Vol 2, #35, August 31, 2010
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August 31, 2010


ignorethedoor digital marketing program launched
GAP introduces dedicated Canadian online shopping site
Sweetspot.ca to unveil French language site
Experts to debate social media's impact on news
iVdopia surpasses 1 billion rich media impressions
JangoMail teams with TemplateZone
Rogers keeps students connected on campus
Zeros 2 Heroes embarks on new online adventure
New Executive VP, Digital Media named at CTV

ignorethedoor digital marketing program launched

A significant number of stories about consumers being misled by the tactics of some door to door sales people has inspired The Consumers’ Waterheater Income Fund to launch a new online campaign called “ Ignore the Door”. (Follow the #ignorethedoor conversation on Twitter)

The social media campaign is specifically aimed at raising awareness among consumers who could easily be misled and are more vulnerable at the door – recent immigrants for whom English is a second language, seniors who may be intimidated by aggressive behaviour and others who might simply not understand the facts about such an essential home service. 

The Ignore the Door campaign features provocative videos of frustrating situations we’ve all experienced before: relaxing at home when the doorbell suddenly rings unexpectedly and whatever you’re doing is interrupted – waking your sleeping baby, setting your dog off on a barking rampage or just interrupting that moment of silence you’ve been waiting for all day.  

A significant number of Ontarians are being impacted by the intrusion of door to door salespeople knocking on their doors. In fact, the recent report Staying in Hot Water: Consumers Need Better Informationproduced by economist Will Dunning, shows 60 per cent of Ontarian respondents who signed a contract from a door to door salesperson feel that they did not fully understand the terms of the contract that they signed. 

The Ignore the Door campaign is designed to spark an online social recognition among friends and family of “yes, that’s happened to me too,” while at the same time educating consumers about how best to manage door to door sales people. Given that consumers tell us they’ve felt forced to sign contracts or purchase products they don’t want or need, Ignore the Door directs consumers toward helpful DOs and DON’Ts from experts.  

Frustrated consumers are not alone. Ontarians are encouraged to share their experiences by telling their story of why ignoring the door is sometimes the best option. Top of Page

GAP introduces dedicated Canadian online shopping site

As the company continues to expand internationally, Gap Inc., today launched its dedicated Canadian e-commerce site for Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy stores making it easier for busy women and men to shop for stylish clothing and accessories, from on-trend casual wear to modern suiting and back to school essentials for themselves or their family any time day or night.  

"Canadians are increasingly seeking effective online retail options and we have made significant investments to build a dedicated e-commerce site in English and French to meet these needs," Toby Lenk, President of Gap Inc. Direct, the company's e-commerce division said.  "Customers can now shop Gap, GapKids, babyGap, Banana Republic and Old Navy online with ease with one checkout, free returns and no hidden fees." 

Rather than shipping orders from its fulfillment centres in the United States, Gap Inc. built a dedicated, in-country fulfillment centre in Bolton, Ontario, to make sure customers have better service and faster, reliable in-country shipping.  Customers will not have to pay import and customs duties on any order and should receive faster shipments as they will not be delayed at customs. They can also take advantage of gift wrapping.  Online orders are shipped by Canada Post.

Key features of the Gap Inc. three-in-one (gapcanada.ca, bananarepublic.ca and oldnavy.ca) online store include:

  • Dedicated Canadian e-commerce site for Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy (in English and French).
  • Gap Inc.'s innovative "Universality" platform brings its brands together with global navigation and a universal shopping cart.
  • Customers can seamlessly shop Gap, GapKids, babyGap, Banana Republic and Old Navy online with one shopping basket, one checkout and one shipping box.           
  • Fast, reliable shipping from Canada to Canada.            
  • No hidden charges or fees.           
  • Free, easy returns - free returns either in-store or online.
  • Free shipping on purchases CDN$50 or more until October 31, 2010.            
  • Safe, secure e-commerce experience.

Universality was launched in the US in 2008 after Gap Inc. accomplished a complete overhaul of its web sites which put in place a critical foundation that has allowed for continued enhanced functionality and a state-of-the-art shopping environment for customers. Since that time, sales for Gap Inc. Direct have grown from US$595 million in 2005 to US$1.1 billion in 2009.

During the second quarter of 2010, Gap Inc. expanded its e-commerce reach from one country to 55 through international shipping, making Old Navy available for the first time to customers outside of North America. This is in addition to the dedicated e-commerce sites launching today in Canada and during this month in the United Kingdom. By the end of the year, the company expects to have stores in China, Italy and Australia, which combined with its expanding online and franchise operations, will reach customers in a total of about 80 countries. For a full list of the countries where Gap Inc. ships, please visit Gap.com, BananaRepublic.com, OldNavy.com, Piperlime.com and Athleta.com Top of Page

Sweetspot.ca to unveil French language site

Sweetspot.ca Inc. will soon be equally sweet en Français. On September 8, 2010, the company will launch sweetspotQC.ca , Quebec’s Sweetest Lifestyle Guide.

