A Canadian book blog: Publishing, marketing, books and technology from a Canadian perspective

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

AdHack: Show Us Your Balls

It’s down to the final 3 contestants in the “Show Us Your Balls” campaign.

And now we dance! Script by Ren

No Good Deed. Script by Jordan Behan

Beer Balls. Script by Ryan Kurr
Vote for the script that you think should win.

And watch the Balls Music Video. Oh it’s on baby.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Heartbreaker: Jenna Jameson has a perfume

“It Stinks Like Sex in Here” is not the subject line of an email that I was eager to open. Funny enough, it was a forward of an article on Heartbreaker by Jenna Jameson. Yes, sex pots now get into the perfume game. The perfume industry can generate more money for celebrities than the movie industry, apparently more than the porn movie industry too.

Heartbreaker, eau de parfum spray 100ML/3.4OZ, item#1207, $50.00


Heartbreaker is young and sexy, with an attitude! The top note, is a fresh splash of sparkling raspberry Champaign garnished with lovely rose petals. After a taste of champagne, the middle note or the heart of the fragrance, takes us into the night of blooming jasmine and magnolia flowers, to keep the mood casual but seductive. The base note, surprises us with the infusion of sophisticated sandalwood and tonka bean wrapped in an intoxicating morning of amber.

(Source: Mediabistro.com “It Stinks Like Sex in Here” via James)

Oh and there’s a poster. *eye roll*

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tiny Art Director

Tiny Art Director is one of those projects that gets me giggling like a school girl. Tiny Art Director is an illustrator in collaboration with his 4-year-old daughter, who he claims is actually a sweet kid but by the look on her face has a lot of spunk with which her first teacher is going to have to contend.

I love that this is a blog and a book project.

Help support the Tiny Art Director’s college fund (She’ll be going to RISD in 2023), and get a great present for the beleaguered parent on your list - or anyone else who loves a three year old.

52 pages 7.5” x7.5” full color printed by lulu.com. $19.75+shipping from Lulu.com by clicking here

The creative briefs on the site and the critiques of each illustration are close to real, adult conversations I’ve been a part of doing web design. I also appreciate this whole parent-daughter process because my mom used to draw me colouring books as a kid. “Mom, draw me a giraffe. No not like that!” I have to say the follow-up conversation on her side was less congenial. “Do it yourself then.”




Friday, February 20, 2009

Brett on Brands

Brett Macfarlane talks about brands behaving badly. Excess content. The lack of meaning.

What is the Coke side of life?

Isn’t brand more than colour and logo? Do brands really care?

Where are the guys saying: Let’s not suck. Let’s be good.

Your brand does not equal your identity (name, logo, colour scheme). What a brand really stands for is a bundle of meaning. And it’s a bundle that is completely out of your hands. It’s in the hands of the people.

Brett says the king of brands is Nike.

Building Brand

1. Who’s really interested in what you’re trying to do? Who is the actual audience?
Ok, so now you have a demographic.

2. Now what do you stand for? What’s the tangible value and meaning here?
You might not have anything meaningful behind you. “If you stand for something, you’ll have some people for you and some people against you. If you stand for nothing, you have neither people for you or against you.” Indeed.

3. What makes you you? What’s your point of difference?

4. A lot comes through in your tone of voice?
Should we be optimistic? How optimistic? Hmm, what does that mean. The fluff, the fabrication are done. Tell your story well. Then we’ll gravitate towards you.

(Monocle magazine: Check it out.)

5. Storytelling.
There’s a shortage of good stories told well. People want to believe in something, support something.


Blogs that Brett likes as brands.

Russell Davies
Adbusters (They are influential to ad agencies, agencies have these kicking around. The art direction is great. They do not waiver.)
Innocent (Juice company with a bigger purpose: healthy shouldn’t be hard. Great, open tone of voice.)
Nike Running blog

These examples all follow this:
Know your audience. Stand for something. Authenticity. Speak like a human being. Try not to suck.

Hey Brett, what’s your brand?
“Ah that sucks ...
“Being informed and independent. Think what you really think. Personally that frankness is in deficit. I like risks. I like be open, honest and frank.”

