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Canadian

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (October 14 – October 20)

October 20, 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: Dak, Malick, Nick and Kathleen

Sport Chek repositions itself in the fashion world

D: When you think of Sport Chek, what comes to mind? For me it’s certainly running shoes and athletic equipment. With their latest spot promoting their “Lifexstyle Collection”, the sportswear company is making an effort to showcase the apparel they offer. The 60 second spot features several different dancers dressed in brands that Sportk Chek carries like Nike, Adidas, and Vans. What it does a great job in communicating is that the clothes they carry serve an athletic purpose but they are also fashionable.”Whether it’s for the gym or to wear on the street, it’s about connecting our customers with whatever fashion or sport-inspired apparel that meets their needs.”, says Erika DeHaas, the AVP of FGL Sports. Check out the spot below.

Automotive brands are innovating the customer experience

N: The automotive industry is seemingly in permanent disruption.  And while the tech behind cars is getting a major overhaul (think electric engines, onboard computers, guided driving) brands aren’t forgetting about the consumer experience either.

Take Ford, who now has an app.  The FordPass will find you parking and gas stations, store your vehicle info, let you know your fuel level, and unlock and start your car.  This literally puts Ford at consumers’ fingertips.

Or would you rent-a-Porsche?  Subscribe and drive a Porsche on demand.  Registration, insurance, and maintenance all covered. That said, the cheap plan will run you $2,000/month.

Hyundai’s reimagining what it means to buy a car might be the most innovative.  Imagine starting the purchase process online, scheduling a test drive that starts in your driveway, and returning it in 3-day if it doesn’t fit.

Uniqlo puts their jackets to the test

D: Why try it on when you can try it out? The exact question that Uniqlo Canada asks in their latest spot that promotes their new “Ultra Light Down” jacket. The 60 second video shows a fun interaction that an in-store activation had with users. The machine let the public try on the jacket and choose an activity to pair with it. Some of the examples we see are axe-throwing, cycling, yoga, and more fun activities that you clearly need to bring your ultra light Uniqlo jacket for. It’s a cheerful spot that shows people having fun with the brand’s product. Does it get better than that? Uniqlo previously debuted a campaign where upon trying on a new flannel shirt, people had the choice between getting the shirt for free or giving it to a new Canadian. Both spots promote the trial of their products with an added benefit. It’ll be interesting to see what other similar executions the brand runs with. Check out both spots below.

Bud Light

M: . Whether you’re  fan of Bud Light or not, their latest :60s spots are pretty good. Agency Wieden + Kennedy New York have creative two ads that are set to play during some pretty big events happening this Sunday. My favourite out of the two is “The Heroes Return”, which is to be first aired during the Patriots and Falconns rematch . The spot opens with the hero returning from a long quest to get beer from the concession stand at Gillette Stadium. The characters are recast in an old school New England setting with the plot focused around the return of the colonial Patriot. Check out the spot below:

The other spot is set to air during the premiere of season 8 of the Walking Dead. You can find this one below:

With the focus on contextually relevant advertising, these spots are definitely set to be a hit in my eyes.

#DeviceFreeDinner

K: Whether we want to admit it or not we are all guilty of using our phones during dinner with friends or family. We are either checking social media or taking pictures of what we are eating to post on social media. If you haven’t noticed this yet it’s probably because you are on your phone. These new ads from Goodby Silverstein & Partners for the non-profit Common Sense Media, dramatize the situation a little bit with the help of Will Ferrell. There are several different videos for this campaign, below is my favourite one. Do you think this is a growing issue? Let us know your thoughts.

Device Free Dinner with Will Ferrell from Will Ferrell

 

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

Malick Ba

Canada 150 & Advertising

June 20, 2017

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

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

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

 

 

 

Me reading that ad—>

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

Dakarai Turner

The Air Miles Expiring Policy: Shady or Fair?

December 13, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Guest

The NHL: An Evolving League with Stagnant Marketing

December 9, 2016

Written by: Matthew Nafe

When a young fan looks at the NHL, they see a growing league where speed and skill have become much more prominent. A lifer NHL fan sees a league transitioning from gladiators on ice and the high scoring affairs. How the NHL has marketed itself to both sides of fans is showing newer players such as the newest generational player and Edmonton Oilers 2015 first overall draft pick Connor McDavid becoming the newest face of the league. But how they market McDavid to the older audience is calling him “the next great one” clearly referring to former NHL legend Wayne Gretzky. Essentially, the NHL is attempting to use outdated marketing and promotional tactics to a newer, younger, and faster league.

