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Dakarai Turner

The Keys to a Successful Rebrand: Freedom Mobile

December 5, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

Me Too

October 17, 2017

First and foremost, I’m obviously not a woman. My experiences and outlook on life are completely different than that of a woman’s. But over the past few days or so, I noticed an interesting trend on social media. Countless women I know on my Facebook feed are writing their status as “Me Too”. Confused as to what they are reacting to, I did a quick google search and realized that it was a pretty big deal. #MeToo is going viral as it’s purpose is to spread awareness of women who have been sexually harassed. It goes without saying that seeing so many women on my Facebook post this status is not only alarming but honestly pretty upsetting.

Some men I know (and honestly my initial thoughts are included in this), one of my first reactions was that this kind of assault that happens to women I know, definitely happens to men as well. Why aren’t people spreading awareness about that? Then I quickly caught myself-that’s almost an entirely separate issue in its own with specific exception. By thinking saying that, it’s basically saying “all lives matter” which is used as a silencing tool for people who can’t actually accept that there is an actual issue going on. Realizing this, I understand the importance of a campaign like this. It’s hard to believe that this wouldn’t have stemmed from the Harvey Weinstein case that’s arisen in the last few weeks.

This doesn’t stem from any large budget marketing campaign, or creative advertisement, but the #MeToo trend effectively captures the essence of what the campaign is about-personal experience. Like I said, I’m not a woman. I don’t experience the world the same way a woman would, but seeing women I know, my friends, post this as their status shows that assault and harassment happens a lot more close to home than you’d think. But what men can do to respond to this is to accept that this is a massive issue. It’s an issue that affects people we know and love so it’s how we respond to a campaign like this is what will determine the outcome.

The campaign has reached notable like Alyssa Milano, Lady Gaga, Sophie Bush and more. From my perspective, the goal of the campaign should be to shift people’s perception of cases like this. We often speak of cases that say how many women were assaulted, not how many men did the assaulting. The power and magnitude of a campaign like this can change how we speak about issues like this. For all my boys out there, let’s not react to this negatively. Let’s listen to our female friends and understand where they are coming from and what our role is in the solution.

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.

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.

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.

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 (August 26-September 1)

September 1, 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 happened this week in our recap below!

Written by: Malick, Nick, and Dak

Houston Relief

M: While this isn’t necessarily a specific ad, I had to write about it. As we are all very aware, the flooding that’s happening right now in Houston is devastating. People are forced to flee their homes to save themselves. Charity organizations like The Red Cross are currently raising funds to help those in need, but one of the most amazing things I’ve seen is the number of celebrities pulling together to donate their earnings and bring awareness to the cause. Celebrities like The Rock, Kevin Hart, and most notable Texans super star J.J Watt have raised millions of dollars to help those in need. Watt in particular raising over $10 million. What I found amazing about what I’m seeing is that they are turning it into a challenge where they call out other celebrities to step up and help too. I’ve seen a number of these challenges that don’t really push people to do anything meaningful, but it was nice to see actually helping people turn into a trend.

York Region Removes Ad After Public Backlash

D: York Region, a municipality within the GTA recently released a public health campaign. However, one of the particular ads stood out as it appeared to be victim blaming women that are sexually assaulted. The out-of-home ad shows a shocked girl looking at her phone with Instagram screengrabs below of posts by men that were partying. Check out the caption below..yikes! After the immediate social media backlash, York Region announced on Twitter they will be removing the ad and they issued an apology. If you had to be reminded, this is what the power of social media and an upset audience brings.

Diversity and German Supermarkets

M: Diversity is strength-there’s no disputing it. With immigration tension rising all over the world, a German supermarket proved that without immigrants and diversity, we would be worse off. To emphasize the importance of diversity and acceptance, Edeka (the German supermarket) emptied it’s inventory of all foreign made products. Images of the store’s bare shelves went viral as it really put immigration and the importance of global diversity into a context that everyone can understand. I think this is fantastic-and I would like to see the same thing happen here in Canada. With tension surrounding out borders rises, a method like this really helps people understand that immigrants have built this country and bring so much with them. I love it.

The Air Canada Centre Gets a New Name

N: Well, damn. The marketing brass at MLSE earned themselves some hefty bonus cheques this week courtesy of a new naming rights deal for their main venue. The Air Canada Centre (or ACC) will no longer be the Air Canada Centre (or ACC). Instead Toronto will be going to events at Scotiabank Arena (though we’ll probably still call it the ACC). The 20-year deal went for a whopping $800 million. That’s $40 million per year if you don’t want to pull out your calculator. For contrast, Air Canada paid $4 million for the previous deal signed in 1999.

This is exactly as outrageous as it sounds. Scroll to the bottom of this article from last year for some comparisons. Is the ACC (yes, the ACC) actually worth twice as much as some of the other venue giants in North America? Seems like a long shot.

 

 

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.

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 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.

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap: August 5-11

August 11, 2017

It’s been a while since we’ve done one of these! As we all know, Advertising and Marketing is a business of speed, so there’s no doubt that sometimes it can be hard to keep up with the latest and greatest. Not to worry, as usual The MAD Mix has you covered. Check out our weekly recap that shows some of the best in the business!

Boston Pizza: Gather Round

In case you missed it, Canadian-based restaurant chain Boston Pizza  recently released it’s first commercial under it’s new brand positioning and tagline “Gather Round”. The new tagline was designed in an attempt to help capture the interests of millennials, young families, friends and more outside of the “sports fan” type crowd…and they did just that in their latest :60 ad which was released on August 4th, 2017. The spot “Sharing is Awesome” showcases the variety of food, people, and good times that can be had at your local Boston Pizza. I think the spot was successful in doing just that. Check out the spot below:

 

 

Brahma: Respect the Hangout

I should’ve saved this one for the GIF master himself: Dak. Argentinian beer brand Brahma came out with a spot that talks about taking a break from the endless routines and cycles that exist in our lives on a daily basis. It can also imply that we spends way too much time looking at dumb GIFs and memes all day. I think the spot is super clever. Sometimes it’s good to break free of your daily routine and just hang out. The spot begins with the main character and surrounding characters caught in loops, but ends with him hanging out with friends enjoying a nice cold one with the boys. Here’s the spot:

 

#HEYTWITTER

There’s nothing more that pisses me off than seeing social media giants like Twitter, Facebook and more allowing hate speech onto their platform. In order to counteract Twitter’s loose hate-speech policies, Israeli satirist Shahak Shapia took to Twitter’s German head office to give them a piece of his mind on the matter. According to Adweek, Shapia has reported over 300 tweets for containing threats of violence, homophobia, xenophobia, Holocaust denial and more. How many time has he heard back from Twitter? Only 9 times. In an attempt to counteract these loose policies, he said “If Twitter forces me to see those things, then they’ll have to see them too.” He did this by spray painting a number of the tweets he’s seen online on the ground in front of Twitter’s German head office. I loved this as this is something that I see on a constant basis online, and it ultimately puts the pressure on these companies to do something about it.

