88 Creative /blog Digital Marketing & Design Fri, 17 Apr 2015 14:31:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 /blog /blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/favi-55309a91v1_site_icon-32x32.png 88 Creative 32 32 Influencers, disclosure and the nature of Instagram /blog/influencers-disclosure-and-the-nature-of-instagram/ /blog/influencers-disclosure-and-the-nature-of-instagram/#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2015 20:57:11 +0000 /blog/?p=3803 An article came out in Digiday (also, Ad Week if you’re fancy) about Lord+Taylor’s hugely successful Instagram influencer ...Continue Reading]]> 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.

If you look at this through the slightly smudged glasses of a digital marketer, they certainly got a lot of bang for their buck. The issue that the ad magazines brought up doesn’t exactly revolve around whether or not the influencer campaign worked. Instead they brought up the notion of disclosure for influencer campaigns and whether or not it was ethical to present these as organic Instagram posts without disclosing that they paid for their product placement. At this point are your eyes rolling so hard they’ve slipped into the back of your head? Same.

Not to speak for our entire demographic but as a millennial, I’ve made peace with the fact that pretty much everything is an ad these days. There is nothing in modern popular culture that advertising has not muddled in. Try and tell me something that isn’t, I dare you. Sports, music, tech, film, modern art, bass fishing, seriously try and name one thing that hasn’t been exploited to sell a product.That’s how movies are made, how sports leagues are funded; all with ad dollars, baby.

The case for disclosure:

Before I go into the reasons why disclosure is crap for most brands, lets get into why it is necessary for some. Referrals are a powerful thing and when a person with a position of influence such as a TV doctor (who I won’t mention, but sounds like Smocktor Schmoz) disclosure is important. You’re going to need to distinguish between actual medical advice and the pseudoscience stuff that he’s paid to shill for. Lord knows there are a ton of “experts” out there doling out false advice, it’s important to discriminate between the shills and the hacks. Advertorials can for the most part be ignored because we are fully aware they are ads and not content. I know the editors at GQ don’t actually believe in a non-carcinogenic form of chewing tobacco, but instead will gladly accept advertiser money to make it seem like they do. Pharmaceuticals and healthcare, alcohol and tobacco, financial and legal services; essentially anything that could seriously impact someone’s life by the swaying of an opinion from a “trusted” expert should come with a caveat that they have been compensated. There, can we move on now?

Why disclosure isn’t necessary

I mentioned that disclosure in paid advertising and influencer campaigns is important for some industries: ones that require expert opinions or ones whose product might cause harm to one’s well-being or quality of life. There’s that old saying that “clothes make the man” but at the end of the day, has anyone ever had their life significantly improve quantifiably by wearing a dress? Demanding disclosure for Instagram influencers is akin to disclosing that a runway model is paid to walk down the catwalk wearing the latest Dior dress. You don’t see “ MODEL WAS COMPENSATED TO BE IN THIS AD. THIS IS AN AD BY THE WAY” pasted across the pages of Vogue. Instagram influencers are essentially just far more accessible and practical models. But don’t tell them that, the last thing we need is more inflated influencer egos.

Another argument is the one over authenticity. If an Instagram post is outed as an ad does that make it any less engaging? No. Do I think that L+T deliberately snubbed disclosure rules to achieve this air of authenticity? No. I think the answer to both of those questions lies at the feet of the influencers. Some of them did hashtag “ad,” “sponsored” or use the right language to get the point across that they didn’t just find this dress on the floor of the department store. Some of them could have just forgot which again, totally happens in influencer marketing. I think people following these influencers know what they’re getting when they sign up. When you combine that with the fact that these personalities have more than one social profile and have cultivated a brand image across the web, it’s not too far out of the realm to suggest that getting paid to talk about products isn’t something new to them.

