Archive for August, 2009


When has branding gone too far?

“The Beach” versus the “The Beaches” — When has branding gone too far?

Branding has gone too far when local residents spend time and money arguing about whether the Toronto area should be called “The Beach” or “The Beaches.”

“There has been endless debate over the official term for the area. While old school Beachers call the area “The Beach,” the uninterrupted stretch of shoreline actually has four different names associated with different sections. Moving west to east we find Woodbine Beach, Kew Beach, Scarboro Beach and finally Balmy Beach, leading many to endorse “The Beaches” as the name for the entire length that runs from Woodbine Park at the bottom of Coxwell Avenue to the R. C. Harris Water Treatment Plant (locally known as the water works).”

Although the street signs now officially read “The Beach,” I am tired of being corrected by local residents when I use the term “The Beaches.” Does using the singular or the plural make any difference in the overall brand effectiveness? No!

Do you think it is worth investing time and money to argue about brands at this level of detail?


Plugging In…

I came across a very interesting poster recently at the TTC Finch Subway Station. Although not visually impactful, the words “plug in your headphones to hear the secret” caught my attention.

Curious, I plugged in my personal headphones and listened carefully to each of the six audio explanations—Xhosa tribesman, speed-reader, fax machine, 5-year old boy, gentleman with a heavy accent and a whale. Unfortunately, I was not able to understand any of the sound tracks to learn “how they get the caramel into the Caramilk Bar”. Still curious, I went to the advertised interactive website “still”. On this site I relistened to the six audio tracks and viewed the current Caramilk ads.

Although I felt a little embarrassed standing in front of an ad plugging in my earphones with people

constantly staring and walking by, this ad was successful. It made me stop, get engaged and be entertained.

How about you, have any ads caught your attention lately? If so, which ones?

Cadbury Ad