Archive for July, 2008

Smiley Face Marketing

July 25, 2008

This little truck was cruising the sidewalks of Robson today. The guy was about 3 people back and had the remote behind his back – very nonchalant.

People were STOPPING IN THEIR TRACKS!! Everyone was pointing, smiling, laughing, wondering how this was all happening. Very clever Interac!

I would love to see a certain JUNK REMOVAL company do this with their trucks…


Zipcar’s Worthy Challenge

July 23, 2008

Eco-Minded folk in 12 North American cities are following Zipcar’s Low-Car Diet Challenge (sweet name):  a campaign to get people to hang up their keys and ride public transit or, if they have to, use a Zipcar for one month.

The idea is getting media coverage.  Although it promotes Zipcar, it is a genuine ‘go green’ story, unlike so many companies trying to jump on the eco bandwagon with a weak campaign.

I hope it takes off because the branding and the concept are sound.   It doesn’t appeal to everyone (me), but it shows that ONE company can truly challenge eco-minded people and their driving priorities.

Bad Short Term and Long Term Marketing

July 21, 2008

Waves coffee is a newer coffee chain in Vancouver that is likely looking to take on Blenz.   However their marketing strategy falls short.   I was walking down the stairs to get on the skytrain, and someone handed me this:

Here’s why it is flawed:
1. ‘On the House’ has always meant free, not 1/2 price.   This is deceitful.
2. Most people during rush hour ride the sky train alone.  What am I going to do with TWO coffee drinks on my way to the suburbs??
3. It says ‘valid only on Thursday July 17th’ and I received mine on Friday, July 18th.   And what if I can’t use it right then?   I’m speed walking to get on a train!!   Why can’t I think about it, and come back the next day?
4. says that the website is under construction. is a slow loading flash site.

Waves has failed to turn me into a loyalist.  It’s like they don’t ‘get it’.   They haven’t done their local market research, and are taking a cheap, used car approach to driving traffic to their store.

In their defense, often these campaigns are executed by individual franchisees, who have no marketing sense.   Everything Starbucks does (except for free internet) still wins HANDS DOWN.

One of my favorite ads ever

July 21, 2008

Direct Buy had this in the paper in 2005.   Beautiful!

A Strong Logo Worth Dissecting

July 21, 2008

Masc is a store in Yaletown, Vancouver that sells skincare products for men (also online!).

Why I love their branding:
1. Masc is short for masculine.
2. Masc means mask which means what we put on our face.
3. How often do you see skin color work well in a logo?
4. The face is highlited in dark red, and sticks out more.
5. They have gracefully taken the international bathroom sign, which automatically draws people’s eyes because of its standard symbol, and turned it into a bold, simple logo that says everything it needs to say.

And the best part is that the two owners came up with this themselves – no expensive ad firm!

Why wouldn’t I buy this peanut butter?

July 21, 2008

I was peanut butter shopping this weekend, and among the usual suspects like Adam’s, there was this sitting on the shelf  (sorry for the blurry BlackBerry pic):

It reminds me of the Harley Davidson culture saying: “If I have to explain, you don’t understand.”

Aveo Ad Stripped of Pennies in 30 Minutes

July 10, 2008

In the UK, The Chevy Aveo costs 769,500 pence.  Chevy covered a billboard of the Aveo in this many British pennies, and in 30 minutes the car was bare of any remaining copper.

This campaign got people talking about a car that they would normally not bring up in conversation.   When your product is flawed (aka slow, boring and unreliable), bring another component into your marketing to draw a buzz anyways!

Autoblog link