Branding

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Design Deconstructed: Water bottles

Panelists: Chris Plewes, VP, design strategy, Anthem Group, Toronto, Ont.; Maria Kennedy, president, CD, Karacters Design Group, Vancouver, B.C.

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Marketers keep it real

It’s not an advertising tactic that could resurrect the reputation of Enron but for Wal-Mart, Tim Hortons, and Buckley’s, the use of real people or employees in their communications has helped reinforce their brand character over the years.
New campaigns starring employees have recently been launched by Canadian Tire, The Standard Life Assurance Company and, from Domtar, the paper company, a B2B effort.

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Letter

Brand stewardship should focus on what, not who
I read with interest Will Novosedlik’s article on the continuing fight for brand stewardship between traditional agencies and business consultants.

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Communicating the new you

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. But a corporation that botches its rebranding might become a real stinker.

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What’s in a name?

The Bangles once sang about a loathing for ‘manic’ Mondays, tapping into sentiments that likely still ring true for many of us. But that didn’t stop PricewaterhouseCoopers from naming its consulting practice after the dreaded day of the week. Reaction was mixed, to say the least.

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Examining the jean pool

You can never own too many pairs of jeans.
That seems to be the thinking of late with such a vast selection of denim on the market – from Brazilian cut to embroidered to the dreaded acid wash.
The jeans market is doing very well in Canada, according to Randy Harris, of Toledo, Ohio-based Trendex North America. Harris says sales of jeans have been climbing steadily in Canada over the last 10 years and they have always been a staple in the Canadian wardrobe. According to Trendex, in 2001, Canadian women spent almost $600,000 on jeans while men spent $650,000.

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Amex to debut international branding campaign

For the first time in six years, American Express is planning to debut an ad campaign that will highlight the brand, as opposed to specific properties.
‘We’ll take it from its historic product focus, where we might have looked at the Air Miles card, into a brand message,’ says president and general manager Beth Horowitz, who joined Markham, Ont.-based Amex Canada this summer from the company’s London, U.K. offices, where she was SVP, product development for International Consumer Card Services. ‘It’s time,’ she adds.

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Addiction a good thing for Dior

So what’s the story?
She’s writhing ecstatically and she’s drenched in sweat. Her gauzy bra is slipping up and her impatient thumb is tugging at her flimsy thong. Looks like she’ll be naked pretty darn quick. Must be Playboy or Penthouse, right? Nope. The open-mouthed, closed-eyed model is appearing in full-page ads in Canadian fashion and entertainment magazines to push next month’s exclusive debut at the Bay of Dior Addict fragrance.

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Women’s toothpaste promises ageless smile

So what’s the story?
You just know there had to be non-stop smiling at Procter & Gamble’s Cincinnati headquarters when they came up with this one: for-women-only toothpaste. Dubbed ‘Crest Rejuvenating Effects,’ it’s a tingly, teal-coloured, vanilla- and cinnamon-flavoured concoction that comes in chic iridescent packaging. Target demo: 30-44.

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JWT appointment reflects escalating brand stewardship fight

My wife is a speech and language pathologist. Her specialty is in identifying the neurological causes of language problems in children, and recommending the correct therapeutic solutions for them.
As an experienced provider of such a highly professional service, she is of course knowledgeable enough in related areas – behavioural and cognitive psychology, for instance – to recognize when a language difficulty is just a symptom of a much deeper social or psychological problem. But in these instances, she is often professionally constrained from commenting on the deeper issues. The regulations governing her practice do not permit it. In the unregulated world of brand strategy and communications, we are often, if not always, in a very similar position.

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Has Lexus hooligan ad vandalized its brand?

So what’s the story?
OK, class, let’s try a spot of word association. Our words today are ‘Lexus’ and ‘hooligan.’ Quickly now, what scenario pops into your mind the fastest when you put the two together? Are you perchance visualizing a grotty gang of roving thugs?

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Toronto film fest expands, promotes its brand

Sharp marketing has been a cornerstone in the rise of the Toronto International Film Festival from a mid-level alternative player to one of the major stops on the festival calendar. In the last decade alone, TIFF has evolved into a bona fide brand that would make the top brass at Coca-Cola or McDonald’s proud.

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Taco Time cooks up ‘authentic’ marketing plans

Walk into any fast food joint and not much would likely catch your eye. Most have the same stainless steel counters, rigid plastic chairs and non-descript hues, save for the few bright playgrounds for little folk. But Calgary-based Taco Time is aiming to distance itself from the norm, with a new marketing strategy that is designed to paint the 115-unit franchise as more ‘authentic.’

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Baseball’s on, but boys of summer still striking out

So there will be a World Series after all. While the ugliest word in sports – strike – has been averted, this year, to put it lightly, has not been good for professional baseball, especially in Canada. We asked a panel of marketing pros for their suggestions on how to save the game in Canada.

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Everfresh goes slasher in summer campaign

So what’s the story?
You wouldn’t think juice could rip someone’s head off, but in an attempt to connect with the gore-loving, 16- to 20-year-old male demo, a new campaign for Everfresh jokes about doing just that.