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Marketing

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.

Dakarai Turner

Cause & The AXE Effect: How the AXE Brand Achieved Success Through Understanding Their Audience

November 21, 2017

AXE – The brand that evokes feelings of both triumph and disgust, depending on who you ask. The male grooming brand is one that has solidified its place in boys change rooms and college dorms, and this wasn’t by fluke. Whether you agree with what the brand stands for or not, their ability to connect with their audience has been stellar since launching in North America in 2002.

So where does it start?

Understanding your target and your positioning is key. AXE sold the fantasy of women to young men. There was this belief that if you were using the product, it would translate into receiving more attention from females and being “the man”. I mean, all you had to do was walk by a middle/high-school male change room and you’d get a whiff of the excessive AXE smell. The Uniliver owned brand represents being bold, unique, and irresistible.

Let’s define their audience. Surprisingly, the biggest audience for AXE isn’t teenage men. It’s actually men between 20-25. College kids, in a nutshell that typically stay with the brand for an average of 5 years. Through research the brand was able to cater their messaging towards the needs and wants of the consumer. The AXE marketing team capitalized on an interesting insight in 2002 when the brand first entered the U.S: Guys and girls tend to hang out in different social groups. This prompted Axe to stage a viral video in 2002 that shows a cheerleader attacking a football player with the messaging at the end stating, “The AXE Effect”. The brand was born.

“The proposition of Axe is it helps guys be attractive to women,” said David Rubin in 2015, a VP of marketing at Unilever. What AXE did well is execute based on the insights they found. They broke down the average male into 6 target groups and went after the one they dubbed “The Insecure Novice”. This was a guy that tends to be involved in awkward situations and doesn’t really know what he’s doing. Targeting this group in their early days allowed the brand to be the #1 male antiperspirant/deodorant brand in America.

I mean who can forget such gems as the irresistible AXE Dark Temptation ad from 2008? What more do women love than chocolate and the smell of AXE on a man, am I right?

So did the brand just have a bunch of commercials with the same premise over the years? Not at all. The brand also leveraged digital, experiential, and promotional tactics.

2009

AXE sponsors a club in the Hampton’s for an entire summer. Complete with AXE branding everywhere, and free body spray in the men’s washrooms. As lame as it sounds today, it attracted the likes of Lindsay Lohan, Fabolous, Drake, and many other celebrities.

2010

AXE launches a mock infomercial, “Clean Your Balls”, starring Jamie Pressley.

2011

AXE let’s Tunisian men change their Facebook relationship status to reflect a relationship with more than one woman.

 

So what does AXE advertising look like now? The brand has changed with the times and has shifted to a more progressive approach with their “Find Your Magic” campaign in 2016. It’s centred around finding the confidence within no matter how you look or what you do. It goes without saying that AXE has come a long way. The true AXE effect.

 

 

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: November 11 – November 17

November 17, 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!

Lowe’s Escape Room

M: This is pretty cool. As DIY projects continue to skyrocket in trends, Home Improvement retailer Lowe’s took advantage in a unique way. Ever go to one of those Escape Rooms? Well Lowe’s challenged four DIY experts to build their way out of a custom room that the company had built. The four members involved an electrician, a contractor, and two YouTubers to collaborate on how they would get out. With several of the challenges surrounding home projects, like lighting, ventilation, and plumbing, Lowe’s put all this together in a fun an engaging way. See clips below:

Cards Against Humanity Saves America:

M: Cards Against Humanity is known to do some pretty outlandish type stuff. Remember when you could literally buy/gift someone a piece of bullshit? Well this year they are taking things to a different level…politically. In order to put a thorn in Donald Trump’s side, the CAH organization has actually purchased a slot of land where the president has intended to build the wall on the Mexican border. Titled “Cards Against Humanity Saves America”, people had the option to donate $15 to support the cause and in exchange, get a few different gifts. A member from their organization stated that:

“We’ve purchased a plot of vacant land on the border and retained a law firm specializing in eminent domain to make it as time-consuming and expensive as possible for the wall to get built… Cards Against Humanity Saves America recipients will get an illustrated map of the land, a certificate of our promise to fight the wall, some new cards and a few other surprises.”

Known for their wild antics and social commentary, CAH is fighting a fight that they intend to win. I love this idea.

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. Think we missed something important? Let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Guest

How Virtual Reality is Important to Startups and Why Most Consumers Are Unaware of it

November 10, 2017

Guest Article By: Jason Vander Griendt

 

Virtual reality is one of the emergent technologies that is experiencing a fast adoption rate in numerous industries. The entertainment industry was first on the scene. It empowered providers to offer compelling experiences to viewers taking the game to the next level. It’s increasingly finding innovative applications on the business scene. It’s transforming the way businesses interact with customers, market their products and engage talent among numerous other uses.

Besides sectors such as big data and the internet of things, virtual reality is expected to bring in the next big wave of innovation. Let us review some of the advantages of the technology to business.

 

Training and education

The traditional classroom is slowly becoming extinct especially in the workplace. Employees and students will log in to virtual classes with the mentor guiding the lesson. Businesses can fast-track employee training and offer education that achieves a more significant impact quickly. Think universities, driving schools, the healthcare industry and other hands-on learning scenarios that demand the use of expensive equipment.

Cost savings

Industries such as the real estate market are experiencing an enormous reduction in presales costs. It’s leveraging the technology to provide guided virtual tours of properties. The cost of hosting virtual tours does not come close to the expenditure associated with building model show houses, organizing the open house and stocking up numerous finishes for clients to choose from. Additionally, it is enabling realtors to build stronger value-based relationships with clients.

Marketing

Virtual reality offers more productive interactions with customers in real time. It gives marketers a superior platform to showcase their products and services to a broader target audience. The technology makes it easy to prototype different products seamlessly without actually building them.

Niche markets

This includes sectors such as interactive games and amusement parks. Virtual reality presents engaging interactions with users. It makes an excellent case for a game design company. Additionally, you can offer virtual reality versions of popular adventure-based activities such as surfing, rafting, and zip lining among numerous others. Similarly, collaborations with breakthrough technologies such as nanotechnology will narrow the gap between real and virtual worlds.

Events and social networks

The virtual scene presents the new real estate to host events. You can interact with other participants, listen to presentations, and walk through various booths at the event. All this from the comfort and convenience of your home. The same concept will extend to your social interactions. Facebook is already experimenting on this with its VR subsidiary, Oculus.

Why are there so few consumers on the virtual reality scene?

First, I’d have to say price points. Gadget manufacturers are racing to provide the best possible experience from their units. This translates to thousands of hours of research and development as well as high-quality components to realize a commercial product. Similarly, there are few consumer applications on the market utilizing the technology to drive adoption. Virtual reality content, as opposed to the infrastructure, will play a prominent role in driving the consumer costs down. Furthermore, the technology is considered socially isolating and lacking a diverse range of choice of ready content.

Virtual reality is here to stay. The technology is expected to get better, cheaper and drive more penetration. As adoption increases, costs will come down. The technology will also find new applications, as more industries get onboard. Experts argue that the line between virtual reality and augmented reality is increasingly getting blurred. This fusion promises more opportunity for businesses and consumers. The attraction point remains its ability to completely immerse you in a virtual world connecting with your senses on motion, sight, touch, smell, taste and experimentally, emotion.

 

 

Jason Vander Griendt is the mechanical design engineering expert behind Render 3D Quickly, a company specializing in three-dimensional architectural renderings and visualizations. With years of experience in the field of 3D rendering and animation, Vander Griendt has established a global reputation for the exceptional insight and expertise he has regularly provided to architects, builders, contractors, designers, homeowners, and real estate companies from all over the world.

 

Dakarai Turner

Why The #OneChipChallenge is the Perfect Branded Challenge

November 7, 2017

It seems as though every few months for the last couple of years, there has been a challenge of some sort that takes the internet by storm. Whether it’s the Mannequin Challenge that was started by a class of students, the Water Bottle Flip Challenge, The Running Man Challenge, The So Gone Challenge, or even the Cinnamon Challenge. We’re always on the edge of our seat to see which crazy challenge will pop up next.

 

Why do we like them? In my opinion they are just simply fun to do and they feel authentic. You’re able to join an online movement and participate in something with your friends, challenging others in the process to do the same. Now, one thing that is consistent in most of these challenges is that they aren’t branded. There isn’t a mastermind brand trying to drive sales of cinnamon powder by challenging consumers to eat a spoonful, or there aren’t water bottle companies that are encouraging you to do a bottle flip. The challenges are made by regular people and popularized once the bigger accounts begin to participate.

Now that’s how it used to be, until I came across the #OneChipChallenge. For those of you that are unaware, Paqui, a chip brand founded in Texas has issued the #OneChipChallenge in which they claim to have the world’s hottest chip. One box that features one Carolina Reaper chip. Consumers are encouraged to record and post a video of themselves eating the chip to be for a chance to win prizes ranging from a one year supply of their chips, to a neon sign of the Carolina Reaper.

To provide a bit more context, these chips are now completely sold out.  But not to fear, they are going for $40+ on Amazon if you’re feeling rich. Yes, a box containing a single chip. The challenge became even more well known after NBA legend and analyst Shaq ate one on ‘Inside the NBA’. This immediately made me wonder if other brands can work a challenge aspect into their campaigns. I’m not talking about the typical “submit your idea for our latest product, or answering a generic question on social media to be entered to win. Paqui was able to take the factor that differentiates them from other chip brands to their forefront.

However, for this to work for a brand, it will need to be authentic and make sense at the end of the day. Paqui was known for making hot chips, so creating a Carolina Reaper chip and issuing a challenge spoke to what the brand represents perfectly. Would this kind of challenge take off as well as it did if Lays was the brand behind it? You be the judge.

 

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

Malick Ba

Stranger Things 2: Advertising, Branding, and Emotion.

October 31, 2017

Just to preface, there may be a spoiler alert in this article to those who haven’t committed watching the series yet (but nothing serious…so keep reading).

 

We touched on this briefly in last week’s recap, but we couldn’t not talk about the second season of Stranger Things. The Netflix mega-hit from last year is back and creepier than ever. One of the most successful aspects of the series is how well it plays tribute to the 80’s. What do I mean by this? Literally everything in the show is relevant to the time it’s in. The music, the clothing, the style, everything. One of the coolest parts about the series is how they kept brands that they have showcased intact to keep them contextually relevant as well. Ultimately, they’ve amplified their 80’s style theme by keeping ads the characters see on TV within the show, to adapt to the time they are in.For example. In the first few episodes, we know that the character 11 (or Elle), is obsessed with watching TV. As she’s flipping through channels, she sees an ad for Oreo’s that’s very…old fashioned let’s call it. While it’s such a minor detail, by having the advertisement on TV within the show that reflects the style of the times, viewers really get a sense of nostalgia. By evoking this emotion out of the viewers (even if it’s the simplest of ads), it increases the level of brand equity and loyalty. Especially for the people who grew up during that time and remember that specific commercial!

Another incredibly well thought out piece of product placement was within the same episode. The scene where Steve and Nancy are having a Kentucky Fried Chicken dinner at Barbara’s parents place. What I loved about this scene is that it reminds me of a classic American dinner that I’ve never actually had. With the classic branding (striped bucket and name not just being what I know as “KFC”), and a relevant context, it’s like product placement, but like, the good kind of product placement. One of the characters even threw in the “It’s finger lickin’ good!” line, which was a nice throwback.

Ultimately, the show brings back a nostalgic feeling in many viewers by showcasing products and brands from the 80’s in a relevant context to the show’s timeline. What I love about this is the dedication to showcase these brands in line and style with the timeline of the show without feel like it’s a blatant ad. For most people, seeing ads in this context brings evokes an emotion that can only be derived from nostalgia. I know it’s a specific selection, but the brands that were showcased got a chance to bring out that feeling for people engaged with those brands. it’s a great way to bring awareness to these brands while still being relevant in terms of the context of the show.

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 (October 21 – October 27)

October 27, 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 and Kathleen

 
Lionsgate turns to digital to promote new ‘Jigsaw’ movie

D: One of the biggest reasons I use ad-block is because the majority of digital ads suck, if I’m being blunt. They lack both creativity and originality. With the new campaign from Lionsgate, they are trying to change that way of thinking. They have paired AR (augmented reality) with digital ads in promotion of the new movie, ‘Jigsaw’, which is the next instalment of the ‘Saw’ franchise. Mobile users will be served ads that function as an animated selfie filter. Think of it like the Snapchat filters but in a web browser. Of course, in order for this to work users need to allow the ad to access the camera on their phone, but due to this being one of the first examples of Snapchat-like filters on a mobile site, I can only imagine the engagement would be higher than a typical digital ad. Another incentive is that users are offered discounted movie tickets if they share the selfie they took using Jigsaw-like traps on Twitter. It will be interesting to see what sort of other brands adopt this technology.

 

Stranger Things 2

M: Fiiiiinally the wait for the next season of Stranger Things is over! The Netflix mega-hit from last year is back and showcases it’s typical 80’s style fashion. One of the things I loved about the first season is it’s homage to 80’s style cinematography and imagery, but this season brings it to another level. What do I mean by this? To keep things contextually relevant, the show brings back a nostalgic feeling in many viewers by showcasing products and brands from the 80’s. Some brands include KFC (previously known as Kentucky Fried Chicken), Poloroid, and Radio Shack (rest in peace). What I love about this is the dedication to showcase these brands in line and style with the timeline of the show. For these brands, it’s a great way to bring awareness to these brands while still being relevant in terms of the context of the show (except Radio Shack…sorry Radio Shack).

 

Stranger Things Snapchat Lens

K: One of the hottest shows right now is Netflix’s “Stranger Things”. To help promote season 2, Netflix is using AR technology to help them. For today only, October 27th, you can visit Joyce Byers’ creepy living room and also use a face filter that gives users a nosebleed during selfies, like one of their characters Eleven. Check out the video below and unlock the lens using this Snapcode below:


Snapchat

 

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

Adidas Jumps Over Jordan Brand for the Number Two Spot

October 24, 2017

Last month, it was reported that Adidas has officially passed the Nike owned Jordan brand as the #2 most popular athletic shoe brand in the U.S, with the #1 spot belonging to Nike. So why should you care? This is a pure example of just how far a proper product can take you. Throughout my whole life when the thought of sneakers came up it was pretty much Jordan and Nike up on a cliff and all of the others (Puma, Adidas, Sketchers, Converse, etc) so far down they barely made the conversation. I have vivid memories of the first days of school where everyone sported a fresh pair of Nike’s or Jordan’s. Whether it was basketball shoes, running shoes, or a casual pair, Nike was the shoe on everyone’s mind. Until now.

Although Nike still has the #1 spot, Adidas was able to make a name for themselves and disrupt the footwear market in 2017. In the first quarter of 2017, the brand pulled in $6.4 Billion which is an 18.9% increase compared to the previous year. What helped drive this growth? Sneakers such as the Superstar (photo below), the NMD Runner, the Tubular Shadow, the Alpha Bounce, and the Stan Smith. It’s certainly worth noting that last year for the first time in over a decade, Nike did not have the highest selling sneaker in the U.S. This spot belonged to the classic Adidas Superstar. One of the first steps in the Adidas takeover.

On top of simply great products that capitalize on the current sneaker trends, Adidas has also leveraged celebrity partnerships such as their highly successful Air Yeezy line of shoes with Kanye West. Often seen as the reason why Adidas is currently #2, although this isn’t exactly the case. I think if anything Kanye West has elevated the overall perception of the brand, which is difficult to attribute to direct sales figures. However, the brand has seen a bigger push with their classic Superstar and Stan Smith shoes.

Although Adidas still has a long way to go before taking over the #1 spot in North America, it is still quite impressive to see how fast they’ve grown considering Nike is like the Coca Cola of the footwear market. This meaning it’s a brand that is widely recognized as the leader in their category that is also seen as the brand that will forever reign supreme. The exciting part about two companies going head to head is that the products they deliver will simply get better. The engineering behind the shoes will be elevated, the marketing campaigns attached with every shoe release will be on point, and the brand’s will continue to push the culture forward. If I’m speaking from personal experiences, my last few shoe purchases have all been Adidas and it might just be a result of seeing them around more often.

What do you guys think? Could you see Adidas taking passing Nike in the near future?

 

 

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 (October 14 – October 20)

October 20, 2017

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

Written by: Dak, Malick, Nick and Kathleen

Sport Chek repositions itself in the fashion world

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

Automotive brands are innovating the customer experience

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

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

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

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

Uniqlo puts their jackets to the test

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

Bud Light

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

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

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

#DeviceFreeDinner

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

Device Free Dinner with Will Ferrell from Will Ferrell

 

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

Dakarai Turner

Racially Insensitive or Exaggeration: Dove’s Latest Ad

October 10, 2017

Maybe you’ve seen the headlines this weekend: “Dove is racist”. This all stemmed from a screenshot released online of a now pulled Dove Facebook ad. At it’s core, the ad depicted a black woman using Dove’s body wash and essentially turning into a white woman. Yikes, right? After immediate consumer backlash, the ad was removed and Dove issued a Twitter apology.

People were not happy with the apology and this turned into a social media uproar filled with angry tweets and consumers stating they would boycott the Dove brand. The problem was that to everyone that never saw the original ad (including me), their only point of reference was the image being circulated with the original Twitter users’ handle stamped in the centre. No matter how hard I dug, I couldn’t seem to find the original ad at the time (without the Twitter handle) which led most people to believe that the ad being circulated was  in fact the real thing. Now if it isn’t completely apparent, the problem with the ad is that it’s tone deaf and depicts a black woman as dirty, and a white woman as clean. It’s worth nothing that this wouldn’t be the first time that Dove has been accused of racially incentive ads as well as products.

 

Several hours later the original ad posted began to submerge and the reaction of consumers took a major turn. What initially appeared as a black woman turning into a white woman was dispelled as there is a third woman that appears afterwards. The purpose of the ad stated by Dove was to convey that Dove body wash is for every woman and be a celebration of diversity“. What the ad lacked was racial sensitivity, and this should be a lesson for every brand out there that is trying to communicate a message surrounding diversity. There is a long history of brands using the idea that a black person is inferior to a white person, and by having the black woman first in this sequence, the message can be misconstrued and taken out of context. Do I believe that Dove is a racist brand that did this on purpose? Absolutely not. However, at the same time there needs to be someone with a seat at the table that speaks up and points out that this ad may come across as offensive. To think that a multi-million dollar brand sold in over 80 countries doesn’t have this person is unfathomable. Simply restructuring the order could have prevented 2 apologies and your brand trending for all the wrong reasons.

Did everyone jump the gun in trashing Dove? Yes, however this is the reality in today’s age. We react towards what is presented to us. There will be a large amount of people that don’t ever see the now released full ad in motion and they will continue on with their hatred for the Dove brand. Who’s to blame? Dove for releasing a tone deaf ad and us as consumers for not digging deeper. This is yet another example on the list for 2017’s racially incentive ads joining the likes of Pepsi, Nivea, and others. Looks like we’ll have to do an end of the year recap with the way things are trending.

I’d love to know your thoughts. Did consumers react too soon or was it justified?

 

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

Guest

So We’re Spying on You…. But is it Really All THAT Creepy? – Spotify’s ‘Thanks 2016, It’s Been Weird’ Campaign

October 6, 2017

Guest Article By: Michael Swanton

 

By now just about everyone under 90 is aware that the platforms and social media that they use are tracking as well as recording their data and selling it to devious marketers. That’s why that ad for a Cuban vacation won’t stop following you.

But is it really as creepy as it seems? One of my all time favourite campaigns was Spotify’s “Thanks 2016.. It’s been weird”. It totally breaks the stigma and provides a clear example of what marketing ought to be. The concept is simple yet genius, Spotify’s CMO Seth Farbman put it best when he commented on it saying “Utilizing data from listeners led to the idea of reflecting the culture via listener behaviour”.

So Spotify went global putting up massive billboards and trolling local audiences about their listening behaviour, some classics include: “Dear person who played “sorry” 42 times on Valentine’s day, What did you do?” Or better yet; “Dear person who made a playlist called “one night stand with Jeb Bush like he’s a bond girl in a European casino… We have so many questions.”

Spotify also managed to make witty yet insightful comments on popular culture during some of the of the most tumultuous and polarizing times this generation have seen. Comments like “Dear 3,749 people who streamed “It’s the end of the world as we know it” after the brexit vote, Hang in there.”

It’s almost as if the brand is engaging in a literal one on one conversation with you, and they’re pretty damn funny. They took the spirit of the moment and literally said what everyone was thinking… on a 42 foot billboard. This unique style gives the impression that Spotify knows us but stays within the bounds we are comfortable with, never mentioning any names, only commenting on funny and universally relevant insights. The way marketers typically use big data to follow you around the internet with pop up ads, or attempt to sneak in your social media feed has become transparent and tacky. But Spotify’s up front and in your face comments make way better use of this information, by relating to its users in an individual fashion and commenting on their quirks. It isn’t so creepy if they’re just trying to get to get to know you and crack a few jokes.

Spotify nailed this one, the fact that they “showed their hand” while playfully teasing their audience about their most private moments took serious marketing tact and poise. The copy was written in a tone that reminds you of funny twitter memes, or the way that a close friend might bust your chops. And this is what makes the campaign so genius, and a perfect example of proper marketing. Using listener data to mirror the culture to itself and communicating with the audience the way they communicate with themselves literally makes Spotify seem like they’re “part of the squad”, it makes the stigma around big data seem overblown and clarifies that that’s just how they know us. Not only that but it’s also how they can relate to us.

The campaign humanized Spotify as a brand, and got us to laugh at ourselves. It’s a risk to tease your audience, admit you know them a little too well or make political comments but that’s exactly what you would expect from a friend who knows you. And that’s why this is an exemplary example of marketing, they proved they know us implied that they accept us and made us feel as if they were one of us. What if the brands you use continue to try to become your “friend”, would you mind if Nike starts trolling on your Instagram photos if you rock Adidas?

 

Michael is a University of Toronto Digital Enterprise Management student, Freelance E-commerce solutions specialist, web designer and digital marketer. When he isn’t plotting on his next business moves or trying to sell you something, he’s at the gym at ungodly hours or making great memories with great friends. Check him out on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Snapchat @mswanton1

Bledar Halili

The Justice League of Advertising

October 3, 2017

The Justice League of Advertising and Marketing.

For someone who is looking to join the field of advertising and marketing, you might need to know a couple of things. Just to be clear this is a fun article and does not include all advertising and marketing mediums as the article would be a lot long. As kids, most of us had our favorite hero, someone we looked up, whether they were Superheroes or for you young aspiring advertisers the cast of MAD Men. For this article, we will be sticking to superheroes and for anyone who has been living under a rock since 2008, you’ll know that Superhero movies are have usually been blockbusters. Of course, there are a few exceptions (Green Lantern) but for the most part are global successes. Marvel and Disney have done a wonderful job with their releases (Iron Man, Thor, SpiderMan) and the Avenger Films that have been commercial success but also relatively well received films. Then you have DC Comics and their upcoming superhero team up movie “The Justice League” which is being released in November of 2017. The Justice League has some of the world’s most recognizable superheroes such as; Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and Green Lantern. As excited as I am to watch this movie, lets discuss the Justice League of Advertising and Marketing.

