Video of the Week: What if empty Coke bottles were never thrown away?

What if empty Coke bottles were never thrown away?

It’s a great question. Plastic pop bottles are one of the most iconic symbols of modern waste culture. We see them littered all over our public spaces, so much so that many American national parks have restricted their sale. Metropolitan hubs like San Francisco have outlawed the sale of plastic water bottles entirely as recently as this year. With a market growing in awareness and, albeit slow, adapting government response, Coke has come up with a new strategy to reduce the total waste of its product. I do have a few questions with this initiative, but all in all it accounts for a step towards resourcefulness and promotes better understanding of the repercussions of one-time-use plastics. Oh, and it makes Coca-Cola look like moral torchbearers.

So, this video is a promotional piece to advertise Coke’s new plan to incorporate attachable accessories that replace the cap and give new purpose to the empty coke bottle. The original plan calls for the distribution of 40,000 attachments throughout Vietnam in packs of sixteen, included in the purchase of their product, free. Included among the ingenuity are pencil sharpeners, nightlight, bubble blowers, paint dabbers, water gun, spray nozzle, etc, etc, etc. After Vietnam, the commercial tells the viewer that it plans to spread this idea around Asia.

The commercial itself is top quality and to be expected from Coca-Cola. They’ve recently produced forward-thinking commercials like “America is Beautiful“, what amounted to mild controversy for supporting and presenting American cultural diversity. This video is designed to show the attachments in use, by happy consumers of all ages. It’s set to an old-timey song, giving it a sprinkle of vintage amidst all the quick shots of smiles and fun. It asks the viewer to imagine the life of a Coke bottle post-consumption and validates possibilities that aren’t set in a landfill. The casting is primarily children and the elderly as an assertion of the multi-generational product appeal, and plus, they feature two demographics that tend to melt hearts.

Looking at this critically, this is a well-calculated PR move to bolster the green esteem of a product that is fundamentally the opposite of that claim. These attachments do encourage people to repurpose what would otherwise be trash, all the while keeping the Coke logo and bottle design central to the reinvention. The viewer is left under the impression that Coca-Cola is taking a proactive stance in bettering the environment. Well, there are still islands of plastic floating in the pacific, you do have to buy more of their plastic products in order to acquire the new plastic caps (instead of using the ones already laying around), and it’s yet to be seen if the novelty appeal will have a lasting effect or just become the extended shoreline of one of these plastic ocean landmasses.

It’s always important to look critically at these ads, especially ones that push for environmental change. The commercial itself as a work of visual media is extremely effective. It’s pulls an emotional response, makes you feel like a responsible consumer for your Coke purchase, and ties in nicely with Coke’s current trajectory. Though these products are destined for the Asian market, it would be interesting to see if they end up translating well in Western markets. “Green washing” is the popular term used in the marketing world to describe this shift towards cleaning a brand’s image through environmental consciousness. Take it as faddism or authentic change, it still remains an impressive innovation that has the potential pressure other companies to adopt similar changes–something we can all benefit from.

Fun Friday Post: Top 5 innovative uses for Digi’s desk while he’s on vacation.

The office is eerily quiet now that Digi is on vacation. Things will be back to normal come Monday, but we must admit he’s left quite the vacancy here. So, for the time being, we’ve found new and innovative uses for his desk as a means of therapeutic coping. Here are 5 new uses for Digi’s desk.

*Nothing was moved or harmed in the making of this post

1. New Lunch Table

It’s closer, central, and has a wonderful view. Prime real estate.

2. Montreal’s Newest Matinee Club

Unwind and blow off some steam at the Old Port’s
hottest new matinee club. Moves for days.

3. Nap Sanctuary

Siesta. The desk functions as reliable protection against the elements.

4. Shrine

What better way to immortalize an idol than a shrine in their honour?

5. Mani/Pedi Table

Topping up a coat or picking a new shade with ultimate convenience.

On Getting Out of Your Own Way

So you need to amp up your marketing? And how do you plan to do that? You know we can help, and maybe you have an inkling as to how we do that. But what else do you know about getting the project under way?

We have plenty of clients whose main work is not the Internet, it’s not marketing and it’s not what we do. They run companies or departments, and often have facilities with numerous staff to manage. They don’t have time to sit down and babysit a marketing project and neither do you.

And yet – how can you ensure that you won’t get in your own way?

Determine your goal

Yes, marketing can be a panacea to all sorts of business ailments, but let’s get real. What do you really need? What are you actually trying to achieve? More people in the door? Supporting your customers? Sell more products? Sell new products? These are all goals that we can help you achieve – you just need to vocalize them.

