Category Archives: Blogs

5 Recent Ad Campaigns That Caught Our Eye

By Neha Saboo

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Advertisements, in their earliest form were used largely by companies in an attempt to get more people to buy their products. They had one sole purpose and that was to get the name of their product across and increase sales. Today, the Millennials have changed the face of advertising. It’s shown that there’s much less tolerance for low production value and the reduction in depth and quality only add to the “digital landfill.” As Vice Media LLC CEO Shane Smith said “There’s going to be a consolidation in media. Only the strong survive.” We want stories in our advertisements today. We want depth, emotion and integrity. We want to connect.

In recent years, there have been better and better ad campaigns coming out, some that deliver hope, some that tug at your heartstrings and some that motivate you to get out of bed and do something (Nike’s Just Do It slogan just came into your mind didn’t it?)

So without further ado, have a look through some of the campaigns that caught our eye as we searched the web.

1.  Audi – DaughterJust two weeks before The Super Bowl, more than 2.5 million people participated in the historic Women’s March around the globe. With the 60-second “Daughter commercial” the German automobile manufacturer stood its ground as a Feminist on behalf of one of the most troubling social issues today.In today’s era, you can connect to people through humor or speak to them emotionally. Audi decided to take a chance from its previous style of advertisements, including humor and showcases of its newest cars, features and technology.

Audi – Daughter

The ad showed a dad’s thought process while watching his young daughter compete in a cart race. He contemplated what to tell his daughter about her worth. Should he have told her that she will ‘automatically be valued as less than every man she ever meets?”

Set in dark, grim tones, the commercial ends on a hopeful note as the girl crosses the finish line first as the dad thinks “Or maybe I’ll be able to tell her something different.”

Our generation today is a generation of change. We fight for what we want, what we believe in and we don’t back down. Through this gender equality commercial, Audi showed millions of people where they stand in this fight.


2.  84 Lumber – The Entire JourneyThe United States of America has been home to many types of people. People of different origins with different beliefs and different lifestyles. It is, or was the land of diversity. It was the single opportunity for people from different parts of the world to come to this land and make a life for themselves because America doesn’t discriminate against race, color, religion or sex.Today, the circumstances have changed. President Trump managed to make immigrating a much more difficult and strenuous process, proposing the referenced border wall. 84 Lumber wanted to bring to attention what was going on in this nation and as mentioned, the company felt it would be wrong for them to ignore the conversation taking place in every kitchen table in America.

84 Lumber

The ad featured a mother and daughters ‘entire journey’ from Mexico to America. There were moments of strength, weakness and struggle but it would be worth the wait right? As they reached their destination, they found a huge, daunting wall stopping them from crossing the border. The emotions that both the mother and daughter felt were echoed throughout America. They ended, similarly to Audi, on an opportunistic note, stating “The will to succeed is always welcome here.”

Featured in the Superbowl 2017, due to its controversial nature Fox allowed only 30 seconds of airtime for the commercial however the company posted the full length version on its website, which crashed due to a major increase in traffic. Nevertheless, the company took a stand in what they believe in, trying to convey that once again, America is the land of opportunity and that “84 Lumber is the company of opportunity”, according to Rob Shapiro at Brunner agency.

3.  President’s Choice – #EatTogetherIn a world running on the wheels of technology, we often make less time to actually spend time with people without any phones, any distractions any technology. We’re stuck on our phones, checking our Facebook notifications and how many likes we got on that new post on Instagram. Kid’s eat in front of a laptop, watching a movie in their room instead of sitting around the dinner table talking about their day with their family.This 2017, for Canada’s 150th birthday, the Loblaw Company and President’s Choice brand made it a goal to get Canadians to eat together. Whether it’s a 3 course meal or midnight snack, everyone knows that a family that eats together, stays together.

President’s Choice – Eat Together

The ad includes one woman noticing that everyone around her is in their own little world. No one is talking to each other, no one is connecting and no one is making an effort. She becomes so fed up that her and her roommate shove a few tables out into their hallway, waiting for others to join them. Slowly, neighbors come bringing their own food and tables. As the song “What the world needs now is love” plays in the background, you see people connecting and enjoying, bringing them closer.