Image result for justice league

 

 

Image result for Superman

 

Broadcast Advertising is Superman

Superman is arguably the world’s most recognizable superhero, I mean you can argue it but at the same time why would you.  Similarly, how broadcast media has been one of the most popular advertising mediums since its inception. Let’s talk about Television, there continues to be constant chatter about how T.V is a dying medium because of all the new subscriptions programs, torrents, android boxes and everything else in between. With all that in mind, T.V remains as one of the go to places that advertisers prefer when seeking mass awareness. There are Fortune 500 Companies are global brands that arguably do not need to be on T.V. Yet, the value and awareness that T.V generates simply cannot be overlooked. Now take a second to imagine what the Justice league would look like without Superman, would they be known the same way without him? Probably not, Superman made is the face of DC Comics and Superheroes. Without a Superman, you just wouldn’t be as strong. The reality is you can run a campaign without T.V and it can be a successful one, and The Justice League would be Ok without Superman, but if you have the option to have Superman, would you turn it down? Probably not, it is the same with TV, if you have the means to use it, use it. If used effectively will greatly benefit your campaign. Just remember, Superman isn’t perfect and has Kryptonite as a weakness, a that TV isn’t the end all be all of achieving a successful campaign.

 

Image result for TV

 

Continue Reading…

Guest

GoPro Enters the Mature Stage in it’s Product Lifecycle

September 29, 2017

It’s been 15 years since GoPro first entered the action camera industry at the reins of CEO, Nick Woodman and it’s becoming more apparent that the company needs to shift it’s focus away from sales growth and more towards sustained long-term profits. As GoPro enters the mature stage of it’s product lifecycle, market trends are suggesting that it’s continued success will be dependant on it’s loyal customer base and from it’s newly launched video editing apps. It’s no surprise that the action camera industry is experiencing a decline in sales growth due to mobile cameras being so much easier to use. While GoPro products will likely always dominate sales in the sports industry due to it’s wide angle lens and un-contestable durability, it’s becoming clear that for every day users, it’s just easier to use an iPhone.

After a failed launch for the Karma drone in 2016, it appears that innovation for the short term is heading towards a standstill. The key for their continued success during this time (in my opinion) is for them to capitalize on the opportunities that stem from their powerful brand awareness, and already high consumer engagement. GoPro boasts a strong 25+ million followers on social media which includes a focused presence on Instagram which they average 3,000 new followers daily. The opportunity for engagement from partnered advertising isenormous through these channels, which could be a huge boost to their revenue. GoPro entered late 2017 completely debt free which means they can incur debt and grow their business through innovation quite easily. In the mean time, I think it’s in their best interest to not over saturate their market with new less-developed products and rather wait for truly revolutionary products to be formed. In the mean time, their current sales model and strong customer loyalty will prop them up in order to sustain short-term success.

GoPro is currently selling at a stock price, which in my opinion, undervalues it’s intrinsic future earning power. As it currently sits, GoPro is selling at $11.10 per share after a high of $86.97 in 2014 and a low of $7.70 in 2017. Aside from the financials, in which I enjoy so dearly, GoPro is continuing to prove to be an exciting company to watch and likely will continue to be for the years to come.

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 finance.

Malick Ba

Bad Ads

September 19, 2017

I work in advertising and I live in downtown Toronto. That means that I live and breathe advertising. Without a doubt, this blog is basically a platform for the best that we talk about in the advertising world. From trends, to commercials, we try our absolute best to focus on the top that this industry has to offer…but what about the bad ones? Working in this industry has taught me that anything you put out there goes against rounds and rounds of approval. Any bad idea (or good idea for that matter) can get tossed in the blink of an eye…so how do the bad ones slip through the cracks? This week I’m going to try and shift our attention to why/how bad advertisements get out there for the world to see.

What makes an ad bad? Is it placement? Is it creative? Is it both? For the sake of this article, lets say both. I’ve been fortunate enough to come from a media background and that’s taught me the importance of the strategy behind where and how you see an advertisement. In tandem with effective and contextually relevant creative the formula for good ads are there. However sometimes that’s not enough. Remember in the early 2000s? We saw websites serving you millions of pop ups and obnoxious ads on a daily basis. Even if the pop up was an ad for something that was targeted specifically for me, I would still get annoyed no matter what was placed in front of me-immediately putting myself off of it. For the most part, most websites I browse now don’t do that. Why? Because that’s bad advertising. Spam has never been an effective advertising strategy and never will. You can show me the same ad a thousand times but if it’s annoying, no one will pay attention to it-no matter how creative it is.

Let’s switch gears to talk about creative and the process that it takes to actually get something out there. This is a tricky one. Like I mentioned before, ads can have a million dollar budget and still turn out to be terrible. Remember that Pepsi ad earlier this year? That had an insane budget but still turned out to be a joke. Bad advertisements from a creative standpoint seem to have a consistent theme: someone approved something shitty. I’m not talking about local ads you find on a telephone pole, or someone handing out a piece of paper on the sidewalk. I’m talking about ads that have money behind them-one’s like Pepsi or that terrible Australian lamb commercial that turned out to be pretty offensive.

That’s a summary version of my opinion on bad ads. It’s a combination of poor placement, poor creative, and poor direction that brings it all together. What’s your favourite bad ad?

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 (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

Fashion Nova: A Look Into the Viral Store’s Marketing Tactics

September 12, 2017

Can we just take a moment to talk about Fashion Nova? I almost feel like this brand doesn’t even need a set-up. Why? Because ever since 2016 I’ve seen a post about Fashion Nova jeans or their other clothing just about every day on my Instagram feed. Now I don’t follow the brand, but thanks to the thousands of social media influencers, their messaging will get to me one way or another. However, for those of you that don’t use Instagram, Fashion Nova is an LA based women’s retail company known for their low prices and social media domination.

The CEO of the brand has stated that they use anywhere from 3000-5000 influencers online, and this is where this domination comes from. Is the clothing great? YouTube reviews lead me to believe that the clothing feels relatively cheap and average, however, the crazy thing is I’ve never actually met anyone that has bought their pieces.

So let’s talk about the influencers. Fashion Nova has tapped into the audiences of Kylie Jenner (97M followers), Cardi B (9.5M followers), Amber Rose (16M followers), Nicki Minaj (83M followers), and literally thousands more with anywhere from 1K to 10M followers. The sponsored posts are fairly similar in their tone and content. They are all about letting the public know that Fashion Nova is the cheapest way to look great and to use their personal code for a discount. The brand offers $20 rompers, $30 jeans, and $50 dresses on top of a large amount of other pieces.

Richard Saghian, the founder and CEO commented on their strategy in an interview with Vice: “It’s kind of like this ripple effect. The more people shout us out, the more their fans shout us out. Kind of like a viral Youtube video. We’re a viral store”. Fashion Nova does a great job squandering the web for the latest trends and then reproducing them. In fact, as of this year the clothing brand has over 600 employees and is able to produce 500 new clothing designs each week. The numbers are astonishing and it was all primarily built off of the help of influencers. Why does this work? For the simple reason that you’re likely following the influencer (most of the time an Instagram model) because you like the way they look, dress, and their personality. If they were to promote designer brands with a designer price tag, the chances of you breaking the bank are fairly slim. Now if the influencer such as Cardi B is showing you that she wears $30 jeans on a regular basis, and provides you with the source for her clothing, you’re probably going to try it out. Am I right?

Fashion Nova has to be one of the best current examples of how brands can effectively use influencers on social media. Their network of brand advocates easily reachers over 100M people collectively and with the frequent posts, it has allowed Fashion Nova to truly become a viral store. Whatever that means.

 

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 1 – September 8)

September 8, 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: Kathleen, Malick, and Dak.

Bud Light – Vendor

K: With the NFL season starting get ready for all the new commercials that you will be seeing on tv. Like in every sports game an important beverage that needs to be ready for the fans is beer! Many prefer to have the vendor come to them with the beer rather than having to get up and wait in a long line for minutes and risk missing an important part of the game. But did you ever imagine having one of those vendors follow you around everywhere and always have a beer handy for you? I’m sure many of you will be thinking “that would be awesome!”. Well, it’s like that saying ‘be careful what you wish for’. For their first broadcast ad of the NFL Bud Light decided to show what it could be like, watch the video below and find out.

Facebook Messenger Tests Out a Tinder-Like Feature

D: Now isn’t this exactly what we need? Don’t you just look at the hundreds upon hundreds of friends you have online and think “I wonder if they want to meet up?”. If that sounds like you, then you’ll jump for joy at this new feature. For the rest of us, let’s just sit back and watch how this unfolds. Facebook has announced plans to roll out a Tinder-like feature on Messenger that will allow you to essentially swipe on friends you would like to meet up with. Here’s the thing, similar to Tinder they’ll have no idea you swiped on them unless it’s mutual. What happens next? Well that’s between the two of you. It will be interesting to monitor how this performs in testing, but if there was any non-dating company that could pull this off, it would certainly be Facebook.

 

White Castle Swag

M: Seriously? What’s with fast food companies coming out with clothing? I wrote about this for a previous recap, but a bunch of fast food companies like McDonald’s and KFC have come out with clothing lines. Next up is White Castle. They’ve teamed up with New York fashion house Telfar to come through with a new clothing line surrounded by every American’s favourite slider joint. What does this even mean? The purpose of the streetwear is to bring out the authenticity of the restaurant, but not quite sure I can exert the same passion. I don’t know if I could get down with fast food clothing, they look too much like uniforms to me. Check out what they look like 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 thoughts on the latest Pepsi ad. Think we missed something important? Let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Malick Ba

#LetsGoToTheEx-Culture and Marketing.

September 5, 2017

City events are what keep city culture alive. I know I’ve spoken a lot about pop-ups, and other consumer focused experiences through marketing but there’s one that happens every year around mid-August. Yep you guessed it, the Canadian National Exhibition. If you can consider it a pop-up, the CNE rakes in approximately 1.4 million guests every year to partake in several activities, games, and food options. What makes the CNE event so popular in Toronto? Is it tradition? Is it advertising? Is it culture? Probably a combination of all three. For the last few weeks, I’ve seen countless ads promoting the event. I think the CNE does such a great job at advertising through multiple channels. First and foremost being Instagram. I’ve seen countless ads promoting the event with simple visuals and event details that it’s impossible to ignore. By also lending users with the #letsgototheex hashtag, it’s iconic scenery of festival grounds literally littered with posts about the event. Why strive for self-promotion when the event basically sells itself?

 

Next up, radio. If you’re a Toronto native, you’re very familiar with that catchy jingle. The “Lets go to the ex” is classic, catchy, and a slight bit annoying but it’s so iconic to those who live in the GTA. While I am not necessarily a radio enthusiast, consistent and classic advertising can be so effective because it’s not subject to any specific demographic. Youth, adults, and the elderly can certainly all recall hearing radio advertising for the ex. If you’re able to create an event that isn’t demographic specific and that’s ultimately affordable and accessible by all demographics…how can you lose?

I know that this article isn’t specific to advertising or marketing in general, but I think a big part of what makes events like the CNE so successful is that it is a platform for city culture-and culture drives marketing. Yes I touched on what makes the CNE’s advertising effective, but it’s really the people that drive the event. By establishing a consistent annual timeline, it creates an image in the consumers mind and with time, this translates into a strong city culture. Every August people know that the CNE is coming to town-and it’s the perfect association with the end of summer. The advertising, tradition, and culture drive the EX to be nothing but a great city experience every year-brands take note.

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.

Bledar Halili

Desperate for Entertainment: Mayweather vs. McGregor

August 29, 2017

This past Saturday was the night everyone was waiting for, the one everyone wanted to talk about, the one people are still talking about. It was a night that had excitement, passion, a true underdog and an undefeated champion. What more can someone ask for in the world of sports? Lets just get right to it, the Mayweather Vs. McGregor was a surprisingly good fight for what it was. An past his prime undefeated at 49-0 Flyod Mayweather and a controversial, passionate and foolish enough MMA fighter Conor McGregor . The fight itself wasn’t a complete disappointment and had some rather competitive rounds but ultimately an excuse of a boxing match. Sure, take a look at the stats you’ll notice that McGregor landed more punches than several of Mayweather’s past opponents who were professional boxers were able too, but does that justify it as a good fight, was it a fair fight? Maybe, ultimately the fight was decent at best, it had entertainment value and it became the talk of the town.

Let’s take a step back and talk about what the best part of  Mayweather Vs. McGregor really was. The fight was okay, but it was the hype, the worldwide promotional tour, the consistent haggling towards one another, it was what made everyone want to watch the fight. Why else would someone want to watch a UFC fighter fight a boxer? Did people really think that Mayweather would sacrifice losing his chance to be the first fighter ever to be 50-0 as professional boxer? McGregor had nothing to lose, it’s not his sport, he gave it his all, gained some respect in the boxing world and will now be able to demaned even more money in the UFC, Conor’s true playground. This was a calculated move for both fighters, for one it represented leaving as the greatest, for the other the money, exposure and their future because both won a lot more than the millions to hundreds of millions that they took home after the fight.

 

In the last year, great events have been promoted preaching the best of the best, similar to the Mayweather Vs. McGregor fight. The market is open and hungry for these events. Events that represent once in a lifetime opportunities, out of this world experiences because people are afraid of missing out on events that everyone attends or talk about, just like the fight was for many and event that could not be missed.

Fyre Festival

This was the Festival of all festivals, supposedly taking the best things, the best artist, models, celebrities and putting them all on an island to experience the best two weekends of you life. The festival was a complete failure and absolute mess to go along with all the lawsuits and wire fraud it wasn’t successful but before the failure and the wire fraud charges to their founder. It was one of the most talked about events, using influencers like Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Victoria Secret Models, Kanye West and many others portraying this experience like no other. Nothing needed to really be said the power of the influencer speaks for its self in our ever connected world. The Fyre Festival was a bust but hype was real.

Phelps Vs Shark

 

Shark Week is a thing and very popular thing at that. So when Michael Phelps arguably the greatest Olympian of all-time with 28 medals (23 Gold, 3 Silver, 2 Bronze) was announced that he was going to race a Shark to see who was faster. People were excited and why wouldn’t you be, seeing Michael race a Shark sounds like the coolest thing ever. But like Fyre, it was a let down, the race happened but to a CGI Shark that actually beat Michael. The thing is Michael Phelps is an individual who people like to watch succeed and achieve. On the other hand watching him race a CGI Shark sucked, really sucked. The hype was there, the idea was fantastic, people were excited, they were hyped and well they got let down. You be the judge, watch the video.

 

 

The phrase  “We are connected now more than ever” is one that is mentioned quite often and although sounds cliche is very true. We are always on our phone, looking at Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and the list can go on and on. We are in constant need of media and within that a source of entertainment whether funny cat videos or Mayweather Vs. McGregor. People also want to connect and be a part of an experience which is why events like Fyre and Phelps Vs Shark were so disappointing even though the hype was there and the hype was real. The various types of Entertainment that people consume has grown from traditional options into some of the wackiest and craziest things you could probably imagine. The Mayweather Vs. McGregor fight continued to demonstrate that the entertainment value does not have to be the greatest in order to generate hundreds of millions of dollars world wide. All you need is energetic, exciting, vocal, confident and popular influencers to bring the hype, the end product can be lackluster and people will still watch.

 

 

Bledar is currently in his last semester at Humber College for Advertising and Marketing Communications. He loves all food and has the ability to cook but cannot figure out how to make something twice. Bledar has brief experience through volunteering for 2016’s CAMP conference and Awards show, and he is very excited to bring his journey in the advertising and marketing world. Bledar is just waiting for the opportunity to go to a championship parade in Toronto.

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (August 19 – August 25)

August 25, 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 Dakarai, Nick, Bledar, and Malick

Cricket Wireless Brings the Fans to John Cena

D: Get ready to tear up a bit! Cricket Wireless, owned by AT&T put together a video with their celebrity partner and WWE wrestler, John Cena. For those of you who don’t know, he’s known for his positive attitude with the position of “never give up”. What started as a video of him reading fan letters, you eventually see that all of the writers behind each letter are hiding in a room waiting to surprise Cena in person. After reading about the story of a young fan that used the slogan “never give up” to help his mother beat cancer, John Cena was surprised with the boy standing right in front of him. This is one of those heartfelt videos that really pulls on your emotions and for this reason there is no secret as to why it has reached over 60M views and has been shared over 1M times. This video is great for Cricket Wireless because even though they may not get another customer as a result of the video, their pre-existing customers will feel better about their selection. Grab a box of tissues and check out the video below.

 

Kyrie Irving Leaves the Cavs. 2k Sports Scrambles.

N: Sometimes marketing decisions need to happen on the fly. News drops, and a company needs to adjust. And sometimes that needs to happen fast. Case in point: 2K Sports and their NBA 2K18 dilemma. On June 1st, Kyrie Irving was announced as the cover athlete for the latest for NBA 2K18. Photo shoot done. Cover designed. Rollout prepped. Irving looked sharp, donning his crisp Cleveland Cavaliers uniform. Plenty of time before the official release date of September 19th.

On August 22nd Irving was traded to the Boston Celtics, leaving four weeks for 2K Sports to react and adapt. After an initially witty response, how should they move forward? Do they scramble to replace the cover with Irving in his new threads? Or with a different athlete entirely? Do they release the already produced copies as “novelty” items? And then re-release with a new cover? Or do they just leave things as-is?

 

IKEA – Enough

B: IKEA has been a place to get cheap hotdogs, Lingonberry sauce, and most importantly cheap furniture. With storytelling being a vital part in how advertisers and marketers attempt to reach their target audiences. I can safely assume that a lot of us have had an IKEA shopping experience or two, usually being fun and having some sort of purpose. The IKEA- Enough ad isn’t ground breaking or unheard of, it is simple, honest and relatable. The premise of the video is that an average family, being unorganized, messy and then pulling together to clean up their house.  In the same context in how building IKEA furniture, unorganized, messy and somehow takes an entire family to build a nightstand.

Walmart and Google Partner on voice-powered shopping

M: The story of online retailing continues to grow. Recently, Walmart and Google have announced a deal that will allow you to order products online through a voice commanding system. Google Express users will be able to order products through the Express website, app, or devices equipped with Google Assistant. Retail is getting easier and easier and I really think this is just the tip of the iceberg. I think eventually this can stem into larger retailers in Canada and provide extreme benefit to those who have a mobile-first approach to shopping. Really interesting to see! I think this will definitely push the sales of Google Assistant and other voice-recognizing technologies.

 

 

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

Overused and Untrue: Marketing to Millennials

August 22, 2017

Let’s talk about the single most popular term in marketing for the past couple of years (don’t quote me); Millennials. Often referred to as 18-34 year olds even though that group is now between 20-36. This is that group of people that are all the rave right now and a term that every marketer spits out every chance they get. Brands are switching the way they communicate, what they stand for, and where they can be found all to appeal to this select group. So what are millennials? Let’s break it down by the numbers.

Now you can spit out all the facts in the world but the reality is millennials aren’t really that special. In my personal experience, some of my habits when it comes to social media, smartphones, and interacting with brands vastly differs from people my age let alone a millennial on the top of the spectrum at 36 years old. Generational divides get tricky because your bound to find all sorts of different habits across a 16 year group of individuals. However, in the eyes of marketers our actions and behaviours are aligned. There is this myth that we can all be reached the same way, on the same platforms, and at the same time.

There are so many different traits that go across this generation to the point where “marketing to millennials” just doesn’t really make much sense. I think Harley Davidson recently hit the nail in the coffin when they said as a brand they are not interested in marketing to millennials, rather marketing to free-thinking individuals with their latest “All for Freedom. Freedom for All” campaign.

Now what happens when you don’t blanket all millennials together is you’re able to zone in on characteristics and behaviour, and effectively target with your campaign. I mean, just google “marketing to millennials” and you can access the countless articles that tell marketers how to reach and interact with us. Is any of it true? Well of course. However, the issue is that portions of the information are true for a portion of millennials. The only stat that could live across the board from 20-36 year olds is most likely that we all have smartphones, and even then it’s questionable.

All in all there are several traits that apply as a blanket statement for millennials as a whole group. However, there needs to be a clear distinction. “Marketing to millennials” shouldn’t be a thing because there are so many differences within the group itself. What do you guys think of this trend of millennial marketing?

 

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 (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.

Dakarai Turner

The Branding Behind 2017’s Most Popular Dating Apps

August 8, 2017

Dating apps – Not the OkCupid’s or the Match.com’s, or even the PlentyOfFish’s. We’re talking about the millennial “dating apps”. This includes the Tinder and Bumble’s of the world. The apps that skip all of the formalities such as a real and developed “about me” section and cater to the young and shallow millennials with a short attention span. This may come across as if I’m against either or but that’s definitely not the case. These differences are simply a result of branding which has created complete different perceptions/expectations for each app.

The interesting thing here is that even if you come across the same person on each of these dating platforms, your expectations will be different because of the attributes associated to the brand as well as their communication. The idea for the article was sparked from a weekend conversation with a friend of mine. He was telling me how great Bumble was because the people on there are better than Tinder users, which is interesting considering the overlap of users between the two apps. This led me to the ultimate question:

How are Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge branded?

Tinder

The most popular of the bunch, Tinder boasts over 50 million users worldwide and over 1.4 billion daily swipes. Being the most popular comes with the curse of being the most judged. It has amassed a stigma of simply being a hook-up app in which it’s difficult to obtain a meaningful relationship. However, due to their large audience, it is still an attractive platform for marketers looking to reach young millennials. Several brands will create Twitter accounts to promote giveaways, launches, and more. An example of this was in the U.K. with a Dominos Pizza Tinder account. Check out a video of their execution below:

Bumble

Funny enough, the CEO of Bumble was a former executive for Tinder. The app is branded as the feminist friendly dating app in which the female user initiates the conversation. They have done everything in their power to not be compared to Tinder and to speak to females in their marketing efforts. An example of this is with their “Be the CEO” out-of-home campaign, which reads: “Be the CEO your parents always wanted you to marry. (then find someone you actually like)”.

Bumble stays true to being an app for feminists and with that position the brand isn’t afraid to let it be known. 

Hinge

Launching in 2013, Hinge was originally designed as yet another “anti Tinder” that tried to create more meaningful relationships through showing you users you have mutual friends on Facebook with. However, this positioning didn’t change the way people were using the app which prompted Hinge to re-launch in 2016 with features that sparked conversation about the person’s interests from the start. Hinge is trying to separate themselves from the group of swiping apps and offer something real for their users. Or at least that’s how their messaging comes across.

Most recently, the brand crashed weddings across the U.S. with Snapchat geofilters aimed for those at the “single table”. An execution that would simply not work as well with apps such as Bumble or Tinder.

