Hyundia Sets the Bar for Parking Etiquette!

I am amazed by how terrible people can be at parking their vehicles. Sorry if I am offending you if you have issues, but honestly I am noticing more than a few times my truck has been sandwiched and I’ve had to awkwardly find a way in.

There really is no reason to park close to someone. Take this Hyundai ad, which comically pushes the envelop by having to fold in the mirrors on their Sorento SUV to fit into the spot. How do they get out you ask… simple the trunk.

Society is getting lazy. We now have automatically parking cars. Crazy right. So if you can’t or don’t want to parallel park you don’t have to. Also society is getting lazy…Yup lazy. How hard is it to park a bit further out and walk into the store. But the funny thing if you park to far out someone ends up beside you too. So I have to ask where the middle ground.

I like that Hyundai can find the humor in one of my serious pet peeves. Cheers and remember the white lines you are suppose to park in between not on or over… you get my drift.

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McClose Up…Genius or a McStake?

mcdonalds-unbranded-big-mac-hed-2013    mcdonalds-unbranded-3

Branding Branding Branding is essential to the success of any business.  You might think you have hit it big time when you can afford ditch your branding efforts and create a major advertising campaign around close ups of your foods. If you were a McDonald’s ad executive that seems to be the case.  Introducing the McCloseUp campaign: to capitalize on the recent trend of food porn.

Maybe in the 1950’s this wouldn’t be so risky. McDonald’s after all was revolutionizing the restaurant industry and changed the farming and food distribution business. Opened in 1940 by brother’s Dick and Murice (Mac), McDonald’s populated Route 66 in San Bernardio California. The brother’s noticed that almost all of their profits were coming from the sale of their hamburgers so they created the “Speedee Service System” of food preparation. The end result, they were able to reduce the cost of creating the burgers and create a franchise business.  In fact their 100 millionth hamburger was served shortly after in 1958.  Source [http://www.livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe50s/life_16.html]

Fast forward to today and the National Restaurant Association says that the American sales of fast food totaled $163.5 billion dollars in 2005. McDonalds grew in 2005 5.6 percent globally with 30,000 franchised stores in more than 120 countries. Source [http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/edible-innovations/fast-food3.htm]

Is this a risky move for McDonald’s to eliminate the golden arches in their advertisements? Or is their food so well known it won’t make a difference? Is their hamburger so recognizable that 100% of the time the consumer knows McDonald’s? Perhaps the signature Big Mac isn’t easily mistakable but what about the Sundae?

According to the Toronto Star, Sharon Aschaiek suggests that your brand isn’t your logo but your companies identity which consists of differentiating your message, knowing your competition, targeting your audience creating your vision and bringing it all together.  With that all said, I think this is a major fail for the restaurant giant. Targeted campaign? Nope. Differentiation? Not really… it’s rather boring. Anyone can close up their food. Maybe that’s what they would have done ran a campaign called “your McCloseUp” featuring their customers from around the world eating their product. Obviously the product would look the same, but who is eating it…. Wouldn’t that create a buzz?

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It’s not what you do, but the way that you do it

My Friend Amanda wrote this blog on the power of advertising. I couldn’t agree more. In fact my friends 7 year old son said to his Dad, “Dad it’s time to get a bowflex. You can try it for a month and if you don’t like you can return it. And did you know to achieve a skimmer body you just have to walk.” (http://www.bowflex.ca/bowflex-home-gyms-ca/nln/bowflexcanada.jsp) Come on right! Then he proceed to tell me I didn’t need lululemons anymore but Pajama Jeans. (https://www.pajamajeans.com/) Yes “Avery you know Pajama Jeans are just like wearing pjs. They won’t mark your skin, aren’t tight and the most comfortable jeans you will own.” Crazy right!

So I have to agree. Kids are like mini sponges and we can’t protect them 24-7 but we do need to create conversation and help them to understand.

TV Amanda

A cute television commercial, with a little girl and her mom discussing the heart health benefits of their cereal has ignited a firestorm, and given us an example of the kind of power advertisers hold.