Why Blog, Anyhow?

Els Kushner is Librarian Mom
Started blogging in 2004 because she was a writer who wasn’t writing.

Lynna Goldar-Smith 101 Nights (art blogger, wrote for Sesame Street)
Started to blog as a challenge to herself. She was going to blog only 101 nights.

Anthony Nicalo Farmstead Wines
Why blog? Because there are skilled, artisan farmers making love to the land (in the best sense of that) and Anthony started the blog as a way to bring people closer to this process.

Rahel Anne Bailie (moderator)

31 Days to Better Blogging

Stewart Butterfield: Keynote at Northern Voice

Stewart’s Love Story with the Internet starts with Lund.

There’s a great photo of a young Stewart in a Radio Shack Camp hat. Go Radio Shack!

Couple of early usernames:
* sbutterf
* ui503
* dsb26 (At grad school: Daniel Stewart Butterfield, and the 26 is the number of people who had the initials dsb)

Sylloge.com was “Stu’s” first blog, started in 1998 with increased pick up in 2001.

“A community is a medium for ongoing conversations (think of religious communities, towns, professional associations, neighbourhoods ...” a quote from early Stewart.


Obama in Berlin. Everyone in the audience has a camera.
(What’s amazing about the photo is Obama in front of a sea of white arms holding up cameras.)

All hockey-stick graphs regarding the internet phenomenon are “super plausible”.

Computing is no longer “calculator” or “microprocessor”. We’ve gone from application-based to relationship-based computing.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Scents Need a Name

Neuroscience Marketing has an article on how we need to know the name of a scent in order to better recall it at a later date.

In studying perfume, this is certainly the case. The more that I am able to describe a scent, the more names for scents that I know, the better my recall and the better my ability to create combinations.

(Source: Thanks James)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Perfume: Love, Ralph Lauren


In San Francisco, I was in the Polo store and had a whiff of “Love,” Ralph Lauren’s perfume that launched in the fall to huge fanfare. The huge part was really the price tag, £2,000 a bottle.

Marketing Week UK did a profile on the launch expenses and the various aspects of the marketing campaign. In brief, it was a ballsy move to launch a premium perfume into an economic crisis, especially one aimed at 25-year-old women with high discretionary spending. Although what do 25 year olds know about economic crises anyway? Good market.

I left the Polo store with a sample of the Eau de Parfum. It’s lovely at first. Sparkly, then amber, with a slight floral smell. Initially I thought it was a chypre, there was something lovely and green, but it quickly announced itself as a floriental. Like most perfumes on me this one becomes quite powdery (1-2 hours later) then disappears (6 hours later). Love at first sight but it doesn’t stay the night.

The luxury limited edition has a 47-carat amethyst in the 24-karat gold painted cap, and it comes with a lucite stand. This is what you’re paying £2,000 for, not the juice, which they now sell in smaller quantities, in plain bottles for anywhere from $50-600 depending on bottle choice and quantity.

For the perfumers in the crowd:

Top: Chinese magnolia, mimosa
Heart: Bulgarian rose, ylang ylang, mai rose
Base: amber, iris root, patchouli, vetiver, musk, vanilla

There’s also chatter about the Goji berry, reminiscent of aged red wine, and vintage champagne sparkles with a cool green water accord. I guess the initial whiff of a chypre wasn’t a total miss on my part.

Love, Ralph Lauren is lovely but not a perfect scent for me.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Get Monique a New Lamp

The Decor Hell Photo Contest is offering Gift Cards to HomeSense in the amount of $300 based on the judges decision.

Although I love my mom and brother for giving me this lamp, it falls under the “decor hell” column. Please still love me.

The delightfully ducky lamp is tacky. A white duck lamp. Where does this belong? My head screams “no where!” But where is it? On my home desk. Most of the time under the desk. Except when I need light. Please Chris and Monica: illuminate my home workspace with something less frightfully white and less shaped like a duck. I want a big girl lamp.

There’s 1 week left to enter. Do you have a decor hell item? Let’s see it folks.

