Can I help you? Social media and customer service

Working in the digital realm has taught me that social media pages and accounts are the perfect platforms to have my voice heard.  Over the years I’ve definitely come to appreciate social media coordinators and those who deal with customer service via Twitter and Facebook. In fact, I think it’s made me better understand how to draft up an effective Tweet before I hit send. But that doesn’t mean I hold my punches – there’s a difference between showing mercy and being a pushover!

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We’re Hiring: PR Account Coordinator – POSITION CLOSED

We’re hiring a PR account coordinator at 88 Creative to help grow our new PR practice.

Position details:

This person will be responsible for the day-to-day support and service of 88 Creative’s PR efforts with existing and new clients – monitoring and researching industry news, trends, and competitors; writing and editing backgrounders, and pitches; compiling media kits; handling media relations across Canada; compiling media lists; and developing monthly/post-campaign reports. You’ll work alongside the PR Manager on new & existing clients to research, develop, and execute PR strategies. Continue Reading →

Influencers, disclosure and the nature of Instagram

An article came out in Digiday (also, Ad Week if you’re fancy) about Lord+Taylor’s hugely successful Instagram influencer blitz last week. The retailer recruited over 50 influencers to post pictures of them all wearing the same dress with their own unique twist on the style. The campaign must have struck a chord, as the dress is quickly selling out online and in-store.

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Friend Request Sent: Our Designer’s Favourite Designers On Instagram

I would say, on average, I am a low to medium user of social media. I check my Facebook every so often to get an idea of what my friends are up to, I have a LinkedIn account that just sits there, and I am new (brand spanking new) to Twitter . Instagram, however, is another story. Continue Reading →

How to land an internship at 88 Creative

In my second year of Advertising and Marketing Communications Management at Algonquin College, I began my internship hunt. Originally I wanted to work at a big agency, with big clients, and big money. I started in Ottawa, hoping that I could land an internship early, but still be able to go to school. With no luck, I decided to relax a bit, and wait until my final year when I truly needed the placement.

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We’re Hiring a Junior Designer – POSITION CLOSED

We’re looking for a junior designer to work with our Creative Director and Senior Designer on design projects for 88 Creative clients. As a designer at 88 Creative, you’ll be working a range of projects including graphics for social media, email marketing pieces, and corporate marketing materials. We work with clients ranging from two-person startups up to large companies, and we give them a distinct, consistent visual identity across media and platforms. Familiarity with major social networks is a huge asset. Feel free to send us links to your Twitter or Instagram account when you apply! Continue Reading →

The 5th P in the Marketing Mix: PR

Why marketing agencies are expanding their frontier

What is PR?

Public relations (PR) is a field that often requires an explanation, description and an example – and most people still cannot comprehend what PR professionals do. The truth is, PR is often a behind-the-scenes role in a much larger picture. PR is about creating, monitoring, and telling stories about companies / brands in order to maintain and build mutually beneficial relationships with consumers, clients and stakeholders… and so much more. Continue Reading →

Work in Progress: Finding the resources to make you better

When was the last time you learned something new? And no, I’m not referring to why we see blue/black or white/gold. I’m talking about a new skill that you can use to make your work better. Living in Toronto, I have found some great resources that help me add to my repertoire and learn new skills. Seeking out professional development is the best way to break routine and spark my creative juices. It’s so easy (especially when stepping out into the winter is very unpleasant) to get stuck in the monotony of the work-gym-dinner-sleep routine, making it so important to take initiative and explore the resources out there. These are some of my suggestions.

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Real-Time Marketing Needs An Intervention.

Listen brands, sit down, because we need to have a serious conversation. Lately we’ve been noticing some odd behaviour, and we want to let you know that we’re here for you. Continue Reading →

We’re Hiring: 88 Creative’s First PR Manager [POSITION CLOSED]

Note: This position is now closed. Thank you to everyone who applied.

We focus on two core areas at 88 Creative, digital marketing & design. Due to client demand, we’re branching out to include a third core area: public relations. We’re hiring our first-ever PR manager to work with existing clients and to bring in new clients to focus on PR.
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BuzzBuzzHome Valentine’s Cards

Haven’t picked up a Valentine’s Day card for your special someone? You’re in luck! We created a set of cards for BuzzBuzzHome and you can download them (for free, might I add) and hand them over to your friend, lover, or deserving someone on the special day. It’s no secret that the real estate industry is rife with innuendo and we wanted to have a bit of fun with it. These will work especially well for the real estate lover in your life. Continue Reading →

Packing for the Backcountry

We are blessed in this country to have four distinct seasons, each with their own beauty. Every winter my interests focus on cold fresh air, rich blankets of alpine powder, and soaring peaks. Living in Toronto has it perks, but high altitudes and an abundance of dry snow are not one of them. So last month I flew out to Nelson BC to get my fix.

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5 Content Marketing Tips, 1 Pep Talk, 0 Buzzwords

I attended Yahoo’s Tumblr-focused content marketing panel during FFWD2015 , and while I learned a bit about content, I learned a lot more about the baffling Jesus-take-the-wheel sentiment clouding the space. The woman beside me was snapping four photos of every slide (without turning the camera shutter noise off, ugh) so furiously I doubt she heard a word of the panel. She then wrote GIFS = CONTENT on the top of her Blackberry notes, while the guy behind us loudly grumbled about Millenials. These are the actions of people who are scared. After seeing the contents of the panel, I don’t understand why.