So that’s it! Some of the best that we’ve seen this week. Think we missed something important? Let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Guest

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

August 4, 2017

Guest Article By: Brandon Sardelis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (March 31 – April 7): Pepsi Edition

April 7, 2017

This is it. A number of you had messaged us about what we were going to say about the infamous Pepsi ad that came out this week-and now we’re here to talk. Because this spot sparked some of the biggest discussions in advertising, we decided to dedicate this weekly recap to talk solely about Pepsi’s extremely controversial advertisement that the brand has now officially pulled. Here are our thoughts. If you have yet to see the actual video, have a look first.

 

M: Is this the worst advertisement ever? I’m just going to dive right into this. It’s hard to pin point where this went wrong. Was it when they chose to trivialize actual social issues? Was it when they chose Kendall Jenner to be the hero? Was it when they decided that Pepsi heals all wounds? I don’t know, but these factors combined definitely make this one of the worst advertisements I’ve ever seen. As someone who works in advertising, I know that coming up with a creative concept to sell through usually takes multiple versions, with revisions, etc. An initial idea or concept rarely ever gets client approval right on the spot. So it makes me wonder what the process of approval was for this spot?

Me watching the spot

I find it incredibly hard to believe (especially considering the immense amount of backlash) that not one person on that marketing board had stood up and said “hey guys, don’t you see how this could go very, very…very bad?”.  With a company as big as Pepsi, and the logistics behind all of it, how did no one see that this was a horrible idea from the start? Pepsi will ultimately have to regroup on their advertising and marketing processes after this. It truly starts within.

D: Ladies and gentleman, this..this is why you have advertising agencies. This spot was created by PepsiCo’s internal team, and not to say this is the reason it failed, but this shouldn’t go unnoticed. Brands as big as Pepsi need that outside voice that is able to say “No” in a meeting. My guess? There were a few junior members of the PepsiCo team that knew this was not the proper way to “reach millennials”, but didn’t have a say in the matter. Pepsi is a brand that has done a great job in the past connecting to the culture by using figures such as Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, and Beyonce. However, to quote the brand itself, they “missed the mark” with this one.

If I’m being honest, moments like these excite me. Crisis management is such an important skill and also opportunity for a brand. Not to say you should aim for a crisis, but this is truly going to test the strength of Pepsi as a brand. I wouldn’t put it past Coca-Cola to capitalize on this soon either. Now the one thing Pepsi did well is unite the Internet. Check out a couple of our favourite tweets below:

 

That is our recap of the week! We believe it was important to talk about Pepsi from an advertising perspective. This was an ad that truly upset a huge amount of people and that cannot go unnoticed. It will be interesting to watch if people still care in a couple of weeks. By then, who knows what mistake a brand will make next. As always, be sure to follow The MAD Mix on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

 

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.

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.

 

Dakarai Turner

The Trump Effect: How the Use of Trump’s Name Can Effect a Brand

January 24, 2017

The Trump Effect: It’s sort of like the Midas Touch but instead of gold, everything President Donald Trump touches turns to, let’s say coal for now. Whether the coal is evident in the brands that publicly support Trump being boycotted or the musicians agreeing to perform at his inauguration being crucified online, forcing them to change their decision. The Trump effect is alive and well, and brand’s should learn to keep their distance and avoid offering support of the 45th President at this point. The United States are still in quite the divide, with Americans trying to sniff out and weed out the closet Trump supporters out of their lives.

Back in 2016, sportswear company New Balance announced that they felt that “things were going to move in the right direction” with Trump in power, and this narrative quickly turned into “New Balance is the first major brand to publicly endorse Donald Trump after the election”. To add more context, the Vice President of Communications for New Balance was referring to Trump’s opposition of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This is a trade deal that essentially awards production overseas. Seems fair enough to be in support of Trump and his stance when your company produces shoes locally right? Wrong.

As usual, people flocked to Twitter to upload videos of themselves burning New Balance shoes, attempting to flush the shoes down the toilet, or flat out vowing to never buy another pair. A few days later, New Balance tweeted out a statement in an attempt to clarify their position and repair damages. The Trump Effect is no joke.

Most recently, Trump’s name has been involved with retail company L.L. Bean. One of the members of the company board, Linda Bean donated money to the Trump foundation, and there was an uproar on social media once people found out. Grab Your Wallet, a liberal group has been encouraging people to boycott L.L. Bean. Too much, or is it justified? You can check out the response L.L. Bean made to all of this here.

Last week, Trump did his best to repair the damages of the inevitable “Trump Effect” and sent out a tweet encouraging people to support L.L. Bean.

Which brand will The Trump Effect take over next? In general, it’s probably a fairly good rule to avoid political discussion as a brand and to not choose sides. Especially with Donald Trump being such a polarizing figure, choosing to endorse him or to publicly reject him alienates a good amount of your consumers in practically all sectors. The Trump Effect represents division and avoidance, and it works both ways. Shares of General Motors have dropped after the President tweeted about the fact the Chevy Cruze is manufactured in Mexico and not The United States.

Simply put, there are certain things that are just better left unsaid. My prediction is that we will continue seeing brands support/reject Trump throughout the year. The Trump Effect stops for no one. Drop us a comment below with your thoughts!

 

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 (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.

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (December 31 – January 6)

January 6, 2017

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.

 

Domino’s Wipeable Onesie

M: So I know we posted about this yesterday, but I figured we should probably dig a bit deeper. Domino’s UK released a onesie specifically designed to allow someone with greasy pizza hands to wipe over in replacement of a napkin. The “innovation” is definitely creative-along with it’s release. Domino’s UK had reported that New Year’s is one of their biggest sale days of the year (I wonder why…), so pairing the onesie with that selling point was unique. Personally, I don’t ever see myself wearing one of these. There’s something about gross about wiping pizza fingers over your clothing that just simply sounds unappealing…I’ll stick to napkins thanks.

