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Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (August 12 – August 18)

August 18, 2017

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

Written by Malick and Dakarai.

 

Facebook introduces ‘Watch’

D: Facebook – The social network giant that pretty much has a hand in everything. From taking on Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter, and now you can add YouTube to the list. Facebook is slowly rolling out ‘Watch’, which will be an episodic video service. It will be accessible through a video tab on Facebook’s desktop and mobile app which features all sorts of content. The social network has enlisted the help of content creators to create shows such as “Nas Daily” on the Watch platform. Nas Daily features 1 minute clips from around the world each day. On top of this, Facebook is able to tap into the 2 billion user base they currently have and offer something that YouTube can’t; the ability to truly connect with friends. This means that you can easily see what you’re friends are watching, laughing at, and interacting with overall. Once it officially launches, Facebook Watch could be a serious threat to other video platforms simply due to the fact it will start with access to a 2 billion user base. Check out the official intro video for Watch here.

 

Obama Tweets

M: Can we just have Obama back? In the last week, there has been some crazy action in the U.S. I’m not going to get into the details of it, but Barack Obama really hit a home run of a tweet. As Adweek described, the tweet underscores the power of timely, positive social media engagement and interaction. Obama released a series of three anti-hate tweets quoting the late Nelson Mandela in obvious contradiction to the current President’s support of hate groups in the U. S. One of the tweets even became the most liked in Twitter history-racking up 3.3 million likes.

Cheetos opens a restaurant in New York

D: The popular chip brand is giving their loyal and cult-like consumers exactly what they want: a pop-up restaurant. Customers were able to reserve a table in advance to the New York restaurant which opened from August 15th-17th. The menu is specially crafted and features items such as: Cheetos Meatballs, Cheetos Sweetos Crusted Cheesecake, Cheetos Grilled Cheese + Tomato Soup, and lots more. You can check out the full menu here. This is a great example of providing an unconventional interactive experience for consumers. Who could possibly think of taking a chip brand and creating a temporary restaurant out of it? Cheetos hit the nail on the head with this one.

 

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

Guest

Three’s Company: Snap Inc. vs Facebook vs Wall Street

August 4, 2017

Guest Article By: Brandon Sardelis

Everyone reading this article has Snapchat, right? We all know the filters, geo-tags, chat, and story telling features, but do any of you know about the numbers behind Snapchat and why the slick entertainment app is going through one of it’s toughest tests for stock-market survival yet?

If you have an eye for capitalism you may have noticed that Snapchat’s stock-value has been cut in half since it’s initial IPO in March. Cue bullish investors? You would think so, right? But there’s plenty reason for pessimism in the eyes of a bear investors on Wall Street to short the stock, and here are the reasons why.

More than 1 billion shares are speculated to flood the market in the next few weeks because Snapchat’s 180-day initial public offering lockup will be expired. The lockup prevented any investor who bought in early on Snapchat to sell their shares. Now that the shackles are off and the market is free, investors are speculating that a stock flood could wash away Snapchat’s value.

So what does that mean? We’re all going to still use Snapchat right? Well from a financial perspective it could mean that Instagram is going to try and take another kill shot at Snapchat soon. In the last year, Instagram took a huge portion of the story-telling market and now that Snapchat is treading water, they may try and finish the job.

When Facebook went public, it was much bigger than Snapchat, with more than 500m daily active users against 166m for Snap. Facebook was profitable during it’s IPO, while on the other hand Snap has been burning cash.

 Even as Facebook was falling in stock value during it’s first year on the public market, it was signing up new users at a faster rate than Snapchat, and was actually profiting from them.

So is Snapchat done? No, not yet. There is room for optimism. During the first quarter of 2017, advertising revenues have increased four-fold and that’s what matters. Even though analysts are freaking out about a slowdown in user growth this year from Instagram’s emergence in the story-telling market, I always like to think that competition drives innovation. This battle for supremacy between Snapchat and FB in my opinion will create wonderful things to come for both companies.

At the end of the day there can only be one winner between FB and Snapchat, but in my opinion the competitive natures of the market will force innovation as a survival mechanism. This will ultimately cause Snapchat to thrive in the years to come. So in summary, if you’re a bull investor who’s not frightened by potential share flood and a slow down in new user growth, then now could be the time to invest. Until then get your popcorn get ready and enjoy the fireworks.

