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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

Online Video Content Killed My Cell Phone Bill

March 14, 2017


Ever scroll through your Facebook timeline outside of a wifi zone and panic at the thought of those auto-play video functions? It drives me absolutely insane. As someone who is already going over their data on a regular basis, it’s brutal to constantly scroll through my timeline (which in hindsight I should be more conscious of) and see an influx of video axing at my cell phone bill. While my frustrations have decent reason (ok maybe not a whole lot of reason), something occurred to me the other day. In the last 3-4 years, the amount of online video content that’s constantly being produced by advertisers and users of social media has noticeably grown. Is it effective (aside from my mindless scrolling at bus stops)? Absolutely.


Online video has definitely been a focus for big advertisers over the last couple of years in terms of content creation. According to an article from Think With Google, spending on desktop online video alone is projected to grow 21% every year until 2019. That’s a lot of spending, excluding mobile. But with all of this money going into online video, is it really more effective than other forms of content? Definitely. Speaking from personal experience, I’m a visual learner. That means I learn more when something is presented in front of my eyes that I can engage with, rather than reading, or listening. Online video content provides excellent potential for 2-way content engagement versus an ad that you can see on TV. How? There are a few different reasons.


Lets assume you’re viewing a sponsored post on Facebook or Twitter. The ad is hilarious and actually inspires you to maybe actually buy the product, who knows. But more importantly, you can share that with everyone in your network. You can view it at different times. It can go viral. You can actually engage with the entertainment value that it’s supposed to supply! These are only a few qualities that online video content can provide for your brand.

Moving away from strictly advertising, social media platforms over the last two years has added new functions that allow you to live stream, post, and share videos with the click of a button. This allows online video content producers, or regular people, to add an entirely different dimension of communication that was lacking on the internet previously. Simply put, it gives more personality to a once text dominated era.

Online video facilitates better communication, advertisement or non-advertisement. It’s something that I’ve definitely grown to notice and appreciate the way people and brands communicate to me…even if it’s quickly chomping away at my cellphone bill…


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, 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

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’s brandless.


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.


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.

Dakarai Turner

Blogs Out for Harambe: Why the Meme Can’t be Stopped

September 20, 2016

I think it’s gotten to that point where I have to talk about this. Harambe, yes the Gorilla that was shot and killed in the Cincinnati Zoo after a 3-year old fell in his enclosure has been all over the internet for months, if you haven’t already noticed. The question is…why? Well, there really is no logical way to explain it. Right after this situation happened in May, people were genuinely outraged at the fact that an animal had to be killed in the process. The story went on for a short amount of time and then ultimately faded away. But thanks to the wonderful people on Instagram and Twitter, the memes Harambebegan rolling through and they haven’t showed signs of stopping ever since. There have been songs made, merchandise sold, and even candlelight vigils held in cities around the world…for a Gorilla.

Trolls on the internet started the meme “Dicks out for Harambe” and it’s basically being said by just about every person under 25, which makes you wonder what it’s like to be a highschool teacher right about now. There are petitions to change the name of the Cincinati Zoo to the Harambe Zoo, and to change the name of the Cincinatti Bengals to “Harambes”. And to top it all off, in a recent poll, it was revealed that 5% of voters would vote for Harambe in this years election. Every day it seems as though there’s something even more extravagant with this Gorilla’s name attached, and it begs the question…when will it end? Like all good memes, they eventually die. However, it’s simply one of those situations that you cannot possibly predict, as to when. Who would have ever thought that this would gain the attention that it did, and that it would last this long in the first place?

View post on

View post on

View post on


So what makes this meme so special?

It started as a movement fighting for the justice of a mistreated animal

When you read that it really doesn’t sound bad at all. People felt as though there were other ways to neutralize the Gorilla and child hostage situation, than to kill, and they expressed their passion and outrage online. There was even a petition with over 500k signatures to have the parents of the boy charged for their negligence. As usual, the internet brings out undercover experts in everything and anything.

It’s Brand-Proof

Quite often when “random” memes such as this one happens, there is usually a brand involved in some way that makes you wonder if it was all planned in the first place. An example being the “Damn Daniel” meme that was associated with Vans sneakers, or even the “Alex from Target” that was evidently associated with the large retailer. “Dicks out for Harambe” is a thing of its own that no brand would dare to touch. You find that as soon as brands get a hold of a meme they tend to die out. It’s kind of like when your mom first got Facebook and it drove you to spend more time on Snapchat or Instagram. The reason this meme has lasted so long in my opinion is because there isn’t a brand that can grab a hold of it. I mean, the Cincinnati Zoo could try and create Harambe inspired events/merchandise, but that would just come off as disingenuous since they were in fact the ones that ended his life in the first place, and have already expressed their discomfort of the memes

There’s no one behind itHarambe

Similar to my last point, this meme belongs 100% to the people. For example, “Damn Daniel” ends because Daniel’s friend, the one the meme belonged to stopped recording the funny videos. It reached it’s peak, and couldn’t be taken any further. You could try and carry it on all you want with your friend that’s also named Daniel, but it’s simply not going to be as funny and will probably come off as a little pathetic. Harambe was in the hands of the people from the start and will end whenever they get bored of it.

