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Dakarai Turner

New Year, New Controversy: Is H&M Racist?

January 9, 2018

It hasn’t even been two weeks but here we go. Yet another racially insensitive image from a well known brand has caused an uproar. Last year it was ads from Nivea, Pepsi, and Dove. This year we have H&M starting the inevitable list. However, this time it’s not even an ad that’s the problem. It’s a product featured of a young black boy. For those unaware, a Twitter user spotted an image of a black child sporting a hoodie that reads “coolest monkey in the jungle” on the H&M UK site.

Absolutely jaw dropping. Not only are people on social media tearing H&M apart, but the brand is also losing celebrity collaborators in the process. The Weeknd, who debuted a collaboration with H&M last year has announced that he’ll no longer be working with them in the future. Who’s next? Moments like these certainly put pressure on celebrities that are affiliated with the brand. Do you stay silent and let it boil over, or do you take a stand and cut ties? For example, would you look at Kevin Hart differently if he chose to not do anything in the midst of all of this? For context, Kevin and David Beckham collaborated with H&M for their fall collection.

I’ve tried my best every time something like this happens to think of how it happened in the first place. With a company as big as H&M, a product shot doesn’t just simply make its way to the website. There are processed (or at least should be). Rounds of approvals along the way in which at least one person should have questioned this image. Producer and The Roots member, QuestLove took to Instagram to say the following “all this tells me about @HM is that the seats in the boardroom lack something…wanna take a guess?”. The answer is people of colour. Although we’re starting to see more diverse groups in the advertising and marketing industry, it takes these people being decision makers to stop an image like this one from going out to the masses.

Everyone’s upset, so what happens next?
  • H&M has issued an official written apology, however, according to the public comments people are not buying it.
  • If consumers don’t forget about this in two days, we’ll actually see more celebrities drop out of their H&M partnerships and legitimate boycotts.
  • On the flip side, we might even see less diversity used amongst brands. If you’re scratching your head at this point, hear me out. We’ve seen the effect these situations have on a brand. Being called racist from your consumers doesn’t help you in any way. Is it so crazy to imagine that in making an effort to not offend certain races, brands will simply minimize the use of those races in their ads? I mean, even more-so than they already do of course.
Is H&M racist?

Racist? No. Culturally ignorant and insensitive? Absolutely. To put it simply, they messed up in a major way. During a time where racial sensitivity is high, brands need to take the extra step to ensure they aren’t offending a whole group of people. Common sense, am I right? At the end of the day you have to ask, “how many people did this have to pass through?”. “Did the boy’s parents approve the final image?” “How’s H&M going to repair the damages?”. I don’t have the answer to these questions, but it’s important that they’re asked.


Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed 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 with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

The Keys to a Successful Rebrand: Freedom Mobile

December 5, 2017

*Disclaimer* I do not work for Freedom Mobile, and they are not my service provider.

Now that we got that out of the way, let me paint the picture – you’re in grade school coming back from summer break. New clothes, new shoes, and a new attitude. You heard that people previously thought you had B.O, well now you found a cologne that works for you. Now this, this is the perfect rebrand. This may be a more juvenile example but at its core it holds its own in comparison to some of the world’s biggest brands.

A rebrand is creating a new look and feel for an existing product or organization. Why do they exist? For the same reason that we all come back to school looking fresh and brand new after the summer break. It’s an opportunity to reposition a brand, start over in some cases, or reach a new audience. Now let’s back up to why this article is being written. In a conversation with a friend last weekend, they had mentioned they were switching phone plans to Freedom Mobile (formerly known as Wind Mobile). All of the previous backlash they’ve gotten regarding lack of phone service outside of large cities came to mind and I immediately made fun of him.