 

Brandon Sardelis is a Commerce graduate from Dalhousie University. He is currently travelling abroad for the purpose of leisure and self-discovery. In his spare time he enjoys playing music, volunteering at festivals, playing sports and reading about the world of finance. Connect with him on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Guest

The Social Media Disconnect

June 2, 2017

Guest Article By: Darnell Jones

 

It’s amazing to even think the first email was sent back in 1971. It is even more amazing to try and think of the last time you heard your doorbell ring. Nowadays you just get a text that says “Here” or “Outside”. Millennials are slowly disconnecting from our world today, and it seems our social media accounts have become a top five priority on are everyday to do list.

Social media has created a never ending popularity contest that keeps us constantly interested on what is happening in people’s lives. Or, what all the cool advertising kids are calling it now a day’s, “F.O.M.O “ fear of missing out. Millennials need to be up to date or up to the second on everything that is happening in the social world. Some want to be the center of what everyone is talking about, others just want to start the conversation. Millennials have lost focus on the world in front of them and have geared it towards the one in their hands. Likes, shares, re-tweets, favorites and direct messages seem to be what Millennials find most important. 

Beauty is in the eye of the selfie

Who ever thought a “Like” button could have such an effect on someone. Now, weather that effect is negative or positive, that is all up to the individual themselves. Women seem to be affected on a much larger scale, but don’t let some men fool you, they care about those3 likes just as much as women. The Dove Self Esteem project found that two-thirds of women felt prettier online than in real life and 60% of university students admitted it negatively affects their self confidence (Chemmie Squier). Nancy Colier said it best “ “Likes” are flimsy planks on which to build a house of self-worth and moral structure.” I am sure the big bad wolf’s on social media will have no problem blowing your self-esteem right down. Social media should not determine how we feel about our self’s. We need to build our self worth with bricks of truth, confidence, self-respect and love.

Dinner and a Phone

How many times do you look at your phone a day? The better question might be…when do you look at your phone?  I often find myself looking into space while my friends or date bury themselves into the “social” world. This is just another case of F.O.M.O. We care so much about everyone else’s lives we tend to forget about our own. Some moments need to be remembered maybe even captured, but why shared? They say social media is supposed to be used to share moments but it seems to me that we are competing rather then sharing.

We take pictures of the food we eat, the places we go to and the things we buy just to remind everyone of what we are doing. It’s kind of uncomfortable when you think about it but, it is human nature to actually want to feel acceptance and feel some sort of attention. Millennials make the mistake of looking for these human needs in the social world. The networks that have been created to connect us are slowly disconnecting millennials. Not just from the world around them, but from themselves as well.

I know it seems as if I hate social media. Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved the idea of it and what it’s suppose to do for us. It is suppose to help us connect to people that love the same things we do. Social media is supposed to connect us with our friends and share information we are passionate about. Social media does all of this but, it comes with a price. A price of disconnect from the world in front of us. We have become so engaged in celebrities, athletes and our friend’s lives that we sometimes forget about the one in front of us. Millennials check their phones 157 times per day, that’s ten times an hour assuming they get 7 – 8 hours of sleep a night (Michelle Klein). There is no getting rid of social media and media consumption will rise as the years go by. There is room for balance and hopefully millennials can learn to balance both social lives.

 

Darnell is an aspiring account coordinator with a passion for new and innovative ideas. As a recent graduate of the advertising and Marketing Communications program at Humber College he has fallen in love with all aspects of advertisement, and does not limit himself to one role. Darnell is not done learning just yet. He plans on continuing his education in getting his bachelors of creative advertising in the fall. Connect with Darnell on LinkedIn and Instagram

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (March 18 – March 24)

March 24, 2017

Written by Dakarai & Malick

TGIF! We made it through another crazy week in the speedy world of advertising & marketing, but as usual, The MAD Mix has you covered for the hottest ads in this weekly recap. Check out some of our favourite ads, trends, and more below.