Through this heartwarming advertisement, the brand shows us that in a time like this, we need to make more of an effort to keep the smallest things, smallest habits in life alive, for they are the most important.

4.  Under Armour – Rule YourselfLast summer, as Michael Phelps took part in the Olympics for the last time, he also helped Under Armour release its motivational “Rule Yourself” ad, which quickly became one of the most shared Olympic commercials ever.

Under Armour – Rule Yourself

In the ad, they show Phelps’ intensive training. As an Olympic athlete, his life is swimming. From the non-stop swimming to the cupping therapy, Under Armour showed motivation, dedication and sacrifice all in one.Once again, the ad strings an emotional chord with the millennials. As their audience views the rigorous and exhaustive training process of Phelps through the lens of a camera, the pain and hard work draws a sense of inspiration, engaging the viewers through empathy and amazement. The ad ends on the quote “It’s what you do in the dark, that puts you in the light.”

5. – Big Game Ad: Kung Fu Panda 3Another super bowl commercial, in this one we see Wix and DreamWorks Animation collaborating to develop a fun, humorous campaign with the animated character, Kung Fu Panda. – Kung Fu Panda

By the 3rd movie of the Kung Fu Panda series, Po the panda was the dragon warrior. The ad started with Po’s father wondering how they can get more customers to come to Ping’s noodles. Po suggests creating a commercial featuring him. But Master Shifu, wise as always, says the way to begin is to create a #stunning website from humorous content, connected with tens of millions of people using their Super Bowl spot, showing that they have something for everyone.







Why The Pepsi Controversy Is Important

By Moira Dugan

Over the past week the popular soft beverage brand, Pepsi, has been receiving a lot of negative backlash following the release of their latest video ad for their “Live for now” campaign. The ad was launched on Monday April 3, 2017, however, because of the negative feedback it received primarily through social media platforms, Pepsi removed the content by Wednesday April 5th. Although it was removed, it has reappeared in The New York Times, US Weekly, and The Atlantic, to name a few, and was even the punch line of an SNL skit over the weekend. The controversy will pass with time, however, today’s marketers and advertisers should keep note of the ad, and the lessons Pepsi learned from it.

Pepsi is not the first, and far from the last, brand to attempt to centralize around current social and political issues in their ads. In the 2017 Super Bowl LI, many of the halftime ads contained political and social messages. Audi, for example, also withstood a great amount of criticism for their half time commercial which took a stance on equal pay. In recent years and especially following the 2017 presidential election, the political and social landscape has been filled with a lot of tension. And for marketers and advertisers, such as Pepsi, it is a difficult terrain to cover.

One of the major mistakes Pepsi made was failing to put their money where their mouth was. Airbnb who launched a political ad during Super Bowl LI – addressing the issue of accepting refugees – had a solid stance on their campaigns message before they released their ad. The campaign, #weaccept, stood behind displaced peoples and was offering housing to those who were affected by natural disaster, no matter where they come from, what they look like, or what they believe in. And for marketers and advertisers, it is important to understand a brands values because consumers are aware and can easily piece together the sincerity or insincerity of a brand’s message.

Secondly Pepsi’s choice of celebrity Kendall Jenner highlighted the weight a cohesive message carries. Whether you love, hate or are indifferent towards Jenner, her own personal values and public perceptions are very important. Pepsi utilized straightforward imagery when they choose to depict a march/protest, however by choosing to use Jenner, it created a contradictory message. Majority of the marches and protests in 2017 have been over injustices and disparities felt by minority groups in America, and of all celebrities, Jenner does not reflect someone who has withstood injustice or inequality. One common perception of the Kardashians is that they have done nothing to deserve everything they have gotten, which quickly creates an image of privilege, a quality that strongly conflicts with the groups Pepsi was trying to portray.

