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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.

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.

Malick Ba

The Relevancy of Kanye West

February 24, 2016

Yesterday I was having a conversation with a friend over Facebook chat over a recent status that I had about Kanye West. He explained to me that he wasn’t a fan of Mr.West’s personality, arrogance, and general musical direction (I don’t necessarily blame him). However the most interesting reason why he decided to slide in my DMs versus actually commenting on the status I had made about the South side Chicago super star was because he didn’t want to start an argument about the topic publicly knowing that myself or others on my friends’ list might turn it into a lengthy discussion.

giphy

Hate him or love him, Kanye West has been the definition of a trending topic since he came onto the scene with his debut album in 2004. Everyone seems to have an opinion on Kanye. With the recent release of his seventh studio album titled “The Life of Pablo”, Kanye has had the entire world talking, but it isn’t necessarily just about his music. What is it about him that gets everyone so worked up? Is it his attitude? Is it his Twitter rants? Is it his music? All of the above perhaps, but I’ve been a fan of his music since his first album (The College Dropout) and it’s interesting to see not only his development as a musician over the last 15 years, but as a prominent figure in the pop culture world.

In my personal opinion, there’s no doubt that Kanye is an amazing human being. Every one of his albums tells a unique story about his personal experiences in life, racism in America, capitalism, etc. His venture into the fashion industry is evident that he’s trying to further himself as an artist. While I am trying to stay objective on this topic, what is absolutely insane to me is that with the excess amount of negative publicity he gets on literally a daily basis, he still finds himself in a position of power in pop culture.

Kanye West performing on Saturday Night Live

Kanye West performing on Saturday Night Live

He understands marketing and personal branding in a way that keeps him relevant regardless of what he does. That being said, he always seems to say (or do) things at the absolute worst possible times. I.E the Taylor Swift VMA situation in 2009, or even his recent comments regarding Bill Cosby (I’m not ok with these by the way).

It’s evident that Kanye uses his negative (and I mean horrible) image in the public to keep his brand relevant and talked about. I know people who have never listened to even a 30 second clip of one of his songs, but could write an entire essay on why they dislike him. Is this marketing? Better yet, is this good marketing? I’d say so. Marketing does not necessarily have to be about sales, or how much money you’re making. It’s about trending behaviours, personal branding, and staying relevant or talked about over time. Kanye West hits all of those categories. The fact that I’m even writing this right now is proof that it’s working.

Kanye West Interrupts Taylor Swift at the VMAs in 2009

Kanye West Interrupts Taylor Swift at the VMAs in 2009

We’ve all got an opinion on Kanye West, and I definitely get why people don’t like him. He looks like a buffoon in the media, he always acts up at the worst times, and his Twitter situation is what looks like to be a chronicle of someone who is actually going crazy. But that’s exactly why he’s still extremely relevant a decade later. He keeps talking, and we keep talking about it.

“People talk so much shit about me at barbershops; they forget to get their hair cut”

–Kanye West 2007