 

So here’s the thing. Even though you may literally see the same person on each of these three apps, your perception of them could differ. Whether you assume they are ready for a real relationship on Hinge or looking to hookup on Tinder, these perceptions are real and are a result of how the brand communicates, their app interface, and last but not least, their marketing efforts.

 

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

Guest

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.

Malick Ba

Marketing and a Pink Trap House

August 1, 2017

2017 has been an absolute hit for hip-hop music. With Migos starting the year off with their hit album Culture to Jay-Z’s latest 4:44, there’s no doubt that we’ve truly been blessed. For the most part, album releases have been pretty standard. A common marketing trick to an album release makes sure that the album is hyped up enough beforehand to maximize sales right out of the gate. We’ve seen this with Drake’s More Life, which had the launch dates continuously pushed back which left fans waiting with anticipation. Or even Kendrick Lamar’s Damn, which already had a massive amount of hype behind it. This build up of hype definitely relies on the artist, but I find that this front heavy marketing technique is missing something: continuity. There’s only been one album this year for me that had one of the best post launch campaigns I’ve seen to date…Pretty Girls Like Trap Music by 2 Chainz.

The build up of hype for this existed, but not to the same extent as other popular hip-hop albums this year. What I found significant about this was the post-launch strategy that brought the album concept to life.  With the focal point of the album art being a Pink trap house (for those who don’t know, a trap house is essentially a house used for the creation of various drugs-don’t do drugs), he recreated it into a pop up in Atlanta that could be used for various means. Posting on Instagram and Snapchat, he lured the folk of Atlanta to come and check out the album recreation. The Pink trap house instantly became one of the hottest tourist locations in Atlanta.But what was it used for? Definitely not for the production of drugs that’s for sure. Originally the Pink trap house was used as a promotional piece for 2 Chainz’ latest album, but it served several beneficial functions as well. From an art gallery, to holding a church service, to teaming up with the Fulton County Board of Health for free HIV testing, the trap house went beyond selling a product. It brought a community together through music and a killer marketing strategy.

 

This is a fantastic way to bring an idea to life with music. Pop-ups are definitely a huge trend right now, and 2 Chainz did it right. The Pink trap house was a brilliant concept to not only promote his album (which has tons of bangers on it btw), but to increase the longevity and relevance of it post-launch. While yes, Drake, Kendrick, and Jay-Z all released albums this year, I’ll remember 2 Chainz’ the most because it was marketed with functionality in mind.

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.

Guest

Let’s talk about The Talk – A Look into P&C’s #MyBlackIsBeautiful Campaign

July 28, 2017

Guest Article By: Warren Leslie

 

The depiction is passionate, intensely personal and has left a testament to its campaign.

Repetition can almost be amusing to some extent. The idea of carrying a burden, and the weight of generations is permissible, but to whom. There is a certainty of knowing what will eventuate.

 

Behind the Creative

BBDO New York, Director Malik Vitthal created “The Talk” film for the Procter and Gamble #MyBlackIsBeautifulCampaign. The #MyBlackIsBeautiful community celebrates everything that makes them beautiful, from the inside out. The combination did not settle for less. The advertisements message was in the public interest with the initiative to raise awareness. The dialogue and the divisive issue of racism in America and bias worldwide delivered a sentiment. I perceived it as, yesterday it was unwarranted actions, today it is bailout solutions.

“The difference is”

Socially-conscious issues brands in the past have created advocacy campaigns for gender equality, cultural acceptance and so forth but who’s to that do they really stand by what they’re claiming. For short, Airbnb’s We accept campaign. Do you accept, and why do you accept at such a climax of time, why not 10 years prior? Just a thought.

Sustaining a Broad Dialogue

Everybody is a reporter and the world is observant of this. I couldn’t help but think the actions that can’t be undone. Minorities needing to have the talk with their sons and daughters about conflicts and barriers they’ll face at some point in their lives spells the truth regarding bias, and the campaign addressed this stigma.

“Remember that they will say”

 

Warren Leslie is an Account Coordinator for a digital & marketing agency in Woodbridge. Humber College is his alma mater and If you wish to connect with the man himself; LinkedIn and Instagram.

Dakarai Turner

“I Would Like to Opt Out” – The Boundaries of Market Research

July 25, 2017

“I would like to opt out” – The 6 words that advertisers and marketers do not want to hear. Those 6 words essentially tell you “leave me alone”. As someone that is passionate about marketing and the advancement of both industries, I might not be the best person to speak to when it comes to the question of “how far is too far” in the retrieval of customer information. Now to further explain, this is in reference to tactics marketers use that tracks consumer behaviour and habits.

My take is that I think it’s extremely helpful being served targeted ads based on things I’ve viewed or searched online. For example, I’m currently planning a trip to Montreal and I have been seeing Airbnb ads all over Instagram, and it helps with searching for a place to stay. Most people don’t feel the same way, even though this is a minute example of retrieving data on customers. Marketing is built off insights and research.

What about when an app wants you to opt-in to having your eye movements tracked when you view products? MakeUp is an app that digitally renders makeup products on your face so that you can get a sense of what it will look like before you make the purchase. The app is the result of a partnership between beauty brand Smashbox and ModiFace. You can read more about the eye tracking technology here.

They have revealed that the technology has resulted in a 27 percent increase in overall conversions since it began using it two months ago.

Creepy or not, you be the judge. The way I have always seen retrieving data on customers is that the intentions are appropriate. You get the product that best suits you and the brand gets a boost in sales. Everybody wins, right? Well not necessarily. Most of the arguments I’ve heard in the opposition would say that tracking customer information, habits, and more is an invasion of privacy. It’s definitely a grey area and one that will be consistently pushed further and further as technology advances and other brands want to play around with eye tracking technology for example.

So what does the future look like in this space? Will we slowly become desensitized to brands openly tracking our behavior? Or will consumers band together in support of opting out?

 

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 (July 15 – July 21)

July 21, 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.

 

McDonald’s Apparel

M: To compete with Pizza Hut and KFC, McDonald’s has come out with their own line of apparel and goods that’s set to be released on July 26th. Titled The McDelivery Collection, the line will be available via UberEATS in only a certain number of countries. The line showcases a Big Mac onesie, along with flip-flops that read “World Famous”. Honestly, I get that they are trying to compete with with other fast food brands mentioned above, but why clothes? How did this conversation even start? Will people actually wear this stuff?  I get the novelty of it. I can definitely see some of my friends wearing a sweater with a big mac on it just for jokes, but personally I think McDons’ and other fast food companies should stick to what they do best.

Cophenhagen Bus Wrap: Amnesty International

M: This is a great example of creativity combined with proper media placement. To bring awareness to the war in Syria (specifically the city of Aleppo) Amnesty International used a bus wrap that depicts the artwork of a tank. Designed by agency Rober/Boisen & Like-minded, the purpose of the bus wrap was to show that this is what day-to-day life I for the citizens who live in Aleppo. I think it also sheds light on a refugees’ right to security and It allows people to feel a sense of empathy that they may not have direct experience to. Check out the video for it below:

 

BBDO Rolls Out a Food Truck Filled with Toxic Food

D: So how do you spread awareness for people with deadly food allergies exactly? You set up “Khil Mi” a food truck in New York City that serves poisonous food. “Could you EAT” is a PSA for a non profit company by the name of E.A.T (End Allergies Together) and does a great job conveying the message that for some people simply taking a bite out of certain foods could be their last. Make sure to check out the video below. E.A.T. has raised $1.4 Million to date and was founded by two parents of children deceased due to allergies.

 

 

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.

Malick Ba

A Story of a Hot-Dog and Augmented Reality

July 18, 2017

If I had told you that a dancing hot-dog would be the biggest thing of summer 2017, you’d think I was completely out of my mind. Over the last few weeks, if you’ve paid any attention to your Instagram & Snapchat feeds you’ll have noticed that the dancing hot-dog is taking the internet by storm. For those who don’t know, Snapchat’s latest round of filters contains an augmented reality piece that allows you to place a dancing hot-dog onto any surface and increase/decrease it in size. To give a bit more detail, one would simply open snapchat, tap on the screen and scroll through the filters until you find the hot-dog. Once that’s done, you can drag it around your screen and resize it with your fingers. Pretty simple-yet pretty hilarious. As you can imagine, the internet has been going to town with the memes. Is it annoying? Is it hilarious? Who cares. What I think the most important part of this hot-dog is how the introduction of augmented reality (AR) on snapchat and other platforms can add another dimension of entertainment in a social setting.

 

For those who aren’t familiar, AR is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by compuer-generated images, sound, video, or even GPS data. Remember Pokemon Go last year? Pokemon Go for me was the first time that users were able to experience AR in a completely accessible and fun way for users to engage.  While the hot-dog is much simpler than Pokemon Go, these two examples show how AR is and can become a huge way we interact online. Moving on from actually using it on Snapchat, the memes that came from this were insane. Here are some of my favourites.

Yes this is another viral craze that will die in a few weeks, but I think the implications from this, something so simple, can be effective not only in a social setting, but in advertising as well. It’s literally just a dancing hot-dog. Think of the potential from a marketing point of view. If brands can figure out how to effectively incorporate AR technology into advertising initiatives, the possibilities are endless. We’ve seen success with Pokemon Go. We’ve seen success with the hot-dog. We’ve ultimately figured it out. Now how do we bring this success into advertising? Only time will tell. Long story short, AR is the future. It’s fun yet scalable in complexity. Pokemon Go was a massive endeavour with plenty of moving parts. A dancing hot-dog is…well not that complicated. Do you see the difference? In the future, I’d really love to see how AR is integrated not only in our social spaces, but how successful advertisers will be able to use it to advance their brand.

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.

Guest

Marketing & Hockey: An Inferiority Complex Amongst Fans

July 14, 2017

Written by: Matthew Nafe

Now that all of our favourite and exciting sports have all ended (I’m sorry baseball fans, but just look at that Jays record) it seemed important to put together a musings about Canada’s favourite sport. Hockey is exciting for its mixture of speed, skill, and toughness but when it comes to its marketing , we’ve seen they’ve fallen flat before amongst a positive fanbase. So why is it, when other sports are widely more successful, that the fragile image of hockey is always the one that is taking offence? How many times have you been enjoying your favourite sports memes when you see one centered around hockey, cross comparing injuries from different sports.


My personal favourites being: When Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins) played through a cracked rib, a

punctured lung, and a plethora of other injuries comparing him to Lebron James being lifted off the court by his teammates because of leg cramps. Now I know what you’re thinking, these two sets of injuries are on two different seriousness spectrums and I would agree. However when it happened, I couldn’t help but notice the constant and very annoying repetition of NBA player has X injury: out the playoffs, NHL player has Y injury: Played the entire series and won the Stanley Cup. This is not only from the NBA, but MLB, NFL and other major sports. So the question remains: Why is there this overwhelming disdain for other leagues as a hockey player or fan of the NHL that you need to put down other athletes in a last ditch effort to feel important? As a fan of the NHL, I love the compete level of the athletes and what they give night in and night out is incredible, but where does this fragility from fans stem from? Is it because of the elephant in the room that fans don’t like addressing?

That the NHL is the hands down lesser major sports league? Probably-and this stems from it’s marketing. But this is definitely the reason for hockey’s inferiority complex towards other major sports, they can’t insert themselves into markets like the NBA does. This inferiority complex that exists in the NHL amongst it’s fanbase is a direct result of poor and maybe inaccurate marketing. Will there ever be a time that the NHL is on the same level as other major professional sports leagues in terms of success amongst its fanbase?

It’s hard to say, because interest for other sports grows because of the lower cost of league fees for children comparatively to minor hockey leagues. It’s simple, if you get people to play the sport then people will like to watch it. The NBA is an easier league to market because the sport itself is accessible. The NHL isn’t as accessible simply because hockey isn’t an accessible sport amongst a lot of Canadians-brutal reality. This becomes truly problematic as it divides sports fans and creates this inferiority complex or fragility that I had mentioned.

People don’t understand when fans create: crappy meme pages, awful twitter accounts, and uneducated social media comments (just to name a few), and they get picked up like gospel from other fragile hockey fans. Its good to look up to these athletes and appreciate that they want to put out the best product for their fans, but it is 2017 and there aren’t WWE wrestling matches happening on the ice anymore. Its not explicitly advertised as such, but lets just take a look at the Google search results for “hockey is a tough man’s sport ad”. This is a direct correlation of terrible marketing that the NHL does. Inadvertently, the NHL presents itself as the “toughest sports league” or “fastest sports league”, and this causes fans to believe it.  We don’t need a reason to set our sport apart from the others, because the product on the ice does that enough.

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

Dakarai Turner

4:44 by Jay Z – Does Tidal’s Exclusive Content Work?

July 11, 2017

Maybe you’ve heard of a relatively unknown artist named Jay Z dropping his 13th studio album ‘4:44’ a couple of weeks ago. If you have, chances are a good portion of you weren’t able to listen to it. And why’s that? Because ‘4:44’ was made as a Tidal exclusive, meaning it was only available to their subscribers. So for the majority of us that don’t stream music, or use other platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, or Google Play, we had to wait a full week later until it was available to the rest of the public (except Jay Z doesn’t like Spotify so they’ll never get it). Picture it like watching a wild party happening every day knowing you won’t be able to join it for a full week. The question is: is that desire enough for you to pay for entry? Do you need to listen to something so bad immediately that you’re willing to pay for a monthly Tidal membership, or can you simply wait the full week?

That would be easy to answer if the album wasn’t trending on Twitter with a plethora of different lyrics being tweeted out and solved as if they were written in code. This right here creates FOMO. Tidal hopes that creating FOMO is enough to bring you over to their side.

SO does this work? It’s too early to tell as 4:44 was just recently released, but we can take it back to last year when Kanye West released ‘The Life of Pablo’, a Tidal exclusive. It was reported that Tidal subscribers jumped from 1 Million to 2.5 Million after its release. Keep in mind that this was during a time when a 3 month free trial was being made available, but it would still be a major success if they could retain half of those new members.

Tidal has positioned themselves as that too cool for school club that attracts new users through exclusive content. This is through concerts, video, new music, playlists, etc. With that being said, they still only have 3 million users while Apple Music and Spotify carry over 20 million users respectively. So why isn’t this working for them? This exclusive strategy works just about everywhere else from clothing, tech, automotive, and more.

The issue starts from the product and the way its presented. Tidal has rubbed people the wrong way from the start with their botched product launch. Back in 2015 the service was presented as the second coming of christ. A group of top tier and very wealthy musicians where speaking about how the other streaming services do not pay the artists enough and that Tidal is the solution with their pricing model that was twice that of their competitors.

This right here is a brand and audience disconnect.

I truly believe that this is where Tidal went wrong. At first you could say that Spotify had too large of a grasp on the music streaming market. However, Apple Music launched after Tidal and they have done exceptionally well, so there goes that argument. Exclusive content drives sales when people like the brand and the product. Apple Music offers tons of exclusive albums such as Drake’s ‘More Life’ which broke a streaming record with 300 million worldwide streams in its first week. The service also carries exclusive radio shows with Beats 1.

Will 4:44 bump up Tidal’s subscribers? Sure, but as a service they need to come up with a way to increase subscribers aside from waiting on one of their big name artists to release an exclusive album. If not, they’ll be chasing the likes of Apple, Spotify, and Google forever. What do you guys think? Are you motivated to sign up for a service just to be one of the first ones to use on of their products?

 

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 (July 1 – July 7)

July 7, 2017

In the world of advertising & marketing, everything moves so quickly that it’s easy to miss some of the best the industry has to offer. Not to worry, as usual, The MAD Mix has you covered for some of the hottest ads, trends, and more in this week’s recap. Check it out below!

 

Facebook is building its own village

Is the headline crazy? Absolutely. Is it true? Absolutely. The Menlo Science & Technology park will soon become ‘Willow Campus’, a neighbourhood created and funded by Facebook that seeks to provide all of the services you typically find in a neighbourhood. This means restaurants, office spaces, grocery stores, and most importantly housing. The goal is to have these services up and running by 2021. Now the question is..why? This is where Facebook calls home and their plan by building this community is to “bring people closer together”. It goes without saying the incredible amount of attention this will gather once the execution is in place and the sheer amount of demand to purchase property. All in all this does wonders for Facebook as a brand.

 
The Salvation Army shocks tourists with poverty in Canada

Similar to their campaign last year, where they staged an open house  to show the ways in which poverty can go unnoticed, they are back to this tactic again. Just in time for Canada 150, the Salvation Army used a tour bus to go through the popular locations in Toronto before driving through regular looking neighbourhood and detailing the surprising facts about its people. An example would be

“This street is filled with beautiful 20th century merchant-class homes but, behind these beautiful facades, one in five households are struggling to pair their bills.”

An execution like this goes a long way because it’s not overt, rather it functions on subtlety. These tourists are still getting a tour of Downtown Toronto, while also receiving added information about the people. Check out the video of last year’s open house and this year’s tourist bus below. This campaign is also supported with print pieces.

Snapchat enables users to link to other content

In the constant battle of features between Snapchat and Instagram Stories, Snapchat has introduced the ability to link pages. Now this is currently available on Instagram Stories but only for those that have a big enough following. Any and everyone can now link via Snapchat. Anyone that has tried to promote content on Snapchat or Instagram previously understands how needed this feature is. Say goodbye to the days that you had to simply type out your link in hopes that your followers could remember and input the full thing. Now, by simply clicking the paper clip option, you’re able to type in your desired link before the Snap goes out. Now how will Instagram Stories top this? Easy. They’ll simply enable linking on their Stories to all users shortly. You can hold me to that.

 

 

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

Malick Ba

Revisiting Canada 150

July 4, 2017

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a relatively salty article about advertising and Canada 150. My main complaint is that I really just felt that because of the size and scale of the event, advertisers should focus less on a simple tactical event sale and more on you know…anything else. Canada 150 was a big deal and will only happen in the life time of few, so why not do it big or make something bigger out of it? So after the event, I’ve revisited the topic to see if I had any favourite Canada 150 ads, or if I even had any.

Roots: “Celebrating 150 years of being nice”

This ad had a nice sentiment to it. The Canadian stereotype revolves around people just being nice and inclusive and this ad reflects that. While I do think that this is severely exaggerated, this was a decent spot. Essentially, Roots Canada created an ad that focused on Canadians being nice throughout moments of Canadian history. The spot highlights historic moments and footage of history Canadians such as Terry Fox’s run for cancer. I have a big problem with Canadians relishing in the stereotype of just being “nice” when that may not exactly be as true as people thing…that’s why this ad is great. It has a call to action that serves the purpose of raising over $150,000 in support of WE Indigenous Youth Empowerment Programming. This is what being nice is all about. The MAD Mix gives this the official stamp of approval.

Presidents Choice: “Eat Together”

Another great example of advertising that says more than just selling a product. President’s Choice “Eat Together” tells Canadians that rather than being on your phone, or eating by yourself, why not engage with the people around you by simply eating together? So many of our problems as Canadians revolve around being scared or nervous of people who are different than us. People who are from different places and share different experiences than what we know. President’s Choice has done a fantastic job of telling Canadians that most of these problems in our day to day can be resolved if we just sat down and shared a meal together-and I completely agree.

Chevrolet Canada: The Canadian Dream

While I do like the notion of “The Canadian Dream” as it relates to our neighbours from the South, I think Chevrolet did a great job with making sure we as Canadians knew the difference. Chevrolet’s ad focuses less on material goods, and focuses on how personal experience and togetherness is much more valuable to Canadians. At just over 2 minutes highlights what Canada is all about: everyone being welcome and equal. Whether or not that is actually true, it’s a good sentiment that a brand has done to highlight positivity in advertising rather than just selling a product. Good job Chevvy-ya done good.

So there you have it, some ACTUALLY good Canada 150 ads. This is the difference between good brands, and lazy ones. Good brands take the time to produce stories through advertising. It sounds crazy, but advertisers should focus more on storytelling and less on selling products during big events like Canada 150. It makes the difference.

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.

Guest

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

June 30, 2017

Guest Article By: Shaun Ferguson

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Dakarai Turner

#SnapMap – How Much Sharing is Too Much?

June 27, 2017

In the ever lasting battle between Instagram Stories and Snapchat it comes down to the point of difference. What can one platform offer that the other can’t? In the beginning Snapchat was a platform that was much more private. You followed your friends, and only watched their stories. A great feature with Instagram Stories is the ability to see other stories based on the location they were tagged in. For example, I can see all of the stories from random people that tagged their location at a specific event or city. Now I think the team at Snapchat thought: “how can we elevate this idea and make it slightly creepy?”. And this, this is how Snap Map came to be.

For those of you that skipped the video, Snapchat Maps is a new function that allows you to see the exact location of your friends worldwide. Yes, you read that right. You can quite literally zoom in on any street in the world and see the exact location of your friend with their Bitmoji. On top of this, you can see stories worldwide that were shared under the “our story” feature. Before you start to panic about people knowing your whereabouts, you should know that you have the option to disable the feature. You also have the ability to limit which friends can view your location.

As you can imagine, Twitter and Instagram had quite the field day with this new update.

So I just sit and judge and watch… . . #snapchat #snapmap #memesdaily #memes #nochill #savage #recycled #stolenmemes

A post shared by Adam Scavage (@adam_scavage) on

The obvious joke is the invasion of privacy that’s being promoted. In a perfect world where no one is concerned about privacy, this would be a great idea. In the world we currently live in where that’s not the case, most people will not have this feature enabled. Now, that’s not to say there aren’t any benefits that come with this function. If you’re at a large event and you’re looking to meet up with a friend, seeing their exact location would be perfect. Checking out stories across the world through a map function is also a creative idea. Rendering yourself vulnerable and removing your privacy? Not so cool.

It will be interesting to monitor how consumers react with Snap Map, but my prediction is that most people will not want to use it for the simple fact that it feels unnecessary and “stalker-ish”. However, I see this being a huge hit with tweens and teens. Ironically, these being the groups that should be the last to have their exact locations broadcasted to anyone their friends with.

What do you guys think? Invasion of privacy or a great discover feature for Snapchat?

 

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

Guest

Jordan Brand for Our Native Land

June 23, 2017

Guest Article By: Jerome Cheng

 

With a brand as prominent as Jordan, you would think opening only the second brand store in North America would be all that is needed to create a proper buzz in the city. Just might be, but with Nike and Jordan, you know they’re coming correct on the launch.

Here to stay. @1tylerennis, @MStrooo6, and @mr1LOVETO #RECO6NIZE the 416.

A post shared by Jordan (@jumpman23) on

Let’s start with a bit about me so you know where I’m coming from. My name is Jerome Cheng. I’m a self diagnosed shoe addict. My particular drug of choice is, in fact, Jordan. Opening a brand store in my city is an event, but how do you create the excitement I have in someone who is not a diehard fan?

Here is how Jordan did it right:

The tease.

We already knew what it might feel like. During the 2016 NBA All Star game, hosted here in Toronto, we got a taste of how Jordan brand would exist north of the border with a temporary pop up opened through the weekend. When it was all said and done, we were promised a permanent location to be opened at a time TBD. For nearly a year and a half, 306 Yonge was a tease of interchanging posters and building anticipation.