Finally, let’s take a look at the nature of Instagram itself. It’s not a platform that’s geared towards e-commerce, or at the very least, directing people towards e-commerce sites like Twitter or Pinterest do. It’s a platform for someone to brand themselves, to show off their interests that define them as a person. It’s also an excellent low-pressure sales tool and platform to showcase merchandise for brands. So what’s the natural marriage of both of these traits?  Personalized, curated content of people who are showcasing brands they like. I think the biggest reminder out of all of this is that the majority of people who follow influencers on Instagram know what they’re getting themselves into. They know these people find the coolest brands and showcase them for their fans, that’s the whole point of following them – disclosure or no disclosure.

Jason is a Digital Strategist at 88 Creative. Follow him on Twitter @Jasegiles.

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Friend Request Sent: Our Designer’s Favourite Designers On Instagram /blog/friend-request-sent-designers-instagram/ /blog/friend-request-sent-designers-instagram/#comments Thu, 02 Apr 2015 14:28:55 +0000 /blog/?p=3758 I would say, on average, I am a low to medium user of social media. I check my ...Continue Reading]]> 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.

I am pretty selective when it comes to following people on Instagram, besides the obvious list of family members and friends. It takes a certain individual to make my roster, the majority of whom are artists and designers. As a visual person, I enjoy taking a moment to separate myself from what I’m doing or working on, and engage with something that will inspire and motivate me to create. Instagram allows me to have my own curated creative content stream that I can access no matter where I am (well, maybe not on a mountain top).

It’s a great visual tool for sharing concepts, art, & creative exploration among a community of other artists and designers. There are no clients, only followers.

Here is a list of artists and designers worth following:

Sam Larson @samlarson
A fellow outdoorsmen and artist, Sam Larson uses nature as his inspiration and primary subject matter. He uses mainly traditional mediums such as paint, pen and ink, and screen-printing to create detailed compositions with splashes of colour. A simple yet effective approach.


Glenn Jones @glennztees
Personally, I find graphic tees a thing of the past. Yes they’re cool, and yes I may still have a few, but their popularity isn’t what it used to be. That being said, I do still enjoy looking at the work of Glenn Jones. His comical vector illustrations are plays on words, common phrases or iconic imagery.


Jay Fletcher @jpegfletcher
With a focus on branding, design and iconography, Jay Fletcher’s work is simple, fun, and full of well composed colour palettes.


Gemma O’Brien @mrseaves101
Her hand lettering of expressive typography is very unique. A strong sense of movement makes her compositions extremely dramatic. Legibility is of no concern, but that’s what makes her pieces so interesting and engaging to look at.


Allan Peters @allanpeters
His stream showcases some of his work, but mainly focuses on his research. The term ‘badge hunter’ best describes him, as he continually posts photos of what inspires him – largely vintage badges.


Feel free to hit me up on Instagram, and maybe I’ll follow you back. @corying

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Snapchat: It’s a thing. /blog/snapchat-its-a-thing/ /blog/snapchat-its-a-thing/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 17:59:19 +0000 /blog/?p=3749 I consider myself a modern Millennial. I’m open to new things, I’m a big fan of sharing my ...Continue Reading]]> I consider myself a modern Millennial. I’m open to new things, I’m a big fan of sharing my personal life on social media, and I don’t give a shit about my privacy – those are the keys to the Millennial club, aren’t they? MySpace was my first foray into social media and I haven’t turned back. I’ve been an active member of Facebook since 2005, on Twitter since 2009, and Instagram since the moment I heard about it, which, by the way, was 163 weeks ago. Pinterest, Tumblr, Yelp, and LinkedIn have also been part of the ride but can definitely be considered side-chicks outside of my main rotation. So there’s my roster. I didn’t think I wanted any more, or could fit any more quite frankly, but recently I’ve made room for an addition. Snapchat.

You may think I’m behind the times on this one, and you would be absolutely right. I downloaded Snapchat when it was released only to find myself bored and unwilling to use it. The youngins around me (anyone under the age of 24) were having a party on this thing and I didn’t even want to be a part of it. I felt confident in my decision to forego the Snapchat world, calling it a generational gap (I only have 3 years on these people, but that’s a lifetime in social media years). I was too mature for this party and anyways, I was having my own grown-up shindig on Instagram…so I thought.

