Confessions of an Overly Opinionated Marketing Student

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Happiness is just a Heineken away.

The Spot: A woman and her friends are walking around a stylish apartment, showing off various elements of the place. The woman walks to a large door, clearly excited. She throws open the doors to reveal a large walk in closet with a bevy of different shoes, purses and clothing. The woman and her friends begin to jump up and down while squealing in delight, clearly thrilled about the closet. Suddenly, you clearly hear more squeals and yells of excitement in the distance. We pan into a group of men jumping, screaming and obviously giddy. We see that the men are excited over a closet stocked full of the beer, Heineken.

Beer is generally seen as a “man’s man” drink. It’s not a traditional choice for many women, most choosing a lighter, fruitier beverage to enjoy. According to, only 30% of women choose to drink it while out. Keeping that in mind, Heineken has gone out of it’s way to appeal to the female market. They have the men down, now it’s time to conquer the women!

In this ad, Heineken is now attempting to appeal to women. By creating a closet of designer duds, Heineken created every woman’s fantasy. But what would the dream closet of a man look like? A closet of women? Big screen televisions? The clear answer, would be beer. And Heineken wants you as a woman to see that you can get just as excited over their beer as a closet of Dior.

By creating these specific closets and showing the joy and giddiness of what these products can bring, while comparing the two, you can see how someone would really be excited over their favourite things.

The big role in this ad is humour. And the play of lifestyles. I remember the first time I saw this ad and I loved it from the start. The idea of a “dream closet of beer” would get a group of men so excited is hilarious to me.

However, some people may find the portrayal of the women as slightly offensive. The women are portrayed as slightly materialistic and give the impression that in order to be happy, you must have an entire closet of designer clothes. But hey, you can’t take it so seriously.

Overall, I find this commercial funny and I think it definitely gets the point across – happiness is a Heineken beer away. For this I give this commercial an A.

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In my World ( Only my opinion matters. . )

Giraffe. Heart. Martini. I like it on the couch. 

Um, What? 

Yes, generally these things don’t go together. Unless of course, you are overly familiar with the use of social media trends. Some find them cute, some are beyond annoying and some are flat out stupid. In my opinion anyway and in my world my opinion means a lot. 

Just last week, I logged onto my facebook and was a tad annoyed that every other friend on facebook had a picture of a giraffe. Don’t get me wrong, they’re adorable. But I don’t want to see one every two seconds while I scroll down my page. i knew this meant only one thing – a new facebook trend had begun. Sure enough, after only about thirty more second on scrolling, I found it. The giraffe riddle. The riddle goes like this: 

“It’s 3am, the doorbell rings and you wake up. Unexpected visitors, it’s your parents and they’re there for breakfast. You have strawberry jam, honey, wine, bread and cheese. What’s the first thing you open?” 

my first thought, who the hell cares? And what the heck does it do with a giraffe? To be honest, I didn’t care enough to look. But for the sake of this blog, I did a little research. According to the site “Know Your Meme” it was created by a vlogger Andrew Strugnell who created a video on youtube and a facebook page to promote the challenge. But why? I never found the answer. Fun? Hardly. 

To me, the answer was clear: your eyes. Turns out. I was correct. And therefore I was sparred the horror of being a giraffe on facebook as my profile picture. That’s all there is to it: answer right and youre not a giraffe. Well thanks Andrew Strugnell. 

This isn’t the first one and it won’t be the last. Previously to promote breast cancer awareness, women on facebook were inboxed and asked to write in their status where they liked to place their purse. On the couch. On the table, etc, etc. 

“I like it on the couch” confused men around the facebook world scratched their craniums. Nice idea, but in reality doesn’t do much. 

So why do people do these things? I guess it’s the whole idea of inclusion. Or a lemming effect. Who knows? I personally would love to live in a world where I don’t have to see them. but then again, it’s not my world. 



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Enough is Enough is Enough?

We all know that one person who makes those jokes. You know the jokes that are above and beyond boarder line appropriate. Sometimes despite yourself, you can’t help but laugh. Other times the joke is met to absolute silence. Or worse – incessant anger.

I think the same can be said for product ads. There are some, like the Herbal Essences commercials, that seem somewhat racy and lets face it, untrue. I know myself I don’t hop into the shower, lather up and let out a series of strange moans. I mean, what’s with that? Some of my favourite commercials of all time happens to be the M&M’s commercials. To me, there’s something so hilarious about a piece of candy thinking it’s at a “naked party.” Then again, I have a somewhat immature sense of humour. I can sit down and giggle with five year olds over the funniest of poopy jokes.

But then there comes a time when you see a commercial or advertisement and you think, enough is enough is enough!