Wendy’s goes full savage mode

D: Wendy’s shocked the world this week by going full savage and ‘roasting’ people on Twitter. This all started with the fast food restaurant tweeting about their fresh never frozen meat, to which a user by name of “Thuggy-D” voiced his disagreement. This created a heated exchange that was clearly won by Wendy’s. Check it out below. 

Now did they stop there? Not at all. Other accounts began tweeting funny things to Wendy’s to see what their response would be. This brought out such gems as “@Wendy’s can you find me the nearest McDonald’s?” To which Wendy’s replied with a picture of a garbage can. This is something that you definitely don’t see often from brands, and it will be interesting to see what they do with all this new found attention on their social accounts. Will there be a new campaign attached to it or has the brand simply had enough of all of the McDonald’s questions?

 

Sears 2.0-What the Sears?

M: There’s no question that Sears has been suffering heavily over the past few years. Recently, Sears opened new doors at CF Promenade in Thornhill, Toronto. The newly rebranded catch platform for the store is “What the Sears”-which according to strategy.ca is to get customers to inquire about the recent changes that they’ve done with the location. The store has been redesigned to encourage simplicity with the customer experience. Ultimately, the focus is on the consumer and how they could simply organize the store to allow for the simplicity they desire. With fixtures instead of frames, and clear visibility throughout the store (which was surprisingly lacking), the iconic brand is hoping to bounce back.

 

L’Oreal introduces the ‘Hair Coach’

D: There’s quite a lot of things we do in our everyday life that could be improved through the use of connected devices. However, before this week I would have never thought of an improvement to the hair brush. Introducing…the ‘Hair Coach’ from L’Oreal. This is a smart-brush that aims to track and analyze your beauty habits to provide you with suggestions and product recommendations for healthier hair. This is done alongside a data-fuelled app. If you’re reading this and thinking that you absolutely need this product immediately, pump your brakes because it won’t be available until later this year. In the meantime, check out a video the brand created to introduce the Hair Coach.

 

 

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 recap of 2016 here. Think we missed something important? Let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook here. Happy New Year!

Dakarai Turner, Malick Ba, Weekly Recap

2016 Annual Recap – The Top 5 Highlights of the Year

December 30, 2016

It goes without saying that 2016 has been quite the year. We’ve witnessed a controversial new president become elected, a fairly high number of celebrity deaths, and of course a plethora of great memes. With all of this going on, we wanted to put together five key moments of the year in relation to advertising and marketing. Check out our recap of 2016 below.

Written by Malick and Dakarai.

 

Instagram’s Competitive Year

Instagram’s new logo introduced in 2016

M: Instagram made some serious competitive moves in 2016. As any frequent Instagram user would know, the ability to display a photo or video for a limited period of time on their profile (also known as a “Story”) was added into the photo sharing app this year. The addition of this allowed fun instances in time to be displayed to whoever is a part of your network. The significance of this more importantly shows competitive action to Snapchat (who basically invented the idea of the Story). From personal experience, a lot of people in my network use their Instagram Story to link off to their Snapchat handle which seems to be counter productive from Instagram’s standpoint, by adding this function in it allows for insight on Instagram’s development from a competitive point of view.

 

Recently, Instagram also added in the ability to “like” comments on someone’s photos which was not previously available. With the importance of staying competitive in the social media game, these additions have really allowed Instagram to develop into an all-purpose platform rather than strictly having the app used for photo sharing. That being said, it will be interesting to see how it develops further in 2017.

Pokémon GO Goes Global

D: If you had told me in 2015 that a year later I’d be walking around downtown staring at my phone and catching Pokémon, I probably would have laughed in your face. To the world’s surprise, this is exactly what happened this past summer. The augmented reality mobile game Pokémon Go was an instant success from the day it was released on the app store. It became quite normal to walk outside and see groups of tweens, teens, adults, and even your grand parents walking around with their phones stuck to their faces in hopes of catching that evasive Pikachu. Because of the games early success, we saw quite the phenomenon with large corporations and small businesses getting involved.

Over the summer, retailers began to offer incentives such as discounts, free WI-FI, and phone charging stations for Pokémon Go players. Fast-forward to the end of 2016 and the game is certainly not as popular as it was in the summer. However, the brand is still trying to figure out new ways to keep the game alive! It will be interesting to see what they do in the new year.

 
R.I.P. Vine

King Bach, Vine star

M: While we did talk about this in one of our previous recaps, Vine’s disappearance from the social media world was a hot topic in 2016. In 2013, Vine was the most innovative, interesting, and entertaining platforms that I’ve ever witnessed. Users could record short video loops of anything they wanted. This turned into what I like to call “YouTube on crack”. Internet personalities like King Bach (pictured right), Jerome Jarre, and Brittany Furlan figured out how to use Vine for entertainment and used those as extensions to their also popular YouTube channels. For me personally, Vine was a lot of fun but I didn’t get on it until years after it was popular. However, 2016 claimed the six-second social media innovation for its own. With a lack of staying current, the development of Snapchat, and the success of Instagram, there was simply no room for Vine. This is the first time that I was there for the development of a social media platform as well as its end, so for me it came down to one thing: Vine’s lack of progress in recent years goes to show that staying competitive in any sphere of advertising and marketing is a key for success.

 

The Meme Takeover

D: Every year we have our fair share of memes and viral hits, but for 2016 there were two that stood out. Although completely separate on the surface, The Mannequin Challenge and Harambe had similarities. For starters, they were “brand-proof”. Unlike, the “Damn Daniel” meme that was easily attached to Vans shoes, The Mannequin Challenge and Harambe were both created organically and didn’t carry a brand attachment.

The Mannequin Challenge started in November in a High School classroom, and quickly turned into a video fad where groups of people would pose in a typically funny way as if they were mannequins. Simple, funny, and cooperative were the driving factors for this meme’s success.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! #mannequinchallenge #GiantsPride

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

 

The Harambe meme was one of those things that came as a surprise to everyone. Harambe, the Cincinnati Zoo Gorilla that was shot and killed after a child fell in its enclosure became idolized in 2016. All sorts of merchandise, songs, videos, and candlelight vigils were done in the honour of this Gorilla.