A couple months ago, Snapchat released the Discover page and something clicked for me. Snapchat created a world that I really did want to be a part of. The media their clients are creating on the platform, clients like MTV, CNN, Bleacher Report, and Vice among others, is engaging and informative. When I saw it I was so impressed by the way they adapted their platform for publications that I finally wanted to be a part of the party.

I re-established my presence and dove right into the wonderful world of Snapchat, but not just the Discover page. I’ve found a place for the traditional Snapchat features in my social media rotation and I’m sticking to it. I love the informality of it all. Snapchatters aren’t worried about filters and composition. Send me your unfiltered, no make-up selfies. Your late-night eats and hungover breakfasts. Don’t worry about likes, shares, and retweets – no one knows or cares! It’s a freedom unheard of in the social media community, which is constantly accused of being narcissistic and shallow. This is a way to be yourself around your friends, even if your friends aren’t sharing your couch. It’s like a daily trip back my university dorm – minus the dirty dishes and lack of laundry.

Are you over 25 and a fan of Snapchat? You’re not alone! Add me (DFabes36) and see what my breakfast may look like on any given day.

Danielle is a Digital Marketing Strategist at 88 Creative. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @DFabes.

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How to land an internship at 88 Creative /blog/why-88-choosing-internship/ /blog/why-88-choosing-internship/#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 13:18:14 +0000 /blog/?p=3734 In my second year of Advertising and Marketing Communications Management at Algonquin College, I began my internship hunt. ...Continue Reading]]> 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.

Flash-forward a year, I was given an assignment to put together a piece to send away to potential employers in hopes of them taking my classmates and me on as interns. Our idea, which was to piece together a video asking industry professionals about their first mentor, won. We began setting up appointments with industry people all around Ottawa to find out who their first mentor was, and gain some knowledge through their wisdom.

In the end we had interviewed a handful of industry pros, ranging from junior positions to agency founders. From every interview we conducted, I found that it was unanimous that small agencies are the most exciting place to be. It was clear that small agencies can be the most fun to work at, as well as the most rewarding in the sense of being able to learn about everything, and have a hand in all sorts of clients and campaigns.

With this newfound knowledge I began to update my search. I always wanted to live in Toronto, and that was where I started to search for smaller, boutique agencies. Naturally, I went to Google and searched for “Toronto advertising agency.” After scrolling past the big boys like Taxi, John St, BBDO, etc. I stumbled across 88 Creative. I had never heard of them before. My teachers at Algonquin had never mentioned them; none of my classmates said anything about them; but my favourite NHL player is Patrick Kane and his number is 88, so I figured I might as well check out their website and see what they’re about.

After about an hour of creeping through the rabbit-hole of the 88C website, social media accounts, and blog entries, I had never been more excited about an agency. I started telling all of my friends about this little place in Toronto that has dinners together, goes away on cottage trips, and has people with the same interests and humour as me. I started reposting a bunch of the blog entries to my LinkedIn and Twitter accounts, and sending them to friends telling them to read the gold that I was sending them.

After discovering 88C, I knew I wanted to do something special to try and get their attention. In my mind, this wasn’t a place that you can just send a nicely worded email to. I got a friend and my camera, and we went to an outdoor rink and filmed a bunch of stuff that I could make a video from to show off my personality and interests. I read over the blogs once more, and noticed that the ones I enjoyed the most were actually all written by the same person, Jason Giles. I got his contact info from the 88C website, and sent him an email telling him how much I enjoyed his work, and if he wouldn’t mind checking out this video resume I had made. Not even a couple hours later I got a reply thanking me for reaching out, and asking me when I would be able to meet, and the rest is history.

