Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Robin Hood Flour Ad MEMORIES Gets Attention

At this time of year when many are finding good cheer in the kitchen - baking or eating – how fitting to see those wonderful TV ads from Robin Hood flour. They get our attention and make us smile with the simple chatter of two young children in the kitchen - a little sibling rivalry and love all rolled into one. The featured ad this year is MAKING MEMORIES, where we see two animated children, idly chatting in the kitchen as children do about nothing in particular. The little one, Andrew, makes you want to hug away his fears, while his older sister, Elizabeth manages to do so with ease in a way only a sibling could – so subtle and endearing, managing to wrap Robin Hood flour into the warmth of the moment. Let’s hope Robin Hood keeps this campaign going and perhaps adds another episode in the future!

So what is it about those Robin Hood Flour ads and this campaign that gets our attention and engages us in this magical world of baking? First the ads are different and stand out in the barrage of other ads that we ignore. The adorable animated children that surfaced in 2005 are becoming almost a tradition in themselves – an animated short-film-of-sorts that gives us a glimpse into the lives of these two children, Elizabeth and Andrew. Watch and enjoy as Robin Hood flour helps create memories for these kids while also reminding us of days gone by. For detailed information on how the campaign was created by Redrover Animation Studios Ltd. for Smuckers Canada, (owners of Robin Hood flour) and their advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather Canada, click here, , and to read about Robin Hood flour’s marketing approaches go to this previous post

Robin Hood Flour - Making Memories

Robin Hood Flour - Giving

Robin Hood Flour - Teaches Us

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gap Logo Redesign – a look back

Now that the Gap redesign logo fiasco has died down and the iconic clothing retailer is getting on with what it does best - selling classic, traditional and well-styled, American clothing, let’s take a look back at the logo crisis and give Kudos to the Gap for pausing to see what all the fuss was really all about - messing with the identity of a brand steeped in classic Americana - a little dodgy to say the least. Take note, logo changes of iconic brands need to be subtle, almost imperceptible to the public, a mere nudging in the right direction to reflect current times. You can subtly revitalize a brand without taking away its heritage with a radical redesign.

So what were they thinking at the Gap? The purpose of redesigning the Gap logo was to capture a more modern brand image in line with store redesigns and new product introductions. The Gap wanted to reflect a more modern brand to consumers and turned to the logo as a way to communicate. The learning - be cautious when changing the insignia of iconic brands. Consumers are often emotionally attached to these brands, and their logos can pull at special memories such as a first pair of jeans, teenage friends, or that special shopping trip with a parent.

The background - on Monday October 5, 2010, the Gap announced a logo change at, resulting in negative articles on Advertising Age and the Consumerist. This fuelled a flurry of negative reactions to the redesign in the mainstream media, on blogs, and on social networks such as Facebook with parody accounts surfacing on Twitter with @gaplogo, @oldgaplogo, and @craplogo. A saucy new website, mocked the new logo with an online logo-creator where visitors could instantly create spoofs of the new Gap logo.

A week later, rethinking its approach and responding to consumer backlash, the Gap announced its decision to revert to its old logo. The impetus; passionate comments supporting the old logo, over 1500 Facebook comments on the Gap page, and a flurry of negative comments on Twitter and in the mainstream media.

Watch this 6 minute video clip on CNN which summarizes the Gap logo redesign and comments on the issues.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Cadbury’s Bicycle Factory Sends Bikes to Ghana for Second Year!

For a second year in a row Cadbury Canada is supporting kids in Ghana with a purpose in mind - sending 5,000 bicycles to Ghana so children can to go to school, do their chores, and hang on to their life’s dreams - a well suited cause for a company that sells chocolates and candies to children in the industrialized world, using cocoa as an ingredient farmed in Ghana – well done!

Cadbury is keeping their 2010 Bicycle Factory campaign open until November 14, 2010 so UPC codes from candy and chocolate wrappers can still be added - each UPC code represents a single part of a bicycle - each bike in the campaign needing 100 parts or UPC entries. In 2010, this campaign has already built 3799 bikes and is striving to reach its goal of 5,000 bikes by mid November. Real-time monitoring captures the campaign’s progress on its microsite of a virtual factory at

Last November 2009, in its first year, the Bicycle Factory successfully delivered 5,000 bicycles to more than 200 communities in Ghana. Cadbury saw the Bicycle Factory program as an opportunity to help under privileged children, particularly those in Ghana, a region close to Cadbury’s heart due to its involvement in the country for over 100 years.

The Bicycle Factory is marketed in Canada with TV spots, Facebook pages (, and a Twitter feed (, all pointing consumers to an online microsite at to enter UPC codes from Cadbury products such as Caramilk, Dairy Milk, Trident gum, Dentyne gum, Maynards Wine Gums, and Sour Patch Kids to help build bicycles. Each UPC adds an additional part to a bicycle destined for Ghana.

An impactful TV spot with its memorable music track from the Vapor Music Group kicked off the campaign in 2009 showing the multiple uses of a bicycle in Ghana - from a delivery truck, to an ambulance, to a school bus, bicycles in Ghana are shown to be more than a mode of transportation. Bicycles are an important part of life and can make a significant difference. Bicycles in Ghana give children access to education and sustenance, as well as economic and social opportunities. According to the United Nations, children often have to walk over two hours per day to attend school in Africa with 40 million children not attending due to the access issue.

