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Even Sweeter Dreams

Posted on January 15, 2016 by

“The real question is not: How many ads do we see? The real question is: What do we have to do to see no ads? And the answer is: go to sleep”
– James B. Twitchell

Nowadays, the potential for brand reach is so expansive, there’s no physical or virtual space that goes untouched (which makes our job really fun). However, there’s one platform that’s yet to be tapped: our dreams. Sounds crazy, but it turns out this idea isn’t so far-fetched.

In the video below, a production company out of the Netherlands fast forwards a few years and envisions what a corporate-infused slumber may look like. The company describes:

We see ads everyday and everywhere. They have become part of our life. While some people try to avoid seeing ads, advertisers keep finding new ways to reach us. However they are unable to reach us when we sleep. Our dreams are the last safe and ad-free place, so it seems. But what happens when advertisers have the possibility to enter our dreams? Based on recent developments in brain science and technology, this might be possible in the near future.

Branded Dreams – The Future Of Advertising from STUDIO SMACK on Vimeo.

Of course, the first brand in line is a company we all know and love. So rest easy; we’re coming for ya!

You Butthurt, Bruh?

Posted on September 3, 2015 by

Oxford Dictionaries recently added a smorgasbord of new words to its online dictionary of current English. The guys over at this branch of the Oxford Family (I can’t help but think they’re like the Prince Harry of the Royals) keep track of modern lingo usage reflected in our ever-changing cultural, political and social norms.

There’s no arguing that the latest inclusions showcase just how clever our vernacular has become. Take wine o’clock for example, n: an appropriate time of day for starting to drink wine – something everybody at zag is very familiar with. Or cat café, n: café or similar establishment where people pay to interact with cats housed on the premises. Note that just because this word has been legitimized, doesn’t mean it’s socially acceptable to partake.

See below for more slang now recognized by the world at large via Oxford Dictionaries’ blog:

 

awesomesauce, adj: extremely good; excellent

brain fart, n: a temporary mental lapse or failure to reason correctly

bruh, n: a male friend (often used as a form of address)

butt dial, v: inadvertently call (someone) on a mobile phone in one’s rear trouser pocket

butthurt, adj: overly or unjustifiably offended or resentful

cakeage, n: a charge made by a restaurant for serving a cake they have not supplied themselves

deradicalization, n: the action or process of causing a person with extreme views to adopt more moderate positions on political or social issues

fast-casual, adj: denoting or relating to a type of high-quality self-service restaurant offering dishes that are prepared to order and more expensive than those available in a typical fast-food restaurant

fat-shame, v: cause (someone judged to be fat or overweight) to feel humiliated by making mocking or critical comments about their size

fur baby, n: a person’s dog, cat, or other furry pet animal

glanceable, adj: denoting or relating to information, especially as displayed on an electronic screen, that can be read or understood very quickly and easily

hangry, adj: bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger

manspreading, n: the practice whereby a man, especially one travelling on public transport, adopts a sitting position with his legs wide apart, in such a way as to encroach on an adjacent seat or seats

mic drop, n: an instance of deliberately dropping or tossing aside one’s microphone at the end of a performance or speech one considers to have been particularly impressive

Mx, n: a title used before a person’s surname or full name by those who wish to avoid specifying their gender or by those who prefer not to identify themselves as male or female

rando, n: a person one does now know, especially one regarded as odd, suspicious, or engaging in socially inappropriate behaviour

skippable, adj: (of a part or feature of something) able to be omitted or passed over so as to get to the next part or feature

social justice warrior, n: a person who expresses or promotes socially progressive views

snackable, adj: (of online content) designed to be read, viewed, or otherwise engaged with briefly and easily

weak sauce, n: something that is of a poor or disappointing standard or quality

Freaky Friday

Posted on March 20, 2015 by

Today marks the vernal equinox, more widely recognized as the first day of spring continuation of winter. Albeit most of us woke up feeling dismayed by the sight of more snow, there were actually two other unique celestial events that coincided with the (theoretical) shift of seasons early this morning that proved to be an even bigger treat for the eyes.