SweetspotQC.ca will develop the existing brand in the Quebec marketplace by focusing on the province’s best in fashion, food, motherhood and fun. All content will be original, and produced by a talented team of writers and editors based in Quebec.

The site will consist of two sections: Art de vivre and Maman. They will mirror SweetLife and SweetMama (two sections currently found on sweetspot.ca), and will each deliver three weekly newsletters highlighting the latest products, shops, events and services.

Aquafresh will sponsor the launch through email and website media, as well as a customized content environment, complete with expert advice, speciality guides, downloadable content and product pages. “We are proud to align with sweetspotqc.ca,” says Heather Loosemore, Director, Digital Solutions at Starcom MediaVenture Group, “as it is a core objective of the brand to integrate with original French Canadian content that appeals to this unique audience in a meaningful way.”

More sponsorship opportunities will become available – from eBlasts and newsletter placements to integrated content and sponsored tools.

The launch of sweetspotQC.ca is highly anticipated. Readers and clients alike have been requesting a French complement to sweetspot.ca, which has grown exponentially since it’s sweet start in June 2004.

To sign up for the upcoming newsletter, visit sweetspotQC.ca Top of Page

Experts to debate social media's impact on news

On Sept. 8, influential leaders from the media, tech, mobile and social networking industries will take part in a panel event in Toronto to discuss how social media is changing journalism and media consumption.

Happening at DigitalJournal.com's annual "Future of Media" event, the panel includes executives from Facebook Canada, The Globe and Mail, Global News and more. Speakers will explore how media organizations are adapting to the Web, how social media services have influenced news, and what the future holds for media professionals. DigitalJournal.com's Future of Media gathering will include a panel discussion and debate and will end with an interactive Q&A with audience members and users on Twitter and Facebook.

This highly anticipated event will take place Wednesday September 8 at the Drake Hotel Underground ( 1150 Queen Street West) at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and admission is free and open to the public.

Seating is limited and will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Last year, Future of Media was completely sold out.

The Future of Media panel is made up of a diverse group of industry leaders:

  • Jordan Banks , Managing Director of Facebook Canada
  • Anjali Kapoor, Managing Editor of the Globe and Mail Digital
  • David Skok , Senior Producer of Online Content for Global News
  • Kunal Gupta, CEO of Polar Mobile
  • Mark Evans , a digital marketing/social media strategist and co-founder of the MESH conference.

The Future of Media will be moderated by DigitalJournal.com

Panelists will address how social and digital media are changing traditional journalism; why social services such as Facebook are increasingly being regarded as a discovery point for news; how journalists should adapt to social media's increasing influence; and how changing media consumption habits offer a glimpse into the future of media.

"Social media has fundamentally changed the two most important aspects of traditional news, namely breaking news and commentary," says Jordan Banks, managing director of Facebook Canada. "As a result, it is no longer sufficient just to provide the news. The expectation of the masses is now to be able to participate in the news, to share it, shape it, comment on it, define it and to use it as a tool to democratize the entire creation and dissemination process."

The Future of Media event is sponsored by Queensway Audi, Toronto's No. 1 Audi dealer; Suite 66, Canada's largest independent online advertising sales organization; Dell Canada; Rogers Wireless; Flip Video; Palm; and CNW Group, Canada's leading newswire provider.

At The Future of Media event, sponsors are providing many high-end gadgets and tech toys as raffle prizes to attendees. The prizes include: a 32GB Apple iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G courtesy of Suite 66; a Dell Studio 15 notebook with artist lid courtesy of Dell Canada; 5 Flip Ultra HD camcorders courtesy of Flip Video; a Samsung Galaxy S Captivate smartphone courtesy of Rogers Wireless; and a Palm Pre smartphone with Touchstone Charging Dock courtesy of Palm. Wireless plans for devices are sold separately. Top of Page

iVdopia surpasses 1 billion rich media

iVdopia, the largest video and rich media mobile advertising network, today announced that the company has surpassed over one billion rich media and 100 million video mobile advertising impressions. With this milestone, iVdopia has now raced ahead as the largest video and rich media mobile advertising network, powering the most number of video ads across Smartphone devices.

“Today, iVdopia is synonymous with video advertising on mobiles and we’re exceptionally pleased to have reached this landmark of over 100 million video ad impressions. In fact, advertisers for this summer’s blockbuster movie releases and fast-food launches relied on iVdopia’s mobile video advertising solutions as critical parts of their overall advertising strategy, which resulted in highly successful campaigns and sales,” said Saurabh Bhatia, Chief Business Officer. “With the distinction of being first to market the most innovative video and rich media ad formats, we’ve developed the most compelling user engagements available on mobile. Our advertisers have consistently seen success with iVdopia powering the most interactive video ads across Smartphone devices.”