Personally I don’t find the memes to be all that funny anymore, but hey people still seem to be enjoying them, and they aren’t really doing any harm, so play on. What do you guys think of the viral success behind Harambe? Drop a comment, I’d love to know!



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

Malick Ba

The Secret To Going Viral

June 7, 2016

I’ve decided to finally tackle what seems to be the life long question in the advertising and marketing world: how do you get your product/campaign/content to go viral? As someone whose grown up with the internet, there is one simple answer for this: you can’t. Marketers invest so much money and time into trying to make their campaigns be the next ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, but at the end of the day, there is no formula for it. There’s a certain quality about viral campaigns, videos, or memes that simply just catch on because they do. Ultimately I think that the things that make content viral is a combination of either effectiveness, call to action, or humour, or all of the above.

I’m on Instagram a lot, and that place is basically a hub for viral content-mostly giphy (4)memes. Its interesting to see the types of things that go viral even if they aren’t promoted by a huge brand. At the top of my head, some of the biggest viral content on Instagram has been completely random. Think about it: Damn Daniel, the crying Jordan meme, and especially the sponge-gar meme that’s blown up as of late.This isn’t content that’s created with any intention of becoming something bigger than a joke, but that’s what makes it so interesting. Marketers focus on formulas, data, and algorithms when attempting to create campaigns that will be the next big thing, but really there is no way to effectively quantify why “Damn Daniel” was even a thing. If anything, it’s the outcomes that are the most important. The kids behind that entire joke got a life time supply of Vans for basically accidently promoting their product all over the internet.

To give a personal example, I was watching a hockey game at some point last year and had made a tweet about one of the players. About 10 minutes later I had gotten a notification on my phone that I had it had been retweeted a couple of times. I didn’t think anything of it. About an hour later, my phone would not stop buzzing. To my surprise, my harmless tweet had over 50 retweets and about 100 favourites (or “likes” now). Apparently a fan account of the player I commented on had retweeted me onto their network so all of their followers had seen it and then done the same. I was astonished, and actually kind of excited that something I said actually kind of had some substance to it (it really didn’t).


So really, there is no way to make your content, campaigns, or products go viral on purpose. Let’s be honest, if it were that easy to achieve, then everyone would do it. It takes a certain element, a certain quality to content that has to do with a combination of good timing, appropriation to specific context, and the effectiveness of whatever it is one is trying to promote. That being said, if you see The MAD Mix go viral, it wasn’t by accident-its simply because Dak and I have obviously mastered how its done. At least that’s what we want you to think…


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.

Dakarai Turner

Views Behind the Meme – The Viral Success of Drake

May 3, 2016

It’s only fitting that I dedicate this Tuesday’s article to the “Meme God” himself, none other than Aubrey “Drake” Graham. With Drake’s heavily anticipated album, Views that was released as an Apple Music exclusive on April 29th, it has been the subject of discussion at just about every water cooler or Twitter feed the past few days. To put it simply, the man can’t be stopped.

The once actor, now rapper and Global Ambassador for the Toronto Raptors, has been able to further launch his career at the hands of internet memes. I mean, who could forget the Hotline Bling music video from last year? At this point, I knew Drake was completely aware of what he was doing. Poking fun at himself knowing that doing so would result in viral success online. Through the use of his almost cringe worthy dance moves at times, and the funny nature behind the video, it was sure to makes its way all over your timelines and news feeds. To this date, the video has reached over 700 million views on YouTube alone, and is by far his most watched music video. The video inspired various parodies, halloween costumes, provided me with new dance moves, and was easily the biggest meme of 2015. This led the 6 God to becoming the most important person in pop-culture that year. Moment of silence for those that disagree.


ellen viewsApril 24th, Drake releases the cover art for his album Views, and the internet goes crazy. The memes start to flood just about every social network, and it just reaffirms the belief that Drake knows he will be made fun of, and he’s okay with it. With a clearly obvious and poorly photoshopped image of the rapper sitting on top of the CN Tower, it takes the full album title, Views from the 6 quite literally. Websites begin to pop up that transform whatever image you want into a personalized Views album cover, featuring a photoshopped Drake sitting down wherever you choose. I think most of us can say we tried it out, whether or not we shared it online..your secret is safe with me.


This is exactly what Drake wants, and is exactly the kind of promotion that helped the album sell over 800 thousand copies in just 2 days….2 days!! This is practically unheard of in 2016 unless your name is Adele at this point. Now am I saying that he only hit this number because he became a meme? Well yeah I kind of am, because of the fact promotion like this exposes you to an audience that would of never cared before, or would have been slow to the table. It’s almost impossible to go a day without hearing about Drake, and its due to his ability to make fun of himself and take a hit. Rather than get upset at all the memes, he embraces them and understands that they help his brand at the end of the day.

Proud of the guys. On to Round 2.

A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on


A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on


Maybe Drake is completely oblivious about what’s going on, and is just generally a funny guy. Or, maybe he makes calculated moves, and understands what it takes to go viral. You be the judge.


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