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Malick Ba

Malick Ba

Bad Ads

September 19, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Malick Ba

#LetsGoToTheEx-Culture and Marketing.

September 5, 2017

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

 

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

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

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

Malick Ba

Pop-Up Shops, Hypebeasts, and Coffee

August 15, 2017

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Malick Ba

Marketing and a Pink Trap House

August 1, 2017

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

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

 

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

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

Malick Ba

A Story of a Hot-Dog and Augmented Reality

July 18, 2017

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

 

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

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

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

Malick Ba

Revisiting Canada 150

July 4, 2017

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

Roots: “Celebrating 150 years of being nice”

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

Presidents Choice: “Eat Together”

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

Chevrolet Canada: The Canadian Dream

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

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

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

Malick Ba

Canada 150 & Advertising

June 20, 2017

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

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

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

 

 

 

Me reading that ad—>

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

Malick Ba

Fidget Spinners: The Hottest Playground Trend Since Pokemon

June 6, 2017

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

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

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

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

 

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

Malick Ba

The Key to Content

May 16, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Malick Ba

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

May 2, 2017

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

Influencers & Promotion:

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

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

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

Risk Management:

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

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

 

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

Malick Ba

I Dream of Memes: Internet Culture and Influence

April 18, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Malick Ba

Emoji Culture

March 28, 2017

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

 

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

MSN Emoticons

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

 

The emoji promoted through Drake’s More Life Album

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

 

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

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

Malick Ba

Online Video Content Killed My Cell Phone Bill

March 14, 2017

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

Malick Ba

Humber Connect: Networking 101

February 28, 2017

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

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

It’s not an interview

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

Don’t wait to make a move

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

Talk to everyone…yes everyone

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

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

 

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

Malick Ba

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

February 14, 2017

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

Malick Ba

The MAD Mix: A Platform for Success

January 31, 2017

If you follow this platform, you’ve probably seen Dak and I talk about looking for people in regards to getting involved somehow or writing for us. Well, this article is going to be dedicated towards just that. As a previous student of an advertising and marketing program, I learned a lot of things. But something that I found was a lack of opportunity for me to get my name out there. Yes there are networking events that I could’ve attended, or places I could’ve volunteered at, but none of those options really gave me the opportunity to showcase my skills on paper. When we started this platform, I realized that getting my ideas out there and showcasing my skills online wasn’t as inaccessible as I thought. That being said, we boast about being the voice of youth marketers. So rather than me telling you why you should write for The MAD Mix, why don’t you hear from the voices of actual youth marketers about getting involved with the platform.

Guest Writer Brandon Sardelis

Communication:

Internal or external, online or face-to-face. One of the most important aspects of this industry is communication. The way you present yourself from a communication standpoint can ultimately be a make-or-break a relationship in this industry. Critical thinking, logic, and writing are all skills that this platform can highlight in a professional environment. I asked guest writer Brandon Sardelis about how his experiences have enhanced his professional outlook:

“The Mad Mix gave me an opportunity to professionally show my support for an up coming app, Smokeshow, and create some well needed hype for it’s release date. Ultimately, it gave me a creative outlet to freely express my opinions on today’s dynamic marketing world.” Sardelis explains.

 

 

Showcase Yourself

Did you know that writing for The MAD Mix is something that you can put on your resume? Agencies and marketing firms are always looking for students and young marketers who have relevant experience And by writing, I’m not talking about a 5000 word essay. What I mean is that people are always looking to hire someone who has creativity, critical thinking skills, and passion towards this industry. Check out what two-time guest writer Jocelyn Tran had to say about her experiences working with The MAD Mix:

Guest Writer Jocelyn Tran

“As a last year Advertising student who is seeking an internship opportunity, I can’t stress enough how crucial it is to set your first footstep into the industry by volunteering at events, going to social networking nights and building your own brand, physically and virtually. Last year, I had a great chance to write a few articles for The MAD Mix, a great platform for young marketers and young advertisers who are passionate about the industry and what is happening in the advertising world. The experience was wonderful, I got to apply my writing skills, analytics and research skills to put together an articles. Engaging with people in the industry and setting your own stones to build your career is what you will gain from working or writing for The MAD Mix. It’s your turn to get out there and be presence!”

 

 

Guest Writer Matthew Nafe

It Gives You A Voice:

It’s our slogan, and our passion to be able to provide a platform that allows young people (like Dak and I!) to get their thoughts and opinions about advertising & marketing from all across the country. Just ask two-time guest writer and Ottawa native Matthew Nafe.

“Writing for The MAD Mix is such an exciting experience. Being a student wanting to break into the marketing world, the platform makes it accessible and easy for you to make your opinions heard. Writing about current issues in popular culture in a professional marketing setting puts The MAD mix in a class of its own.”

So there you have it. Experiences from not only myself, but other driven young professionals bound for success in the field. Starting from a passion, to an idea, to an award winning platform, The MAD Mix continues to allow for youth marketers to showcase their professional skills in more than one way. Simply put, we are just a canvas. What picture do you want to paint?

 

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

Malick Ba

Millennials: The Generation With A Target On Their Backs

January 17, 2017

Millennials-this seems like it’s been the biggest trending topic over the last year so lets dive right in. This label causes quite a stir with a lot of different people for reasons good and bad. Why? The fact of the matter is that Millennials are a unique group of people under a lot of pressure to succeed in a changing world. We’re seeing the world evolve, and we’re being the one’s to change it in the process. While this article will have an editorial type approach to it, there are a few things that myself, a millennial, would like to bring up.

Pressure

The pressure to succeed not only from a financial standpoint, but a social one as well is a challenge that millennials face everyday. In this changing world, we’re learning that maybe we don’t have to get married in our 20’s, or stay at the same workplace for more than a year. It’s just not that kind of world anymore. Why not embrace that? I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve heard the following phrases: “Millennials are lazy”, “Millennials are entitled”, or “Millennials always want things handed to them”. These sayings are just a few of the ways people of my generation are being described. Which is weird considering previous generations didn’t necessarily have to worry about massive amounts of student debt, finding work, or even the possibility of never owning a house, so they probably just don’t understand.

 

Why the Hate?

Pressure from baby boomers and other previous generations, will be something that millennials deal with on a constant basis. This seems to be a common cycle: things change and the previous generation thinks they “did things better”. That will never go away. But one of the things that I’ve noticed in my network is that a lot of millennials love to try and distance themselves from that of which they are. Countless times have I seen people my age reposting pretentious memes that say things like “I don’t want to be a part of this generation” or “I was born in the wrong time”-as if the people posting aren’t included in this massive generational shift. I’ve literally seen friends post things criticizing a millennial’s excessive social media usage…on Facebook…from a mobile device. Why the hate? We’re not getting any younger, we might as well accept that we’re different and work towards understanding how we can carve a strong future.

There were a lot of ideas bouncing around there, but how can people not see why being a millennial isn’t easy? We’re basically born with a target on our backs. We are a very different breed of people, but we should be embracing that rather than letting the pressure from previous generations get to us and posting memes bashing ourselves. As if being edgy or wanting to separate yourself is some sort of quality that makes you exempt from the technology driven reality that we live in. Are we that different than any other generation? Simply put, yes, we are different but that’s not always a bad thing.

 

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

 

Malick Ba

The 2017 Come Up

January 3, 2017

Out with the old, in with the new. 2016 was a big year for advertising, marketing, and especially technology. We were exposed to some things that no one had every really seen before. But rather than dwelling on what happened last year, I’ve decided to dedicate this post to open a discussion on how some of the trends we saw developing last year can (and will) affect marketers in the new year. So to kick 2017 off with The MAD Mix, here are some big things that you might see over the course of the year.

 

Virtual Reality

We got a taste of what VR can do in 2016, but I really think we’re less than a year away from seeing how this kind of technology will be incorporated in marketing strategies. VR presents an excellent opportunity to take a brand to the next level of engagement. We’ve seen Sony already incorporate VR into the Play Station 4, and not to mention Samsung with the Gear VR headset. You’re probably thinking: “Malick those things blew up in 2016, how can you say VR isn’t already here?” The thing is, Sony and Samsung are developers of these types of technology so that’s what I see to be expected. What I’m looking for in VR is how big retailers will use it. How will retailers like Wal-Mart, McDonalds, or Starbucks use VR to advertise their product? Virtual stores maybe? I think VR will change the way that we shop online in 2017, just wait for it.

Live Streaming

While sites like Twitch.tv and Facebook have offered live streaming services for a few years now, the idea hasn’t really made its mark yet with the average consumer and especially businesses. With the tech world heading towards a more mobile friendly approach, we can expect to see live streaming become much more mainstream. What do I mean by that? Well in November of 2016, Instagram officially launched their live streaming function to anyone who has an account. Instagram has approximately 600 million monthly users, so by the looks of things, we’re due for a load of live streaming content of people’s dogs and dinner.

R.I.P Radio

Ok this one might be a bit of a bold prediction, but hear me out. The reach of radio is nothing to argue. A study by Nielsen shows that broadcast radio reaches over 90% of all age groups. But I have a hard time believing that young people are tuning in the same way our parents are. From my personal experience, the only time I find myself listening to the radio is when I’m in a car, literally. Now I know what some may be thinking: “cars will always exist, so radio will as well”. I don’t necessarily see that as holding true. With mobile streaming technology (and aux cables), becoming more and more prevalent in people’s cars, don’t you think that radio may not be the best advertising choice in the coming years? Even with the development of VR technology and live streaming, we may start to see advertisers move towards a more engaging form of reach than radio. Want to read more about an interesting study on radio numbers? Click here.

2017 is going to present some really interesting trends in technology and advertising. Personally I’m most excited to see how VR pans out. There is some really interesting ways that we’re going to be interacting with media, advertising, and technology in the next 12 months, so buckle up!

 

 

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

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!

Malick Ba

Star Wars Rogue One: Marketing Success

December 20, 2016

 

2016 has seen some big movie releases, but none bigger than the critically acclaimed “Star Wars: Rogue One”. The film hit theatre last week and has since raked in about $155 million in North America alone so far. Pretty good right? Well behind the scenes, this film faced a few challenges in terms of advertising and marketing. With less than a year’s removed since the release of the last Star Wars film (The Force Awakens), check out some of the challenges that Rogue One had to overcome to succeed in 2016.

