Didn’t See It Coming by Marc Stoiber
Drake, the Raptors, and the EU election: What’s the brand connection?

Drake, the Raptors, and the EU election: What’s the brand connection?

May 28, 2019

There's never a shortage of great marketing and brand-related stories. But we really hit the jackpot the last little while. So I went on the air with Mark Brennae of CFAX to talk about it.

First, what's up with Drake? Is he the new Toronto Raptors mascot, or a genius marketer? If you haven't been paying attention, the rapper is front and centre at Raptors games, and his visibility has gone through the roof during the playoffs. How much exposure is too much? Which brand benefits, and which brand pays? It's all in the first half of my show with Mark. 

Second, the EU election happened yesterday, and the results were certainly not what populists were expecting. But had anyone really paid attention to the complex worldviews of euro-constituents, the rise of the Greens may have made perfect sense. Worldview thinking is something we marketers do as a matter of course. I talk about it during the second half of my show with Mark. 

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What’s in the coffee? The unlikely rise of McDonald’s brand brew.

What’s in the coffee? The unlikely rise of McDonald’s brand brew.

May 13, 2019

The other day, I was strolling through Costco, and saw McDonald's coffee pods on sale. I was amazed - not so long ago, I was working on the McDonald's account as a creative director and writer, and the coffee was our Achilles' Heel. 

How did they do it? I mean, people were now not only ordering java at McCafes, they were buying the stuff to take home. 

To answer this question (and gaze into the McDonald's crystal ball) I sat down for a chat with my friend - and former McDonald's marketer - Brad Gamble. Brad and I have known one another for 20 years...which made the conversation casual, and fun to listen to. 

Enjoy!

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Tiger Woods, Donald Trump, and Boeing. A big day for brands.

Tiger Woods, Donald Trump, and Boeing. A big day for brands.

April 16, 2019

Today was a big one.

First, Tiger Woods made sporting history with one of the greatest comebacks of all time. What implications were there for Nike, the brand that has stuck by Tiger through thick and thin - and what does this say about the role of brands in teaching us integrity? 

By the way, it's estimated Nike made $22,540,000 with Tiger's win. Meditate on that a moment. 

In a VERY unrelated story, Donald Trump tweeted advice to Boeing, makers of the beleaguered 737 Max aircraft. According to Trump's tweet, making good on the terrible deaths of hundreds of crash victims would be as simple as fixing up the problems with the aircraft, putting in some great new features, and rebranding it. Soooooo, what should Boeing do with that advice? 

Those are the stories I went on the air with today, chatting with CFAX's Mark Brennae. The conversation was lively, to put it mildly. Enjoy!

If you enjoy this interview, please share. Hey, sharing is caring. Also, make sure to sign up for my newsletter. And would it hurt to write? You never write. The neighbours are wondering how you're doing. 

University-gate: a tale of rich people, and the depths they’ll plumb for status brands

University-gate: a tale of rich people, and the depths they’ll plumb for status brands

March 19, 2019

A few days ago, the hallowed halls of elite colleges like Yale, Stanford and USC were blown apart with news that wealthy parents had paid college entry 'consultant' Rick Singer upwards of $25 million to short circuit the admissions process for their children. 

Buying entry into great schools is nothing new: the most famous example is Jarred Kushner, whose parents paid millions to have their scion attend the school. 

What's new here is that Singer told the parents they could do the scam for far less money, and he could guarantee the results. 

To me, this is a classic status brand story - people doing anything and everything to attain ethereal status, and brands stepping in to fill their void. So I went on the air with CFAX's Mark Brennae to dissect the story, and provide a checklist of how to create a status brand. Enjoy!

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The Carolina Hurricanes, Justin Trudeau, and the art of the pirate brand

The Carolina Hurricanes, Justin Trudeau, and the art of the pirate brand

February 19, 2019

This past week, hockey commentator and icon Don Cherry took the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes to task, calling them a 'bunch of jerks' for celebrating their wins post-game with silly pantomimes. The Hurricanes, far from being cowed by Cherry's curmudgeonly comment, printed 'Bunch of Jerks' shirts and embraced the moniker as part of their brand. 