TrippingDetermine your timing and budget

Yes, there is affordability to consider, but there’s also the consideration of ROI. What return on your investment are you expecting? This should directly correlate to your primary goal. Your timeline should also be contingent on your goals and budget. Think carefully: are there important events we should be notified about? Is there a product launch or event happening? Sure, we all want everything yesterday, but be honest, will it make a big difference if you have it today or in three weeks?

Another really important consideration is your contribution to the project. It’s important to start a project with your eyes open and see what you’re getting into. What are your constraints? Whether it’s time, budget or ability, there are ways to customize the work done to accommodate your needs. We want to support you, but you need to know what you are capable of in terms of contribution, approval timing, and so on. It’s much harder to embark on a new project with set deadlines if you can’t provide required items like logos, images, text, and important information within a predetermined “reasonable” period of time. It might cost more to have us do it for you, but then all you need to do is place your confidence in us that we will get the job done (and say YES)!

Most importantly – when your priorities change – get in touch! The sooner the better, when circumstances change, opportunities arise, or tasks and projects need to be rearranged, don’t feel bad about calling us. We want to know as much as you do how to move forward together.

The point is: when we sign a contract, we’re working together. When one or the other lags behind, we’re not working together, someone is playing catch-up.

Video of the Week: Mistaken Identity Project

Roughly a month ago, a San Francisco-based advertising company named Amazon Advertising released a series of videos that are too clever to overlook. As we know with most promotional material, the goal is often to set yourself, or your brand, apart from the similar. This idea and the struggles of forging identity clearly theme this set of videos, as Amazon Advertising created a mini interview series with regular Joes and Janes who share names with famous celebrities. In a sense, for the first time on this scale, the participants are creating their own brand as individuals, individuals with mistaken identities. We delve into their experiences with being constantly confused for someone of more notable social status. This in itself is pretty amusing, but it’s the ending twist that gives these videos their punch.

Within each clip, we hear the funny, creepy, and awkward anecdotes confessed by these people who share their names with Hollywood celebrities. Renee Zelwegger, Justin Bieber, David Letterman, Jon Stewart, and Alice Cooper account for just some of the (un?)fortunate few (up for debate) who will forever have their names associated with their famous name-twin. In consequence, some of these people have had the displeasure of stalkers, the surprise of love letters and locks of hair, and the obligation to frequently disappoint hotel and flight staff once they realize the reality of the situation. It’s an interesting predicament that most of us will never have experience within our lifetime.

During the tail-end of the clip, Renee Zelwegger (see how misleading it is?) expresses to the camera how excited she is to be shooting a commercial for Amazon, asking anxiously when it’ll air. She is then revealed that she isn’t shooting a commercial for the international commerce company, but instead the smaller advertising company “Amazon” that shares the same name with the juggernaut American brand. Watch her face drop. Essentially, she experiences the same firsthand let-down they bestow on others in their everyday… and it’s all caught on camera. You get to watch a little part of her crumble into oblivion as she unintentionally mimics the reaction of a disappointed “fan”, like those described throughout their stories.

Amazon Advertising is having fun and playing with the fact that they will more than likely be confused with and/or overshadowed by the larger Amazon brand. Instead of changing their name, they’re branding themselves as the unfortunate yet proactive victim of circumstance. It’s funny, and people respond to well self-debasing humour. They let us in on the laugh, while having fun with people who live a similar scenario. It’s a little meta and a whole lot of smart. Instead of trying to go toe-to-toe with Amazon or restructure their company name, they embrace the path of least resistance that many would probably avoid. It’s a kind of declaration that personifies their company in a positive sense all the while being entertaining.

Fun Friday Post: Just for Laughs, where to go?

It’s that time of year again, Montreal! We’re in the heat of festival season, having survived Les Francofolies and the Montreal International Jazz Festival. Now, we tune our senses for the international comedy festival, Just for Laughs. This massive spectacle brings together some of the biggest talents in comedy from all across the globe. It’s also a perfect time to showcase some of our homegrown laugh-masters as you sit in on some comedy legends. Here is a compiled list of some of our favourite acts. Humour is highly subjective and mine tends to lean a little on the vulgar, ridiculous, and socially sharp side. In other words, not normally PG 13 and ready to rattle some cages. I appreciate diversity in my comedy, and this list undoubtedly reflects that.