 

Star Wars Hangover

When Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out last year at this time, it was the biggest movie on the planet. Disney spent over $250 million on promoting the next chapter in the franchise which meant we literally saw ads every single place that we looked. Billboards, pre-roll, and print insertions were just a few of the ways that the film covered all bases in terms of media and it ultimately proved to be extremely effective. This year for Rogue One, advertising efforts were scaled back due to an overlap with another similarly named film in July. Rogue One featured three trailers (that were awesome by the way), and not nearly as much promotion (online or out of home) as The Force Awakens giving it a more normal marketing approach with a unique appeal to the franchise.

Selling the Story

Rogue One sells itself differently than The Force Awakens did. As Chris Thilk from Adweek explains, The Force Awakens sold us on nostalgia. The trailers and promotional material from the latest episode allowed us to remember characters and scenarios from the original Star Wars films we know and love. Rogue One had to do it differently. It’s not selling us that appeal to nostalgia, rather, it’s giving us a backstory for a plot that was never accurately provided throughout the series: How did the plans for the death star get obtained?

No Lightsabres

After doing some research (aka watching the trailers over and over and over and over…), I realized something very unique about the way this film was being promoted: no lightsabres. If you’re a Star Wars fan by any means, the lightsabre is probably the most iconic weapon in sci-fi film history. Rogue One completely avoids using the one thing that makes Star Wars…well Star Wars. According to Daniel Ricwulf from Screenrant.com, in all marketing materials related to this film there are not only no lightsabres, but also no droids, and a completely new group of actors. This presents a huge challenge. How would people connect Rogue One to the rest of the franchise when so many things are different? Using the Star Wars brand as leverage of course.

Since its release on December 16th, Star Wars: Rogue One has gained almost unanimously positive reviews. What I think this film has done so successfully in terms of marketing is that it had a unique selling proposition. Ultimately, Rogue One was successfully able to use marketing to attach itself to the franchise but separate itself to be different than every other film in the series.

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency in Toronto and is looking forward to how he can leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

The House Hippo: Fake News in 2016

December 6, 2016

Remember that old PSA  from the 90’s? More specifically the commercial featuring the house hippo?  For those who don’t know what I’m talking about (only 90’s kids will get it..), here’s the video for context:

Essentially, this advertisement sponsored by the Concerned Children’s Advertisers was a way to explain to children to not believe everything they see on TV. This stands out as one of my favourite ads of all time because it does a great job at sending a message to kids who might not know better. Some think this ad is ridiculous because there is no way that a miniature hippo could possibly be existing in their cupboards, but fast forward 20 years and this messaging still applies-but in the online world.

False news and social media are a dangerous combination. With the relevancy of memes and fake news sites, false information spreads like wildfire. Recently, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has discussed plans to limit the amount of false information that is spreading all over the platform, but as consumers what are the steps that we can be taking to ensure that we aren’t victim of the house hippo 2.0?buzzfeed-graph

To give a recent example, the 2016 U.S election had fake news published all over Facebook at a rapid rate. Articles titled something like “Pope Francis shocks world, endorses Donald Trump for President” or “FBI agent suspected in Hillary email leaks found dead in apartment in murder-suicide” are both pretty attention grabbing.  However, after doing a simple 2 second fact check, it turns out that they just didn’t happen.  Check out these articles that immediately disprove those baiting headlines here  and here.

Despite how much you would want to believe that either of those would be remotely true, what we need to be doing is constant fact checking. With the amount of technology we have at our finger tips, these kind of articles can’t be taken for face value no matter what your political beliefs are. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve scrolled through Facebook and have seen an article or meme with a caption that I want to believe so badly but after checking in with my friend Google, it’s just not correct and can’t be substituted for real information. It simply starts with understanding that this kind of stuff exists and is floating around at a rapid pace. I can honestly say that false information and its ability to rapidly spread across social media probably had a significant impact on the outcome of the election as sad as that is.

Me when I see fake news

Me when I see fake news being spread

At the end of the day, it’s easy to believe anything you want to believe. If you read a caption that coincides with your beliefs, then it becomes harder to accept that as false information which is the dangerous part. But this takes us back to those PSAs from the 90’s. When I got older, I realized that the house hippo was completely ridiculous-but so important. There’s no way someone could actually believe that they exist…could they? I think inadvertently that ad foreshadowed the wave of technology that would facilitate the spreading of fake news. While the original ad aired on TV in 1999, the messaging is still so relevant in 2016. Now if you’ll excuse me…I thought I heard something in my cupboard…

 

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency in Toronto and is looking forward to how he can leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

The Relationship Between Consumerism and Christmas

November 22, 2016

The day after Halloween, I woke up and decided to grab a coffee from my local Starbucks and noticed a subtle difference in their menu. What seemed like overnight, they switched their classic fall feature beverage-the pumpkin spice latte- with holiday inspired drinks and cups. I love the holidays, but I ask this question every year: why so early? Why November? Can’t businesses wait until December before their Christmas promotions roll out? While it was a small change, ultimately it got me thinking about Christmas time, huge dinners, and most importantly: buying gifts.

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I feel like Christmas is a special time-a time for sharing, peace, and prosperity. While big businesses like Starbucks look like they are trying to get you into the Christmas spirit, the point of their promotions is all positioning. In the advertising & marketing world, positioning is a term that describes the consumers understanding of a brand from their point of view. The strategy in positioning at Christmas time shows that by promoting early and getting consumers into the Christmas mindset, when it comes down to finding the best sale, or product to buy, chances are they’ll remember the stores that were hitting them back in early November.

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There is no doubt that Christmas is a huge time for business-arguably the biggest and most important time of year for sales. My experience at Starbucks really shows that massive corporations are always looking to capitalize at this time of year for as long as possible. Think about it: November 1st hits and its out with Halloween and in with Christmas in an instant. It’s not just Starbucks either. Visit your local mall and I guarantee that the Christmas “theme” is in full effect. It’s hard to argue that consumerism is a massive part of Christmas time. What the most successful businesses like Starbucks, Best Buy, or Apple (just to give a few examples) have done year after year is paired Christmas time with spending money in the mind of the consumer. From my perspective, visiting malls or electronics stores scouting for the best deals has almost become more of a tradition for me than what the holidays are actually supposed to be about.

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Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays but when I can’t even finish my pumpkin spice latte before the Starbucks barista puts on a holiday outfit, maybe it’s a bit too early. I understand that the idea of positioning is to get me in the mood for Christmas which means spending more money, but it’s the same thing every year. The concept of materialism will always exist at Christmas time, but maybe it’s time to dial things back a bit and focus on what the holidays are really about: spending time with your family’s and not just spending money. Oh, and whoever said it was the most wonderful time of the year clearly hasn’t spent 20 minutes trying to find a parking spot at the mall…

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency in Toronto and is looking forward to how he can leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

The 2016 Election vs The Internet

November 8, 2016

This is it. Today is the day we find out who will be the 45th President of the United States. I’ve been following this election for quite some time and have written a few pieces on it thus far-so what better time to wrap up the trilogy than the night of the election? At this point in the game, your mind is probably made up. Clinton? Or Trump? Rather than focusing on the candidates themselves, lets take deeper diver into how the coverage of this election on the internet has made waves. With the adaption of quicker technology, social media, and trends lets take a final look at how this has gotten a larger conversation going about the Presidential race.

 

#ElectionFinalThoughts

There’s no question that with the amount of posts, tweets, and memes (especially), social media has had an enormous impact on this election. While admittedly, Twitter isn’t my go to social media platform, I think its capabilities in reaching a mass audience have proven very effective in this election period. The hashtag #ElectionFinalThoughts trending on Twitter,eleciton-tweet users are able to give their final weigh in on both candidates, their goals, and more with less than 24 hours to go. Users across multiple social media platforms have engaged with this hashtag-some for comedic purposes, some not.

 

Memes:watchingthis

Attracting the young voter can be extremely difficult but I think that with the development of the internet and social media giants like Instagram has made it a lot easier for youth to engage in some kind of political messaging. If you’re on Instagram, memes have almost become a way of communication procmaxresdefault-2ess and are very effective in engaging users on any topic. With any huge event happening in pop culture, news, or sports, you can always expect a plethora of hilarious memes to follow. With an extensive amount of coverage online and offline about this election, memes have gotten social media users actually engaged with what’s going on in the U.S. While no, they aren’t novels or textbooks, but more importantly they allow some sort of shared commentary about the election among users on social media (most notably-young people).

 

Donald Trump’s Twitter Account:

Ohhhh boy. Now I don’t really want to focus too much on the candidates-rather the impact the internet has had over election coverage, but I could not leave this one off. Donald Trump’s twitter account (and public relations department) completely outside of politics is straight up just bad. Everything I’ve ever been taught about professionalism and presenting yourself accordingly goes against anything that Trump has ever tweeted. His tweets provide an almost comical commentary on really anything that might cross his mind. I think this election has really only solidified Trump’s irrationality and spontaneity online which in turn can be entertaining in the end.352f3d8800000578-3637755-image-m-30_1465752175782

There is no doubt that the internet and social media have developed exponentially since current President Barack Obama’s debut in 2008. There are good parts and bad parts to this. The bad being that it allows for misinterpretation of information. False information travels so quickly on the internet that simply doing a fact check could change your mind on any political candidate. The best part about the internet concerning this election is that it gives everyone a voice. The internet grants the average person to provide commentary and effective communication on this election through the use of blogging, memes, tweets, and more. For all of our American readers-you have a voice, let that be heard through an effective vote. Oh…and one more message before you hit the polls…

 

 

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency in Toronto and is looking forward to how he can leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

Revisiting Donald Trump’s Personal Branding

October 11, 2016

Remember my article about Donald Trump? Well 6 months and two major presidential debates later,  I think it’s about time we address how his behaviour, ideologies, and personal branding has developed over this period of time.

After watching the two presidential debates, we are seeing Trump’s colours in a way that doesn’t necessarily add to his qualifications of being the president of the United States. While he’s always said things that have been wild and most of the time outrageous, he’s just hurting his image at this point. Trump’s personal branding has always been about dominance, power, and “respect” (using that one very loosely) through absurd statements. However, when we get closer and closer to election day, it’s obvious that these outlandish comments that he makes are only hurting himself and his chances to become the 45th president of the United States. This entire debate showed that the way Trump perceives himself through his words and actions don’t align with his political abilities.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump answers a question during the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

This election period has only shown that Donald Trump and his personal brand are not compatible in the political realm. The way that he speaks about himself and others are truly indicative that once this election period is over (God forbid he wins), the Trump brand will most definitely take a hit. How? Well let’s start with his recent comments about women. If you hadn’t heard, a video was leaked of Trump in 2005 talking about women in a disgusting way that no presidential candidate should do. Check out the clip below:

 

His arrogance has simply caught up to him.  I know that’s big part of his image and why he’s even in the spotlight, but in order to be a leader of a country, your branding to say the least has to be on point. There is a certain stature that it takes to be a leader, but the way Trump speaks is evident that he’s clearly not the answer. Even watching this debate was cringe worthy. While Hillary Clinton isn’t necessarily a great option, there seems to be no choice. The way that Trump carried himself especially during the first debate showed that his style and branding can’t coexist within this field successfully. With constant interruptions of the moderator, and yelling “wrong…wrong…wrong” after everything Clinton said shows his childish behaviour and clear lack of ability in this context.

