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Making the Alberta Fast Growth 50 List – A Partner’s Perspective

Posted on January 11, 2016 by

Alberta Venture magazine’s Fast Growth 50 list of companies is an exciting list to be on. It’s a reminder of the hard work that has been put into the business and all of those that have contributed to the success of zag creative. There’s the partners, the staff, the clients, the suppliers and there’s also those people who support the partners, the staff, the clients and suppliers. That’s a lot of people who should be proud of the roles they played.

Making the list is something I am proud of as a partner and as an individual who works hard in and on the business every day.

Making the list is also a reminder that we need to continue working hard to do great things. The work is never over. I for one strive to be better tomorrow than I was today.


Fall School Fundraisers

Posted on October 15, 2015 by

Back to school means fall fundraisers for anyone with kids and anyone who knows anyone with kids. They are getting more creative about it though. It’s more than just chocolate covered almonds. Although really fundraising Gods, why not bring that back? I could go for some right now. Even though it’s 7:25 am.

I haven’t received my package from school yet but it’s coming any day now. On Facebook I’ve seen friends promoting a variety of coupon books, jam, chocolate, popcorn, fruit (anyone else getting hungry?), but the most unique one so far has been the pizza kit from Little Caesar’s. That one was kind of cool.

We, as people with kids and people who know people with kids, get hit up for this stuff continually. Sure there’s stuff some of us look forward to every year (who doesn’t like Girl Guide cookies??) but it’s the new or unique ideas that I look forward to seeing or hearing about. Doesn’t mean I’m buying, but I’m at least appreciating.

Beyond the food and the items, I think some of the best fundraisers are the ones that teach kids something. When they need to be actively involved and can feel a sense of accomplishment, then I think the effort is worth it. Having their parents hawk pizzas to co-workers, while delicious, teaches very little in my opinion.

Act Like Kid

Posted on May 14, 2015 by

One of the great things about having kids is that you get to do all those fun kid-focused activities. It’s perfectly acceptable to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon building blanket forts and colouring when you have a kid. But what about those people that don’t have kids? They shouldn’t have to miss out.

Here’s a few things to check out – whether you have kids or not. And if you feel weird doing these things sans child, offer to babysit. Your friends and relatives that have little people in their lives will welcome the opportunity to have some grown up time, possibly checking out Marilee’s patio picks or just taking a nap.

Places to Go

  • TELUS Spark or World of Science
  • Amusement parks
  • Fair grounds
  • The zoo
  • Corn mazes
  • The farm
  • Go karting

Just Get Outside

  • Scavenger and treasure hunts
  • Sledding/tubing in the winter
  • Play with bubbles – Kids love bubbles because they know they are awesome. Seriously, buy a bubble wand and see.
  • Go on a picnic
  • Trampolines – If you can’t find one of the backyard variety they have awesome indoor places filled with them!
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Snow men/forts/angels
  • Geocaching – I’ve never done this but I really want to

The Fun You Forgot

  • Crafts – There are craft kits of all kinds but even just some basic craft supplies will provide endless fun – pipe cleaners, glue, crayons, scissors and construction paper
  • Lego
  • Sandbox
  • Baking
  • Bike rides
  • Kite flying
  • Hide and Seek
  • Card and board games – Remember UNO? Yeah, I’m a master

Look! A Book!

Posted on February 19, 2015 by

It might be because I’m a parent. It might be because most days I feel like I’m pretending to be an adult or it might just be because I’m in the market for a new pet. I was excited to hear an old manuscript from Dr. Seuss just turned up (What Pet Should I Get?).

Other than the fact that I only take advice if it rhymes (don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time), I love Dr. Seuss. I also understand this book means big business. The cynic in me has to wonder, is this really a long lost book that was just put aside and forgotten about only to be rediscovered? I dunno about you, but the things that get lost in my office are more along the lines of cough candies and random notes that make little sense when discovered later because they’ve been written in an uncrackable code.

