Fun Friday Post: Bring Your Kid to Work Day!

Today’s Fun Friday Post is all about bringing your kid to work. The bearded Brendan’s oldest son is in the office today, and he’s insisted on being extra helpful for us. It couldn’t come at a better time, since we had our most recent Keep Marketing Fun Event and there was a lot to do in the aftermath. These are some of the things Kael did to help us out!

Bringing us coffee – we’re all pretty hungover after the epic keg that Bierbrier so generously provided, so Kael bringing us coffee was a pretty great treat!


Taking out the trash – we had about 80-90 people at KMF last night. That’s a lot of trash to take out the next day. Kael was generous enough to do it for us!


Kael also brought us all lunch! He went to the store and brought us all back banh mi sandwiches so that we could continue working hard today!


Gave Ziad a head massage – Ziad definitely appreciated a head massage!


Writing up client contracts – Kael brought home the bacon today! He got a new client to sign, seal and deliver a new mandate


Taking staff photos – Kael wanted to add to our growing collection of staff pics. So he grabbed the SLR and put together some great stuff!


Gave a staff presentation – Kael also reported on our last quarter of earnings, it was very motivating!


* Not really

Video of the Week: Audi – Barely Legal Pawn

Audi, the German automotive giants recently released a lengthly commercial–or short promotional video depending on how you see your glass– for an online audience. The web-based video features some of this year’s biggest television stars, just in time for the 2014 Emmy Awards scheduled for August 25th, 2014. This funny commercial takes cues from popular television shows, using both character and story line references to entrap viewer attention. It’s a landed hit that shows off the best of the Audi brand, featured actors, and Emmys.

In brief description, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad fame, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus of the Seinfeld Dynasty and current star on hit comedy show Veep, are Audi’s celebrity features. The two guys are working off of their Breaking Bad chemistry, playing gritty small-town business partners. The first part of the video shows us Dreyfus in her Audi, explaining why she’s in need of some quick cash. Continuing, she admits to drinking a little too much rosé and accidentally buying her own island, one a bit out of budget. Relatable, right? Dreyfus, playing herself, walks into Cranston and Paul’s pawn shop, cheekily titled, “Barely Legal Pawn” to hesitantly negotiate a deal for her coveted Emmy award. This is parodying popular love-it-or-hate-it History channel show “Pawn Stars” and other shows of the like. Cranston and Aaron Paul go out of their way to be as uncomfortable as possible and Dreyfus ends up not following through with the sale, leaving the shop and keeping her Emmy. She signs a media release form with the “Pawn Star” producer and suddenly realizes she forgot her car keys, forcing her to reenter the shop.

As she enters the shop, the lighting is dimmed, and the suspenseful violins kick into gear as the tone of the commercial dramatically shifts. She, of course, walks into a back room alone where Cranston and Paul are standing. Cranston closes the door behind her with a menacing tone and puts on a gas mask, a literal reference to the Breaking Bad series. Paul is in the background pouring liquid into a container, similar to the same show where both men played big-time crystal meth chemists. We find out that no, they are not making meth, but running an illegal puppy-bathing business. Paul pull’s out a cute puppy and Dreyfus asks “is it a boy or a girl?” and without missing a beat he replies, “Ahh… b*tch”. For those who are unaware, that colourful expletive was Paul’s Breaking Bad catchphrase.

These commercials jive with nearly everyone. We love being in on the joke. Using two extremely popular shows to capitalize on this fact makes us all feel part of some elitist cultural group. Most of us get the references, making the entire production feel tailored to popular taste. It’s also playing on the fact that many fans of Breaking Bad, approximately 112% of the American population, were in some form of withdrawn state of mourning following the series finale. Needless to say, the demand to see those two actors together has remained at boiling point for a while now. So Audi basically stroked our cultural ego, toyed with the army of Breaking Bad fans, and made a standalone funny internet video to boot.

For Audi’s branding purposes, yes there are many great shots of their cars throughout, but as was clearly the strategy, showcasing the vehicle became secondary, if not tertiary to creating a memorable moment. People might not remember every detail and spec of your new vehicle, but they’re more likely to remember how they feel. Not to mention, this video is just over six minutes long, so assuming the viewer watches it through, they are volunteering to invest in the Audi experience. Holding someone’s attention for 6 minutes is a rich amount of time to construct an experience, and Audi does it very well. Plus, it does build and play on the Emmy hype which never hurts, no?


