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Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (September 9 – September 15)

September 15, 2017

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

Written by: Malick and Dak

 

Lululemon Releases Their First Male Focused Campaign

D: Lululemon, the brand rightfully associated with woman’s yoga pants is starting to shine light on the fact that they also have men’s clothing with their new campaign. I for one can admit I realized this for the first time a few months ago, and I’m sure there are tons of other men that still think it’s only a women’s brand. Their new campaign “Strength to Be” questions the status quo of what it means to be a man and “manly”. This reinforces the idea that a man can be much more than simply their physical strength. Each video ad features a different athlete, public figure, or musician telling a story about how they’ve overcome adversity with internal strength and self-awareness. One of the examples is Orlando Cruz, who was the first boxer to come out publicly while still fighting. He describes the fear he had initially and what it took for him to make that announcement. Check out a couple of the spots below.

Australian Lamb

M: Literally what did I just watch? Recently, an Australian lamb company had released one of the most bizarre commercials I’ve seen in a while. The spot depicts several religious figures including Jesus, Zeus, Moses and more, gathered around a table sharing a meal with who seems to be an ordinary woman. The spot opens with the “gods” saying how much they love the food with a response from the woman saying “Well that’s a relief. It’s a nightmare catering to you lot with all your dietary requirement.” Littered with even more terrible religious jokes, this spot has received a number of complaints from people offended about the misrepresentation of their god and religion in an oversimplified way. I thought this had to be one of the strangest ideas for an ad in a while. Knowing that a number of people hold their religious beliefs very close to them, I don’t see how this made it through any sort of approval process. Not only is it kind of offensive, but it’s just doesn’t deliver. I’ll leave it to you to judge, check out the spot below:

Apple releases “Dear Apple”, a short film

D: Coming hot off the Apple event earlier this week where the brand announced the iPhone 8 and iPhone X comes a short film centred around the Apple Watch. “Dear Apple” details not only the functional benefits of the tech but also dives into the emotional benefits. The concept of the film follows real customers narrating real letters they’ve sent in to Apple thanking them for a particular situation. The majority of the stories are surrounding the health benefits of the watch as it will give you key statistics that can help with your workout. One of the stories featured in the film is of a man that was severely injured in a car accident that left his car flipped on its side. He details how he was able to use the “SOS” feature on the Apple Watch to get help. Brilliant idea for the film!

 

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

Guest

NBA Legend Charles Barkley: New Spokesperson for the…NHL?

June 30, 2017

Guest Article By: Shaun Ferguson

 

The NBA has some of the most outspoken players of any major sport, and that’s a good thing… for the NHL.In the past year, current and former NBA players, coaches, and personalities have been some of the most outspoken people in sports. LeBron James formally endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, Russell Westbrook has called Kevin Durant a cupcake, and of course, Lavar Ball…nothing else needs to be said.

All of these crazy personalities all fighting for air time, is usually a good thing for the NBA. People are interested in celebrities and when they do crazy things, people pay attention. This is part of what makes the NBA such a marketable sport, the reality t.v like voices that go along with it. That plan goes a little awry when one of those voices jumps ship however.

Charles Barkley, one of the most outspoken players of all time, has declared his love for the NHL and his pity for the NBA.

That’s right, even Charles Barkley, a man who was paid to play professional basketball and is now paid by TNT to watch and comment on pro basketball, is sick of the NBA playoffs. And the NHL is taking full advantage.

It is no secret that the NBA playoffs where not the most exciting. Besides the finals, the NBA playoffs where a cakewalk for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors. Meanwhile the NHL Playoffs were filled with excitement, and Charles Barkley took notice.

“I’m just glad to be here because the NBA playoffs have not been great, while the Stanley Cup playoffs have been amazing,” Barkley told Mike Milbury of NBC in a live interview during game four of the Cup finals.

Barkley also told ESPN that hockey analyst Barry Melrose was the “best analyst on television,” said that NBA players are “wussies” unlike NHL players, and in a press conference with Wayne Gretzky said that the best part of his job this spring has been being able to watch the NHL playoffs while in the studio. This was the outspoken voice the NHL had been waiting for.

In hockey, and in the NHL this would never happen. Charles Barkley is well-known for his famous Nike commercial in which he proclaimed “I am not a role model.” Well, that’s the exact opposite of what NHL players are taught to believe. NHL players rarely say anything bad about the league that has given them so much and are taught from day one to be humble.

