A Life Changing Trip

Late 2014 til early 2015 was one of the most interesting times of my life. I did things that I had never even dreamed that I would do. I was in college, completing projects for clients I chose, and clients I didn’t choose. It was a competitive environment where my classmates and I tried to create our best work in hopes that a client might choose it. Yes, to use for real, for real. 

On Labour Day weekend of 2014, I found myself in Toronto. Along with my friend and my sister, we were taking our once-in-a-lifetime chance (which surprisingly turned out to be the “first of many more”) to do something we had been waiting to do for a few years. We found ourselves beside the catwalk at the Rogers Centre watching one of our favourite bands, and later sleeping in a hotel that they had stayed in the year before.

Skipping forward to March 2015, I found myself and the rest of my program in New York City. Not being one for the city life, I found myself a bit miserable during the 4-day stay. But there were most definitely some highlights.

Each day, my professors had planned trips to multiple agencies. We visited large global agencies like DDB New York and BBDO New York, and smaller ones like BigBuzz. I took so much away from visiting and learning from these respectable agencies. Their offices were inspiring and designed to work well with their employees. And the employees – inspirational. Many of them were very young too. Seeing people that are not much older than me working in highly respectable and reputable agencies like the ones we visited was so interesting and motivating. They had mounds of information that they were willing to share with us. Coming from a small city like Ottawa, I guess you could say we didn’t really know what to expect from New York and agencies that had actually created some of our favourite ads. I can’t speak for my classmates, but they have given me an expectation for myself to work even harder and create great work. I can’t thank them enough for that.

There was one last agency that we visited that really stood out to me. They way they worked was so interesting and different from the other visits, that I can’t leave it out. sparks & honey is another agency we visited that not only gave us a tour, but they also let us sit in on one of their meetings, where they discuss things that are happening in the world as well as trends to watch.

And that’s what their agency thrives off of. Trends and culture. They have boards around their office, drowned in sticky notes with any trend that you could ever think of. They analyze these and use them to their advantage.

One of my professors told us about their app after we returned from the trip. It’s called now, next. Everyday, they analyze new trends and cultural shifts. And they assign different elements of culture to the trends. It’s an interesting and informative app that can really help with advertising and marketing, or any industry really that involves consumer behaviour. It really gives a great understanding of everything that is going on in the world.

New York was a wonderful and necessary experience that I’m glad I was able to be apart of. Even though I don’t like the hustle and bustle of big cities, and I’m not one for looking out my window to see yet another building, I had a great time visiting these insightful agencies. Oh, and watching a taping of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Maybe living in New York isn’t my cup of tea, but I’d certainly be open to remote job opportunities there for sure.

I finished off the rest of 2015 with more exciting memories that I would love to share in another post. But I will treasure the memories from these agency visits for a lifetime.

Do you know of any new and innovative agencies that are popping up in the world? Maybe you have a favourite? Thanks for reading, and let me know in the comments!

A Life Changing Trip

When the Lord Copies and Pastes

Instagram. A simple and easy to use app that’s grown to crazy heights in the past 6 years. There are still some faults that I wish could be changed within the app (like the ability to click links that are posted in the captions) but it’s a great way to stay connected with your friends and celebrities alike. And for the celebrities, it can be an easy way to become highly-criticized.

By today, most people have heard about Scott Disick’s Instagram “slip-up” where he was to write the caption under the picture he had to post at 4pm for Bootea. The caption, copied and pasted from an instructional email that Bootea sent to him, was caught by Twitter user @frankiegreek. Instead of just posting the caption that they had sent him, he posted the whole email:

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 8.01.15 AM.png

Photo by @frankiegreek on Twitter

Although the caption is fixed now, there are some lessons that we can learn from this as advertisers.

Looking at the situation, it’s hard to place blame on someone. The Bootea team made it clear of what the caption was to be. It seemed to be properly distinguished from the rest of the message, so it seems to be just an honest mistake on Scott’s end.

But what could Bootea have done differently to prevent this from happening?

One alternative (although it’s tedious) could have been two separate emails. One instructional email:

“Hi Scott!

The email to follow will have the caption for your Instagram post. Please post it at 4pm.

Thank you!”

And one email  with the subject of “Instagram Caption” that solely contains the caption:

“Keeping up with the summer workout routine with my morning @booteauk protein shake!”