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What’s in an Influencer?

There have always been certain people out there, the people who are wearing an outfit you envy, have the latest gadget you’re coveting, provide tips and tricks to make your garden perfect, or have the best parenting advice you’ve ever heard. These people have taken to the internet to share their wise words with the masses, and the best of the bunch end up with communities in the millions.

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Consciously Disconnecting: The Case for Putting Down Your iPhone

As an always-connected person, there are some spaces that have always been sacred “off” zones that have given me solace from being online. Slowly though those sacred places are becoming Wifi-enabled: first it was planes, the cocoon that used to allow me to disconnect for hours while catching up on movies (and sleep). Then it was the subway, which used to be a place I could read the commuter paper in peace. Then it was every damn hotel and resort around the world – and let’s be honest, free Wifi isn’t something I should complain about, but when the Wifi costs $20 a day it’s easier to justify staying offline when you’re on vacation. Continue Reading →

Doing it for the Vine

Warning: this blog post is a rant. If you’re having a great day and see the world through rose-coloured glasses, please DO not read.  If you’re like me and cynical as they come, then proceed.

Last year when I was hanging out with my teenaged family members, I remember one of them saying “ Do it for the Vine! ” When I asked them about it, they proceeded to tell me how people do crazy, sometimes stupid stuff, just so they can get a 6-second Vine out of it, with hopes of it going viral.

… What?! Continue Reading →

88 Creative: Now With 100% More Meat

I’ve been a fan of subscription boxes since I discovered Birchbox several years ago, and while beauty products are great and all, I’m more fan of delicious things being delivered to my doorstep. That’s why I’m happy to announce that monthly meat subscription box Carnivore Club is our newest client at 88 Creative. Continue Reading →

Why Patriotic Advertising Fails Miserably In Canada (usually)

As a Canadian first and an advertiser second, I find no greater joy than to sneer at American ads. The bounty of eagles, star spangled banners, and declarations of freedom – from sales tax, that is – get me every time. As a kid, daytime TBS was my favourite source of these. The quasi-patriotic car insurance ads (call 1-800-General now!) and cowboys hawking community college were a strange source of Canadian pride for me. I felt smug that we’re too smart to have that kind of thing happen here.

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BOLD social predictions for 2015

I can sit here all day and write about trend forecasting and Instagram surpassing Twitter in terms of active users and wait, that actually happened? Well anyway I want to do something different. I want my social predictions to be the hottest of takes that the internet has ever seen for 2015, so here we go.

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#HaveYourSelfie a Merry Little Christmas

Screen shot 2014-12-18 at 12.52.11 PM

It’s a well-known fact around the office that I’m obsessed with Christmas. Like “I have a theme for my wrapping paper, I PVR the Michael Buble Christmas special” obsessed. “I wait all year for Festive Specials, I listen to holiday playlists on Songza starting on November 1st” obsessed. Continue Reading →

Top 10 Social Media Moments of 2014

2014 has been a BIG year in social media. One of my favourite things about social is that it’s so easy to share something with your peers that you think is either hilarious, disturbing, or mind-blowing within a matter of seconds.

This year, between Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, there have been records broken, shade thrown, causes supported, and a ton of Kimye. So, let’s take a little trip back in time and look at the 10 social media moments from this year that attracted the most attention, got a ton of shares, and most importantly generated a lot of memes. Continue Reading →

See You Soon, Canada!

We’re sad to announce our visual designer Claudine is leaving 88 Creative for bigger, better, and Frencher adventures – we loved having her and we’re super sad to see her go. On that note, want her job? Apply here!

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, this month marks the end of my adventures in Canada. I’m going back to France soon, where I found a job at a new company.

I’ve been in Toronto for two years and after good and bad moments I’m sure I’ll only remember the best of them. This month, I won’t show you my five favourite design round-ups but will instead present you the top five moments in Canada that I will never forget. Continue Reading →

Visual Designer Job Opening – POSITION CLOSED

We’re looking for a designer to work with our Creative Director on design projects for 88 Creative clients. As a designer at 88 Creative, you’ll be working a range of projects including graphics for social media, email marketing pieces, branding and identity work, and occasionally websites. We work with clients ranging from two-person startups up to large companies, and we give them a distinct, consistent visual identity across media and platforms. Familiarity with major social networks is a huge asset. Feel free to send us links to your Twitter or Instagram account when you apply!

You have a clean, modern aesthetic and you thrive on collaboration and want to hone your skills amongst a talented team of creative designers and strategists. Ideal candidates will have portfolios demonstrating beautiful, thoughtful, and varied design solutions.

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88 Creative: The Gift Guide

‘Tis the season for you to finally find a way to scam your loved ones into getting you all of those things you’ve added on your wish list this year. The truth is, you’re young and you work hard for your spending money – keeping up with your social life gets expensive AND takes away from the money you could spend on all of the cool things out there. THINGS! Continue Reading →

Like it? Tap it, then buy it.