This is a double-edged sword as the NHL rarely has bad press due to players, but it also means you get the same generic answers from players every night. The same boring answers about teamwork are uninteresting to people. But, when you have people like Lavar Ball in the NBA telling Michael Jordan he would beat him one on one, now that gets people excited. The NBA’s philosophy is more of a “any press is good press” deal.

Gary Bettman and the NHL, forever grateful for a spokesperson like Barkley, personally invited him to game four of the Cup final in Nashville and made sure to get Barkley enough TV time to brag about the NHL playoffs. Between a press conference with Gretzky, and interviews with NBC and CBC, Barkley somehow found time to watch the actual game.

It would seem that the good press from Barkley paid off for the NHL as ratings for the Cup final were the highest ever for a final without any of the original six teams. That seems like an even bigger deal when you consider that Nashville is considered a “non-hockey” market and Pittsburgh is a smaller hockey market.

Hockey may never be as big of a worldwide market as basketball, and may never have the outspoken players like the NBA. But they needed someone to be a spokesperson that is willing to say controversial things to attract attention and press, someone like Charles Barkley.

 

Shaun Ferguson is currently completing his honours degree in Media, Information, and Technoculture (MIT) at Western University. Shaun has worked in various marketing roles since he graduated high school and currently works at an ad-tech company in Toronto. Shaun loves anything sports related and can be found watching or playing sports, writing, or travelling in his free time. Follow him on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram

Dakarai Turner

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

March 21, 2017

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

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

H&M x Balmain

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

Winner: H&M

Genius x Spotify

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

Winner: Spotify

 

Red Bull x GoPro

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

Tie

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

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

 

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

Guest

Out of the Home & Into the Sky – The Future of Global Outdoor Advertising

March 18, 2017

Guest Article by Courtney Cullen

It’s 2017 and the opportunities are endless for marketers when it comes to reaching the consumer with strong, impactful brand messaging. As people are spending a larger fraction of their day out of their homes and becoming more mobile, marketers have had to become more creative in finding ways to reach and engage with consumers who are on the go. When used strategically, ‘Out of Home’ advertising can be a powerful and relatively cost effective tool.

‘Be where the consumer works, lives and plays.’ -Brent Barr, Marketing Prof

Today, with the help of advancing technologies the medium boasts more than just billboards and transit posters. We’re seeing growth in city smart technology through the use of digital boards, live data, responsive and personalized ads, and 3D specialization. Digital outdoor advertising has opened new doors allowing brands to further hypertarget within niche markets, and as these opportunities are increasing so is the ad spend. In Canada alone, ad spend is set to increase from an estimate of 760 million Canadian dollars in 2016 to 892 million dollars by 2019. So what’s next for the oh-so-promising OOH ad?

There’s a new player in the game. Lightvert LTD is a start-up U.K based media technology company, making waves and sparking global conversation about the recent development of ‘Echo Technology’. Founded by Daniel Siden, an American engineer and entrepreneur, Lightvert LTD came together with the help of a team composed of some of the world’s leading experts in Laser Imaging Systems, and Reflective Optics. Echo Technology will allow advertisers to project hyper-scale digital ads up to a sizeable 200m in height, that will stretch across the city skyline.

This new augmented technology will allow for marketers to step into the world of the untouched, most desirable areas of the city without the need of a standard billboard, and will be rented for less than half the cost of premium boards. It will capitalize on the power of just light and reflection to cast an image into the eyes of the city goers. After seed-round funding has closed, Lightvert LTD plan on launching and operating these installations throughout areas of Europe, North America and the Middle East.

Advertising sprawl in the city sky, what’s next? OOH advertising sees endless possibilities! Whether we like it or not, it’s a technological era we live in and new developments are constantly in the making. As we spend a great portion of our day outside, and commuting around the city, marketers have recognized the opportunity in taking advantage of these spaces. Companies like the new Lightvert LTD are determined to push the barriers.

I have a feeling that the future for OOH is bright, Echo bright! You heard it here first!

 

Courtney is currently finishing up her diploma in Marketing and Advertising Communications at Humber. She plans on working within a creative agency role, and then starting her own business. She has a creative mind and excels in writing, drawing and photography. She currently takes on the role as copywriter, and loves the brainstorming process.  A quote she lives by is, ‘Art is anything you can get away with’ -Andy Warhol. You can contact her at Courtcul89@gmail.com for any inquires, and follow her on Instagram.

Guest

The Effect of Misleading Consumers

March 10, 2017

Allegations, False and Misleading, Full Retractions…can it get any better than this?