What’s important for brand’s to realize is that they don’t have to be involved in every single thing that happens in 2016. If you have nothing innovative or relevant to contribute when the next big meme comes out, it’s best to just not participate. Leave it for the people to enjoy!

The MAD Mix Won Big!

D: As many of you may know, we took home the “Student Marketer of the Year” award at the CAMP Marketing Awards in November. This was a tremendous accomplishment for us as we’ve done our best to grow The MAD Mix to new heights this past year. What started as a blog that Malick and myself wrote for, quickly extended to a platform that has welcomed over 30 different guest writers across North America. In 2017, we hope to continue to explore new opportunities with The MAD Mix through the addition of new features, team members, and hopefully another shiny award. Check out some of our photos of the event below!

 

That’s our recap of 2016’s best. You can check out all of our previous weekly recap’s here. Think we missed something important? Let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook here. Happy New Year!

Dakarai Turner

Is Instagram a Young Man’s Game or is There Room for Your Parents?

December 27, 2016

The holiday weekend: a time for family, presents, and heated debates around the dinner table. While some families may have been arguing back and forth about President-elect Donald Trump, or any of the other crazy events of 2016, the subject of social media came up at our dinner table. With a wide range of ages present, Instagram managed to makes its way in the discussion. It goes without saying that Instagram is primarily a ‘young persons’ platform, with the majority of their active users fitting in the 18-34 age range. But as we’ve seen with Facebook and Twitter, the older generations tend to catch on eventually and next thing you know you’re getting a follow request from your parents. This was part of the discussion over the weekend. Instagram is a young persons game and is of no interest to those of a 50+ age range. Below is a visual representation of me listening to the family discussion knowing that I will spin it into an article later.

 

So what makes Instagram look like the hip teenager in comparison to other social networks like Facebook and Twitter?

Instagram is visually appealing

I appreciate you reading this and all of our other articles that can be found here, but most of the time people simply want to see images and videos. Instagram is great for it’s appealing photos and minimal text. This is the direction Facebook has been leaning towards. However, we still all know at least a few people that put their whole lives into their status updates. Visuals are the preferred forms of communication amongst a younger audience and this is exactly why you see the GIPHY extension popping up everywhere from iMessage to apps like Tinder. Images are universal and don’t carry a specific language.

 

Instagram is a form of identity

From personal experience I can say that when meeting someone new nowadays, the phrase “what’s your insta?” comes up almost every time if you want to get to know the person further.

Facebook acts as a birth certificate, while Instagram is your passport.

Instagram is that visual representation of the life you have, aspire to have, or simply want others to think you have. It is personal branding on steroids whether you stop to realize it or not. We are living in a time now where we want to be seen more than ever, and the one thing more important than being seen is how you’re being seen. If I look at your birth certificate I will understand the basics of who you are. Now if I look at your passport (assuming you’ve traveled), I can get a sense of your character.

Instagram is ad-free

Aside from sponsored ads that millennials filter out anyway, Instagram as a platform reads as ad-free. Brands have learned how to speak the language and adapt in the ways that young people use it. This means that their posts will generally not have giant 50% stickers on them or even prices for that matter. They will use their profiles for branding purposes in a non-intrusive fashion. One that blends well with your friends posts as well. Check out Air Jodan’s Instagram for a representation of this idea below.

⬛️ + ⬜️ The #AirJordan III Retro 'Black / White' drops Saturday.

A post shared by Jordan (@jumpman23) on

 

So what do you guys think? Are there some other reasons that Instagram isn’t appealing to an older audience yet? I’d love to know your thoughts! Leave a comment below or simply reply to the Facebook post here. Oh, and make sure to follow me on Instagram.

 

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 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.

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!

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.

Malick Ba

The 2016 Election vs The Internet

November 8, 2016

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

 

#ElectionFinalThoughts

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

 

Memes:watchingthis

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

 

Donald Trump’s Twitter Account:

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

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

 

 

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

Dakarai Turner

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

Unlimited Updates: How Facebook Continues to Grow Its Messenger Platform

October 4, 2016

Can we take a moment to just talk about the powerhouse of Facebook Messenger? Over the last couple weeks, it seems as though there’s been a new announcement of upcoming additions to the platform almost every few days. Sweet old Messenger, remember the platform that everyone hated in 2014? Just two years ago, Facebook announced that Messenger would be a separate app that needed to be installed in order to message friends, and the internet went crazy (as usual). Something about “So now I have two apps on my phone to do the work of the one old app? Wonderful. I’d like to leave zero stars but it won’t let me,” which was a review left on the App Store 2 years ago on top of the numerous low ratings that it initially received. This all sounds ridiculous now since no one cares anymore, and Messenger is extremely convenient. Now let’s talk about these updates in the last few weeks alone and the ways they are elevating the overall Facebook brand. Below is my top three.

Facebook Introduces ‘Marketplace’

According to Facebook, 450 MILLION people per month already use Messenger as a platform to buy and sell products, so creating an official marketplace built in seemed only natural. Marketplace will allow users to post items for sale as well as buy items in their general area. Photos will be listed after clicking the icon, and it will show all sorts of items that are being sold, along with the prices and ways to get in contact with the seller. One thing that isn’t available yet is payment through the app, which I’m guessing will be something introduced later down the road as an update. Think of Messenger as the introduction, what happens after that is between the buyer and the seller. Check out Facebook’s video debuting Marketplace here.

facebook-messenger-marketplace

Facebook adds their spin on a ‘Stories’ feature

So after Instagram was criticized for copying Snapchat Stories, it looks like Facebook’s Messenger platform wants a piece of the pie as well. ‘Messenger Day’ will allow users to post photos and videos with fun filters that last only 24 hours…sounds a little familiar, doesn’t it? The platform is being tested out in Poland and I’m sure it won’t be long before it rolls out to North America if successful. According to The Next Web, the feature is being tested out in Poland due to the fact that Snapchat isn’t nearly as big as Messenger for residents. The crazy thing is, more so than Instagram, I can see Stories on Messenger working. One of the flaws concerning Instagram Stories was that no one ever really uses the DM option with their friends. Commenting on someones story would occur in the DM’s, and Yo Gotti has forever stapled a stigma to it. What’s different with Messenger is that people are already using the platform to have conversations with friends. 