 

Chevrolet: Real People, Not Actors…yeah right

M: Ever see those Chevrolet “Real People Not Actors” ads that pop up everywhere? Chances are if you’ve seen them, you probably think they are extremely corny and in fact, not real. Well Ali Shahriari and Dave Irwin under the YouTube channel “ZebraCorner” have decided to take a stand and recreate the ads…if they had real people. While these aren’t technically ads, they poke fun at Chevrolet by depicting what a real life scenario would look like with an actual grumpy, annoying person. In my opinion, I think these are hilarious. I think ZebraCorner does a good job at highlighting the lack of authenticity that clearly exists within the Chevy spots. Check out my favourite in the series below:

 

Book Appointments Through Instagram

D: Instagram is adding a new feature to its platform in the next few months, allowing users to book appointments through company profiles. I mean this just only makes sense. Social networks are shaping up to achieve everything a website can, and even more. When you want to learn about a new business, chances are you check their Facebook or Instagram page right? In fact, Instagram boasts that 80% of its users follow at least one company page. By including a feature to book appointments, you can now scroll through Instagram models, memes, cat videos, and book a haircut all on the same app.

 

 

Samsung Gear S3 Smartwatch:

M: Despite being known for their exploding phones, Samsung stepped it up with this one. Tech-watches are definitely cool, but they don’t have the same style, appearance, or flair as a Rolex. This spot challenges that. Through a unique digital out of home transit shelter ad, they set up a live feed of a man who appears to be flexing his watch game to the max. As people sit down and wait for their bus, he interacts with them by reacting to their phone calls, playing music, and even having conversations with them-all while showing off that stylish watch that looks like something out of a Migos music video. The catch? The transit shelter ad is designed to look like its selling an expensive watch, but in reality the entire spot,through live interactions, is to show the diversity and style of the Samsung Gear S3 Smartwatch. It’s obvious that Samsung is trying to position their smartwatch to not only be technologically advanced, but it can be as stylish as a Rolex as well. Check out the spot below:

Facebook adds live feature to desktop

D: Facebook Live is now available on desktop. With this new feature finally arriving, it’s hard to not think that Facebook is taking a crack at the emerging live stream gaming market. With Twitch making a name for itself as a video streaming platform and subsidiary of Amazon, there is a clear defined market. Traditionally, mobile live-streaming is great because it provides access. You are able to move around and show others your current view, outside of your room or a static space. The opportunity desktop brings is instances that require stability. For example, an instance where a content creator wants to do a live Q&A without having to hold a camera to their face. It will be interesting to see where Facebook takes this feature, and whether or not they partner with content creators to really turn the platform into a broadcasting phenomenon.

 

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 top Super Bowl ad picks. Think we missed something important? Let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Malick Ba

Online Video Content Killed My Cell Phone Bill

March 14, 2017

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (February 11 – February 17)

February 17, 2017

Written by Dakarai & Malick

TGIF! We made it through another crazy week in the speedy world of advertising & marketing, but as usual, The MAD Mix has you covered for the hottest ads in this weekly recap. Check out some of our favourite ads, trends, and more below.

 

Ad Council brings equality to the Kiss Cam

D: At this years NFL Pro Bowl, the ad council (an American non-profit organization) took over the ever so popular jumbotron kiss-cam. If you’ve ever attend a sporting event, you’re familiar with this time. A camera will go around the stands finding couples and showing them on the jumbotron encouraging them to kiss. The Ad Council used this moment to show that “love has no labels” and featured all forms of love different relationships. This is powerful because it creates a truly uplifting message by featuring relationships and friendships across race, religion, age, and more. During a time when the world is appearing very divided, this video couldn’t have better timing. Check it out below.

Ikea’s Practical Advertising

M: Picture those delicious Tasty videos and apply them to home furnishing. Ikea has recently released a set of instructional videos of how to teach millennials and young families to furnish their houses/condos despite smaller spaces. What I find cool about this is that even though that young people like myself typically live in smaller apartments, we can still find our own ways to customize them like a big house.  I feel like this series is a great example of practical advertising. While they aren’t necessarily advertising a specific product, they are demonstrating innovative ways to use a their wide selection. Check out one of my favourite videos out of the series below:

Facebook does their best LinkedIn impression

D: Facebook is going to start allowing pages to post job ads and for applicants to apply all while never leaving the Facebook app itself. After seeing the job posting, job seekers can like, comment, or choose to apply for the position through Messenger. This will likely roll out for free in the beginning stages, but this is an excellent revenue opportunity for Facebook and an excellent all around idea. It will be interesting to see the effect this has on LinkedIn. At the moment, these job postings provide a large amount of revenue for the social network. To all the people saying that Facebook is dying…how exactly?