“Video has simply changed the game of advertising on mobiles! Smartphones are getting better at supporting audio and visuals that are attractive and interactive, and users love consuming video that takes over their mobile screens and literally ‘speaks’ to them,” said Chhavi Upadhyay, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of iVdopia. “Large and small advertisers have taken notice of this eye-ball grabbing medium and have turned to iVdopia for executing some of the most innovative video campaigns on mobile.”

iVdopia’s short history and long list of successes are marked with a number of mobile advertising ‘firsts” that include:

• January 2010: Talk2Me Ad launched, the first social media ads for mobile phones

• February 2010: Debuts Pre-App and In-App advertising for iPhone and Android mobile devices

• April 2010: Introduces the first High Definition video ads on iPad

• May 2010: Unveils the Viper Ad, featuring the new swipe effect with major movie blockbuster Repo Men

• June 2010: Debuts Future5, the first HTML5 ad-authoring solution

• July 2010: Launches V5, the first HTML5 video platform to provide a unified video ad experience across all Smartphone devices

Top of Page

JangoMail teams with Template Zone

JangoMail (www.jangomail.com), an industry leader in permission-based email marketing, today announced the availability of 101 new email templates as part of the company’s partnership with popular email design service TemplateZone.

Customers simply download the new High Impact Email for JangoMail tool to access a variety of custom-branded email templates and editing features to create professional email designs—quickly, easily, and at no extra cost.

“We’re excited to offer a tool that allows organizations to reap the benefits of professional graphic design without absorbing the added cost that comes with each campaign launch,” said JangoMail Founder and CEO Ajay Goel.

High Impact Email for JangoMail allows marketers to:

  • Insert brand-content such as logos and images to customize email marketing campaigns, customer loyalty programs, newsletters, product announcements, etc.
  • Conveniently add, format and edit text as if in a Word document—no HTML is required
  • Format, drag and drop images into any position
  • Easily edit images—features include cropping, resizing, rotating, brightness, contrast, and transparency with motion blurs, burns, oil and other effects
  • Match email colors precisely with those of a company Web site or logo for brand consistency
  • Free online storage for images, PDFs, Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents

Top of Page

Rogers keeps students connected on campus

This year, back-to-school means no more excuses – the dog can no longer eat your homework, you can’t blame your roomie for hogging the phone and your class schedule no longer gets lost in the mail. The 2010 digital school year is in session and Rogers has the prerequisites to pack your digital school bag and keep savvy students at the top of the class and social scene, while giving parents peace of mind that tuition dollars are going toward more than just frosh week.

“For back-to-school 2010, the school bag has gone digital and the hot essentials are those devices and services that keep students connected to not only what they need but what they want, when and where they want it,” said Grace Toby, Trends Expert and Editor, Chatelaine.com. “From smartphones, to Internet sticks, to laptops with built-in broadband wireless connectivity and new tools like tablets, even entertainment on your TV, computers and mobile phones, staying connected and productive has never been easier or more affordable.”

Rogers ’ back-to-school line up brings students an incredible range of the hottest new smartphones and quick messaging devices. Rogers SOCIAL VIEW devices feature the built-in capability to stay on top of every tweet, status update, text and email with new student plans that offer more of what the socially-connected student wants including unlimited messaging, social networking, local calling and the choice of other great unlimited features. And with the Rogers Handset Protection Guarantee Program, students are covered in the event of a lost, stolen or broken device. 

From one end of campus to the other, students can count on Rogers’ reliability for getting online, on-the-go. Whether in class, in a study group or at the big game, devices like the USB Rocket mobile Internet stick give your student instant online access to stay productive anywhere, anytime on the Rogers network. In the dorm or living off campus with pals?  Rogers makes it easy for roommates to get online and share connectivity with the Rocket mobile hotspot  which lets you create Wi-Fi access on the Rogers reliable network for up to 5 devices at one time or the Rocket hub that enables WiFi access for up to 10 devices at once. 

“We all know that making friends and commanding a busy social calendar is an important part of the back-to-school experience,” says Toby, “but making the grades and arming students with the right tools to do so easily and affordably, is the ultimate goal. Rogers’ back to school offerings are designed to give students the advantage they need to succeed this school year.”

But, just because you’ve got a paper due doesn’t mean you have to miss your favourite show.  With Rogers, you call the shots when it comes to what you want to watch.  Catch up on missed primetime episodes, new and classic movies, and sports on Rogers On Demand on channel 100, free with every Rogers cable subscription. Even rent new movies the same day they are available in the video store – all available through your remote. Or, if your roommates are watching the hockey game and you want to watch The Bachelor, log onto Rogers On Demand Online and get instant access to a variety of primetime and web-exclusive TV, sports and movies available on your schedule wherever you are in Canada, whenever you want.

