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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…

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 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.

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, 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.


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.

Malick Ba

The Wild and Wacky Branding of Donald Trump

March 29, 2016

First let me start this off by saying in no way do I support this man in any aspect.  That being said, Donald Trump has seen massive success in branding himself and getting exposure as a result. I can’t remember the last time I logged on Facebook or Instagram and haven’t seen posts about the republican presidential hopeful.  However, he’s become someone that everyone loves to hate (with very good reason). His illogical, goofy, wild personality attracts negative publicity like bees to honey.  The other day I was having a conversation with a friend and we asked ourselves “how on Earth is this guy still even a thing?”, knowing well that we had been having that same conversation a year ago. But that’s exactly why he’s still relevant. The longer the US election period progresses, the more radical and wacky things are becoming when looking at Trump. He keeps opening his very large mouth, and we keep freaking out about it. Below I’m going to break down some of the reasons why I think Trump is a successful brand, but still a shitty person.

He speaks his mind

We’ve all heard this one. I have daily conversations about this clown, but one of the more recent ones with a friend (who I’ll call Steve) shocked me a little bit. Steve and I had been hanging out one night having a conversation about Trump. He told me that while he doesn’t tumblr_nsptouEpyC1sttla5o1_500agree with any of his ridiculous statements, Steve still appreciated the fact that he has the ability and image of power that he can just say whatever he wants. While I was pretty quick to disagree with Steve, I immediately connected that comment to hundreds of other people saying the same thing. People love confidence, and that is a huge part of branding.  Is his confidence and lack of filter (or “chill” for my millennials out there) really overriding the fact that he’s a monster and might actually ruin the world? Who knows, but his efforts in branding himself this way are proving beneficial in terms of exposure.

He’s easy to hate, and that gets everyone talking.

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Remember my Kanye West article? It’s the same kind of principle. While being two completely different people, some of the things that make these two guys easy to hate is their ability to get people to disagree with them. I personally don’t know anyone who supports Trump (thankfully), in fact almost everyone I know has something negative to say about him, and they have.He’s an easy person to hate because of the hateful things that he says. It’s so ridiculous that how could you not post on social media about it? I’m doing that right now! No publicity is bad publicity, and he’s structured his branding around that same sort of concept.

His ties to money.

dollabills-kenny-powers-donald-trump1991-Trump’s Taj Mahal (Atlantic City). 1992-Trump Plaza Hotel (Atlantic City). 2004-Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts.  2009-Trump Entertainment Resorts. These are four times that Trump has filed for bankruptcy.   So why does everyone have the perception that he’s got money to blow? But more importantly that he is still swimming in it. While despite filing for bankruptcy on multiple occasions, Trump’s branding has positioned himself as a man who has an endless wallet.

While a few of these occasions were kept on the down low, the further his campaign comes along the faster people are doing their research. Unfortunately for the world, his tie to billions of dollars comes with the name. His past as a “successful” businessman mixed with his insane personality has combined to prove that if you have a strong brand that is connected to money and/or power, it will be hard to disconnect. This hype Rae Sremmurd track only reinforces this.

So despite the endless negative publicity Donald Trump gets on the internet, this might just be a part of his big plan. The articles, memes, and air time reserved for this man is getting him exactly what he wants: exposure. His personal brand has shown that time and time again, if you do or say outrageous things, there will always be repercussions positive or not.  But that’s not necessarily the point. What are your opinions on Donald Trump’s branding? Is it successful? Is he still the worst? Let us know.

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



Will I get in Trouble for Texting? And Do You Have WIFI? – Millennials in the Workplace

March 18, 2016

Guest Article By: Linnea Franson

 Whether it comes to working part-time while you’re in school, or landing your first “real person” position, there is always an eclectic mix of age groups on the job. We are all pretty familiar with the Baby Boomer generation (1945-1960), and even Generation X (1961-1980). The children of the Baby Boomers known most popularly as “Millennials” consist of people born between 1980 to 2000 and are (brace yourself) the biggest generation is U.S. history to date. That’s right, not only are millennials different than those that have gone before us, but are also more numerous than any other generation.

According to Deloitte, millennials will make up three-quarters of the workforce by 2025. But hold on a second… aren’t millennials all lazy, selfish and entitled brats??? A notion exists that millennials are nothing more than the “victims of their parents’ success” as Jennifer Graham says in her millennial-bashing article in the Boston Globe. How is this tech-savvy, yet minimally employable bunch of Snapchatters going to fit the rigid corporate mold? Hang on to your iPads folks as I attempt to answer these questions, investigate these claims and discover if there is more to this millennial mystery.

