Calling All Batman Fans!

If you’re a fan of the Batman, then you’re in for a treat (and possibly the largest hide-and-go-seek game… EVER).

Warner Brothers has released a new viral campaign for “The Dark Knight Rises” and has created a brand new trailer due for a July release. But in order to see the trailer, Batman-fans (or ‘Bat-fans’) need to help the Gotham City police investigation track Batman down through hundreds of graffiti pieces placed strategically around the world. Yes, you read that correctly – the world.

Batman is played as a felon and wanted for a kidnapping, assaulting police officers and being responsible for six deaths. But fans of the previous movie know that Batman is innocent and is only taking the heat from Harvey Dent/Two Face (am I right?). But to the police, Batman is “armed and dangerous.”

These graffiti pieces distributed around the globe are essentially leaks that help to reveal the trailer, one graffiti art work at a time. How? Police officers (aka you), help to unlock trailer frames by Tweeting or sending an email that act (tdkr07202012@gothampolicedepartment.com) as “photographic evidence of graffiti related to any movement in support of the vigilante’s return.”

This is a great example of encouraging participation from a fan base on a global level (those metrics are going to be huge!), especially with the help of social media and the incredible power of technology today.

And isn’t this one of the most prized offerings of social networks like Twitter and Facebook? Not only is the entire world in on this mission to achieve a common goal in a clever and entertaining way, but the idea of mobilizing brand evangelists to ‘particpact’ (participate and act) with a brand is now the way of building relationships.

Good news for us – no more sitting on the sidelines. The brand-consumer relationship is thriving under a two-way street, with brands guiding us to unleash our creativity, but also allowing us to take the lead and tell more of our own story, how we want it to be heard. This is participaction at its finest.

May the hunt for the Batman begin!

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Why KONY 2012 Makes a Great Case Study

Imagine you watch a 30 minute video on YouTube and you suddenly become a social activist.

Well, you don’t have to imagine it. This is what happened to millions of people across the globe in less than two weeks.

With one simple click of the mouse, users were introduced and became aware of a story occurring somewhere far off in Africa, about a war lord turning thousands of children into military zombies.

Here’s why this campaign makes for an interesting case study.

A few days after I shared the Invisible Children‘s KONY 2012 video on Facebook and tweeted the news on Twitter, I received an e-mail from Amnesty International (who I subscribed to). The e-mail started off telling me about how although this is the first time the world has heard about Joseph Kony, Amnesty has known about him for years – they just did not have the tools or know-how on how to execute the celebrity attention is he receiving now.

The KONY 2012 video that went viral reached over 80 million hits on YouTube in two weeks time. The utilization of celebrity appeal, charity, a 30-minute film and the power of social media have transformed online engagement to political activism (see below).

How the hell did this happen?!

For one, it’s a great conversation starter; the sheer curiosity factor fuelled massive discussion (we’re talking global here). Some 30-minute video was circling the web about a war lord in Africa and it was a big deal. People would ask, “But who is this guy?” and “Have you seen this?” and share videos with their friends.

This simple curiosity turned into a willingness to not just educate, but investigate what was happening. Who is Joseph Kony? What is he doing and where is he? Why are people talking about him? What is Invisible Children? How are people talking about Kony and the cause? Who is he effecting? When do we act? Can we act? Is he relevant to me, and now? (Covered the five Ws? Check).

And it sure as hell helped to get celebrities involved in the social media realm, tweeting and re-tweeting their concerns and support over the KONY 2012 video. Oh, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber are supporting the Invisible Children cause? This is even more share-worthy.

Moreover, The Uganda Speaks campaign first tweeted by Al Jazeera English last Tuesday,is asking people in Uganda to tweet their opinions about Kony 2012. One interesting respondent tweeted, “There is a total disconnect between the invisible children and the community they claim to serve. Why make Kony famous? You cannot make a wrong person famous. Stop Kony, then what?” Exactly. Then what?

If the goal of Invisible Children was to raise awareness about the issue, then the campaign was a success. Not only did they receive positive feedback and support from millions, the charity also received backlash about having ulterior motives and unfair fiscal distribution. But as my graduate professor once said, “As long as they’re talking about you, you’ve got a fighting chance.”