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In other words, Trump’s true image is catching up to him quickly. It still baffles me that someone with no political background who is basically a cartoon character has gone this far into the election process. Personal branding and the way that you present yourself in front of an audience is important, but when does your message get lost in antics? Was it the first debate? Second debate? As soon as he said he was going to run for president? Who knows. Personal branding is a powerful thing if used properly, but it can seriously affect your image in a negative way. You should take notes Donald.

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency and is looking forward to how he can leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

Drugs, Danger, and Dominance-Why We Are All Obsessed With Narcos

September 27, 2016

*Warning-this article contains explicit content*

First and foremost, can we talk about how good Netflix is at creating addicting original content? If you didn’t know already, Narcos is an original crime series on Netflix that came out last year. It tells the story of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar’s control over the cocaine trafficking industry out of Columbia into the United States in the 70’s and 80’s. When I think of crime TV, I think of shows like Law and Order, or CSI-but Narcos is one like none other. Here’s an examination of why Narcos stands out as one of the most popular shows on the planet right now.

pabloDrug Culture

Existing completely outside of the online/television medium, Narcos glorifies an aspect of North American society that is seen as controversial-the popularization of drug culture. The producers of the show are definitely not blind to the fact that drug culture in Canada and the United States is most certainly “cool” or popular. While it is a bit taboo to say, drugs and drug smuggling has always had a sense of danger, hustling, and urban culture associated with it.  If you don’t believe me, check out these hype tracks that basically glorify being a drug dealer:

Cut It – O.T. Genesis ft. Young Dolph

 

El Chapo Jr – 2 Chainz

So as you can tell within about :30 seconds, both of these songs revolve around drug culture, trapping, and making bank which in turn describes what Escobar’s life was all about in a nutshell. While this level of hip-hop music differs significantly from what Narcos is all about, I think it’s the sense of underground power, money, and respect that comes out of drug culture that makes it appealing-especially to look into the window of. In no way am I condoning the use of drugs, but it would be lying to think that this type of culture isn’t already popularized in today’s society-Narcos being an excellent example of that.

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Content

Stepping away from the popularization of drug culture, Narcos is a series that only furthers Netflix’s dominance in the online streaming industry. With a story that flips the traditional crime show on its head by featuring the villain vs the protagonist (one can argue here that Escobar is the protagonist-but for this sake lets just say he’s the bad guy) and combines that with an intriguing plot line full of danger, drugs, and violence-what isn’t to like? It’s popular and is binge-watch worthy for so many different reasons. Season 2’s trailer does a great job of capturing the essence of what the show is all about:

Essentially, Narcos really captures a sense of authenticity, which in my opinion can’t always be captured with traditional television viewing. It tells a story of violence, mystery, and drugs in a way like no other popular television show that I’ve ever seen before. So while the show did have some promotion leading into its latest season, I think its less about how its promoted, but rather what its promoting-good content and drugs.

 

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency and is looking forward to how he can leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

Innovation, Apple, and the iPhone 7

September 13, 2016

With the iPhone 7 set to debut in-market in a few days, I thought it would be appropriate to not only talk about the release of the phone but more importantly how its been talked about. I’ve seen the specs, I’ve seen the cameras, and I’ve seen the lack of a headphone jack (which doesn’t really bother me to be quite honest). Even with these new upgrades and gadgets the new phone comes with, I feel like its lacking the one true component that Apple has basically been founded on: Innovation.

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Now I know that there is no replacement for Steve Jobs. He combined his passion for technology with an innovative mind which led Apple to become one of the most successful global brands of all time. When he unfortunately passed away, Apple picked Tim Cook to be their front man-their new Steve Jobs. I know it is an unfair expectation for anyone to fill those shoes, but since Jobs’ passing Apple’s lack of innovation hasn’t really been surprising. But it hasn’t been terrible.

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The iPhone 5 was the first Apple phone to come out in the Tim Cook era, and it definitely didn’t disappoint. With new features added and a sleek design, it was notable that this version wasn’t a failure. Ultimately, it was a good start. Disappointment arose with the release of the iPhone 6. Yes it’s an unreal phone with a bigger screen and a better camera, but what was it more than that? The 6+ was basically just a bigger version of that if I’m not mistaken. What can we expect from the iPhone 7? More of the same kind of upgrades.

I read an article today titled iPhone 7 Analysis: Apple’s Cocky Vision of the Future that made me think a little bit. Cocky? Apple is supposed to be known for being innovative, futuristic, inclusive, and friendly. Was the word “cocky” ever used to describe Apple products in the Jobs era? Maybe that’s unfair of me to ask. Regardless, the article breaks down the iPhone 7’s features with headings like “The Same Design On The Outside”, and “Where’s The Home Key”, which aren’t necessarily showing any sort of positives in this situation.

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I don’t want to subject Cook’s ability to be a good CEO, and I also don’t want to subject his success to the release of iPhones and iPhones only. But there’s a statement to be made here. Steve Job was Apple. The way he envisioned the company and brought ideas to life was fantastic. I think with the release of the iPhone 7 and the comments made thus far about it don’t necessarily indicate the same ideologies that would have been communicated in the Jobs era. However, I think we (and by we I mean I) need to realize that Apple is in a new era. One for the better? Time will have to tell, but I think Tim Cook will have his own legacy to carve.

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency and is looking forward to how he can leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

 

Malick Ba

Work Hard, Play Hard

August 30, 2016

In school they teach you how to prepare for the workforce. They throw tests and projects at us trying to really get us prepared for what its like to actually be in the work place. When I completed my studies a few months ago, I nosedived right into the advertising agency life. Its hectic, and I honestly feel like while school did teach me fundamentals and practicalities, there’s no proper way to teach someone how crazy working in advertising is. While yes, it is insanely busy sometimesoverwhelming what’s important is to relax and get to know the people you work with on a daily basis. I’ve had the fortune to be working at an agency that unofficially encompasses the term “work hard, play hard”.

The importance of getting along and knowing your coworkers is synonymous with success. If you can make the time to join together with the people you work with after a long day, it makes work life easier, and a lot more fun. I’m lucky enough to be a part of an agency that takes this culture seriously. Last week, my entire organization stopped work and went camping for three days out in the woods. Over 150 people were given the time off to take a break, get away from the stresses of work and most importantly: hang out with your work people.

work work work work

 

We arrived last Wednesday afternoon and the weather was beautiful. We were all assigned cabins like summer camp, giving it a legitimate authentic experience. Our afternoons were filled with team building activities designed to force you to talk to people you’ve never met before and work together as a team to accomplish a task. The nights consisted of partying, and drunkenly getting to know people you never thought you’d ever talk to. Honestly, it was one of the most fun times I’ve ever had at “work”.

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More companies need to address team building and working together in the work place. Even outside of work, its important to get to know the people you work with until you’re friends with everybody. School doesn’t teach you that. After this experience, I feel so much more connected with the people I work with everyday-and that makes me a little less stressed out about how busy things are all the time. Being apart of an organization that values the well-being of its employees ultimately makes the work easier, and going to work a lot more fun.

This is why I appreciate this camping experience fully.  It was perfectly designed to get people out of their shells and start having fun-which is what working should be all about. Plus, singing karaoke at 3am at the top of my lungs with my boss when people were trying to sleep makes made me realize that at the end of the day, work should be fun.

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Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick is a coordinator at a planning agency in Toronto and is looking forward to how he can leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

Tasty Takeover

August 16, 2016

In the last year or so, I’ve gotten really into cooking. Straight up if you asked me what my favourite things to watch on TV it would probably be some Gordon Ramsay show or Chopped. I always liked those programs because there was something interesting to learn about food. But as an amateur (and by amateur I mean reeeaaally amateur) chef, watching these shows made me realize how advanced some of the dishes could get. I always tried to learn from the chefs from those huge TV shows, but could never even come close to making some of the dishes. After about my 27th screw up on some sort of eloquent Egyptian dessert, I thought that there had to be an easier way for me to learn about how to make some bomb food.

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This is where Tasty came in. If you’ve been on the internet at least once in the last few years, you’ll notice these quick, quirky, and fun videos popping up all over social media on how to make simple dishes, really easily. But it’s become more than just that. They’ve tailored their content perfectly to capture a millennial audience and those who are always on the go. What I think has made Tasty to become one of the biggest “foodie” channels on the internet is the way that they market themselves combined with how they’ve really zoned in on their target audience.

tasty gif

Going beyond just watching their content, Tasty has blown up primarily to their successes with using Facebook optimization as their key to success. Rather than simply posting links to their website, Tasty builds their content with the purpose of posting directly to their social media platforms (Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram). In a way, they’ve really honed in on how to optimize towards a Facebook or Instagram page versus their own website. I didn’t even know Tasty was operated by Buzzfeed until months after I followed them. According to Fortune.com, Tasty has utilized Facebook’s algorithms in a way that keeps them actually on their page longer than having them go to a different website. Which is attributed to their insane success on their Facebook page versus their own website.  Facebook also allows you to simply tag your friends in a video of something like this:

 

Ok after seeing that, its right back to the content. Tasty’s content is so successful because of how fresh it is. Before Tasty, I didn’t know of any methods to broaden my chef skills other than watching Gordon Ramsay scream at someone because their scallops were undercooked.

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Tasty gives people like me, someone who is constantly on the move and doesn’t necessarily want to look through a massive cookbook, a way to learn new and simple recipes while simply just browsing social media. Their visuals allow me to comprehend how to make something simple, very quickly. What started out to be a small project, but quickly became one of my (and over 30 million people) favourite channels to follow on Instagram and Facebook alone. The combination of using social media optimization and brilliant (and delicious) content has kept me hooked, but more importantly: learning in a fun way.  Lets be honest, who wouldn’t love being tagged in a video of mac and cheese?