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We’re Hiring a Junior Designer – POSITION CLOSED /blog/were-hiring-a-junior-designer/ /blog/were-hiring-a-junior-designer/#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 13:15:54 +0000 /blog/?p=3732 We’re looking for a junior designer to work with our Creative Director and Senior Designer on design projects ...Continue Reading]]> 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!

We’re looking for a new grad or someone with 1-2 years of design experience. 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.

 Why work at 88 Creative?

88 Creative is a creative communications agency in Toronto specializing in digital marketing, public relations, and design. We work with clients in the technology, consumer/lifestyle, and real estate categories helping to start, grow, or enhance their online marketing efforts. We also specialize in social media management, email marketing, digital strategy, WordPress, and print design.

In the past year our agency has been featured in the Toronto Star, Marketing Magazine, Canadian Business, CBC, Global TV, CTV, and Digiday, and we work with clients including Cityzen (the developers behind the L Tower), Mirvish + Gehry, Carnivore Club, and Knix Wear.

Our agency grew out of BuzzBuzzHome, Canada’s largest new construction database. 
BuzzBuzzHome launched in 2009 and quickly become one of North America’s most popular websites for new construction home buyers.


You’ll be working at a brick and beam space at Spadina and Adelaide in the heart of downtown Toronto.


  • Work on projects including branding, print and online ad design, email marketing campaigns, social media account design, promotional product branding, website redesigns, and other client design projects
  • Work on 88 Creative internal projects including marketing campaigns, design collateral, and maintaining our design portfolios
  • Collaborate with account teams on projects
  • Create pixel perfect PSDs
  • Produce faultless written specifications
  • Direct the implementation of your designs
  • Design a simpler, more usable and desirable product maintaining our visual language


  • BA/BS in Graphic Design or related field
  • Solid knowledge of front end markup: HTML/CSS
  • Well-versed in typographic and UI principles; color theory and brand communication
  • Advanced drawing skills – creating icons, diagrams and illustrations
  • Proficient in Adobe CS5 and above
  • Great creative problem solving skills

What we can offer:

  • Competitive salary
  • Flex days to use for vacation, personal days, and sick days
  • Unlimited snacks and pop
  • Comprehensive benefits
  • Employee stock options
  • Relaxed work environment and supportive team
  • Uber-casual dress code

Interested in applying? Sweet! Share with us why you’d like to work at 88 Creative and send along some samples of your work. 

Only applications with relevant work samples and/or portfolios will be considered. To apply please send your portfolio & a resume if applicable to 88 Creative’s Creative Director Gabriella Rackoff at gabriella@88creative.ca.

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The 5th P in the Marketing Mix: PR /blog/the-5th-p-in-the-marketing-mix-pr/ /blog/the-5th-p-in-the-marketing-mix-pr/#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 22:03:49 +0000 /blog/?p=3720 Why marketing agencies are expanding their frontier What is PR? Public relations (PR) is a field that often ...Continue Reading]]> 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.

Still unclear? Let me break it down.

The two most talked about topics in the workplace generally tend to be the weather and the news. The weather is usually a short-lived conversation succeeded by a much longer discussion about the latest product, a recent study, a new restaurant in the area, and so on. This is where PR comes into play. The news –be it television, a newspaper, radio or blog post— acts as a talking-head so-to-speak, the face that delivers the message. PR initiatives act as the neck that guides the head in the right direction by finding appropriate discussions and events to interject key messages and share announcements with the target audience. It’s here that a relationship is built.

Why introduce PR?

It’s a Natural Fit

With advancements in technology— internet, smartphones— meeting consumers where they are also means an overlap between marketing and PR. Why not merge two industries that work in tandem? Many college and university programs already offer integrated marketing communications to include both fields since the distinct lines have blurred and often overlap.

Yields a Deeper Understanding

When PR and marketing teams work together it helps to achieve client goals by allowing teams to better understand the consumer from both a promotions and communications perspective. For example, once a consumer is identified or purchases a product, it’s important on the PR side to build a lasting relationship and equally as important for marketers to maintain and generate new customers. Knowing how each team is reaching their audience helps.