Recently, a French gambling company released an online  commercial that revolves around the assassination of John F. Kennedy when he was president in the 1960’S. Yup, the 1960’s. JFK died nearly fifty years ago. But American’s are outraged. The premise of the video is two policemen are standing beside each other along the parade route in  Dallas, Texas when one cop turns to the other cop and with a smirk says, “I bet you I can spin my pistol around ( insert random amount of times)” and once he proceeds to do it, sets the gun off. We briefly see a Jackie Kennedy look alike sprawled across the back of the car before the worried cop points to a top window in a building and proclaims, “the shot came from that window!!”

Now, because I’m pretty open, I found it entertaining. The idea is interesting. But when you’re talking about an event as  historically crushing at that was. . .is it too much? Honestly, I can’t say. Is it too soon fifty years later to make  a joke about it? I would certainly never crack a joke about 9/11 and it’s been twelve years. Keep in mind, laws are more lax  in Europe concerning ads. I have a feeling if it was an American or Canadian company who made and played the ad, it would be a different story.

So just ask yourself. Too soon? Too much? You might surprise yourself in your answer. . . .

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Doug Jeffries, Justin Bieber, Miley and Ri Ri walk into a bar. . .

1011729_10151615017427954_1269817433_n“Meeting you was better than meeting Justin Bieber.”

This was said to my dad this past Sunday while he was having his coffee at the local Tim Horton’s.

Whether she was serious or not ( she seemed pretty darn serious, if we’re being honest) it struck a cord. It seemed RIDICULOUS. To me, he’s the man who growing up would make me spaghetti on Saturday nights to watch Looney Tunes. The man who used to take my arm, slightly hit me and say, “Kelsey, why are you hitting yourself?” He was a DORK. Cooler then Justin Bieber? I guess that’s a matter of opinion.

I should probably take this moment to point out that my dad is the local sports broadcaster on CKWS. Okay, so he’s no Terry Bradshaw, but it’s still pretty cool. But it got me thinking if someone like my dad can influence and make people react that way what can celebrities do?

It’s amazing how many people will refuse to buy a product – until a celebrity endorses the product. It hits that cord. The “coolness” factor so to speak. If Jennifer Lopez is wearing it, I should too. If Miley Cyrus is doing molly, why shouldn’t I?

It’s unbelievable the amount of people who will act like lemmings because a celebrity acts a certain way or dresses a certain way. Girls will put on the most ridiculous outfits to look like their celebrity idol. Black leather pants, flip flops a parka and half shaved head. Are you kidding me? Half these girls wouldn’t have thought to put that outfit together if they hadn’t seen good ‘ole Ri Ri wearing it in a magazine.

Then there’s the more dangerous lemming activity such as that in Teen Mom. Young Teen girls getting pregnant younger and younger and saying they can handle it, “Because like, Amber on Teen Mom totally did it on her own. So I can too!” Well, youre thirteen and can’t even drive. How are you going to get your kid to the doctors? Yeah, think it through.

Celebrities and their actions are dangerous. I honestly believe that we as a society need to stop giving celebrities the power to essentially control our lives. To make OUR decisions. Because that’s essentially what we’re doing. When we put away our jeans and sweatshirts for ridiculous leather pants we give them the power. When we light up that blunt because Miley Cyrus is doing it, we’re giving up who we really are for society. I really don’t think some celebrities understand that. And some do and use it to their advantage.

Personally, I’m going to keep rocking my sweatpants. Take that Ri Ri.

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Don’t Stop Believing

finn-hudson-football-glee“No publicity is bad publicity.”

Unless of course, the publicity is over the fact that your lead male character in your hit television show has been found dead. In his hotel room. How could it get any worse? Oh yeah, he has died of a drug and alcohol overdose just a month after coming out of re-hab. Oh crap.

If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m talking about the late Canadian actor, Cory Monteith.

Monteith played the somewhat dim but loveable singing quarterback with the heart of gold, Finn Hudson. His singing voice wasn’t the best in the land, but when he performed you took notice. His character was relatable and believable. Finn took a journey through four seasons that a lot of us go through as teenagers. He dealt with the death of his father, re-marriage of his mother, teen pregnancy and in the third and fourth season, struggled to find himself in this world after graduating. Which I know first hand, is not an easy thing.

In reality, Cory Monteith was a man struggling with addiction. He was not one to shy away about his problems. He spoke publically about his struggle to stay clean.  He credited his girlfriend, fellow Glee star Lea Michele for helping him get clean. She was not present with Cory when he passed away in Vancouver in July of this year. He was thirty-one.

Many felt no sympathy. Saying a druggie is a druggie no matter how rich and he had what was coming to him. On his death, many were calling for the end of Glee. The fourth season, which had just wrapped a few months previously to the lowest ratings since its inception in 2009. Only 5.9 million tuned in to the season four finale versus 10. 92 million in season one.

So what’s a production team to do? Market their product. And that product was the sinking ship of Glee. Glee creator Ryan Murphy jumped into action and consulted with Monteith’s family and girlfriend to see whether Glee should even continue. They decided it should continue. Then, Murphy decided to give Glee fans everywhere just what they wanted – a Cory Monteith/Finn Hudson tribute episode.