I’m a shopaholic, and pretty much everyone knows it. The one person who knows this better than anyone in my life is my concierge who checks in all my packages. I knew I had a problem when one day I had ordered so much online that it all came at once and I needed to make two trips downstairs to get it all. He gave me a look, you know – a little disgusted, a little worried but mostly incredulous that one girl could do so much damage. Well, thanks to Instagram it’s become far too easy to do far too much damage. Continue Reading →

Uber & The Myth of “Any Press is Good Press”

I started my career at a PR agency, and spent several years managing press outreach for a startup. And I always believed in the old adage “any press is good press” – especially when you’re a startup, getting your name in the media can only help, right? Well, as we’ve seen lately with some notable celebrities – Jian Ghomeshi, Bill Cosby, the dad from 7th Heaven, Mama June from Honey Boo Boo – that certainly isn’t the case, and your reputation can be dashed with a few headlines (and some bad behaviour). Continue Reading →

My Life As a Conversion

unicorn

As marketers, we’ve all done it. We’ve thrown the “social conversion” idea out there to our clients. OOOH sparkly. What is a social conversion? It’s the purest form of the social sales funnel – someone likes a promoted page, interacts with their content, and makes a purchase decision either in-store or through an e-commerce site.

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Four Must-Haves for Perfect Instagram Ads

Social advertising has had a long road to acceptance. As with any new ad technology, it began full of promise but laden with pitfalls; despite multi-billion dollar valuations of flagship social brands like Facebook and Twitter, social companies failed to make advertising a meaningful revenue generator. Until quite recently, sponsored posts and promoted hashtags sputtered. Social will never surpass TV! cackled TV execs the world over.

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Inspiring Design from Barcelona

Last month I went to The ADCC conference about design in Barcelona. The ADCC (Advertising and Design Club of Canada) is a non-profit club dedicated to inspiring creativity, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas, and forging a sense of design community. Barcelona precisely embodies that spirit. Here are a few relevant, inspiring examples of design from the city where I lived for 2 years.
(Header image via Hey studio in Barcelona)

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How a BuzzFeed quiz landed us on the front page of the Toronto Star

Over Thanksgiving weekend, my ever diligent co-worker Danielle spotted an email from Buzzfeed that stated they were opening up the ability to create quizzes as a community post. Previously a sponsored quiz on Buzzfeed would run you about $20,000. Yikes. Continue Reading →

We’re participating in Startup Open House Toronto!

So as it turns out, both us and our office mates at BuzzBuzzHome happen to be startups. Which is perfect because we just signed up to host an open house as part of Startup Open House Toronto 2014. Continue Reading →

#TOpoli: What’s in it for us?

Confession: Twitter is my #1 news source. It’s instant and gives me just enough information so I know which issues are in the news, but I skip out on all of those boring details and facts (bleh!). And I might even get a clever quip from someone I follow about those newsworthy topics, unlike anything on CNN which just gets me all depressed then shows me commercials that try to sell me prescription pills to cure my depression just to get me depressed all over again. (Who buys those drugs anyways? You know the ones that have one minute and 28 seconds of disclaimers in their one minute, thirty second commercials?)

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The Branding Illusion & the Cult of Mac

When it comes to choosing sides for your tech gadgets, you’re either a Mac or a PC person. Just like whether you use an iPhone or Samsung Android phone tells me a lot about your personality, the laptop you carry shows me whether you’re a hip startup guy (Macbook), or old-school professional (Thinkpad – and probably a BlackBerry). Continue Reading →

Like it or Leave it

I have a love-hate relationship with Instagram. Of course I love going through the hundreds of thousands of pictures of celebrities, shoes, cupcakes and hedgehogs, but I also hate it because people seem to have way cooler experiences and better clothes than me.

I also don’t get how I never get more than 100 likes on any given picture. I have almost 1,000 followers on Instagram so shouldn’t at least half those people like my pictures? Why follow me if you’re not going to like my picture of me jumping in a pile of leaves wearing the cutest cardigan, drinking a Pumpkin Spice Latte (I may or may not be basic, don’t judge me).

It makes zero sense. I get that 1/10th of those people probably downloaded the app, followed everyone on their contact list and then forgot about it. But 900 of my followers use Instagram regularly and are seeing my pictures, right? And that goes for anyone really – some girls have thousands of followers but only get a few hundred likes. Continue Reading →

Design and food: the perfect pairing

Since we’re a team of foodies at 88 Creative (just check our Instagram photos , you’ll see…), for my latest design round-up I’ve decided to select food-inspired projects. This month, I’m showcasing some poetic, playful food-based projects.

(Header image via Ryan McEachern on Behance )

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But First, Let Me Take a Wedding Selfie

As I’ve approached 30 I’ve become a bit of a wedding expert. In the past three years I’ve been to over 15 weddings – I’ve been the emcee at two of those weddings, a bridesmaid at one, and I was the maid of honour in my best friend’s wedding this past weekend. Sometimes I feel like Katherine Heigl’s character in 27 Dresses, minus all the hideous taffeta dresses and the James Marsden love story. I love weddings though – the food, the drinks, the tear-jerking and often hilarious speeches, and of course the palpable sense of love in the air. Continue Reading →

Did Facebook really just do this? You won’t believe what their changes mean for you.