Nike: Equality

M: Ok…if you follow this platform regularly, you know that we love Nike. That being said, their latest campaign stands out for different reasons. Usually they are known for their smooth, but fast paced action style in their advertisements, but this one has a deeper meaning. Nike’s new “Equality” campaign encourages everyone to transcend the fairness and respect they see in sports, into real life. Featuring the narration of Michael B. Jordan, and atheletes like LeBron James, Serena Williams, Kevin Durant and more, this ad speaks to more than just sports. It stands for equality. Check out the spot below:

 

 

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

Malick Ba

The House Hippo: Fake News in 2016

December 6, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

Me when I see fake news

Me when I see fake news being spread

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

 

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

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (November 18 – November 25)

November 25, 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.

 

Instagram introduces new updates to Stories

D: Instagram StInstagram liveories, once the Snapchat-clone that is now taking steps towards individuality with a few new updates. Instagram has introduced two new features: Live Video and Disappearing direct photos/videos. Live video is the perfect step in the right direction for Instagram and their Stories platform, as it’s proven successful for both Facebook and Twitter. Some of your followers will receive a notification that you are streaming live, and it will display that you are live over your stories icon. You will likely see this function being used by celebrities, athletes, influencers, and brands. In terms of people in your actual network, one thing I’ve noticed is that none of my friends use Facebook Live. The reason for this is because if you really think about it, what can you be doing that’s so important everyone needs to see it in real time? Now who’s to say that Instagram won’t challenge that way of thinking and make the process of going live more appealing to the every day person that isn’t selling/promoting anything? We’ll have to stay tuned and see.

Instagram stories

 

Facebook Investigating Means to Exclude Fake News From Platform

M: Ever scroll through your timeline and see an article with a headline that makes you think “there’s no way that’s actually true”? Same here. Over the last year, Facebook has been under the spotlight for allowing fake news articles to be spread around the social media platform. Since the 2016 U.S election, fake articles have been spawning and spread around at a rate so quickly that Mark Zuckerberg himself had made the following statement: 

“Our goal is to connect people with the stories they find most meaningful, and we know people want accurate information. We’ve been working on this problem for a long time, and we take this responsibility seriously. We’ve made significant progress, but there is more work to be done.” (Source-Adweek 2016)

Zuckerberg went onto state that in order to limit the number of fake articles being spread, Facebook will be developing ways to label articles as verified or false. I guess that’s just a friendly reminder that sometimes a quick google search can ease your curiosity. Do your research.

 

Drake stars in new Apple Music spot

D: Drake, 6 God, Meme King, whatever you want to call him, he’s done it again. In Apple Music’s new ad starring the Canadian rapper, he does what he does best..look goofy and create hilarious content. The :60 second spot “Drake vs. Bench press” follows the rapper working out intensely while listening to his own music with a trainer. The second the trainer leaves, Drake flips through Apple Music, selects Taylor Swift, and what happens next is just one of those things it’s better if you watch. The tagline at the end refers to Apple Music as “distractingly good”, which aligns with the Taylor Swift spot from earlier this year. Check out both of the commercials below.

Digital Coffee

M: Smart phones…smart TVs…smart mugs? That’s right. Tech company Ember has joined forces with Starbucks to deliver its consumers the first internet connected mug that allows users to adjust the temperature of their beverage through the brands smartphone app. With Starbucks having exclusive selling rights, the mugs will be sold at over 100 stores as early as December at a price of $150. While that does seem like it’s a bit much for a mug, think of how you’ll never have to worry about burning your tongue first thing in the morning. Or just a quick reheat making sure that your morning cup of Joe isn’t too cold. I think this is a really unique display of innovation in technology-let’s see if it takes off!

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. Think we missed something important? Let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook here. Happy Friday!