In creating the tribute episode, he did a brilliant thing. He made people forget the unfortunate circumstances surrounding Cory’s death. They began to think of Cory more as Finn. To most fans, Cory and Finn were one and the same. As tragic as it was, Glee used Cory’s death as a new leg to stand on. But they did it in a way that didn’t make it seem offensive or upsetting to fans. The general opinion seemed to be that if Cory’s girlfriend Lea could film the tribute episode, fans should be able to embrace it.

I’ve noticed it myself. I tuned in when Glee premiered season five two weeks ago, just to see if they would make any hints as to the nature of how they would have Finn pass on. As did millions according to FOX. This coming Thursday will be our day to say good-bye to Cory\Finn. Because in our mind, you can’t have one without the other.

I personally will never again hear “Don’t Stop Believing” without thinking of Finn Hudson.

Cory Monteith, 1982-2013

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Poopourrie (Yes, you read that right)

Despite what ladies say, we do poop. Gross, I know. But stay with me here. I have a point – I promise.

I was on youtube this week, waiting for Luke Bryan to “shake it for me” when I was distracted by an ad that blew my mind.  A woman sitting on the toilet in a dress and pearls talking about the enormous poop she had just expelled from her body.

I sat there for a moment or two in shock – and I watched it again. It was like a train wreck. You don’t want to watch, but you have to.  A disgusting, un-lady like commercial that felt unnecessary. Surely there were other ways to promote this “Poopourrie” product? I mean, REALLY?

But then I watched again and realized that it worked. I was amused and flabbergasted all in one. But it made me actually wonder if the product worked. Perhaps it’s a crappy product? ( I know, I know. But I had to. I’m not an individual who can let a golden pun like that go!) Maybe the company is just counting on an amazing campaign to bring customers in?

They claim that it really works (but of course they do!) Apparently before taking a grand ‘ole number two, you apply this “poopourrie” product into the basin of your toilet. Therefore eliminating the smell afterwards. The company claims, “No one will know that you ever pooped!”

I ventured to our neighbourhood friendly Walmart. I was going to stick it in my bathroom. In the name of science of course. It turns out, the product hasn’t hit the shelves in Canada yet It’s only available online. . But I’m still curious. The commercial did its job. No matter how you feel about it. It really works. And the company knew it.

I was sure that I wasn’t the only person to feel this way. So again, in the name of science, I sent the clip to my best friend. Her response? “Quite possibly the best commercial I’ve ever seen. I’m sending it to so and so” and then only moments later, I received a text from said so and so that read “I just S*** my pants laughing.”

Poop humour for the win.

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I was having that dream. You know the one where you’re walking in a crowd, everyone is starring and you look down and see that you’re naked? Well, that was me.

Nothing can really prepare a twenty-five year old for having to go back to school. Not when they’ve been out of school for years. Not when you’re walking into a room where the people in it are generally 6-7 years younger than yourself. I was naked again. I was in grade nine again. I was having my first day of school again. And I wasn’t prepared at all.

Sure, I’ve been to school before. Heck, I loved high school. If you asked me what part of my life I’d like to re-live over and over. My four years at Regi would be it.

But this wasn’t Regi. I wasn’t the big fish in the small pond. Torturing “minor niners” was no longer my pass time. I was once again the minor niner. And I was dreading initiation.

But you take a deep breath, you walk through the door and you let the people stare. Because really, what else can you do?  You smile, nod and try not to show them how nervous you are. It’s the Amazon. It’s Darwinian. It’s survival of the fittest. Eat or be eaten. I was determined to survive.

Then once you survive that, you have to survive the classes themselves. It has been years since I was in that learning environment. Years since I had to frantically jot down notes as a teacher spits the lecture out at what seems a million miles a minute. Then there’s trying to memorize anything and everything.

Two years of pouring coffee and making sandwiches doesn’t prepare you for that. Double double. Two creams, two sugars. Bacon Breakfast sandwich. One bun, one egg, three slices of bacon. Plain and simple. Easy. Nothing like remembering the “Marketing Mix.” Having to learn how to use a Mac for the first time. Getting up and standing in front of a group of strangers and tell them your life story – and tell it in two minutes.

I went home and formulated a plan. At the time, I didn’t even realize it – but my plan was to market myself. Ironic, huh?

I went in the next day determined to show my personality. To show that I could contribute. That I wasn’t just the “random old chick in the front row who randomly appeared.”  It worked. Before I knew it, I was sitting at a table in the cafeteria with some people from my class discussing anything and everything. I did it! I did it!

I got through my first week. And then my second. I continue to market myself on a daily basis. I just have to hope I’m a product people want to try or buy. Hopefully I won’t have to start handing out rewards points.

I’m making my way through the jungle that is college. I’m making Darwin proud.



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