 

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency and is looking forward to how he can leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

Suicide Squad and Promotional Value in Film

August 2, 2016

Suicide Squad-one of the most hyped up movies in the last few years makes its theatrical debut this Friday, August 5th. Besides having a star-studded line up of actors/actresses, the marketing team behind this film has made some pretty effective moves in terms of getting some insane promotional value. What makes a movie promotion work? Experiential value, a hype soundtrack, and a massive budget. Combined, the promotions team has done a great job bringing the film to life.  As a person who isn’t really a frequent movie goer, I’m going to break down the reasons why I’m excited to see a film for the first time in a while.

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Soundtrack

A good soundtrack can make the dullest films seem pretty good. What I like about what’s been released from the Suicide Squad soundtrack is that its diverse. One of my favourite songs that’s come out surrounding the film you can hear below:

Not only is Sucker For Pain a catchy track, but the video is also very dope. It almost embodies the film with a creepy theme combined with a list of artists you’d never think to have worked together. Lil Wayne and Imagine Dragons? It actually sounds better than one would think. The marketing team behind this song definitely figured out a way to connect a few demographics when putting the artists together for this song: I.E Logic fans aren’t necessarily Wiz Khalifa fans-or Lil Wayne fans being Imagine Dragons fans for that matter. At the end of the day, this song brings groups of people that aren’t familiar with each other in a way that gets them to enjoy something together. Great promotional value.

Stars

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Films filled with super star talent are almost guaranteed to have high box office success. When putting together the cast for this film, the team had to build it not only based around overall talent but popularity as well. Suicide Squad combines a list of actors that have starred in completely different roles over the years, but have come together for this film in a way that works. To get people to want to watch a film like this you almost have to have an all-star lineup of stars. Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie are just a few names to get me wanting to see the film already.

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Experiential Value

Aside from Comic-Con, the film has been promoted in other unique ways that transcend just going to the movies, or listening to a catchy song. One of the things that Warner Brothers did was actually do a take-over of a tattoo parlour in Austin, Texas and transformed it into Harley Quinn’s Tattoo Parlour. For those who don’t know, Harley Quinn (played by Margot Robbie) is not only one of the main characters in the film, but also one of the more psychotic super villains in the DC universe. Patrons of the tattoo parlour had the option of actually getting a tattoo (real or fake) of original artwork in relation to characters in the film. I thought this definitely provided some unique experiential marketing qualities to an already hyped up film.

All in all, Suicide Squad has to be one of the most anticipated films of the year. With some amazing promotions, stars, a sweet soundtrack, and a high budget its hard not to want to go see this one even if you aren’t even into comics. The marketing behind it is fantastic, and that’s what’s got me hooked.

 

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency and is looking forward to how he can leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

Kanye West Vs. Taylor Swift-A Love Story

July 19, 2016

The Kanye West and Taylor Swift conundrum just got a bit crazier. If you haven’t heard Kanye’s song “Famous” off of his latest album The Life of Pablo, pause right now and listen below. *Caution-Nudity*

As you just heard, one of the opening verses in the songs has caused quite the conversation.  “For all my south side n***as that know me best, I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex, why? I made that bitch famous.”

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Obviously that’s a very bold statement by Mr. West-and a daring one at that. Kanye is always known for saying some outlandish stuff, but just this week alone that verse has caused quite the commotion. Taylor Swift had come back denying that Kanye had ever reached out to her about the verse previous to it being record and sold on one of the best hip-hop albums of the year. So why has this become so relevant? A few days ago, Kim Kardashian (Kanye’s beloved wife) had tweeted a video of a conversation between Kanye and Taylor concerning the verse. The video’s content was basically Kanye talking to Taylor about using her name in that song and the content around it. What was surprising was that Taylor Swift gave Kanye the ok to use her name in a verse-which ultimately goes against all of the claims that she had made when the song was first released. Check out the clip here.

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Yikes

 

 

 

Why is this a big deal? This whole situation just goes to show the power of influencers and public relations as a celebrity. This feud has been popping up all over the internet and has ultimately damaged Taylor Swift’s public image-she lied and got caught. I bet her PR team is working furiously to try and resolve the issue but at the end of the day, three of the biggest names in the industry are being talked about on a wildfire level once again. While this is a PR issue for Swift, something to me seems like this wasn’t planned out perfectly between the trifecta of Swift, and the West’s. Its just too easy.

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While we’re still looking for answers about who’s right and who’s wrong in this situation-bottom line is that situations like these are reasons how celebrities stay relevant and always in the spot light. When people ask why Kim Kardashian is famous, you look at situations like this. She’s gotten herself involved with some of the biggest names in music. They’ve interconnected themselves using the internet to create a story that puts every single one of them in the spotlight.

Lets get serious. kanye gif 2While Taylor and Kanye have had a history of feuding, adding Kim to the mix just amplifies the story even more. Kanye and Kim have their own relationship. Kanye and Taylor have their own relationship. Now, Kim and Taylor have their own relationship. Each one of those people has their own publics to manage and be involved in. I don’t pay much attention to stories like these, but its fascinating from a PR perspective to see the types of interconnectivity between not only the three, but what this means if you’re a fan of either one of those people. It’s a matter of picking sides, and the three of them influencing their publics and the media in a way that amplifies into a huge story. While I’m not really a fan of Taylor or Kim, I’m going to have to default and join #TeamKanye for this.

 

kanye gif

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency and is looking forward to how he can leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

Top 3 Rebrands of 2015-2016

July 5, 2016

Rebranding is never easy, but its something that companies can do every once in a while to stay fresh, modern, and up to date. The tricky part about rebranding is that while everything can change, your companies message needs to remain consistent and familiar with an audience. So for this week’s article, I’ve decided to look up some of the top 3 rebrands, or brands that have gone through big changes in the last year.

#3: Google

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How can google possibly rebrand themselves with such a simple logo? Well while this is a subtle change, it keeps us familiar with the brand while adding a newer, more fresh feel. Rebranding doesn’t necessarily mean changing your audience, or message-but google arguably doesn’t have a huge message that they are trying to communicate to its consumers. Like I said, its simple, but I love how they kept it simple by adding in thicker letters but keeping the same colour tone. So I’d say they did a good job.

#2: Instagram

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Does this count as a rebrand? Regardless, their new logo design has made waves. Some positive, some negative. In addition to their more colourful logo, they’ve made some significant changes to the features of the photo-sharing platform. For example, they’ve added in a “suggested” friends section, making it more accessible for their user base to add friends from other social networks like Facebook. Another big change is that they’ve added in a suggested viewing section right above their discover section, which allows viewers to access content that they might like. Whether or not this counts as a rebrand, some of the biggest changes that Instagram has done in the last year makes it worthy enough for a discussion.

#1: The MAD Mix

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Arguably one of the best rebrands of all time…ok maybe we’re jumping the gun a bit. But recently we’ve cleaned up our website and made some changes. Dakarai was in charge of the newer logo. We tried to clean up our logo to follow a more modern, minimalistic approach while keeping our same colour scheme.

We’ve organized our menu bar in a way that makes it easier for our audience to be able to access the articles that they want to read, by specific author (I.E Me, Dak, or our Guest article section). In addition, we’ve updated a section primarily just for our weekly recap articles so you can stay up to date with the advertising and marketing world more conveniently.

What are your thoughts and/or suggestions about the recent changes that we’ve made over the last week? We’d love to hear from you.

 

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency and is looking forward to how he can leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

Walmart vs Visa

June 21, 2016

Shopping for cheap stuff just became a bit more inconvenient for a lot of people. A few weeks ago, Walmart Canada announced that will no longer be giving its customers the option to be able to pay for their items with a Visa credit card. Over the years, Walmart has gained some serious traction in the electronic payment realm as people (like myself) never carry cold hard cash. Walmart has used this to their advantage. With faster transaction methods gaining popularity (Visa tap, Apple Pay, to name a couple), companies like Visa has so much power.

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Why? Ordinary consumers like you and I are always looking to get the most convenient way to purchase things, and with companies like Visa consistently pumping out latest technologies or methods that make it more accessible and easier for everyone. According to seekingalpha.com, Visa has positioned themselves as powerhouses as merchants (in this case, Walmart) are almost forced to accommodate, and work together in order to provide this convenience to their customers.

This gives Visa the control over their own fees and billing structure to work with the 2.4 billion Visa cardholders making approximately 56% of all global credit transactions last year. Through this positioning, they have been able to achieve an 11% year over year growth in 2015 which roughly translates to 27.9 billion dollars.

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While it is largely a battle of economics, Walmart hasn’t backed down. By refusing to accept Visa cards within their stores, they are essentially using this as a bargaining chip to present to Visa’s dominance within this market. How? In simple terms, Walmart is aiming to shift the fee structure of Visa currently by allowing them to appropriately split the fees levied on each credit card transaction within their store. By having Visa denied out of their stores, it denies Walmart from being leeched on (if that’s even the right word) by the credit card giant. It also makes room for their Walmart Pay program, which we could be seeing much more of if this battle continues. If Visa remains locked out, then they lose access on the millions of customers spending money literally everyday.

It’s basically a battle between one of the biggest retailers in the world versus one of the biggest credit card companies in the world. But at the end of the day, it comes down to the consumer. Walmart isn’t going to go out of business, and neither is Visa. But this situation causes a huge problem to regular Walmart shoppers because if your card isn’t useable-why have it? Personally, not being able to pay with my Visa card at Walmart (I rarely shop there as it is) is a huge deterrent from me even wanting to spend money there, so why would it? If this continues, then Walmart could see a decline in customers and Visa automatically sees a decline in dollars in their pocket as a result. Battle of the corporations at its finest.

Is this game of chicken going to prevent you from shopping there? Is this even an inconvenience? Who knows, maybe the rise of cash is making a comeback…but I doubt it.

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Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency and is looking forward to how he can leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

The Secret To Going Viral

June 7, 2016

I’ve decided to finally tackle what seems to be the life long question in the advertising and marketing world: how do you get your product/campaign/content to go viral? As someone whose grown up with the internet, there is one simple answer for this: you can’t. Marketers invest so much money and time into trying to make their campaigns be the next ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, but at the end of the day, there is no formula for it. There’s a certain quality about viral campaigns, videos, or memes that simply just catch on because they do. Ultimately I think that the things that make content viral is a combination of either effectiveness, call to action, or humour, or all of the above.