More Control

It’s vital to ensure that PR messages are consistent with client objectives, marketing and branding. When content and strategy is developed with both the PR and marketing teams, it can be amended, created and edited simultaneously. Understanding a brand’s voice makes it easier to capture an audience.

Not Outsourcing

Keeping the work within the walls increases efficiency for clients and the team. It reduces the amount of time spent sourcing designers and saves the headache of back-and-forth changes and edits. Having an in-house PR, marketing and design team makes it simple for clients to understand all that can be achieved on a single budget.


Pros from other disciplines and backgrounds offer a broader range of ideas and expand the creative mind while brainstorming or developing campaigns. In short, it’s fun! Hearing new and interesting perspectives helps keep fresh ideas flowing all day long.

Content Development
Having the marketing team and PR team in the same office is great for helping with the creation of content on both ends. When the design team is in arms reach, the sky’s the limit. From planning to execution, designers are available to pull together eye-catching infographics, images, and other assets to accompany public relations materials.

That’s why!
In the age of aggregated real-time news, people are constantly tuned in to what’s being said about brands and companies, everywhere they go. Introducing PR to the marketing mix means reaching your consumers in different ways and more frequently. At 88 Creative this means giving our brands and clients the greatest results possible.

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A Taste of Toronto: 4 New Ways to Order Your Food /blog/taste-toronto-4-new-ways-order-food/ /blog/taste-toronto-4-new-ways-order-food/#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2015 18:56:00 +0000 /blog/?p=3710 Convenience is key, and when that convenience has to do with food, it’s even better. I’ve recently noticed ...Continue Reading]]> Convenience is key, and when that convenience has to do with food, it’s even better.

I’ve recently noticed a large increase in the number of food ordering/delivering apps popping up here in Toronto and hey, I’m not complaining. It actually seems like many startups are focusing on providing convenience, and this can be applied to any industry. Services like Alfred, which picks up and drops off your dry-cleaning at your condo, saves a few hours of your day and let’s get real, saves you having to cart your clothing to the dry cleaners down the street. Ah, the convenience! Companies are being created to provide all sorts of things, like cookies, prepared meals, or even boyfriends (what?) delivered right to your door, but that’s only if you’re feeling desperate, lonely, and/or are in need of a date for an event.

Working downtown means I’m waiting in lines more often than not – lines to get on the subway, lines to grab a coffee, and of course lines to grab a bite to eat. For most people, making it easier to grab lunch or dinner is a true value-add in their daily routine. I’ve recently started using some of these apps for easy food delivery/pick-up, mainly so that my time isn’t wasted but also because technology ROCKS.

Anyway, here are a few of these services I seriously recommend you check out.

I really only started using Ritual because I got a $20 credit (thanks guys!) and who doesn’t love a free lunch? Now that my credit is up, I still use the app at least once a week. How does it work? Using the app, you find the restaurant you want to order from. The restaurants that appear are based on your location and Ritual’s current partnerships. You then add items to your order while scanning the menu, and then place your order. They’re almost always ready in 10 minutes and every time I’ve used the app my order is sitting on the counter already when I get there. No waiting, and it’s already paid for on my credit card. They also save your “favourite” orders for next time. Love it.

Same idea as Ritual – you connect your credit card, choose your restaurant, your order, and it’s waiting for you when you get there. I initially found out about Grabb when I saw a giant pick-up sign with their logo in a coffee shop nearby. Smart move for exposure.

Hurrier has managed to one-up most of the other apps simply because they’ve partnered with some of the biggest and most popular spots in the city, like Fresh, Grand Electric, The Burger’s Priest, and wait for it… McDonald’s. So, how does it work? You input your address on their website and they’ll show you what’s around and what can be Hurriered (I may have just made that verb up) to you. Once you order and pay online, one of their bike couriers promptly goes and picks up your order and brings it right to you. You literally don’t have to step outside – again, love it. One thing to note though: they charge a delivery fee.

