Vol 2, #28, July 13, 2010
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July 13, 2010


Sweetspot.ca, RBC partnership makes SweetCents
Canadian Home Builder's Association unveils Votecalgary.ca
hmv launches brand into cyberspace
First-ever Caribana mobile app brought to you by Scotiabank
Stampede launches augmented reality contest
Web platform revolutionizes biomedical research
Bell delivers CFL on TSN and RDS on mobile TV
Yahoo! Canada announces new online columnists
Quantivo offers insights into consumer behaviour

Sweetspot.ca, RBC partnership makes SweetCents

Sweetspot.ca has partnered with RBC Royal Bank to bring users a customized online program called SweetCents .

SweetCents contains a wealth of information related to spending, saving and sharing “centsible” tips. SweetCents is featured on the SweetLife and SweetMama sections of sweetspot.ca, and offers content for both the modern woman and the modern family.

“We are thrilled to be working with RBC Royal Bank to answer readers’ questions about everything from managing the day-to-day finances to paying down a mortgage,” said Jennifer Price, Director, Sales & Business Development at sweetspot.ca. “It’s a unique and meaningful way for RBC to provide valuable financial advice to our sweet and loyal audience. The valuable insights will aim to help our readers be as financially savvy as they are fashionable.”

Readers can enjoy blogs from financial experts Tom Drake and David Lester, a weekly Ask An Expert column, a collection of centsible tips and more.

To celebrate the launch of the program, readers can submit their own centsible tips for weekly chances to win one of eight $100 RBC Visa Gift Cards on SweetLife and SweetMama.

“We’re pleased to partner with Sweetspot to help women and their families’ achieve their financial goals,” said Priscilla Yu, product manager, RBC Royal Bank. “While we understand that everyone’s situation is unique and personal, SweetCents will provide Canadians with information and tips to gain financial knowledge and independence.”Top of Page

Canadian Home Builder's Association unveils Votecalgary.ca

The Canadian Home Builder's Association - Calgary Region (CHBA) and the Urban Development Institute (UDI) Calgary have launched Votecalgary.ca, a new website designed to educate and mobilize the housing and development industry to vote in the upcoming October 18 municipal election.

Votecalgary.ca is a hub for up-to-date election news, and will provide pertinent information on topics that are of key importance to the 28,000 Calgarians who work in the housing and development industry.

"Votecalgary.ca is a critical tool in what will be an important election for Calgarians. Through this website, our goal is to encourage everyone in our industry to get in the game by getting informed, engaged and most importantly, getting out to vote," said Don Dessario, Past President of CHBA - Calgary Region and member of the CHBA - Calgary Region / UDI - Calgary Political Task Force.

According to Michael Flynn, Executive Director of UDI - Calgary, "Through Votecalgary.ca, we are putting forward a positive and educational platform to help lead a variety of debates with topics pertaining to the development of our city. To encourage communication and education, we are interviewing all declared candidates to find out where they stand on these critical issues, and sharing that information with our industry."

Votecalgary.ca recently sent a candidate survey to all confirmed mayoral candidates to get their thoughts on topics pertaining to housing and development in Calgary that are of importance to all voters. Votecalgary.ca will showcase candidate interview results along with an industry analysis and feeds to major social networking sites. The Votecalgary.ca website has been designed to provide industry members with discussion and information, encouraging them to cast an informed vote on October 18th. For more information, please visit www.Votecalgary.ca. Top of Page

hmv launches brand into cyberspace

hmv, Canada's retail music and entertainment giant, officially launches its new Canadian digital store, hmvdigital.ca. This entrance into the digital world has been eagerly anticipated by customers drawn to the exclusive features of Canada’s only major music download site that is 100 per cent MP3 DRM (digital rights management) -free.

