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My last 10 years

Posted on April 10, 2014 by

Today is my Dad’s 59th birthday. Yup… five-nine, fifty-nine… And while I don’t consider this to be old, let’s face it, my daddy ‘ain’t no spring chick’ anymore.

As the realization of this set in, an interesting PSA (public service announcement) found its way into my inbox (thanks Ronda!). The PSA created by the Heart and Stroke Foundation shows you two perspectives on how you can spend the last 10 years of your life. In general Canadians are typically living longer but that doesn’t mean we are living better. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the average Canadian will spend their last 10 years in sickness.

I don’t know about you but when I get a cold for 5-7 days, my patience for it has been lost in the first couple of hours. Ten years of sickness really isn’t for me.

In order to assess my likelihood of facing that ‘average’ destiny, I took the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Health Risk Assessment. This is a neat little (and anonymous) survey that asks you a series of questions and provides you with a list of health risk factors in your lifestyle based on your responses. You are also provided with ways in which you can improve your health now in order to avoid being the man on the right side of the screen in the above mentioned video. We all know what living healthy involves, it’s rem-jammed down our throats on a daily basis by marketers just like me. It takes the right creative to find its way through the clutter at the right time to really drive that message home.

I heard you Heart and Stroke Foundation. I heard you.

I know how I want to spend my last 10 years.

How do you want to spend yours?


Posted on February 3, 2014 by



Check these winners out!


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.



Posted on October 31, 2013 by

I’m not much of a jumper.

Off a cliff – nope.

In the form of squats – nope.

Teleco-….. whatever that word is where the guy went through walls and into different countries – I wish but nope.

There is one form of jumping that I’m not usually keen on but I am just fired up about lately however, and that is jumping on a bandwagon. More specifically jumping on the Anchorman 2 bandwagon.

I am a huge fan of anything by my man Will F. (except that weird movie where he was all sad and serious… bla) and I am a giant fan of Anchorman. Given this, I’m sure you can understand not only my excitement to find out that they were making a round 2, but also my joy in seeing how various companies have jumped on the wagon to ride Ron Burgundy’s coat tails.

If you live under a rock here are some of my favourite examples:

It Comes Standard

Staring Contest

Scotch Scotch Scotch

And most appropriately for today a message from Ron Burgundy himself:

Special Report

Happy Halloween – if you’re not on the bandwagon yet I suggest you jump!

Stay Classy.

The Thing

Posted on October 10, 2013 by

Everyone has their “thing”.  You know the “thing” that gets you all jazzed and excited?

Well one of my “things” is awesome creative.  I just love the stuff.  I absolutely love stumbling across clever and creative workmanship.  I just find it so incredibly inspiring.  I believe it is because I know all too well what it takes to create that work.  We all just get to experience the end product but I know that each and every one of these amazing ideas began with a blank piece of paper and an end goal.  The rest is pure creativity and crazy hard work.

Let me share with you my latest finds.

I absolutely loved this.  Check out the award-winning “Back to the Start” campaign from Chipotle communicating the world of industrial food production and how they choose to use only sustainable farming for their products.   Not to stop there, they came back with one more.  I also love that they also created message extension through a free, arcade-style adventure game for the iPhone and iPad as well.  So brilliant.

We’ve come a long way from the ads from the past, haven’t we?  I mean really?  A short film to promote a product? I love it.  I also have a personal reason for my excitement.  In August, our twin boys got accepted and are now attending the Vancouver Film School where they will be learning how to create workmanship like this and I am so excited for them. I can’t wait to see where their imagination takes them.

Just for funnzies and for your further enjoyment, here are You Tube’s 10 Most-Watched Ads in September.

Happy viewing!


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.

Spend Less For Fresh!

Posted on August 1, 2013 by

It’s no secret that a great website goes a long way in terms of a company’s place within the market. Or maybe it is a secret and I just let the proverbial cat out of its proverbial bag… Ah-well, in the words of the great Notorious B.I.G “If you don’t know, now you know”.

Not to pump our own tires or anything but we know websites – we like websites – we know that we like to make websites and that the websites we make are really great. Want proof? It’s in the pudding.

The pudding.


*Warning: the images you are about to see may cause uncontrollable cravings for healthy eats and sporadic BBQ’ing. Wardrobe matching to fruits and veggies has also been reported.


Posted on January 31, 2013 by

Yup. Super Bowl.  I’m not going to lie.  My favourite part is the day after.  When the critics are out with their claws and teeth gnashing and ripping at the Super Bowl commercials.  Of course the pre-release-get-more-for-the-money-fingers-crossed-it-goes-REALLY-viral tactic kind of detracts from that a bit these days. So I already know the Bieb will be making an appearance along with some cars, hot chicks, Doritos and some weird accent guy.  And all I did was watch 15 seconds of a Mashable.

So let’s not focus on the up and comers.  Let’s take a look back at some of the greats  because let’s face it, Super Bowl advertising does bring out ad brilliance. And don’t get all riled up – these are in no particular order.

The Comeback of Gap

Posted on December 6, 2012 by

Apparently it’s happening, but before we talk about its comeback, we need to talk about its demise.  Everyone remembers those Gap ads and those Gap ad rip offs, but when did people stop shopping at the Gap? I know for me it was when I came to terms with the reality that their clothes didn’t fit me (size or style) and were kind of cheap (quality).

I was never a Gap shopper, but was constantly dragged in there by friends who shopped there.  And I wanted to shop there, I did, even though it just wasn’t for me.  Something happened between the early 2000s and 2010 (besides me aging past the target demographic). Gap stopped being the store that teens and those in their early twenties shopped in.

So why in the hell did I ever want to wear khakis??  I assume marketing must have played a major role. (And maybe brainwashing, because who aspires to wear khakis and jean shirts?)

On the positive side:

– They had a clean, no frills kind of image
– I read somewhere that Sharon Stone made a best-dressed list in a Gap t-shirt
– They used a ton of celebrity endorsements
– They created trends
– They played off classic pieces – i.e. jeans
– Their ads used music that sticks (if you watched the YouTube clip you’ll know what I mean – especially 4 hours from now when it’s still in your head)

So in my humble opinion, what Gap needs to “get back” is relevance to its target audiences.  In order to do that it likely needs a bit of an image overhaul (no one wants to shop where their moms used to shop) and to promote itself as an aspirational, sought after brand.  What do you think?

The Content Experience

Posted on November 8, 2012 by

Because I’m a habitual reader, (ok, maybe I’m a pathological reader, I was sounding out the French on cereal boxes before the English even made sense) I find myself drawn to words. I see them and I have to decipher them, roll them around my tongue and decide if they have just the right texture for the circumstances.

In very dry, jargon-like ways sometimes the words fail to capture the magnificence of possibility inherent to a situation. Advertising jargon has been failing me a lot lately. We’re all talking about the value of the content experience – in social media, in person and and in human terms. We’re trying to Make Something Edmonton and we’re discussing the ways we concoct these amazing happenings in the hopes that being open about the process will encourage more people to try.

But the words Content Experience do no justice to the moments they describe. We’re talking about the carefully considered, strategic creation of an emotional experience relevant to the life you’re living. It’s about reaching down deep into the parts of us that tickle, or cry, or opening up and wondering what if? (And yes, that sentence just made me a little ill. That’s how comfortable I am talking about it.)

But I know what it is and I know we do it everyday. So now I wonder – if we can do this work, that pushes us in directions that we didn’t know we had, and pulls from every skill we’ve ever learned while forcing us to stretch just that little bit further… can’t we at least come up with a name that doesn’t feel like I’m choking on the remnants of that dusty cereal box from 1983?

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