Facebook Messenger Stories

Facebook Messenger brings polls to your group chats

Imagine this, you want to go to a restaurant with your friends and start sending recommendations in the group chat. If you’ve been in this position you understand that barely anyone will answer. Now what if there was a way to instantly create a polling system with options that your friends could vote on? Say no more, introducing Messenger ‘Polls’. If you’re anywhere else than the U.S. you may have to wait a little bit of time for this feature.

Facebook Messenger polls

This was just three of the countless announcements that Facebook has been making for messenger over the past few weeks, and as always you can count on us to bring you the latest. Facebook understands its audience extremely well and I don’t think that comes as a surprise to anyone. They are literally figuring out what their users are already using Messenger for, and optimizing it to better serve them. Apple could learn a thing or two from Facebook…although Apple isn’t really hurting right now. 

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

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap: September 17 – September 23

September 23, 2016

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

Written by Malick and Dakarai.

 

#voteIRL

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

Apple Releases a Pair of iPhone 7 Commercials

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

 
Virtual Reality Technology-A Study

mainstream-vr-hed-2016

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

Twitter is Going to Live-stream the Presidential Debates

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

twitter live stream

Facebook Messenger Gets an Upgrade

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

Facebook Messenger Update

 

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

 

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

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.

 

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

Dakarai Turner

Chatbots – The Virtual Assistants You Need to Know About

August 9, 2016

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

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

Whole Foods Chatbot

Sending a pizza emoji brings up pizza recipes

Sending a pizza emoji brings up pizza recipes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

CNN

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

CNN Chatbot

CNN Chatbot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TheScore

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

1-800 Flowers Facebook Chatbot

1-800 Flowers Facebook Chatbot

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

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

 

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

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (July 20 – August 5)

August 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 weekly recap.

Written by Malick, and Dakarai.

 

Instagram Introduces “Instagram Stories”

D: Earlier this week, the social media giant Instagram revealed their newest feature, Instagram Stories. You know the whole idea of Snapchat stories right? Pictures/Videos that last only 24 hours, with the ability to put text over over them, and add filters. Yeah, that is basically Instagram Stories. Moments after announcing this new feature, the memes began to roll in, as expected. Either Instagram thought people wouldn’t make such a big deal out of it being the same as Snapchat, or they are playing for the long-run, hoping they can evolve their Stories feature in a better way. Regardless, I wanted to share with you some of my favourite memes that have surfaced these past couple of days.

 IKEA Releases “Let’s Relax”

IKEA’s latest campaign is intended to remind us of the simple things in life, sharing time with one another cooking, eating, and being together. The brand released a short video that pokes fun at the “Photo First” foodies out there. In 2016, practically everyone knows someone that can’t eat a meal without taking a picture of it and sharing it first. IKEA decided to show just how ridiculous that idea is, using an 18th century setting. This is the first video to start the campaign, as there will surely be more that follows. Although the video is shot well, and is rather funny, is there really anything wrong with taking a picture of your food before you eat? Check out the video below.

 
Suicide Squad Opens Up Shop in Toronto

D: With the blockbuster movie arriving in theatres today (August 5th), a pop up fan experience came to Toronto to get the public in the super villain mood. Warner Bros. Pictures brought the fictional prison from the movie to the Downtown streets of Toronto, where fans could walk through a recreation of the jail cell of one of the movies characters played by Will Smith, named Deadshoot. They are also able to view props from the movie, and smash vases and bottles in a recreation of Harley Quinn’s “Smash Cell”. Basically a dream come true for any Suicide Squad fan. Check out Malick’s article about the promotion behind the movie here.

The Revenge: Pokemon Go-Basel Tourismus

M: Tired of Pokemon yet? Sorry. This one is too good not to share. Basel Tourismus (a Swiss Travel Agency) put together a Pokemon Go inspired video that went completely viral. While we all know that Pokemon are meant to be captured, what happens when they try and catch you? This viral video shows a bunch of people dressed up in Pikachu outfits running around Basel throwing giant pokeballs at tourists.  Personally I think this is not only a funny video, but a great way to combine a popular trend with your business. The video has obtained around 49 million views in the last few days…talk about viral…

Vroom VR Showroom

M: Virtual reality is soooo cool. Vroom-an online used car dealership-has adapted VR technology to bring a new perspective of buying cars. What they’ve done is basically eliminated the difficulties of moving from lot to lot trying to find the perfect car for you. They’ve adapted VR technology in a way in which users can step into a virtual show room in which they can view different models and costs at an almost video game like simulation. I think this is just the beginning of the way consumers can interact with different products of services. It’s crazy to think that this is just the tip of the iceberg for VR technology. It will be interesting to see how Vroom continues to further this technology. Anyone else feel like playing Need for Speed Underground 2?

 

These are some of the key moments we wanted to share with you so far from this week. Anything we missed? Let us know! Check out last week’s special edition 2016 Olympic commercial recap , and be sure to like us on Facebook here.

Dakarai Turner

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

July 26, 2016

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

Twitter Problems

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

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

Twitter Live Stream Political Convention

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

 

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

Dakarai Turner

Caution: Reddit Ahead – Why Brands Should Tread Lightly In Using the Platform

June 28, 2016

Reddit, branded as “The Front Page of the Internet” has quickly grown to be quite the phenomenon. Since launching in 2005, 11 years later, you may have not heard of it, but Reddit has grown to 234 million active users and is usually the reason why something goes viral. If you’ve ever wondered where those immensely popular cat videos or dancing baby videos that you see on Facebook originated from, the answer is more than likely Reddit.

So what makes the platform so special and unique? In my opinion, is that it’s still organic. For the most part you can say exactly what you want to say, where you want to say it, without the embarrassment of having people your personal network view your activity. It is a community driven site in which “Redditors” can submit links to basically anything in a given “subreddit. Each post relies on “upvotes”, where each upvote is essentially one person saying that they like the material being posted, a downvote is the exact opposite. Just check out this screenshot of a few of the links on the front page of the platform. The higher the upvotes, the higher the visibility.

Screenshot of the front page

 

There’s everything from political discussions, to interesting pictures, to a “today I learned” section, which is pretty self explanatory. There are over 800,00 subreddits which are essentially communities or forums. In the subreddit dedicated to politics you’ll find just that, and in a more niche subreddit such as “hiphopheads” you’ll find discussions of new hip-hop music and topics of that nature. Now let’s go back to when I called Reddit organic. I say this because the platform is 100% free to use, and you are unable to pay your way to the top. In a world where you can pay for phony likes on Instagram and Facebook, Reddit upvotes are not for sale.