According to CTV News, the Cheerios commercial sparked such racist vitriol on its YouTube page they had to disable comments. Adweek notes references to Nazis, ‘troglodytes’ and ‘racial genocide’ is what triggered the block.  Why are viewers up in arms? Because the commercial featured a bi-racial family.

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Target set to debut tv commerical to Canada during the Oscars


Well the new TV ad campaign for Target is set to be unveiled this weekend. According to Yahoo! News, the campaign is simple and centered around neighbourliness. This is also echoed with their new slogan, “We can’t wait to meet you”. They have even paired with ROOTS to create a limited edition clothing line.

For all those not fimilar with the Canadian company Roots…ROOTS actually began as a simple idea; it was inspired by Ontario’s Algonquin Park and the Canadian wilderness. Pretty neat, the logo for the company is actually one of Canada’s national symbols the beaver. Therefore, Target and ROOTS seem like the perfect pairing; ROOTS is the friendly Canadian, helping their American cousin to gain the market.

What is also fun to speculate is what the commercial will be like.

Rumor has it…

– The Mr. Rogers, theme song, “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” will be played.

-Of course it will most likely contain their ever so popular “bull’s eye” theme. Yup Target used this campaign to help differentiate themselves from Wal-Mart and Kmart in the late 90’s. Yes, they all have low prices however; Target wanted to brand based on personality and showcases the chic side of its cheap-chic identity.

-Bright colors will be used with red and white landmarks most likely.

One thing is for sure, Target will still offer Canadian customers their promise.

Customers should expect more of everything: more design, more selection and more exclusives you won’t find anywhere else. And it means you’ll pay less for what you want.

Also they have a great guest service guarantee.

Either way it is a “Win Win” for Canadian’s and healthy competition to those already in the market place.

Personally I can’t wait to check it out. Will you?

Difficulties while driving new Honda Campaign Suggestion.


The new Honda, “Difficulties while driving? You’re only human” campaign highlights “anything to make our lives easier.” They currently use an unnamed actor/model with a bee to highlight Honda’s new lane departure warning technology because, well distractions happen.

When I first saw this new campaign, I thought maybe a better spokesperson would be Lindsay Lohan.  Let’s face it; Lindsay’s eyes don’t always stay on the road so maybe Honda’s Lane departure warning system would help alert Lindsay when she unintentionally drifts out of her lane.

Both way kudos on the new technology Honda and I actually love your new campaign even with the unknown red head.


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Trick or Treat?

Halloween may only be a month and a half away but Nestle has a head start. A few years back Kit Kat had a “Ghoulish Collection” with etches of spooky scenery on the top of each bar of Kit Kats.

Fast forward a few years later and you can now get any of your favorites: Kit Ka, Aero, Smarties and Coffee Crisp in Halloween themed packaging starting in early September. Not only is the packaging rebranded but the names as well! “I’ll take a “Coffin Crisp” or maybe some “Scaries.”

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Olympic Marketing: Do you really need to pay to gain worldwide exposure?

The Olympic brand is indeed powerful and recognizable world wide. The sponsorship title is prestigious if your company is fortunate enough to be a sponsor. Of course any unpaid for association with the Games is illegal, according to the Olympic Committee bylaws. Does a company really need to pay to gain attention and increase their profits?

Apple and Nike are two companies who are looking to profit from the games. They are not Olympic sponsors but they are drawing the worlds’ attention.

According to Forbes Magazine, Apple is set to release limited edition lapel pins, showcasing the union jack on the screen of their Iphones and Ipads.



Nike on the other hand has used ambush marketing, which has gained attention for encouraging, you, the athlete at any level to, “Find your greatness.” The interesting tie, Nike has used places around the world called London, such as London Ohio, London Norway etc. to showcase not only the worldwide magnitude but also the association with London but not directly using “London 2012” or “Olympics.”