Customers actively trialed hmvdigital.ca’s advanced technology platform over a seven-month period with a beta model and reviewed its unique features, including:

  • A library of over 5 million high-quality tracks (and growing at a rate of 100,000 per week) in MP3 format, free of DRM;
  • A vast majority of tracks offered in high-quality 320 kbps sound (CD quality or better); 
  • A unique “My Downloads” section that centrally stores music purchased from hmvdigital.ca, thereby allowing consumers (who may not be at home or who have lost their digital music) to readily access their previously purchased hmvdigital.ca music;
  • User-friendly music search capability;
  • An online music preview player that automatically plays back 30+ second clips of any/all tracks and albums that have been selected while browsing. This browsed music continues playing as background music while customers shop the store;
  • Compatibility with all digital music players;
  • Accessibility in both English and French.

On the heels of valuable customer feedback received during this trial period, hmvdigital.ca is officially launching the following:

  • A download manager that allows for ‘auto-synchronization’ of hmvdigital.ca downloaded products to a user’s existing digital media player folder. Additionally, the download manager now supports all currently supported versions of Windows, up to and including Windows 7 (both 32bit and 64bit versions), as well as Mac OSX and Linux; 
  • The ability to earn purehmv points on purchases that can be redeemed at the recently launched purehmv.ca Arena towards exclusive money can’t buy rewards.

“As expectations for an hmv digital offering were high, we wanted to allow ourselves time to enhance the service by evaluating consumer interest and wants. This was all in preparation for the development of a digital service that would exceed customer expectations,” says Humphrey Kadaner, President of hmv Canada. “Thanks to the extensive testing and consumer feedback we’ve received to date, we are confident that hmvdigital.ca is a digital offering that will impress consumers and, ultimately, bring them closer to the music they love.”

Upon launch, hmvdigital.ca is the only Canadian digital music store to accept Interac debit cards as a form of online payment. This will simplify purchasing for hmv’s core young shoppers, many of whom are too young to qualify for a credit card. Given the high rate of Interac debit card ownership and usage in Canada, including amongst younger consumers, this new hmvdigital.ca feature is expected to be well-received and frequently used by hmvdigital.ca consumers. Other forms of payment currently accepted at hmvdigital.ca, include: VISA, MasterCard, American Express and PayPal.

Music How You Want It
Customer feedback received during hmvdigital.ca’s beta model trial period has been encouraging, with 95 per cent of visitors surveyed stating that the online retail site has the music they want in-stock, and 98 per cent noting that they are more than impressed with the selection of new releases. A resounding majority (98 per cent) responded that the MP3 DRM-Free format is a strongly appreciated special feature to the site. 1

The introduction of hmvdigital.ca has also been widely received by hmv’s music industry partners. “At Universal Music, we are extremely enthusiastic about the launch of hmvdigital.ca, as we feel that it will be an ideal platform for our artists to showcase their work,” says Randy Lennox, President & CEO of Universal Music Canada. “We look forward to moving further into the digital world with hmv.” Top of Page

First-ever Caribana mobile app brought to you by Scotiabank

Scotiabank Caribana has launched a new way for Festival participants to enjoy Toronto's most historic celebration of Caribbean culture. For the first-time, Smartphone users will be able to download the Scotiabank Caribana Navigator, a FREE mobile app for Blackberry, iPhone and Android platforms to discover all the unique events at this year's Festival. Users will also be able to cast their vote for the best Festival costume with the Scotiabank People's Choice Costume Contest in real-time and enter for a chance to win prizes from: Grace Foods, Blackberry and Breezes Vacations, including an all-expense paid trip to the Caribbean.

"With the new Scotiabank Caribana Navigator, we are offering Festival attendees an even more engaging experience by enabling them to actively participate in the event from the palm of their hand," said Jim Tobin, Scotiabank Director Brand and Sponsorships.

The Scotiabank Caribana Navigator app, designed by Simply Good Technologies is FREE for Blackberry, iPhone and Android platforms and allows users to:

- FIND de Vibe: explore and map key festival locations and points of interest around Toronto

- SEE de Vibe: view festival photos and videos, submit photos and share with others

- WIN de Vibe: enter the 'Feel De Vibe' contest for a chance to win many prizes including an all-inclusive vacation to Jamaica. Users can also vote in the Scotiabank People's Choice Costume Contest

- FOLLOW de Vibe: stay connected with festival updates and interact on Facebook and Twitter

- MORE 'TINGS' - view a digital version of the festival guide, get more festival information and make music along with the 'Feel De Vibe' theme song.

