Category Archives: Indeed

The Evolution of Thanksgiving Advertising

In attempting to write a blog post about the best thanksgiving ads of 2014 I quickly realized there are no ads worth talking about this year, or for that matter, the last few years. A quick Google search reveals every big brand out there is focusing all of their efforts on pushing their sales. It seems that Black Friday and Thanksgiving sales have taken over the Thanksgiving advertising space.

It was not always this way. Take a look at these ads from the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s. There was a level of charming festivity to their calls to action. They have smiling people enjoying family time and eating turkey.

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By the late 80’s and 90’s, the print ads are still quite festive and cheerful. The main message seems to be “enjoy our product with your friends and family this holiday.”

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Fast forward again to 2010 and beyond and the holiday of Thanksgiving is all but an afterthought in advertisements. Black Friday and Doorbuster deals have taken over the holiday advertising sphere and it is evident in every large brand’s communication. Take a look at the holiday advertising from 2013 around Thanksgiving.

blackfriday doorbustersKohls-Happy-Black-Thanksgiving-Thursday-2013

No one is talking about family time, or cheer or anything about being thankful. It’s purely about the specials, and which store can be open earliest in the morning and offer the best deal on an iPad. The entire thing has spun out of control a bit with us trampling each other down to get the most savings possible.

Last year, 2013, brands took it up a notch in the United States as they were allowed to open their doors on the holiday Monday. The weekend sales records hit the 2 billion dollar mark as people flooded into big box stores across the United States to gobble up the endless deals.

As an advertiser, it saddens me that all creativity and brand voice is lost at this time of the year, not only are brands encouraging people to buy, buy, buy instead of hang out with their families, they are doing it in such an uninteresting way. If the brands are going to steal Thanksgiving at least make us laugh while you do it!

What We Say Around the Office

I hear the Brendans repeat the same sayings every day if not in every conversation (and we have many!) so naturally myself and the other parties at the Loft 266 started imitating them. Is it mean? No, it’s really fun! Do they take offense? No, they just goad me with more sayings. It got me thinking that we all have little sayings that make us unique. Here are the top ones from our team. What are yours?

brendan-cowBrendan (the Poet)

“At the end of the day”

“The fact of the matter is”

“You’re wrong, and here’s why”

“Boomshakalaka”

“Heads will roll people”

brendan-thinkingBrendan (the Saint)

“Listen here, DollFace”

“The thin edge of the wedge is…”

“In a not so little big way”

“C’est Bombsville”

“Music roll: baddabingbabodiddiddidoop”

Beth (the coo)

As for me, I don’t need words to express myself! 🙂

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Brendan & Brendan is Sponsoring WordCamp Montreal 2013

Screen Shot 2013-05-20 at 9.10.20 AM It’s time to start giving back!

If you’ve been following us on Facebook, Twitter, here on the blog,  and our Newsletter then you know business is good 🙂

Not to brag, but we’re pretty stoked at how far we’ve come and how quickly we’ve grown as a team over the past 6 months.

That being said we want to start giving back to the community of people who have supported us and helped make Brendan & Brendan a success.

You might be asking yourself “WordPress, your community … huh?” Well even though we’re not a WordPress shop we have built a few sites on WordPress, who doesn’t, and pretty much all of our clients use WordPress for their blog including us.

I should also mention that prior to Brendan & Brendan I was somewhat of a “celebrity” in the WordPress world – at least locally. I have helped organize 4 WordCamp’s and have been a speaker at dozens across North America. Before WordPress I was heavily involved in open source and still am – so WordCamp and open source is my blood – and yes, my partners share this enthusiasm 🙂

Back to the order business …

We are very excited to be able to help support such a vibrant and passionate community of WordPress bloggers, publishers, designers, and developers in our home town!

If you have not been to WordCamp then you are truly missing out! Most people assume that WordCamp is for developers, or that you have to have a WordPress site or blog to attend – wrong! Granted there are many talks on code, but WordCamp is more about celebrating a community of people who share their thoughts, insights, wisdom, humor, experiences and more with the freedom and power to publish words online.