I’m on Instagram a lot, and that place is basically a hub for viral content-mostly giphy (4)memes. Its interesting to see the types of things that go viral even if they aren’t promoted by a huge brand. At the top of my head, some of the biggest viral content on Instagram has been completely random. Think about it: Damn Daniel, the crying Jordan meme, and especially the sponge-gar meme that’s blown up as of late.This isn’t content that’s created with any intention of becoming something bigger than a joke, but that’s what makes it so interesting. Marketers focus on formulas, data, and algorithms when attempting to create campaigns that will be the next big thing, but really there is no way to effectively quantify why “Damn Daniel” was even a thing. If anything, it’s the outcomes that are the most important. The kids behind that entire joke got a life time supply of Vans for basically accidently promoting their product all over the internet.

To give a personal example, I was watching a hockey game at some point last year and had made a tweet about one of the players. About 10 minutes later I had gotten a notification on my phone that I had it had been retweeted a couple of times. I didn’t think anything of it. About an hour later, my phone would not stop buzzing. To my surprise, my harmless tweet had over 50 retweets and about 100 favourites (or “likes” now). Apparently a fan account of the player I commented on had retweeted me onto their network so all of their followers had seen it and then done the same. I was astonished, and actually kind of excited that something I said actually kind of had some substance to it (it really didn’t).

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So really, there is no way to make your content, campaigns, or products go viral on purpose. Let’s be honest, if it were that easy to achieve, then everyone would do it. It takes a certain element, a certain quality to content that has to do with a combination of good timing, appropriation to specific context, and the effectiveness of whatever it is one is trying to promote. That being said, if you see The MAD Mix go viral, it wasn’t by accident-its simply because Dak and I have obviously mastered how its done. At least that’s what we want you to think…

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Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency and is looking forward to how he can leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

The Value Of Playoff Tickets In Toronto

May 24, 2016

Dak and I were both watching game 7 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals between the Miami Heat and our hometown Toronto Raptors. As the 4th quarter came to a close after a very satisfying win, we both knew we had to get tickets for the next round. After a few hours of trying to find the best deal, we got them. We spent $250 dollars on Raptors Playoff Tickets.  Now while this was a massive impulse buy, it got me thinking.  Was the price worth it? This got me thinking about how sports franchises leverage prices within their markets during playoff periods.

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The average ticket price for a basketball game here in Toronto is anywhere between $50-$90 dollars give or take. Meanwhile, we got playoff tickets off www.stubhub.com for $250 dollars. That’s an insane mark up. I get that tickets sold on stubhub have prices set by the person you’re buying from, but tickets sold on www.ticketmaster.ca in “affordable” sections of the arena still go from anywhere between $240-$260 dollars.

So why are the tickets marked up so much? The experience. Companies like Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment knows that this city loves its sports. This is evident from the plagued playoff series between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs a few years back. Sorry Leafs fans. But what also doesn’t help is that they are basically the monopoly of all major Toronto sports teams-Raptors and Leafs being the hottest commodities. MLSE knows that the playoffs are a time of excitement, energy, but most importantly: money. It’s moments like the one Dak and I had when we splurged to get tickets to the next game that franchises capitalize on. They know that we would pay a premium to be a part of a historic basketball season. Yes, it is incredibly expensive, but how can you put a value on the overall experience of a playoff game?

So after attending the game, I can openly admit that the market value of the tickets were worth it. The atmosphere, the crowd, and the energy were crazy enough for me to immediately recognize the worth of the tickets MLSE jacked up for us nicely. Overall the tickets did cost us a lot, and they were difficult to track down, but the worth of them goes beyond monetary value. Its definitely worth the heightened experience.

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Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malickworks at an advertising agency and is looking forward to how he can leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

Social Media’s Adaptation to Online Behaviour and Trends.

May 10, 2016

There’s no question that the purpose of social media is connect people online. One of the more interesting observations I’ve made over recent years as a result of its development is that it also allows people to engage in online trends as well. I’ll define trends as things that happen on social media that I’ve noticed happening frequently. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ll use Mother’s Day as an example.

On Sunday, countless people on my Facebook page had some sort of Mother’s Day related status or picture. It’s almost become a ritual for people to update their profile pictures and or write heartfelt messages about their mothers on this day. This isn’t meant to be a criticism by any means, I do it too, but its more of an observation of how social media has affected online social behaviour when it comes to days like this. I think that this “trend” (if that is even the right term) is only making it easier for popular social media platforms to adapt to this. Facebook is a perfect example of this. Over the years, they have added features like temporary profile pictures and filters to encourage users to engage and become apart of these specific trends. On Mother’s Day, I was given the opportunity to temporarily change my profile to a picture of my mom and I just for the day.  Not only was it a way to showcase my love for my mom, it was also a cool way to engage with an online trend.

My mom and I

My mom and I

Snapchat (we love talking about Snapchat) also does a great job at this as well. There are filters for almost everything now. To stick to my Mother’s Day example, Snapchat added in several filters to celebrate Mother’s Day as a new way to engage with the photo-sharing mobile app. Snapchat has developed their filter-game strongly over the last year to emphasize that.IMG_2808-1

While trends might be a loose term for this, it has become routine for people over the years to take to social media to make posts about Mothers on Mother’s Day, or Christmas posts about Christmas, Halloween posts on Halloween, etc. As a result, social media platforms like Facebook and Snapchat have obviously spent time studying online behaviour and developing their platforms to provide a new level of engagement to accommodate posts about specific holiday’s or events. With the emergence of social media, online behaviour is being tailored towards combining trendy behaviour in regards to holidays or events, but also how with users engage with the platforms on a day to day basis.

 

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency and is looking forward to how he can leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

Beyoncé and Lemonade

April 26, 2016

She’s the master of the surprise album. She’s powerful. She’s a master of marketing. To no surprise, this article is all about Beyoncé herself. With her sixth studio album titled “Lemonade” released out of nowhere last weekend, I felt it was appropriate to talk about the Queen herself.  The album is full of broken relationships and ultimately a testament to the strength and perseverance of black women. While although I think Beyoncé fans would love anything that she put out, Lemonade is just a testament to how well her marketing department knows how to operate.

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Lemonade originally became available on Tidal which is a music streaming service owned by her husband none other than Jay-Z. Conveniently, her album became available as soon as her HBO special ended on 10pm on Saturday. For those who are unfamiliar with Tidal, Jay-Z acquired the Swedish music streaming service Aspiro, and rebranded it as Tidal with several other dominant artists last year. One of their biggest marketing strategies is the exclusivity it provides. If it’s on Tidal, then that’s how you get it (cough cough, Kanye West). However, her album was uploaded to iTunes on April 25th.giphy (3)

According to Billboard.com, when her album was released on Saturday, google searches involving the words “tidal” and “music” rose above to over 150%. That is definitely indicative of the kind of power Beyoncé has. Projections for its sales are expected to sell approximately up to 600,000 units this week alone.

Back to the album, it has started a lot of controversy in many other ways. Beyoncé discusses cheating in relationships within the album that has broken the internet. Without mentioning his name, Jay-Z has been under fire recently. Lyrics hint at the fact that Jay-Z possibly cheated on the Queen with Rachel Roy, a fashion designer that has been rumoured to be involved with the Brooklyn super star over the years. But that may be one of the most magnetic traits about the album. The internet is full of conspiracy theories discusses the possibilities of their future. Is this some sort of PR stunt to promote the album? Who knows? Is it legitimate? No clue. But what I do know is that the media (most notably tabloid magazines) have been inadvertently promoting her album, her music, and herself exponentially over the last few days since Lemonade’s release.

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Beyoncé is arguably one of the most powerful women in the world, if not the most powerful women in the music industry. The timing of its release was unknown, but perfect. The lyrics behind her music imply, but don’t tell.  The amount of articles, theories, and bits of information that have been written about Beyoncé is just indicative of her control over us. All hail the queen.

 

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick is a senior at Humber College and is looking forward to how he can leave his mark upon the marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

NBA Fans Aren’t The Only Ones Saying #ThankYouKobe

April 12, 2016

#ThankYouKobe has been a trending topic on social media for about a month now. It’s no news that after 20 seasons, basketball legend Kobe Bryant has finally decided to retire from the NBA.  With his final game coming up tomorrow, I felt it was appropriate to write about one of the influential, talented, and greatest basketball players of all time. What does Kobe leaving mean to the NBA? Especially the woeful 16-65 Los Angeles Lakers? While this season has been one to forget in terms of the L0284974001449089364_filepickerakers’ record, fans have seemed to brush that aside in light of the Black Mamba’s retirement. Since Kobe’s heartfelt retirement letter was released about four months ago, the NBA has done nothing but make sure he is recognized (literally) daily.

The NBA is using Kobe’s retirement not only as a way to engage fans, but to potentially boost sales in merchandise and tickets. For example, fans outside of LA have been scrambling to get tickets just so that they can see him play one last time. To provide some point of reference, the cheapest tickets for to see Kobe in Phoenix (a low-medium sized franchise might I add) saw fans paying a minimum of $127 on Ticketmaster.  To compare that to other games in Phoenix? Tickets to a game between the Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies sat at an underwhelming $9 per ticket. Fans hate that Kobe is retiring, but this means an inevitable hike in ticket sales by pretty much every arena that Kobe had left to play in. I still hate myself for not grabbing tickets when the Lakers played the Raptors a few months back.

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So this leads to the burning question…how much would it cost to go to Kobe’s final game tomorrow night in LA? According to Forbes, the Black Mamba’s last game will cost fans approximately over $1300 (USD) on the resale market. That is the cheapest ticket a fan can get. But it gets crazier. According to Fox Sports, a Lakers fan spent $55,000(USD) for court side seats to Kobe’s final game. The fan bought two tickets averaging just around $27,000(USD) per ticket. The Lakers franchise and the NBA must be quite content with that. In fact, the Lakers are doing nothing but trying to capitalize on what they have left. Recently, the franchise unveiled the “24 Collection”, which a series of merchandise they are selling on their website that features a Kobe inspired snakeskin hat that fans can purchase for just $38,248.08. The collection showcases other merchandise like a jacket and other hats. All of which look extremely mint.

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In regards to promotional efforts, the NBA has done an awesome job at making sure Kobe is recognized. On Instagram, the NBA started a campaign called #ThankYouKobe. As his final game approaches, fans have been using this hashtag to share their favourite memories of Kobe. I’ve seen artists create paintings of Kobe on Instagram using this hashtag and it made me think of how much this guy has influenced people.