However, if the goal is to arrest KONY by converting a quarter of the globe into Invisible Children’s own army-to-the-rescue and overthrow the political system, then they’ve got a lot of work to do. As Malcolm Gladwell argues, “Facebook activism succeeds not by motivating people to make a real sacrifice but by motivating them to do the things that people do when they are not motivated enough to make a real sacrifice.”

From the launch of the video on March 5th, forward to almost a month later, over 100 million people have now seen the short film. Awareness about Kony and the LRA has increased tenfold and people have shared their thoughts and opinions about it.

All that is left now, is action. It’s great to have an idea, but it doesn’t mean much if there are no plans to execute. As  Madeline Bernstein of Technorati writes, “Knowing is better than not knowing, but clicking is not action.”

And in case you either haven’t seen the video through some social network or haven’t heard people talking about, first I’d like to know where on Earth are you. I’m kidding. But seriously.

Secondly, if you’re interested in watching the 30 minute long video, you can watch it below:

Photo credit: http://www.theatlantic.com

Liked this post? You might also like:

Made For Social

#trending

Social Media Saviours

Mobilizing Brand Advocates

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Follow Back Y’all

As I signed onto Twitter the other day and started my daily routine of following people who follow me, I noticed that the demographic of the Twitter population I follow has changed.

Perhaps an obvious reason is the amount of Twitterers I follow (5,500 something or other). At one point, I was following just my friends. Then I expanded my social Twitter circle and followed people I am interested in (i.e. social media, advertising, travel, sports… and possible Jersey Shore characters… but that’s besides the point).

I fell into what I thought a health pattern of following back the people who followed me – not just because I was being social but I also thought I might pick up some interesting new learns on the way.

But then it came to the point where I noticed the gargantuan amount of irrelevant content that was being pushed through my feed (“irrelevant” defined in terms of information that did not pertain to my own personal interests or values). Thus I began to ask myself: does reciprocity pay off on Twitter?

Well, to a certain extent it does. It becomes a game of ‘you scratch my back, I scratch yours’ and a decent amount of information is exchanged on a one-to-many or many-to-many platform. Sounds like a good time gad by all, right?

Almost.

From my own observations (that may also seem quite obvious to other Tweeps), when you start getting followers that hit around the 5,000 mark – or perhaps even earlier – the content becomes overwhelming and you eventually reach that “digital-age-old” question of quantity vs. quality.

In fact, there is so much content on Twitter that a lot of it seems like gibberish to me. You know, the “#FOLLOWBACK I ALWAYS FOLLOW BACK.” That’s great and all, but more of this content is becoming less relevant to me – or maybe I just can’t find relevant information in all this clutter.

But with every person that follows me, am I not being “social” if I do not follow them back? 

It is my personal duty to follow everyone who follows me, for the sake of respecting the social phenomenon on Twitter and for cherishing the idea of reciprocity.

But there is a point where the line must be drawn, and that is perhaps not just personal relevance (which many of you practice), but more so of watching my reputation.

I’m all for travellers, advertisers, hip hop artists, social media nerds who want to follow me and very open to other ideas that may spark my interest or fuel curiosity, but I start to get a little hesitant when someone completely out of left-field (and inappropriate) follows me… if you catch my drift.

Although one of the main ideas of social media is being social and responding to people accordingly, there comes a point at which amidst all the social clutter, one might consider re-evaluating their contribution and value to their social niche. One also might consider a heavy gate-keeping.

My tweet may not be relevant to a particular audience, but it sure is valuable (I hope!) and respectful to the social circle I am a part of. So you can judge for yourself where I fit on your social graph…

Critic? Nah.

Crowd-pleaser? Maybe.

Passionate social media nerd? Most definitely.

Photo credit: http://boskofirmas.blogspot.com/

If you liked this post, you may also like:

Social Conversations: Making Sense out of Chaos

The Hidden Truth: Information Accuracy in Social Networking Sites

Tagged

Where Did I Go?

