Vol 2, #10, March 9, 2010
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March 9, 2010


KB Media opens doors as newest out-of-home media agency
Expanded TD Helps site has advice and tools
Poynt application now available for Apple's iPhone
App tracks business mileage for BlackBerry users
Facebook never tasted so good
MS&L appoints new VP, Social Media and Digital Marketing
Toronto Hydro brings back popular online contest
Rogers Sportsnet launches MMA Buzz
Gorilla Nation Canada strengthens team

KB Media opens doors as newest out-of-home media agency

KB Media of Toronto is hanging out its shingle as the newest entry in the out-of-home media category this week with a high profile launch event for investors, prospective agency, client and network partners. Founded by sports marketing and advertising veterans, Jim Kirby -- formerly of Publicis Canada, The Marketing Store Worldwide and IMG Canada -- and David Brisson, who’s experience includes work with the NBA, NFL, NHL and PGA Tour – KB Media’s goal is to leverage the most innovative media vehicles and market them to Canadian agencies and consumers.

Not just a mirror in the bathroom…

KB Media kicks off with the exclusive rights for the Canadian launch of Mirror Image, an interactive media technology. Rolled out by parent company, LuxuryTec, Mirror Image has already taken America by storm and are currently rolling out locations ranging from the Staples Centre in LA to Madison Square Gardens in New York, to the NCAA, NHL and the NBA, among others. Products include Still Mirror (still ads), Motion Mirror (:8 second digital spots), Cosmetic Mirror (digital spots and stills with back-ended automated ad placement software) and Shoe Mirror (still ads in retail locations). The hook in the mirrors is a sensor that changes each mirror from an image of the patron to a colourful backlit brand advertisement.

“With the launch of Mirror Image, we’re creating a benchmark for out-of-home advertising,” says Jim Kirby, CEO, KB Media. “Our new products break through the clutter, allow for brand segmentation and will provide sustainable revenue for our partners. Measurable, meaningful and memorable, they are arguably the most innovative technology within the category,” Mr. Kirby adds.

With extensive experience in advertising, sports and marketing, technology and media, Mr. Kirby and Mr. Brisson plan to embed their partner brands in hard-to-miss places where consumers work and play, and are set to create a new benchmark for out-of-home advertising. Following extensive market research, the company has imminent plans to announce digital additions to its roster of marketing products, currently being finalized.

Branding in the most unexpected places

KB Media’s multichannel distribution network is national in scope with representation in major markets and includes bars and eateries, health and fitness clubs, golf and ski clubs, airports, retail, offices and on-campus locations. Target sectors include beverage alcohol, health and beauty, automotive, personal care, entertainment, QSR, mobile and mobile hardware, to name but a few.

“We’re thrilled to launch our new company with an offering that redefines the brand experience,” continues David Brisson, president, KB Media. “To get noticed in today’s media landscape it takes ingenuity, creativity and an element of fun. We’re confident that we have an engaging business proposition for our partners and advertisers, and we know the consumer will be wowed by the technology. It’s a win-win for us,” Mr. Brisson concludes. Top of Page

Expanded TD Helps site has advice and tools

The death of a spouse. A major illness. The loss of a job.  Divorce. These life-changing events can create unexpected challenges that result in major financial difficulties. Recognizing this, TD Canada Trust has expanded TD Helps, a program created to assist customers experiencing financial hardship to manage their debt and take control of their finances.

“We started TD Helps during the recession and were able to help tens of thousands of customers, but we also recognized that the need extended beyond the economic downturn. We heard from many who were struggling for other reasons - reasons just as life-altering - and we realized we could expand our TD Helps program to include real solutions for those customers too. TD Helps began as an answer to an immediate need but it has evolved into a program that has become part of our culture, extending the kind of help and advice our branches have always given on an individual basis, to all customers who need it through a bank-wide program,” says Tim Hockey, President and CEO, TD Canada Trust.

The TD Helps program is designed to assist Canadians in managing their finances in difficult times. TD takes a unique and individualized approach to each customer, analyzing their current financial position and offering solutions for both short-term cash flow management and long-term improved financial health through advice, options, and tools. Some of the solutions TD Canada Trust has provided to date include financial solutions to take the pressure off, including mortgage restructuring, allowing customers to defer mortgage payments, moving customers to lower cost products and consolidating debt. Longer term solutions include a personal financial assessment at the branch and advice on debt management, and conversations about saving and investing.

