Ads, and YouTube Ads. With over 40 million users, it is quite easily the most popular Chrome extension.

I felt like a hypocrite the entire conversation, due to the fact I was essentially giving him a lesson on why he shouldn’t use AdBlock, while I had it on my laptop and phone. The sole income for many businesses is through selling ad space. If everyone were to use AdBlock, we would have to start paying simply to browse the websites we love. Those free applications on your phone would all come with a price tag, and the Internet would no longer turn into a fun place.

I mean who doesn’t love those borderline annoying pop-up ads that virtually promise you a free gold iPhone?

gold iphone

I know I don’t, and this brings me to the reason why I chose to install AdBlock in the first place…as an advertising student (I know, I know). I love great ads. However, I can’t stand ads that are cringe worthy click bait. You know the one’s:

bad ads

The ones that make you wonder how they ever got approved in the first place, the ones that are utterly distracting when you are trying to navigate through a website, and the ones that always seem to come at the wrong time.

One day I will work up the courage to click one of those ads and go through whatever is on the other side, till then I will avoid them at all costs.

This is a case of a bad group ruining it for the good ones. I don’t think we’d care to use AdBlock if all the ads we saw online were spectacular. That just simply isn’t the case. The reality is that we as consumers are more in control than we ever have been before. We don’t want to see an ad when we are busy doing something else. We have learned to accept that we will be bombarded with advertising messages upon stepping outside our houses. To maintain some sort of control, we would like to illegally stream the Walking Dead online without 3 impossible to close pop-ups. Guess it’s too much to ask.
My friend and I began to speak about YouTube Red, which is a paid service attached to YouTube. One of the features on this $9.99 a month service is making your video viewing experience completely ad-free. I guess no one gave YouTube the memo that AdBlock comes with no price at all, but that’s a whole other conversation we can have at a later date (Hint Hint).

youtube red

Even with AdBlock installed, I do not feel out of the loop. I am very interested in keeping up with the latest ads and studying my favorite ones. I will go out of my way to check out which new ads are buzzing around the Internet, and I’m one of those people that will search on YouTube to watch ads themselves.

Now is that fair, or just a blatant cop-out for why I use AdBlock? You be the judge.

 

Dakarai Turner (Dak) is an ambitious professional approaching his final year of the Advertising & Marketing Communications program at Humber College. Over the course of the summer, Dakarai spent his time working as a Communications Intern for the digital and marketing agency thinkCOMPASS, as well as the Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals as a Marketing Coordinator. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect on LinkedIn to learn more about him.

Dakarai Turner

The Power is in the People

November 24, 2015
Uber Branding

A look into the Uber business model: Experiences, Branding, and Competition

 

After constant recommendations from friends, and buzz all over the Internet, I finally decided to give Uber a try (I know I’m late). It was a cold night in October…bored and hungry, I wanted to visit a friend.

Two options: take the bus and have an hour ride at night, or take a free Uber (got to love promo-codes) and have a 15 minute drive.

I went with the latter. It was not only my first Uber experience, but also my drivers, and we spoke about the Raptors, Hip-Hop, and childhood experiences. In the midst of all this great conversation, he let me know exactly why he decided to become an Uber driver that night. He strongly believed in the business model that provides people with the simple opportunity to operate their own business.

If you haven’t heard of Uber, you should consider leaving the rock you are hiding under, but essentially it is a transportation network company that connects drivers with riders.

Uber Branding App

To get back to the story, this is exactly what Uber is. It puts the power in the hands of the people. An ordinary person with a 21st century model car that’s in good shape, can make hundreds of extra dollars on the side per week simply by opening their car to riders and taking them where they need to go. Sounds great right? Taxi drivers couldn’t disagree more. With Uber giving power to the people, it goes without saying that Taxi and Limousine companies, which earn a living off providing transportation to the public, would have something to say.

In many large cities, there is resistance in allowing Uber to operate freely in the market. Most notably in June of 2015, “Taxi drivers blocked roads to airports and train stations in Paris, as part of a nationwide protest against Uber.” Also through the constant threats of violence Uber drivers and their passengers have received from Taxi drivers, similar to the situation in Ottawa this past September.