Yes, it’s been a while since I last wrote a post – 11 days to be exact – and that, for me, is too long. I apologize if I have left you in the dark, but I promise the news is really exciting…

You are now looking at reading the material of the new Social Media Planning Intern at Leo Burnett! It was one (among many) of the nicest calls I received on my birthday and I started last week!

Although it’s only been precisely four days I’ve worked at Leo, I am really pumped to learn and contribute to one of the best (ok ok, the best, am I right?) advertising agencies in the world. Can you tell I’m beaming?

For this reason, I unfortunately will not be able to write as frequently as I was able to for the last four months. *Sigh*

BUT. I do hope to write once a week. And to clarify, all material expressed will continue to be of my own. HOLLA!

Photo credit: http://www.leoburnett.com.my

Tagged , , ,

Made for Social

What makes a campaign or an advertisement social? What is it about social that is so shareable?

These thought-provoking questions came up during a conversation I had with Proximity‘s Social Media Strategist, David Jones. He gave me a good idea to write a post on this subject, and so here I am, sitting in front of my computer screen and scratching my head. What makes things social and thus shareable?

So I drew out a mind map and came up with one of the many options of what social media is:

From looking at just this one mind map, a lot of factors play into making something social. One could suggest the following process (among others):

1. The content viewed, listened to or read moves people in an emotional way and makes it relevant, impressionable and creative to them.

2. One person feels the need to connect with others (who perhaps have similar tastes or are curious about their reactions) and thus shares with them or collaborates on user-generated content with others.

3. Content it distributed throughout the media landscape.

4. The content is eventually viewed by others and becomes, in some instances, an element of pop culture – so much so that it is enough to share with hundreds, thousands or millions more.

Let’s take a look at Volkswagen‘s “The Dog Strikes Back” commercial aired during the Superbowl, for example. You know, that beautiful dog that sees himself as overweight and subjects himself to an intense workout routine and diet to be able to run alongside the car?

This commercial has received 9,899,009 YouTube hits from that one link so far. One reason could be that we love the determination we see in the animal and connect some similarities to our own human behaviour (what science calls anthropomorphism).

But the more obvious reason is the ending, where Volkswagen takes us back to last year’s memories of the Darth Vader kid thinking he has superpowers.

The commercial makes a pun on what is essentially an inside-joke to those who saw the “prequel” – a conversation held between a few ‘people’ in a bar who argue that the dog is “funnier than the Darth Vader kid” (who later feels the wrath of Darth Vader for making that comment).

Not only was the original commercial a cute and memorable idea to connect the kid with the car, but the commercial became so lovable, so shareable, that YouTube hits have reached 50,836,938 to date. Even more, Volkswagen even created a teaser for the anticipation of the sequel release!

Volkswagen essentially made their way into pop culture through its viral-worthy content and treated their audience as movie-goers. Viewers enjoyed the content as perhaps humorous, cute, smart and real to some (as several parents may have connected on the same idea that their children pretend to have powers too… and sometimes let them think that they actually do).

Thus I think human connection, a real one, is at the root of what is social and what is shareable. Connection and the desire to seek out others who have similar tastes and needs (a term some sociologists would label as homophily) is one factors that drives virality.

As humans, we want to feel like we are in this – life – together, that we are not alone. This may even go back to centuries ago where we were bred to believe that this connection is the key to survival – it’s human nature!

But adding procreation into the mix may be stretching the idea a little too far (ya think?). Alongside human connection and emotion as part of what makes content social and shareable, I would even like to add the concept of participaction to the mix. People no longer want to just be a recipient of the brand, but they want to feel that they are actually a part of it.

The audience sees something they like and may decide to modify, add or delete aspects of a social concept to call it their own and share it with their friends (i.e. crowd-sourcing and mash-ups from user-generated content). They become the brand itself, or at least an extension of it.

Sometimes we want to be the first ones to say “I saw this first!” or “hey check out what I did to that viral hamster on a piano video!” Thus a sense of belonging and recognition builds makes its way into the picture.

There are several factors that play a part in making content sociable and shareble, including the ones just mentioned. Whether it’s something that tugs at our heart strings or want to simply belong to a project that is greater than ourselves, we want to be an active participant in creating that connection.