 

The buzz.

The official open of the 306 Yonge Jordan store was Saturday, May 27th at 6:23am. The week leading in was dedicated to building excitement for what was to come. Through that week, various Toronto influencers were invited group by group to experience 306 Yonge ahead of launch. What’s the benefit of this? This way, Jordan brand doesn’t need any promotional material to tell you how great they are. Instead, for a full week before launch, every important Toronto person you know and are following on social is sharing with you why this store is big for brand and the city.

The experience.

I am no Toronto influencer. But, I have the fortunate privilege of knowing some who brought me along to document their visit to the store. The full experience created by Jordan brand puts you as close to the feeling of being a Jordan athlete without the actual training, physical ability or talent. You start with a tour of the retail space and history of the brand. Immediately you understand how important Jordan has been to sports culture and why having the store in this city is so monumental. Then, you get brought up to Centre 23, the private training facility complete with decked out locker room, personalized gear for our visiting guests and a personal training session. First you get introduced to the gear, then you get to try it first hand. By the end, you feel like a member of the Jordan family and quite frankly, inclined to invest in their brand.

I know I’m coming from a biased spot when I say Jordan just nails it when it comes to brand and experience. Does not take a lot from them to hook me in. But the general steps of building intrigue for your launch, enlisting the city’s best influencers to promote it and providing a top level experience in your store is something every brand should aim to do.

 

Jerome Cheng is a freelance videographer and associate producer at Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment. He just finished the Multimedia Design and Development program at Humber College. When he’s not trying to create silly videos for the interwebs, he’s engaged in an ongoing search for his next pair of shoes, playing and watching basketball or finding content on the aforementioned interwebs. Connect with Jerome through LinkedIn or Instagram 

Malick Ba

Canada 150 & Advertising

June 20, 2017

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

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

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

 

 

 

Me reading that ad—>

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

Guest

Branded Content Done Right: The LEGO Batman Movie

June 16, 2017

Guest Article By: Carmen Mallia

 

With the recent release of The Lego Batman Movie on Digital HD, available through Amazon Video and iTunes, I think it is important to pay homage to such a spectacular example of branded content.

The film is a spin-off instalment to The Lego Movie, released in 2014, with the plot centered around DC Comic’s renowned Batman character who tries to save Gotham City from the Joker’s latest cynical plan. Doesn’t sound like anything out of the ordinary, right? Well that would be true, but the whole movie is basically one long LEGO ad.

Here, we have two of the biggest corporate entities in the global economy: The Lego Group and Warner Brothers Entertainment, aligning their respective products in order to cross-promote each other and to create an enormously successful contemporary cultural product.

With LEGO cross promoting their brand through Warner Brothers, the company has created an entire movie franchise centered around product placement. Most viewers may not consider the fact that they are watching one long LEGO commercial since the movie is entirely focused on the iconic story of Batman. LEGO simply attaches themselves with the benevolent aura and good connotations that go hand-in-hand with the Caped Crusader. That being said, LEGO has mastered branded content.

Companies have been sponsoring programs since the early days of radio, but the notion of ‘branded content’ takes the idea a step further — instead of just financing the program companies (such as LEGO) actually create the program.

Consumer goods corporation Procter and Gamble was one of the first companies to sponsor radio and television programs in the 1930s, initiating the idea of branded content. With a focus on bringing families together, P&G created the perfect platform for brand messaging through their award-winning soap operas, movies, and mini-series that focused on the good connotation that their products bring to families. While P&G invented effective branded content through the fusion of soap operas and consumer products, it was The Lego Batman Movie that perfected the idea by merging a children’s toy with a celebrated superhero icon.

One advantage of creating their own film rather than sponsoring a pre-existing Batman movie is that LEGO is able to craft the content in order to showcases their brand.

For example, the movie is centered around teamwork, changing the entire landscape of the Batman franchise by taking a light-hearted, comedic approach to the DC superhero story.

This fresh take on Gotham City only means more possibilities for Warner Brothers and LEGO.

Through The LEGO Batman Movie, Bruce Wayne exists in his own unique world, although he is still part of the larger franchise. This film is definitely at odds with the general atmosphere and story plot of Christopher Nolan’s dark and psychologically enchanting Batman trilogy, although LEGO’s spin on the series is still fresh, funny, and fast paced.

The LEGO Group is a brand that maintains relevance within its youth-oriented target audience because of the toy companies’ ability to effectively create content. It is a venture that continues to innovate so that it can keep growing its revenue and brand value, making it no surprise that LEGO replaced Ferrari as Brand Finance’s “world’s most powerful brand”

With modern day advertising becoming so layered and complex, The LEGO Batman Movie has successfully created branded content by integrating with the Batman franchise and opening up a new fanbase for generations to come.

It is the perfect fusion of product placement and art.

 

 

Carmen Mallia is a professional freelance writer from Toronto. He is currently going into his third year at the University of Western Ontario for Honor’s Specialization in Media and the Public Interest with a Minor in Writing. In his spare time Carmen loves to workout, get a coffee with friends, volunteer at local events, and binge-watch Adult Swim series. He is currently putting together a multimedia journalistic company with some friends. Follow Carmen on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram

Dakarai Turner

Chatbots Revisited – Where Are They Now?

June 13, 2017

Last summer I dove into ‘chatbots’ for one of my articles, since I was amazed at the functionality and convenience that these bots could bring. However, even though I was impressed with the functional benefits, I can be extremely honest and say I still don’t use chatbots almost a year later. I don’t use them and frankly, I don’t know anyone else that does either.

For those of you that don’t know what they are, I got you covered. Chatbots are relatively new tech that allows for one-to-one interactions between brands and consumers. Think of them as virtual assistants on platforms such as: Facebook Messenger, Twitter DM’s, and iMessage. You can simply interact with a brand’s page for certain services. Need specific news updates everyday? There’s a CNN chatbot for that. Need recipes for any food you can think of? There’s a Whole Foods chatbot for that. Sounds pretty awesome right? Of course. However, I don’t think we’re ready for these kind of services. As a society, we’re not at the level yet where we need to send a food emoji to Whole Foods for a specific recipe. Sure that option is fascinating and cool, but I’d argue it isn’t very practical. Sure, we could use the Score’s chatbot for game time sport notifications, but you could also just use their app like a regular person.

When I first wrote about chatbots it was almost like a phenomenon. I envisioned a world where we didn’t need to visit company websites or apps and could simply get the bulk of their services by interacting with their bots. I mean why order a Dominoes pizza through their website when you can ask for one on Facebook Messenger? It all sounds really cool until you take a second and think of the alternative. It is already extremely easy to order a pizza online and I don’t think there’s a person alive that complains about this process.

For chatbots to ever actually kick in, they need to lean away from only being customer service oriented. An example of this would be the L’Oreal bot that was released on Mother’s Day. The “Beauty Gifter” was a bot that would ask you questions about your mother in order to recommend the perfect gift box from a L’Oreal brand. For chatbots to survive, they need to provide unique value for customers. If we can get the same functionality from your chatbot through your site or app, we are not going to engage with the bot. It’s as simple as that.

I’d like to know what you all think of chatbots. You can’t deny that the technology is cool, although the question is whether or not it’s practical. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section 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.

Guest

Subaru: Looking Forward

June 9, 2017

Guest Article By: Warren Leslie

 

Why the Subaru Impreza? Don’t you wish your car model was equipped with the Eyesight active safety system, and driver assist technology. “Preventive” is the key word here. Now my question to you is, would you own it?

Welcome to the age of driver assist vehicles. The 2017 Subaru Impreza in the eyes of many has made its stamp in the automotive industry. The Sedans crash prevention tested with Eyesight is one of a kind. If you’re wondering how bold can bold be? Well, Subaru had a subtle call to action that immediately caught my attention, and I would assume resonated with viewers who came across the Subaru commercial. In the advertisement, the voice over calmly claims that nobody beats the Subaru Impreza “Not Toyota Corolla, Not Honda Civic, Not Ford Focus”. A statement as such, claiming that their top competitors don’t have the arsenal to be considered one of the safest and most reliable vehicles in the market. I couldn’t get a hold of either manufacturer for any further questions.

I’m not your automotive journalist that writes detailed reviews about the rear-end backside design or dull headlights (not Audi-esque enough). What I can give you is an unbiased non-expert opinion on the car itself. The 2017 Impreza lacks that “I want you right now” appeal, I think we all want that I want you right now vehicle. I’m beginning to reminisce about my once clean cut Mazda 3, if only it had its own Eyesight active safety system.

The ad features a couple who get into a car accident in which they retract the steps that lead to the collision. An intense introduction that legitimizes the ads goal.

 

Who Cares about the Subaru Eyesight commercial?

Consumer psychology is important when determining the social barrier that is existent. I think we often consider cars to resemble our personalities, and brands tend to mold their image to build their personalities in the mind of the consumer. Social status and individual values have played a definitive role into what vehicles are now being purchased. Which brings me to ask, what do consumers want now?

Marketing Capabilities

Subaru managed to create value for society at large, which is a focal point for any sector, in this case the automotive industry. Subaru is communicating that information to customers, by executing the engage customers everywhere or go nowhere principle. The advertisement is a notable example of indirect marketing, in which it resonates with Generation Z ‘s down the list to Baby Boomers. These generations are in the buyers market, whom have previously owned a vehicle, currently own a vehicle or contemplating on purchasing a vehicle. Subaru touches upon a social issue that revolves around today’s society, which is the “distracted driver”. Consumer reports states that A distracted driver may fail to see up to 50% of the available information in the driving environment. You may look but not actually “see” what is happening. Distracted driver can pertain to anything, whether it is your cellphone, radio, looking behind your seat, glaring out the window, drunk driving, the list goes on. Another interesting stat by Consumer reports also stated that “Nearly 3 out of 4 Canadian drivers admit to driving distracted. You are 23 times more likely to crash if you text while driving”.

Social Media

Briefly discussing YouTube, videos have emerged where individuals have provided brand advocacy for the product. MackeyFamAdventures uploaded a video where they live tested the Subaru Eyesight active safety system. Testing its rate of collision impact in terms of km/hr to distance. On each occasion, the Subaru Impreza managed to self brake during each test run. Advocacy-Reliability-Safety at its best.

The Ad isn’t your typical my car is better than your car but better yet, what can our vehicle do for you. Isn’t that what matters, to serve the buyer, retain the customer, and keep the longevity of brand purchases. That is what makes the advertisement even better, Subaru instilled thought behind the creation!

On a lasting note, remember this isn’t a self driving vehicle. We’ve heard the mishaps with the Google self-drive car collisions (unintentionally). I could just imagine myself asking a Google self driving car dozens of questions, and begin to reason, is my vehicle a self driving car, does it have Wi-Fi and is it still a search engine? #covefe

 

Dear Advertising world my name is Warren Leslie. Checkout mmaaccess.wordpress.com when you feel like reading some awesome coverage, updated content on the way. Too many business ventures one failing after the other, why do I embrace my entrepreneurial spirit, because Advertising and Marketing is my fourth love. I am an aspiring account coordinator, and if you wish to connect with the man himself; LinkedIn and Instagram.

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

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.

Guest

Trust me; we aren’t that bad- Reasons for why advertisers aren’t as sleazy as people think.

May 19, 2017

Guest Article By: Carson Sauer

Now I can’t speak for you, but I find that one the biggest perks of being in the advertising industry is the high interest from those who aren’t. It’s fun to discuss current trends and the process of making an effective campaign (it also gives me a chance to talk about myself, and I love to talk about myself.)  However, sometimes with high interest comes high judgement. Questions such as “how do you trick consumers?”  or “are you ready for the cut-throat industry?” come frequently, and I wondered if others shared the view of the “immoral Mad Men”.

 This inspired me to do further research.

As it turns out, the public perception of advertising executives is not overly positive. Regarding trustworthiness, Ad Execs are consistently ranked low compared to other professions. Is this skepticism deserved? Here are some reasons that might help provide the right context for those who don’t trust your occupation.

The Watchdog Effect

 The watchdog effect speaks to the process of making the public aware of inconsistencies and or falsehoods about any significant news happening. Although most commonly used in the world of journalism, the same concept applies to advertising. If an advertisement can be condemned for being boring, insensitive, sexualized, loud, irrelevant or cliché, you can be ensured that a deceitful ad will be ripped apart. A false advertisement often results in a negative brand image for the client and a negative reputation for the advertising agency.

A frustrated consumer, a competing brand or vigilant website, such as The MAD Mix, all work as watchdogs to confirm that advertisements are held to a high and honest standard.

 Uninformed Person: “Advertisers try to trick us.”

 Potential Response: “If you were tricked by an ad would you trust that brand ever again? No? Then I guess tricking you isn’t in our best interest.”

 We are Storytellers.

I’m sure at least a few of you are familiar with the phrase “We are Storytellers”. Not only is it the tagline for Humber’s Advertising and Marketing Communications program, but, for me, it has become the go-to answer for what we do in advertising.

Advertising is exactly that, a story, and like most stories, creative liberties will be taken to intrigue the audience. It is important for critics to understand that the intention is not to deceive but rather provide insight into a brand’s personality. Red Bull doesn’t give you wings, buying a Lincoln won’t turn you in Matthew McConaughey, and there is no such thing as a puppy monkey baby. But that’s perfectly fine.

 Uninformed Person: “Advertisements depict a fake reality.”

 Potential Response: “Was the ad memorable? Did you understand the message? Did it evoke an emotion?  These are all realities.

 Don Draper is not our boss

Let me begin with a confession; I have a man crush on Don Draper. I’ve watched every episode of Mad Men, dressed up as him for Halloween and even proclaimed myself as “the millennial Don Draper” to my Intro to Advertising class.  He is a fascinating character in Mad Men’s setting of 1960’s New York, where he finds consistent success as a creative director navigating the advertising industry. However, he has what most people would consider unflattering traits. He is an alcoholic, womanizer and above all else a pathological liar. He lies at work, he lies to family and oh yes, he lied about his identity.  Don Draper’s persona throughout the series was to drink, lie and then come up with a brilliant advertising campaign.

An excellent formula for a captivating anti-hero but a terrible and unrealistic representation of a what an advertising executive by today’s standards. The truth is, Don Draper’s bad behaviour would overshadow his talent and would certainly end his career. Unfortunately, due to the popularity of the show, people may use Don as a reference to today’s ad executive, and that’s simply unfair. It is also important to note that Mad Men was set in the 1960’s- an era where the advertising industry had an entirely different dynamic. Women and minorities had little to no influence, smoking was advertised without health concern, and overall ethics were questionable. Making a comparison to today’s advertising even more unreasonable.

The Don Draper/Mad Men vs. today’s advertisers is a debate for a future article.

Uninformed Person: “Will you become the next Don Draper?”

 Potential Response:“Yes. In a modern era where I intend to form honest relationships with my co-workers, drink only in appropriate scenarios such as networking events where I’ll adhere to the two-drink max rule and won’t leave the office for weeks at a time. So wait…will I be Don Draper?…maybe not.

 What do you think?

 Do you think that advertisers deserve a better perspective? Or is the stigma is justified?

Carson Sauer is a recent graduate of the Advertising and Marketing Communications program at Humber College. Although, he is not done with education quite yet as he will return to Humber for the Advertising Copywriting Post Grad next fall.  Connect with Carson on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

The Key to Content

May 16, 2017

Last night I was locked into game 7 of the NBA playoffs between the Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics. After the game, I tuned into one of my absolute favourite sports related Instagram accounts, Bleacher Report. There have to be a million Instagram accounts dedicated to providing followers with content relative to highlights, scores, etc, etc, etc. Bleacher Report is a bit different. Immediately after a big game 7 victory by the Celtics, BR posted the famous “How do you like them apples” scene from the film Good Will Hunting…but edited the clip to have super-star Isaiah Thomas as Matt Damon in the scene with the Washington Wizards team on the inside of the café. I don’t do the clip justice by describing it, so check it out here under “How do you like them apples?”

BR is known for these swift, precise, and hilarious edits. If you’re into sports, I seriously suggest you check it out. But more importantly, it got me thinking about how these factors weigh into producing content. So what’s the secret? Do you need a million dollar budget to produce clips like this? Absolutely not (but it certainly helps).

What makes good content, good content? Timing helps. Within moments after the game, I saw BR post that clip. Knowing that your audience will immediately be opening Instagram right after the game means that they can get immediately exposed to some new posts. I can’t lie, if you’re an account like BR, you have to be lightning quick in posting content that’s 1) relevant to context. 2) Engaging (funny/honest) or 3) Quality.

Certainly, factors like scheduling, editing, etc are all important when producing content online. This is a way for content producers to measure the quality of their work. But when it comes down to it, no one wants to see anything generic, boring, or not entertaining. It’s as simple as just understanding who you’re trying to engage, and from there building something that your audience might want to look at. People focus so much on tricks to gaining followers or likes, but won’t take the time to actually put in work. You can’t expect good grades if you don’t study for the test right? The most successful online content producers take the time to make sure the work they are putting is relevant to who they want to look at their stuff. Now obviously it takes a lot of time to actually make sure what you’re putting out there is quality. It takes time to get good at what you want to be doing. So what IS the secret? There is none. Just do the work.

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 (May 6 – May 12)

May 12, 2017

This was a crazy week. In the world of advertising & marketing, everything moves so quickly that it’s easy to miss some of the best the industry has to offer. Not to worry, as usual, The MAD Mix has you covered for some of the hottest ads, trends, and more in this week’s recap. Check it out below!

 

Movistar Love Story

K: We all know how big social media has become. All most everyone uses it, from teenagers to our parents or even grandparents.  We use it to stay connected to our family members that are in other countries, see what our favourite artists are doing, follow our favourite brands, stay updated on fashion trends and meet new people. Movistar, a telecommunications brand that operates in Spain and in many Hispanic American countries makes open our eyes again to something we sometimes may forget. The love story shown between two teenagers seem normal and harmless, but as the story goes on you start to think about how will it end. The reveal of the ending is done in a way that keeps you guessing until the last second. It’s a great way to shine light on a topic that really needs to be discussed, especially with teenagers that are starting to use social media.

 

#WestJetVegasSurprise

M: Wow, this was pretty cool. WestJet known for taking experiential marketing to an entirely different level. Remember what they did for Fort MacMurray after the wildfire crisis last year? In their latest spot, they flew to Nevada to really put a new spin on what the Las Vegas experience is really like. Passengers on a plane to Vegas were treated to a fantastic light show on the ground depicting a roulette wheel as they flew in. The catch? It was a real roulette wheel. The wheel spun until it landed on one of the seat numbers “4a”. Whoever was sitting in that seat on the plane got treated to a $2,500 shopping spree during their stay in Vegas. This really impressed me. Quality experiential campaigns are difficult to pull off, but WestJet did it again. Check out the spot below:

The BigBallerBrand Continues to Make Headlines

B: Lavar Ball has become a media mainstay in the NBA world due to his outrages comments and polarizing personality. He has also brought a little bit of flair back to an NBA that seems to be getting repetitive. The NBA finals barring any setback is once again slated to be a rematch between the GoldenState Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Yes, upsets can happen but are they likely too? Not in this Super team era driven NBA. Lavar Ball is a terrific marketer, hands down no questions asked because according to the simple Google Definition a marketer is “a person or company that advertises or promotes something”. Lavar Ball has done a wonderful job promoting all three of his sons Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo but also the BigBallerBrand that just released a $495 pair of sneakers and people are talking about them. Whether you’re a fan of Lavar’s recent tactics or not, he is single handely the most talked about subject in the NBA, during the playoffs.

 

Dove Switches Up Their Packaging

D: To reaffirm their message of body diversity, Dove has brought life to the saying “beauty comes in all shapes and sizes” by offering limited-edition packaging. The new Dove bottles are supposed to mirror the various different body types. I’m still not exactly sure how I feel about this stunt as it’s cool and practice but a little weird when executed. Are people that interested in buying a bottle shaped like a person or is that simply an example of overthinking this campaign in its entirety? Regardless, doing this has created quite the buzz for the brand (both positive and negative) and the overall idea is an innovative way to extend their brand message. Was it a hit? You be the judge.

 

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

Dakarai Turner

How to Get Rich Off Memes: A Look into Sponsored Content and @FuckJerry’s Empire

May 9, 2017

Memes – A form of communication, entertainment, and everything in between. Chances are one of your favourite past times are browsing through Instagram/Twitter and tagging friends in memes. Am I right? We’ve spoken about meme culture on this platform before, and it goes without saying that they are at the core of the millennial generation. With that being said, can they be monetized?

@FuckJerry, an Instagram account thats boasts 12 million followers has become nothing short of a franchise of its own. Expanding into clothing, a social agency, a card game, a video channel, and so much more, all sitting under the Jerry Media umbrella which has other accounts such as @pizza, and @kanyedoingthings. Now if you’re just as surprised as I am, you’ll be even more shocked to know that an account like @FuckJerry charges at least $30k for a sponsored post. To put this in context, the page offers 6 to 7 million impressions per post and this is not only attractive, but expensive for advertisers.

The above post was a piece of Burger King sponsored content that when I saw for the first time, the last thought on my mind was that it was paid material. This is the opportunity that brands have in partnering with meme pages such as @FuckJerry. Although the name isn’t the most PG, loosely based off of Jerry Seinfield, their sponsored content appears organic as long as it’s presented in an amusing fashion. Will they be partnering with a Shampoo brand for example? Probably not as their content is going to work better with an edgier brand such as Jack in the Box or Burger King. 2 of their dozen clients.

Brands are subjected to the style of comedy that these pages emulate as well as their fan base that browse the page daily and love to make comments. You’ll get an unfiltered and raw post that has the opportunity to reach over 6 million people and receive 30k comments in one day. Last year, the page earned over $2M in revenue and Jerry Media as a whole is expanding quickly. From launching @JerryNews to expanding on Snapchat and other platforms extending their reach.

So will we start to see more frequent sponsored posts appear on the meme pages we all know and love? Considering how you probably never noticed all of the paid material on the @FuckJerry page, it won’t even matter at this point. If the material “fits in”, then it will be consumed the same.

 

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 (April 29 – May 5)

May 5, 2017

Written By: Malick, Dakarai, and Kathleen

As advertisers gear up for summer, you can expect a lot of action in the coming months. Not to worry, as usual The MAD Mix has you covered for the hottest trends, ads, and more. Check out the latest in the advertising and marketing world in our weekly recap below:

 

Nike-Breaking2 

M: If you follow this platform regularly, you’ll know that Nike is a favourite of ours. From quality production to delivering a solid product, they seem to do no wrong in their advertising. In their latest endeavour, Nike has spent time creating one of the most innovative running shoes they’ve created to date. The purpose? Tomorrow, Nike and people form all around the world will attempt to break the two-hour marathon running record. The shoe that they’ve designed has so much technology invested in it that they want to encourage people to do that feat using their new shoe titled “The Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%”. This marathon is all apart of Nike’s constant desire to push the limits of human athleticism time and time again, and if there’s any shoe to do it, it’s this one. Check out the spot they’ve created for it below. Anyone else want to give it a go?

