Patti Summerfield

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Articles by Patti Summerfield

Signs, signs, everywhere (digital) signs

Clearly, digital signage, both with and without sound, is the vehicle getting the most attention from advertisers right now. There are a number of independent networks up and running and in demand.


Who owns the strategy?

Strategic planning used to be the bailiwick of the creative side. But since the unbundling of media services from creative, media agencies have increasingly taken the lead. Hence a turf war has emerged, as some creative agencies, hit hard by the transition from commission- to fee-based payment, consider generating revenue by beefing up their strategic capabilities.

News attracts big brands

On-demand advertising is coming to a screen near you. Molson and Ford (demo pictured below) are just two of the major national advertisers who have signed on for the trial run of Montreal-based in August. More will be announced in the next couple of weeks.


Regional roundup



Being there

If you think adding the phrase ‘that’s phat’ to your ad will help you connect with kids, think again. If a kid says it of their own accord, then ‘fo shizzle’ you’re on to something. To get there, you need your brand to hang where they hang. The trick is to do it in a way that’s relevant as well as consistent with the experience.


What’s up with the Web? Two words: ‘Old school’

You can stop calling the Internet ‘new media’ now. Other non-traditional choices, most notably SMS, have taken its place as the shiny new tools in the marketing box. In fact, the Web has literally gone mainstream. Marketers like Nike, Virgin and even BMO are increasingly choosing online as the primary or sole medium for a campaign and, in many cases, are using it in much the same way they would have deployed broadcast or print in the past.


Zigging past the Zap

Ads on TV are taking greater pains to avoid avoidance by deploying more targeted skip-aversion camouflage techniques. These stealth measures include vignettes, interstitial promotions and custom content that entertains and adds value.


Kia: La Première star

While vignettes and promercials give advertisers a closer connection with viewers without losing brand messaging control and enable them to work on their own terms and timelines, for some marketers the chance to achieve total integration within a show is worth the risk. And by controlling all the ad elements beyond the script, that risk is lessened.


Behavioural studies

Behaviourial targeting is the flavour du jour, the latest research and planning approach to displace lifestage, psychographics, econometrics, and the now moribund demographics as the magic bullet in the fight for competitive edge.


Ikea: the making of a TV star

It’s not enough that Ikea has revolutionized the retail industry through its showroom approach and quirky ad creative. Now that others have caught on to those tricks, it’s moving into content production via Space For Living, a new weekly television series set to debut on HGTV in April. And guess what? Unlike other innovative tactics honed by the Swedish retailer to wow shoppers, this one came from Ikea Canada.


Going metrics

The infamous ‘half of the money I spend on advertising is wasted’ quote has been haunting the ad industry for about 80 years, but now a Canadian media management agency believes it finally has the answer to this worrisome riddle. The answer says Mark Sherman, president of Montreal-based Media Experts, is: ‘The half that doesn’t work is the half of audience that’s not there.’


ITV advertising on demand

Media Experts has seen the future of TV advertising – and it is interactive, on-demand, and called


Heard any good ads lately?

The alarm sounds each morning with the tunes or talk of a favourite radio station and the latest news, sports, weather, and driving conditions are companions on the daily commute. Throughout the day in elevators, offices, and even on hold, radio is omnipresent.


Magazine moxy

The end of a long, hectic day is the time to make the world go away, sink into a cozy chair and escape into the familiar, satisfying pages of a favourite magazine. In a world with too many ad messages, too many media choices, and too little time, advertisers are hoping to reach target audiences at moments just like this one, when people are comfortable,


Beyond the 30-second spot

Like the conditioned reflexes of Pavlov’s dog, long pods of 30-second spots have trained