Whichever reason, just make sure not to mention that the dog being funnier than the Vader kid…

What do you think makes a campaign or ad social and shareable? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Tagged , , , , , ,

My Favourite Super Bowl XLVI Ads Of 2012

It’s that moment we’ve all advertisers have been waiting for: a brief 5-minute break from the football game where advertisers pay a high price to get that hot spot they know millions will be watching.

Although I do not reside in the U.S. and was not one of those millions of live viewers to glimpse those short sunshine-bursts of creativity in between plays, but I did take the time to carefully analyze the ads online (thanks be to the Internet!).

I witnessed, as many of you, the return of Darth Vader, Bueller’s 2nd day off, the M&M strip show and many others, but only a select number have made the cut to the top.

Thus I present to you my list of top 10 Superbowl XLVI ads of 2012:

10. Doritos Sling Baby Super Bowl Commercial 2012

It seems that every year we all wait to see what Doritos has up their sleeves this time around, and they never fail to deliver… especially when really cute babies are involved.

YouTube Hits: 337,454

9. “Think Fast” — Official Big Game Ad for Hyundai Genesis Coupe Super Commercial

Hyundai gives you another reason to get your pulse going… even when it’s not.

YouTube Hits: 2,786,551

8. Official 2012 Honda CR-V Game Day Commercial – “Matthew’s Day Off” Extended Version

Pretty clever, Bueller. Pretty clever.

YouTube Hits: 12,730,966

7. “Transactions” Extended Version – 2012 Acura NSX Big Game Ad #JerrysNSX

Leno may steal the car, but Seinfield steals the show.

YouTube Hits: 15,844,496

6. Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt Super Bowl 2012 Commercial – “The Tease”

Whoa – did not expect her to head-butt John Stamos (especially for a yogurt commercial). But it’s still pretty funny.

YouTube Hits: 932,104

5. Free to Pee EXTENDED – TaxACT Super Commercial 

When you gotta go, you gotta go.

YouTube Hits: 94,886

4. Flash Fans: 2012 Budweiser Official Big Game Commercial

It was brought to my attention that this flash mob strategy for an ad was created by Improv Everywhere in 2008 for a little league baseball time. However, I love the idea of capturing real-time emotions from a group of regular guys playing hockey caught completely by surprise.

This one left me grinning from cheek to cheek.

YouTube Hits: 2,236,401

3. M&M’s “Sexy and I Know it”

M&M commercials never cease to deliver, whether it’s for entertainment or to showcase their scrumptious (and now sexy) flavours. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a candy strip before, but it looks like it might give you a better time!

YouTube Hits: 1,080,721

2. FIAT 500 Abarth – 2012 Super Bowl Commercial – Seduction

“What are you looking at? Uh!? What are you looking at?! (slap) Are you undressing me with your eyes? Poor guy… you can’t help it? Is your heart beating? Is your head spinning? Do you feel lost thinking that I could be yours forever?”

I absolutely love the metaphor here – even though it’s not the best looking-car – but the guy’s reaction is priceless.

YouTube Hits: 3,673,990

1. The Dog Strikes Back: 2012 Volkswagen Game Day Commercial

This commercial made me smile not just because I’m an animal lover, but I love the determination and discipline in the dog’s character to transform to a new and improved player in the game (also note the metaphor to the new Volkswagen 2012).

You also can’t forget about the return of Darth Vader, who makes a cameo, so to speak, as a flashback to Volkswagen’s famous Super Bowl 2011 commercial (remember the little kid dressed up as Darth Vader who believed her had super powers?). That commercial has earned 50,484,398 hits on YouTube so far and was probably ranked one of the best ads of the Super Bowl last year as well, and it looks like Volkswagen may have done it again this year.

And doesn’t James Brown make you want to get up offa that thang too?

YouTube Hits: 6,086,723

… And I loved the teaser for the commercial too:

YouTube Hits: 12,820,594

Honourable Mentions

Although the following ads didn’t make my top 10 list for SuperBowl 2012, they still deserve some recognition for great effort:

Camry Effect: “Connections” :60 Big Game Commercial

Camry plays on your emotions to get you feeling a little bit closer to the things that matter in life. Did this one tug at your heart strings a little?