Did you just click on the headline for this post? Well, it may be one of the last times you get sucked into an article with a headline like that. You’ve seen these articles in your Facebook feed. The ones that entice you to click with a cliffhanger of a title but end up being a waste of your time. These are click-bait headlines and they’re exactly what Facebook is trying to eliminate from your timeline. Continue Reading →

Baby Gift Guide: High Design for the Under-One Set

Over the last few years I’ve witnessed more and more friends becoming parents. While they were going through this intense and deeply meaningful life transition, I was shopping for lots of baby gifts. One of the many things I’ve learned is that once you have a baby you often cease to care that something was handmade by traditional artisans in Denmark from fair-trade organic pine; any piece of colourful plastic that entertains your baby for a few minutes will do. As a non-mom and design geek, I like to choose gifts that look great, even when they’re covered in drool or you’re stubbing your toe on them in the dark. Here are eight of my favourites to consider the next time you get invited to a baby shower. Enjoy!

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Brainstorming, Bonding & BBQing at the First Annual 88 Creative Retreat

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Last week we had our first annual 88 Creative Retreat!

Now, what you’re about to read will probably make you wish you could work here just so you could have gotten in on the action. So, sorry in advance. Here’s what went down: Continue Reading →

Holy Month, Holy Tweets? Ramadan and Social Media

It was Eid on Monday, which means the Ramadan month of fasting is over. For one month, Muslims all around the world (including myself) gave up eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset. We tried to refrain from gossip, listening to music, watching television, spending hours at the mall, and other frivolous and totally unnecessary things. We tried to pray a little bit more, learn a little bit more, and give back to the community a little bit more.  We made more of an effort to see the best in people and spend more one-on-one time with God. For Ramadan. Continue Reading →

July Design Roundup: Inspiration Can Be Anywhere

I’m back to share my design picks of the month! For my July picks, I’ll show you how creativity can be anywhere. An everyday object can be transformed into a sculpture, or sand can be sustainable packaging…you just have to look around! Continue Reading →

Content Creation and Filmmaking – Not the Same But Kind Of

Christopher Nolan wrote an op-ed in the New York Times last week lamenting the state of modern filmmaking in Hollywood. In making his point, he lumped in filmmaking and the business of major motion pictures under the rather general content creation umbrella.

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Instagram is Your Creative Oyster

I don’t know about you, but the digital marketer in me gets really excited when I see a brand make use of social tools in a really unique way.

The overarching concept for a social campaign is a no brainer: use a platform that your target audience already uses to reach them and reel them in. Having a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account is an expectation for most brands these days, but using them in a way that doesn’t get lost in the chaos is the trick to success. Developing a creative, never-been-done-before marketing campaign that actually blows up (in the good way) is somewhat of a rarity, but when it’s executed right it is unforgettable. Continue Reading →

When Should Your Startup Hire a Marketing Agency?

I’m passionate about startups, both because I worked at one for over five years, and because over those five years I worked with countless entrepreneurs and their passion was contagious. Now that I’m leading a small digital marketing agency, startup founders often ask me when they need to bring on an agency, and which services they should provide. Continue Reading →

The Brand Whore’s Good Twin

Urban Dictionary defines a brand whore as “s omeone who buys and prominently displays name brand products…under the belief that such loyalty to a label or corporation adds cachet and brings prestige to their otherwise lack of taste…”

While the term has often been used to refer to all kinds of brand snobbery, I think the brand whore is really just an evil twin. This article is about the good twin and w hy I’m not ashamed of being into brands. Continue Reading →

Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer

Okay, okay, I will preface this rant by saying that I do know that social media is meant to be social. And I do appreciate when people go above and beyond to be social. But, like everything, there are exceptions.

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But first, let me take a selfie

Ahh, the selfie. There’s a song about it, it was recently added to the dictionary , and it’s totally taken over my Instagram newsfeed.

Oh, and it’s also been linked to narcissism, mental illness and addiction.

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Cards Against Real Estate: A Party Game for Horrible Torontonians

Between Rob Ford missing posters , #LenovoGate , and welcoming a new digital marketing coordinator , it’s been a busy month at the 88 Creative office. One of the things that kept us so busy this spring is a project we worked on for BuzzBuzzHome , the company that owns 88 Creative. Continue Reading →

Lenovo needs some help with social media crisis management

We live in an age where any schlub with a Twitter account can start a “social apocalypse” for brands.

Despite knowing better, I am one of those schlubs.

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So You’ve Graduated…Now What?

Having just finished my four years at university, I don’t think a day has gone by in the past few months when I wasn’t asked what my plans were for after graduation.

The truth is, I had absolutely no idea. Continue Reading →

An Experiment in Viral Content: the Rob Ford Missing Poster

So those Rob Ford missing posters you saw in the media and on a pole near you? That was us. Continue Reading →

Design Roundup: My Favourite Projects in April

As 88 Creative’s visual designer I’m always looking for new trends in the design industry, and projects that might inspire creativity in our own work. I’ll be showcasing my favourite design projects on our blog – here are my picks from April:

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We’re Hiring! Be Our Next Digital Marketing Coordinator [POSITION CLOSED]

UPDATE: This position is now closed, but we’ll be hiring in future so get in touch anytime at [email protected] with your details.