Now with that being said, how do brands effectively use this platform? First things first, Reddit can be a scary place for even a regular person, let alone a brand. Redditors aren’t scared to tell you exactly how they are feeling in the moment, and will let their opinions be heard. For the most part it’s anonymous, since your real name and picture aren’t plastered all over your account.

The key for brands to survive on Reddit is to be authentic. Understand the community that you are posting in, and follow the rules that each subreddit has established. I’ve always been a big fan for the way the NBA handles Reddit. With such a big organization there is bound to be a community that’s already been formed in your name, and the NBA does a great job interacting with this community. From posting their new ads, to providing original content, such as a Kobe Bryant mixtape, or Steph Curry’s pre-game routine. Content for the fans to enjoy.

 

NBA fans respond in a funny way

NBA fans respond in a funny way

 

The reason every brand isn’t currently putting their marketing efforts into the platform is because of a lack of understanding, and a great degree of fear. Even with myself (a 2 year Reddit user), I’m nervous to make a comment or post a link in fear of what the trolls will have to say to ruin my day. I’m sure with that being said you could understand why brands would be hesitant.

A recent example of the brutal honesty of some Reddit users is with the AMA (Ask Me Anything) community. Wyclef Jean used the platform to promote the 20th anniversary of The Scorea Fugees album. What started out as a discussion about his music quickly went south. Check out a few screenshots below that prompted Wyclef to end the AMA early, and effectively delete his account.

 

Reddit users fire at Wyclef Jean

 

 

Reddit is tricky to master, and although the physical number of audience members is there, brands need to truly assess whether or not this is the right platform to get their message across. What do you think of the platform, and the way brands/public figures use it? Drop a comment below, and be sure to like us on Facebook here for new updates!

 

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 (June 11 – June 17)

June 17, 2016

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

Written by Malick, and Dakarai.

 

Microsoft Acquires LinkedIn

Earlier this week it was announced that Microsoft has acquired the professional network LinkedIn for a staggering $26.2 Billion. If you’re like me you had to read that number over, because it definitely doesn’t seem like LinkedIn is worth that much. Actually, with the deal being $196 per share, Microsoft is paying a 50% premium. They must have something truly special planned to integrate LinkedIn with their existing office platform. Let’s hope this erases the memory of  Microsoft buying Skype in 2011 for $8.5 Billion. Still waiting for that one to take off! Both Microsoft’s CEO and LinkedIn’s CEO discuss the deal in the video below, check it out.

 

Apple demo’s new features at WWDC

If you haven’t read my article about WWDC, I’ll give you sometime to do so and come back. Apple uses WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) every year to announce new changes to existing and completely new platforms/devices. Last year they announced Apple Music, and this year they announced 3x larger emoji’s. I’m sure you can tell what my feelings were towards this years event, but nonetheless a lot of new things will be touching Apple devices this fall. If you want to check out the full list of announcements, check out this article.

wwdc-large_trans++IbTDq2tM-BCxND-etb_WlK5aS0a8yGD2ZYerHXFmKFM

 

This Company Will Give You a Free Bike If You Turn into an Ad

A London company by the name of Buzzbike is giving people free bikes, in exchange for them essentially being a cycling billboard for brands. They are trying to create a buzz for the brands they work with, with bikes..hence the name. There are a few restrictions to be able to have this free bike. One of them being that the user must commit to cycling a minimum of 12 days a month, and park their bike on the street for maximum exposure. It is still in its early stages, but if it ever comes to Toronto, there will definitely be a MAD Mix one!

 

McDonald’s Brings the Peace with Anti-Violence Ad

It’s no secret that an event such as the Euro Cup inspires a lot of passion in people and pride. With this comes aggression in some cases, and things have been getting quite ugly between fans. The most recent example being the clash between England and Russian fans. McDonald’s France saw the opportunity to promote non-violence, and getting along with the other nations in the Euro Cup. The ads pair together two countries into one to show unity and “Come As You Are”. Check out a few examples below!

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 10.33.36 AM

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 10.33.44 AM

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 10.34.05 AM

 

Anti-Racism Campaign Hits Toronto

The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) and the City of Toronto partnered together to create an anti-racism campaign. This campaign comes as a response and in the wake of the backlash that Syrian refugees are still facing, since arriving in December. As well as the number of crimes against the Muslim community, earlier in the year. The campaign is intended to shine light on the ignorance behind various stereotypes. Check out an example of a bus shelter ad below.

Gatorade Releases New Olympic Spot

If you didn’t already know, the Olympics are amongst us, and they are kind of a big deal. Gatorade enlisted Usain Bolt, Serena Williams, and Paul George in their new ad “Never Lose the Love”. The ad shows a younger version of each athlete pushing and motivating them to reach their true potential. Whether it’s Serena not wanting to get out of bed for practice, or Paul George needing the motivation to hit his last set when working out. It’s a great spot that shows what Gatorade is all about. Check it out below.

 

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

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (May 27th – June 3rd)

June 3, 2016

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

Written by Malick, and Dakarai.

 

Shaq Goes Undercover for Lyft

M: Realistically, who wouldn’t love to get a Lyft from Shaq? Ride-sharing mobile app Lyft teams up with the big Artistotle to surprise riders in Atlanta. While he was disguised, I think it’s pretty obvious that riders knew right away that they were getting picked up by the ex-Laker superstar. Production company Alldayeveryday posted the sequence of videos on Youtube on Wednesday and already has over 1.6M views. Check it out below.

 

Instagram Announces More New Features

D: Instagram has been going through quite the amount of changes recently, and it’s pretty interesting to watch the once simply photo sharing platform turn into a whole other beast. Instagram anInstagram analyticsnounced that in the next few months they will be providing detailed analytics and promotional tools, that will aid businesses that use Instagram. As of now, essentially every account is the same, and that’s bound to change. Business profiles will be able to see further information than just how many likes, and comments their posts have received. Instagram starting to sound a little like Facebook now? Stay tuned.