The 2010 Scotiabank People's Choice Costume Contest brings a new level of interactive fun for participants and festival attendees. Each Mas Band participating in the Scotiabank Caribana Parade on July 31 is eligible to submit two photos for best male or female costume, and a chance to win $1000 in each category. Festival enthusiasts will rate the costumes as spicy or mild, and the final choice will rest in the peoples' hands.

Smartphone users can download the Scotiabank Caribana Navigator on iTunes, Blackberry App World or on the Android Market, provided they have the latest smartphone with a camera and GPS to take full advantage of all the app's features. For more information on how to download the app, please visit the official Scotiabank Caribana website, at www.caribanafestival.com. Please note that although the Scotiabank Caribana Navigator app is FREE to download, carrier/network data charges may apply.

Photos can be uploaded on the mobile app, or online at . Voters rate their favourite photos on a scale of five stars, from Spicy to Mild.

"The Scotiabank Caribana Navigator App is the perfect compliment to our award winning virtual marketing campaign," said Andre Newell, Director of Marketing and Communications for Scotiabank Caribana. "The Navigator creates a richer experience for our audience by making all of our interactive web content available to mobile users everywhere, anytime."

"The Scotiabank Caribana Navigator app offers Caribana enthusiasts the opportunity to use the great functionality of their smartphones to have an even better experience at Caribana," said Bill McLean, co-founder Simply Good Technologies. Top of Page

Stampede launches augmented reality contest

The Calgary Stampede together with Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corporation (ABCRC), the Calgary Sun and Corus' Country 105FM radio station have launched a contest campaign linking traditional and social media with augmented reality technology, that allows contestants to see a layer of computer-generated imagery in real 3-D space.

Offering revellers at this year's 2010 Calgary Stampede the opportunity to "Buck the Line" at the Stampede's Nashville North property, with a chance to win an instant daily prize pack consisting of 2 Calgary Stampede Buck the Line passes, including admission to Stampede Park, admission to Nashville North via the Buck the Line entrance (must enter before 9pm), one Bronze Rodeo ticket, two drink tickets and a beef on the bun. Approximate retail value per instant daily prize pack is $400.

Consumers can enter the contest by obtaining a Buck the Line dummy ticket distributed by the Calgary Sun, onsite at local Calgary Stampede Caravan Pancake Breakfasts or by going to www.dontbeatosser.com and downloading the dummy ticket. Selecting the "Buck the Line" contest entry form, contestants need to enter their name, email address, phone number and address on the online contest entry form, as well as connecting with the Facebook Connect application already a key function of the Don't Be a Tosser site.

Once entered, a special screen will appear where contestants will then be able to hold up the backside of their dummy ticket contest entry card or the front of the printed version available for downloading on the same site, up to their webcam. While posing for the camera, the dummy ticket will transform into a western-style belt buckle, revealing whether they are a winner of an Instant daily prize pack.

If contestants share their image with a friend on Facebook, they will automatically receive an extra entry for the Grand Prize draw. All contestants who participate will also be entered to win the Grand Prize, consisting of 2 tickets to the Calgary Stampede Rodeo finals on July 18, 2010.

The heavy emphasis of this contest campaign is to reinforce the existing messaging of the Don't Be a Tosser campaign, encouraging Albertans not to toss their empty beverage containers, but rather recycle them, keeping the containers out of landfills, and ultimately preserving our environment.

Using open-source technology, Calgary's Trigger Communications, and ABCRC's agency of record, has created the augmented reality application as an add-on to the existing www.dontbeatosser.com social media-focused website. The agency also designed creative for the campaign and collaborated with the creative team from Country 105FM to produce all on-air radio support that will run for the duration of the contest and throughout the 10 days of the Calgary Stampede.

"A key demographic for us to be targeting with our recycling message remains the 18-25 year olds. Together with our sponsorship of the Calgary Stampede and their Nashville North property, this seemed like a simple and fun way to continue to educate and engage this audience, keeping our recycling message top-of-mind," commented Guy West, ABCRC's President.