Malick Ba

The 2016 Election vs The Internet

November 8, 2016

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

 

#ElectionFinalThoughts

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

 

Memes:watchingthis

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

 

Donald Trump’s Twitter Account:

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

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

 

 

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

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.

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap: September 17 – September 23

September 23, 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.

 

#voteIRL

M: Politics, politics, politics. As everyone knows, the United States of America is going through possibly one of the most critical elections of all time. Clinton or Trump? The choice is pretty obvious to me. A vote against Trump isn’t wasted. To address the youth voting issue, Google launched its #voteIRL campaign in hopes of bumping those numbers up. The video below shows big YouTube players like Hannah Hart, Kingsley, and Hank Green with a message to try and get people out to the polls. I realize that I’ve made a number of political posts on here, but I think this is great. No matter who you vote for, everyone should exercise their right to vote, and Google is doing its part. Check it out:

Apple Releases a Pair of iPhone 7 Commercials

D: During the Emmy’s on Sunday, Apple released two visually stunning spots promoting features of the iPhone 7. The first one is a 60 second spot titled “Midnight” and it focuses on the water proof features of the new phone, as well as the low lit camera. It goes without saying that it was shot at night, and just overall the imagery is visually stunning. The second spot, “Morning Ride” focuses solely on the water resistant capabilities following a cyclist on his morning ride in the rain. With the soaking wet conditions it really makes you wonder just how water proof the phone actually is. Prediction, the next ad will feature someone singing in the shower while holding their phone. Check out both ads below.

 
Virtual Reality Technology-A Study

mainstream-vr-hed-2016

M: Virtual reality is becoming a thing, and we’re on board. A recent Nielson of approximately 8000 consumers shows that over 24% over those consumers have expressed serious interest in using or purchasing a VR product within the next year. 20% however showed that while they weren’t necessarily interested in buying it, they’ve expressed interest just after learning a little bit about it. Coming from someone who loves the newest technology (even if I’m too broke to get it), I can’t see how someone wouldn’t want to at least try a VR product. In my opinion, we’re just hitting the tip of the iceberg with VR technologies, and as they become more mainstream, it’ll be interesting to see how bigger brands can adopt it into their marketing strategies in the next decade or so.

Twitter is Going to Live-stream the Presidential Debates

D: Earlier this summer I mentioned that Twitter is going to start focusing on live-streaming, as it’s something that is perfect for the platform, and provides them with an opportunity to escape their stalled growth. Twitter has seen success with the live-steaming of sports, and by stepping in to the political debate, it will ensure that they cover just about as many people as possible. Between sports and politics, you have a pretty great reach in terms of people interested. Are they the only one’s doing it? Obviously not since Facebook will also be streaming the debates. However, Twitter is making the streams available for even non users, so this can be a great way to attract new people.

twitter live stream

Facebook Messenger Gets an Upgrade

D: I’m sure we all knot the feeling of large Facebook group chats where it’s basically impossible to come up with a decision. Whether it’s which restaurant to go to or which club you’re hitting up that night, there’s usually an issue getting everyone on board, or maybe that’s just my friends. Messenger will be testing out an update shortly in the U.S. that brings voting polls to your group chats. You simply type in a question with some possible responses, and members of the group chat can vote on which ones they want.

Facebook Messenger Update

 

On top of this, another feature they are adding is a tool that uses machine learning to remind your friends to pay you back! Just type “Malick, you owe me $50”, and if they click “Pay Now” it will allow them to type their banking info to proceed with the payment. Needless to say I will be avoiding this if it comes to Canada

 

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 something important? Let us know! Be sure to follow us on Facebook here as well. Happy Friday.

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

Malick Ba

Tasty Takeover

August 16, 2016

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

gordon ramsay gif

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

tasty gif

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

 

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

tumblr_mn9ynt2VT31r36jpso1_500

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

 

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

Dakarai Turner

Chatbots – The Virtual Assistants You Need to Know About

August 9, 2016

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

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

Whole Foods Chatbot

Sending a pizza emoji brings up pizza recipes

Sending a pizza emoji brings up pizza recipes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

CNN

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

CNN Chatbot

CNN Chatbot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TheScore

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

1-800 Flowers Facebook Chatbot

1-800 Flowers Facebook Chatbot

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

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

 

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

Dakarai Turner

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

July 26, 2016

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

Twitter Problems

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

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

Twitter Live Stream Political Convention

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

 

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

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (May 21st – May 27th)

May 27, 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.