An important part of the program, the TD Helps website was originally designed to help reach customers facing hardship due to the financial crisis. Recently relaunched, www.tdcanadatrust.com/tdhelps/ has expanded its focus to include tools, advice and ways to get immediate help for customers facing challenges beyond the effects of the economic downturn and features:

  • Videos featuring TD employees describing how they were able to help customers – examples that TD hopes will encourage more customers to call
  • Interactive cash flow management tools – to help customers figure out how to make the most of the money they have
  • Financial management tip-oriented videos with topics including paying down the right debt, managing credit effectively, and finding money in unexpected places

“When someone has experienced a life altering event like illness or the loss of a partner, things may never return to the way they were. We understand this and that’s why TD Helps is about helping people adjust to their new financial situation in both the short term and the long term,” says Hockey. “We encourage customers who need help to come in and talk us; we know we can’t fix everything, but there is almost always something we can do to help.” Top of Page

Poynt application now available for Apple's iPhone

Multiplied Media Corporation, a leading provider of mobile local search services, today announced that its multi-award winning application Poynt is now available from the Apple App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch. A key feature of Poynt for the iPhone is the utilization of augmented reality (AR) technology, giving the user a real-time view of businesses, people, retailers and theaters around them. Poynt's AR capability overlays a virtual view of search results with the physical real-world environment providing the user with an enhanced local search experience.

Poynt is a convenient and timesaving application that connects iPhone users to local businesses, people, restaurants and movie theaters wherever and whenever the information is needed. Poynt for iPhone offers the features and benefits of multiple individual applications and the thorough integration with on-board apps like the address book, maps and phone makes the app truly more than the sum of its parts. By entering search terms, the user is able to discover people, businesses, restaurants and movies near their location. Poynt allows users to find phone numbers and addresses, maps and directions and offers enhanced features such as the ability to read movie reviews, view trailers and even purchase movie tickets and book dining reservations.

"With over two million Poynt users already on the BlackBerry platform worldwide, the market demand to bring Poynt to iPhone has been overwhelming," said Andrew Osis, CEO of Multiplied Media. "We are very pleased to be able to now provide both iPhone and BlackBerry users the best in mobile local search. After months of development, our application for the iPhone is ground-breaking in its use of augmented reality technology and local search abilities, while still remaining true to the Poynt brand."

Poynt for iPhone includes rich features such as:

  • Setting a Location: Poynt will detect your current location to begin a search or you can manually enter an address to use as your search location
  • Map View: Rotate the device to map a single or full set of search results
  • Augmented Reality: From within the map view, users can access a directional view of search results
  • Call Gesture: From a search result, hold the phone to your ear to automatically place a call
  • Address Book Integration: Add frequently accessed listings to your Contacts for convenient future look ups

Poynt is known for its comprehensive coverage of businesses, people, restaurants and movie information, as well as its ease of use and outstanding user interface. Poynt's AR capabilities utilize the iPhone 3GS camera, compass and GPS to display images of the physical environment around the user and overlay the search information, creating a hybrid, augmented view of the local area.

The number one response in pre-release testing was that Poynt offers iPhone owners an unparalleled local search application that can be used for everyday life. The independent beta users also commended Poynt for its innovative use of AR technology. Top of Page

App tracks business mileage for BlackBerry users

VQ Mileage Tracker, a new business app for BlackBerry smartphones that automatically tracks business mileage, was introduced today, enabling employees to save time while also increasing accuracy and accountability for employers and for people who are self-employed.

"VQ Mileage Tracker saves business people time and spares them the frustration and inefficiency of manually tracking their mileage", says Harris Korn, president of Xpressions Inc., creators of VQ Mileage Tracker and VQ CarFinder. "It's great for anyone who has to be on the road for work".

"Most existing mileage tracking apps are what we call 'digital pencils', in that they require you to manually key in everything", adds Korn. "VQ Mileage Tracker does all of this for the user. It automatically notes the date and time, how far you drove, and the address you drove to every time you drive your car, then emails you all this information when you're ready to submit an expense report".

