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holiday

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap: December 16 – December 22

December 22, 2017

With the world of advertising and marketing moving so quickly, it can be hard to keep up with trends, ads, and more. Not to worry, we have you covered. This week, we recapped some of our favourite ads that happened throughout the week. Enjoy!

Written by Dakarai

Snapchat Introduces Context Cards

In the latest of innovation battles between Snapchat and Instagram, we have a new feature that is actually incredibly useful. Context Cards takes adding a location to your snapchat to a whole other level. Let’s say you’re eating at a new restaurant. You take the classic picture of your food cause you’re a millennial, and proceed to swipe until you find the location filter of the restaurant. Share it with your friends, and BAM, you’re finished. Now, Snapchat has improved that experience by allowing you to click those location tags, read reviews courtesy of OpenTable, take an Uber ride to that exact location, or perform another action that’s specific to the business. An example in the video below demonstrates a user clicking a location tag for a hotel their friend is staying in, and being prompted to book a room. Truly a cool feature that opens a whole world of opportunities for businesses and consumers.

 

Skittles Opens The Holiday Pawn Shop for the Last Time.

For the past three years, the brand has set up shop at 277 Queen st west during the holidays to offer an alternative to your unwanted gifts. The Holiday Pawn Shop is open from Dec 26-29 and will allow you to trade in any items in exchange for Skittles. If you’re from Toronto, chances are you’ve heard of this in the last few years. Well another piece of news is that 2017 marks the last year it will be open. Laura Amantea, marketing director at Wrigley Canada said the following: “Our whole job is to delight our fans with the unexpected, and the Pawn Shop is beginning to become a tradition for people in Toronto. It’s time for us to start planning the next unexpected surprise.”.

I almost can’t wait to see what they’re going to do next year. One thing to note is whatever the new idea is, it has some huge shoes to fill. Can’t make it to the pawn shop? Check out what your item would be worth online here: http://skittlespawn.ca/submit

 

Apple Admits to Slowing Down Older Phones

Yikes…The technology giant stated on Wednesday that it has algorithms in place to keep your phone running at optimal performance. Part of this process requires slowing down older phones as they are running with older batteries and couldn’t keep up with newer updates. The problem? It’s not sitting too well with the general public because they feel cheated and lied to. It’s an issue that people have been complaining about on social media for the last couple of years, that was never taken seriously. With the information we now know, it proves that there was some merit to these previous complaints. Think this could be the chink in the armour for Apple or will everyone forget about it before 2018?

 

 

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 FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Malick Ba

Horrible Christmas Advertising

December 12, 2017

Ahh Christmas time. A time of year when advertisers come together and attempt to create some of the more inspirational ads that consumers will see…but that’s not what this article will be about. What I want to touch on for this week’s feature is a couple of holiday ads that really stood out for being genuinely bad. I touched on some ads a few weeks ago in my article about emotional advertising during this time of year, but I wanted to take a quick step back and show you some of the worst holiday themed ads I’ve come across. For the purpose of this, you’ll only see inspirational/emotional ads versus tactical as they serve different purposes. Call me the bad ad holiday Grinch.

 

DFS: Making Christmas More Comfortable:

Ugh. I know that Santa Claus was born from a corporation but there’s nothing worse than brands using him in that way. As if it wasn’t bad enough. This awkward spot forces our favourite Christmas character in to a furniture factory where he takes on his new job as a furniture delivery man. The opportunity to inject creativity, humor, or any sense of fun into a bland commercial exists around this time of year, and especially with a character as original as Mr. Claus himself. This commercial misses the mark and turns him into a tactical sales message which I find do not track with most consumers around this time of year. I’ll give this one a 3/10.

 

Walmart Yodelling Cat:

Straight up…what in the actual f$*% is this ad trying to tell me? In 2011, Walmart (US) released this ad of a cat yodelling a classic Christmas track. After sitting through nearly a minute of a cat strangely singing at me, I still have no indication of what they are attempting to convey in this one. Not only does this really creep me out, it’s also unbearably annoying. This is a great example of an ad that went viral for the complete wrong reason. Although because it racked up a quite a number of views and caused a story, I’ll give this one a generous 2.5/10.