NEW E*TRADE Baby Game Day Commercial – Fatherhood

“Bobby! What are ya doin’ man?”

“I’m speed-dating!”

Hilarious.

OK Go & Chevy Sonic- “Needing/Getting” Full Length Music Video (Super Bowl XLVI Commercial)

Not sure how OK Go did, but DAMN.

OFFICIAL David Beckham Bodywear for H&M Super Bowl Ad

David Beckham. ‘Nuff said.

“It’s Halftime in America” – Official Chrysler Commercial from 2012 NFL Championship Game

“People are out of work and they’re wondering what they’re going to do to make a comeback, and we’re all scared because this isn’t a game…”

Although sounding timeless and reverent to signify not only the game of football but the reality of life, this commercial has fuelled quite the controversy. Republicans are claiming the ad was a nod to Obama’s attempt to bailout the auto industry during the recession. Moreover, people have started the rumour that Clint Eastwood‘s placement in the Chrysler ad was a promo for Obama‘s re-election campaign, but it is in fact just a rumour.

And even more unnerving? It wasn’t in filmed in Detroit – it was shot in New Orleans and L.A… Awkward.

What were your favourite Super Bowl ads of 2012? I’d love to hear them!

 Photo credit: http://www.pagesdigital.com
Tagged ,

Facebook Canada on Branding

Jordan Banks, Managing Director of Facebook Canada, joined AdWeek’s opening lunch session and presented the company’s findings on the rise and popularity of the social networking site.

Banks attributes part of Facebook’s success to the idea of discovery through word-of-mouth; users spend 8 hours per month on the site (YouTube users, in comparison, spend 5 hrs per month). On top of that, a staggering 800 million people are accessing Facebook every month. YEAH.

On average, Facebook users in the U.S. have 130 friends, whereas in Canada the average number of friends is 225. Although this number may seem small to other users who have over 1,000, the recommendation (and tagging) culture that has evolved from word-of-mouth have fuelled not only Facebook’s popularity, but the ‘likability’ of brands, products and services on the social network.

Additionally, Banks notes that brands play a huge role here and understands that Facebook, essentially, is social by design where people are at the core. He argues that advertisers must “fish where the fish are” in the social graph and become leaders to these large social groupings (similar to Godin’s idea of “tribes”).

According to Banks, building a brand on Facebook requires:

1. Connection: users must be able to connect though posts, videos, comments, likes and becoming fans of brand pages.

2. Engagement: advertisers/marketers must feed Facebook users with relevant information. This is often done with targeted ads.

3. Inspiration: loyal customers can transform into brand evangelists simple through platform integrations and sponsored stories.

From a recent Nielson study, 68% of Facebook users are more likely to remember something within a social context. Such users claim that they are not just recipients of a brand, but feel a part of a brand’s story (hence why event marketing is such a successful endeavour).

The importance of building a brand online is taking advantage of the media landscape and providing tools to the audience that they already know how to use. Humans need to feel that they have agency with media, thus marketers need to teach them how to understand it and motivate them to to use it.

Banks finishes with four takeaways of the future of social advertising:

1. There has been a shift from the information web to the social web.

2. Innovation has been immensely impacted by the social graph.

3. The social web has change and influenced the way people have relationships.

4. There is no better time than the present to capitalize on this social movement.

So what are you waiting for?

Photo credit: http://myportableworld.com

Tagged , ,

How to Go Mo in 2012

As part of AdWeek, Google’s Group Marketing Manager Jesse Haines joined the speaker series and got serious about “How to Go Mo in 2012,” or in other words, stressing the importance of mobile marketing.

Haines illustrates four ways of how to go mobile in 2012:

1. Embrace the Nonline World

Almost every chore can now be completed on a mobile device: QR codes help passengers access boarding passes for a flight and information on the fly (no pun intended), Android and iPhone apps deepen relationships and build loyalty through interaction, and Google Wallet is handling credit card information to complete transactions.