VQ Mileage Tracker uses the BlackBerry smartphone's GPS along with in-vehicle Bluetooth(R) to automatically determine when the user starts and ends a drive. Owners of vehicles without built-in Bluetooth can use VQ Mileage Tracker in semi-automatic mode - they just click on the app when they start driving, then click the app again when they finish their drive. VQ Mileage Tracker does the rest.

When users want to prepare an expense report or travel log, they just start VQ Mileage Tracker and click "Generate Report". A report is automatically emailed to them that lists the date, time, distance and end address for every time they drove.

"The business community's response to VQ Mileage Tracker has been exceptional. Salespeople and Field Service staff see this as a great time saver. Management in Sales, Field Services and Finance see VQ Mileage Tracker as an efficient and cost effective tool to increase staff productivity and reporting accuracy. We're also exploring Enterprise-level licensing opportunities for companies to distribute VQ Mileage Tracker to their staff as a productivity tool."

VQ Mileage Tracker is currently available on the VQ Mileage Tracker site as well as on BlackBerry App World, CrackBerry, GetJar, Mobireach and other leading online app stores. VQ Mileage Tracker works on all current model BlackBerry smartphones that have built-in GPS and run on 4.5 OS or higher. Top of Page

Facebook never tasted so good

Earls is paving the way once more. Although social media is continuously and quickly changing the way companies market their products and services, Earls has learned to adapt and remain on the cutting edge. Already well versed in social media mediums such as a Facebook Page, Twitter Feed and YouTube Channel, Earls has spiced things up a notch with the release of their brand new Facebook Application; Earls Treats.

With Earls Treats you can send real Earls Gift Cards to your friends and family on Facebook in a matter of seconds. It's very simple; just log on to the application, choose someone from your friends list, select a dollar value, occasion, personal message and then pay. Your friend gets an instant notification on their Facebook page that you have sent them a gift. They can then either print it or send it to their phone. At Earls, they simply present the certificate or text message to their server (like a gift card). Earls Treats is an instant gift that you can send from anywhere that you have access to Facebook.

"We are very excited to be launching Earls Treats during the social media boom," says Stanley Fuller, CEO, Earls Restaurants Ltd. "We've always tried to create the ultimate customer experience at Earls. The simplicity, immediacy and sheer fun factor of our Facebook application is just bringing us one step closer to that goal."

Earls partnered up with coincidenceLabs to develop this first-of-its-kind Facebook application. coincidenceLabs is a team of social commerce specialists situated in Yaletown, Vancouver. Their Facebook gifting platform - called Giftolicious - is extremely intricate and adaptable, but surprisingly user friendly. It provides Earls with backend dashboard access in order for them to manage and adapt the Earls Treats application without the assistance of a tech savvy programming team. Top of Page

MS&L appoints new VP, Social Media & Digital Marketing

MS&L, a leading global communications firm, today announced the appointment of Alex de Bold as vice president, social media and digital marketing in the Toronto office. A leading marketing and business strategist in the internet industry, de Bold brings to MS&L more than 16 years of digital expertise in using the Web to transform customer relationships. This includes launching corporate websites, leading interactive groups, creating online communities, developing e-commerce channels, and creating customer centric sales and marketing frameworks.

As vice president of social media and digital marketing, de Bold will serve the agency's consumer, healthcare and corporate clients, helping them to manage brand and corporate reputation, internal and customer dialogue and word of mouth marketing through social media. He will also be part of the senior management team.

The new role is part of MS&L's efforts to help clients maximize real-time conversation in the digital space. "We've been an early leader in social media and have earned agency-of-record assignments because of our track record in building powerful relationships and results for our clients," said Gayla Brock-Woodland, managing director, MS&L Canada. "Alex takes us to the next level by bringing unique insights and experience from across the digital world. He's been involved in every aspect from technology start-ups, to creating strong online communities, to optimizing integrated marketing strategies for leading Canadian companies."