1. Miranda Sings

When / Where: Saturday July 26th, Métropolis

Miranda Sings is an international YouTube star who has been making spit-take quality videos for years now. Miranda is a character inspired by homeschooled, self-adoring, painfully oblivious, over-confident “singers” that “Miranda” actress Colleen Ballinger has taken cues from. Miranda is essentially the best and worst person you’ve ever met. Her show focuses on her claimed talents: singing, dancing, modelling, magic, acting, having a lot of boyfriends. The cherry on top is her dramatic recount of her hate-mail. Haters, back off! Watch one of her YouTube videos and you’ll understand why she’s racked up tens of millions of views. It’s a beautiful mix of laughing at and laughing with, leaving you wondering the entire time, is she really acting?

2. Hannibal Buress

When/Where: Wednesday July 23rd, Club Soda

I was very happy to see Hannibal Buress’ name on the Just for Laughs list. I was a fan of his on 30 Rock with Tina Fey, and coincidentally his role on Broad City (to be mentioned later), where he plays a relationship-hunting dentist and friend-of-benefit to one of the lead characters. Hannibal Buress has an unmistakably smooth delivery that makes everything he says funny. The pace of his comedy is a is taken down a notch, almost conversational, and his tone is killer. He comes off as a guy you’d kill to have a beer with… often.

3. Broad City

When/Where: Tuesday July 22nd, Club Soda

Broad City consists of two actresses, Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jaconbson, which also happens to be the name of their Comedy Central show, produced by Amy Poeler. The show which aired at the beginning of 2014 is a loosely autobiographical interpretation of these two improv actresses lives as broke, modern, uninhibited 20-somethings in NYC. The description may come off as generic, but their “blunt”ness (yes, I’m being punny), vulgarity, and refusal to abide by “typical womanhood” expectations has brought to the mainstream some very progressive comedy. These are two women to watch out for, and if their standup is anything like their television program (which they write), you’re in for a treat.

4. Amy Schumer

When/Where: Saturday July 26th, Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier

Oh, girl. If you haven’t heard of Amy Schumer, you can officially begin self-labelling as “out of the loop”. If that’s the case, you’ve been saved from some very explicit mental images. She’s crude, crass, and really doesn’t care if you’re not that into it. An ex “Last Comic Standing” alumni, Schumer now has her own show appropriately titled “Inside Amy Schumer” that airs on Comedy Central. I’ll put a disclaimer, it isn’t likely you’ll leave her show without feeling a offended and/or uncomfortable at one point or another. Although, her self-deprecating humour makes up for your discomfort but keep in mind, she takes no prisoners.

5. Aziz Ansari

When/Where: July 16th, TBA

Easily the act that I would sell a kidney to see. Aziz shot into the public eye as Tom Haverford in the Amy Poeler comedy “Parks and Recreation”. His metro, energy-pumped, misled-21st-century-millennial-capitalist demeanour made him easily one of the funniest characters on the already hilarious show. His standup is pleasantly different from his TV character, relying on smart, progressive, and socially critical material. With marksman-like precision, he calls out double standards while making you keel over from laughing too hard. It’s a show that makes you think.

Tidbit: Free entertainment

From July 12th to 26th, Place des Festivals is packed solid from morning till night with free comedy, music, and amusement rides for children. If you can’t make it to any of the mentioned comedy shows, spend an afternoon or evening enjoying the atmosphere being joyfully entertained FOR FREE.

Video of the Week: The Coolest Cooler

“This insulated box really does almost everything you could ever expect from… an insulated box.”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve become quite fond of crowdsourced funding platforms recently. If you take the time to browse through Kickstarter or Indiegogo, you’re more than apt to find a product or project that speaks to you and won’t shut up. When they’re good, they’re really good, and social media platforms are catapulting these public pleas into popular conscience. I was admittedly sucked into the Solar Roadways project, an idea most of us probably had collecting dust in back of our minds, but were politely waiting for someone else to execute. Now, the next “why-didn’t-I-think-of-that” product comes in the form of the Coolest Cooler. A cooler has never been high on my priority list of things to buy, but I am ready to drop some serious money after seeing this multifaceted technological masterpiece.

I know, it’s a cooler. How “cool” can this cooler really be? — Apparently pretty cool. With 45 days still left to fund the project, the grand total of collected funds is fast approaching the 5 million dollar mark. It’s a steep jump from the original 50 thousand dollar target. This insulated box really does almost everything you could ever expect from… an insulated box. It has a built-in blender attachment so you can make therapeutic margaritas for the camper who’s having trouble coping without margaritas, removable waterproof bluetooth speakers to blast Rihanna as bears protection, and a USB charger to revive your phone once that flashlight app you just downloaded demolishes your battery. I’m not kidding when I say this product is for real, will do almost anything you ask it, and looks sharp and retro while doing so.