So while the NBA and especially the Lakers franchise have been capitalizing on Kobe’s retirement this entire season, it comes with the job. Yes, arenas have been hiking prices. Yes, it’s hard to justify expensive merchandise. But when someone dedicates 20 years to being an all-star, to being the greatest one can be, it somehow justifies itself. Kobe Bryant will forever go down as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, so this is a pretty huge deal.

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#ThankYouKobe

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick is a senior at Humber College and is looking forward to how he can leave his mark upon the marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

The Wild and Wacky Branding of Donald Trump

March 29, 2016

First let me start this off by saying in no way do I support this man in any aspect.  That being said, Donald Trump has seen massive success in branding himself and getting exposure as a result. I can’t remember the last time I logged on Facebook or Instagram and haven’t seen posts about the republican presidential hopeful.  However, he’s become someone that everyone loves to hate (with very good reason). His illogical, goofy, wild personality attracts negative publicity like bees to honey.  The other day I was having a conversation with a friend and we asked ourselves “how on Earth is this guy still even a thing?”, knowing well that we had been having that same conversation a year ago. But that’s exactly why he’s still relevant. The longer the US election period progresses, the more radical and wacky things are becoming when looking at Trump. He keeps opening his very large mouth, and we keep freaking out about it. Below I’m going to break down some of the reasons why I think Trump is a successful brand, but still a shitty person.

He speaks his mind

We’ve all heard this one. I have daily conversations about this clown, but one of the more recent ones with a friend (who I’ll call Steve) shocked me a little bit. Steve and I had been hanging out one night having a conversation about Trump. He told me that while he doesn’t tumblr_nsptouEpyC1sttla5o1_500agree with any of his ridiculous statements, Steve still appreciated the fact that he has the ability and image of power that he can just say whatever he wants. While I was pretty quick to disagree with Steve, I immediately connected that comment to hundreds of other people saying the same thing. People love confidence, and that is a huge part of branding.  Is his confidence and lack of filter (or “chill” for my millennials out there) really overriding the fact that he’s a monster and might actually ruin the world? Who knows, but his efforts in branding himself this way are proving beneficial in terms of exposure.

He’s easy to hate, and that gets everyone talking.

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Remember my Kanye West article? It’s the same kind of principle. While being two completely different people, some of the things that make these two guys easy to hate is their ability to get people to disagree with them. I personally don’t know anyone who supports Trump (thankfully), in fact almost everyone I know has something negative to say about him, and they have.He’s an easy person to hate because of the hateful things that he says. It’s so ridiculous that how could you not post on social media about it? I’m doing that right now! No publicity is bad publicity, and he’s structured his branding around that same sort of concept.

His ties to money.

dollabills-kenny-powers-donald-trump1991-Trump’s Taj Mahal (Atlantic City). 1992-Trump Plaza Hotel (Atlantic City). 2004-Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts.  2009-Trump Entertainment Resorts. These are four times that Trump has filed for bankruptcy.   So why does everyone have the perception that he’s got money to blow? But more importantly that he is still swimming in it. While despite filing for bankruptcy on multiple occasions, Trump’s branding has positioned himself as a man who has an endless wallet.

While a few of these occasions were kept on the down low, the further his campaign comes along the faster people are doing their research. Unfortunately for the world, his tie to billions of dollars comes with the name. His past as a “successful” businessman mixed with his insane personality has combined to prove that if you have a strong brand that is connected to money and/or power, it will be hard to disconnect. This hype Rae Sremmurd track only reinforces this.

So despite the endless negative publicity Donald Trump gets on the internet, this might just be a part of his big plan. The articles, memes, and air time reserved for this man is getting him exactly what he wants: exposure. His personal brand has shown that time and time again, if you do or say outrageous things, there will always be repercussions positive or not.  But that’s not necessarily the point. What are your opinions on Donald Trump’s branding? Is it successful? Is he still the worst? Let us know.

Malick Ba is currently living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick is a senior at Humber College and is looking forward to how he can leave his mark upon the marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

 

Malick Ba

How Twitter Got Phased Out

March 9, 2016
Twitter

As a 90’s kid/millennial/20 something, a lot of my spare time is spent scrolling through social media on my phone (sue me).  Riding the up rise of smartphones within the last 5-7 years or so, it’s interesting to note some of the trends and changes that I’ve gone through with my mobile habits. In my experiences a few years ago, social media was concentrated into three platforms: Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.  These were platforms that I relied on for entertainment, connecting with friends, building followers, and keeping up with current events. These platforms were the dominant players in the social media game back in the day, probably because of the lack of other platforms.  Flashing forward to 2016, the evolution of social media has changed so much and so quickly that one of these big platforms for me is quickly becoming harder to keep up with: Twitter.

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Remember when Twitter was the most insane thing ever? I remember when I first heard about it and thought: “Wow, this is pretty stupid.” But after a year of peer pressure, I caved and immediately changed my opinion on it…drastically. I used Twitter for everything. Current events, world news, trends, social networks, you name it. But recently with the emergence and development of different social media platforms (Snapchat and Instagram most notably), I’ve had a harder time remembering that Twitter is still even a thing. Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks this way. According to Business Insider UK, since a peak in 2014 the number of tweets generated per day by Twitter users has fallen by more than half. With an active user base per month of 115 million people, Twitter has seen more than half of those people stop tweeting.Don’t get me wrong, I still know a lot of people who use Twitter on a daily basis. Its development over the years has seen some amazing success. But for me personally, I just don’t ever have the desire to tweet anymore, not like I had much interesting to say…for example:

A riveting tweet by me. No one responded.

A riveting tweet by me. No one responded.

I use Snapchat (malickba) and Instagram (@malickbba) probably just as much as I used Twitter a few years ago. This raises some questions: will we still be using these popular platforms with the same frequency a few years down the road? I think that with the emergence of so many fast paced, perspective based social media platforms (Periscope for example), will I phase out Snapchat and Instagram the same way that I phased out Twitter? I guess only time will tell. Until then, I’ll keep scrolling.

Malick Ba is a marketing professional living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick is a senior at Humber College and is looking forward to what he can provide to the marketing world upon graduation. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

The Relevancy of Kanye West

February 24, 2016

Yesterday I was having a conversation with a friend over Facebook chat over a recent status that I had about Kanye West. He explained to me that he wasn’t a fan of Mr.West’s personality, arrogance, and general musical direction (I don’t necessarily blame him). However the most interesting reason why he decided to slide in my DMs versus actually commenting on the status I had made about the South side Chicago super star was because he didn’t want to start an argument about the topic publicly knowing that myself or others on my friends’ list might turn it into a lengthy discussion.

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Hate him or love him, Kanye West has been the definition of a trending topic since he came onto the scene with his debut album in 2004. Everyone seems to have an opinion on Kanye. With the recent release of his seventh studio album titled “The Life of Pablo”, Kanye has had the entire world talking, but it isn’t necessarily just about his music. What is it about him that gets everyone so worked up? Is it his attitude? Is it his Twitter rants? Is it his music? All of the above perhaps, but I’ve been a fan of his music since his first album (The College Dropout) and it’s interesting to see not only his development as a musician over the last 15 years, but as a prominent figure in the pop culture world.

In my personal opinion, there’s no doubt that Kanye is an amazing human being. Every one of his albums tells a unique story about his personal experiences in life, racism in America, capitalism, etc. His venture into the fashion industry is evident that he’s trying to further himself as an artist. While I am trying to stay objective on this topic, what is absolutely insane to me is that with the excess amount of negative publicity he gets on literally a daily basis, he still finds himself in a position of power in pop culture.

Kanye West performing on Saturday Night Live

Kanye West performing on Saturday Night Live

He understands marketing and personal branding in a way that keeps him relevant regardless of what he does. That being said, he always seems to say (or do) things at the absolute worst possible times. I.E the Taylor Swift VMA situation in 2009, or even his recent comments regarding Bill Cosby (I’m not ok with these by the way).

It’s evident that Kanye uses his negative (and I mean horrible) image in the public to keep his brand relevant and talked about. I know people who have never listened to even a 30 second clip of one of his songs, but could write an entire essay on why they dislike him. Is this marketing? Better yet, is this good marketing? I’d say so. Marketing does not necessarily have to be about sales, or how much money you’re making. It’s about trending behaviours, personal branding, and staying relevant or talked about over time. Kanye West hits all of those categories. The fact that I’m even writing this right now is proof that it’s working.

Kanye West Interrupts Taylor Swift at the VMAs in 2009

Kanye West Interrupts Taylor Swift at the VMAs in 2009

We’ve all got an opinion on Kanye West, and I definitely get why people don’t like him. He looks like a buffoon in the media, he always acts up at the worst times, and his Twitter situation is what looks like to be a chronicle of someone who is actually going crazy. But that’s exactly why he’s still extremely relevant a decade later. He keeps talking, and we keep talking about it.

“People talk so much shit about me at barbershops; they forget to get their hair cut”

–Kanye West 2007

Malick Ba

The Best Advertisements of Super Bowl 50

February 10, 2016

While I was semi-disappointed with the outcome of the actual game, the Super Bowl this year in terms of discussion is definitely one to remember. For both advertisers and sports fans alike, the super bowl is one of the most anticipating nights of the year. As advertising students, Dak and I had several discussions about what our favorite ads were probably more than the actual game itself.  On average, companies spend approximately $5 million dollars for a precious 30 second ad slot for a commercial to be played if you can believe it. In this week’s article, Dak and I break down some of our favourite Super Bowl commercials:

Amazon Echo

Malick: The ad features Amazon’s latest product: the Amazon Echo. Just based off of the ad alone, the product looks very “siri”-ish (for our audience that uses iPhones) in the sense that it is a voice recognizing audio device. But if there is one thing you can expect in a multimillion dollar super bowl ad is a plethora of celebrity cameos. This ad features stars such as: Alec Baldwin, Dan Marino, and Missy Elliot (and even Rick Ross in the background) which you can assume makes the audience basically automatically be engaged. They even use the device to hint at a new Missy Elliot track which is a nice cross-promotion effort.

Audi R8

Dak: One thing about car ads, when they are done right they truly shine. This is especially the case with Audi’s Super Bowl ad advertising their new R8 model. No better way to demonstrate the thrilling experience of driving an Audi than to compare it with an astronaut flying a rocket. It truly gives you shivers. Don’t believe me? Watch for yourself.