Love Le Gourmand cookies and digital marketing? Then you could be our brand spankin’ new digital marketing coordinator! Read on for details. Continue Reading →

Instagram Explore: Curated Content Done Right

I’ve been using Instagram for the better part of two and a half years, and the only time I go to the Explore page is when I want to search and add someone (read: creep). I have never once cared about the litany of posts with thousands of likes that are on it.

Well, until now that is.

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The Kelsey’s Rebrand: Can Hipsterdom be Manufactured in a Movie Theatre Parking Lot?

I recently found myself with just over an hour to kill at the Queensway Cineplex in Etobicoke. With few beverage-and-snack options beyond Cara-owned chain restaurants, my companion and I were intrigued to discover a new establishment at the entrance to the movie theatre parking lot. It was big, bright, and covered in hipster typography. It was only as we got closer to the building that we saw the name Kelsey’s stencilled above the door. Continue Reading →

Track Your Style: Where Wearable Tech & Fashion Collide


Wearable tech is all the rage these days, with smartwatches and smart rings and smart glasses – what’s next? With the partnership between Ray-Ban and Google Glass getting such a great reception, I thought there were lots of other wearable tech products that could use a fashionable touch. Here’s my list of dream collaborations. Continue Reading →

Turn Off Your Filters

I have a bit of a reputation around the office for just blurting out ideas. Sometimes with a ton of thought involved, but mostly things just off the top of my head and hoo boy, are some of them ever dumb. But here’s something I’ve learned in my time in this industry, and stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but there’s no such thing as a dumb idea. Continue Reading →

Love Your ‘Hood With Vicinity’s Loyalty Program

At 88 Creative we’ve made no secret of our love for local businesses. When our office was in Parkdale we frequented The Mascot coffee shop, the Drake for patio drinks, and the Gladstone for some off-key karaoke. Now that we’re at Adelaide & Peter, there are so many great local spots – you can bet that in any given week we’re having Dark Horse Americanos, Le Gourmand’s famous chocolate chip cookies, and Khao San Road’s to-die-for khao soi (seriously, the most delicious dish in Toronto), and we’re working it all off with spin classes a Y Yoga or CYKL. Continue Reading →

The Pros and Cons of Being Disconnected

Welcome back, readers! After a great holiday, we’re back to the races and working away once again. Some of us took a nice extended holiday break, namely me, and others took a few days off for a lovely staycation in the city, which was rudely interrupted by an ice storm followed by a deep freeze. Continue Reading →

‘Twas Two Days Before Christmas at 88 Creative

It’s been a great year for the 88 Creative team, and we can’t believe it’s already December! It’s the season for reflecting on the year that just passed, and setting New Year’s resolutions (our first one is to cut cupcakes, Le Gourmand cookies, and chocolate out of our daily diets. I predict we fail by the second week of January). We thought we’d take a look back at the year that was at 88C – so read on to find out what we got up to in 2013 (and a rhyming holiday wish!).

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Best Holiday Campaigns of 2013

‘Tis the season for apple cider, NSYNC Christmas songs, and creative holiday campaigns. Big and small brands are attempting to spread the festive cheer while showing off their online presence – and it’s working. Some move us to tears, while others have us laughing, but regardless of what emotion they seem to invoke, we’re all sharing their campaigns and helping the brands go viral.

Here are some of the best brand campaigns we’ve seen for the 2013 holiday season.

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How To Break All The Rules and Still Be a Social Media Success

Most people would say Kanye West is living the dream. He is pursuing a successful career doing what he loves, he is engaged to be married to one of the most famous (or is it infamous?) women in the world, and he’s out there changing the world (according to him, of course). Continue Reading →

Why 2014 will be the year of the gentleman

Over the past few years, Canadian retail brands like Gotstyle , Frank & Oak , Surmesur and Garrison Bespoke have all emerged in response to the growing demand for menswear. Just recently Toronto had its first ever Men’s Fashion Week , and last weekend stylish men gathered at the Gentleman’s Expo in Toronto to, what else, learn how to become a stylish, well-groomed gentleman. Continue Reading →

Want to Be Photogenic Enough for Instagram? Start With Product Design

It’s that time of year again! Even though patio drinks and cottage weekends seem like they were just yesterday, the fact that it’s almost halfway through November means it’s officially the holiday season. Continue Reading →

What’s Happening in November + Giveaway

It’s almost the most wonderful time of the year again, but first we have to get through November. Luckily we have plenty of events lined up for the month to keep us busy.

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Where Do I Go From Here? The Career Path of a Community Manager

I started as a community manager at Sprouter in 2008, before it was a common role at startups, agencies, and big companies. Without sounding too ancient in a “when I was your age I walked uphill both ways to school” kind of way, being a community manager then was different. Using social media was still a unique differentiator for a company, something that got you headlines rather than being an expected part of your marketing toolkit. Continue Reading →

10 Companies Putting Canada on the Startup Map

When I was first breaking into the digital marketing space, I did what many of us do and offered my services to companies pro-bono (yes, that’s the fancy term for interning). Continue Reading →

Please Stop Saying that Social Media Has Ruined X

Yes, we know. Social media has ruined school . It has ruined workplaces and it has ruined the experience of dining out . Before social media, television and video games were ruining young minds. In 1450 Gutenberg’s printing press revolutionized Europe and not everyone was happy about it. Continue Reading →

88’s new visual designer on universal design

I’m Claudine, the new visual designer at 88 Creative. For my first post I wanted to do an infographic about something that I’m passionate about: universal design. Continue Reading →

Kickstarter launches in Canada today. So what’s your big idea?