 

 

Coors Light Uses 360 Degree Videos in a New Series of Ads

D: Virtual Reality..all the craze right now. Coors Light released a series of ads that put you in the outdoor sport action! From surfing, to Kayaking, to Mountain Biking, you can experience the thrill from home through the 360 degree videos on YouTube. The campaign lives off of providing an experience for the user, and it does a fantastic job tying it in with the brand in the end. After hitting a tough wave, there’s a cold beer waiting for you and your friends onshore. Check out one of the videos below:

 

Bud Light Partners with Ellen For New Spot Supporting Pride Month

M: First and foremost: Happy Pride month! In this ad, Budweiser teams up with talk-show superstar Ellen in a new ad in support of gay marriage. The ad features Seth Rogen and Amy Schumer, both of which who have been apart of the Bud Light Party campaign earlier this year. Starring two of the most relevant comedians, its hard not to see this advertisement do well-but having Ellen on board just takes it to another level. With over 60 million followers on Twitter, this is definitely a hit. Great cause, great celebrities, great marketing…what’s not to like? Check out the video below:

European Airline Seeking to Change the Way You Travel

D: In interesting tech news, we have the EasyJet #SneakAirs. If you’ve ever arrived in a new country, and got lost (everyone), this product is for you. European airline EasyJet is currently developing shoes that help you arrive to a chosen destination in a new city. Simply by buzzing twice for a wrong turn, buzzing on the left foot to turn left, the right foot to turn right and so on. The trainers work in connection with Google Maps. This is definitely a product to continue watching, and we will post any updates we find. Check out a video of the shoes below:

 

Snapchat Passes Twitter in Daily Users

M: Remember my article on how Twitter was getting phased out?Well maybe I was onto something. Snapchat has reportedly surpassed Twitter daily users reaching over 150 million. In an age of instant media transferring, I could see this coming. With all of the changes that Snapchat *link “how snapchat snapped back”* has gone through within the last year mixed with the combination of mobile application usage, its not hard to believe that Snapchat has become one of the largest social media platforms.

Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 4.42.02 PM

 

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

Malick Ba

Social Media’s Adaptation to Online Behaviour and Trends.

May 10, 2016

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

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

My mom and I

My mom and I

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

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

 

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

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (April 24th – April 30th)

April 29, 2016

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

Written by Malick, and Dakarai.

 

Monday 

Drake opens up a VIEWS Pop Up Shop in Toronto

D: Over the last two weeks, Drake has been opening up Pop-Up shops around the U.S. in promotion for his fourth studio album, VIEWS. All it takes is a simple tweet from the Toronto rapper, turned Icon to bring 1000 people to a location within the hour. It was only fitting that the last location would be in Drake’s hometown, and he let out a tweet on Monday, April 25th at 5pm for the opening of the pop up shop at 6pm. Now, I definitely considered checking it out, but due to the fact that there was hundreds of people lined up within minutes, I wasn’t liking my chances. Check out the tweet below:

 

Tuesday

The Toronto Silent Film Festival Creates an Escape Room out of Instagram

D: You have to love when a brand exposes a medium in an innovative way. This is exactly what was done with the Toronto Silent Film Festival. The @tsff2016 Instagram account uses the platform to challenge people to solve a mystery using just the account. Every time you click a video, it will open as a first-video clip that appears as if you are searching for a clue. Users have to continually do so until they find the necessary clues to escape the room. Check out the short video below, it gives you all the details of the innovative campaign.

 

Wednesday 

National Geographic’s Face Swap Campaign

M: This is a good example of a good idea in which the message just completely got lost. This print campaign developed by Y&R Sao Paulo was titled “Swap Prejudice for Knowledge”, in which the premise was to encourage empathy, equality, and fighting intolerance. The campaign features several images of a diverse group of individuals who have their faces swapped with each other. While the idea was kind of interesting, snapchat can expect the same sort of backlash received by the “Bob Marley 420” snapchat filter.

national geographic

 

Thursday 

Reebok introduces a new short film

M: Reebok introduced a minute-long film titled 25,915 Days as a part of their Be More Human platform. The film introduces a woman as the main character and shows her progress…but in reverse. The film shows the woman’s participation in a Spartan Race down until her birth. One of the things that I really liked about it was that it was a great way to tell a story. Brands are constantly looking for new ways to market themselves, and storytelling ads add an entirely different dimension of emotion in advertisements. Reebok did a good job on this one.

 

Friday

Speed Rapper

M: This one was my favourite of the week. Developed by SuperHeroes New York, this sequence of videos are titled Low Battery vs Speed Rapper. The concept revolves around speed rapper Mac Lethal in a supermarkets picking out items for dinner. The catch is that his phone is about to die and he’s trying to figure out what to pick up from the person on the other line. He does this by speed rapping in order to finish he conversation before his phone dies. This seems like it would be a lot of fun to shoot, so props to SuperHeroes for this one.

 

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

Make sure to check us out on Facebook for post updates.

Guest

Try My Weight Loss Tea, It Really Works: The Influx of Instagram Influencers

April 1, 2016

Guest Article By: Nikki Sin

Social media can be an incredibly beneficial tool for marketers, users having the ability to not only filter what content they see on their timelines, and feeds but also create their own content. Typically loyal customers will follow the accounts of their favourite companies, but what are the smaller companies to do? This is where influencers come in; Influencers are social media celebrities, those with either a large following of fans, or those who hold an audience of followers who would represent a target audience for a campaign.

As someone who falls into the second category I promote select brands on my social media accounts based on the quality of the product, company values, and arrangement with said company. The typical influencer is reality TV stars, Youtube stars, and bloggers. More recently though, high list celebrities have made their way into the game. Kylie Jenner, Sarah Hyland and Vanessa Hudgens have both promoted weight loss/detox teas on their Instagram and Snapchat accounts.
The general readership of my website is the target demographic of the products I receive offers to promote, and the products I currently promote.

fit tea

The premise of the arrangement is always company based, I’ve received offers to promote several brands where I am expected to pay full price for the items, and then post photos of myself with said items, and a sale code. The general agreement is product for promotion, and then payment can be based on sales linked to your website/account i.e sales codes.