Guest Article By: Warren Leslie

 

I habitually pick up the morning newspaper of the 24hrs Toronto edition on my daily commute to school. Perhaps my conscious was telling me that I would be in for a treat finding a good read and yet, immediately following that It just so happened that I came across the headline “Does Subway Contain 100% Real Chicken? And please, I urge you to re-read the quoted phrase, and let it sync in. So you have now read the headliner twice, tell me your initial thoughts?

According to “The Natural Resources DNA Profiling and Forensics Centre in Ontario, it’s been found that the genetic material in Subway’s sweet onion chicken teriyaki strips was only just over 40% chicken while its oven roasted chicken was only about 50% with the rest soy in both cases” reported by 24 hours Toronto.

It’s funny, because it seems like just yesterday that I was devouring a sweet onion chicken teriyaki sub.

As I get into the (meat) of my article I can guarantee you, as I write this I do not find it amusing as to what the reports indicate. The central theme analyzes brands misleading consumers, which is no stranger to the world we live in today; however if it’s that simple to falsely claim a stance on a product or service provided, then just imagine the backlash of the consumer. It won’t sit well I’ll tell you that.

Consumers are the lifeline of a brand, playing a major role in brand awareness, advocacy, and most importantly product sales. To attain longevity, brands must commit to these key criteria’s or you may just have yourself a brand that will ultimately die.

So, now comes the point, how important are consumers?

They are the ones that directly or indirectly affect the profit margin of the company. Customer feedback can lead you to create strategies for customer satisfaction and ultimately, drive your sales.

Brand Perception: Virality can change a brand in an instant, all because of the consumer. Something as simple as word of mouth can make companies be dependent on the consumer voice whether it is through social media or person to person. With incidences as such, brands negate the action of the customer journey process. In 2017, brand perception is everything. Just look at previous misleading representations and deceptive marketing with Naked Juice, and Volkswagen which I will touch on later.

Creative Advertisements: Can you imagine another OOH (Out Of Home) advertisement for a Subway campaign, with the chicken between the buns? It is human nature for people to remember the negative events more than positive ones, causing even more of a rift between consumer and brand.

The twitter hashtag “#Dieselgate” in reference to the Volkswagen emissions scandal which not only hurt the vehicles brand image in which the brand still is in progress to make amends, but on the other hand customers continue to be reluctant to purchase the product or the very least recommend their products.

In short, Customers are the most important people for any organization, complimentary to customer satisfaction which is important as a leading indicator of consumer repurchase intentions and loyalty. What prompts a consumer to purchase a particular product and what stops them from buying it; well, the effect of misleading consumers.

 

To press on a keyboard is one and the same of a stroke of a brush, the creation is what you believe to be a masterpiece”. – Warren. Hello readers, my name is Warren Leslie and I occasionally fiddle with my words, thus being the instrument to my ears. Warren is a Movie Buff, Conversationalist, and Millennial, the whole package if you must! Warren, is a current student at Humber College, studying Advertising and Marketing Communications, and intends to bring passion to the industry he so dearly loves. Let me leave you with this, I’m a man of many words, hopes, and dreams, connect with me on LinkedIn, the home of professionals, Cheers!

Dakarai Turner

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

February 7, 2017

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

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

The money can be used better

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

The competition

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

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

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

 

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

Dakarai Turner

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

January 10, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

The official logo for Canada 150

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

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

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

Dakarai Turner

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

November 1, 2016

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

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

spoiler-alert

 

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

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

Getting rid of the things you love

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

 

The post-conversation

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

the walking dead season premiere

the walking dead season premiere

Setting up the future

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

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

 

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

Dakarai Turner

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

October 18, 2016

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

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

Here are a couple takeaways I have from this campaign:

The Selection of David Beckham and Kevin Hart

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

modern-essentials

Sales Promotions Done Right

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

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

 

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

Dakarai Turner

Unlimited Updates: How Facebook Continues to Grow Its Messenger Platform

October 4, 2016

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

Facebook Introduces ‘Marketplace’

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

facebook-messenger-marketplace

Facebook adds their spin on a ‘Stories’ feature

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

Facebook Messenger Stories

Facebook Messenger brings polls to your group chats

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

Facebook Messenger polls

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

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

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.

narcos-s3e3-gunshot

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.

Dakarai Turner

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

September 20, 2016

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

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

View post on imgur.com

View post on imgur.com

View post on imgur.com

 

So what makes this meme so special?

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

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

It’s Brand-Proof

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

There’s no one behind itHarambe

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

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

 

 

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

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (September 10 – September 16)

September 16, 2016

The world of advertising & marketing changes on the daily so it can be hard to keep up with all of the biggest trends and innovations. Not to worry, we got you covered if you missed anything. Check out our weekly recap below.