 

Spotify Awkward Family Moments

K: We all have a song that is attached to a moment or event that happened in our life. Whenever you hear the song it reminds you of that specific time that you will probably never forget. It can either make you happy or sad whenever you hear it. Spotify needed a way to promote their family plan, so what better way than to tie it with your emotions? Spotify decided to play on that but relate it to family moments, more specifically awkward family moments. Some people might find them too sexual but I think it is funny especially the second one. Check out the two videos below.

 
The Sunny Co Bikini Giveaway

D: If you live in the U.S, chances are your Instagram feed was absolutely covered with the same picture of a model in a red bikini. For those of you that are completely lost right now, a swimsuit company by the name of Sunny Co decided to announce a 24-hour giveaway on Instagram a couple of days ago. The now deleted post asked consumers to repost the picture of a model wearing the bikini and tag the brand in order to receive the usual $65 swimsuit for the price of only shipping and handling.

If you can’t already predict what happens next, tens of thousands of people reposted the image, and this ultimately revealed the lack of preparation behind the whole promotion. Following this, Sunny Co decided it would be a great idea to update the conditions of the deal on their website and included a note that stated the company “[reserved] the right to cap the promotion if they deem necessary.”. As you can imagine, they got torn a part on social media and hopefully this serves as a lesson for brands. The whole thing comes off as very “fyre fest-ish”. In the sense of complete unprepared bait and switch tactics or plain negligence. From unknown to hated in 24 hours. But hey, at least people know their name now right? Check out some of the best meme’s 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 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

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (April 22 – April 28)

April 28, 2017

Written by Dakarai, Malick, and Bledar

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.

 

Heineken – #OpenYourWorld

D: To put it simply, this new short film from Heineken represents the kind of ads we need to be seeing. The beer brand took 6 people and broke them out in pairs with each person’s counterpart being someone with a completely opposing view. For example, a transgender woman was paired with a man that is strongly against transgender people, or an environmentalist was paired with someone who doesn’t believe in climate change. These pairs do not know any information about each other and are given tasks to complete as a duo. How does the brand tie in you ask? At the end, they get to watch a video of their assigned partner that reveals their true views, and I hate to make this click-baity, but you’ll just have to watch to see what happens next. In a world where we associate alcohol brands with partying and having the time of your life, it’s refreshing to see Heineken lead a discussion on equality with this video.

Doritos partners with Guardian of the Galaxy

D: I’m just going to go ahead and guarantee you haven’t seen this before. In conjunction with Marvel, Doritos is promoting the new Guardian of the Galaxy Vol 2 movie, they have integrated the soundtrack into the actual chop back. This is not a joke.

You are really able to put a headphone in an audio jack on the bag and listen to the 14 song soundtrack. Now here’s the thing, you will not find these in a grocery store or vending machine. The bags will be available in limited quantities through Amazon only. It’ll be interesting to see how consumers respond.

Ogilvy & Mather Chicago: The Bulletproof Poster

M: Constantly advertisers are attempting to address social issues in advertising but a lot of them lack how to properly execute (yes, I’m talking about Pepsi). This one is different. In order to make a statement against gun violence, Ogilvy & Mather Chicago made bullet proof ads with statements attesting to the unfortunately common issue in the U.S. Chicago is known for for its excessive gun violence, so I feel this is super appropriate. What makes this ad even more powerful is that this is the week that President Trump will be addressing the annual NRA convention in Atlanta. While this advertisement is powerful, I highly doubt that gun laws will change with this disaster of a government in Congress. Check out what they created below:

Burger King & PlayStation: #BurgerClan

B: Burger King and PlayStation recently teamed up to offer a new way to order Burger King in Spain. Customers who are PlayStation fans sign up and play against Professional Gamers who are taking their orders simultaneously. Burger King has done some very unique advertising in the last few years. Campaigns like bringing back the Subservient Chicken in 2014 and last year for Halloween doing the McDonald’s Ghost Costume. Burger King continues to advertise in different ways and what better than playing your favourite game against professionals while also ordering a Whopper (maybe 2). Also who knew that Burger King delivers? And Burger King, can you deliver in Canada too. Please and Thank You!

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.

 

Dakarai Turner

The Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino – Fall for the Hype

April 25, 2017

On April 19th, Starbucks released the “Unicorn Frappuccino“. Essentially it’s a super colourful and syrup filled drink perfectly fit for social media. This limited edition beverage is only available from April 19-23 at participating stores in North America. I’m sure we all had relatively the same experience last Wednesday; Constant Snapchats and Instagram posts of our friends and celebrity figures trying out this drink. I have friends that don’t even typically go to Starbucks that must have been hit with some intense FOMO, since they couldn’t resist posting Snapchat stories of themselves drinking the colourful combination.

Magical forests have them. Now so can you. #UnicornFrappuccino 🦄✨ (Participating stores in US, Canada, & Mexico only.)

A post shared by Starbucks Frappuccino (@frappuccino) on

I think this is an example of a next to perfect product launch, and here’s why

  • Give the people what they want 

First and foremost, Starbucks identified that there was a trend of unicorn-themed food and drinks on social media (who knew?). As a result of this they created a product that was visually appealing and would simply act as an extension and alternative to all of the other Starbucks beverage images plastered over social media on a regular basis. I mean, I’m sure we’ve all seen our fair share of images posted from friends with their name written incorrectly on the cup. Classic.

  • Making a limited edition product creates urgency

Although opinions of the drink were fairly mixed, it didn’t really matter. It was one of those things that you could be told it doesn’t taste good but you want to try it for yourself to be a part of the conversation. You can’t say the drink is terrible unless you’ve actually tried it. It also goes without saying that the simple fact that it was a limited edition item helped contribute to this way of thinking. You had to try it and you had to try it right way before it was too late.

  • The Snapchat Filter

The coffee company created several Snapchat filters in promotion of the new Unicorn Frappuccino. This included transforming users into unicorns and their surroundings into a pink and blue wonderland, as well as filters with the drink itself. This was how I was made aware of its sheer popularity and I’m sure that was the case for many people as well. Of course Twitter users had to voice their opinions on this.

Will these three things work for every brand? Absolutely not. This worked for Starbucks because of the nature of the product. It is unlike anything out there right now and it came from one of the biggest coffee companies in North America. The Unicorn Frappuccino is tailor made for Instagram and this was surely the purpose. Instagram has been looking quite colourful these last few days and Starbucks couldn’t be happier. It will be interesting to see how well the new frappuccino has sold over the course of 4 days, and whether or not Starbuck’s repeats this strategy with another unique product down the road.

Did you guys give the drink a try? Let us know 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.

Guest

Black Ops Advertising In the Digital Age: Innovative or Invasive?

April 21, 2017

Guest Article By: Carmen Mallia

As a millennial, I have been surrounded by advertising my entire life; from the large billboards encircling Yonge and Dundas Square, to traditional commercial content on MuchMusic and YTV. I feel as if I have seen it all, so I ignore most advertisements on a day-to-day basis. It is easy to change the channel on a remote control to switch off a commercial, use AdBlock software to hide online banners, and simply look away from public advertisements.

The truth is that traditional advertising does not work in the digital age, especially for tech savvy millennials who have become pioneers of ad avoidance. As a result, marketing experts have moved into what is known as Black Ops Advertising— ads that try to camouflage as non-advertising content.

Traditionally, marketers and advertisers use militaristic terms such as ‘objective’, ‘strategies’, ‘tactics’, and ‘target’ when they are talking about marketing to a consumer audience. And the natural progression in which the military has moved from traditional methods of action into black ops action has also been implemented in the digital age of marketing. Due to the fact that traditional advertisements tend to be ineffective, advertising has revolutionized into covert stealth-mode in terms of how marketers are targeting different consumer audiences.

Black Ops Advertising is trying to get around the fact that people ignore ads. So by hiding advertisements as much as possible, people are not likely to realize that they are engaging in sponsored content.

Sounds pretty invasive, right? Well, it is.

Our digital society has spent an increasing amount of media time on mobile devices and smartphones, making Black Ops Advertising the new norm. As a result, brands are increasingly using subtle and pervasive ways of placing ads. How, you ask?

Take the recent HostelWorld advertisement that swept Snapchat stories internationally and tricked users into engaging with sponsored content.

While looking through your Snapchat stories you may have come across what looked like a recent Charlie Sheen scandal. Most of the HostelWorld ads open with an image of Sheen in a scandalous position with a banner beneath the image that reads “BREAKING” or “LEAKED”.

Intrigued by what looks like a raunchy news story starring the degenerate Two and a Half Men actor, most Snapchat users probably swiped down to see what trouble Sheen has been getting into. Although once you swipe down, you realize it is all a trick. Charlie is seen enjoying all the facilities a modern hostel has to offer instead of participating in some illicit act. What looks like a raunchy news story then becomes a form of Black Ops Advertising.

Through HostelWorld’s sponsored Snapchat ad with Sheen, the brand successfully implemented Black Ops Advertising to trick viewers into thinking they were watching a legitimate news story on Sheen’s illicit behaviour, when it was just an advertisement for the hostel-based brand.

The whole structure of advertising has been completely upended and overturned by the enormous increase and fluency in the use of digital platforms, particularly by young people. The rapid emergence of the mobile smartphone and other communication applications has ultimately replaced television as a medium, and as a result, traditional advertising from older industries is crumbling and we are moving into the age of covert ads.

So, should we be critical of this increasingly invasive form of advertising or should we continue to ignore these ads and be passive users?

 

Carmen Mallia is an up-and-coming professional writer from Toronto. He is currently in his second year at the University of Western Ontario for Honours Specialization in Media and the Public Interest. In his spare time he loves to write, get a coffee with friends, binge-watch The Wire, and volunteer at local events. Carmen is currently looking for work in Toronto associated with advertising, journalism, marketing, public relations, broadcasting, and communication. You can follow him on LinkedIn , Twitter, and Facebook

Guest

And Now We’re Moving to Las Vegas? NHL Marketing in the United States

April 14, 2017

Advertising hockey to Canadians is an easy task. Look at CBC’s opening montage for the 2017 NHL playoffs. Whenever you turn on a television in a Canadian household, you are most likely going to see NHL superstars Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby or Carey Price in a commercial. Even class NHL superstars like Wayne Gretzky or Mark Messier appear in commercials regularly. This is exaggeration but these marketing tactics have a tendency to stick with Canadians.

How about the United States? Are they as into hockey as us Canadians?  Definitely not. This might have something to do with having teams in Carolina, Arizona, and Sunrise. In addition, the NHL is expanding its product to Las Vegas! Yes, Las Vegas – a city notorious for gambling, partying and tourist activity will now have its own hockey team. Why Gary Bettman (the NHL commissioner) and his advisors decided this is a good idea is beyond the scope of any rational hockey fan.

Furthermore, for those who are unaware, the NHL is banning players from going to the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. Players like Erik Karlsson and Alex Ovechkin were disappointed at the decision. This is detrimental because it refuses to spread the game worldwide. If you want the world to see your product, you have to send your best players to dress up for their countries.

For hockey, in the warmer climates, the Florida Panthers had the actor Kevin Spacey, a fantastic actor support them with their Spacey Masks. The Panthers were still 24th in attendance last year and 26th this year. They have an active 40 year old veteran that won’t retire playing some of his best hockey in Jaromir Jagr, young studs in Aleksandor Barkov, Aaron Ekblad and Jonathan Hubrdeau. The team still does not fare well.

The Carolina Hurricanes and Arizona Coyotes have also been abysmal with attendance figures ranking 30th and 29th respectively. This article written by Justin Grilliand on the Hurricanes blog illustrates the poor job of how the NHL and Carolina have advertised their product. It does not seem that the NHL cares about the fans of these small market teams. In Glendale, you have the threat of the team relocating, taxpayers becoming infuriated to keep them there and the whole organization aside from general manger and direction, is a mess. If you want more insight into this, I highly suggest taking a look at this article written by Neil DeMausse. Let’s compare how the NBA markets themselves to American fans.

Basketball gets the figures, the attendance and the viewership even when the team is poor. For example, the Los Angeles Lakers are having a historically poor run in the last three years, yet they sell out Staples Center on almost every night. Commercials for the NBA market themselves absolutely brilliantly. Joel Embiid, ‘The Process’ plays for the lowly Philadephia 76ers yet he’s featured in basketballs in his hands for a jolly rancher commercial. Expanding the conversation even further, we can see how smaller markets cater to fans and individuals interested in the sport.

The Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder come to mind. The Utah Jazz had a commercial with Gordon Hayward – the Jazz superstar did with his wife and kid. The commercial promoted feminism, family and the NBA product. Another example is Oklahoma City Thunder. Their team saw Kevin Durant – arguably a top 5 player in the NBA, depart to ball with Steph Curry and the gang in Oakland. Yet, the fans still care about the team. This is because Russell Westbrook is promoted regularly and his jersey sales are extremely high. The NBA actively advertises products which interests the smaller markets and fans.

The NHL should take a page out of their books. If you are expanding teams to sunshine and tourist states, you have to allow for fans to be engaged within the community. In case you were unaware, Quebec City and Seattle are desperate for hockey. They are prepared. If you want money and fans, go there. If you want success in cities, let the fans know you are willing to compromise. Speaking of which, does anyone remember the Atlanta Trashers? Hey Bettman, how’d that go? Nice one, mate.

 

Boyan Antonov is a recent Carleton University graduate currently trying to figure out what to with his life. He has a heavy interest in sports specifically football (soccer), hockey and basketball. With interest comes opinions, and he wants them to be heard. For all things sports, swag, and more, follow him on instagram.

Bledar Halili

“They Fooled Ya Didn’t They” – The MAD Mix Top 5 April Fools Picks

April 4, 2017

The funniest day of the year is April 1st,  April Fools Day. It is the one day of the year that individuals and brands can have a little fun and attempt to pull off fun and harmless pranks. To this day I still enjoy pulling pranks on friends and family and I’ll most likely feel the same way next year and the years after that. However, there were some companies that took to April Fools and had some fun and proving that some consumers are so brand loyal and will believe almost any and everything you post.

 

#5 – Duolingo’s Emoji Course

Duolingo is an app that provides language learning and for April Fools they decided that they would offer an Emoji class. Most of us know at least one language and Duolingo is trying to make us bi-lingual. Malick Ba from The MAD Mix recently wrote an article on emoji culture, so to anyone who read the article and had trouble understanding if there is a course on Emoji’s, we would recommend learning it.

 

#4 – McDonald’s – The Micro Mac

McDonald’s has had string of new releases whether it’s the Bacon Big Mac or its new-ish All Day Breakfast. On April 1st, the fast food restaurant revealed ‘the Micro Mac’. With McDonald’s track record and how they like to have new seasonal items all the time, this was believable because it would have been amazing if costumers were given Micro Macs instead of Big Macs as a prank. If this had been real the internet would have exploded.

 

#3 – Amazon – Petlexa

If “Petlexa” were real, it would be sold out in a second. Amazon is known for being a tech leader in the advances they have made with the real Alexa, Amazon Go so “Petlexa” does not seem completely out of this world and how cool would it be to have a way to communicate with your pets. Let’s be real who seriously wouldn’t want this for this household.

 

#2 – Pornhub

In a world were privacy is becoming a thing of the past and just a few days after the United States announced that internet providers would not need to ask costumers for consent of releasing information, PornHub went out and did this. They most likely scared each and every single user that day and putting a fear in them like never before.

 

#1 – Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens hands down in my opinion won April fools for 2017. They went above and beyond in getting their head coach John Harbaugh to conduct a formal interview about their 1-week cruise. They had numerous players partake in a very convincing prank that had fans gushing and wondering how the trip would go.

April Fools does more than just allow for big brands and organization to pull pranks but it allows for them to connect with their fans by showing a sense of humor. This is a prime example of fan engagement that is organic and gives fans the opportunity for more brand engagement than advertisements. It also shows that consumers are brand loyal, that even on April Fools consumers still will believe and trust the brands and organizations. The question becomes who is going to win April Fools 2018. Kudos to the Baltimore Ravens, the Crown is yours.

We would love to know if you agree or disagree and if we missed anything during April Fools.

 

Bledar is currently in his last semester at Humber College for Advertising and Marketing Communications. He loves all food and has the ability to cook but cannot figure out how to make something twice. Bledar has brief experience through volunteering for 2016’s CAMP conference and Awards show, and he is very excited to bring his journey in the advertising and marketing world. Bledar is just waiting for the opportunity to go to a championship parade in Toronto.

Guest

Placement vs Integration: Why Being Blatant Just Doesn’t Cut It

March 31, 2017

Guest Article By: Regan Bartlett-Green

 

We’ve all had those moments where we’ve been sitting on the couch watching a movie and are struck by cringe-worthy product placement. The obvious, irritating kind where you’re being consistently bombarded with different brands coming at you from all different directions.

Traditionally, product placement has been seen as an annoying aspect of film and television for the consumer. However, its effectiveness can’t be denied. The power of association has become incredibly influential over time. For example, you can’t think of James Bond without also thinking of brands like BMW and Aston Martin. The same goes with Top Gun, the image of Tom Cruise wearing Ray Ban aviators is a prime example of influence.

That said, iconic movies such as Back To The Future where you’re flooded with images of brands like Pepsi, Nike and DeLorean may have been effective back in the day. However, in 2017 an overwhelming and seemingly thoughtless amount of product placement is too obvious for today’s consumer.

This is where the idea of product integration comes in. Viewers today are too aware of products and brands in movies and TV shows. Integrating products in a way that seems natural, organic and almost subliminal is a way to place your brand in the mind of the consumer without seeming like you’re trying too hard. Integrating products into the storyline or placing them sparingly and thoughtfully will inspire brand recall without the negative connotations having to do with product placement. For example, Sex and The City is one of the most notorious shows for product placement. Yet in the Sex and The City movie, it felt branded while maintaining a classy and thoughtful feel. A prominent brand was Manolo Blahnik, which was most integrated into the plot. The viewer likely wouldn’t think about the fact that Manolo Blahnik paid to be a key part of the story, but instead is enjoying the tale being told by style icon Carrie Bradshaw.

Product integration is more important today than ever. With more people getting rid of cable and using streaming services, traditional broadcast space is losing its relevance. Brands are looking for new ways to make sure they’re reaching their target. Following viewer habits and trends will be key for brands in deciding the strategies they use going forward.

Ultimately, the years to come will be extremely exciting to see how advertising strategies are altered to fit into a changing media landscape. Our industry is ever evolving and the textbook idea of product placement is becoming ineffective. Integrating brands and products into the plot resonates better with consumers because it reflects their everyday life. Brands are everywhere so it only makes sense that they play a part in our favourite characters’ lives as well.

Even though many of us can’t afford those royal blue Manolos, Carrie’s style placed the brand top of mind and made us feel like we needed them. Now if you’ll excuse me, my credit card is burning a hole in my pocket.

 

Regan Bartlett-Green is currently in the home stretch of the Advertising and Marketing Communications program at Humber College. She looks forward to starting her internship and making a name for herself in the advertising world. In her spare time, Regan enjoys watching and creating beauty videos on YouTube. She also loves drinking excessive amounts of coffee and occasionally you’ll even find her making some at her part-time job. Connect with Regan on Twitter and LinkedIn 

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.

Dakarai Turner

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

March 21, 2017

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

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

H&M x Balmain

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

Winner: H&M

Genius x Spotify

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

Winner: Spotify

 

Red Bull x GoPro

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

Tie

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

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

 

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

Guest

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

March 18, 2017

Guest Article by Courtney Cullen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Guest

The Effect of Misleading Consumers

March 10, 2017

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

Guest Article By: Warren Leslie

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Dakarai Turner

Buy a Shoe, Change the World: A Look Into Cause-Related Marketing and the Millennial Mindset

March 7, 2017

Sunday night – scrolling through Facebook as usual making internal comments about people’s posts and then an article jumped at me. A friend and co-worker of mine shared an article about Adidas making shoes from ocean plastic and it was something that I had to read immediately. I suggest you all read the article from Global Citizen, but essentially Adidas will be releasing a pair of shoes that will do its small part in cleaning up the oceans that are filled with 8 million tons of plastic each year. Reading this article had me thinking about cause-related marketing and our expectation for brands in 2017.

According to Cause Good, “64% of shoppers say simply giving money away isn’t enough; they want businesses to integrate social impact directly into their business models“. With that being said, I wanted this article to spark that level of thought amongst whoever is reading this. Especially as millennials, do you personally find yourself leaning towards brands and products that work towards making a lasting, positive impact on the future?

To put things into perspective, these new Adidas shoes are going to come attached with a $220 USD price tag. With that being the case, will you be more inclined to purchase these running shoes over another pair $50 cheaper? Assuming that you love both styles, and the comfort level is the same. The main difference being that one will have some sort of impact on a better future, while the other will not. We strive to be a part of change in today’s age, and this is reflected with the brands we support. Millennials demand instant feedback and usually care to see an immediate benefit as a result of their actions. Buy a shoe, fix the world.

We are seeing several brands over the last few years adopt a cause-related marketing strategy. Attaching your brand to a relevant cause in today’s age is almost an automatic winner, and the reason is simply because we as consumers want to feel as though we are making a difference in the world. Whether it is something incredibly minimal as buying a $220 pair of shoes contributing to reduce plastic waste in the ocean, we are going to do it. Buy a shoe, fix the world.

So why don’t the majority of us simply donate to charities solving the problem directly and eliminate the retail middle men? At the end of the day, yes we want to save the world, but we also want to get something else out of it. Sure, I can donate x amount of money to a charity that solves x problem, but I also want a really nice pair of shoes in which one purchase would cover two purposes.

Millennials are pro-social minded and they support brands that carry the same mindset. These Adidas shoes are going to be something big for the sole (yup) reason that we all want to buy a shoe, and saved the world.

I’d love to know your thoughts on brands that adopt a cause-related marketing strategy. Does a brand’s impact on the world factor in your purchase of a product? Let me know in the comments below or on our Facebook post!

 

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

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (February 25 – March 2)

March 3, 2017

Written by Dakarai, Malick, and Kathleen

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.

 

Pizza Hut Introduces “Pie Tops”

K: Fresh out of the oven are Pizza Hut’s ‘Pie Tops’. What are ‘Pie Tops’ you ask? No, they don’t have anything to do with pies. They are sneakers! Yes, Pizza Hut has launched a very limited pair of high tops sneakers. Pizza Hut has raised the bar in how customers can order their pizzas. The ‘Pie Tops’ sneakers have a button on the tongue that when pressed connects to the Pie Top app. Now, this is not your ordinary Pizza Hut app, this app will order the pizza for you. By using geolocation, it allows the pizza to be delivered at the location of the individual wearing the shoes. It’s a great concept combining two things that many people love, sneakers and pizza, and an excellent way to show how easy ordering with Pizza Hut is. Unfortunately, only 64 pairs were made and only a few lucky Pizza Hut fans will have the opportunity to take home a pair. Launching just in time for March Madness, it supports the promotion of $7.99 for a large two-topping pizza, available from March-April. Check out the video below with Grant Hill.