Through him explaining the changes they made and actually speaking to a representative, the rebrand began to make sense. What I originally thought was a brand rebranding for the sake of a rebrand was now quite impressive. What was the negative feedback? Wind Mobile doesn’t allow consumers the freedom to be all over Ontario without inferior service. The solution? Fixing this issue and using the consumer problem as an asset in rebranding as Freedom Wireless. Job well done. Sometimes the best way to manage the conversation is to start over. Sure, Wind Mobile could improve their service under the same name and design system, but it just works that much better when everything else is new and more improved. There will always be the people that can never look past Wind Mobile, but I’m willing to bet the majority of us would now judge them as Freedom Mobile.

Rebrands are tough to put it simply. As always in the social media era there’s always the fear of consumer backlash like GAP back in 2010. The brand randomly unveiled a new logo after 20 years and the public was not having at. Essentially due to the consumer response, the brand switched their logo back in under a week


This is a clear example of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. I mean just think of how much money the brand paid a design agency to come up with the new concept, just to have it shoved back in their face by their own customers and analyzed by marketers for years as a classic example of a poor rebrand.

Rebrands are all around us. From Instagram changing their logo to Uber rebranding their services and app last year. When there’s an opportunity to shake things up, it should be taken. With that being said, there should be an objective to the rebrand. Wind Mobile wanted to change consumer perceptions. The question is, do you think they’ve succeeded?



Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed 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 with him on LinkedIn.

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.


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.

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (September 9 – September 15)

September 15, 2017

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

Written by: Malick and Dak


Lululemon Releases Their First Male Focused Campaign

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

Australian Lamb

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

Apple releases “Dear Apple”, a short film

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


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

Dakarai Turner

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

May 30, 2017

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

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

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

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



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

Dakarai Turner

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

October 18, 2016

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

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

Here are a couple takeaways I have from this campaign:

The Selection of David Beckham and Kevin Hart

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


Sales Promotions Done Right

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

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


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


Consumed by Culture – Marketing the Hype

March 12, 2016

Guest Article By:  Martin Fortunato

Back in high school I considered myself to have the freshest pair of creps on my feet at any given moment. I remember having stacks of sneaker boxes from the floor to the roof of my room and thinking nothing of it, as if I were just some dude who could wear a different pair of shoes every day of the week. Unlike most people, figuring out my outfit for the day started with the shoes and worked its way up. This eventually led to another passion – but that’s a different story.

As far as sneaker culture goes, Air Jordans set the groundwork for what we know today and has become the benchmark of what every company strives for. Every Saturday Nike releases a new pair of Jordans to retail stores across North America and every Saturday these shoes would eventually sell out. Sometimes it would take days for the sneakers to sell out and other times it could take less than an hour. Being able to push this much product at such a rate is a clear sign of why Nike holds such a big piece of the market share in its industry. So how do marketers capitalize on such a product? The answer is in the name derived from the man himself and built from the exact specifications of the best NBA player to ever play the game. Now I’m no basketball aficionado but when someone asks me who the greatest basketball player of all time is I instantly think of Michael Jordan. I also didn’t grow up in his era but I can only imagine what its like seeing your idol breaking records in a pair of sneakers that the world has never seen before.

Selling off of hype is certainly one way to get product off of shelves and the hype is built up in many ways. It could be derived from the limited quantities being produced, the celebrity co-sign, or the even just the stories behind the shoe.

At this time marketing the sneakers were much simpler because the sneaker culture was much more niche. Marketers would attach the sneakers to an athlete and watch the fans follow. Lets fast forward to today, hopping off of their 30th model of the shoe, Air Jordans are still releasing and still selling every Saturday.

air yeezys

Air Yeezy 2 Collection

Nowadays its not just the athletes who play their roles as influencers. Brands have reached out to all artists and other public figures to drive sales and increase brand presence. There are a ton of influencers out there who are co-signed to a lot of different brands but the most influential is undoubtedly Kanye West. While he was signed with Nike he helped design the Nike Air Yeezy 1 and 2 that literally skyrocketed the brand to even higher heights. But it wasn’t until the period around Watch the Throne, where Kanye shook the sneaker world with the Air Yeezy 2 (and his music), that I started to realize the momentum that sneakers had taken. It was the sneaker that bested all other sneakers with its luxe materials including snakeskin, glow in the dark soles, and gold aglets. At this time sneaker culture and everything associated with it took an unprecedented leap.