Written by Malick and Dakarai.

Old Spice Recruits Von Miller for New Ad

M: What happened to the original Old Spice guy? Not to worry, I think we’ll be ok with Superbowl MVP Von Miller taking over. Old Spice is known for being the manly man’s deodorant, so its only fitting that they partnered with Miller in these latest series of ads.  As apart of Old Spices’ “Hardest Working” collection, we see Miller carving his own path of manliness through a series of hilarious NFL themed commercials. Check out my favourite below:

Click here to find the other ad in the series.

The Energizer Bunny Gets a Makeover

D: The mascot the majority of people know and love is getting a makeover after 27 years. The brand is looking to give the bunny a more “2016 look”, meaning more realistic movements and features. It’s practically impossible for anyone over 40 to have never seen this bunny before, but the brand has mentioned that they would like to have that same connection with a younger audience. A little change never hurts right? The new mascot premiered during New York Fashion Week, and for all of us that didn’t get the invite, we’ll be able to see the bunny in upcoming ads on YouTube and Spotify.

energizer-bunny

Roli Seaboard Rise 49

M: We talk a lot about innovation in advertising, and I think this is an exceptional example of that. The Roli Seaboard Rise 49 is a keyboard that allows users to physically manipulate the types of sounds that come out of it. With 49 keys, the keyboard allows you to manipulate the sounds depending on how you physically touch it. By striking, swiping vertically or horizontally, and pressing lightly for example, you can bend the soundwaves, causing a bend in pitch, vibrato, or even slide notes. Music and technology are meant to coexist, and I think this is an amazing example of that statement. At a price of a mere $1200, the Roli Seaboard Rise 49 can be yours.

roli

YouTube Gets Social

D: YouTube is stepping into the social network space by offering a feature calYouTube communityled “Community”. Essentially this will enable certain channels to be able to communicate more effectively and directly with their subscribers. Rather than creating videos to provide announcements, these YouTubers can have a direct line of communication with their fans on the platform itself, rather than on other social networks such as Twitter or Facebook. Subscribers will get notifications when creators submit a post, which of course they can opt-out of if they want to. YouTube has always just been about video, but this is a fantastic opportunity to bring a more community feel to it. One thing is for sure, the comments will always be terrible.

 

Virgin: Rock The Vote

M: If you know me, you know I think it’s important for people to get out there and get involved in politics somehow. In this ad, Virgin communicates to millenials the importance of voting and what we stand for in line with their in-flight wifi service. Virgin America is encouraging millenials to utilize their free in-flight wifi by registering to vote in the next US election. Its simple, but anything to get young people to vote is a good cause in my books.

 

DJ Khaled Goes Undercover for Lyft

D: Lyft, the popular ride-share company has enlisted Dj Khaled as a part of their undercover series “Undercover Lyft”. Lyft has used popular celebrities such as Shaq, Demi Lovato, and now DJ Khaled as undercover drivers picking up unsuspecting passengers and filming the funny experience. DJ Khaled does what he does best and drops all his famous Snapchat famous catchphrases and references, which is expected. My personal favourite is when a passenger asks him what he does for a living, to which he replies, “I’m a locksmith…I got all the keys”. Classic Khaled. Check out the hilarious video below!

 

That’s our weekly recap to keep you up to date on the best ads that we could find over the week. You can check out last week’s recap here. Think we missed one? Let us know! Be sure to follow us on Facebook here

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (August 20 – August 26)

August 26, 2016

With how fast the marketing & advertising world operates, its always good to keep up with the latest trends, ads, and innovations-which is what we’re here to do. Check out our weekly recap below.

Written by Malick and Dakarai

 

Sears Canada Gets a Makeover

D: Sears, the once dominant retailer in Canada…now not so much, is currently going through a rebranding process. The company has recently revealed their new corporate logo, which is the first significant change to the previous logo in 32 years. The Vice President of Corporate Communications, Vince Power, stated that the logo is “intended to be clean, approachable and, most importantly, timeless”. Sears is clearly looking to reach a younger and more modern age demographic. However, with doing this, it is important that they do not turn the cold-shoulder to their older and loyal customers.

Sears Logo

Domino’s Pizza Drone Delivery

M: Domino’s Pizza is changing the pizza delivery service game in innovative fashion. Just this week, Domino’s began testing delivering pizza through their new drone delivery system in New Zealand. The video below shows a successful attempt at one of the first airborne pizza deliveries ever. Personally I think the entire concept of this could effectively change how we consume, and what we consume. Outside of pizza, I can see drone deliveries being an innovative force in how delivery companies get their product from point A to point B. Domino’s just seems to be one step ahead of the game. While the drone delivery system has been successful in tests, we still have a ways before we see pizza’s hitting the sky. Unfortunately, the drone delivery system is only being tested in Australia, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Japan and Germany, but I don’t deny that North America would fall far behind in terms of timing.