Denny’s scores their most popular tweet yet

D: At this moment, you may be wondering why this is worthy news. Denny’s is an example of a brand that kicks ass on social media to put it simply. They understand their social audience and their content speaks directly to their target, almost as if it weren’t a brand talking and one of your friends telling you stupid jokes. An example of this? This week the brand tweeted a seemingly normal photo of pancakes with the caption “zoom in on the syrup”.

After zooming in, it takes you through a series of directions in order to bring you to a final message, all while remaining on the same picture. The tweet has been retweeted over 100k times and has reached almost 150k likes. If you enjoy random and hilarious content, give @DennysDiner a follow.

 

Nossa: Old Website Funeral

M: It’s hard to address change in a creative way. Portuguese advertising agency Nossa decided to address their outdated website in the most hilarious self-mocking way I’ve ever seen. There’s no question that the way that the internet and digital technologies evolve so fast that it can be hard to keep up with what the best way to optimize is. That being said, the agency realized that their website had been following a very “2012”-esque structure to their digital platform. What they decided to do is create a :30s spot that symbolized the death of their old website portal in the form of a funeral. The spot shows members of the agency gathered around in a funeral type setting (which is actually just the backyard garden of their office) in which they bury a laptop. I think this is an extremely creative way to show that they are out with the old, in with the new. 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

Humber Connect: Networking 101

February 28, 2017

Tonight I’ll be attending Humber Connect, my old school’s networking event designed for students to speak to industry professionals in hopes of getting a great internship. However, this time It’ll be the other way around. I’m going to be representing my agency. So students, what advice can I give to you on your glorious night? Here are some of my experiences that I once had.

Was I nervous? 100% .The people that I would be talking to that evening could’ve been my future co workers. So many questions ran through my head. “How do I approach someone? Who do I approach? Can I drink?”. That last one was made up…sort of. But in all seriousness, networking events can be hard. When I was a student, the only thing that I thought about was who I was going to meet, and how I was going to get a job from that. Which was both the right and wrong way to look at things, and I’m going to tell you why. There are so many other things to focus on at a networking event. Yes, the people you meet will ultimately help you get an internship/job, but here are a few things from my experience that might help you land your dream internship.

It’s not an interview

When I attended my school’s networking event, I had great grades, a decent resume, and a lot of things I could use to talk about myself. After chatting with a few industry professionals about how great I was at communication, or how my technical skills were impeccable, I could see the eyes of the recipient of my talking start to wander. People are always interested in candidates who have those skills, but holding a conversation, asking questions, and learning are such a big part of what networking events are. If you have great communication skills, show you have them but asking strong questions and engaging with what they are telling you. It’s good to talk about your qualifications, but don’t forget that showing your character and who you are is just as important.

Don’t wait to make a move

Being confident is literally the key to your success in a networking event. When the first few professionals walk in the door, you’re going to feel your heart racing. That’s ok. The people who are coming to these events want to talk to you. That’s the whole point. As Big Sean would say, make moves.

Talk to everyone…yes everyone

Even if it’s not your desired destination, try to talk to every single person in the room. The representatives from agencies the that you want to intern or work for may not show up until later on in the night. Use that time to speak to every person and practice what it’s like to get into the groove of these things. That way, once you see the right people, you’ll know exactly how to approach them and what to talk to them about.

These events can be very beneficial. The reason why I’m in my position right now is because of an event like this. Be confident in yourself and your skills. So for you Humber College students, if you see me tonight, don’t be afraid to come chat with me, I’ll be there to help.

 

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.

Guest

Brand Ambassadors: What They Do and Why You Need Them

February 24, 2017

Guest Article By: Kayla Metcalfe

The rise of social media has given the everyday individual the power to generate endless content. It seems that average people are becoming “Instagram models” or “iphoneographers” and fostering partnerships with different brands. (Hello Triangl girls and Skinny Teatox sellers?) With the excess amount of content floating around, how does a brand differentiate itself from its competition?

Meet the brand ambassador! A brand ambassador is an individual that focuses on creating a memorable experience with consumers, and helps to ensure the brands values are communicated through everything they do. They do this through different experiential marketing initiatives, including branded giveaways, sampling, contests, lead generation, and social media. These brand loyalists have established credibility and authority among peers and consumers. A great brand ambassador is able to cut through all the marketing clutter – and say the right things about a company or brand with more credibility than an ad campaign. The video below from Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) details how the right ambassador campaign can be utilized as a successful marketing tool.

I’ve been working infield as a Brand Ambassador for several months and have seen it firsthand, consumers genuinely trust and believe what we have to say about a product or service because we “humanize” the interaction. A good experiential marketing campaign connects with the consumer through a more authentic and “real” experience than an ad campaign. We are exposed to both the bad and good of a brand, and are able to inspire and educate about a product without sales being the main focus. I once represented an insurance company outside of popular sports games. We weren’t there to sell people on this brand, or even provide key messaging about their services. Our goal was to connect with consumers, give away branded merch and take photos with fans to ensure that when and if consumers were considering a new insurance company, ours would be top of mind due to the positive experience they had at the game.

We have the ability to tap into micro communities your brand may not yet have access to. There are many social media tools available, which give us the power to share content within our different social circles. This allows the ambassador to influence followers and the target audience to want what you’re selling, (from someone they already trust.) Traditional advertisements are being tuned out, but a genuine love for a product or service is hard to fake. I find myself constantly recommending products to friends and family that I have previously worked with. Experiencing the positives and overcoming the negatives of a product creates a devotion to it that can be genuinely communicated to others.

Word-of-mouth may be the most impactful, cost effective form of marketing. The idea is that these brand evangelists honestly love and want to amplify the said brands presence. This happened to me with a popular juice brand. The constant exposure to the product turned my friends as well as myself into brand advocates. While it is common for these types of people to be compensated, often they are paid in “perks”. This can be anything from free gear to branded materials to travel compensation, etc. After each shift I was given leftover product, which meant my house was fully stocked whenever friends would visit. This influenced my friends to try (and eventually love) the brand, generating new business.

Brand advocates are quickly becoming a critical tool for a successful marketing campaign, which can largely be attributed to the shift towards transparency and authenticity in marketing, and the lack there-of in traditional campaigns. However, an opposing argument can be made; as the use of qualified brand ambassadors grows, does their influence, authenticity, and relevancy decrease? Do we eventually just fade into all the clutter and become as generic as any other campaign?

Let me know what you think in the comments!

 

Kayla is a recent graduate of Humber College specializing in public relations, event management and experiential marketing. Based in Toronto, and currently focusing on the world of content marketing and event coordinating, you can find her running around backstage at many of the events in the city. An avid foodie and animal enthusiast with a passion for music, you will find Kayla spending her downtime checking out various restaurants across the GTA, playing at the dog park, or planning her next festival. You can connect with her on Instagram or LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

My First G-Shock Watch: The Moment I Realized I Was Susceptible to Advertising

February 21, 2017

Let’s take this back to 2011 – When I was in my later years of high school I would say that my style was fairly original. I wore clothes that I liked at the time simply because I liked them, and didn’t follow the opinions of anyone else..so I thought. If you would have asked me back then if “advertising works on me”, the answer would have been no. As a huge hip hop fan, I idolized the greats, such as: Lil Wayne, Eminem, Jay Z, 50 Cent, etc. With that being said, how does a broke 16 year old kid emulate the look of famous and filthy rich rappers?

Eminem sporting a G-Shock in music video

I can vividly remember a time that G-Shock watches were getting a huge push in the media through influencers. Musicians, athletes, YouTube stars and more were all sporting these watches, and it created a desire like no other. For those of you unaware, G-Shock watches were designed in 1983, and for the most part they were utility based. This was a watch that could last for 10 years and that was shock proof, meaning it wouldn’t break if it was dropped or slammed against a wall. Through the use of influencers and attaching the watches to pop-culture figures, the sales and desire for the watches began picking up steam around 2010/2011. Turn on the TV…bedazzled G-Shock watch on Lil Wayne’s wrist in his new music video. Watch a new YouTube video…vlogger wearing a bright coloured G-Shock watch. No matter where I went, I found myself seeing this watch that I still didn’t even know the name of. There is true power behind repetition. Celebrity endorsements and the use of influencers have always been a good marketing strategy, if done right.

  1. Identify your audience
  2. Find out who they admire, and who speaks to them.
  3. Get your product involved with the influencer.

This is the winning formula. The exact formula that got me to buy not one, but two G-Shock watches. As an Eminem fan, I found myself wasting time watching his interviews on YouTube until I stumbled on the following short CNN clip.

 

Eminem, a G-Shock endorser name dropped the brand and mentioned that his watch was only $100. Not only that, but he wears it more often than his Rolex. Whoa. So of course I saved up the money and got myself a G-Shock watch the next week. I had something that one of the greatest rappers of all time had, in the same colour and everything. If you were around me at all during high school, I’ve probably talked to you about my G-Shock at some point. I slept, showered, ate, and everything in between with that thing on my wrist.

Now that I’m older I must say that this strategy still works on me in some ways. I’ve heard constantly that advertising doesn’t work, but I’m willing to bet we all have a G-Shock story. Although you may not notice it at first, there’s a reason you purchase the things you do. And for the most part, there was a strategy created by a team of people to elicit this behaviour.

What was the last thing that you bought simply because a celebrity/public figure endorsed it? Let me know in the comments!

 

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 (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.

Weekly Recap

Super Bowl Ads: The MAD Mix Top Picks

February 10, 2017

The Super Bowl is arguably the biggest stage for advertisers, and every year those who are and aren’t in the advertising industry find themselves discussing the commercials. This is the time that we all become experts. The MAD Mix group wants to share with you our top 4 favorite ads this year and what made them special. Check out the list below:

 

Mr. Clean gets Dirty

D: Mr. Clean, a brand of cleaning products, took the Super Bowl by storm this year for the first time with their ‘Cleaner of your dreams’ ad. The :30 spot turns the brand mascot into a cleaning sex symbol that a woman is fantasizing about. It’s very hard to resist smiling after seeing an ad like this, and in my opinion this is why they hit a home-run. The best part? The follow up on social media! What some of you may not know is that the Mr. Clean Twitter page is written in the POV of the brand mascot himself, and throughout the Super Bowl he let his personality show through commenting on other ads. An ad can be the funniest thing in the world but the true supporting factor is the tactics that provide support. Mr. Clean is one of the brands that executed this perfectly.

 

Honda Yearbook

B: This years Super Bowl had a lot of interesting advertisements that in my opinion were either fun and playful or were politically motivated (i.e Lumber 84). One of my favourites was the Honda Yearbook. As an individual who has grown up driving a Honda and remembering myself graduating from high school and continuing on to post secondary education was a bit of a throw back for me. The celebrities that were depicted as younger versions in their year book with the intention of motivating and pushing people reach for their dreams.  The simplicity and the positivity that ad presented was enjoyable which is why it was one of my favourites.

 

Audi “Daughter”

M: For some reason, in 2017 there are still hefty criticisms for gender-themed ads. I’m a marketer, I work in advertising, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that I’m an activist. As someone who is passionate about equal rights for all, this spot really stuck out. When I think of Super Bowl ads, I think of something that’s funny, fast, and sometimes wacky. This one was different. This one had a message bigger than advertising. This Audi spot is about the pay gap, and the inequality that exists among women. The spot discusses these issues and question the “equality” that we preach on a daily basis. While this spot was controversial for some reason, I think the message is very legitimate. I’m glad a brand like Audi stepped up and decided to go where not a lot of advertisers like to go. Check out the spot below:

Kia Niro “Hero’s Journey”

K: The Kia Niro commercial with Melissa McCarthy is one of my top ads for the 2017 super bowl because it was light hearted and amusing. The commercial starts off with Melissa being called to help the whales, the trees, the ice caps and the rhinos. As she tries to help each of them out, she ends up in situations where she gets tossed, dropped, buried and speared. While watching the commercial you aren’t sure where it’s going, but at the end when the voiceover says “It’s hard to be an eco warrior, but it’s easier to drive like one” while showing Melissa driving a Kia Niro hybrid, it all makes sense. It was a great way to touch on the environmental topic in a light-hearted way. The humor in all her adventures was humours to watch. Kia made the right decision choosing Melissa McCarthy to star in the commercial.

 

Those are our top picks for this year’s Super Bowl. Let us know if we missed your favourite in the comments below or get in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Dakarai Turner

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

February 7, 2017

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

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

The money can be used better

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

The competition

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

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

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

 

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

Bledar Halili, Kathleen Pinho

The MAD Mix Introduces: Bledar Halili and Kathleen Pinho

February 3, 2017

We’ve grown our team by two this year and we would like to introduce Bledar Halili and Kathleen Pinho to all of The MAD Mix readers. We look forward to another great year with an even bigger team! Check out their bio’s below:

 

Kathleen Pinho

Kathleen has been living in Toronto for the majority of her life. She is currently in her last semester in the Advertising and Marketing Communications program at Humber College. She has worked on branding a program for Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre, and on top of this she has also participated in a Brand-a-thon at Humber College for the Centre of Innovation in Health & Wellness. In November 2016, she volunteered at The Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals (CAMP) conference and awards as a Twitter content creator. Kathleen is eager to gain valuable experience and insights into the advertising industry. Currently, she is interested in finding a summer internship in the field. She has a passion for digital media and is an active user of social media. One of the things Kathleen likes doing is buying shoes- lots of shoes- and getting retargeted by shoe stores.

Kathleen also loves popcorn and skittles so give her a shout when you have some!

Bledar Halili

“Bledar? Yes , Bledar”

Bledar is currently in his last semester at Humber College for Advertising and Marketing Communications. He loves all food and has the ability to cook but cannot figure out how to make something twice. Bledar has brief experience through volunteering for 2016’s CAMP conference and Awards show, and he is very excited to bring his journey in the advertising and marketing world. Bledar is just waiting for the opportunity to go to a championship parade in Toronto.

 

Help us welcome Bledar Halili and Kathleen Pinho! Also, be sure to follow our new social profiles: Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

Guest

A Dog’s Purpose: A PR & Marketing Mess

January 27, 2017

Written by: Matthew Nafe

What’s the old adage? There is no such thing as bad publicity? I think the production company of the 2017 film “A Dog’s Purpose” would beg to differ. This past week, a video from the set was leaked onto the web which depicted a dog trainer forcing one of the animal actors into raging rapids. The dog looked distressed and for good reason. So naturally the response was strong; the stance being that the movie should be boycotted. So what does it mean when a film with this much importance has a sudden blast of terrible publicity? It could very well mean that the movie will be an absolute failure due to this public outrage. No matter what actually happened, the perceived animal abuse whether it being as blatant as the video shows or not; has essentially sealed the fate of the film. As we have seen, the film initially seemed to have pulled on the proverbial heart strings; everyone loves dogs. Allegedly the video was taken in 2015 and has recently surfaced shortly before the release of the film itself.

A film like this has high expectations, especially with a heavily focused animal cast and the marketing of the movie used the universal love of animals to pander to audiences. The PR behind the movie needed to be perfect for the simple fact that there were tremendous expectations on the movie by animal lovers. However not doing their due diligence to make sure all animals were taken care of properly so none of them were hurt is very dangerous. It’s essentially a marketing disaster and since the video was released they have had to cancel the premiere of the movie. PETA has obviously condemned the film as well, calling for the boycott of the film completely.

 

With that being said, how does a film come back from something like this? The film itself is almost helpless because at this point, anything they say can only be taken at face value. The film will now have to rely on outside influences to help turn the tide to show the film not being as bad as the video depicts.  Internet personality Philip DeFranco does a weekly video made up of the on goings of that week in pop culture. He recently made a video playing devil’s advocate and saying that maybe everything in the video is not what it seems.

Essentially saying “wait until all the facts are out until you decide to destroy the reputation of the film”. DeFranco raises some good points regarding the video such as odd cuts in the film, correct methods for filming with animals and so on. There is an investigation going on by the American Humane Association (the group that lets movies use the “no animals were harmed in the making of this filmed”). Bad press like this can really make or break a film, what DeFranco does is essentially saying “innocence must be assumed until proven otherwise.” However we live in a click bait world, and those clicks determine whether or not something will succeed. Positive results in the investigation and more positive PR could be the difference in saving this movie from being a blockbuster flop and a marketing nightmare. However it may be too little too late and the film was destined to fail and if it’s any indication early on? The 1.3 rating out of 10 on IMDB doesn’t look so great.

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

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (January 7 – January 13)

January 13, 2017

With a few weeks into 2017, some huge brands have already made some significant strides. With a ton of action going on, you may not have been able to keep up-but not to worry, The MAD Mix has you covered as usual. Check out some of the hottest ads, trends, and more in this week’s weekly recap.

Fender: Raise Your Voice

M: If you’re into playing music, check this one out. If you didn’t know, Fender is one of the most prominent names in electric guitar and base manufacturing. Recently, they’ve been faced with the challenge that every brand is seeming to go through: attracting and retaining the new generation of musicians. CMO Even Jones has even stated that approximately 90% of people who start playing guitar drop out within the first year.  While the awareness is out there, it’s obvious that the biggest problem that Fender is facing is retention of customers. To address that, they’ve launched a new ad campaign with a stylish, sleek, sexy, and digital approach. Check out the spot below that’s advertising their American Professional series. Looking back on it, my very first guitar was a Fender Squier and I loved it. This spot is definitely making me reminisce to a time when I thought I was Slash…

 

 YouTube Introduces ‘SuperChat’

D: Have you ever found yourself watching a live stream on YouTube and hesitating to comment because it would disappear so fast anyway? No? Well for those that have, Super Chat is just for you. This is a feature that YouTube is testing out currently in 20 countries that enables viewers to pay to have their comment pinned to a live video. Whether you want to tell the Youtuber that they’re doing a great job or you want to promote The MAD Mix, you’ll be able to do so through SuperChat. It’s going to be interesting to watch this in its early stages and see if it makes it’s way to other platforms such as Instagram Live or Facebook Live.

 

Intel: Brady Everyday

M: NFL playoffs mean it’s getting close to every advertising freaks favourite time of year: the Superbowl. In this latest :30 second spot, Intel showcases their 360 replay technology by taking us through Tom Brady’s (the greatest QB of all time might I add) morning routine. CMO of Intel, Steve Fund, explained that while people typically use this kind of technology for showing athletes on the field. But the point of the spot focuses on the everyday person-even if it does feature Tom Brady. He explains that they wanted to make brushing your teeth, or making breakfast look epic because that’s what Intel technology is capable of. I thought the ad was hilarious, but you be the judge. Check out the spot below, and stay tuned for more Superbowl related ads in the coming weeks:

 

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.

Dakarai Turner

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

January 10, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

The official logo for Canada 150

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

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

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

Malick Ba

The 2017 Come Up

January 3, 2017

Out with the old, in with the new. 2016 was a big year for advertising, marketing, and especially technology. We were exposed to some things that no one had every really seen before. But rather than dwelling on what happened last year, I’ve decided to dedicate this post to open a discussion on how some of the trends we saw developing last year can (and will) affect marketers in the new year. So to kick 2017 off with The MAD Mix, here are some big things that you might see over the course of the year.

 

Virtual Reality

We got a taste of what VR can do in 2016, but I really think we’re less than a year away from seeing how this kind of technology will be incorporated in marketing strategies. VR presents an excellent opportunity to take a brand to the next level of engagement. We’ve seen Sony already incorporate VR into the Play Station 4, and not to mention Samsung with the Gear VR headset. You’re probably thinking: “Malick those things blew up in 2016, how can you say VR isn’t already here?” The thing is, Sony and Samsung are developers of these types of technology so that’s what I see to be expected. What I’m looking for in VR is how big retailers will use it. How will retailers like Wal-Mart, McDonalds, or Starbucks use VR to advertise their product? Virtual stores maybe? I think VR will change the way that we shop online in 2017, just wait for it.

Live Streaming

While sites like Twitch.tv and Facebook have offered live streaming services for a few years now, the idea hasn’t really made its mark yet with the average consumer and especially businesses. With the tech world heading towards a more mobile friendly approach, we can expect to see live streaming become much more mainstream. What do I mean by that? Well in November of 2016, Instagram officially launched their live streaming function to anyone who has an account. Instagram has approximately 600 million monthly users, so by the looks of things, we’re due for a load of live streaming content of people’s dogs and dinner.

R.I.P Radio

Ok this one might be a bit of a bold prediction, but hear me out. The reach of radio is nothing to argue. A study by Nielsen shows that broadcast radio reaches over 90% of all age groups. But I have a hard time believing that young people are tuning in the same way our parents are. From my personal experience, the only time I find myself listening to the radio is when I’m in a car, literally. Now I know what some may be thinking: “cars will always exist, so radio will as well”. I don’t necessarily see that as holding true. With mobile streaming technology (and aux cables), becoming more and more prevalent in people’s cars, don’t you think that radio may not be the best advertising choice in the coming years? Even with the development of VR technology and live streaming, we may start to see advertisers move towards a more engaging form of reach than radio. Want to read more about an interesting study on radio numbers? Click here.

2017 is going to present some really interesting trends in technology and advertising. Personally I’m most excited to see how VR pans out. There is some really interesting ways that we’re going to be interacting with media, advertising, and technology in the next 12 months, so buckle up!

 

 

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 (December 17 – December 23)

December 23, 2016

With this being the week before Christmas, the world of advertising has been absolutely flooded. Not to worry, as usual The MAD Mix has you covered on some of the best ads and trends that have happened over the last week. Check some of our favourites below in our weekly recap!

Written by Malick and Dakarai.

Krazy Glue Christmas Tree

M: Talk about the product. Liberty Plaza in downtown New York featured a rather interesting and unique Christmas tree-The Krazy Kristmas Tree. This 25 ft tall tree (artificial) doesn’t have your typical ornaments, but rather you can find the tree to have a drum kit, a TV, and even a foosball table hanging from the branches. What purpose does this serve? Well agency partners Cohn & Wolfe came up with this creative idea to showcase what Krazy Glue can hold together. Typically we think of Krazy Glue being able to hold together pieces of wood, or things around our household. I think this is a great way to not only get into the Christmas spirit, but also demonstrate the strength of the product, but also showcase it in a unique way. Now how will they break this apart…? Check out the video below:

AT&T brings Santa to Facebook Live

D: Apparently less and less children believe in Santa each year, and AT&T wants to change that by showing children the magic of Santa right through their computer screens. The telecommunications company has launched “Santa Live” on Facebook today starting at noon. The live video will show Santa’s elves in the workshop, as well as Santa reading the names and stories of 200 lucky children that made the ‘nice list’. Parents were encouraged weeks before to sign their children up and provide other details. What’s great about this is that it ties AT&T with Santa and /christmas. Parents will remember the effect the brand had on their children for years to come. Check out “Santa Live” here.