In 2010 Cadbury brought additional attention to its Bicycle Factory’s efforts. Cadbury’s agency for the project, the Hive partnered with Frantic Films and JUJU films to create a 45 minute documentary Wheels of Change which aired on CTV in early October with 20,000 copies of the DVD distributed to the Free the Children's We Day event which challenges schools in Canada to make a difference at home and abroad. The documentary follows the lives of three children in Ghana who received the bicycles, using a lens to document how the program is making a difference.

As for success, in its first year the Bicycle Factory’s microsite received over 400,000 on-line entries which helped deliver 5,000 bicycles to Ghana. To date its Facebook page has over 1986 likes, CTV may be airing the documentary again in 2011, and Cadbury is on track for meeting its target of delivering 5,000 bikes in 2010. Cadbury Canada plans to continue its Bicycle Factory program in 2011 and is encouraging its sister companies in the UK and Australia to become involved. We wish you well!

Below you can click on links to the impactful Bicycle Factory TV spot, and a teaser showing the 2009 delivery of the bicycles in Ghana , and a trailer to the TV documentary Wheels of Change. Be sure to follow this program’s success by subscribing to its YouTube channel at

TV spot -The Power of Bicycles

Delivery of Bicycles - 2009 Delivery

Trailer to CTV documentary - Wheels of Change

Thursday, September 23, 2010

TIPP-EX Wows with Creativity

On the subject of creativity - here is a little something sent to me by a creative individual currently residing in Australia. Yes the Internet allows the word, images, and video to spread rapidly throughout the world. Since August 25 when this TIPP-EX video, A Hunter Shoots a Bear  was uploaded to YouTube it has garnered over 11 million views in over 2 months (updated October 21, 2010), boosted by its creativity which engages audiences and provides a forum for interaction.

It is rather unusual to have the protagonist in a YouTube video reach outside the video in a manner that totally relates to the product being marketed. In another creative twist the viewer is then encouraged to interact with the TIPP-EX video itself, repeatedly resulting in comical exchanges. Although many find this A Hunter Shoots a Bear YouTube video intrusive, creative, and memorable, others have commented that this approach could be improved. This is noted by  Jonathan Ginburg in his blog post that questions whether the TIPP-EX branding falls short in this video. His blog post, How Engagement Can Fall Short, provides some suggestions for improvement. Read his blog post and take a look at the video itself by clicking on the links below to see what you think - be sure to interact with the TIPP-EX video to benefit from the full extent of its creativity.

NSFW. A hunter shoots a bear!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

FIFA World Cup Coca-Cola Billboards in Brazil

As we all watch the World Cup and enjoy the skillful teams and players from around the world, transit riders in San Paolo Brazil are also enjoying the creativity of Coca-Cola with its interactive electronic transit ad which was placed in mid May in two subway stations with over 270,000 riders per day. Passersby of all ages marvelled at the elongated eye-level billboard with images of fans within the billboard doing the wave to show excitement for the beautiful game. People took photos, video footage, and made gestures at the billboard to see its reaction. The result - considerable buzz in Brazil and around the world for Coca-Cola ,a major sponsor of the World Cup! Click below to see the billboard of the beautiful game in action!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

United Breaks Guitars Song three

Third Song Posted for United Breaks Guitars

After a year- long battle with United Airlines and the release of the now infamous United Breaks Guitars viral video, Dave Carroll has released his third and final song in the trilogy, as promised to United Airlines in response to their poor customer service and refusal to compensate him for breaking his guitar. United Breaks Guitars first made the rounds of the Internet last summer, boosted by the catchy tune and humorous video which popped-up on news programs around the world. Companies beware, social media works and United Breaks Guitars is a prime example.

The first song, released July 6, 2009, has received over 8 million views on YouTube over the past 8 months, with over 25 thousand comments. The second song, uploaded on August 17,2009 is reaching 1 million views, with the third song, just released on March 1, 2010, already enjoying over 64 thousand hits to date – and all for the cost $200 for the first video and about $600 for each of the remaining two! Of course, this pales in comparison to the millions of impressions generated by the songs’ exposure on TV stations such as CBC, CTV, BBC, and CNN ... just to name a few - not to mention a recent interview on THE VIEW.

You can read details on the saga at with Dave Carroll’s insights on the events posted in the Grand Rants blog at It would be interesting to know the impact this adventure has had on Dave Carroll’s music career in terms of the amount of music he is now selling, versus before the first upload – comments anyone so we can see the final impact of this social media escapade?

Below you can listen and watch the three United Breaks Guitars songs – enjoy – and thank you Dave Carroll!