New Sponsor Forgives Ryan Lochte

D: After everything that has happened with Ryan Lochte, perfectly summed up in Tuesday’s article, I might add, there may be a glimpse of hope in his future. Pine Bros, a brand of cough drops has recently inked a sponsorship deal with the Olympic swimmer. Details have yet to be released. However, their slogan “Pine Brothers Softish Throat Drops: Forgiving On Your Throat”, is sure to open the floor for some creative opportunities to not only put this brand that you’ve probably never heard of in your head, but also to be used as platform for a possible apology from Ryan himself.

Facebook Live Stream

fb live

M: Since Wednesday, Facebook users will now notice a “Go Live” button that allows them to live stream videos from their mobile devices. Live streaming is becoming more and more accessible by combining with people’s regular social media habits. I’ve always been on the fence about live streaming – what purpose does it serve other than letting people know what you’re up to on a second by second basis? I feel as though live streaming on FB could be a great opportunity for brands and celebrities (or both) to get a new level of engagement or connection with their target audiences. I feel as though brands and celebrities are just getting used to how Snapchat works, so it will be interesting to see how live streaming (which I see to be Snapchat on crack) is adapted into social marketing strategies in coming years.

Fb live 2

Charity Brands Partner Together To Create A Messenger Bot

D: We recently released an article about the walk-with-yeshi-hed-2016use of Messenger Bots, and discussed a bit about brands using it well, and its future in terms of advertising and marketing implications. As predicted, we will continuously see brands using these bots in innovative ways. A jewelry brand (Lokai) and non-profit charity (Charity: Water) have paired together to provide you with a view into the world of a young girl in Ethiopia, and the daily struggles in which she faces, which includes finding clean drinking water. Try it out yourself by simply sending “hello” to the “Live Lokai” Facebook account.

 

That’s our weekly recap to keep you up to date on the best ads that we could find over the week. Think we missed one? Let us know! Be sure to follow us on Facebook here

Dakarai Turner

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

August 23, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

google

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

IG Rebrand

 

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

Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 1.44.39 PM

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.

Dakarai Turner

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

June 28, 2016

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

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

Screenshot of the front page

 

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

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

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

 

NBA fans respond in a funny way

NBA fans respond in a funny way

 

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

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

 

Reddit users fire at Wyclef Jean

 

 

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

 

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

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (June 4 – June 10)

June 10, 2016

Want to stay up-to-date with the new trends, products, campaigns, announcements and more throughout this past week? Say no more, we got you covered with our first ever weekly recap.

Written by Malick, and Dakarai.

 

David Ortiz Takes a Swing in JetBlue’s Farewell Ad

M: To all our baseball fans out there, its no news that super-star slugger David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox is retiring this year. Sponsor JetBlue stars Ortiz in this commercial that showcases his talents in a different territory: kids birthday parties. The ad features Big Papi literally ruining some Pinatas with a baseball bat while the kids watch on and enjoy all the candy spilling out. Happy Retirement David Ortiz! Check out the video below.

 

Budweiser Sets to Launch Non-Alcoholic Beer in Canada First

D: Maybe you checked out our Weekly Recap two weeks ago where we spoke about Budweiser erntering the non-alcoholic beer market, or maybe you didn’t (won’t hold it against you). Anyway, it’s official, “America’s” beer will launch “Prohibition”, the non-alcoholic Budweiser in Canada first. “There’s a great opportunity for us to learn in Canada,” said Kyle Norrington, vice-president, marketing for Labatt (which markets the Budweiser beer brand in Canada). The campaign to promote the beer will be fully integrated, starting with an experiential component, and then being followed by print, TV, out-of-home as well as social and digital components. Stay tuned!

 

Cristiano Ronaldo and a Teenager Switch Places in a New Nike Ad

M: This ad is Nike doing what Nike does best-humor with pizazz and flash. The ad features global football (soccer) superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, but doesn’t stop at that. The nearly 6 minute commercial features a bunch of awesome cameos that I won’t spoil. The concept of the commercial is all about Ronaldo “switching” bodies with a 16 year old until he achieves greatness (much like Ronaldo has himself). Nike never disappoints. Check out the 6 minute video below.