Although it’s not as brand spankin’ new as the others, TasteAway is great. They have a points system which eventually leads you to free meals (!) and they pride themselves on not marking up menu prices. You can have your order delivered or you can pick it up yourself if you don’t want to pay the delivery charge. Either way, your order is ready and piping hot when you get your hands on it.

Are there any other ones I missed? Let me know on Twitter. Happy eating!

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Work in Progress: Finding the resources to make you better /blog/work-in-progress-resources/ /blog/work-in-progress-resources/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 18:06:32 +0000 /blog/?p=3680 When was the last time you learned something new? And no, I’m not referring to why we see ...Continue Reading]]> 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.

Creative Mornings

Creative Mornings is “a breakfast lecture series for the creative community.” With chapters that span the globe, CM is a great place to hear some very inspiring people speak about their personal experiences based on monthly themes, like Climate, Ugly, Chance, and Crossover. The Creative Mornings community meets on the last Friday of every month at different sponsored spaces around the city. Find out more here.


Are you a runner? Do you like brisk winter hikes? Are you interested in learning more about startups? Are you a builder, maker,  or student? Meetup has an event for you, no matter who you are or what you’re into. Another international organization, Meetup aims to bring people together and create communities around similar interests.


For those of you that are interested in tackling new fields of interest but don’t know where to begin, I introduce Brainstation. Here you’ll find classes for people looking to begin a venture into web development or for those who want to learn more about designing for user experience. Locally, they have classes in Toronto, Waterloo, and Ottawa but if you’re in New York, Vancouver, or even Costa Rica you’ll be able to find classes too.


Learning to code has become a skill that isn’t just for engineers anymore. It’s a great asset for graphic and visual designers and can also be useful for anyone working in the digital space. Coding skills can solve many issues digital marketers come across, whether it be errors on a WordPress blog or installing tracking codes. HackerYou offers full and part-time courses that range from JavaScript development to front-end web design.

Ladies Learning Code

This one is self-explanatory. Basically, Ladies Learning Code is a place for women and girls to learn coding languages, but many of the people involved with the program will tell you that it’s so much more than that. It’s a community of people looking to support women and girl developers and carve out a place for them in the industry.

Have you used any of these resources? Give us your feedback! You can find me on Twitter at @DFabes or leave a comment below.


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Real-Time Marketing Needs An Intervention. /blog/real-time-marketing-needs-intervention/ /blog/real-time-marketing-needs-intervention/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 18:31:04 +0000 /blog/?p=3673 Listen brands, sit down, because we need to have a serious conversation. Lately we’ve been noticing some odd ...Continue Reading]]> 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.

It all started when that friend of yours, Oreo is his name? We all remember a tweet he put out during a certain “big game” a few years back and we’re worried you’re spending too much time in his shadow. And don’t get us started on that DiGiorno kid, snarkily live-tweeting things that he has no business watching, and charging blindly into hashtags with no context. You’re running with a bad crowd. If Oreo jumped off a bridge with a Go-Pro strapped to his head, would you do it too? Okay, admittedly that sounds pretty cool – but trust us, don’t do it.

It seems like we’ve (read: Erin) written a ton of articles about real-time marketing and you know what? I’m just going to put the final nail in the coffin right now and declare it a dead trend. It had a good run but now it’s just getting…obnoxious.

As part of a digital strategy, being nimble enough to react to trends is one thing. That is, until using social to “disrupt the conversation” results in a strange tendency to be on top of EVERYTHING, regardless of relevance to your brand to try to be snarky or funny. It’s weird, like being in a crowded bar and having 70 stand-up comedians try and get your attention all at once. A well-executed tweet here and there will create a positive sentiment, but there are no facts to back up the notion that real-time marketing (RTM) has an effect on conversions. I even did some hard-hitting journalistic research to back up my hypothesis:

Nope, nothing.