What the NHL is continuously doing with any of its analysts, commercials, and so on; has become a clear pattern. That pattern being the inability to let go of Gretzky, his legacy, and the NHL’s past.. Gretzky will always be mentioned whenever it comes to hockey and that is understandable, he is the greatest player of all time; comparable to Michael Jordan in the NBA or Babe Ruth in MLB. However what the NHL does is different because Gretzky is always somehow relevant and is being interviewed about who’s the next great player. How many players have gotten the “stamp of approval” from Gretzky, but why does it even matter? The NBA doesn’t run to Michael Jordan whenever they need to feel a certain way about a player. Its purely click bait for the NHL and their aging audience.

This inability to let go isn’t solely surrounding Gretzky, this also surrounds “Hockey night in Canada” and their poster boy Don Cherry. Don Cherry is easily one of the most polarizing characters in the sport. His thick Canadian accent and his strong Canadian values somehow connect with him. His “hot takes” really just come off as uneducated and borderline racist. So why does Cherry still have a job? Well he’s been there for so many years. Viewers feel a sort of comfort sitting down to watch Ron MacLean try and bring Cherry back to earth after a tangent of why a European player is just okay while saying their name wrong. Cherry was once a coach in a cutthroat NHL and to his credit he was a good one at that but why hold on to an old “guilty pleasure”?

Finally one of the most enjoyable yet still pointless forms of “blast to the past” content that the NHL produces is that of the Alumni game. The Alumni game is exactly how it sounds. They feature past players of the NHL competing against each other.  Ultimately, these Alumni games give the chance for older hockey fans to see players they grew up watching, while allowing younger fans to observe how the game was played back in the day. In the most recent Alumni game, the Edmonton Oilers played the Winnipeg Jets and of course the game was entertaining, but more due the games odd resemblance of Men’s league hockey game.

 

These mediocre hockey games take place on one of the grandest stages of hockey, an outdoor game. These games don’t nearly sellout as much as the featured match, and Sports channels like TSN will still pick up the alumni games. These games are successful strictly on a nostalgia level and that is completely understandable. But to close, the NHL is a reinvigorated league that in the last couple years has turned a massive corner (for the better) with younger, faster, and more skilled players. The NHL continuously has poor showings on all of their social media platforms with good content but bad captions that are oddly focused on San Jose’s star defenseman Brent Burns’ beard. Ultimately, the league needs to make up for their outdated marketing shortcomings and promotional efforts with a good product on and off the ice with a more modern approach that can progress the NHL in the direction we all want to see it going into.

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

Guest

The New Job Hunting Reality

March 22, 2016

Guest Article By:

Nadine Evans, Co-Founder and CEO of the Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals

16 years ago, I graduated university with a fresh degree in hand and couldn’t wait to enter the corporate world. I, like my classmates, poured over resume designs and cover letters, experimenting with fancy paper and even fancier fonts. Job hunting meant one thing – getting an employer’s attention through your application.

While I hardly think of myself as old, it might as well have been in the dark ages. New grads found employment by traditional, old fashioned methods, like, applying for them.

It’s a different landscape now. It’s rumoured that 80% of jobs are not advertised, and with Millennials now comprising of 35% of the workforce, the competition for entry level positions for new grads is at an all-time high. How can a young, ambitious, marketing grad get ahead?

By understanding the new realities of the job market. Turns out, it’s not that difficult, and here are our top tips for job hunting:

  1. Get out there. Most experts agree, networking is the best way to land a job in your field (take a look at this insightful 2013 article by Forbes on the subject: Six Best Way to Find Your Next Job). Today more than ever, it’s about who you know.

Attend events, meet ups, and any industry conferences that are relevant. Fortunately, in the marketing world, there are many of these, and your school likely facilitates industry days and networking events. Attend, attend, and attend. Those who get out there, get hired.