"It was also our intention to deliver the first instant-win augmented reality contest in Alberta." Top of Page

Web platform revolutionizes biomedical research

BioHub Inc., announced today the launch of BioHub-Online.org, a first-of-its-kind online platform to facilitate global networking and collaboration among research scientists.

Antibodies are biomedical research reagents used for hundreds of thousands of experiments globally. The global market for research antibodies exceeds $2 billion , yet independent studies show that less than 50% of commercial antibodies are of adequate quality, leading to compromised results and wasted time and resources. Developed to respond to this problem, BioHub-Online.org is a web-based networking tool that not only serves as a comprehensive listing of over 100,000 antibody products, but also provides researchers with the opportunity to provide product reviews. Taken together, BioHub-Online.org will allow scientists to make informed decisions, thus increasing the efficiency of biomedical research.

Motivated to advocate product excellence and transparency within the biomedical marketplace, Alex Hodgson , co-founder of BioHub remarked, "We as a community need to support those companies who go that extra mile to bring us top-quality products and hold those that don't accountable."

BioHub-Online.org has already won the support of leading researchers, including Dr. Aled Edwards (Structural Genomics Consortium), Dr. Sachdev Sidhu ( University of Toronto ), Dr. Brian Marsden ( University of Oxford) and Dr. Lori Frappier ( Canada Research Chair in Virology). "Antibodies are among the most commonly used reagents in biomedicine, yet are subjected to the least effective quality control. BioHub will create order from this chaos by empowering the scientific community to communicate their reviews of commercial products," says Dr. Aled Edwards .

BioHub promises to not only create a channel of direct feedback between scientists and antibody providers, but also creates opportunities for users to connect with each other. Two of BioHub's community features include: BioAlerts, which lets users know when new antibodies and data have been uploaded for specific targets, while BioMessenger enables users to send direct messages to other users to facilitate follow-on collaborations.

About BioHub, Inc.

BioHub, Inc. is a privately owned Canadian corporation that operates BioHub-Online.org, an open-access online platform designed to meet the needs of the biomedical research community. BioHub enables users to connect with colleagues, discover which products work best for specific applications, share experiences and collaborate online. Top of Page

Bell delivers CFL on TSN and RDS on mobile TV

Bell has announced a partnership to deliver live coverage of Canadian Football League (CFL) on TSN and RDS for the 2010 season to Bell Mobility clients on their smartphones. The service is available across Canada today and includes all 2010 regular season and playoff games produced by TSN and RDS.

"Bell Mobility has Canada's best network, allowing us to offer clients access to the most innovative services and content," said Wade Oosterman, President of Bell Mobility and Chief Brand Officer for Bell. "Our partnership with TSN and RDS means Bell clients can access the best of Canadian football on their smartphones and see how watching live sports just got better."

Bell Mobility was the only Canadian wireless carrier to offer clients mobile TV access to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and to the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. Expanding its mobile sports portfolio to include live CFL on RDS and TSN reaffirms Bell Mobility's leadership position in this growing market. Bell Mobility clients can watch all CFL on TSN regular season and playoff games plus live regular season Montreal Alouettes games and all playoff games on RDS.

The TSN and RDS mobile TV service is included as a bonus in the mobile TV feature, which costs $8 /month plus applicable data charges and is also available as part of select Fun Bundle and Smart Bundle offerings. Top of Page

Yahoo! Canada announces new online columnists

Yahoo! Canada announced that well-known Canadian financial experts Gail Vaz-Oxlade and Andrew Pyle will be regular contributors to Yahoo! Canada Finance. In her role, Gail will provide online audiences with personal finance advice ranging from debt management strategies to tips for improving personal credit scores, while Andrew will cover topics including developments in both local and global financial markets and the implications for Canadian investors.

With her no-nonsense, practical approach to money management, Gail’s column for Yahoo! Canada Finance will help readers take control of their finances by providing advice on topics including how to reduce interest rates on credit cards and finding the right mortgage. Andrew’s column will help readers navigate financial markets with key insights into the economic developments that shape the news of the day.