Taxi vs Uber BrandingWhether or not the Taxi Commission gives Uber the green light, the truth is that they simply don’t need it. They are providing a public service that simply outdoes the Taxi business model in every sense. There is healthy competition in the market that if dealt with the right way will force the Taxi Industry to make positive changes, for the first time in forever.

 

Everything from the logo, the website, and the app brings a sleek feeling. Upon using Uber for the first time, it is beyond user friendly: from tracking your drivers exact location, to choosing your destination.

Now from all of this you may start to think that Uber sponsors the MAD Mix. The reality is when you’ve had such an amazing touch point with a brand, you want to tell the world all about it. Uber does a great job providing users with an experience. An experience that wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the large network of drivers they provide that truly extend the brand and validate it’s identity.

There is simply a great feeling stepping out of your Uber ride, whether it’s an Uber Black Escalade, or an Uber X Honda Civic painted black. The hassle of payment is already taken care of and the public inability to distinguish you’re choice of transport is present.

Uber is a game changer, however you see it.

Check out Dakarai’s last article on the branding identity behind the iconic Chicago Bulls Logo

 

Dakarai Turner (Dak) is an ambitious professional approaching his final year of the Advertising & Marketing Communications program at Humber College. Over the course of the summer, Dakarai spent his time working as a Communications Intern for the digital and marketing agency thinkCOMPASS, as well as the Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals as a Marketing Coordinator. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect on LinkedIn to learn more about him.

Dakarai Turner

Ads at Your Fingertips

November 3, 2015

Tinder is now proof that there truly is nowhere you can go to escape good ole fashioned Ads.

Tinder, the popular dating app with over 50 million users, and 10 million daily active users (which I am apart of), is now just another tactic that can be used as a marketing tool.

With the easy set up and user-friendly interface, this low cost marketing tool can be quite impactful. It sounds crazy, but hear me out.

Tinder has become massively successful over the last 2 years because of the simplicity attached to it; it is online dating without being online dating. The truth is that there is still a stigma attached with digital dating. It is seen as something embarrassing, and to be kept a secret. Tinder is a free app, where the pictures you display come straight from your Facebook profile. You set your preferences in age and location, and simply start swiping right for people you’re attracted to, and left for people you’re not attracted to. You receive a match when the feeling is mutual, and the rest is history. This eliminates all the extra time to make an OkCupid profile, create a Bio, and answer a boatload of questions.

This phenomenon opens a world of opportunities in marketing. Tinder can quite easily become the next big social network for businesses. I know, it still sounds crazy. However, in 2014, Tinder CEO Sean Rad stated that the average tinder user uses the app 7 times a day, and spends an average of 60 minutes per day using the app. This kind of user engagement can’t be ignored.

My first experience encountering Tinder advertisements was with the beer company Budlight. The profile was 33 years old, 1 kilometer away, and carried the following bio:

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“Swipe right and you’re automatically entered to join the fun. We’re creating an #UpForWhatever town full of AWESOME experiences”.

Of course I swiped right. I was then almost immediately given the following message:

11751347_10155773371010335_1909518527_n

“Boom! You’re now entered for a chance to experience the most epic weekend ever at Whatever, USA. See what might be coming your way at upforwhatever.com”

Users over the age of 21 were targeted for a chance to win a trip to the Budlight event of a lifetime.

Would you swipe right or left?

I think this method brings a curiosity factor, if there wasn’t already one associated with Tinder. In general, there are certain profiles you come across, where you swipe right just to see if the other person will return the favor. With an advertisement as the other person, it makes you curious as to what will happen when you match. I didn’t buy Budlight before, and I probably still wont buy it now. However, Tinder and Budlight created an experience for me. One that I’m sure I will remember for quite sometime. In the end isn’t that what advertising is all about?

 

Dakarai Turner (Dak) is an ambitious professional approaching his final year of the Advertising & Marketing Communications program at Humber College. Over the course of the summer, Dakarai spent his time working as a Communications Intern for the digital and marketing agency thinkCOMPASS, as well as the Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals as a Marketing Coordinator. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect on LinkedIn to learn more about him.