 

Google Is Now the World’s Most Valuable Company

D: This just in, Apple has been dethroned! Millward Brown and WPP release a list of the 100 top global brands, and I’m pretty sure it comes to no surprise that Google is capable, and has topped the list this year. Google’s value is listed at $229 billion, while Apple is a mere BILLION short at just $228 billion (don’t you hate when that happens?). Google controls $60 Billion in ad spend in the U.S. alone, so it only makes sense.

google logo

MTV’s Elect This Campaign

M: Its no surprise that the upcoming US election seems to be quite the fandango. Will Trump *link trump article* be the next President? Will American feel the Bern (doubtful)? Even as Canadians, we’re living in a pivotal time, and MTV is getting involved. In their recent campaign titled Elect This, MTV is encouraging millennials to get out there and vote. Having a strong connection to youth culture, I think this campaign is a great way to get the younger generation out there to actually make a difference in this critical election.  MTV does a great job of connecting to young people to politics and issues that will affect them the most. Who knows? Youth voting could have a huge impact on the outcome later this year.

 

Snapchat Gets a Makeover

D: As you all probably know by now, Snapchat recently updated, adding a few changes and slightly new look. If you’re like most people, you probably never even noticed the “Discover” ads on Snapchat. Now, they’re made pretty hard to ignore with this new update. When users now open their app, instead of seeing a small Buzzfeed logo in the “Discover” section, they will see a much bigger image that shows a preview of content Buzzfeed and the other Discover Brands have to offer. Does this mean you are going to click them now? Probably not, but are you more inclined to? Absolutely.

 

snapchat discover

 

These are some of the key moments we wanted to share with you so far from this week. Anything we missed? Let us know!

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (April 30th – May 6th)

May 6, 2016

Want to stay up-to-date with the new trends, products, campaigns, announcements and more throughout this past week? Say no more, we got you covered with our first ever weekly recap.

Written by Malick, and Dakarai.

 

Saturday 

Microsoft released “The Edge”, and the U2 Comparisons Begin

If you’re one of the 3 loyal Internet Explorer users in 2016, you’ll be happy to hear that Microsoft has announced the name of their new browser, “Microsoft Edge”. Rumours of it’s release came last month, which went with the name “Project Spartan” at the time. Last week, at the Microsoft Build Conference, they announced “Microsoft Edge” to the public, and in typical public fashion, people took this opportunity to make funny comparisons to the new name with the guitarist for U2, also named “The Edge”. Sounds kind of ridiculous doesn’t it? Check out some of the tweets below, and just know that this is why we can’t have nice things.

 

Sunday

Apple Releases a New Ad Celebrating Mother’s Day

Seems like we have Apple in the mix (get it?) every week, but how could you not? On Sunday, they released a 30-second spot in support of the upcoming Mother’s Day. It’s a fun and cute way to not only provide a Mother’s Day spot, but display the clarity of the iPhone camera, in case we weren’t already aware. The spot features shots of mothers and their children all around the world, all shot from iPhone’s. Now don’t you want to just call your mom on your iPhone and tell her you love her right now? Check out the 30-second spot below, and keep tissues handy.

 

Monday

A NY Agency Uses Billboard Ads to Celebrate Mothers Day

mother-mothers-day-hed-a-2016Mother New York, a creative agency has launched an outdoor campaign around New York this week that reminds the public of the special day, in a quite funny way. “I didn’t go nine months without Chardonnay for you to hate your job. Love, Mother” appears on one of the billboards with an image of a mother, and this theme carries through for the other spots. Another sign appears in front of a pile of garbage bags with the tagline, “Don’t expect me to pick this up. Love, Mother”. It’s one of those heartwarming while still funny campaigns that will cause busy New Yorkers to just take a moment. Whether people know who the agency Mother is or not after this, this is something that they felt was right.

 

Tuesday

Sprint Gets Creative in Making a “Don’t Text and Drive Sculpture”

This past April was Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and in support of that, Sprint created a powerful sculpture using a wrecked car in Miami, Florida. “The Last Emoji” uses the parts from the wrecked car, and shapes it into an emoji with its tongue out, which fits the title perfectly, and is well executed. This could very well be someones last message before ultimately crashing their car, and is why the issues such as distracted driving need to be addressed. Currently, Florida does not list texting and driving as a primary offence, and this opportunity was used to make commuters aware. Floridians are encouraged to post a selfie with the emoji and post on social media, using the hashtag #SprintDriveSafe. Check out a picture of the sculpture below.

the-last-emoji-hed-2016

 

Wednesday

Hilary Clinton Releases Ad Against Donald Trump

Oh American politics…one of our best sources for entertainment (sad isn’t it?). With the election coming up in the fall, Democrat hopeful Hillary Clinton is doing her best to make sure American’s don’t vote for our favourite Republican opposition: Donald Trump. Her latest campaign advertisement features clips of republican party candidates blasting Donald Trump. This video cleverly captures uses members of the republican party’s own statements against themselves, which doesn’t help their case to win this election. Hillary Clinton is no saint herself, but this was a great way to expose the problems that the republicans are facing going into the election. Anything to get to the top right?