TECH – (Tech)nically an issue or opportunity?:

Ah yes, Macbooks, iPhones, tablets and the internet. As millennials, we have certainly come of age during an interesting time consisting of technological change and globalization. We grew up with the internet, cell phones and social media being the norm. But what does this mean? According to Goldman Sachs, growing up during the millennial boom has provided us with a different set of behaviours and experiences than our parents. As a generation of digital natives, an affinity for all things tech related has helped shape how we receive information, shop and even how we work.

When I had to explain to my father what an IM was when I was 11, I knew not all generations were not always on the same page when it came to technology and social media. Here I am 12 years later showing him how to use an Apple Tv. It is clear that an affinity for technology sets us millennials apart from other generations. But is there more to this picture?

Its safe to say that technology has changed the way we do and think about work, and perhaps this is translated into a new attitude about the workplace. The millennial point of view says that there has to be a better path to making things fast, flexible and effective. According to Jay Gilbert’s article published in the Ivy Business Journal, millennials are generating a shift in how work gets done as they “work more in teams and use more technology.” Speaking as a millennial, I would claim that technology equates to flexibility, as we now have the ability to work anywhere at any time. Human interaction and information is always just one text, e-mail or Google search away. Cloud software allows us to collaborate with colleagues from anywhere with a wifi signal. Perhaps we millennials aren’t any more eager to escape the office than the next guy; we’ve simply have the means to do so.

Let’s put this together:

So are we lazy? Are we selfish? Do all millennials feel entitled? I’m not so sure this is an accurate generalization of my generation. We are all different. It would be unfair to claim that all baby boomers suck in the tech department. Yet, following this same logic, it would be unfair to claim that all millennials are lazy, selfish and entitled.

What if instead of being lazy, we were practical? – Why would we do something simply because that’s the way its always been done? Technology gives us the means to disrupt the traditional workplace and still be productive.

What if instead of being selfish we were self-giving and self-reflective? – Who doesn’t like having the freedom to work during the hours of the day when they are most productive? And who doesn’t like taking more time to do the things that they love? Technology allows us to work quickly, remotely and flexibly.

What if instead of us “feeling entitled” we felt empowered by technology? We can shake-up the workplace and make a difference with our skills.

Each generation brings different skills and perspectives to the workplace that we all need to be aware of. We all need to be open to and conscious of these differences to achieve progress in our workplaces. Millennials have gotten a bad rap about being entitled, lazy and too consumed with technology, but I would argue that this is not the whole story.

What one person may lack in the tech department, they may make up for in the experience department. To overcome our millennial stereotypes, we need to learn from those with more experience and allow technology to enhance our careers rather than distract us from having an impact. The key is to be open to generational differences, and embrace them, because the truth is that we all bring something unique and valuable to the boardroom table. We can’t always Netflix and chill, but we can always focus on our strengths.

Linnea Franson is a tech-savvy post-grad living in Toronto, Canada with a knack for writing and an interest in media. Equipped with her critical thinking skills and outgoing personality she is always up for a professional challenge. When she’s not in the office, you can find her enjoying nature, running marathons for fun or eating too much Nutella. Follow her on Instagram, and connect with her on LinkedIn.

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (February 28th-March 4th)

March 5, 2016

Want to stay up-to-date with the new trends, products, campaigns, announcements and more throughout this past week? Say no more, we got you covered with our first ever weekly recap.



The 88th Annual Academy Awards

#OscarsSoWhite was the butt of the joke throughout the Oscars Sunday night. With all the controversy surrounding the Oscars, you would think that the viewers would increase, right? Wrong. Viewership decreased by 8 percent compared to the previous year. 34.4 million viewers tuned in, and the average cost for commercials ran at $2M.

It will be interesting to see what sort of changes the Oscars decides to make for next year. Even with #OscarsSoWhite taking over social media, the Academy Awards still hit its lowest reach amongst 18-49 year olds in 20 years. Needless to say, I caught the re-run online. Congrats, Leo.


The business oriented social network giant LinkedIn released it’s first tv spot during Sunday night’s Academy Awards. The commercial runs with the idea of being prepared for jobs you didn’t know were available. We can’t all be qualified to be astronauts, but the ad does a great job proving a point. Check it out below!