Instead of gaining recognition for being clever or entertaining, brands that engage in RTM more often than not become the butt of the joke, like John St.’s tongue-in-cheek video making fun of ”reactvertising,” and brands’ need to be on top of The entire Internet in the event of a branding opportunity. In the end brands only look desperate for attention. Some of them end up in hot water for maybe not having the best grasp of “context.” A gimmick that was once funny and a little bit ironic now feels like beating a dead horse, and has resulted in contempt and scorn from marketers and consumers alike. When things go wrong it’s instant schadenfreude, even from those of us who work in the same space.

This isn’t to say that we should stop entirely trying to insert our brands into the zeitgeist (shudders), but we could be much more discerning and cautious when it comes to social listening and brand fit. If we – brands, marketers, agencies –  can stop acting like the loud, obnoxious fat guy at the party, we could go back to being someone with a compelling story that people actually want to talk to.

Jason is a Digital Strategist at 88 Creative. Follow him on Twitter @Jasegiles.

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We’re Hiring: 88 Creative’s First PR Manager [POSITION CLOSED] /blog/hiring-88-creatives-first-pr-manager/ /blog/hiring-88-creatives-first-pr-manager/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 14:57:33 +0000 /blog/?p=3667 Continue Reading]]>

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.

What is 88 Creative?

We’re a team of 8 based out of a brick-and-beam office at Adelaide & Peter in downtown Toronto. We work primarily with clients in the real estate, consumer/lifestyle, and technology categories, helping them with social media management, digital strategy & consulting, influencer outreach programs and digital campaigns, and design projects.

We’re owned by BuzzBuzzHome, which is North America’s largest database of new construction projects. The BuzzBuzzHome team is over 40 people across 3 offices, and 88 Creative is a small startup within the company.

Position details:

This person will be spearheading 88 Creative’s PR efforts with existing clients – putting together communications plans; writing press releases, backgrounders, and pitches; compiling media kits; handling all media relations across Canada; compiling media lists; and putting together post-campaign reports. You’ll work on existing digital marketing clients to augment our current offerings, and handle any PR-specific clients who come on board. 

We’re looking for someone with 2-4 years of experience in PR (preferably at an agency), and a degree in either public relations, communications, or journalism. We’re also looking for someone ambitious, resourceful, and creative who can lead the PR team as it grows.

Here are the qualities we’re looking for in this hire:

  • Existing media contacts & media relations experience: We need someone who can hit the ground running and who has a wide range of experience with media relations
  • Experience at an agency is a plus, but not necessary
  • Degree in communications, PR, or journalism is a plus, but not necessary
  • Background with consumer/lifestyle PR a plus
  • Social media literacy: you not only use social media in your personal life, but have incorporated social media into your PR campaigns in the past
  • Resourcefulness: You won’t always know the answer to a question, but you can source it on your own
  • Love for words: you love writing, whether it’s a press release or a communications plan. You have a passion for nerdy things like spelling and grammar, and would never be caught dead using the wrong your/you’re or its/it’s
  • Personality, both online and off: We’re a small team and we like to have fun, so we want someone who fits the 88 Creative culture. We also need you to have a personality that shines through for each client, while still staying true to that client’s goals and voice
  • Creativity: We’re constantly cooking up creative ideas for our clients, and we need someone who’s not afraid to throw out 15 crazy ideas to find the one idea that works
  • Great time management/attention to detail: You’ll be working on several clients every day, and juggling multiple content creation/engagement/analytics platforms
  • New business prowess: This role will involve building 88 Creative’s brand in the community, and you will be responsible for sourcing new PR clients

Perks of the job: 

  • Competitive salary
  • Paid flex time
  • Comprehensive benefits plan
  • Stock options
  • Positive, open and supportive work environment
  • Uber-casual dress code
  • Unlimited healthy snacks

Think the job is a great fit for you? Email erin@88creative.ca with your resume, your LinkedIn profile, and any work samples.

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