At WordCamp you’ll meet all kinds of people from pretty much every industry and job description imaginable. If you’re doing business online and you have a community or you’re in the process of building one you should consider joining the festivities this year.

We hope to see you there! 

Psst .. we’ll be giving out Keep Marketing Fun Stickers and Tee’s …

A Strong Management Team is Like Family

So you run your own company. Business is good and you’re in the process of refreshing your web presence, doing some marketing, or maybe working on a campaign or two. It’s February, Montreal, -30c, and your wife wants to go down south for a week with the family to get out of the cold. Why not. You deserve it. After all business is good.

So you pack your bags and head to the land of sun and palm trees for a week. It’s day 2 of your vacation and your sitting on the beach enjoying a margarita, your wife is sun bathing and the kids are playing in the sand.

Back in the land of snow and ice your partners are dealing with multiple service providers who need sign offs on project milestones, payments for services, and so on. The problem – even though you trust your partners they don’t have signing authority and can’t pay anyone. So instead of getting projects done your business is beginning to unravel while you listen to the ocean breeze.

Sound familiar? Maybe you haven’t taken any extravagant vacations recently but this is a story we hear way too often and as services providers have been on the wrong end of the stick.

The management team, the founders, the partners, or what ever you call yourselves NEED to function as a family! You have to trust each other enough to allow each individual the power to make decisions for the business. The company can’t come to a grinding halt because you’re on vacation. What if you’re sick, or even worse? A company needs to function with or without all the key people involved. Your customers, your service providers, and your staff depend on it.

If you can’t trust the people you’re working with you shouldn’t have founded a business with them.

I trust my partners to run the business if I’m not there, and they trust me. Are you running your business as a lone wolf or working with a family?

Brendan & Brendan Giving Back at the Startup Academie!

startupacademie

I am proud to announce that myself and Brendan ‘the Poet’ will be coaching at the Startup Academie presented by startup extraordinaire, Coach Davender this weekend.

I met ‘Coach’ last year at the International Startup Festival and immediately saw how he was contributing in a big way to the startup eco-system in Quebec. Totally different from a mentor, Davender is a coach. He guides startups and where they lack, he builds them up so that they think for themselves. Startups however are a risky affair and 8 out of 10 fail. Over years of coaching, Davender has learnt where startups are going wrong and now he is teaching them the path to success through the Academie. As Dan Martell, CEO of Clarity said at Montreal GrowTalks this year, “Startups don’t have to be smart, they just have to follow the process”.

Davender knows that I am a customer obsessed marketer and have recently taken up coaching customer validation to startups. When Davender approached me about participating in the Academie, I jumped on board. Marketing has a bad rap in the startup world as a money sucking glamour pit. Unfortunately, that it is not at all what marketing is about! At the nucleus of every good early stage startup is a paying customer. And the person inside the company who can find that early adopting customer, validate his problem, build a product that will solve his problem and get him to pay for it – is a successful marketer.

Yes, marketing includes branding, positioning, copy and customer acquisition. BUT before any of that can happen, before the product even, this question must be validated: is the problem I am trying to solve a real problem for my target customer and more importantly, is the problem so great that a solution is worth paying for or investing time into? Get that down and then move full speed ahead on product development (always validating along the way of course!).

About Startup Academie

Startup Academie will take place over three sessions. The first is happening April 12th to the 14th at Alliance Numerique in Montreal. The intensive weekend will revolve around building the business model canvas and validating the problem/solution fit using the LeanStartupMachine’s Validation Board. The second session is a 5 week in-person and online program taking place in May-June. The 5 weeks will be validating the entire business model canvas. Finally, the last session will take place in the fall where startups will execute on their validated models and go get paying customers. Learn more at http://startupacademie.com.

Brendan & Brendan Launch Party a Success – Fuzzy Animals & Hemp Guitars!

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We would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who came out to celebrate the official launch of Brendan & Brendan.

Special thanks to Kigurumi Canada for supplying the AWESOME kigs, GTC (Good Time Charlie) for the music, Canadian Hemp Guitars, and all the volunteers including the I Can Go Without crew for flash mobbing with us!

You can check out the full gallery on flickr – photos courtesy of Phil Koschel Photography.