 

Budweiser’s Venture Into the Non-Alcoholic Beer Market

M: Canadians will now be presented with the opportunity to try Budweiser’s “Prohibition Brew”-a non-alcoholic beer that the king of beers has developed. While I personally would probably never buy this product, I just wanted to look over the actual budweisermarketing of this and focus more on the packaging and name. I’m not a drinker of non-alcoholic beer, but the packaging and ideas behind it are pretty cool. The can resembles their classic Budweiser design on it, but all in black with the words Prohibition Beer right on it. The all black design boasts restriction, or a black out of all of the alcohol that’s typically found in Bud beer. Referring to the North American prohibition periods in the early 20th century, Budweiser has adapted this idea of no alcohol permitted into their packaging design. I think if there’s any way to market non-alcoholic beer, this would be it.

McDonald’s Celebrates National Hamburger Day with Facebook Live Video

D: Earlier this week, in light of National Hamburger Day (now you know it exists), McDonald’s hosted an art show, via Facebook Live Video. This is the first time the brand has used the relatively new software, and was able to reach close to 900,000 viewers in 40 minutes. The whole purpose of the video was to provide something fun for the viewers, and needless to say they didn’t disappoint. Viewers were treated to watching three paintings being done before their eyes. Check out “The Beefy Gastronaut”, my personal favourite, pictured below. I highly doubt this is the last time that we’ll see McDonald’s, or other big brands begin to use Facebook Live Video. It’s a fantastic way to reach your audience direct, and in the moment.

beefygastronaut-01-2016

The Beefy Gastronaut

Chinese Detergent Brand Causes Ruckus with Racist Ad

M: Ahh racism. This classic comes from Chinese detergent brand titled “Qiaobi”. This commercial depicts a woman, her black boyfriend, and a washing machine. Uh Oh. The commercial shows the woman putting her black boyfriend into said washing machine for a spin cycle. What happens next? The black guy comes out into a “clean” Chinese man, implying that black people are dirty or unclean. Obviously this has caused a bit of a ruckus. Representatives from Ad Age, the company who reported on this commercial, reached out to a representative from Qiaobi, but they declined to speak on the subject. Ads like these make me seriously wonder how the screening process for commercials really goes down. Check out the video below.

“Sign Their Yearbook”- A Campaign Surrounding Gun Violence

D: I can’t say enough great things about this campaign. New Yorkers Against Gun Violence put together a campaign titled “Sign Their Yearbook”. It puts focus on the 30,000 young Americans that died before graduating highschool in just the last 15 years alone. The online “yearbook” went live on Wednesday, and acts as a platform and petition for people to sign in hopes to further improve gun laws. In 30 days, the online yearbook will be printed and sent to the U.S. senate, in hopes of tightening gun laws. Check out the emotional video below.

 

X-Men Takes Over Snapchat

xmen snapM: On Monday, to promote the new X-Men Apocalypse movie that’s supposed to debut today in Canada, they did an entire snapchat takeover. What does this mean? We’re all familiar with the ever-so-popular snapchat filters by now. Well on Monday, Snapchat replaced all of the filters that we know and love (shout outs to the dog one) with X-Men themed filters. Users could take to the likes of popular X-Men like Storm, or Cyclops for the day and play around with them. This is pretty cool, you could be a superhero for a day.  I’ve seen themed filters before, but I’ve never seen an entire take over before. The downside is that people who aren’t as involved with X-Men or super hero movies had some backlash about it-even if it was only for a day. #BringBackTheDog

Johnsonville Employees Dream Up Ads for the Company

D: Drogba5 NY, the advertising agency enlisted employees of Johnsonville to create their dream ads. Best part, is these ads actually got released. “Made the Johnson Way” takes on a whole new meaning, as the ads are actually created by the employees. One of my favourites is from Jeff, a Johnsonville employee of 20 years, that simply wanted to include talking animals in his 60 second spot, and that sparked the growth of “Jeff and his Forest Friends” (below). Johnsonville is getting lots of media attention over the creative direction they took to get their message out there. I’ll be the first to admit, I had no idea what Johnsonville was before all of this. I’m more of a Schneider’s guy.

