The Sochi Olympics, like other popular television viewing events (read: Oscars, Super Bowl) reinforced the importance and potential effectiveness of contextually relevant ads. Think of the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion spot that went viral, or Proctor & Gamble's Thank You Mom commercial.
The San Francisco based startup Secret (that was founded by two former Google and Square employees) is getting tons of attention, followers and fans. In short, you can write anything that's on your mind, add photos or colors to the background and customize this content while being able to share it, free of judgment, and without attaching any of your personal information or profile to it.
To cram into a packed subway train, you might never guess this is a country known for its politesse. But People for Good, a coalition formed in 2011 by a collaboration between a media and creative agency, has a simple, albeit grandiose, mandate: to make the world a kinder place, one good deed at a time.
Someone I know showed me Michelle Phan's YouTube video Draw My Life. This is one of the most beautiful short videos I have ever seen. (It has over a millioin views.) Michelle Phan is now famous for her own line of makeup and her makeup artistry tutorial videos. However, in this video, she uses a whiteboard and sketches to tell the story of her early years, which were both happy and sad, especially where the fathers in her life, let the family down.
Within milliseconds of the explosions, #BostonMarathon and #PrayForBoston were trending topics on Twitter. This is today's reality when it comes to tragedy. We live in a day and age where news finds us, we don't need to even look for it. Online, in the midst of tragedy, it's easy to spot those who care... those who don't... and those who would and do dare to make some sort of joke or cast blame before all of the facts have been sorted. While this online always-connected life exposes us to tragedy faster and with more detail and impact than ever before... it also allows us to feel connected, to reach out and support one another like never before.
Is it any surprise that flashy headlines and fake celebrity death memes on Twitter get so much attention? In this era of digital narcissism, where our gateway to content is through the lens of the people we like and admire most, traditional and digital publishers must now grasp for attention in an even flashier way.
It's the time of the year when brands are glued to their social media analytics to try and decipher if the millions of dollars spent for a 30-second spot was extended, enhanced and otherwise optimized by the traction that it may (or may not) have received in the social media space. But, here's the thing: what were the best two ads you remember from last year's Super Bowl? Any idea? Did it roll off the tip of your tongue? Are you currently a valuable customer of theirs?
Social media isn't a replacement for real-world action -- it's a way to coordinate it. The fact that apathetic Internet users who plague our respective newsfeeds cannot click their way to a better tomorrow does not mean that dedicated actors -- those who would be in the trenches regardless -- cannot employ social media effectively.
In a few days the "fiscal cliff" deadline will arrive and potentially bring massive automatic spending cuts and tax increases to the U.S. Even if Congress and the President agree to avoid the cliff, the next crisis awaits. It has long been said that when the U.S. sneezes, Canada catches a cold. So why have these debt-related ailments in the U.S. not afflicted the Canadian government? The answer is that Canada has been practicing what the U.S. always preached. That is why we Canucks are not jumping off cliffs or smashing into ceilings.
Back in the summer of 2010, the CRTC decided to get the public's input online as part of its proceeding on the "obligation to serve." Big mistake. There's a habit that's getting entrenched at the Commission: treating online consultations as a substitute for both educating Canadian consumers and conducting real research.