Gail is also the popular and charismatic host of Til Debt Do U$ Part, which airs on Slice and Global TV in Canada, and CNBC in the U.S. Gail has also authored 13 books on money management, including the best-seller Debt-Free Forever.

For over 20 years, Andrew has held senior market positions in Canada’s financial industry, including head of capital market research for Scotia Economics. Andrew is currently also a licensed wealth advisor, certified financial planner and an associate portfolio manager with Scotia McLeod.

“We are very excited to include the unique perspectives of these highly recognized and accomplished financial experts as part of our outstanding line-up of original content writers, editors and contributors,” said Derek Chezzi, managing editor, Yahoo! Canada. “Gail and Andrew’s advice and insights into the world of finance, whether personal or global, will allow us to continue to deliver informative and meaningful experiences to our online audiences across the country.” Top of Page

Quantivo offers insights into consumer behaviour

Quantivo, the leader in on-demand Behavioral Analytics, and Semphonic, the world’s largest independent Web Analytics consultancy, today announced a partnership that will provide marketers with a turn-key behavioral analytics service. Companies can raise the bar on their online marketing capabilities by tapping into Semphonic’s unparalleled Web Analytics expertise that is applied to Quantivo’s leading Customer Behavior Analytics solutions.

“Our partnership with Quantivo is a step toward breaking down the wall that often separates the analytics team from the business,” said Gary Angel, president and CTO, Semphonic. “So many businesses have been sorely disappointed in analytics solutions that promise ‘actionable KPIs.’ There’s no such thing! KPIs tell you what your business is doing – not what to do next. Quantivo makes our job – driving action through measurement and analysis - dramatically easier and means we can deliver faster and better results to our clients. The core of online Web analytics is the identification of important behavioral patterns at the visitor-level. Quantivo makes that process, which has been difficult, slow and sometimes impossible in traditional tools - much easier.”

“This partnership with Semphonic underscores our commitment to bring Behavioral Analytics to companies regardless of internal team structure or analytics prowess,” said Brian Kelly, CEO of Quantivo. “Marketers at any company have the opportunity to make dynamic evidence-based predictions, conduct behavioral targeting and quickly adjust their business strategies to emerging trends.”

“Many companies want to make the leap from reporting to customer analytics, but they lack the necessary expertise or technology in-house,” said June Dershewitz, VP of Analytics, Semphonic. “By combining Quantivo’s unique product offering with Semphonic’s leading consulting services, we’ve enabled more companies to benefit from customer analytics.”

Quantivo’s Software-as-a-Service offering leverages the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) infrastructure and is used by leading retailers, media companies and B2B corporations to rapidly answer complex customer behavior questions and identify concrete steps to drive revenue. Quantivo’s patented pattern-store database identifies the connections between behaviors, indicating which actions are either likely or not likely to occur so that companies can spotlight what to do next to achieve business goals, such as increase customer acquisition and retention, improve up-sells and loyalty, and increase customer monetization.
About Semphonic
Semphonic is the world's largest independent Web analytics consultancy, with headquarters in San Francisco and offices in Boston, New York, Washington, DC and Portland, OR. Founded in 1997, the company has helped leading corporations, government agencies and non-profits achieve measurable improvement in the performance of their web channel. Clients include American Express, Charles Schwab, Genentech, Microsoft, the National Cancer Institute, Sears and Turner Broadcasting. Semphonic is also the driving force behind the premier web analytics conference, X Change. For more information about Semphonic, please visit: http://semphonic.com.
About Quantivo

Quantivo is pioneering a fundamentally new approach to Behavioral Analytics. For the first time, corporate decision-makers can quickly uncover behavioral patterns across any aspect of their customer interactions and act on these timely insights to increase customer acquisition, retention, up-sells, cross-sells and web monetization. By combining large-scale analytics with rapid SaaS delivery, Quantivo is the only company that puts impactful revenue-generating insights directly into the hands of a wide set of executives and analysts for applications such as loyalty analysis, merchandising and marketing optimization and online analytics. For more information, visit www.quantivo.com.