2016 Hyundai Genesis

Malick: This one was probably my favourite. At the end of the day, who doesn’t find Kevin Hart hilarious? The ad features the “Car Finder” feature of the vehicle in the classic story of an overprotective dad on his daughter’s first date. Check it out.

4)    T-Mobile

Dak: If you’ve read some of my articles, you probably could’ve guessed that I am a fan of the 6 god himself. Drake fan or not, T-Mobile hits all the necessary areas for a Super Bowl ad. Funny, Trendy, and Buzz-Worthy.

So there you have it. With the amount of production, writing, and celebrity cameos, it’s easy to see why so much money has been spent on these ads. Big companies that are able to produce these ads are confident spending $5 million for such a short time because to be frank, they simply work. These were just a few of the plenty of ads that we saw over the course of the week, comment below if your favourite ad was left out!

Malick Ba

Tim Hortons Is Way Too Canadian For It’s Own Good(will).

January 27, 2016

In the last month, we’ve seen some pretty big changes with everyone’s favourite thrift shop Goodwill. According to The Toronto Star , in the last few weeks the second hand clothing store has seen 16 stores and 10 donation centers in Ontario shut down without much communication from upper management. What I mean by that is Goodwill employees had shown up for their respective shifts only to find a note on the door saying that the store has been closed.  On top of that, one of the biggest issues with this that I have is that Goodwill is known to hire a plethora of individuals with disabilities. With a combination of horrible communication and laying off 430 employees (many with disabilities) from a public relations perspective, this looks really really bad. To flip the script a little bit, there is one organization in Canada that truly embodies what it means to be inclusive, helpful, and truly Canadian: Tim Hortons.

A note posted on the front of one of the 16 Goodwill stores closed.

A note posted on the front of one of the 16 Goodwill stores closed.

It has been reported by The Toronto Star that Mark Wafer, a Tim Hortons franchise owner of 6 has reached out on social media to (former) Goodwill employees  (disabled or nondisabled) and has been offering them a place to work. Wafer himself identifies as being deaf, only being able to listen with 20% hearing.

Mark Wafer and Employee

Mark Wafer and one of his employees.

This is not some sort of elaborate PR stunt. This is not a marketing tactic to get people to buy more coffee. This is a story of someone who is truly able to embody what it means to be a loving, helping Canadian. Whether he knows this or not, Wafer carries the characteristics of the type of person that Tim Hortons’ brand should want to employ in their organization in management positions. Canadian businesses should look to Wafer as to how they can improve employee relations, business practices, and public image.

This situation reminds us about the difference between good management, and bad management. Goodwill ownership has fumbled pretty hard with public image because of their colossal lack of effective communication. The Tim Hortons brand has a gem in Mark Wafer. This is a prime example of a person who can improve business and perpetuate the positive Tim Hortons’ culture of what a true, inclusive Canadian leader would do in a situation like this.

Somehow, Wafer made Tim Hortons even more Canadian eh?

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Malick Ba is currently an aspiring marketing professional living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick is a senior at Humber College and is looking forward to what he can provide to the marketing world upon graduation. Follow him onTwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

Uber Ethics

January 6, 2016

“Don’t drink and drive”, “find a safe way home”, “plan your route in advance”, are just a few of the phrases that are brought up a multitude of times over the holidays, and I’m totally on board. This New Year’s Eve, I knew that the smartest and most efficient thing that I could do to plan a safe way home would be to do what myself and millions of others do: catch an Uber.  Long after the countdown, I decided to split the fare three ways with a couple of friends to reduce the cost and save some cash. When we arranged for us to get picked up, we were bombarded with messages saying that between 12am-4am were “surge” periods and prices would be heavily inflated from their usual, more affordable ones because so many people were using it. Without giving much notice to that, we bypassed that screen and were on our way home only to notice that what is a normally about a $15-20 ride was about $50. While you can bring up the argument that we consented to having these prices be higher due to their surging periods, Uber has received some hefty criticism about this from people all around North America.

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An angry Uber user takes to Instagram to express his frustrations with surge pricing.

This is the first year that I’ve really become engaged using Uber and I’ve been nothing but a brand advocate. I love it and use it all the time. But In my opinion, this was not the most ethical thing that Uber could have done. After seeing so many Mothers Against Drunk Driving commercials on TV and Government PSAs about avoiding driving drunk on New Year’s Eve, in my opinion it doesn’t make sense to me that Uber would charge more during times when people need them the most. After doing some research, some users of the app have been charged up to 10x more than their normal fare that night. Is this not taking advantage of an inebriated target audience?

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To me, this is the first real negative experience that I’ve had with the company, and I’m really not impressed. I get that New Years is a busy time and I understand that at the end of the day the company is trying to maximize profits. However, the company could have done a few things to avoid having such negative publicity in the last few days. Building a brand isn’t always about making money and capitalizing off of people’s fortune. It’s about creating positive experiences, meaningful interactions, and generating awareness so that people will want to keep coming back. Those are also three things that Uber has been put in the negative spotlight for. Ethics and marketing can be tricky, but to me this one was a no brainer. So would I fix this? These are three things that I would have done if I were the head of marketing for Uber before New Year’s Eve:

  1. Partnering with M.A.D.D.

Partnering with Mothers Against Drunk Driving would be a great idea. By building a connection with a recognized anti-drinking and driving organization, it shows that as a brand you care about people avoiding potential harmful collisions under the influence. The two brands could work together to try and find a “ridesharing” program for people leaving towards the same area of the city ultimately making the ride cheaper.

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  1. Provide users with fare estimations before consenting surge prices.

The convenience of Uber is outstanding. It never seemed like an issue to me but after checking that my bill was 3x higher than it normally was on NYE, I was concerned. If the app showed an estimate (based on where my destination was) of how much my actual bill would be on the same page as the surge price consenting page, I may have reconsidered and avoided this situation entirely.

 

  1. Make rides free.

Hear me out. Uber has basically been built on positive brand awareness, so why stop when people need it the most? If Uber had made their rides free between let’s say between 12am-4am, I guarantee the same amount of people would have used it, if not more. Instead, the company actively chose to capitalize off of drunk people. If rides were free, they would have shown that they are serious about avoiding drunk driving and wanted to keep safety in society as their number one priority. This in turn would have further boosted their public image and most likely would have positioned them better against their competition. Of course they would lose out on a lot of extra cash in their pockets in the short term, but in the long term they may have seen more people using the app because of this good deed.

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Agree? Disagree? What do you think Uber could have done to avoid this situation?

Malick Ba is currently an aspiring marketing professional living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick is a senior at Humber College and is looking forward to what he can provide to the marketing world upon graduation. Follow him onTwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

Star Wars and Co-Branding

December 23, 2015

Whether you’re a fan of the series or not, you have to appreciate that over the last week the film Star Wars: The Force Awakens has done some incredible things and has broken the records that we all thought it would. In my opinion I think it’s probably the biggest movie to come out within the last 15 years. But how?  How does a film like this build so much revenue and hype that it can break records in its first weekend? The answer is pretty simple: exciting advertisements and co-branding.

Over the last few months, we’ve been bombarded with advertisements and promotions for the new film. A few days ago I was listening to the radio (I know right?) and a Bell Mobility commercial came on. While the ad was airing, the Star Wars main theme was playing in the background and instantly made me think of how badly I wanted to see the new movie and I was actually kind of engaged with what the commercial was saying about some phone I’ve already forgotten about. The point I’m trying to make is that advertising straight up works. Even though there was almost 0 connection between what Bell was trying to sell me and the Star Wars theme playing in the background, it peaked my interest, and I think that’s one of the main reasons why the film earned an estimated $247 million in its opening weekend.

There has been so much co-branding with this film subwayheader-161651, that it was hard to get away from it. Some of the brands that I interact with everyday have teamed up with the record breaking film to ensure that it could generate the most amount of revenue possible. Brands like Subway, Kraft, Verizon, and Duracell are just a few of the brands that I’ve come in contact with recently that have had a connection in some way to the new film. Will I buy more Kraft Dinner because it has a picture of Chewbacca on it? Probably not. But that’s not the point. The point is that when I buy a box of KD, or a sandwich at Subway, images in the store and on their packaging end up occupying space in my head about the new film which is basically the cornerstone for how advertising works. This is exactly how the movie has seen so much success since its opening day a few nights ago. Disney’s marketing team has used the force on its target audience  by successfully teaming up with so many different brands to cross-promote this film that there was almost no way that it would be set up to fail. No matter how anyone thought of the film’s actual plot in the first place.

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Have you seen the movie yet? Think the advertising was a bit excessive? Let me know what you think.

Malick Ba is currently an aspiring marketing professional living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick is a senior at Humber College and is looking forward to what he can provide to the marketing world upon graduation. Follow him onTwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

 

Malick Ba

How DJ Khaled Unlocked The Keys To Success

December 11, 2015

The keys to success: probably some of the biggest buzzwords on the internet right now. We’ve all seen them. If you’ve been living under a rock (if you have actually have been, click here), I’m talking about the ridiculous Snapchats DJ Khaled has made within the last couple of weeks. DJ Khaled’s Snapchat account (djkhaled305) has given us a view into the inspirational lifestyle of the master-collaborator.  What he’s done is post a series of Snapchat videos and pictures focused around what his “keys to success” are in life. Whether or not washing yourself daily with Dove soap is actually a key to me succeeding in life is questionable, but the hilarity of having this man deliver that idea to me is enough to keep me laughing.  Whether it’s running on a treadmill, eating breakfast or taking a shower (yeah he actually does that), Miami’s very own DJ Khaled has done more than just provide me with endless entertainment and advice on what I need to succeed. From a marketing perspective, he’s done an excellent job building an online social presence and personal brand that can actually engage with the target market he’s trying to reach.

He’s taught us a lot about what it is to builenhanced-418-1448977583-5d a personal brand in an ever changing online market in a way that’s fun to keep up with. With a combination of personal branding and marketing public relations, there’s no question that DJ Khaled’s
Snapchat has gotten the internet talking. Essentially, he’s done what he has needed to do to keep himself in the online world’s spotlight for the time being.  He’s used social media to establish his own identity to help market himself and his product. Whether or not he’s actually selling us anything in these hilarious Snapchat videos is one thing, but he’s actively keeping himself occupied in the mind’s (and phones) of us, the consumer.