Cynicism aside, I will get the book. I will read it to my daughter. So well played newly discovered Seuss book/big business. Well played.

Okay, not all cynicism is aside.

Word Nerd

Posted on November 13, 2014 by

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by words – how they sound, weird spellings, meanings, etc. I still remember as a small child trying to figure out who decided that a tree was a tree or that a bird was a bird. I’m sure all kids think that way, right?

In my daily life, I write a lot of things and for the most part I write about many different things. This is a good thing because if I get stuck, I can move to something else for a little while and come back to whatever it was that I got stuck on. I find these little breaks to be helpful in those times where I just can’t get the words out properly right away. Of course, not everyone can do this.

For those instances or when you have a little writer’s block and just need to get some words flowing, here’s some fun websites to visit.

Check out the writing games and text generators.

 This site can help get your brain working. Sometimes the key to writing good copy is starting with writing just anything.

This is a good visual word association tool.


| November 11 | Strategy
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Hello, my name is Jamie and I am addicted to Apple.

Posted on September 11, 2014 by

So nothing really unexpected was announced on Tuesday’s Apple product launch which was kind of disappointing. We all still want to be surprised it seems (or at least I do). Even the two versions of the 6 weren’t really all that impressive and YET, I still want a new phone and a watch. I don’t even wear watches. I have a phone (yes, an iPhone) that is rarely more than a meter from my person that tells me the time and yet I want a damn Apple Watch.

As a marketer I know it comes down to the brand and the marketing. Who doesn’t want “bigger than bigger” or “personal and relevant technology” that goes on your wrist? The word nerd in me also likes how features are explained in a way that makes even a dial (digital crown) seem revolutionary.

It seems even Ikea understands this marketing approach…

Throwback Thursday #tbt

Posted on February 27, 2014 by

I did my first #tbt post a few weeks ago and I have to say the response was enjoyable. People I knew back from when the picture was taken were sending me messages for a few days about how it brought back memories. Hearing from all those people and remembering the times when we used to hang out was fun. So I get it. I get the appeal.

According to the Instagram Blog, there are over 127 million pictures tagged with #tbt and #throwbackthursday.  It also seems I’m not as cool as I used to be because #tbt is so 2011 (ish).

Apparently Urban Dictionary added the definition for Throwback in 2003 with Throwback Thursday added in 2012. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact emergence of the hashtag, but most articles on the matter cite February 2011 as the probable timeframe.

I wonder what the next hashtag trend will be? Maybe I’ll give that one a shot earlier.

In the meantime enjoy some celebrity throwbacks.


Christmas Ads

Posted on December 20, 2013 by

It’s that time of year. Time for holiday ads!

I’m sure everyone has seen the Apple commercial by now so we’ll talk about some others that have set some of the bench marks for what people consider a good/memorable holiday ad.  Remember these?

Ronald on Ice

Coca Cola Bears


Oh, and this one is sure to be a classic…

Maybe not.


It’s Friday the 13th.

Posted on September 13, 2013 by

So really, how bad was your day?

Did a knife-wielding, hockey-masked, giant pay you a visit?

13th or not, it’s still Friday. Lighten up, and look at some ads featuring that back-from-the-dead-27-times-over guy we all love.

Social Media – It’s more than just what you had for lunch

Posted on June 27, 2013 by

So I’m a marketer which means I already know that social media is more powerful than sharing what you had for lunch.  I get it. But not everyone does.

A recent example of how social media actually makes an impact, is the flooding in Calgary. Here’s a few small things I observed.

1)   When politicians and city figures Tweet, the citizens stay informed and they stay calm. Neat-o

2) People want to be part of something and when you leverage the power of many, much good can be done.

A little more on the second point. Let’s take for example, this Facebook page for Calgary Clean Up. The Facebook page was started on June 21, 2013. A week later it has more than 35K  followers. Followers that want to help and are responding, in droves. Now that’s Awesome.

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