#LoveMTL – Through simple acts of kindness, we’re lovin’ on Montreal.

“It’s about the power of One. One small act, by One person will create a ripple effect that will impact One great city.” –

Those of you who know me personally, know that I’m a proud Mtl’er and a staunch NDG’er – NDG is my hood yo! But I’m not alone. At Horse & Cart we have many NDG’ers and few exes, their loss :), on staff. So, it comes as no surprise that most of us spent this past sunny weekend frolicking at NDG’s 2nd annual “Festival Monkland” taking in the sights, quenching our thirst with many a bevy, filling our bellies with food truck awesomeness, and rocking out to live music at the bandshell.

However, this post is not about how awesome NDG is, we all know it is, it’s about a great find. While hanging out on Monkland I came across the #LoveMtl booth. I had heard rumours and seen some content posted on Twitter and Instagram but wasn’t really sure what is was all about. So, being the inquisitive type, I introduced my self to the team and founders and had the opportunity to learn about their cause.

What is Love MTL?

Love MTL is a simple and whimsical way to put a smile on someone’s face, and make a difference in the life of another person. We believe you can spark the imagination and enthusiasm of others around you. And the best part is that anyone can do something, anytime, any day of the week.


Simple, right? It should be! Yes, I know what you’re going to say – “we’ve seen stuff like this before”, “it’s like the ‘free hugs’ movement”, “It’s nice, but not really original”. And you’d be right. But, this is in our own backyard.

Love MTL is not groundbreaking. But it is very simple and easy to use (do). The basic functionality, if you want to call it that, is human interaction. Basically, do something nice for another person and share your story via Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram using the hashtag #LoveMTL. The more people who share their acts of kindness, the hope is, the more others will follow. And, if the social web has taught us anything it’s monkey see, monkey do (it’s not always a bad thing).

Here’s a small sampling of some the kindness Love MTL has triggered:

We could all use a little kindness and why not share it with the world, or in this case Montreal. What do you got?

Video of the Week: Banned Advertisement, “Marmite Rescue”

For this week’s post, let’s mix things up with a little controversy. I should preface this by saying that some readers may find this advertisement distasteful. On the other hand, some may find this coy and brilliant. In either instance, it get’s you talking, which I’ll elaborate more on later. Marmite, the salty breakfast yeast spread enjoyed primarily in Britain, worked with Cannes’ 2014 agency of the year winner adam&eveDBB. The ad itself was released in 2013, but received most of its acclaim in 2014. Interesting to note, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) recoded 250 complaints within the first twenty-four hours of the commercial’s release. This comes as a bit of a shock when taking into account Marmite as a breakfast brand, usually set on maintaining a family-friendly brand image. Depending on how you read into it, that statistic either spells out a clear home-run or regrettable fumble.

So, why the controversy? Marmite’s advertisement was unmistakably inspired by reality and/or documentary-style television shows that follow animal protection workers as they investigate cases of reported neglect. The shaky camera follows the Marmite workers into different residences where they rescue neglected Marmite jars from kitchen cupboards around Britain. They carry the rescued jars in tiny cages and bring them to the Marmite Rehoming Centre where new potential families look to adopt. The guilty culprits of Marmite neglect are ashamed and remorseful, and at one point we even see the taxing toll the job has on one of the workers, as he weeps behind the truck confessing to a coworker, “I’ve not seen one that small before”. At the end, we join a family in their home who have just adopted a new jar. As their youngest child takes a bite, he makes a grimace at the taste and the voiceover restates their slogan, “Love it or Hate it. Just Don’t Forget it.”

The bulk of complaints came from viewers accusing Marmite of trivializing and corporatizing animal abuse, neglect, and rescue efforts. In one respect, they are making a laughing matter out of a very serious issue, so it’s understandable that viewers who are especially passionate about animals rights could take offence. Not to diminish the value of these complains, but my personal opinion–and this is coming from a vegetarian animal-lover who semi-regularly fosters animals from the SPCA–is on Marmite’s side.

Humour, if used properly, can be a solid means of communicating a point or position. It can also be a great subversive tool to hammer that point home. If Marmite’s financial benefit from emulating this serious genre of show is your issue, I would recommend directing focus to the mothership–the television networks who pioneered the genre for their own gain. Moreover, I view this work as more of a hit on the television style and genre than the subject matter at hand. If anything, it reminds the viewer that there is an entire industry crafted around exploiting causes of the like. Even though it is humorous in nature, I would argue that it really does stress the difficult job of animal abuse workers.