 

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

 

Malick Ba

Social Media’s Adaptation to Online Behaviour and Trends.

May 10, 2016

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

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

My mom and I

My mom and I

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

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

 

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

Malick Ba

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.

 

Malick Ba

How Twitter Got Phased Out

March 9, 2016
Twitter

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

Multiethnic Group of People Socail Networking at Cafe

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

A riveting tweet by me. No one responded.

A riveting tweet by me. No one responded.

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

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

Guest

The New Facebook “Like” System: What does it offer to online consumers?

March 2, 2016

Over the last few years, it’s been safe to say that Twitter and Snapchat have not only climbed up the ‘social media ladder’ but have even jumped past Facebook in terms of consumer traffic and overall popularity. Why so? Those two social media platforms have differentiated themselves from the once-dominating Facebook platform, each having their own unique use of emojis, GIF keyboards (Twitter only), and personalized animations (Snapchat only), enabling online consumers to express their emotions and thoughts better than ever before on social media.

Finally, Facebook has discovered the competitive advantage created by Twitter and Snapchat in the social media market, and they came up with their own unique way to re-capture the attention and engagement of online consumers. Last Tuesday, Facebook officially launched their new “like” system. Now, you can not only “like” statuses and posts in the Facebook universe but you have the option to express your love, shock, anger, or sadness towards shared content on Facebook.

 

facebook likeA quick glance at Facebook’s new “like” system, which has been an immediate success since its launch on February 23, 2016. Before, you only had the option to “thumbs up” or “like” Facebook content.

 

 

This new “like” system enables Facebook consumers to be more (specifically) expressive about their opinions and thoughts on the ideas and content shared on Facebook timelines. It is a unique system that tells us two key goals in which the Facebook marketing team hopes to achieve in the near future:

  1. They want their brand loyalty back.
  2. They want to show the social media universe that they’re ready to keep up with the demands and trends of their fellow online consumers.

Well, from the first week since the launch of the new “like” system, it seems to be a huge success thus far for Facebook, as the majority of their users have picked up on the new platform tool with tons of “Wow”’s, “Angry”’s, and “Sad”’s being clicked on posts all across the Facebook universe. And how can it not be a success? Let’s be honest here, not every post on Facebook is a ‘happy’ one – some posts share devastating and/or controversial stories and trends going on around the world that people can now choose to click “Wow, ” “Angry,” and “Sad” on to express their ‘true’ reactions.

gif keyboard

A look at Twitter’s GIF Keyboard

snapchat animations

Snapchat’s personalized animations

 

 

This new feature (and, arguably, a benefit) that Facebook has to offer will surely make Twitter and Snapchat re-think their marketing plans and the developments of their upcoming “features” in the near future. Sure, with Twitter you now have a GIF keyboard to use memes to express your thoughts and emotions in the matter of a few clicks, and sure, with Snapchat’s personalized animations you can turn your face into basically the face of any fictional character ever created to express your current mood to your friends. However, Facebook’s new “like” system is a quicker and easier way to get your feelings and reactions out there.

That’s what makes a social media platform so successful (or not so successful): How fast and easy is it to communicate your message/voice your opinion? With the new “like” system, Facebook wins over Twitter and Snapchat in that regard – which is why it has become so popular so quickly. If this rapid increase in overall popularity and use of this new “like” system continues, Facebook will re-establish itself as ‘the’ social media platform for young, outgoing 20-year olds and re-gain that competitive advantage over Twitter and Snapchat in the social media market.

 

Anthony Pazzano is currently an Advertising and Marketing Communications student at Humber College. He is looking forward to expand his knowledge and experience in the Advertising/Marketing industry, and aspires to work client-side, agency-side, or for a PR firm. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

The Relevancy of Kanye West

February 24, 2016

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

giphy

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

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

Kanye West performing on Saturday Night Live

Kanye West performing on Saturday Night Live

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

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

Kanye West Interrupts Taylor Swift at the VMAs in 2009

Kanye West Interrupts Taylor Swift at the VMAs in 2009

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

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

–Kanye West 2007

Malick Ba

Facebook Likes and Internet Fights

November 10, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

 

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