This year, seamless connectivity is a reality and Rogers has introduced new plans and service bundles that give students the freedom of anywhere, anytime access to what matters most to them, and gives parents peace of mind when it comes to footing the digital school bill. 

New Unlimited Student Plans are built to make sure students get more of what they really want – unlimited social networking, unlimited picture and video messaging, unlimited texting, unlimited talk evenings and weekends - and all on the coolest, newest devices.  Unlimited Family Plans let parents be the heroes, sharing voice and data at a low cost on hot products.  Top of Page

Zeros 2 Heroes embarks on new online adventure

Zeros 2 Heroes Media Inc. (Z2H) has announced the upcoming release of an alternate reality game featuring the use of augmented reality technology on mobile smartphones.

The "Animism: The Gods' Lake" alternate reality game was unveiled Aug. 28 with a live action event at Fan Expo Canada in Toronto. It introduces a unique digital media twist to the conventional broadcast of a TV show based on Aboriginal legends. The show's pilot episode will be premiered online on Oct. 31, 2010 and broadcast on APTN, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, on Jan. 1, 2011.

Alternate reality game (ARG) technology involves interactive narratives in which physical real-world objects and images are augmented with virtual computer-generated imagery. In this game, participants use a mobile smartphone to scan posters, thereby unlocking a series of clues to the Animism plot. For full instructions on how to play, please go to http://www.thegodslake.com/play-the-game/how-to.

The "Animism" story is a mixture of modern urban fantasy with traditional First Nations mythology. Centred in a contemporary city with modern characters, the situation starts to unravel when an unscrupulous property developer unwittingly devastates an ancient sacred site, unleashing powerful forces. The heroine must somehow restore balance to a city where giant mythical creatures skulk in back alleys, demons drift through corporate boardrooms and the Wild Hunt is about to start once more.

"We're excited not only to introduce new digital entertainment technology to Canada, but also to add to the fan experience by giving them an active role in the narrative," said Matt Toner, President, Zeros 2 Heroes. "By extending the Animism story to live action, mobile, Internet and traditional broadcast media, we can reach more fans in all the ways they like to be entertained."

The ARG and motion comic were created by a team of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal writers, artists, designers and programmers. Both are aimed primarily at fans 13-25 years old, both male and female. While based on First Nations' legends, the use of contemporary urban settings is intended to appeal to both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal audiences.

"There is a wealth of untold stories and undiscovered characters with themes that are still relevant today," Toner said. "We're just updating the settings to something more contemporary and understandable for modern audiences."

Funding for "Animism: The Gods' Lake" has been provided by the Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and British Columbia Film. Top of Page

New Executive VP, Digital Media named at CTV

CTV Inc. announced yesterday that Alon Marcovici has been promoted to Executive Vice-President, Digital Media, effective immediately. Marcovici reports directly to Ivan Fecan, President and Chief Executive Officer, CTVglobemedia, and Chief Executive Officer, CTV Inc.

“For Vancouver 2010, Alon helped redefine how Canadians consume an Olympic Games, positioning the Consortium as a world leader in digital content,” said Fecan. “This promotion signals a sharpened focus on CTV’s digital properties and strategy.”

“CTV is a proven leader in the media industry and on the cutting edge of how content is presented to Canadians,” said Marcovici.  “I am both excited and humbled by this opportunity to extend our leadership position in the rapidly expanding digital environment.”

As an executive vice-president, he becomes a member of CTV’s Senior Management Committee. He will continue in his role as Vice-President, Digital Media for Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium.

As the executive responsible for the Consortium’s ground-breaking digital strategy, Marcovici managed the development and distribution of programming online, through mobile devices and other digital platforms during the 2010 Winter Games. The unprecedented access and customization sparked nearly five times more page views than Beijing 2008.

As Executive Vice-President, Digital Media, CTV Inc., Marcovici is responsible for CTV’s overall digital media strategy, overseeing the company’s initiatives across all digital platforms. Under his leadership, CTV’s Digital Media Group will continue to expand upon the company’s multimedia platforms, maintaining its position as Canada’s online network destination of choice for news, sports and entertainment.

Marcovici’s impressive 17-year career in marketing and communications spans the sports and entertainment, media and non-profit industries. Prior to joining the Consortium, Marcovici was the Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer of the Toronto Board of Trade (2005 to 2007). Marcovici is the former Vice-President of Marketing & Communications for the NHL Florida Panthers and Office Depot Center and previously served a five-year term with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. as Director of Marketing Media.