Monthly Archives: March 2015

A Brand New Promise to Women?

In honour of International Women’s Day (this Sunday, March 8), let’s consider two brands that are known for demeaning women in their advertising: GoDaddy and American Apparel.

GoDaddy, a website domain provider, once made its name with “GoDaddy Girls” and bad innuendos about beavers.

image from GoDaddy's 2008 Superbowl commercial

Image from GoDaddy’s 2008 Superbowl commercial. Can you guess what models and their beavers have to do with web domains? Neither can I.

A fairly new CEO, Blake Irving, has partnered with female CMO Barb Rechterman to turn things around. Irving explains:

“My youngest sister was a psychologist and a researcher who specialized in eating disorders … one of her theses was the effect of the media on women’s bodies and self-esteem … my sister ended up passing away tragically about 12 years ago and my promise to her was that I would pursue as much as I could in my own field to level the playing field for women so that they’re not at a disadvantage and actually have every benefit that men have because she was such a strong advocate,” he says. “When I came to GoDaddy, it was hard to imagine a better place to come to shift the way women are perceived in the media.”

Meanwhile, American Apparel has replaced controversial founder and CEO Dov Charney with its first woman CEO, Paula Schneider.

How do you think she can keep the brand edgy without resorting to hyper-sexualized silliness?

dov charney with creepy stache


Using Stock Photos To Promote a Film?


Apropos of our class discussion about authentic vs. stiff, posed images in promotional materials, promotion for Vince Vaughn’s latest movie includes a series of stock photos that copy–and thereby mock–the ubiquitous images. Best of all, they’re available, free, for download.


The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg

Adweek reports that celebrities are making Canada Goose “the hottest cold-weather coat in the world.” Citing appearances by Emma Stone, Daniel Craig, Bradley Cooper, Sarah Silverman and–importantly, a scantily-clad Kate Upton–the article argues that the brand, long respective for its functionality, has a new-found cool factor.*

“The fact that the coat is quintessentially Canadian—made in Canada by people who understand a thing or two about freezing temperatures—helps explain its mythic status. At a time when every apparel brand on the market claims to be genuine and authentic, Canada Goose really is.”

What do you think: Does Canada Goose’s rising popularity change its brand meaning for Canadians? Does overexposure dilute the brand?

*Get it? Cool?


The Value of Volunteering


This is not a brand-related post, but I know many of you are still thinking about what you will be doing for work post-grad. As you may have heard at the career centre, short-term volunteer work is an excellent way to experiment with new industries; build your resume; network; or simply feel productive while job hunting.

To that end, (and particularly if you live in Toronto), you might want to check out volunteer opportunities in cultural industries (film, the arts, etc.) Saturday, March 14.

More here:

and here:

Let me know if you go!

Has Kellogg’s Lost Its Krunch?

Bloomberg Businessweek is reporting that changing breakfast habits and concerns about nutrition are killing Kellogg’s bottom line. According to the article, the CEO believes adding fruit and other “natural” ingredients to its popular cereals can turn things around…but it’s not clear that a few freeze-dried strawberries are enough to signal “nutritious” anymore.

What do you think Kellogg’s can do to stop its profits from plunging?

They're Grrrross