All of these new gadgets have become the new and hip way of communicating brand identities and their messages to customers. People are no longer limited to seeking information and help from inside the home, but now have the opportunity (and essentially freedom) to roam without restriction.

2. Cover the Basics

According to Google research, only 21% of large advertisers have mobile optimized landing pages. What the rest of the 79% do not realize is that mobile search is exploding – and 11% are screaming at their phones from having difficulty accessing their websites.

Among the many staggering statistics Haines shared about consumer interests, 30% of restaurant searches are made on mobile devices and 25% of search on mobile is movie-related. Moreover, 40% of users who visit a mobile-friendly site go to a competitor’s site.

Approaching 2012, marketers need to be up to par on how to handle a mobile plan and understand the backend. One way to analyze and evaluate your business website on a mobile device is through howtogomo.com. Google offers a measurement tool called the gomometer, where users can type in their business website and see how it renders on mobile devices.

3. Make meaningful connections

Through interactive click-to-calls and an emphasis on hyper-local content, engagement has become a desirable feature for mobile display. It not only offers another route for clients to connect with their customers, but it is also an innovative way of doing so.

Take the Angry Birds game for example. This interactive game became so entertaining for iPad consumers that the company extended the brand connection to make plush toys and sell them in stores.

4. Access more than one screen

Tablets have also become a desirable commodity in the mobile realm. According to a PEW Internet research study, tablet ownership doubled over the holidays. The tablet is the fastest growing technology used for entertainment purposes as opposed to work purposes, as it is used mostly in the home.

According to another Google study, tablets and mobile usage increase during prime time hours; 46% of mobile users searched for content that was not related to TV. What this means for marketers is that they need to be on all sorts of platforms (both TV and mobile), combining the best communication platforms to increase interactivity.

This idea of multitasking is what advertisers can capitalize on. According to Google, statistics showed a staggering 315 times spike on mobile during the Superbowl, whereas there was only 38 times more access on desktops. This is evidence that marketers need to encourage interactivity among their customers through rich media.

Where do we focus in 2012?

Mobile devices are becoming more like our companions than a simple gadget. Even HMTL 5 is opening up possibilities with mobile and creating a balance between simplicity and usability

Unlike Apple and Google provides, the outcome does not look so bright for Blackberry (which, according to Google’s definition, it is not a smartphone. Ouch). Thus the challenge for companies may not only be to create easy functionality and accessibility for customers, but a completely different gadget altogether (sorry RIM).

Thus the question of where the motivation is to encourage interaction remains. There is no guarantee that customers will be motivated or feel “energetic” enough to engage just because marketers can now reach them through clever means. Moreover, not all mobile users are aware of how to utilize apps.

The first step for advertisers is thus to motivate audiences to interact in spite of conditions that may seem too complicated or time-consuming to do on their phones. Marketers then need to teach people how to interact with companies on a clear, step-by-step process. And hopefully, this move will make social mobile marketing more of a good thing.

Mobile usage is growing at a fast pace and it is up to marketers to solidify the companionship between mobile devices and the people that carry them. Marketers need to provide multiple outlets to accompany users wherever they are going, and mobile seems to deliver in every category.

Do you use your mobile device to interact with companies? Why or why not?

Photo credit: http://www.thenewnewinternet.com

Tagged ,

The Top 10 Most Influential Brands in Canada

As part of AdWeek 2012 in Toronto, Ipsos Reid made their first Influence Index study about the top ten most influential brands in Canada.

Steve Levy, President Market Researcher at Ipsos, shared a dictionary definition of influence that defined it as the capacity or power of persons or things (brands) to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behaviour, opinions of others.

In the Ipsos study, Canadians rated 100 brands based on  six attributes: Leading Edge Technology, Trustworthiness, Relevance, Presence, Corporate Citizenship and Engagement.

Levy argues that it is essential for brands to “build on these six factors … if our index is any indication, the greater your influence, the greater your bottom-line success stands to be.”

