Browsing Tag


A&W Wants You To Skip The Ad

When all you want to do is watch a music video, pesky ads can spoil the fun. Fast food chain A&W recognizes your pain and created an ad that communicates the key message in the first 5 seconds. After that, there’s not much to see—viewers simply watch an A&W spokesman eat a burger outside in the middle of the street.

I have never purchased anything at A&W and I can’t say this ad tempted me, but as as a marketer, I found the ad clever. They know you have a short attention span so they cut to the chase while trying to appear cool and modern. This won’t be the last smart spot I discover via pre-roll, but it is the first that encouraged me to skip it and I commend A&W for their creativity.

If you’re craving a burger now, find an A&W near you.

Book Review: I, Justine: An Analog Memoir

Photo Source: Prizeo

Photo Source: Prizeo

On YouTube, Justine Ezarik seems larger than life. She’s bubbly, animated and enthusiastic. On paper, Justine seems brilliant. She managed to earn a living by broadcasting her daily life and amass a social media following so big that brands couldn’t help but take notice. Her work has paid off and now she has a book called I, Justine: An Analog Memoir.

“I have been lucky enough to earn a living doing exactly what I love,” she writes in her introduction. “I hope that, whatever it is that you love, you never let anyone make you feel weird about it. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, to write or sing or draw or play video games or dance like a crazy person in an Apple Store. Do what makes you happy. It’s always worked for me. And who knows? You might even build a career out of it.”

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Promotions Around Downtown Toronto

Yonge and Dundas Square is a popular destination in downtown Toronto and therefore a prime location for companies that want to raise brand awareness among a large audience of pedestrians. No matter how often I shop at the Toronto Eaton Centre, I seem to miss some of the most exciting experiential marketing stunts. To compensate, I rely on YouTube and industry publications to get my fix and find out what’s happening.

Thanks to YouTube pre-roll, I discovered two cool campaigns that were executed recently by Koodo and Keurig. The alliteration of these brand names is unintentional, but noted.
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Kindness Counts

Kindness Counts Facebook Cover Photo

Western University graduates Josh Stern and Russell Citron are inspiring Gen Y to pay it forward and people are listening. Their charitable initiative #FeedTheDeed discourages people from playing an online drinking game and encourages random acts of kindness.

#FeedTheDeed has sparked a huge conversation about the power of social media. Instead of producing videos of themselves chugging beer, #FeedTheDeed participants are donating blood, clothes and toys.

How It Is Promoted

In the last 2 weeks, my Facebook news feed has been filled with photos and videos of friends distributing popcorn, coffee and TTC tokens. To extend the reach of #FeedTheDeed, participants are nominating friends, family and celebrities around the world. For example, Josh Stern nominated Canadian singer-songwriter Nikki Yanofsky and then she handed out candy in Montreal on Valentine’s Day.

What I Did

I love Twitter. I like Starbucks.

When my friend Sam Pollack nominated me to #FeedTheDeed, this is what I did to support a few charities I care about:

I used Twitter to send Starbucks gift cards to Anaphylaxis Canada, Heart and Stroke Foundation and Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Non-profit employees deserve to be rewarded for their hard work and I hope they will encourage more people to continue the chain.

Feed The Deed Tweet Example

Starbucks Tweet A Coffee

What You Can Do

Here are some ideas:

  • Volunteer
  • Pay for a stranger’s bill at a café
  • Send handwritten notes or cards
  • Buy a ticket to attend a charity event
  • Contribute to a Kickstarter campaign
  • Loan money to an entrepreneur on Kiva

For more information, follow Kindness Counts on Facebook!

5 Questions With Familiar Strangers

Familiar StrangersFamiliar Strangers (Ryan Peters, Josh Gladstone and Daniel Draper) put on a great show Sunday night at Drums N Flats. Their set list included original songs like Bar in Seattle, as well as covers of Avicii’s Wake Me Up, Barenaked Ladies’ Pinch Me and The Lumineers’ Ho Hey. 

Which band do you want to reunite this year?

Ryan: Groove Street

Josh: On The Rocks

Daniel: Dispatch

Who would you like to see win big at the Grammys?

Ryan: Taylor Swift

Josh: Mumford and Sons

Daniel: Daft Punk or Robin Thicke

Do you think music videos are still important?

Ryan: Videos are a good way to get to know the band’s personality. OK Go have a really cool music video with them walking on a treadmill, which showed off their quirkiness. I think [music videos] are still important.

Josh: I think we’re in an age of visual people because of YouTube etc., so if people want to get famous, they have to go down that route, or else they won’t have a presence. But in my opinion, music should always be primary.

Daniel: I don’t think they help artists sell music, but they’re good for artists that want to make a statement. I like Lupe Fiasco and Macklemore because they recently came out with some interesting videos. What Beyoncé did by putting out a video for each song was incredibly unique and made a statement. They’re not just dancing videos; they’re telling stories.

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