Salvation Army Touchdown:

M: Sometimes unintentional brand endorsement and advertising can see some pretty large success. For those who watch the NFL, last weekend in their win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, The Dallas Cowboys gave the Salvation Army a huge promo via a touchdown celebration. Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliot scored and immediately jumped into a Salvation Army kettle featured in the TD zone. Immediately, Salvation Army USA posted a video of Zeke in the kettle with a link where people could contribute to the organization. Unintentional PR is the best kind of PR.  Check out the video below:

 

 

The Skittles Pawn Shop Returns

D: Last year, Wriggley Canada opened up the Skittles Pawn Shop on Queen St in Toronto. This year, it’s back by popular demand with a few changes. Canadians are able to visit the pawn shop with their unwanted Christmas gifts and exchange them for none other than packages of Skittles. Does it get any better? The amount of Skittles you receive will be determined based on the value of the unwanted gift. For those that can’t make it in person, you are able to upload a photo to http://www.skittlespawn.ca of your unwanted gift and receive in real-time an estimate of its value in Skittles. Needless to say if I’m in the area I will have to give this pawn shop a visit. I had to test out the site myself, see what my watch is worth 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. Think we missed something important? Let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook here. Happy Holidays!

Malick Ba

Star Wars Rogue One: Marketing Success

December 20, 2016

 

2016 has seen some big movie releases, but none bigger than the critically acclaimed “Star Wars: Rogue One”. The film hit theatre last week and has since raked in about $155 million in North America alone so far. Pretty good right? Well behind the scenes, this film faced a few challenges in terms of advertising and marketing. With less than a year’s removed since the release of the last Star Wars film (The Force Awakens), check out some of the challenges that Rogue One had to overcome to succeed in 2016.

 

Star Wars Hangover

When Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out last year at this time, it was the biggest movie on the planet. Disney spent over $250 million on promoting the next chapter in the franchise which meant we literally saw ads every single place that we looked. Billboards, pre-roll, and print insertions were just a few of the ways that the film covered all bases in terms of media and it ultimately proved to be extremely effective. This year for Rogue One, advertising efforts were scaled back due to an overlap with another similarly named film in July. Rogue One featured three trailers (that were awesome by the way), and not nearly as much promotion (online or out of home) as The Force Awakens giving it a more normal marketing approach with a unique appeal to the franchise.

Selling the Story

Rogue One sells itself differently than The Force Awakens did. As Chris Thilk from Adweek explains, The Force Awakens sold us on nostalgia. The trailers and promotional material from the latest episode allowed us to remember characters and scenarios from the original Star Wars films we know and love. Rogue One had to do it differently. It’s not selling us that appeal to nostalgia, rather, it’s giving us a backstory for a plot that was never accurately provided throughout the series: How did the plans for the death star get obtained?

No Lightsabres

After doing some research (aka watching the trailers over and over and over and over…), I realized something very unique about the way this film was being promoted: no lightsabres. If you’re a Star Wars fan by any means, the lightsabre is probably the most iconic weapon in sci-fi film history. Rogue One completely avoids using the one thing that makes Star Wars…well Star Wars. According to Daniel Ricwulf from Screenrant.com, in all marketing materials related to this film there are not only no lightsabres, but also no droids, and a completely new group of actors. This presents a huge challenge. How would people connect Rogue One to the rest of the franchise when so many things are different? Using the Star Wars brand as leverage of course.

Since its release on December 16th, Star Wars: Rogue One has gained almost unanimously positive reviews. What I think this film has done so successfully in terms of marketing is that it had a unique selling proposition. Ultimately, Rogue One was successfully able to use marketing to attach itself to the franchise but separate itself to be different than every other film in the series.

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 (December 10 – December 16)

December 16, 2016

It’s the holiday season, and that means tons of action in the world of advertising and marketing. Not to worry, The MAD Mix always has you covered on anything you might have missed. Check out some of our favourite ads, trends, and more in our weekly recap!

WestJet Christmas Miracle

M: Wow-this one is powerful. We all remember the tragic fires that devastated the residents of Fort McMurray earlier this year. Families lost their homes, and some lost their lives-but none gave up hope. This Christmas, WestJet decided to revisit some of the residents in a creative, and touching way. Residents of Fort McMurray were treated to a Christmas themed event were the community could come together and spend time with their families and friends. However, towards the end of the night,  something special happened. As the community were leaving the event, they were surprised by being given gifts from the WestJet Santa in which they received wonderful family memorabilia that fell from the sky. In addition, what makes this even more special is that each of these families were given a free flight to visit their loved ones this holiday. Christmas is a time for giving, and WestJet touched the country with this wonderful campaign. It’s nice to see bigger brands step up and give back to communities who have lost everything. Good job WestJet. Check out the video below:

The NBA Presents: “The Most Dunktastic Time of the year”

D: Christmas Day is a very special moment. Not only do you receive gifts, and spend time with your family, but you also get to watch some of the most anticipated and fun NBA games of the season. The NBA always packs the leagues best teams and the most sought after match-ups on Christmas Day. For example, this year you have the Cavaliers vs Warriors which is essentially a repeat of last year’s NBA finals that broke viewership records. To promote the games this year they’ve launched a :30 second ad that features NBA players such as Blake Griffin, Dwyane Wade, and Kevin Love singing their new take on the famous carol, “the most wonderful time of the year”. This is one of those spots that as an NBA fan you just have to enjoy. Check out the spot below!

 

One Shower-VR Experience

M:If you’re a creative person like myself, sometimes coming up with fresh ideas on the spot can be kind of difficult. However, there’s always one spot that a lot of people drawn inspiration from every day…the shower. Vancouver’s Rethink agency made a VR experience dedicated to just that. The VR driven initiative allows you to hypothetically “hop in the shower” at any point in time when you’re trying to get those creative juices flowing. Personally I think this is pretty hilarious. You can be at your desk at work or even in the library studying, and take a virtual shower. That’s some funny imagery right there folks. Check out the video 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. Think we missed something important? Let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook here. Happy Holidays!

Dakarai Turner

The Air Miles Expiring Policy: Shady or Fair?

December 13, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Guest

The NHL: An Evolving League with Stagnant Marketing

December 9, 2016

Written by: Matthew Nafe

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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.

Guest

SickKids Is Back And Stronger Than Ever With ‘SickKids VS.’ Campaign

December 2, 2016

Guest Article By: Jocelyn Tran

Last year, SickKids tugged at millions of heartstrings with their emotional campaign:” Bettesick-kids-secondr Tomorrows”, a documentary-style videos of patients spending their days in the hospital for 45 days. The highly unprecedented campaign has raised 38-million of donations last year December. Though that number is a remarkable outcome for SickKids, they mostly came from their existing donors.

This year, SickKids targeted at the untapped audiences, which are younger people since their base donors are aging. Through previous researches and reactions, SickKids learned that younger demographics have now grown more interest and knowledge in donating to meaningful causes, and this “VS” campaign will be the first one that is aimed toward a much younger audience.

In order to attract this new audiences, the tone of this year campaign has been changed greatly. It has become the biggest, boldest and toughest campaign SickKids has ever run. With a solid $2- million marketing investment, we are expecting to see the next 3 TV spots, more streetcar wraps and cinema posters rolling out at the end of this year.

With a short but iconic title:”VS”, the video features the strong rap from the song Undeniable by Donnie Daydream visualizing hospital patients, kicking, punching, running and battling adversaries such as cancer, heart diseases, liver failure and cystic fibrosis. What differentiates this campaign from their previous campaign is not only the tone, but also the innovative idea: the inclusion of 50 SickKids patients, their families, 100 doctors, nurses and hospital staffs. Everyone has done their best to turn sickness and hospitalized kids into the real warriors who never give up. The fierce images, graphics and motions describing the diagnoses and dramatic footage of the life-or-death moments triggers the feelings from the viewers from the first few moments watching the video. The perfect choice of background music is a vital part that brings all the other elements together as a strong and united whole.

 

“The evolution is to a lot of empowerment. This notion that we are winning, but we won’t stop fighting until every kid is a healthy kid,” said Lori Davison, vice-president of brand strategy and communications.

In their VS campaign this year, SickKids has done right again by utilizing their social media platforms to deliver the most to its audience. To generate buzz around “VS”, SickKids posted a series of their patients posing as a warrior, a battler, a winner, and more on Instagram, with the caption describing their tough fighting journey, all topped with a call-to-action. As a person who has never been hospitalized before, this campaign really brought me closer into the everyday battle of the kids and their families and doctors. Moreover, the power of behind the scene photos has been revealed on SickKids’s Instagram latest post (featured below) to help their audience understand thoroughly how hard it is and how fierce these kids had been in the fight. With their huge budget that aligns within their annual spending budget, SickKids has impressed Torontonians with the billboards dominance for the past two months of October and November.

#SickKidsVS Undeniable – Behind the scenes We are incredibly thankful for the support our amazing staff and patient families have given to #SickKidsVS. Did you know more than 100 SickKids staff members helped out either in front of the camera or behind the scenes? And approximately 50 patient families agreed to be filmed. Being able to have #SickKidsVS: Undeniable filled with real staff, real parents and real patients not only allowed this very complex commercial to be shot authentically; it also added a very special component to the entire campaign. Volunteering to be on camera and working behind the scenes to make #SickKidsVS come to life goes above and beyond the call of duty, and for that we say THANK YOU. #SKBehindtheScenes #SKPeeps

A post shared by SickKids (@sickkidstoronto) on

 

Jocelyn Tran is a second- year student from Advertising and Marketing Communications program at Humber. After the journey of learning and practicing, Jocelyn is looking forward to becoming a Copywriter who writes witty, creative and valuable product copies. She’s also keen on doing food blogging and a foodie who are not afraid of trying new dishes. Meet her on her Facebook, Instagram, or check out her blog.

Dakarai Turner

“Why did I buy this?” – The Black Friday Effect

November 29, 2016

zara black fridayBlack Friday, the one day (often weekend) per year that many look forward to and everyone working retail despises. Black Friday has been synonymous with recorded fights in Walmart over discounted televisions, or people getting trampled in clothing stores because those 50% off jeans were too irresistible. For those that don’t know, Black Friday takes place the day following Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. It was essentially formed as “the official start of the Holiday season”, and this is why it’s been a tradition for retailers to offer insane deals throughout the weekend.

So why does something like this benefit retailers? It’s as simple as the fact that by offering deals that are hard to pass up, it will drive more traffic in their stores. Drive more traffic, drive more sales, and everyone is happy. Although over the last few years consumers have been turning to the deals online rather than physically waiting in store. In 2015, between Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday (deals exclusively online the Monday after Thanksgiving), consumers spent $7.5 Billion shopping online. So what is it about Black Friday and Cyber Monday that is so appealing? Why do people go out and buy things that they generally don’t need simply because theres a 60% sale sticker on it? Why do situations like the below happen?

and then there’s Canada…

In my opinion, Black Friday revolves around FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). It’s one of those things that come around for one weekend in the year that you tell yourself “it wouldn’t hurt to check out”. This is the Black Friday Effect. You don’t want to miss out on the possibilities and this is the exact reason you feel the need to buy something once you’ve already made an effort to go the store. My work office is located in the fashion district of Toronto and as you could imagine, this made things extremely difficult when it came to not wanting to spend any money. All the retailers need to do is get you into their store and the rest handles itself.

cyber-mondayNow, how are things shifting? Cyber Monday. The online Monday event has been a genius marketing tool to continue the Black Friday festivities, and exists solely to try and persuade shoppers to flock online for deals. It is worth nothing that it has been working extremely well, with 2015 sales reaching $3.07 Billion, which was a 16% increase from 2014.

Now is there anything wrong with Black Friday? Absolutely not. The actual intention is to simply get your holiday shopping done, and aside from the ‘casual’ Walmart fights and general selfish shopper behaviour, most use this weekend to get things they may have had their eyes on all year. I mean, sure you bought that blender for absolutely no reason, but it was 80% off…so you couldn’t resist. Right?

Do you find yourself usually wrapped in the Black Friday weekend deals or do you stay clear from it? Amongst the friends I asked, it was fairly split in the middle in terms of who went and who didn’t go shopping over the weekend. This was fairly surprising to say the least, but give me your thoughts in the comments 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.

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 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.

Guest

Mattresses Buying Method Rethought – Casper and Endy Sleep

November 18, 2016

Guest Article By: Jocelyn Tran

 

2 hipster start-ups are trying their best to get rid of the lousy mattress- buying and create a refreshing cool image for the process.

Casper, a New York based online mattress retailer, is not the first retailer to offer this online shopping method, but has now become the most talked-about and the most prominent. The company has received a huge investment from some world-known names: Leonardo Di Caprio, Adam Levine and Tobey Maguire and now they’re heading toward us, their Northern friends.

Casper’s success comes from the fact that they have tapped into the gaps that no mattress retailers have done before. Everyone agrees that buying mattress is a frustrating and most-avoided shopping experience. Having conducted a survey into the Canadian market in May, the retailer figured out Canadian consumers suffer the same problem as American consumers. People have been tired of the typically boring experience when shopping at Sleep Country, having a salesperson giving all the unnecessary information and the ads with people being interviewed on beds that doesn’t help at all.

casper

Casper came and ready to offer a cool, interesting, inexpensive and less-exhausting mattress buying experience. And to optimize the marketing and advertising campaign to their Canadian prospects, Casper has done a good job in having their banner ads on TTC subway trains, the largest transportation system in Canada. If you’re a regular TTC commuter, you would probably have come across Casper banner ads with funny and witty illustrators, emphasizing on the brand’s image and message “The Perfect Mattress For Everyone”.

Here are some brilliant designs that will make you laugh really hard and feel connected to what the brand is bringing. These banner ads were installed on several TTC subway trains that run on the Bloor-University line (Line 1), with the aim to reach the most of their target audience. With the free 100-night trial, and $50 off with the purchase using “TTC” code.

  casper

 

casper-2

 

However, Casper has to encounter ENDY Sleep, a Canadian start-up who is doing the same business as them yet they are selling and delivering mattresses at a lower price. ENDY mattresses are high-quality manufactured, convenient online choosing and paying process and carefully shipped to your door. According to the 2 co-founders of ENDY Sleep, they are making something that is considered the most boring and time-consuming thing into something the consumers will enjoy doing. While as Casper is using funny images to convey their message, ENDY Sleep is using their previous customers’ comments and reviews on their services to attract new customers. It can’t be denied that the word-of-mouth is being utilized cleverly in this case. Moreover, ENDY’s mattresses are produced in Canada and by Canadians, so it resonates more with the Canadian consumers.

Below is one of the best banner ads in TTC subway stations, featuring the company’s solid message and commitment.

endy-mattress

Casper is looking into expanding their business into other categories of bedding products such as pillows, sheets, blankets, etc. And ENDY is not staying still. They are planning for an integrated marketing campaign with the combination of print ads, television and events in Canada’s major cities to generate buzz and get people engaged in their products. Not so sure how the 2 companies’ new ad campaigns are going to turn out, but it’s sure to be worth seeing.

 

Jocelyn Tran is a second- year student from Advertising and Marketing Communications program at Humber. After the journey of learning and practicing, Jocelyn is looking forward to becoming a Copywriter who writes witty, creative and valuable product copies. She’s also keen on doing food blogging and a foodie who are not afraid of trying new dishes. Meet her on her Facebook, Instagram, or check out her blog.

Dakarai Turner

Behind the Meme: The Mannequin Challenge

November 15, 2016

The month of November kicked off in a interesting way to say the least, with the creation and explosion of the Mannequin Challenge. What started as a Twitter video recorded in a Colony High School classroom, later became used at concerts, in NFL locker rooms, talk shows, and even the White House. For those of you that haven’t seen the video that started it all, check it out below.

To give you an idea of just how big the challenge has been so far, it’s reached over 4 million mentions on Twitter since November 1st, and reached over 16 million mentions on Instagram. Now with almost every meme, there is usually someone that benefits from it the most. In this case it’s the rap duo by the name of ‘Rae Sremmurd‘. The rappers have managed to attach their hit song “Black Beatles” to the viral trend, by doing the challenge with their fans on stage to the song. This basically sparked a boatload of challenges that came afterwards. Although the first video didn’t even include any sound, the duo hopped on the trend quick enough to tie their song with the challenge.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! #mannequinchallenge #GiantsPride

A post shared by New York Giants (@nygiants) on

So what has made the Mannequin Challenge resonate so well with just about everyone? Here are 3 reasons: It’s easy, it’s a group activity, and everyone’s favourite part..it’s brandless.

Easy

After participating in two separate Mannequin Challenges myself, it’s not as easy as it looks to stand still for so long. However, the last thing I would say is that this challenge is difficult. All you need to do is strike a pose with your friends while someone records it, and boom! You’ve joined the trend.

 

Group Activity

Everything is funner when you’re doing it with your friends. The larger the group, the better the video. This trend started with a classroom, and now has sports teams, restaurants, and even regular work offices jumping in to give it a shot. When you can do things as a team it makes it that much more enjoyable and also shareable. Just think about if the original person had one person standing still. Would it have caught any steam? Check out my work office doing the challenge below.

Brandless

As I mentioned in my article about the Harambe meme, there is something special about a meme in which you can’t easily trace the origin. A lot of people don’t really know why this challenge started or even why Rae Sremmurd’s song is playing in the background. But one thing I could say is that if it was the #PepsiMannequinChallenge, it wouldn’t be what it is today. Maybe I’m wrong with that thought, but I truly believe that the authentic and simple nature of the Mannequin Challenge is the reason why it’s taken over the internet.

What do you think of this final thought. If a brand had started and was heavily associated with the Mannequin Challenge, would the appeal to be a part of it still be there?

 

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 (November 5 – November 11)

November 11, 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 Dakarai

Snapchat releases Spectacles in a unique way
snapchat-spectacles

Spectacles Billboard

Not too long ago, we spoke about the introduction of Spectacles from Snapchat. Essentially ‘Spectacles’ are glasses that you can wear and record/post snap pictures and videos with. Launching today, the wearable tech will be made available via bot-like vending machines. If this sounds a bit weird, it’s because it is. These unusual machines will be in sleep mode until someone walks by and essentially wakes it up via motion sensors. The hope is that the person will stop and interact with the bot to find that it is actually selling a $130 pair of Snapchat lenses (Spectacles). Now where will these bots be found? You can ‘find a bot’ at spectacles.com, Prepare to see a boatload of snapchats in the coming months of your friends locating and interacting with these machines. If you ask me, this is a brilliant move from Snap Inc. Well done. Below is a teaser video for the bot.

Instagram Stories steps outside of Snapchat’s shadow with new features

When Instagram Stories came out, everyone (myself included) saw the clear instagram-storiesrip off of the already established Snapchat. Months later, they have made some changes to the platform that Snapchat has yet to explore. For starters, you are now able to insert links into your Instagram Stories. This is extremely helpful for the brands using the platform, as it will replace the process of creating a shortened link and writing it over your story in hopes that your viewers take it upon themselves to jump on their browser and type in the site name.

You can also now use Boomerang in your stories. For those that don’t know, Boomerang allows you to create one second looped videos. The last addition is the ability to tag people in your stories. This is where Instagram and Snapchat completely differ. Instagram is all about discovery and finding new people, so this fits perfectly with their brand. With Snapchat, it’s frankly more private and exclusively seen by just your friends. This is most likely why Snapchat hasn’t bothered with this feature. Don’t forget to follow me @dakturner.

GoPro launches their first TV ad for global campaign

“Don’t stop what you’re doing, to capture what you’re doing” is a voiceover that perfectly described GoPro’s new 30 second ad. The brand shows moments we are all familiar with: holding your phone and taking a video of things from your kid going down a slide, a beautiful view, or a friend jumping off a cliff. GoPro then switches things up and shows that you can be involved in the action while still capturing it through using a GoPro. You can play with your kid, jump off the waterfall, run with fireworks, and more all while capturing the moment at the same time with a GoPro. This ad speaks well to the adventurous brand image that they have has established. This is not a camera for taking a video of a sunset. This is a camera for riding a jet ski on a beautiful day while capturing the sunset. Check out the video below.

 

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

Guest

Battle of the Streaming Services: Apple Music vs Spotify

November 4, 2016

Guest Article By: Laura Hong

 

The rapid growth of streaming services has dramatically changed the way consumers, consume music.  In the last decade, streaming services have grown exponentially to the point where multiple streaming services not only exist-but flourish. The two most recognizable in 2016? Apple and Spotify.

With its 8th year in market, Swedish based Spotify, boasts 30MM active subscribers.  In comparison, Apple Music’s debut in 2015 has garnered 13MM subscribers since its emergence into the music streaming industry. This presented the question to me: How do they differ? On the surface, Apple Music and Spotify provide similar services.

apple-and-spotify

 

Both apps are relatively easy to use, priced similarly at $9.99 per month and widely available on mobile and desktop devices. In short, both play music on demand from a large catalog of songs and make recommendations based on listening your history. Both services offer the ability to create and share playlists of any kind and able to play music even when there’s no service or Wi-Fi around. Quick disclaimer: I do admit, I am a huge Apple fan and love their line of products, from the iPhone, to the iPad, MacBook, and Apple TV!

As a big Apple user, personally I was really surprised with Apple Music’s UI functionality.  It’s very easy to get “lost” in the service, the UI is not a “natural” digital experience. Just recently, I’ve cancelled my apple music subscriptions and flipped over to the Spotify.

Here’s the main reason why;

Navigation

In typical Apple form, visually the Apple music app looks beautiful-but the same can’t be said about its navigation.  For a company that is all about a minimalist layout, I found it pretty surprising as to how confusing it was. It was not intuitive and hard to navigate.

Non-user friendly interface

What really bothers me the most about Apple Music is that everything seems more complex. Each task requires going to another section of the app to do so- it just takes more effort from me to get to play what I want to listen to. I find that in order for Apple Music to be more successful, they needed to simplify and streamline the app much more. This made me realize all the content in the world matters little if you don’t enjoy actually using the application.

Spotify on the other hand, has a strong all around showing and simple yet engaging user interface. It provides effective content, great aesthetic, and most importantly it’s simple to use. You can’t really go wrong with Spotify, especially if all you want is a solid no- fuss music streaming experience without a lot of complications and menus tacked on. I really felt like Spotify struck that perfect balance between streamlined user interface (UI) and fun without compromising user experience.

The fact is, the way we consume music is changing more than ever. Music streaming services are here to stay, and this is just the beginning.

 

laura-hong

 

Laura Hong is currently enrolled in the Advertising and Marketing Communications program at Humber College. Besides her interest in the tech world, Laura is a huge dog lover, health nut and loves scuba diving.

Dakarai Turner

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

November 1, 2016

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

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

spoiler-alert

 

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

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

Getting rid of the things you love

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

 

The post-conversation

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

the walking dead season premiere

the walking dead season premiere

Setting up the future

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

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

 

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

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (October 22 – October 28)

October 28, 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

 

R.I.P Vine

rip-vine

M: Best known for its explosion onto the social media scene in 2013, Twitter officially announced vine as “extinct” this week. When the 6 second phenomena started out, Vine was one of the most innovative social media platforms out there. Now, if you can honestly point me in the direction of someone who still actively uses Vine I’d probably give you 20 bucks. Vine was an interesting concept, but remember a few years ago when Instagram announced that they would be featuring video content-similar to Vine? Well it finally caught up. Plus with the development of both Instagram and Snapchat, it was bound to happen. There was simply just no place for the content anymore. To honour Vine, here is a compilation of my favourite Viner: King Bach.