Personal branding is all about someone marketing themselves, their career, skills, or anything else that you want people to know about you. Keeping up with a personal brand can sound kind of robotic or confusing, but people like DJ Khaled have effectively established their brands because they know what kind of audience they can capitalize on. Like I said in my last article, Snapchat is definitely one of the most unique ways that young people can showcase themselves to their friends or network. DJ Khaled has utilized the ever so popular social media platform to showcase himself in a way that’s not only beneficial to himself and his brand, but it’s also extremely entertaining to be a part of.enhanced-32661-1448977431-2

Personally I can’t remember a single time where I’ve thought about when the next ground breaking record from DJ Khaled was coming out, but what he’s done to build an online presence has gotten himself talked about quite a bit. In the last week alone, I’ve had about 5 people ask me if I’ve added him on Snapchat yet. Who knows? Who knew I’d be looking at DJ Khaled for advice on what the keys to success are? Anyways I’m off to buy an endless supply of Dove soap, Listerine, and green apples. See you on the path to success.

Bless up fam.

 

Malick Ba is currently an aspiring marketing professional living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick is a senior at Humber College and is looking forward to what he can provide to the marketing world upon graduation. Follow him onTwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

 

Malick Ba

How Snapchat Snapped Back

December 2, 2015

“What’s your Snapchat?” A phrase asked by millions that has nearly replaced asking for someone’s number. To be honest, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t pulled that one before. But what makes Snapchat unique? What have they done in the last year that has made the quick-photo/video sharing application so enticing for millions of users worldwide?

Myself? I’ve had Snapchat for just over a year now. The concept was pretty easy to grasp and it was fun for a while, but I never really saw the use of it after a while. To keep things brief, Snapchat is a mobile application meant for sharing time-sensitive photos, videos, and drawings to anyone on your friends list. Seems like a pretty simple concept. However in the last year, we’ve seen more and more big time changes to the risqué mobile application. Changes for the better.

This September, the Snapchat team has capitalized on the successful growth of the app and decided to almost take their marketing to the next level to keep bored users (like myself) refreshed. On September 15th 2015, Snapchat released “the update”. Snapchat basically reinvented their game to add a whole new level of entertainment for its users through different features and filters. Its biggest move? The app developers have added a face recognition filter, so when the camera is facing the user, users can then add “lenses” which can transform the users face into pre-loaded figures.  snapchat-animated-selfie-lenses-800x416

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Me using the “American Thanksgiving” lense featured on Snapchat this week.

Different lenses include the infamous rainbow puke or the old man’s face. We’ve all used them, and yes, they are still hilarious. What makes this feature unique is that the lenses are constantly updating so users are never stuck with the same one’s for extended periods of time. For example, the latest one was made for American Thanksgiving, where your face literally becomes a turkey that makes insane noises when you open your mouth. How jokes is that?

Since these were added, Snapchat has done nothing but continue progressing forward in the online market and have found new ways to capitalize on this entertaining feature. How you might ask? Just a few weeks ago on November 13th, Snapchat has actually developed a new lense store. This allows users to purchase different lenses for just $1.19 apiece.

Snapchat evidently saw that they had an opportunity to capitalize on a unique opportunity and ran with it. The changes that they’ve made to the application since its release just less than five years now are phenomenal. What started off as a simple picture sharing app has developed into one of the most popular social media platforms amongst people my age. With a combination of face-recognition technology and insane creativity, the Snapchat team has revitalized the fun in using it. Now, I personally use Snapchat every day, multiple times a day, lense or not. Essentially, they got bored users back into using it, and with this new store they’ve set up, don’t expect them to slow down anytime soon.

How do you use Snapchat? Let me find out! Add me at: MalickBa.

Malick Ba is currently an aspiring marketing professional living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick is a senior at Humber College and is looking forward to what he can provide to the marketing world upon graduation. Follow him onTwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

3 Things You Can Do To Land Your Desired Internship

November 21, 2015

Graduation. Internships. Jobs. Life. Seems a bit overwhelming right? Like many students, I’ve realized how quickly reaching the end of the road approaches in terms of my acade

fryemic career. The stresses of exams, studying, and our social lives are easily some of the most critical things that a student can worry about. However, one of the biggest concerns a lot of students have is how to be prepared for the real world. Luckily, many colleges offer programs and opportunities to breach the illustrious advertising and marketing world through an internship at the end of the academic year.

Some of us may have no clue where to start, or how to be prepared for real work. So, in order to better prepare you for your internship, here are three important things that we’ll need to get started.

  • Design a portfolio

Ok, you say you have great design skills and that you are awesome at using computer programs and that you have all these skills and that…ok but how do you show an employer that? Having a developed, well designed portfolio can possibly be one of the most underrated things that any young professional can do for themselves. I was able to reach out and contact an industry professional who works as a copywriter at one of Canada’s leading independently owned ad agencies, and he said that having a well-developed portfolio can easily set you apart from others you’re competing against. Your portfolio should be filled with some of your best work whether it is design, a mock-campaign, or even just a really good report. Click here to find some tips on designing a great portfolio. These things should be compiled together in a way that is most easy to show case your skills to impress your potential future employer. If you suck at using adobe products, you should learn to get better or get someone to design it for you. Having an outstanding portfolio allows you to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk too. Essentially, it brings all the skills you’ve written on your resume to life and in a visual format making it easier to let potential employers know what you’ve done.

  • Volunteer

This is another very underrated, yet important aspect of your resume that will help you in your internship/job search. Employers will be looking for those individuals who have been able to show they have been a part of different volunteering initiatives and this can be a way to set yourself apart from others. Personally, since I’ve been a Humber student, I’ve had so many excellent volunteer opportunities. I’ve been given the opportunity to help volunteer at networking events, marketing award ceremonies, and escorting guest speakers to where they are supposed to be. Not only does this provide you with something to add on your resume, but it also gives you the chance to give you first hand networking experience. I have made several really good contacts through volunteering at Humber that have been beneficial to me and my chances of getting a good internship. Ok, but how do I know about all these opportunities? Where should you start? Tracking down volunteer opportunities isn’t easy, but a good place to start would be to talk to your program coordinator and show them that you’re interested. Not only does this give you chances to volunteer, but it also shows your program coordinator that you want to take initiative. It’s a win-win situation.

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  • Attend Networking Events

Get your mingling skills ready. Networking events can be tricky and nerve-racking, but they present a lot of really good opportunities to talk face to face with the right industry professionals. If you are a Humber College Advertising and Marketing Student, there will be a networking event set up by a committee of 2nd year ADMC students with the sole purpose of manetworking picking contacts for your internship. This night will take place in late February at The Spoke Club in downtown Toronto, and will be an excellent way for students to get engaged with actual marketing professionals. To find out more about this event, click here. This night out caters to the individuals who need assistance trying to find an internship, but don’t really know how to start looking. I was fortunate enough to be able to volunteer at this event last year and it gave me an awesome insight on how even just the smallest interactions between people can create meaningful relationships. Trust me, talking to complete strangers is not always the easiest thing, but this event provides you with the comfort of being with your friends, but also interacting with industry professionals.

So if there are three tips that I can give you to help you land that awesome internship at the end of your ADMC career its these: make a portfolio because it will set you apart, volunteer as much as possible, and attend that networking event! It was made for students, by students, so it could not be any more convenient.

Caution: If you follow these tips, you may see yourself at the hottest new advertising agency in Toronto (or the world, why limit yourself you know?).

 

Malick Ba is currently an aspiring marketing professional living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick is a senior at Humber College and is looking forward to what he can provide to the marketing world upon graduation. Follow him onTwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

Facebook Likes and Internet Fights

November 10, 2015

An insight on understanding and measuring the value of “likes” and followers on social media.

A few months ago, I got into an argument with a friend over something I thought was very insignificant. I hit the “Unfollow” button – boy, was I wrong. Online followers and casually “liking” pictures on social media has become so infused with the lifestyle of Generation Y and Millennials that it is not uncommon to feel some sort of disconnection or discouragement when you lose a follower, or don’t get at least 30 people liking what you had for dinner. The more likes you get on a post or picture, the more popular you are… right? But what does this mean from a marketing point of view? Through the accumulation of likes and followers, social media has become channel for businesses to promote and advertise their product or service to a mass client base.

This led me to the question: how does one attribute value to the amount of “likes” or followers they accumulate on social media platforms? Likes and followers have not only become extremely relevant, but also are valuable in the business world. Coming fresh out of my first year in an Advertising and Marketing program at Humber College, social media has been a big part of what I’m studying. Whether I’m developing mock advertising campaigns or project planning, I’ve been almost trained to use social media as a tool to help understand who is viewing certain content and whether or not this content has successfully resonated with the consumer. For example, after doing a bit of research I did, it was no surprise to find that brands that had the most likes on Facebook were also some of the most popular brands of all time. Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and Disney are only a few of the forefront runners in terms of likes on Facebook. Does this really surprise anyone? These are prime examples of businesses that fully understand and utilize likes as a way to gauge their businesses success and especially creating content relevant to their audience in order to continue growth.

“Likes” are more than just ways for people to acknowledge someone or something. They have become ways to measure validity and success (which is probably why my friend got upset with me unfollowing her on Instagram…oops). The value of likes and online followers constantly contribute to the enhancement of oneself or business. Simply put, companies can use “likes” to measure the success of the promotion of their product or service. Likes give marketers so much data that is hard to even quantify, but at the same time it seems so simple: more likes = more success. After doing a bit of digging, it’s hard to find a business with little to no social media presence that is still very successful and relevant in the offline world. Likes essentially provide three things: a client base of potential buyers, popularity, and most importantly, information on decision making in terms of how to effectively tailor future digital content for continual growth. This means understanding an audience and how you can use the amount of likes and followers you have to understand the accuracy of your marketing strategies. Businesses and people alike can determine whether or not whatever content they post, or product promotion is successful or not depending on how many likes they can get.

Likes can be so simple, but so complex at the same time. For businesses, they provide valuable information on their target audience. Companies can then analyze and study all the content they provide in order to effectively engage their product in the market. However, for the average person like me or you, a like or follow on Facebook accounts for validation or reassurance that whatever they are doing is what they should be doing. So the next time you get in a fight with one of your friends, for the sake of your friendship, I strongly advise you to be careful about hitting that unfollow button. It means a lot more than just not wanting to constantly see tons of selfies… trust me. Personally, if I said I don’t pay attention to the amount of likes I get on a post, I’d partially be lying. That being said, don’t forget to like, share, retweet, and favorite this post for me.

 

Malick Ba is currently an aspiring marketing professional living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick is a senior at Humber College and is looking forward to what he can provide to the marketing world upon graduation. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.