Now, all that aside, Marmite’s slogan is “Love it or Hate it. Just Don’t Forget it.” That’s exactly what this commercial accomplishes. It splits its audience, whirls up conversation, and a year later, it’s still as punchy as ever. To be acclaimed at Cannes is a big deal, and side note, PETA also affirmed their support of the commercial. This tongue-in-cheek commercial did exactly what the brand set out to do. And you must admit, the ridiculousness of rescuing jars from houses in residential Britain is pretty funny. It may be insensitive to some extent, I’ll accept that stance, but when the dust has settled, it’s probably done more good than harm by reminding people about the cause through farce. The final shot of the child’s less-than-impressed face is also perfectly placed. If you’ve ever tried Marmite or the similar Australian version Vegemite, you know that the pungent taste also divides, probably to greater extents than this commercial.

In closing, Marmite produced a cheeky ad that got more flack than merited, or alternatively, just as much as they intended.

Horse & Cart at WordCamp Mtl 2014

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 2.13.11 PM

Over the weekend, Horse & Cart attended the 2014 edition of WordCamp Montreal. For those unfamiliar with the conference, WordCamp is a weekend that brings together developers, designers, and writers, unified under the point of commonality that is WordPress. The conference is an event for talks, workshops, and networking to better one’s understanding on how to navigate and leverage WordPress and WordPress-related tools to sharpen your skills. The weekend was packed full of informative presentations and panels from industry leaders, assuring something for everyone.

Our very own digibomb was asked to speak on a panel that tackled making money with WordPress. He served as the agency voice among mostly freelance workers and answered transparently about the realities of determining price points, client relations, and WordPress strategy. The panel went notably well, giving way to a slew of audience questions and subsequent discussion. Defining the value of one’s work was arguably the largest takeaway, working either as a lone developer or agency. Everyone speaking did a strong job communicating their experiences in the workplace. Judging by the questions that followed digi out the door, it was clearly a burning topic. Two attendees with further questions for digi told us post-discussion that “the panel was pretty insightful” with one saying there was “more taken away from this panel than any other ones that I’ve been at today”. This was concluded with the conception of the newest digi-inspired hashtag, #lovethebeard.

There were also strong presentations on writing, and more specifically blogging. Liesl Barrell and Dan Levy of Unbounce allied together to break down and explain the various elements of effective writing, pitching, and promotion, using an impressive amount of “P” alliterations. As someone who always appreciates feedback, their advice was a strong motivator to continue pushing for personality in writing; Rules are meant to be broken (within reason), wordplay is an appreciated garnish, and red ink is your frenemy. One massive wakeup call was how trying to get into the perfect “writing zone” is by and large just another stalling tactic to keep you from hammering out your work. The talk was refreshing, especially given that both speakers were coming from complimentary positions as writers and editors.

All in all, the weekend was a smooth success. Everyone from the Horse & Cart team who attended took useful tips away that we all plan on incorporating into our practice. For those interested in learning more about WordCamp Montreal, you can check our their website here. We also managed to sneak a couple cool pictures, so please feel free to check out the others at our instagram for more of that fun. As always, if you have questions about marketing, agency life, or our operation here at Horse & Cart, drop us an email or come stop by the office for some coffee and a chat!

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 1.30.27 PMScreen Shot 2014-08-18 at 1.30.10 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 1.30.45 PM

Fun Friday Post: Horse & Cart Drag Race. May the best woman, Win!

In honour of Pride Week here in Montreal, we thought it only fitting to show our… true colours. Ron Paul’s Rupaul’s Drag Race has provided us with a wonderful tool called the Dragulator to give us some drag queen, first time at a ball, realness. With a few simple clicks, you too can preview your weekend look as a fierce queen of the night. Who do you think pulls it off the best?

From all of us here at Horse & Cart, happy Pride!

Paula as Bee Onesie
Bea Onsay_body   Bea Onsay_face

Alex as Dee Ceased

Dee Ceased_body Dee Ceased_face

Drew as Em Brio

Em Brio_body Em Brio_face

Digi as Ginger Vitus

Ginger Vitus_body Ginger Vitus_face

Tully as Jean Pool

Jean Pool_body Jean Pool_face

Josh as Marsha Mellow

Marsha Mellow_body Marsha Mellow_face

Moniba as Miss Construed

Miss Construe_body Miss Construe_face

Leila as Ivana B. Queen

Miss Diagnosed_body Miss Diagnosed_face