Alex joins MS&L after serving as principal of his own business consultancy and from his role as co-founder of ChickAdvisor.com, where he will remain on the board of directors. ChickAdvisor won the 2009 Canadian New Media Award (CNMA) for Hottest New Digital Kid on the Block. Previously he was VP, Web Marketing for Viigo, Director of Traveller Engagement for Butterfield & Robinson and Director of Business Development at Labatt Breweries for Canada (Beer.com). Top of Page

Toronto Hydro brings back popular online contest

Toronto Hydro wants to know just how low Torontonians can go - for Earth Hour that is! To raise awareness for the global phenomenon and to encourage participation in this year's event, Toronto Hydro is bringing back its online contest, How Low Can We Go T.O.!

Last year, Toronto "lowered to the occasion" and dropped approximately 15 megawatts (MW). That's the equivalent of removing 300,000 homes from the grid for one hour. Toronto Hydro will measure the city-wide reduction in real-time during Earth Hour and will provide updates to the media as power consumption drops in the city.

On March 27, 2010, Toronto will go dark again to raise awareness about climate change. And to get into the Earth Hour spirit, Toronto Hydro is urging Torontonians to visit www.howlowcanwegoto.ca in advance of the event to guess what this year's reduction in electricity use will be in Toronto. If they pick the correct range of electricity drop, they're automatically entered in a draw to win one of 10 Earth Hour prize packs.

The prize pack includes one solar powered backpack capable of charging small electronic devices, one crank handle flashlight and one solar powered clock as well as other Earth Hour inspired items.

This year, we want to lower the demand even further, and we need your help. Log on and have your say - then don't forget to turn your lights off (and anything else that you can!) during Earth Hour at 8:30 p.m. on March 27!

For more information on how to turn every hour into Earth Hour, don't forget to visit www.torontohydro.com/conservation to view Toronto Hydro's full portfolio of conservation and demand management programs for residential and business customers. Top of Page

Rogers Sportsnet launches MMA Buzz

Rogers Media today announced that it has launched MMA Buzz on its popular sports news Web site, sportsnet.ca. Powered by thoora.com, MMA Buzz collects and displays only the most popular and interesting mixed martial arts stories based on what is happening within social and traditional media, and provides fans with a new way to keep up-to-date.

"The MMA fan is super committed and engaged. They blog, they tweet, they shout. MMA Buzz gathers the best-of-the-best in fan conversations, and serves it to one dashboard," says Claude Galipeau, SVP & GM, Digital Media, Rogers Media. "Thoora is the perfect platform to power MMA BUZZ, since it's all about live search on blogs and tweets. We're really excited that our audiences and ad clients will adopt this new product."

Chul Lee, CTO and Founder, of thoora.com says that MMA Buzz uses Thoora's "proprietary, cutting-edge filtering, clustering, and ranking algorithms to identify the stories that people are talking about most in real-time."

MMA Buzz is available now on http://www.sportsnet.ca/buzz/mma/ Top of Page

Gorilla Nation Canada strengthens team

Gorilla Nation, the world’s largest online branded sales company, announced today the hiring of account executive, Allison Burley and senior sales planner, Steven Kim. Both Burley and Kim will report directly to Walder Amaya, VP Canadian Operations.

Before joining Gorilla Nation, Allison was with Rogers Publishing for ten years. She most recently held the position of digital account manager which put her in charge of the sales and management of a senior sales territory. Allison worked with such top tier clients as Pepsico, L’Oreal, Intel, Rogers, Nissan and Wrigley’s. Prior to venturing into the digital space, Allison was a project manager in the marketing solutions department where she was responsible for execution and management of integrated client programs across multiple platforms including print, digital, TV, radio. She got her start at Rogers in the publishing division where she held a position as a marketing associate and a sales coordinator.

Steven Kim joins the team from spending the last three years at Cossette where he was a digital media specialist. At Cossette, Steven planned and executed digital media advertising campaigns for national clients such as Disney, Sony Playstation, Bell, Coca-Cola, Cadbury, and Samsung. Before Cossette, Steven held the position of marketing specialist for the Toronto District School Board working with Government of Canada funded campaigns.  He began his career at Studica Inc where he started as a web and design developer and progressed into the lead marketing role, directing marketing for North America.

“Gorilla Nation Canada is growing exponentially both with our expanded list of publishers and growing client list,” stated Amaya. “It is important for us to bring in quality sales people like Allison and Steven in order for us to continue to deliver superior account services, innovative campaigns, along with reach and scalability.” Top of Page