United Breaks Guitars – Song 1

United Breaks Guitars – Song 2

United Breaks Guitars – Song 3

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hippos and Humour in Telus ad Campaign

Just when we were tiring of those cute animals in the Telus campaigns, their ad agency, Taxi, rose to the occasion and creatively took it up a level using humour and hippos to create the unexpected to get attention. Their new Hippo campaign, launched in early March, features two hippos, Ghost and Polita - a follow-up to their recent Hippo ad from the Telus holiday season campaign. Hazina the hippopotamus first appeared in a DDB created spot for Telus in a 2005 holiday ad campaign in Western Canada that used the 1953 "I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas," song.
A little background – Telus first began their animal-focused ad campaign in 1999 with an eye-catching red-eyed-bright-green tree frog jumping out of a jar. This campaign still continues today using a consistently simple approach of a white background as the backdrop to a cute animals and the slogan, “The future is friendly.” TV spots use popular songs as memorable center-pieces of the ads, giving them stopping-power that gets attention.

The March 2010 Telus Hippo campaign features two humorous spots that will have you chuckling to their bold combination of music and unusual images.  A large and awkward hippo portrays the Telus network as fast, nimble and extensive. The first humorous spot spoofs the hare and the tortoise fable, replacing the tortoise with a hippopotamus to showcase the network’s large size, also using a cute bunny rather than a hare!  It uses the music “Speedy Gonzales,” by Pat Boone to ad a humorous touch and get attention. The second spot focuses on two hippos swimming in a water hole to the light-hearted tune "Splish Splash" by Mina Mazzini and uses clever editing to reveal the hippos are actually swimming in the face of a cell phone. The Telus spots use repurposed footage from the original 2005 Christmas spot and new scenes that include the new hippos-stars who are the brother and mother of the original Hazina who lives in a zoo is British Columbia. For all the animal lovers, Telus donates money to the Zoo for the use of the animals in their commercials and donated $10 thousand dollars for each of the first two spots.

Below you can see the two latest Hippo ads from Telus as well as their repurposed 2005 spot for 2009 – enjoy the hippos and humour!

Telus “Fast” spot

Telus “Best” spot

Hippo for Christmas ad

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

How to get an entry level job in marketing

A number of people have asked for advice on how to find an entry level job in marketing. There is no magic formula, but there are a number of important elements that will help you find that entry level job. Here is a checklist of things you need to do:
  1. Create a dynamite resume
  2. Create a business card
  3. Write an interesting cover letter
  4. Create a strong profile on LinkedIn
  5. Develop a network of your peers
  6. Network with business professionals
  7. Bookmark relevant job sites and check LinkedIn for job postings
  8. Sign up to your schools' career centre job alert list
       Resumes  - These are  important calling cards for finding that entry level marketing job. Resumes are difficult to write so be prepared to edit your draft numerous times until it is a vibrant reflection of you. Your starting point is to make a list of things you have accomplished in your  life. Group these accomplishments into three categories - (1) jobs, (2) projects completed in post-secondary marketing courses, and (3) your personal life. This list should not be a laundry list of job titles but instead highlight things you achieved in a job such as meeting sales targets, winning an award, or dealing with difficult customers etc. Using tangible marketing-related projects as examples of educational accomplishments will give your resume some substance and create interest in your achievements.
     An example of a resume format that you may want to consider can be found at the following link - Resume Format. You will notice that this format includes a profile and a skills area at the top of the resume -remember people are busy and a solid profile and skills area will allow a reader to quickly determine whether you qualify for the entry level marketing job to which you applied. This  profile and skills area should also be modified to meet the specific requirements of job postings. Resumes-applications will often be electronically scanned for keywords, so you can include the key words for the job posting and marketing skills in this area as well as throughout the relevant sections of your resume.
     Business Cards - Create a double-sided business card that has your contact information on the front - including a LinkedIn URL, with a list of your main marketing-related skills on the reverse. Your LinkedIn profile URL is in the settings area of your account, under  public profile.
    Cover Letters - These should be short and be tailored to the job posting. An excellent resource for writing cover letters and getting a job in Canada is the book Landing a Job for Canadians which is part of the For Dummies series.

Networking & Websites 
     Creating a network is an invaluable tool that can keep you informed on entry level marketing jobs that may not be posted. Do not hesitate to reach out to people in your network to help find that entry level job - people will help if they can. You can expand your network by volunteering and /or attending networking events in the marketing industry. These events are often run by marketing associations. The Toronto chapter of the American Marketing Associations has a number of networking events which students can attend at a reasonable price of about $20.  Check this site frequently,, and scroll down to see the reasonably priced events.
     Attending guest speaker sessions at your educational institution is a MUST - networking with the speakers from the marketing field can sometimes help open doors that will lead to that entry level marketing job. Be sure to add your contacts to your LinkedIn profile.

     Websites - Once your resume and cover letter are completed, register on the main job sites such as Workopolis and Monster for the entry level marketing positions that appeal to you. LinkedIn has host of job postings - review the following video to learn how to use LinkedIn to find a job LinkedIn for job seekers and review their Grad Guide.  Please note, sales positions will provide you with relevant work experience which is very positively viewed by the marketing industry and can often be a way of getting into the marketing field.  The following marketing-related websites have career/job areas and should be checked regularly for job postings that may interest you:
     A job website that services graduating students and includes a number of entry level marketing jobs is . Good luck, be patient, and persevere.