Levy shared ten case studies of the top influential brands that Canadians can’t seem to get enough of:

10. Air Miles

9. YouTube

8. Visa

7. Facebook

6. CBC

5. Wal-Mart

4. Apple

3. President’s Choice

2. Google

1. Microsoft

Levy contends that for a brand to be influential, it must be fundamental to the lives of people, shape consumer behaviour, introduce something new, impact their lives and the way they shop, interact with them and encourage them to make better choices.

And in the eyes of Canadians, Microsoft seems to capture all of the above. Not only does Microsoft have the ability to create anticipation for their customers, but  it is a reliable and established brand. It also manages to deliver leading edge technology that continues to modify consumer choices into smarter ones on a daily basis.

Now that’s what I call brand power (and a lack thereof for Blackberry). Too soon?

Photo credit: http://blog.staples.ca

Tagged , , , , ,

AdWeek 2012: STAY TUNED

AdWeek 2012, Canada’s biggest industry gathering, will be hosted by the nation’s party city capital, Toronto (ok, maybe second to Montreal). Next week will follow event after event with presentations and speakers ranging from Facebook, AOL, Google, Yahoo! and more. Who’s excited? I am, obviously!

Here is my schedule of the events I will be attending and reporting on:

MONDAY, JANUARY 23RD, 12PM-1PM

Facebook Opening Launch: Jordan Banks, Managing Director of Facebook Canada will be giving a keynote address.

“The Democratization of Influence: Today, the Web is built around people and in this socially driven and connected world, the democratization of influence means that friends influencing their friends is becoming the most valuable measure of a successful online presence.

Facebook fundamentally believes businesses are better off in an open and connected world that allows people to share the things they care about with their Social Graph. As consumer expectations continue to evolve to having what they want, where and when they want it, the only way to fully deliver on that expectation is through a smart and integrated digital strategy that puts people at the centre of everything that you do.

Jordan Banks will dig deep into how Brands can realize the power of the Social Web and inspire Canadians to influence their friends by connecting the +18 million Canadians to the brands and things they care about most.”

TUESDAY, JANUARY 24TH, 2PM-1PM

Ipsos Presentation: Influence Index presented by Steve Levy, President, IPSOS REID Marketing and Loyalty

Google, Apple, Tim Horton’s or Canadian Tire: What do you think is the most influential brand in Canada? We know!

Join this session where Ipsos Reid will share results from the first ever Canadian Brand influence Study. This session will unveil the most influential brands in Canada. What brand is on top? Who leads in the key business categories? More than this, we will share the “secret sauce” of brand influence. Why are some brands more influential than others?”

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25TH, 4PM-5PM

Google Speaker Series: I don’t have a description for this event yet, but you can only imagine what Google will bring to the table…

THURSDAY, JANUARY 26TH, 2:30pm-3:30pm

Extending Your Brand Message: “This not-to-be-missed panel will bring together industry leaders to debate the value of branded content and how brands can use it to extend their message.

As marketers strive to create campaigns that not only deliver their brand message but that suit the medium in which it is delivered (online, mobile, video, etc.), the need to extend rather than adapt campaigns becomes more real.”

Mitch Joel, Graham Moysey, Peter Vaz and others will discuss how brands can create credible content to support their campaign messages; how they can drive audiences to these branded content areas; and what role branded content plays in their overall marketing strategy

FRIDAY, JANUARY 26TH, 9AM-10AM

An Ad is Not Just an Ad: Sponsored by Yahoo!

“Ads are a key source for connecting consumers to new products and brands. However, not all ads are equal or have the same effectiveness. So how do you make sure yours is remembered and reaches its target?

Yahoo!’s Nick Drew and Tony Marlow along with Bryan Segal from Comscore, will discuss how choosing the right ad format and environment will have the highest impact on ad performance. Expect thought provoking ideas and insights on how to creatively convey your brand’s marketing messages to the right audience.”

Eek – I’m excited!

These are just some of the events that AdWeek 2012 in Toronto will be showcasing (heck, there’s even a Ad ball on Thursday night!). So if you’re interested in going to these events or are looking for another something else to attend, you can register at AdWeek.ca. And if you’re a student or a recent graduate, you get the bonus of a wonderful discount.

Hope you to see you there!

Photo credit: http://www.advertisingweek.ca

Tagged , , , , , , ,