 

Thursday

Snapchat Partners with Taco Bell for Cinco De Mayo

Daaaammmnnn Snapchat. Back at again with the filters. On Thursday, Taco Bell and snapchat teamed up together to add a “taco” filter because of Cinco de Mayo. The filter literally turns your head into a taco whilst pouring hot sauce over you. Great effort by Taco Bell as the snapchat filters have seen immense success since their emergence, but I don’t know about this one. While yes, it is an excellent way to gain brand exposure, this doesn’t seem like something that will necessarily stick within the consumers mind. Good for a laugh, but that’s about it for me.

snapchat taco

 

Friday

Intel Uses Drones to Light Up the Sky

See? Drones aren’t always bad. As a result of the Federal Aviation Administration’s loosening of aviation laws regarding drones, Intel thought of a cool way to take advantage of that. This advertisement features over 100 drones controlled by a single operator displaying an incredible light show in the Palm Springs desert. In our opinion, this was a cool way to show the lighter side of drones, and their ultimate capabilities for entertainment and innovation. This could be a breach into an entirely new entertainment channel in years to come.

 

These are some of the key moments we wanted to share with you so far from this week. Anything we missed? Let us know!

Dakarai Turner

Views Behind the Meme – The Viral Success of Drake

May 3, 2016

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

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

 

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

 

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

Proud of the guys. On to Round 2.

A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on

VIEWS

A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on

 

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

 

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

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (April 18th – April 22nd)

April 22, 2016

Want to stay up-to-date with the new trends, products, campaigns, announcements and more throughout this past week? Say no more, we got you covered with our first ever weekly recap.

Monday

Apple Music release “Taylor Mic Drop”, a new 60-second spot featuring Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is back at it again with another funny and quirky spot for Apple Music. In case you missed it the last time, we wrote a Weekly Recap article with the ad featured, check it out here. This time Taylor is singing along to “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World, and will likely bring the song back on the billboard charts, which is exactly what happened when she sang Drake and Future’s “Jumpman”. Taylor Swift just has this great appeal that resonates with consumers. She’s just being herself, lip singing in front of a mirror as we all like to do (whether we admit it or not), with the tagline “Every Song for Every Moment. Apple Music.” Check out the video below.

 

Tuesday

AirBnB debuts their largest campaign to date, “Don’t Go There. Live There.”airbnb-print-2

AirBnB released a 60-second spot on YouTube for the launch of their new campaign, where they essentially ask consumers “Why Vacation Somewhere When You Can Live There?” AirBnB provides residential accommodations in 34,000 cities and 191 countries. The new spot is great because it shows the amount of opportunities that the service provides, and where you could end up all around the world. They also released a series of print ads with the tagline “Live There, Even If It’s Just for a Night”.

 

 

 

 

Wednesday
bob marley snapchat

Snapchat Under Fire

Snapchat was lit on Wednesday, but for the wrong ways. The “Bob Marley” snapchat filter was kind of funny, but also kind of racist. Users of the quick photo-sharing mobile app pointed were able to add a filter that transformed their face into Bob Marley, which features dreadlocks, the beanie, and a skin tone alteration. This caused a huge controversy. People said that it was a form of digital blackface, which obviously is a huge issue. While it was mainly used to promote and respect his music and lifestyle, it backfired heavily.

 

 

 

Thursday

Oberto Teams up with NFL stars Rob Gronkowski and Richard Sherman

Here’s a nice co-branding effort by Oberto, a beef jerkey manufacturing company. The video titled is literally titled “Rob Gronkowski and Richard Sherman talk about stuff while eating beef jerky in branded web series”. What more do you need to click this video? This campaign that Oberto is all about trying to change the perception of turning jerky from a snack food, into a protein snack. What better way to advertise this than through two of the most dominant players in the NFL? Oh, and they are wearing snuggies.

 

Friday

Brands paying tribute to Prince.