Overlooking all the drama, Kanye West is now signed with Adidas and is still creating sneakers. His most recent and sought after creations include the Yeezy 750 and 350 Boost which are made with a taste of luxury via its premium suedes and designer cues. Along with other artists and designers such as Pharrell, Pusha T, Raf Simons, and Rick Owens, he is credited to increasing the presence of the brand in North America and aiding with the jump in sales.

Kanye with fans

Kanye with fans during a Yeezy release

Remember when I said that hype is built up in many ways? Well these factors can actually be marketed together to create the pinnacle of consumer desire. As polarizing as he is, Kanye West has grown to play such a big part in sneaker culture because he is an influencer who brings ground-breaking levels of hype. His sneakers are highly limited and highly coveted in the market and not only does he attract new adopters to the community but he also brings his vast fan following of his music. There is something about owning a limited sneaker designed by one of the most influential people of our time that makes it so sought after. Sneakers are now becoming an extension of status and are being marketed to the masses as essential. Companies noticed this early on and have been capitalizing on it ever since.

A second year student in International Business at Humber College, Martin Fortunato has got a knack for fashion, sports, and pop culture. With ambitions to work in international trade, Martin is planning ahead and hopes to run his own clothing boutique. You can follow Martin here on Instagram

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.


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


Why We Stop At Pop-Up Shops

January 30, 2016

Guest Article by: Danielle Nurse


Get it before it’s gone…?

As if people didn’t already have to deal with online stores and brands creating limited quantities of product, the idea of a Pop-Up shop would seem like a more ideal way to get your hands on some exclusive gear. These temporary retail venues can vary from one night to three months depending on the location, but promotes benefits not only for the consumers, but also for the brand itself. Whether it is marketing, product testing, location or brand awareness it is a low cost method of starting any business.

But how do they differ from Flagship stores? What draws people in to shop at a Pop-Up store? Firstly, the ideal plans for pop-up shops, if successful, their time frame are either extended or taken away. Plus, who wouldn’t want to get something first that no one else is going to be seen in? If you can find some unique goods at a store that isn’t going to be around for long, wouldn’t you be interested or even curious?

Consumers tend to respond more to the idea of something being offered for a limited time, if given a time limit, they tend to be more interested in buying. Which is one of the keys to success in Pop-Up shops. Good for the consumer, not so much for the employees since Pop-up shops tend to only be open for weeks at a time. Pop-Up shops in malls for example, are given a specific location, a budget and a chance to succeed. Depending on the revenue and traffic that attracts profit, and are either given the opportunity to become permanent or change locations.

pop up shop danielle

Yorkdale Shopping Centre is notorious for welcoming Pop-up shops into empty rental spaces. Their newest additions BRIKA and The Drake General Store (with no relation to “Drake”, I asked) are generating more traffic than expected. Considering brands that consumers aren’t necessarily familiar with would be typically difficult, in the competing market with not only flagship stores but ecommerce, but the unfamiliarity seems to be what drivers consumers to be interested and purchase from pop-up shops in the first place and prove why this it is an effective marketing strategy used by a lot of companies.

With the potential independent brands have to move into retail spaces from ecommerce is exactly why pop-up shops have drifted from being a seasonal occurrence in the retail industry, to a full blown marketing scheme to build consumer/brand awareness. And coming from an impulsive shopper, they are definitely worth a visit.


Danielle Nurse is a first year Advertising and Marketing Communications student at Centennial College interested in Public Relations, Men’s Wear and all things social media related. With a Certificate in Communications, she hopes to obtain her Bachelors in PR and one day owning her own PR Firm. Until then, you can catch her blogging about Men’s Clothes and recording her life on Snapchat.

Follow her on Instagram and check out her Blog!

Dakarai Turner

Santa Changed…A Lot!

December 29, 2015

A look intro the viral success of the #YorkdaleFashionSanta


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

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

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

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

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

justin bieber fashion santa

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

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

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

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


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