And although companies have often taped into social trends to make their ads relevant, it is not always best to jump right in, especially when addressing touchy topics.

Marketers and advertisers need to have a well-rounded understanding of the topics that they want to approach, because it will not go unnoticed if it is hot or trending topic for debate. Although Pepsi “was trying to portray a global message of unity, peace and understanding” they missed the mark therefore portraying themselves as misinformed and “tone-deaf” according to many headlines.

However, the most important thing for marketers and advertisers to take away now is what Pepsi does next. They choose not to defend their ad, but rather apologize to their consumers and to Jenner. It is a tough decision to make, and perhaps not always the right one. Who knows what would have happened had Pepsi stood behind their ad and fought every negative comment they had, but now that they have chosen their path it is important that they stick to it. Now that Pepsi is in damage control mode, it is vital that other companies and creators watch not only Pepsi’s response but the consumer’s response to Pepsi’s in order to avoid similar mistakes.


Creating a Popular Brand Through Distinctive Assets

By Sabrina Kaye

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From the images above, were you able to successfully identify the company associated with the image? If you could, this is the result of smart, strategic implementation of distinctive assets.

What are distinctive assets?

To understand how distinctive assets contribute to a brand’s identity, we must first understand what distinctive assets are. Distinctive assets are any kind of element that signals the brand name to consumers. Examples of elements are:

  • Colors
  • Slogans
  • Music, sounds, jingles
  • Style of advertising
  • Logos
  • Characters
  • Packaging

However, a given element is only considered distinctive if it is:

  • Unique: the element evokes the brand, not the competitors
  • Famous: Most, if not all consumers should know the element represents the brand name

The key to distinctive assets is consistency

Having distinctive elements present is only the first step in establishing a successful campaign and a recognizable brand image. Elements do not become distinctive assets immediately. Instead, repetition and consistency are key for consumers to learn the links between certain elements and the associated brand. Some examples of distinctive assets established by successful brands are the Coca-Cola bottle shape, the McDonald’s golden arches, the M&M’s characters, and of course, the famous Apple logo. While there are a wide range of elements that can be applied as distinctive assets, the most successful companies tend to focus on the following 5 elements:

  • Colors, logos, patterns
  • Packaging
  • Characters
  • Tone of voice
  • Context/Environment

If a brand is able to establish successful distinctive assets, there can be a wide range of potential benefits

One of the biggest benefits of distinctive assets is that a brand is able to incorporate a more creative alternative than simply showing the brand’s name itself. This can open the door to more interaction between the consumer and a campaign in a variety of ways. By establishing this interaction/relationship between the consumer and a brand or campaign, the distinctive assets can be integrated with the product itself, which can then improve overall in-store performance. Moreover, distinctive assets can allow a brand to distinguish themselves amongst competitors. Although the product may not be entirely unique, the message and/or tone of a campaign can set apart an otherwise common product.


I want to create distinctive assets for my brand, how do I do it?

While the idea of implementing distinctive assets is simple, the execution is not as straightforward. Of course, it takes the right combination of creativity, skill, and strategy to create the most successful assets, but the following steps can help guide you through the process of assessing and establishing your distinctive assets.

  1. Identify the distinctive assets you can use immediately
  2. Identify elements that have the potential to grow into assets
  3. Assess the effectiveness of your assets
  4. Identify weak elements to avoid

5 tips to record a successful video interview

By Neha Saboo


Take a minute to notice how much technology has incorporated itself into our daily lives today. The first thing we look at in the morning is not the window but our notifications. Face-timing or calling our families happens in the elevator or while walking to class. The new app, Houseparty – a group video chat where “the party is always on” is the easiest place for all of us to reunite with our friends and catch up on their day. Today, camera’s and video have a more and more ubiquitous impact on our lives not just personally but also professionally.

Recorded video interviews are increasingly useful to companies due to great time-savings and flexibility for recruiters – it’s another way for employers to learn about how you move and behave easier. And when every device you own seems to have a built-in camera, there is no longer the need for any high cost video software and storage. The video interview is not new, but it’s likely we’ll be seeing more of it as both businesses and job-seekers take advantage of the tremendous advances in social, mobile and cloud technologies.