Reebok does experiential marketing correctly with their digital ad that unlocks a free pair of sneakers if you run past it fast enough in Stockholm, Sweden. Just reading that sentence, you begin to create a visual of people looking strange in public sprinting past a digital board outside. This ad creates public interest and creates an interaction with the brand by challenging the public, at this point what more could you ask for? Check out a video of the stunt below


Apple finally joined Twitter (Not counting Apple Music)! In a world where not having a company Twitter account in 2016 seems insane, Apple was obviously able to pull it off. They recently started their Twitter account @AppleSupport which does just that, providing customer support and tips/tracks for Apple products. With just under 140k followers in under two days, it goes without saying that Apple will have no issue when it comes to a presence on Twitter. It will be interesting to see what Apple chooses to do with this new and direct voice in the future.


A pizzeria in the U.K. used runners to deliver pizza. Great headline off the bat, now let me explain. Sodo, a U.K. pizzeria teamed up with a local running club to bring Pizzas to homes with nothing but their two feet. Customers could track their delivery runners through a live Periscope stream and even communicate messages. As a result of this one-day campaign, Sodo sold out of pizzas in just three hours, with the proceeds going to “Run Dsodo-runner-hed-2016em Crew”, a local running charity

A great one-day campaign like this would be enough for me to suddenly want to order a pizza I didn’t need, and I don’t usually cave in that easy. Do you think this is something that could work in North America with a larger pizza brand, or not? Check out a video of the stunt here.



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

Dakarai Turner

All-Star Weekend: Where Advertising Happens

February 17, 2016

Being the huge basketball fan that I am, and a Toronto native, it was only mandatory that I be glued to my screen throughout All-Star Weekend. This is exactly what happened, and I loved every moment of it.

One thing I did notice though, was the huge amount of branding being shoved in my face almost every moment. The ads were very Super Bowl-esque in their extravagant nature, but even better since they involved the NBA players themselves.

I’ve put together some of the top sponsors throughout the weekend:


 KIA Motor-Sports

KIA is the first non-apparel brand to be featured on an NBA jersey, and this is a huge deal. Having your brand appear in essentially every picture taken of a player, and on every All-Star jersey available in retail stores across the U.S and Canadais the kind of publicity that must be worth the hefty price tag attached to it. Anyone that watches the NBA is aware of KIA’s branding due to the various commercials starring LeBron James, and the sponsorships, including Sunday Night’s All-Star Game, which is the main event of the weekend.

kia jersey

The 2016 West All-Star Jersey


 State Farm

Through the hilarious NBA commercials and sponsoring the State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, State Farm and their “Meet the Hoopers” campaign, which was debuted throughout the weekend has created a fun image for such a boring industry. Attaching themselves with NBA broadcasting is a fantastic way to reach a young, energetic, and tech savvy audience. Continuing this relationship is just as important. It will establish a sense of loyalty and recognition amongst NBA fans. When it comes time to think about auto, homeowners, or life insurance, take a guess which brand will be at the top of their mind? Well, I’m in Canada so it will probably be AllState.

Taco Bell, Foot Locker, and Verizon

taco bell skillsAll three of these brands were involved in sponsoring an event under the Saturday Night umbrella: the Taco Bell Skills Competition, the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, and the Verizon Slam-Dunk Competition. Just about the only one that makes sense right off the bat would be Foot Locker, but hey Taco Bell has been a long time sponsor, so it’s basically tradition at this point.


Intel, the multinational technology company partnered with the NBA to provide 3D generated experiences of key moments throughout the game. Essentially every time there was a big dunk, or an elaborate play, they would cue to “the Intel instant replay and watch the 3D magic. This was through the use of “FreeD format” which uses 28 cameras and intel technology to recreate the video in 3D. Check out an example below:

Aside from some of the cringe worthy brand placements in otherwise normal sentences, All-Star weekend was undeniably a success. The NBA is doing something truly special in the moments that they create, for not only the players, but also the audiences and even brands they partner with.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to stop at a Taco Bell on my way to the KIA dealership, in my brand new Jordan shoes purchased at none other than Foot Locker.


Dakarai Turner is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing. Armed with strategic thinking, people skills, and a cheeky smile, he is ready to get his career started in client relations for an advertising agency in Toronto. In his free time he will most likely be eating, browsing AdWeek, or studying Donald Draper. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect on LinkedIn to learn more about him.