So how does it work? Generally a company will use social media to “discover” an influencer based on their followers, and content. Some companies will attempt to contact you via direct message but that signifies that they are not very familiar with the process, or marketing. An e-mail is usually the best route, it will outline the agreement of products for social media promotion, a “script” for postings, and a list of benefits for influencers. It seems like a pretty simple deal, and most of the time it can be, I have however encountered some shady deals. At one point I was offered a commission/percentage of each sale of an item on a Korean fashion site when a customer used the discount code NIKKISIN. I never saw a dime of any sales, and I watched a friend use the code so I knew it had been used. As well the company created a new offer where I would receive an item for every five posts/mentions, again I never received any items. So it is important to get everything in writing, and know the brand.

You’re probably laughing right now wondering why anyone would purchase a product just because a celebrity, or Z list blogger like myself posted a photo with it; Consumers trust the products because they trust the post from the influencer. The truth is that even posting a photo with a logo in it is advertising for a company, we all contribute to this mass machine of social media advertising, and click bait.


Nikki Sin

Pop Culture & Lifestyle Blogger- Marketing Student – Failing Actress- Unicorn -6Goddess
As a former writer, and film critic for The Wax Museum, Nikki Sin dove into the world of blogging on her own to create her own pop culture, and lifestyle website writing about music, low budget horror films, fashion, fitness and weekly interviews. Having graduated from Humber College from a media program Nikki decided to make her way to the business side of the industry by studying advertising and marketing where she met the guys at MAD Mix. Check her out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Malick Ba

How Twitter Got Phased Out

March 9, 2016
Twitter

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

Multiethnic Group of People Socail Networking at Cafe

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

A riveting tweet by me. No one responded.

A riveting tweet by me. No one responded.

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

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

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.

Sunday

oscars-2016-nominations-snubs-discussion

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.

Sunday

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!

Tuesday

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

Wednesday

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.

Thursday

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!

Guest

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

March 2, 2016

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

gif keyboard

A look at Twitter’s GIF Keyboard

snapchat animations

Snapchat’s personalized animations

 

 

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

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

 

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

Guest

The Negative Effects Of Social Media In Sports

January 16, 2016

Guest Article By: Peter Roumeliotis

So Canada had an unmemorable 2016 World Junior Hockey Championship (WJC) in Finland, but I will not be talking about what happened on the ice. Instead, I will discuss how the players’ decision to avoid Social Media(SM) use during the tournament, was actually quite smart and ideal. Having academically studied SM as a tool for fan engagement in sports, I have observed that there is a lot of focus on why athletes are not very active on SM in terms of tweeting out fun and engaging content or interacting with fans.2016_WJC_logo_672x412

One factor that often gets ignored, is all the content and news articles that these athletes are consuming from SM. Just because the players aren’t actively tweeting or re-tweeting or liking your tweet, does not exactly mean they did not see or read the article you wrote or shared.Team Canada’s unsuccessful tournament in Finland led to an infatuated amount of criticism and smack talk. Sporting spectacles to begin with are some of the most emotional events out there. With social media added to the mix, one could make the argument sporting events become potentially explosive. Social media adds another layer of participation to the fray. Now the fan has an equal footing with the athlete.  The fan can build his own network, engage with others and as we saw at WJC, engage directly with athletes.

Team Canada waves to the crowed after being defeated by Team USA during third period semi-final IIHF World Junior Championships hockey action in Ufa, Russia on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

The worst part about this is that it started immediately after the Boxing Day loss to Team USA. I’ve said on twitter and I will say it here: THEY ARE KIDS! These players are under 20 years old and appropriately decided not to have access to the harshness and negativity that developed on SM. Hopefully this makes us all a little bit more aware about the “receiving” of the message rather than “sending” it.

 

 

Peter (@Peteybeats on Twitter) is a social media and content marketing expert who currently writes for Sports Illustrated as an NHL section contributor and does social media for the QMJHL. Peter completed his MA in Communications Studies at Carleton University in 2015. One of Peter’s main focuses right now is his podcast Popternative where he invites guests every week and has topical discussions from the worlds of social media, sports and pop culture.

 

Malick Ba

How Snapchat Snapped Back

December 2, 2015

“What’s your Snapchat?” A phrase asked by millions that has nearly replaced asking for someone’s number. To be honest, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t pulled that one before. But what makes Snapchat unique? What have they done in the last year that has made the quick-photo/video sharing application so enticing for millions of users worldwide?

Myself? I’ve had Snapchat for just over a year now. The concept was pretty easy to grasp and it was fun for a while, but I never really saw the use of it after a while. To keep things brief, Snapchat is a mobile application meant for sharing time-sensitive photos, videos, and drawings to anyone on your friends list. Seems like a pretty simple concept. However in the last year, we’ve seen more and more big time changes to the risqué mobile application. Changes for the better.

This September, the Snapchat team has capitalized on the successful growth of the app and decided to almost take their marketing to the next level to keep bored users (like myself) refreshed. On September 15th 2015, Snapchat released “the update”. Snapchat basically reinvented their game to add a whole new level of entertainment for its users through different features and filters. Its biggest move? The app developers have added a face recognition filter, so when the camera is facing the user, users can then add “lenses” which can transform the users face into pre-loaded figures.  snapchat-animated-selfie-lenses-800x416

IMG_0669

Me using the “American Thanksgiving” lense featured on Snapchat this week.

Different lenses include the infamous rainbow puke or the old man’s face. We’ve all used them, and yes, they are still hilarious. What makes this feature unique is that the lenses are constantly updating so users are never stuck with the same one’s for extended periods of time. For example, the latest one was made for American Thanksgiving, where your face literally becomes a turkey that makes insane noises when you open your mouth. How jokes is that?

Since these were added, Snapchat has done nothing but continue progressing forward in the online market and have found new ways to capitalize on this entertaining feature. How you might ask? Just a few weeks ago on November 13th, Snapchat has actually developed a new lense store. This allows users to purchase different lenses for just $1.19 apiece.

Snapchat evidently saw that they had an opportunity to capitalize on a unique opportunity and ran with it. The changes that they’ve made to the application since its release just less than five years now are phenomenal. What started off as a simple picture sharing app has developed into one of the most popular social media platforms amongst people my age. With a combination of face-recognition technology and insane creativity, the Snapchat team has revitalized the fun in using it. Now, I personally use Snapchat every day, multiple times a day, lense or not. Essentially, they got bored users back into using it, and with this new store they’ve set up, don’t expect them to slow down anytime soon.

How do you use Snapchat? Let me find out! Add me at: MalickBa.

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

Malick Ba

Facebook Likes and Internet Fights

November 10, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

 

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