Taco Bell and Airbnb partner together

D: If you would have told me that Taco Bell and Airbnb would partner together, I would probably look at you like you’re crazy. When you read the headline it truly makes you wonder what could possibly come out of these two very different brands working together. The answer, “Steakcation”. Taco Bell Canada gave one lucky Canadian and their friends the chance to spend one night in a new Taco Bell location through a promotion with Airbnb. The lucky winner was treated to their own Taco Bell butler, branded robes, and other fun products courtesy of Taco Bell. The brand put together a fun video of the event with an amazing additional prize at the end, check it out below!

Steph Curry and Under Armour: Make That Old

D: If you couldn’t already tell, Malick and I are definitely basketball fans. “Make that Old” is a new spot from Under Armour that features the one and only Steph Curry to promote his new shoe, the Curry 3. The ad features young fans in their own locations celebrating the unanimous MVP’s various achievements, mentioning that they are now “old news”. The focus is the future, meaning the upcoming NBA season that began on Wednesday. The words “I Will.” appear at the end of the video as you see a close up of Steph sporting the new shoes. If this doesn’t get you pumped for the upcoming season, I don’t know what to tell you. The spot does a great job addressing what happened in the previous season, and showing the mindset that Steph and anyone who wears his shoes has: when you’re down, get up and try again.

Nike/LeBron James: Came Out of Nowhere

M: The NBA season is back in action as of this week and if you tuned in on Tuesday’s opener you probably saw a handful of awesome NBA themed ads. One that stood out to me features the greatest of all time: LeBron James. The ad tips its hat to James who was born and raised in Akron, Ohio showing that he wasn’t supposed to be the kind of player he has become. The best part about this ad is that it features a voice over of King James while showing ordinary players shooting hoops-those who “weren’t supposed to be there”. The thing I love about this ad is that it celebrates those who are defying all odds to perfect their craft-like James. With the concept created by Wieden + Kennedy, the Came Out of Nowhere campaign will run for the first two weeks of the season featuring other NBA superstars as well. The best part about this ad is that it pays homage to arguably one of the greatest blocks in NBA history, check it out at the end.

Apple Launches their New Macbook

D: If you were on the Internet yesterday, you’ve probably caught wind of the new Macbook Pro. Apple held an event where they revealed the new laptop, changes to Apple TV, and other updates to their product list. If you could already guess..the “wonderful” people of Twitter had something to say about it. To put it simply, the new Macbook Pro is now slimmer than ever before, it also now has a  digital “Touch Pad” that runs the length of the keyboard, and apparently the display is 67% brighter. Impressed? To check out a full list of improvements, check this article out. Now whether this new Macbook was the second coming of Jesus himself, the Twitterverse will always have something downright hilarious to say. Check out a few great tweets about the event below.

Clearly the problem with watching an event live

We’ll have to revisit this when it inevitably happens

But remember it’s also thinner..

 

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! Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook here. Happy Friday!

Dakarai Turner

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

October 18, 2016

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

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

Here are a couple takeaways I have from this campaign:

The Selection of David Beckham and Kevin Hart

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

modern-essentials

Sales Promotions Done Right

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

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

 

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

Malick Ba

Revisiting Donald Trump’s Personal Branding

October 11, 2016

Remember my article about Donald Trump? Well 6 months and two major presidential debates later,  I think it’s about time we address how his behaviour, ideologies, and personal branding has developed over this period of time.

After watching the two presidential debates, we are seeing Trump’s colours in a way that doesn’t necessarily add to his qualifications of being the president of the United States. While he’s always said things that have been wild and most of the time outrageous, he’s just hurting his image at this point. Trump’s personal branding has always been about dominance, power, and “respect” (using that one very loosely) through absurd statements. However, when we get closer and closer to election day, it’s obvious that these outlandish comments that he makes are only hurting himself and his chances to become the 45th president of the United States. This entire debate showed that the way Trump perceives himself through his words and actions don’t align with his political abilities.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump answers a question during the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

This election period has only shown that Donald Trump and his personal brand are not compatible in the political realm. The way that he speaks about himself and others are truly indicative that once this election period is over (God forbid he wins), the Trump brand will most definitely take a hit. How? Well let’s start with his recent comments about women. If you hadn’t heard, a video was leaked of Trump in 2005 talking about women in a disgusting way that no presidential candidate should do. Check out the clip below:

 

His arrogance has simply caught up to him.  I know that’s big part of his image and why he’s even in the spotlight, but in order to be a leader of a country, your branding to say the least has to be on point. There is a certain stature that it takes to be a leader, but the way Trump speaks is evident that he’s clearly not the answer. Even watching this debate was cringe worthy. While Hillary Clinton isn’t necessarily a great option, there seems to be no choice. The way that Trump carried himself especially during the first debate showed that his style and branding can’t coexist within this field successfully. With constant interruptions of the moderator, and yelling “wrong…wrong…wrong” after everything Clinton said shows his childish behaviour and clear lack of ability in this context.

k08o5_f-thumbnail-100-0_s-600x0

In other words, Trump’s true image is catching up to him quickly. It still baffles me that someone with no political background who is basically a cartoon character has gone this far into the election process. Personal branding and the way that you present yourself in front of an audience is important, but when does your message get lost in antics? Was it the first debate? Second debate? As soon as he said he was going to run for president? Who knows. Personal branding is a powerful thing if used properly, but it can seriously affect your image in a negative way. You should take notes Donald.

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.

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (October 1 – October 7)

October 7, 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.

 

Dollar Shave Club Releases New Campaign

D: The Dollar Shave Club is one of those miracle brands to say the least. They exploded in terms of visibility and sales after releasing a low budget YouTube commercial called “Our Blades Are F***ing Great“. 4 years later, the video now has over 23 million views. To continue with the success of the brand, they do a great job poking fun at others. In their latest three spots, they are quite clearly mocking Axe and Old Spice shower gel. The first ad, “Massive Hero” shows a product with red packaging that is definitely supposed to look like Old Spice, to which a bodybuilder bursts through the couple looking at the product and flexes in front of him. I’m definitely not doing it justice, check out the spot below!

Hopsy Home Tap

hometap_0

 

M: As the craft beer market in Canada continues to grow at a rapid pace, this new device will be a game changer. Designed by Krups, the Hopsy HomeTap allows craft beer lovers to enjoy a draft-quality pour right into their own household. It dispenses draft beer from Hopsy’s two-litre containers that stay fresh for about two weeks. While it will only be available in 2017, the Hopsy HomeTap is sure to bring a new take on the craft beer industry by bringing the experience into the household.

A Coffee Shop in Toronto Charges Women more than Men

D: These are the type of stuff I like. The headlines that you read and instantly get pissed off until you watch the video and realize the actual meaning. It’s safe to say I fall for click bait a lot! A coffee shop in Toronto changed their prices for the day in a quite funny video that is meant to shine light on the “Pink Tax”. Essentially this is the fact that women pay more for certain goods than men. The idea that women earn less and pay more. Obviously there are several different factors that come in to play when it comes to the reasoning behind higher prices of goods for women, but it still makes for a great video. Check out some of the reactions below, and the site that explains more about The Pink Tax and how you can get involved.

 

Tomb Raider Matomb-raider-photokes it Snow in New York

D: Experiential advertising done right! To promote the launch of the new Tomb Raider game, the brand staged a 2,000 pound Jeep dangling from a 64 3D billboard in Times Square. Over the course of the next four weeks the billlboard will be pumping out fake snow which is sure to draw in anybody walking by. It captures the climate of the game well as Lara Croft is always going through insane adventures in all sorts of weather conditions. Now if I had a ps4, this would probably motivate me enough to at the very least test out a demo of the game. Executions like this push buttons and force consumer conversations. I don’t know a single person in my network that wouldn’t want to Snapchat this billboard.

 

 

Kit-Kat: Chance the (W)rapper

M: Any Chance fans in the building tonight? Kit-Kat teamed up with Chance The Rapper for their Halloween themed wrappers. The Chicago hip-hop star is shown shopping in a local grocery store in his Halloween costume when suddenly he hears his voice coming from a Kit-Kat bar. His face is then shown on the wrapper in which he sings the classic “Gimme a Break” Kit-Kat jingle. The significance of this is that it’s the jingle’s 30th birthday, and who better to serenade the classic jingle than Chance The Wrapper? Check out the spot below:

 

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

 

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (September 24 – September 29)

September 30, 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.

Snapchat Unveils ‘Spectacles’

D: A few days ago, Snapchat (now Snap Inc.) unveiled a video for ‘Spectacles’. Spectacles is the brands take on wearable tech. We all know how Google Glass didn’t take off, evidently since you probably don’t know anyone with them..but I think there might be something here for Snapchat. The glasses will be able to record videos or take pictures and upload them directly to your Snapchat Memories. This is all done without even taking out your phone, and basically just makes taking creepy pictures even easier. The glasses will be out for a limited time and will cost $130 a pair. We’ll revisit this article after their released and banned from schools! Check out the :30sec video for Spectacles.

Tim Hortons Celebrates “National Coffee Day”

D: In case you didn’t know, today (September 29th) is National Coffee Day. Tim Hortons of course celebrated in the most Canadian way possible. The brand started a “pay-it forward chain”. They gave away 100 special edition Tim Cards to random locations across Canada and are valid for one free small coffee. After using it once it is reloaded, and you are encouraged to pass it on to someone else and “pay-it forward”. The chain will keep going until 10,000 coffees have been given away or 10 days have passed. This is a pretty creative way to execute the phrase “pay-it forward”, and fits in extremely well with the Tim Hortons brand. The brand is encouraging people to share their pay-it stories at http://www.everycup.ca/.

David Beckham and Kevin Hart Star in  H&M’s ‘The Road Trip’

Two two completely different personalities starred in yet another funny ad for the clothing brand. The Road Trip is a 5 minute long video that follows Kevin Hart and David Beckham wearing H&M’s new modern essentials collection. The great part about the ad is that the two stars are constantly wearing something new in almost every scene, and they are wearing the same exact outfit. It shows the diversity of the looks that H&M carries, because if you haven’t noticed the two men look completely different. I don’t want to spoil the video for you but the tagline “All you need is the essentials” is communicated perfectly. Check out the video below.

 

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

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 (September 10 – September 16)

September 16, 2016

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

Written by Malick and Dakarai.

Old Spice Recruits Von Miller for New Ad

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

Click here to find the other ad in the series.

The Energizer Bunny Gets a Makeover

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

energizer-bunny

Roli Seaboard Rise 49

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

roli

YouTube Gets Social

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

 

Virgin: Rock The Vote

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

 

DJ Khaled Goes Undercover for Lyft

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

 

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

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (September 3 – September 9)

September 9, 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.

Kijiji Goes on a Campus Tour

In an effort to reach millenials, Kijiji has set out to bring an experiential event to 5 college/university campuses in Toronto, Canada. What’s the experiential event you ask? A giant ball-pit filled with 65,000 balls and packed with prizes to go home with. Four students at a time can dive into the pit, and they are given 30 seconds to find whatever they can. This is basically a dream come true and a great way to kick off the school year. One thing to ask is, what does this have to do with Kijiji? Through the research, Kijiji found that for millenials, “finding a good deal for them can be a source of pride and empowerment,”. Having them literally find prizes through an unexpected ball-pit is a cool way to execute that message. However, I don’t think this message is clear at first glance.

 

Does Equis Reveals the New “Most Interesting Man in the World”

Earlier this year, the brand announced the departure of their iconic “Most Interesting Man in the World” for a decade, Jonathan Goldsmith. On Wednesday, through a 30 second YouTube spot, the brand revealed the new face of the brand, Augustin Legrand. At the end of the video, we see Augustin looking at Jonathan on TV, in which the bartender asks him, “Think anyone will ever be as interesting as him?”. Check out the video below for his response. Great teaser spot, and I’m sure there will lots more to come

 

Apple Recaps their Launch in “Don’t Blink”

Let me start off by just saying, “Wow”. Apple has done it yet again. After holding their iPhone 7 Launch Event, they decided to sum up all the details of the new phone, as well as the new Apple Watch in a fun and engaging 107 second video. Now what’s so special about the video? Well you’ll have to see for yourself but I found it to be a truly pleasing video that makes you want to learn more about the iPhone 7. Although the jokes and the memes took over the internet at lightning speed, regarding the removal of the headphone jack, I think the way they introduced this removal was fascinating. In the video it mentions that they wanted to “reinvent something that had not been touched in 100 years”. Nicely done.Check out the video below.

 

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

Dakarai Turner

The Battle of the Stories: Snapchat vs Instagram

September 6, 2016
Instagram Stories

Instagram Story

It’s been a little over a month since the introduction of the Snapchat copy/paste, Instagram Stories, and I think it’s fair to say that the platform hasn’t necessarily “blown” up yet. The social network carries an impressive 500 million monthly active users (as we spoke about in a June weekly recap), but converting people to ditch Snapchat is going to take a lot longer than they may have anticipated. I mean, we can’t all have the growth of Pokémon Go at the end of the day. Last week, the number’s revealed results that weren’t exactly too shocking if you’ve been observing your Instagram feed the last month.

“About a month into the launch of Instagram’s Stories feature, we are still not seeing a significant increase of time spent in the app versus Snapchat,” said by Danielle Levitas, the SVP of a research group in the U.S. that conducted a study on both platforms. Maybe it’s just me, but I follow almost 700 people on Instagram, and on any given day I don’t see any more than 15 Stories, which is mostly by public figures and brands. The majority of my friends just simply aren’t using it. One thing I did notice is that whenever I would post an Instagram Story, the amount of views I would receive would almost triple my Snapchat views. This is likely the case with most people. You have more followers on Instagram than friends on Snapchat. With that being said, this is the reason why we love Snapchat so much.

Snapchat is Personal

Instagram is your personal brand, while Snapchat is your personal life. By this I mean that we generally post things on Instagram that show us at our best, whether that’s some sort of accomplishment or simply the best possible picture of you at an event. Your Instagram feed is for capturing memories (in my opinion). Now Snapchat on the other hand, is for capturing moments. These are things that you want to share with people right now, and that won’t necessarily matter tomorrow. To some of you this may be incredibly obvious, but this is the reason why I don’t think Instagram Stories will be able to replace Snapchat. The two apps serve different purposes.

Although the reach potential is higher on Instagram, you don’t really post Stories to see how many people are going to view them, unless you’re promoting something or trying to create awareness. For brands, Instagram Stories works well because of the sheer size of the audience. For regular people posting funny selfies and embarrassing videos of their friends, Instagram probably isn’t the best platform.

With that being said, there are a lot of improvements Instagram needs to make in order to have people flocking towards it. For starters, distancing themselves from Snapchat would be great. As of right now it appears as the lesser exciting twin of Snapchat, and in order to grow, they’ll need to establish themselves as a separate entity. There needs to be clear features on Instagram Stories that can’t be done on Snapchat. Obviously this is easier said than done.

Instagram Stories

The fact is, it’s only been a month. I personally think that there will be plenty of interesting updates to come to Instagram Stories throughout the rest of the year. And as always, we’ll be talking about them here! For now, you can follow me on Instagram and look out for my amazing stories. Also, I’d love to know your thoughts on both platforms, so drop us a comment below!

 

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

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (August 27 – September 2)

September 2, 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.

 

Tim Hortons Expands to the U.K.

Just last week, the QSR that is synonymous with Canadian culture announced plans to open locations in the U.K, as well Scotland and Wales. With Tim Hortons being so heavily attached to what it is to “be Canadian”, it will be very interesting to see they brand themselves in Europe. The question will be whether or not Tim HortoTim Hortons U.K. Expansionns tries to bring a taste of Canada to Europe, or if they attempt to fit in with the other dominating QSR’s. A representative of the brand backed up their decision by saying: “Great Britain is an attractive QSR market with a strong and growing coffee culture so it is a natural fit for the brand.”. One thing that is for sure, it will probably take quite some time for anyone in Europe to realize that Tim Hortons is actually named after a Canadian hockey player.

 

 

Instagram Adds Zoom Feature to Photos and Videos

Now is this news? You be the judge, but it seems pretty outrageous it took Instagram 6 years to add a feature that is so basic in its nature. Now you can creep just a little bit better by zooming into whatever image you would like. With the introduction of this new feature, it opens up creative opportunities for brands. Check out a few examples of brands already utilizing the zoom feature in their posts. it goes without saying that these will be much more interesting if you’re on mobile.

A cheesecake so nice, we put it here twice! Zoom in and find which cheesecake appears twice in our picture. Can you name it? 🔎

A post shared by The Cheesecake Factory (@cheesecakefactory) on

 

Graffiti Alley Plays with VR

Graffiti Alley, the popular Toronto tourist attraction has pimped out their Instagram account to give people the experience of visiting the downtown location from the comfort of their phones. 800 images stitched together, and 1,300 Instagram posts has created a masterpiece. It’s a creative way to show off the visually stunning area, and entice people to visit the real thing. Check out their Instagram page here on mobile to get the full experience.

Graffiti Alley

 

Graffiti Alley

 

 

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

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (August 20 – August 26)

August 26, 2016

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

Written by Malick and Dakarai

 

Sears Canada Gets a Makeover

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

Sears Logo

Domino’s Pizza Drone Delivery

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

New Sponsor Forgives Ryan Lochte

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

Facebook Live Stream

fb live

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

Fb live 2

Charity Brands Partner Together To Create A Messenger Bot

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

 

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

Dakarai Turner

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

August 23, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (August 13 – August 19)

August 19, 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

 

McDonald’s Promotes “Step-It Toys”

D: Through a series of online videos and a TV spot, McDonald’s is promoting their latest Happy Meal toy that is a step counter for kids. For some, perhaps on the older side you’ll be wondering since when McDonald’s has been promoting a healthy lifestyle. The answer to that is for quite some time. McDonald’s has been working endlessly to shed away this image that eating their food will automatically turn you fat. What I see here is a strong play at a younger audience, as well as the parents to reposition McDonald’s in peoples minds. For people such as myself, McDonald’s will always carry that “Supersize Me” stigma. However, for a younger audience, that film doesn’t even exist in their minds. Although as of today, the toys are being pulled for allegedly causing skin rashes, it was a good idea while it lasted.

McDonald's step-it toy

 

SiriusXM-Dick’s Pizza

M: Well known ad agency Taxi (Toronto) really did it with this one. They created an advertisement for SiriusXM about a fake pizza place titled “Dick’s Pizza”. The purpose however was not to promote pizza, but rather to promote a comedy festival. Which seems appropriate as the word “dick” is mentioned about a million times. I get if you aren’t into this kind of humour, but I think the innuendos are perfect for this type of audience. The video below highlights everything hilarious about the concept. Am I immature for laughing at this? Don’t answer that.

 
Usain Bolt Becomes a Meme

D: If you have been following the Olympic Games even slightly, you know how special it was watching Usain Bolt compete in the 100m dash once again. As predicted, he came first. What truly made this special was the photo of Usain Bolt creating distance between his competitors and looking back with a grin. The memes began instantly! Check out a few of my favourites below.

 
Kanye West Pop-Up Shop

M: When I got into work this morning about 3 or 4 people starting asking me about the Kanye West pop up shops downtown. Obviously being a huge Kanye fan I was intrigued. Hundreds of people have lined up along Ossington from Queen St W all the way to Argyle St this morning to check out a pop up shop by none other than Yeezus himself. The pop up shops contained merchandise that any die hard Kanye fan would love.20160819-pablostorepopup590-16

With his concert just a few weeks away, I think this is a great way to not only promote yourself, but get people in #TeamYeezy gear before the big show. Something tells me that the price tag wouldn’t be nice on the wallet though. Check out this cool exclusive Toronto Kanye gear below:

20160819-pablostorepopup590-09

Aldo Launches a Digital Concept Store

D: The Canadian shoe and accessory retailer has launched a digital concept store in New York City that aims to improve customer experience. Upon entering the store, visitors will receive notifications to download the Aldo app. This is where they can look up product availability by store, create a wishlist, and look up other information about the product. Looking for a sales rep is so 2015, right? it will be cool to see how this is developed when brought to their other stores across North America.

Aldo digital store

 

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

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (August 6 – August 12)

August 12, 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

 

Star Wars: 

M: Does this count as an ad? Well technically it counts as a promotion. As a big Star Wars fan, I love that they are already getting the ball rolling by releasing tidbits of information about the new film that’s set to come out next year. There’s no surprise that the success of all the promotions, advertisements, and experiential marketing efforts behind the first instalment of the latest Star Wars serious would come around again this time. By releasing trailers this early, it gets the fans engaged and more importantly, building anticipation for the film’s release. This trailer in particular does a great job at hinting at some possible plot lines. Because Star Wars is already a massive series, it’s easy for fans to piece together bits of information released from the trailers and try and figure out the entire plot line. Check out the links here and here for some interesting ideas about what we’ve learned so far from the movie.

 

 

Nike: Unlimited Together

M: How good is Nike at making athletic commercials? This commercial is all about the unification of the U.S men’s and women’s Olympic basketball teams (both powerhouses by the way) in Rio. This commercial features a “theme” resembling a national anthem type feel from one of my favourite artists Chance the Rapper. The ad features this theme over inspiring black and white shots with some of the biggest stars in USA basketball. Some of the big names include Kyrie Irving, Draymond Green, and Elena Delle Donne. Unlimited Together is an inspiring advertisement with the sole purpose of not only uniting these two teams together in their pursuit for gold during the Olympics but gathering support from back home as well. Pretty cool. Now excuse me while I throw the song on my iPod.

 

 Temptations-Treat Them Too

M:I don’t care how old you are, or where you’re from-everyone loves a good cat video. Temptations, an established kitty treat company, has released a hilarious advertisement based off of the keyboard cat video from years ago that went viral. This 80’s style ad is geared towards cat owners with the sole purpose of reminding them that cats need love too! The video features cats playing instruments (lol) to a theme talking about just that. I think this is a hilarious commercial mainly because its straight up cats doing things  that cats don’t normally do. I have a very basic sense of humor when it comes to these things. Cats need love too-and Temptations did a great job outlining this in this cheesy commercial. Check out the video below.

 

U.S. Mall Joins the Pokémon Go Craze

D: At this point there seems to be daily news coming out Pokémon Go, from businesses hoping on the bandwaggon, to outrageous meet ups. Colonie Center, a mall in Albany, NY decided to take advantage of their Pokégym status by staging re-decorating their lobby into a battle arena. Not only this bus there are two small phone kiosks appropriately positioned in the lobby, just in cause you were looking to get a battery pack or phone case. It seems as though many businesses have tried to capitalize on the somewhat zombie like symptoms of some Pokémon Go players by bringing products as close to them as possible. Check out a picture of the lobby below.

mall-pokemon-go-poke-gym

 

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