Today marks the official launch of Kickstarter in Canada , after the company started to accept Canadian projects earlier this summer. If you want the who/what/when details check out my Financial Post column about the launch. Continue Reading →

Typography: bringing together art, marketing, and branding

I often find myself investigating new products when I’m out shopping. I’m a ‘tried, tested, and true’ type of gal, but sometimes something on a shelf will catch my eye and I can’t help but be drawn to it. I’ll be honest, even though I’m in the marketing industry I’m still susceptible to the Jedi mind tricks we play and some great packaging will always get me investigating a product a little further. Continue Reading →

TICKET GIVEAWAY: The Art of Small Business

Now that summer’s over and you’ve put your bathing suit away for the year, it’s time for the fall event rush. As you fill your calendar in with events like AccelerateTO , mesh marketing , and Social Media Week, we have one conference aimed specifically at small business owners and entrepreneurs to add to the mix.

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Startups we love: The Goods

As someone who works for a startup, I’m naturally drawn to other startups. Yesterday I got the chance to sit down with Lisa Labute and Cat Parker, the two ladies behind The Goods , a vegan lunch delivery service. I also got a great lunch out of it that I’m still thinking about today. Continue Reading →

South by Southwest: must-attend event or marketing fail?

Attending conferences and networking with potential clients and like-minded people is a part of any job, regardless of the industry. Maybe you’re a comic book buff who sees Comic-Con as your big “must-attend” event (Batman costume optional), or maybe you love fashion and it’s Toronto Fashion Week that makes it into your calendar. Continue Reading →

The life of a social media strategist

People often ask me what I do as a social media strategist. So in this post, I’m going to break it down and explain what my job involves exactly. Continue Reading →

Kickstarter is coming to Canada: here’s how to not screw it up

So, Kickstarter is launching in Canada September 9th, but potential entrepreneurs can get the jump start on creating their kickstarter campaigns now. This gives entrepreneurs and startups a massive platform to acquire initial funds and build an active community of evangelists really quickly.

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A hello from 88 Creative’s new Managing Director

When I first joined the startup world in 2008 as a community manager at Sprouter social media was just emerging as a viable way to market your company. For a startup like ours, which had three employees and a tight marketing budget, tools like Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress were really the only way (other than PR) to build a community around our brand for next to nothing. Continue Reading →

Do You Know Toronto?


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Hogtown. TDot. The 416. The Big Smoke.

Toronto is many things to many people, and with a city that’s as culturally diverse as ours it’s no wonder that people are flocking to her in their droves from all around the world to get a big ‘ol slice of the Torontonian pie. Continue Reading →

Word of the day: skeuomorph

/ˈskjuːəmɔrf/ An element of design or structure that serves little or no purpose in the artifact fashioned from the new material but was essential to the object made from the original material. – Wikipedia Continue Reading →

#TOPolimovies as movie posters

So, last week people seemed to be having fun with the hashtag #TOPolimovies and as the curtain call on the Rob Ford saga comes to a close, we must administer our Coup-de-grace to the “crackstarter saga”.

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Brace yourself, the spoilers are coming!

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I get it.

Game of Thrones was amazing last night.  As it was last week, with all that blood and all that death… Continue Reading →

Coke wins in the end by encouraging people to buy less

The most obvious objective for any marketing campaign is to get people to buy more of whatever it is you’re selling. Continue Reading →

10 Digital Marketing Buzzwords Explained

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Every industry has their own set of phrases, terms and buzzwords that silver tongued professionals spout at any given opportunity. Continue Reading →

Marketers: How do you stay on top of your game?

On June 5 in Toronto, one of the most renowned marketing conferences makes a pit stop at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The Art of Marketing is stopping here to impart the wisdom of thought leaders like Jonah Berger , Biz Stone , and Seth Godin , among others. Continue Reading →

A must have book for anyone who works in social media

Books about social media strategy and management are a dime a dozen these days, and there’s a lot of fluff written by self- proclaimed social media “gurus,” and “experts”. Continue Reading →

I am a Tweeter, hear me Tweet!

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Twitter is my favourite social media platform. I enjoy it solely because I can talk about whatever I want or update as often as I want without feeling annoying. Sometimes it gets a little irritating. Like last week , when we saw an increase in my two least favourite type of people: bandwagon jumpers and slacktivists: Those that tweet just to fit in with their Go Leafs Go and #prayforOklahoma tweets. Continue Reading →

Apps for Apes: How Repurposing is Taking Over Invention

One of the buzziest buzz words when talking about invention and innovation today is repurposing. As we know, it’s not a new phenomenon, but repurposing continues to get more and more creative. Continue Reading →

Social media etiquette rule # 1; Give credit where credit is due

This post is inspired by an incident that occurred earlier this week when I discovered that a post I wrote a few weeks ago entitled “ Why introverts make the best social media managers “, was repurposed without any credit or mention of my work. Continue Reading →

Linkedin: Facebook for grown ups

Who remembers back in the day when you first signed up for Facebook and started friend requesting everyone you’ve ever met at a party, classmates, or old high school buddies that you probably will never see again? I sure do. For shame.