 

McDonalds Christmas (1980’s)

Wowie…this is a weird one, even weird for the time period. This early 80’s classic features Ronald McDonald creepily ice-skating with a bunch of kids. One loser kid obviously can’t skate very well so he becomes the outlier. After noticing that one of the kids is left behind, our good pal Ronald comes over and makes sure he’s included. The acting is terrible. Oh did I mention the number of animated woodland creatures that pop out of nowhere and have no real meaning or place in the spot? After seeing this, I’d rather hit up Burger King. 1/10.

So there you have it. The bad ad Grinch strikes again. Holidays aren’t always filled with the most glamorous advertising and I think the ones see above only prove that point.

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: November 18 – November 24

November 24, 2017

With the world of advertising and marketing moving so quickly, it can be hard to keep up with trends, ads, and more. Not to worry, we have you covered. This week, we recapped some of our favourite ads that happened throughout the week. Enjoy!

Written by Malick, Dakarai, and Nick

Apple gets in the holiday spirit with “Sway”.

D: The brand recently debuted their 90 second holiday commercial, “Sway”. It tells the classic story of boy meets girl, love at first sight, and all that jazz while also shedding light on a product benefit. The story follows a woman walking the cold and snowy streets. She stops to play the music on her phone and we see that she is sporting the Apple AirPods (wireless earbuds). While dancing to the tunes like she’s in her own world she bumps into a man that catches her eye. The woman takes one of her earbuds out and places it in his ear, and they begin dancing together like they’ve known each other for an eternity. It’s a great feel good spot in time for the holiday’s which does a great job demonstrating the AirPods. I mean, you never know when you’ll need to lend your soulmate an earbud, right?

M: At the end of the day, this ad is supposed to sell headphones, but makes a strong case for effective storytelling in advertising. I get certain brands try to be as tactical as possible and drive hard hitting messages, but this kind of emotional advertising breaks through so much clutter that exists this time of year. The importance of emotional advertising is underrated. It’s easy to always want to push sales especially considering this time of year when the goal is to make as much moola as possible. Honestly, this is one of my favourite Holiday spots of the year. Check it out below:

 

Sports Experts puts Montréal residents to the test

D: Did you know that 85% of people in Montréal choose the escalator over the stairs in their Metro transit? Okay, maybe that’s not surprising at all. However, Canadian sports retailer, Sports Experts capitalized on this problem by installing a digital activation in the steepest Metro subway station. The activation scans your body heat and is able to detect if you walked up the 200 stairs or if you simply took the escalator to the top. “The Thermal Discount” gave those brave enough to take the stairs discounts to Sports Experts based on the amount they sweat. This of course prompted many people to run up and down the stairs in hopes that they could increase their discount. At the end of the day, it’s a fun interactive idea that gets people in your store. I can confidently say that I would have tried this way too many times.

Amazon Gets Physical on Black Friday

N: Retail behemoth Amazon made its mark pioneering online retail.  They disrupted the idea that stores need an actual storefront.  And they’re disrupting the storefront again – pulling a 180 at the same time.

Their ‘Home of Black Friday’ pop-up in London could be the next step in the evolution of a store.  Because it’s less a store than it is an experience – admittedly an overused marketing trope, but it rings true.  And Amazon takes that idea into hyperdrive with their “store”.

The big one is QR codes, allowing consumers to scan and visit the product page while simultaneously inspecting the actual product – a true integration of the physical and digital shopping experiences.  Orders can then be delivered at home or in-store (within two hours).  Amazon also offers master classes, tastings, small business workshops, and product tutorials.  Designed to feel like a house, people can browse thematically while engaging with products in a natural setting – an idea borrowed from the likes of Ikea.

This may just feel like a pop-up, but don’t be surprised if this starts a trend for physical stores.

 

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 FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Malick Ba

The Relationship Between Consumerism and Christmas

November 22, 2016

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

filthy-animal

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

dollar-bills-yall

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

christmas-gif

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

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