(And if there are any Vancouver little girls who’d love this lamp, let me know. Ducky is dusty was working just fine.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Contest: Show Us Your Balls By Monday

The AdHack "Show Us Your Balls" Contest closes Monday, Feb 16, 11:59 pm PST.

* Watch the Video.
* Pick a Product/Service
* Finish the Story.

Looking for Inspiration?

Beverage Companies Are Favorite Advertisers Among Super Bowl Viewers:


According to comScore's pre-Super Bowl survey, respondents cited strong preference for beverage brands. In that light, here's AdHack's "Not What Happened" ending.

Watch the AdHack "Show Us Your Balls" Alternative Ending

Want to Share? Copy and Paste This Into Your Website:

(Source: PRWeb press release on AdHack: User-Generated Ads)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

HarperCollins Lay Offs

Bad News Hits HarperCollins

The publisher of such authors as Nobel laureate Doris Lessing, Oprah Winfrey favorite David Wroblewski and Newbery prize winner Neil Gaiman has closed and dispersed the Collins division, which specializes in nonfiction books, and laid off a “small percentage” of employees.

“Over the last several months, the unstable economy has had a significant impact on businesses and consumer spending,” HarperCollins CEO Brian Murray wrote in a company memo sent Tuesday. “Our industry is not immune to these market forces, and there is increasing pressure on us, along with our retail and wholesale partners, to adjust.”

No house appears immune to the economic crisis that is intensifying the dysfunction of the publishing industry. The extraordinarily bad news is that the people let go are the top in the game, the ones with the most (and best) experience. How do you rebuild with a bunch of newbies and graduates?

So Misguided.

(Source: Thanks Travis)

Monday, February 09, 2009

I Love Coraline

I have more to say, but start here.

Monique Trottier Is Today’s Reader on SeenReading.com

Listen to me reading an excerpt from The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway.

During the siege of Sarajevo, which lasted 3 years, a shell struck a group of 22 people who were waiting in line for bread. For the next 22 days, Vedran Smailovic, a renowned local cellist, played Albinoni’s Adagio in G Minor at the site in honour of the dead. His actions inspired Steven Galloway to write this novel.

The part I read is from page 75..

The woman is Arrow, a sniper. Nermin is her boss. He has brought her to this spot to hear the cellist for her first time. She is to ensure that the cellist is not killed by enemy snipers.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Embed Your Balls

Link to video:

Embed code:

Copy and Paste This Into Your Website

Vote Strategically: Electoral Reform in BC

From Peter Morgan * Morgan:News:

Did you ever wonder how a political party can get 40% of the vote but receive 60% of the seats, and get 100% of the power? It happens in every single election, provincial and federal.

Every election people are telling me to “vote strategically” so I won’t be “wasting my vote.” Sound familiar?

The voting system we use in B.C. only elects whoever gets the most votes in a riding, a system with the nickname of “First past the post.” Most democratic countries use systems that count every vote and give voters more choice.

Remember STV? In 2005, the B.C. Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform recommended that British Columbians adopt a fairer election system known as the Single Transferable Vote (BC-STV).

One of the main benefits of BC-STV is that politicians are able to work together to help their own communities. The political parties don’t get to play war in the legislature. By playing war, they get media attention, which they need if they’re going to continue running elections their way.

Four years ago, 58% of B.C. voters said ‘yes’ to a referendum asking for a change to STV, two points short of the required 60% for approval.

On May 12, when the next BC provincial election is scheduled, voters will a second chance to choose BC-STV in a referendum. You haven’t heard much about it yet, but once the election gets underway, there’ll be some information about it.

If you want to refresh your memory, there is a four-minute video that shows you how the system works, and the implications of it, as well as an 11-minute video about who the Citizen’s Assembly was, and why they made their recommendations. You can also keep informed about the debate, see a schedule of up-coming events, you can sign up for updates, to volunteer or even make a small donation, all at the web site of the proposed system:

At the very least, please forward this e-mail on to your contacts who live in BC, and remind them of the referendum question that’ll be on the May 12th ballot.