Now fast forward a few years and ask yourself if your old Facebook habits are translating to Linkedin. Continue Reading →

Your social media agency & you: one of life’s special relationships

On Monday, my colleague William wrote about why your company might want to stay away from social media , at least for the time being. If your company passed William’s test or resolved to overhaul its approach to customer service and fear of change, then you may decide to work with a social media agency. Here are my tips for getting the best work out of them. Continue Reading →

Best ways to Brainstorm

One of the hardest things for me while explaining to friends what the job of a Digital Strategist entails is actually quantifying the amount of  thinking we do in a day.

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3 reasons why your company shouldn’t be on social media

My experience working in social media and working with various clients has taught me that social media is not for everyone. If you or your company are like anything I’ve described below, then social media is definitely not the place for you. Continue Reading →

How Live Below the Line crossed a line

When this Toronto Star article about the Live Below the Line Challenge showed up in my Facebook news feed, my first instinct was to write about it here. Almost immediately the cringe-worthiness made me want to back out. But a little encouragement from my coworkers and here I am. Continue Reading →

How to deal with your PR disaster

It happens to the best of us. You come in on a normal Tuesday morning, day is going as planned, everything seems peachy, and then all of a sudden it hits! The public relations shitstorm! It could be anything from a grammar mistake (there, their, or they’re?) to a scandal that outs your CEO as an international felon running from a crime committed halfway around the world (not as common, but you never know). What should you do?

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Managing the fear: why social media shouldn’t be scary

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been in a pitch meeting and had a prospective client ask, “what happens when someone says something bad about us on social media?”

It’s a valid question. Managing negative sentiment online is a huge part of social media marketing and brands have the right to want to know what to do when it happens. Continue Reading →

Virality. Is it a Science?

Virality. What we marketers strive for. The elusive hope that we will post something that millions of people will love and they will share it, discuss it, post it on Twitter and Facebook, and create our exposure for us. The question is, how do we achieve this coveted virality? Continue Reading →

Because it’s the cup: social media then and now

This weekend was a big one for me. The Toronto Maple Leafs have made the playoffs for the first time since I was 17.  That seems like a lifetime ago and I mean, if you look at it through the lens of digital media, it really was a lifetime ago.

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It’s time for Twitter to get the respect it deserves

Growing up, I remember watching Christiane Amanpour reporting from the frontlines of the Gulf War, the Rwandan genocide and the war in Kosovo. Back then, CNN and BBC were my sources of breaking news. Continue Reading →

Twitter’s inactive accounts problem

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve tried to register a Twitter handle for a client account only to find that some guy, somewhere, for some (hopefully legitimate reason) set up an account two years ago, followed 3 people, didn’t even bother to upload a profile pic or send a tweet out, and then disappeared. Continue Reading →

The ultimate marketing challenge?

We’re pretty big fans of notable.ca at 88 Creative. Besides the most trustworthy restaurant reviews, they do a great job at picking out young people in Canada’s major cities who are doing something interesting, and doing it with heaps of style. This post is about one such profile that really grabbed my attention. Continue Reading →

A runner’s diary

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Prior to yesterday’s tragic and horrific events, I was planning on writing a runner’s diary for my weekly blog post. As the weather begins to get better and the thought of spending more and more time outside is becoming reality, I yearn to lace up my Nikes and hit the pavement. Winter is filled with treadmills and windows and stale gym air, but the thought of summer is what gets me through each and every indoor run. Which is why I am so affected by the attacks at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Continue Reading →

Puns and Memes: Embracing small business street-level marketing.

I am such a sucker for a good hook. So much so in fact, that if I see a funny sign on the street out front of a shop, odds are I’ll come in and buy something. It’s a really bad habit, I know. Continue Reading →

4 things bungee jumping can teach you about life

A few months ago, I bungee jumped off the 128 meter Victoria Falls bridge and plummeted towards the crocodile-infested Zambezi river below. It was one of the most thrilling and exhilarating experiences in my life. Continue Reading →

Will Facebook kill the internet?

In the nine years that Facebook has been around we’ve seen a ton of updates to what we can do on it. From live chatting (adios MSN Messenger ) to organising your “Gettin’ Slizzerd” birthday party, from uploading photos to tagging people in them, watching live sporting events, solving crimes etc. etc. etc. Continue Reading →

Social media & the job interview code

In May of 2012, Maryland became the first US state to pass a law saying that employers could not ask prospective employees for access to their social media user names and passwords. The absence of such laws, it turns out, makes your social media information fair game because laws haven’t been keeping up with advances in technology. Continue Reading →

How 3D printing will change your life. Soon.


If you haven’t thought about 3D printing and the impact it will have on this world, you’re already behind. But don’t worry, you have some time to catch up.

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Show me the brief: Mad Men is back

No, I’m not going to launch into the many reasons I think Mad Men is consistently one of the best shows on television right now. That’s boring, it’s been done. I want to talk about why the show captivates me: the work.