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon acts as a middleman and obstructs our view of the sun. While this incidence isn’t all that atypical and comes about cyclically with the equinox, it’s the addition of the perigee moon or “supermoon” that contributed to today’s rare trifecta of sky happenings. What makes the moon super? When it’s at its closest approach to Earth on its elliptical orbit, making it appear much bigger and brighter than usual. This unique combination won’t take place again until 2034.

Unfortunately, the spectacle was only viewable from the northern reaches of Europe and the Arctic; however, if your inner astronomer wants to relive the action, you can view a live-feed recording of the event that took place from the Faroe Islands here.

Have fun howling at the (new) moon this weekend!

 

Photo credit esa.int

Hooray, it’s Customer Appreciation Day (on104th)

Posted on December 18, 2014 by

As thanks for the continued support throughout the year, 20 merchants on 104th street will be offering special pricing on their products and services today. In addition, the unveiling of a new park, located next to the Icon I Tower, will take place in the afternoon. This space will offer a tranquil break from the hustle and bustle of one of Edmonton’s liveliest streets. Fun activities including hot chocolate provided by the Coast Edmonton Hotel will commence after a special lighting ceremony at 4 p.m.

 

photo 1photo 2

Come one come all!

| December 12 | Events
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Mamma Mia it’s a National Pizza Month!

Posted on October 9, 2014 by

October pays homage to my favourite food: pizza! In celebrating its well-deserved, month-long recognition, I thought it would be appropriate to share some facts about the delectable dish that knows no boundaries.

1. In America, 350 slices of pizza are sold every second.

2. Hawaiian pizza was invented in Canada.

3. NASA is developing 3D printers that can print pizzas for astronauts.

4. Domino’s Pizza cancelled their “30 minutes or less” guarantee in 1993 because their drivers caused accidents while rushing to deliver pizzas on time.

5. The current world record in pizza eating is Cristian Dumitru of Romania, who in 2006 managed to eat 200 pounds of pizza in a week.

6. The longest delivery happened in 2004 when vegetarian pizza was transported from Feltham, England to Melbourne, Australia, on a journey over 10,000 miles.

7. Most would never guess it, but pizza originally started off as a dish for poor people, sold in the streets and not a food for upper class people.

8. The most popular pizza topping is pepperoni.

9. In 1970, the average slice of pizza had 500 calories. Now, it’s up to 850 calories!

10. The most expensive pizza ever created cost $2,745 and contained edible gold topping.

 

I conducted a survey around the office to gather a taste of what everyone’s favourite pies are. Can you guess whose is whose?

a. Fred’s Special from Royal Pizza

b. Ham and Pineapple from Boston Pizza

c. Spinach and Feta from Boston Pizza

d. Treatzza Pizza from Dairy Queen (should this person be disqualified?)

e. Sal’s Deluxe from Tony’s Pizza

f. Primavera from Famoso

g. Abruzzo from Famoso

h. Ham and Pineapple from Funky Pickle

i. Italian Pepperoni from D’Amore’s

j. Veggie korma from Panago

Answers:

ɐuᴉɹʇɐʞ ˙ɾ ǝǝlᴉɹɐɯ ˙ᴉ ʇʇoᴉllǝ ˙ɥ ˙ǝᴉuǝl ˙ƃ ǝllǝɥɔᴉɯ ˙ɟ ɥɐuuɐɥ ˙ǝ ǝᴉɯɐɾ ˙p ɐuᴉɹʇ ˙ɔ ɐpuoɹ ˙q uosʎlɐ ˙ɐ

 

If you’ve missed out on honouring the cheesy, saucy, doughy, delight that is the ‘za, don’t fret. You still have 22 blissful days left to indulge. What better way to prepare for winter?

 

Bon appétit!

| October 10 | Thoughts to share
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New Year’s Resolutions

Posted on January 3, 2014 by

Three days have lapsed since (what seems like) everyone made a promise to practice healthier eating habits, improve spending patterns and become a better person.

Never mind the past 72 hours, this morning alone, I consumed pizza for breakfast, bought three more variations of the same shirt I already own online and laughed when I saw a kid slip on a patch of ice outside.

If you’re feeling as though 2014 has already brought about means for wallowing in self-despair over an inessential contract with yourself, stop! It turns out only eight per cent of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually stick to them.