  1. Utilize informational interviews. The ‘Informational interview’ is another form of networking, where you ask a leader within a company or industry for a coffee or meeting, with the goal to glean information. Seek out professionals and companies that you’d really like to work for, and reach out to leaders to see if you can interview them. Some groups, such as Ten Thousand Coffees, offers these types of meetings as a service.

informational-interview-avoid-questionThe informational interview can be a millennial’s secret weapon. One of our members, a social media/PR manager, has gotten all her roles by utilizing this method. She once found an agency she desperately wanted to work for, and managed to get an informational interview with one of their principals – and her goal was to get hired. It worked, and she was offered a job a few days later.

While not all informational interviews should be approached as secretly job hunting, it’s not a bad strategy when you happen across your dream job. Be careful not to come across too strong, but at the same time, it’s nice to state that you’d love to work for that company (and why).

  1. Consider the potential of Associations. Professional associations can provide incredible networking and professional development to new grads, and Workopolis agrees. In their article “Networking Made Simple: 5 Reasons to Join a Professional Association,” they suberflip camptate:

Job search networking is most effective when you can come together with a targeted group of like-minded individuals. Finding people to meet within your industry will go much farther to achieving your career goals than blindly connecting with strangers online. Joining a professional association does exactly this. It allows you to schmooze with current professionals, other job seekers, and, more importantly, top employers in your field.

Higher Bracket, a job search site for seasoned professionals and those seeking six figure incomes strongly recommends participation. Check out their reasons in the article: “Why Join a Professional Association.”

The great news is that there are many associations – for all different types of professions and focuses. There’s professional organizations dedicated to accreditations and learning, networking and connecting, growing one’s business and career, and some that offer discounts and benefits that help along the way.

We at CAMP (The Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals) believe strongly in the benefit of associations, and we’re pleased to bring an inclusive professional organization to marketers. Our focus is on creating a community of marketers – whether a student or new grad at the beCAMPginning of your career, a brand manager looking to grow your market share, a mid-level manager looking for the next opportunity, or a seasoned executive looking to hire the next great marketing mind – we’re happy to connect everyone. Our goal is to provide an accessible network for all marketers, regardless of your individual focus, where we can connect and grow and build. Student membership into CAMP is completely free, and we encourage all students considering a career in marketing to join. For more details, please visit our website.

  1. Keep Searching. Although the old adage is that most jobs are not advertised, a number of them continue to appear on website listings like LinkedIn and Indeed.ca. Pay attention for applicable roles, as traditional job hunter is not completely gone.

CAMP’s recent event, “Career Planning for Marketers” included some excellent tips from Kick Senior Recruiting Manager Helena Gospic, many of which involved traditional approaches to application submission. Ensure that you’re applying for the right roles, and remember to include keywords into your resumes (for example, if the role is asking for Adobe Photoshop, make sure you include those words into your skills – assuming, of course, that you have experience in this!), and customize your application.

  1. Network Digitally. While there’s no substitute for face to face networking, getting yourself out there on social media can really help get you noticed. LinkedIn groups offer great ways to network, and we strongly encourage you to use Twitter to connect with companies you’d like to work for. Hana Abaza, Vice President of Marketing for Uberflip recently hired a social media specialist, and didn’t take a resume. Instead, she encouraged applicants to reach out to her on social media.

It might seem rough out there, but not for those who understand that job hunting is a skill. Just like me and my peers at the turn of the century, it’s hard work, but once you learn the new reality, it works. Companies want to hire the best, and as long as you can demonstrate competence, passion, and an ability to work, you’ll be fine.

 

Nadine_Nov2014

Nadine Evans – CEO of CAMP

 

Raised in a small town in Newfoundland, Nadine headed west after graduating and fell in love with the bustle of Toronto. Her true passion is marketing and she’s spent the last 15 years in marketing roles, and is the co-founder and CEO of the Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals (CAMP). When she’s not connecting with other marketers through CAMP, Nadine is at the soccer field, gym, or swimming pool cheering on her two favourite munchkins, trying not to become that mom everyone fears.

Malick Ba

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

January 27, 2016

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

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

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

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

Mark Wafer and Employee

Mark Wafer and one of his employees.

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

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

Somehow, Wafer made Tim Hortons even more Canadian eh?

Canada_flag

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.