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Run your life like a Fortune 500 company; set quarterly goals

New years goals and resolutions? Remember those? Yeah. Me neither. In the past, I used to establish these really big one year goals for myself and then as the year progressed, I quickly forgot or abandoned them. Continue Reading →

Why Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Twitter Profile is the best thing ever

Anyone looking to set up a twitter presence out there, look no further than the last action hero for some inspiration. Yep, the Governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has one of the most awesome Twitter profiles I’ve ever seen. No joke. Continue Reading →

Five years is the new forty

Yesterday, revelers from all around the interwebs were celebrating the 40th anniversary of the the first cell phone call. Naturally, the Mashable report also included an infographic by Column Five which outlines the technological progress and falling prices that led to the cell phone’s ubiquity. Continue Reading →

How to stay out of trouble on Twitter

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The measure of a great social media manager is directly related to how visible the manager is. Let me explain. When the social media manager himself is hardly visible, this is how you know they are effective at their work. Continue Reading →

#LoveThisTeam – Blue Jays turning hashtags into campaigns.

After a series of offseason trades and free agent acquisitions, how could someone not get fired up and talk about their favourite baseball team on Twitter? Continue Reading →

Why introverts make the best social media managers

I can be a pretty outgoing person so most people are surprised to learn that I’m an introvert. But I am. My gregariousness is a coping mechanism that I’ve developed to help me survive in a world that highly values extroverts.

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We’re all just a bunch of dirty Facebook likers

I was a pretty early Facebook user. I was in school in Boston when Zuck and co. had the bright idea of opening the platform to US universities not named Harvard, so I got in pretty early on in all this Facebooking malarkey. Continue Reading →

Why we need snooze button anonymous [VIDEO]

Most of us have a love/hate relationship with the snooze button. I recently came across this great little video that explains the science behind it and why you might want to resist the temptation. Continue Reading →

Feeding the Trolls: Analytics don’t care if you’re angry.

I have a pet peeve. No I shouldn’t say pet peeve because it’s not even mildly irritating. I have the blackest hate for blatant link-bait trolling efforts.

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Facebook isn’t as bad as it seems

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In a recent post, Ian compiled a list of patterns he observed while conducting interviews for our Social Media Coordinator position. He described a general consensus among social media mavens-to-be. We all loved the Oreo campaign that ran during the Superbowl, we are avid Twitter lovers and users, and overall, the Toronto social media scene is full of up-and-coming thought leaders.

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Social media and SEO. A match made in heaven

Social media or SEO? Which of the two is best for your business? The answer is both. To get the most out of your online marketing efforts, you need a social media and SEO strategy that go hand in hand. It’s a match made in heaven.

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Things I learnt from my last round of interviews

Last week I conducted a round of interviews for a new position we advertised – Social Media Coordinator.

I always enjoy the interview process as it gives me a chance to gauge what’s going on outside of our own little bubble and chat with like minded people about all things digital. Here are a few musings I took from this go-round:

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Book review: The Authenticity Hoax by Andrew Potter

I recently finished a book called The Authenticity Hoax by Andrew Potter. It’s essentially a critique of a critique of contemporary consumer culture. In their rejection of capitalist materialism and status-seeking, the argument goes, post-modern, enlightened individuals have only created a new level of status-seeking. Continue Reading →

Minecraft – the best social, content-creating video game ever

I love video games. When I was three when my uncle put a lovely square plastic controller in my hand and that night, I had the short cut to beating the second level in Super Mario Bros locked down. Continue Reading →

9 things every business should know before jumping on the social media bandwagon

Social media is here to stay and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Continue Reading →

Is paid media killing social media?

The 88 Creative crew recently attended a panel discussion on the changing nature of influencers held by Cision (thanks for a very entertaining evening by the way). Continue Reading →

Does anyone still use Google+

I’m a Google fanboy and I’m not ashamed to admit it. What I particularly love about Google, is their willingness to take risks with new products and services and their ability to innovate and adapt quickly to change. Continue Reading →

How did one of our clients make it into the Target Canada campaign?

It’s pretty obvious that there’s a condo boom in the GTA and some of our clients are at the centre of it. Continue Reading →

My grandmother would have rocked Twitter

My grandmother, in the tradition of Jewish grandmothers from Queens, New York, was a strong-willed woman who spoke her mind. Continue Reading →

To innovate or not to innovate?

I love coming across social media campaigns that make me wish I had the idea first. It makes me excited to do what I do and I promise myself that I will have that illusive big idea next time. Kellogg’s All-Bran Tweet Shop is not one of those ideas. Continue Reading →

The office is your catwalk

There are many things that I love about working in a creative industry. Aside from the lack of cubicles and sharing off-colour memes with my coworkers, one of them is the liberty we can take with what we wear to the office. But what happens once we’re freed from the shackles of black pumps and pantsuits.

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The Twitter quoting phenomenon and why it needs to stop

There’s a plague on twitter. It’s not one that’s going to wipe out scores of people, nor is it one that will cause chills or fevers. But man oh man is it annoying. Continue Reading →

6 reasons why the UFC is THE sport of the social media age

Over the past few years the UFC has gone from an up-and-coming “other sport” to mainstream media juggernaut thanks largely in part to their early adoption of social media as a core marketing focus. Continue Reading →