By doing this, it’s harder to copy and paste the wrong thing. At the same time, it’s easier to distinguish what you really should be copy and pasting.

We have to remember that celebrities are busy too, and have many other things to worry about. Giving them an easy system to work with will not only help them out, but also save them from the “bad publicity” that this could potentially cause them.

One other thing they could have done was to send a quick reminder that he could schedule into his calendar. This would include the date, time, subject (saying what it’s for) and the message. It’s a simple alert that could have been sent to him by email. And with one click, it would be put into his calendar.

Of course the Bootea team probably didn’t anticipate that this would ever happen, but surely, they’ve learned from it. Hopefully some of these suggestions will help you, or others to eliminate the chance of this from happening. The easier we make it on our promoters, the easier it will be for us.

Do you have any other suggestions that could have prevented Lord Disick from this Instagram mishap? Let me know what you think about the whole situation!

When the Lord Copies and Pastes

Is there anything Drake can’t perfect?

Views from the 6.

We’ve been hanging onto this one line since Drake confirmed that it was the name of his album in 2014. Since then, he has released If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and What a Time To Be Alive alongside Future.

But now, we have a release date, a new album title, and a track list. Tomorrow, we’ll finally get to experience Drake’s highly-anticipated album, VIEWS. (On Apple Music, of course.)

What I loved most about waiting for VIEWS, is the way that Drake released everything little by little. He manually built up the anticipation. And he left a lot to the imagination along the way. As dreadful as it is to wait so long, it kept fans wanting more. By waiting that long we know that it will be of quality (As all of his work is).

Drake has a way of putting his magic touch on everything he does. I really admired his branding for VIEWS. From the name all the way down to the look and feel, I think that he nailed it.


Even though the name changed, he still stuck with Toronto. The ads and the cover both revolve around his hometown.

With a quick glance at these ads, you can tell that they follow the trend of Drake’s minimalist vibes. This works for Drake, and it works for the location. Torontonians know Drake. They don’t have to pull their phones out and Google “what is this views billboard for in toronto?” because they have already heard about it. Whether they follow Drake or not, they have at least minimal knowledge of what is going on.

The vibe this campaign gives off is so eerie in the most interesting way. Since it is so minimalist, there is not much explanation. So it’s left up to us, to interpret what it all means. And if there’s one thing people love doing, it’s speculating.

Photo from the-rap-addict.tumblr.com

This is my absolute favourite ad out of all of them. It reads “The 6 [god] is watching”. This goes on my list of things that I wish I had written. Out of all of the ads, this is the one that brings the most emotion for me. It almost makes you feel like there really is someone watching you. And it’s not in a “guardian angel” type of way. It’s in a “watch your back” type of way. And maybe that’s why he chose to release Summer Sixteen. Maybe it was meant to coincide with the advertising.

Drake Teasing 'Views from the 6' with Toronto Ad Campaign

Photo from instagram.com/champagnepapi

This ad is another one of my favourites. Mostly for the same reasons as above, but I also like that the album name is included in this one. The eyes are what gives it the same eerie feel. It works extremely well with the other ad.

Photo from twitter.com/drake

Onto the album cover. One of the last pieces to be revealed. Also one of my favourite pieces in the whole campaign. Drake, almost acting like the guardian angel of the 6, sits atop one of the most recognized symbols in Toronto – the CN Tower. Here, he has the best view of the 6. It seems to symbolize that he’s always watching (As the first ad states), and that he’ll be there whenever his city needs him in true vigilante fashion.

Trailer #1

Trailer #2

The Views trailers, (one of which was released today) seal the whole thing together. I love the way that the first trailer is put together. The combination of spoken words and clips works so well together. And it tells a story. A story that doesn’t make any sense now, but likely will once Views drops. And the second trailer is more mellow, but at the very end becomes more upbeat.

Every time I see a piece from this campaign I feel anticipation. And I get the feeling of a “Big Brother” watching over me. It’s the same feeling that  I get when I am watching an episode of Arrow, and I am anticipating what will come next. At the same time feeling like there is something totally different going on than what I think is happening. Something behind the scenes.

I wish that more musicians would take this approach with their album advertising. I don’t think there has ever been a campaign that I loved more than this. I love a lot of campaigns but this one really stood out for me. No other campaign has ever had me this excited for an album. I know that Drake will pull off the music when we finally get to hear the finished product tomorrow.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll be staying tuned to Views.

Is there anything Drake can’t perfect?