It’s no surprise that the world lost one of the most iconic musicians in the last 50 years on Thursday. Several prominent brands have hopped on this opportunity to pay their respects to the purple rain superstar. This presents a bit of an issue with ethics in our opinion. While yes, it is a way for brands to ultimately pay their respects and make them seem legitimately concerned but its also a way for them to hop on a bandwagon of free promotional efforts as a result of a trending topic. Brands like Hamburger Helper and Cheerios had a few posts deleted because of their over attachement of their brand versus actually presenting themselves as being legitimately concerned. Are these brands wrong? Are there ways to pay respects ethically? Or does it come off too much as a way to promote your brand? I guess Cheerios and Hamburger Helper are good examples of brands who have failed to do so.

cheerios prince

hamburger-helper-prince-2016

 

These are some of the key moments we wanted to share with you so far from this week. Anything we missed? Let us know!

Dakarai Turner

Introducing the Tim Hortons Raptors – Ad Placement on NBA Jerseys

April 19, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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.

giphy (1)

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.

 

Dakarai Turner

“Sex Sells”: Myth or Fact?

March 15, 2016

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

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

The not so easy answer is, sometimes.

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

A Calvin Klein billboard in NYC

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

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

old spice guy

Isaiah Mustafa in the Old Spice Ad

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

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

kate upton burger

Kate Upton in the Carl’s Jr Ad

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

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

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

 

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

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (February 28th-March 4th)

March 5, 2016

Want to stay up-to-date with the new trends, products, campaigns, announcements and more throughout this past week? Say no more, we got you covered with our first ever weekly recap.

Sunday

oscars-2016-nominations-snubs-discussion

The 88th Annual Academy Awards

#OscarsSoWhite was the butt of the joke throughout the Oscars Sunday night. With all the controversy surrounding the Oscars, you would think that the viewers would increase, right? Wrong. Viewership decreased by 8 percent compared to the previous year. 34.4 million viewers tuned in, and the average cost for commercials ran at $2M.

It will be interesting to see what sort of changes the Oscars decides to make for next year. Even with #OscarsSoWhite taking over social media, the Academy Awards still hit its lowest reach amongst 18-49 year olds in 20 years. Needless to say, I caught the re-run online. Congrats, Leo.

Sunday

The business oriented social network giant LinkedIn released it’s first tv spot during Sunday night’s Academy Awards. The commercial runs with the idea of being prepared for jobs you didn’t know were available. We can’t all be qualified to be astronauts, but the ad does a great job proving a point. Check it out below!

Tuesday

Reebok does experiential marketing correctly with their digital ad that unlocks a free pair of sneakers if you run past it fast enough in Stockholm, Sweden. Just reading that sentence, you begin to create a visual of people looking strange in public sprinting past a digital board outside. This ad creates public interest and creates an interaction with the brand by challenging the public, at this point what more could you ask for? Check out a video of the stunt below

Wednesday

Apple finally joined Twitter (Not counting Apple Music)! In a world where not having a company Twitter account in 2016 seems insane, Apple was obviously able to pull it off. They recently started their Twitter account @AppleSupport which does just that, providing customer support and tips/tracks for Apple products. With just under 140k followers in under two days, it goes without saying that Apple will have no issue when it comes to a presence on Twitter. It will be interesting to see what Apple chooses to do with this new and direct voice in the future.

Thursday

A pizzeria in the U.K. used runners to deliver pizza. Great headline off the bat, now let me explain. Sodo, a U.K. pizzeria teamed up with a local running club to bring Pizzas to homes with nothing but their two feet. Customers could track their delivery runners through a live Periscope stream and even communicate messages. As a result of this one-day campaign, Sodo sold out of pizzas in just three hours, with the proceeds going to “Run Dsodo-runner-hed-2016em Crew”, a local running charity

A great one-day campaign like this would be enough for me to suddenly want to order a pizza I didn’t need, and I don’t usually cave in that easy. Do you think this is something that could work in North America with a larger pizza brand, or not? Check out a video of the stunt here.

 

 

These are some of the key moments we wanted to share with you so far from this week. Anything we missed? Let us know!

Dakarai Turner

All-Star Weekend: Where Advertising Happens

February 17, 2016

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

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

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

 

 KIA Motor-Sports

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

kia jersey

The 2016 West All-Star Jersey

 

 State Farm

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

Taco Bell, Foot Locker, and Verizon

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

Intel

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

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

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

 

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

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.

 

Dakarai Turner

McCafé: All Grown Up

December 16, 2015

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Dakarai Turner

The Power is in the People

November 24, 2015
Uber Branding

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

 

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

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

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

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

Uber Branding App

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Uber is a game changer, however you see it.

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

 

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