The problem? Ambiguous aspirations and competing priorities often prevent us from achieving our goals. Lessen your tall order by simplifying what it is you want to do and then implement metrics accordingly i.e. I’m going to practice healthier eating habits by eating less pizza for breakfast – say, just once a week? I’ll let you know how it goes.

If you find that there is absolutely no room for self-improvement in your life, well, perhaps you can aim to live this year like Kanye West’s last. Totally attainable.

An Itch Needing to be Scratched

Posted on August 16, 2013 by

This week brought about the return of my favourite show, Breaking Bad. Only having started becoming obsessed watching it a few months ago, I quickly realized what all of the buildup was about. Come on, five episodes in one sitting? You could say my viewing tendencies mirrored the addictions of the characters themselves.

Just. One. More.

To celebrate the final instalment of Walter White’s antics, take a look at this article, which highlights a variety of effective anti-meth ads from across the globe.

| August 8 | Uncategorized
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Live Leisure

Posted on May 30, 2013 by

Edmonton is widely recognized for its robust arts and culture scene, and this summer’s array of local music festivals is a fine testament to this notion.

Admittedly, my attitude towards these symphonic celebrations has not always been overly enthusiastic – an aftereffect of gawking at friends’ photos from events with more established acts and larger venues such as Coachella and Sasquatch? Oh, for sure.

In recent years, I’ve experienced a shift in the mentality that our city’s outdoor performances are merely a
watered-down version of what exists elsewhere. On the contrary, I believe that we’re fortunate to take part in such gatherings that support homegrown talent, foster a sense of community and contribute to the ubiquitous entrepreneurial spirit in our town.

Whether your personal comfort zone permits a toe tap, a handclap or a full-on body convulsion, this season’s instrumental merrymakings have got you covered. See below for my top-three jam-worthy festival picks:

1. Interstellar Rodeo
When: July 26 – 28, 2013
Where: Heritage Amphitheatre in Hawrelak Park

2. The Edmonton Folk Music Festival
When: August 8 – 11, 2013
Where: Gallagher Park

3. Sonic Boom
When: August 31 – September 1, 2013
Where: Northlands Park

There you have it. About as great as low-fat ice cream that doesn’t taste like low-fat ice cream.

| May 5 | Events
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My two cents (and what you can do with yours)

Posted on February 7, 2013 by

Infographic_Final_English_JPEG_Jan23This past Monday, the Royal Canadian Mint ceased its distribution of pennies to banks and retailers across the country. Though most people are in favour of the pesky coin’s oblivion, I’m left wondering: what will become of its non-monetary incumbencies? Are its immediate kinfolk, the nickel and the dime, appropriate candidates for providing luck? Granting wishes in fountains? Distinguishing my loafers? I’m not so sure.

While still in circulation, here are some things you can buy with the one-cent piece:

One sheet of 20lb copy paper

58 meters of a flight from Edmonton to Toronto

5.5 seconds of a two-hour movie in theatres

One milligram of silver

One twenty-seventh of an egg

If these suggestions seem impractical to you, consider donating your copper currency to one (or more) of the many charities cashing in on the penny’s extinction.

Want more of my thoughts? A new plastic bank note will act as a sufficient substitute.

| February 2 | News
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Capitalizing on the Cause

Posted on November 29, 2012 by

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em – at least for the month of November, that is.

The past few weeks have facilitated the utmost of physical efforts for males everywhere. What started out as a novel idea amongst a group of young men in Australia over a decade ago has evolved into a bonafide brand worldwide. More and more companies are starting to utilize Movember as a platform for cause marketing, and for good reason. This approach allows businesses to contribute to a commendable cause while simultaneously garnering positive exposure. It’s win-win.

Case in point: Gillette. To avoid losing face, the prevailing razor maker introduced the eMo’gency Styler Tour – a campaign fashioned around the strategically launched Fusion ProGlide Styler. Enlisting the ever-suave Andre 3000 as its ambassador, the P&G subsidiary turned men into gentlemen by providing free ‘tashe trimmings in several cities across America. Mo-reover, Gillette vouched to donate $1 to men’s health initiatives for each duster documented on their Facebook page.

It has been said that “mo money [amounts to] mo problems”. I disagree.

| November 11 | Uncategorized
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