So apart from me gushing, from a marketing point of view this product contains elements that almost effortlessly captured the attention of consumers. I would also say that it likely expanded into unsuspected markets, a telltale sign of a home-run. First of all, this is a formidable product and though seemingly excessive, appears commonsensical for the 21st century fair-weather outdoorsman. It allows you to enjoy many urban conveniences while doubling as an organizational tool.

As the product is so intense in nature, it was important to let it speak for itself. The commercial emphasized its family appeal with the legion of children dancing around it and demonstrating the limitations of the archaic (standard) model. A simple and personable voiceover lent itself to crisp closeups of the product while in use. The shots were mostly handheld, adding a layer of personality to the commercial, like a really, really nice home video. This was essential to repel a gimmicky image and showcase its fit as a lifestyle product. It also created an air of honesty and put a face to such a unique product that could easily have been the subject of an SNL skit. The Swiss Army Knife of coolers is a tough sell, but credit will be given when credit is due.

After watching this video, how set are you on taking the plunge?

L’œil du marqueteur: La Coupe du monde de football

Chez Brendan and Brendan on est  des marqueteurs, mais pas que…

On est aussi des montréalais, des québécois, des aficionados de sport (regarder pas forcément pratiquer), des dégustateurs de bières, des amateurs de bonne bouffe. Autrement dit, on aime la vie! Et si on apprécie toutes ces petites choses, on ne peut s’empêcher de les regarder avec les lunettes d’un marqueteur (il y a des défauts qui sont difficiles à corriger!). Conclusion, pourquoi ne pas vous faire part de nos réflexions sur ces événements qui nous concernent tous plus ou moins, de loin ou très près…

La Coupe du Monde de Football

Qu’est-ce que c’est?

Vraiment? Il y a besoin de présenter ce que c’est?  Si vous avez vu des petits drapeaux de tous les pays du monde (sauf du Canada) sur le toit des voitures, ce n’est pas un regain de nationalisme de l’immigration québécoise, c’est la coupe du monde de soccer. Si vous avez entendu des hurlements de joie/de rage chez vos voisins du dessous à des intervalles différents, c’est la coupe du monde de soccer. Et enfin, si vous vous êtes demandés pourquoi des bars étaient à ce point bondés en plein milieu de l’après-midi, c’est encore la coupe du monde de soccer. En bref, c’est un événement qui se produit une fois tous les quatre ans et qui réunnis des équipes de soccer nationale qui se débrouillent bien avec un ballon, et au bout d’un mois l’équipe la plus forte est sacrée championne du monde.

Comment c’est marqueté?

Très bien. Que dire de plus? Des chanteurs internationaux en font la promotion à travers des clips et pas forcément sous contrat avec les organisateurs de la coupe de soccer. Tout le monde en parle sans arrêt. Même des publicités pour la vente de sauce tomate  peuvent être amenés à parler de la coupe de soccer. Si, si, c’est possible :

’’Attention, attention elle arrive et GOOOOAL!!! Elle entre tout droit dans l’assiette en dribblant habilement les spaghettis et le fromage! Magnifique ce but restera longtemps dans les annales!

(J’exagère à peine.)

Un petit exemple en image ? Ça ne parle pas de sauce tomate, mais c’est dans le même esprit :


En plus de tout ça, la Fifa (l’organisatrice de la coupe du monde) met les grands moyens : 70 millions de dollars étaient prévu. Et tout ça c’est sans compter les dépenses monstrueuses mises en place par le Brésil qui accueillait l’événement!

  • Les plus?

-le retour glorieux d’une équipe colombienne absente du championnat pendant 16 ans.

-du suspense. Ou on pourrait même dire un sacré coup de théâtre avec l’élimination du Brésil en quart de finale

- Les moins?

-Les brésiliens étaient majoritairement contre l’Accueil de la coupe du monde sur leur territoire.

- L’humiliation subit par l’équipe nationale du Brésil face à l’Allemagne.

-Mon équipe favorite a été éliminée en quart de finale (et ce n’était pas le Brésil)!

-Les trucs bizarres?

Le joueur uruguayen Suarez qui mord un joueur italien. (Ok, ça n’a rien à voir avec le marketing de la coupe du monde, mais c’était vraiment bizarre).

Conclusion :

Bon maintenant que la coupe est fini et que les allemands ont gagné on parle de quoi? Le débat sur l’euthanasie? Trop politique! L’Irak? Trop sanglant! Le Nouvel an chinois? Déjà passé! A suivre, vous aurez la surprise la semaine prochaine!