Two Olympic sponsors who are generating attention…

Telstra an Australian company is encouraging people to support their Olympic team with their new commercial, “Hero Messages.” They have effectively combined the anthem Down Under, with everyday people singing along to the song. Mark Buckman, Telstra’s marketing chief, has definitely ignited patriotism and has created a name for their company worldwide.

Lastly, Commonwealth Bank has teamed up with Olympic swimmer James Magnussen and created a sweepstakes campaign literally around the word “CAN”. The letters C, A , N follow the runner until T appears. T tries to take over Magnussens thoughts with self-doubt until C,A,N pushes T over the edge. Really the ad is quite genius and let’s just admit it, we have all questioned ourselves at one point or another in our lives… right?

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Costa Concordia a PR Nightmare!

Costa Concordia

Almost a month later and still there is no statement released from Carnival Cruise Ships the parent company of the Costa Concordia, an 114,500-tonne cruise liner, which slammed into a rock off the island Of Giglio Italy. With the ship now perched on a rocky ledge further up the coast there is now 32 people dead!

This is another company which has demonstrated compete negligence in regards to the public relations nightmare, which has resulted.  Why are corporations not investing in communications and practicing their releases in the event that a situation like this should arise.

Maybe Carnival Cruises should look at BC Ferries Communication’s Policies.  On March 22, 2006 at 1 AM, BC Ferries’ The Queen of the North sank just south of Prince Rupert BC upon hitting Gil Island. The PR response to this accident was commendable.   “It shook the company to its core,” B.C. Ferries president David Hahn said Tuesday of the only such accident in the 52-year history of the privately operated, but provincially owned, entity (Globe and Mail). They knew exactly when the ferry had hit the island, the communications team immediately jumped into action getting to the accident within the 1st hour. They worked with the local community where the accident took place. Not only did they solidify their message but they were selective in the media outlets to control the story as well.

In the end the cause of the accident was human error due to 3 BC Ferries employees who neglected their navigational duties.  Regardless of the cause, they maintained communication, kept their image intact and have regained customer loyalty.

Now theguardian is reporting the Costa Concordia passenger rep Domnica Cermortan was in love with the captain, Francesco Schettino and could have distracted him causing the crash. This was all discovered after a retired couple, passengers on board said hey say the captain entertain the  young lady and that he had drank copious amounts of wine before heading to the bridge to carry out the manoeuvre, which ultimately failed.

Really…. still nothing to say Carnival?

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Interesting New Lego Ad Campaign

Why not create a campaigned based on imagination and creativity, through the eyes of your target market…yes, 4 to 12 year olds. Lego has joined with Perieira & O’ Dell (New York Advertising Agency) to do just that.

Light, Fun and free to interrupt as you will, the four page series showcases a piece of Lego amongst, kid gibberish. The final ad, just a single piece of Lego… not type just the tag line, “Every LEGO brick tells a story. Build Yours.”

I admire the simplicity. Most toy companies today are using over the top, over produced advertising campaigns that instil the image of need, want and desire, to the point that if a child doesn’t actually get the toy despair and desperation kick in!

The older generation will also be able to reflect on their childhood, so maybe there is mainstream appeal. The average North American kid, spent hours playing Lego in the living room; Lego has even become a part of the classroom for learning as well.

The only suggestion I would have might be to see how kids from around the world view that same piece of Lego. Lego is a Denmark company. Compare and contrast different countries and share stories of laughter! You could even expand it to have a grandfather playing Lego with their grandchild and sharing his story, since it is now a multi-generational product.

Kudos Lego, personally I like the new campaign.


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96 years strong, Keds take a plunge on Social Media inspired footwear… Standby

Keds the original canvas sneaker with rubber soles created in 1916, has undergone a facelift!
Yes… you can now own a pair of keds showcasing social media preference! From, Facebook to Twittter, or Google+ to Flickr you can have a different pair of shoes for a week. There are a total of 7 different themes created by Lumen Bigott a Venezuelan graphic designer.

Now it might be cool to be geeky,  Sign me up!


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