While it’s true that we’re in constant contact with cameras and video today – be it having a meeting, talking to a friend or posting film content online, the thought of doing a video interview where every word, every grimace, every “um” that comes out of your mouth is to be projected onto a big screen and re-watched multiple times – is a situation where most people are uncomfortable about. So until you become an extreme extrovert and love being in front of the camera, how do you make the best possible virtual impression? Here are 5 tips on how to capture your best self in front of the camera.

  • Preparation, Preparation, Preparation – Even if you get multiple times to record your answers, nothing is more off-putting to a recruiter than lack of groundwork. Look up the company, what it’s about, what they specialize in and be ready to have an in-depth conversation about why you want work in this specific firm, and what you can give to them. Know the CEO, managers and other potential team members to learn more about their experience – something you can possibly relate to in a question and show your knowledge of their business. Try to think of questions you would like to ask your interviewer and preferably specific to him/her – not generic questions you can easily find the answer too, this shows a genuine and keen interest.
  • Dress for success – 65% of recruiters look at clothes as a deciding factor between two similar candidates. In this case, you don’t want to think a video interview is synonymous with By all means, leave the worn out pajama pants on if it isn’t in the frame, but the rest of you needs to look as if you’ve dressed for an in-person interview. You can search the company website for employee or team pictures to see if they dress in a trendier or conservative manner for more insight but if you’re unsure, conservative is always the safe way to go. Even via video, the interviewer can tell if you put in the effort to give that look of elegance in your attire.
  • Location matters! – Walk around the area you’re going to be in and find the least distracting place to take a video call. If you’re at home, be mindful of any posters, unfolded laundry or bright decorations that will distract the interviewer from what you’re saying. The TV should be off, your puppy should be in different, locked room and the sound of a washing machine or dishwasher far from your laptop. If you’re in public space, look in corners or relatively less busy places to find a quieter area where less people pass by from and use earphones with a microphone if necessary.
  • Test run – It doesn’t exactly look good if your video recording has footage of you scrambling around getting everything in order or if your laptop runs out of battery in the middle of your interview. Therefore, check all of your tech and make sure everything is working. Make sure your computer is charged and/or plugged in. Check your video camera to check the angel is natural and correct, rather than you looking down on it. Maximize your internet connection by removing all other devices currently using it so that your video doesn’t include unclear sound or pixelated images. Test all sound systems, making sure your microphone and speakers are working loud and clear. If anything does go wrong, make sure you have the email address and phone number of the recruitment team in order to inform them immediately – another preparation technique that could be appreciated in a situation like this.
  • Smile – attitude is everything! – Gaby Natale once said “Believe in your potential even if you haven’t seen the results.” Confidence is key in any interview, whether its in-person, video or pre-recorded. They want you to not just express enthusiasm for the position but be confident in your own abilities to get it. Remember that the recruitment team will be focusing on you, your expressions and movements and many times, a person’s initial behavior changes when they talk to a camera instead of a person. In this case –

– Don’t stare at yourself on the screen but look at the camera.

– Talk to the camera as you would talk to a person. Don’t keep staring at it and become stiff.

– Stay hydrated. Nervousness could make your throat dry, resulting in an awkward exchange.

– Aim to speak a little slower than normal. People tend to speed up their speech in nervous situations, something you definitely see in public speaking. Take it slow, and you should be great!

These 5 steps may seem basic knowledge to you right now, but you would be surprised how often people forget and make these same exact mistakes under the mindset that video interviews are much easier to do. Following these tips and taking the time to prepare just as you would for an in-person interview will greatly increase our chances of landing the job – interviewers always notice the effort and will behind an interviewee’s actions and words so sit down at-least 10-15 minutes before to make sure everything is in place, your notes are next to you and you’re aware of what you look and sound like. Be confident knowing that you’ve done everything you can to give the best possible virtual impression of yourself.

Good luck!