This is classic pirate brand (or outlaw brand) behaviour: taking the status quo and turning it on its head. 

Often, the pirate brand isn't intentional. Harley Davidson wasn't always the brand of outlaws and rebels. But the art of listening to your constituents, then giving their sentiments a creative twist, can lead to powerful results.

Another brand that might find itself in pirate territory? Canada. As a Canuck, I've often bemoaned our stereotypical 'nice guy' image - until the age of Trump. This comes to light in a recent Family Guy episode, where Peter Griffin and Donald Trump beat each other to a pulp - only to be saved from themselves by dapper Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Turns out, being conciliatory and collaborative might be a more powerful brand than we thought!

For more on this, check out this podcast - an interview I did on CFAX with Mark Brennae. Enjoy!

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Gillette, branded commentary and the razor’s edge of public opinion.

Gillette, branded commentary and the razor’s edge of public opinion.

January 22, 2019

A short time ago, Gillette waded into the social commentary sphere, releasing a long format ad counselling men to 'Be Better' and stand up to issues like bullying. 

The ad prompted an outcry, with negative comments outweighing good. It has since been dissected by prominent journals including The Guardian and Forbes, to name just two. 

Is it a razor manufacturer's job to tell men how to behave? Should brands stick to selling instead of taking a stand? Where are the guidelines for taking the right path? 

To dissect a few of these issues, I went on the air with CFAX's Mark Brennae. Enjoy the conversation!

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From Co-working to Club 2.0: Creating the Future of Work

From Co-working to Club 2.0: Creating the Future of Work

November 30, 2018

Tessa McLoughlin has a gift for creating incredible community and creativity in the workspaces she designs. Now, the founder of Club Kwench is taking it to the next level. She's creating the next wave of workspaces, with her Culture Club concept space. 

Sitting down with Tessa, I got big insights on the recipe to successful co-working (hint: it's more than open areas, hot desks and a kitchen); why co-working spaces at leading tech companies often fall flat, despite looking brilliant from the outside; how to create cross-pollination critical to the success of small (and large) companies; and what the future holds for workspaces. 

Enjoy the interview. And if you're in Victoria in the new year, check out the new Club Kwench in the Phillips Brewery block  - I can guarantee you haven't seen anything like this before. 

If you enjoy this interview, please pass it along on social media. And subscribe for more!

 

Ivanka, Facebook, and Brand Betrayal

Ivanka, Facebook, and Brand Betrayal

November 27, 2018

Today was a busy day in the news. ExxonMobil was in hot water again - this time for creative accounting that conned investors; migrants were turned away from the US border with tear gas; Facebook was called to the carpet in the UK as part of the ongoing data selling fiasco; a judge ruled that the lawsuit against the Trump Foundation could proceed; and the Ivanka Trump email scandal ratcheted up a notch, with two Republican Senators demanding an investigation. 

Soooooooo, what did all this have to do with brands? Each story, for different reasons, reflected a phenomenon called brand betrayal - a condition far more gut felt than your average disappointment when a burger doesn't taste great, or your soda has lost its fizz. 

I went on the air with CFAX's Mark Brennae to talk about the brand betrayal, and how to avoid it. 

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A tale of two underwear brands

A tale of two underwear brands

November 20, 2018

Today in the NY Times, Third Love CEO Heidi Zak posted a full page ad bemoaning the regressive thinking of Victoria's Secret CMO Ed Razek. 

The ad seemed to encapsulate the plight of so many brands that were having trouble adapting in today's rapidly morphing marketplace. 

Long story short - it seemed like a great reason to go on the air with CFAX's Mark Brennae and unpack the laundry, so to speak. Enjoy! 

If you like this interview, make sure to get my insights straight to your inbox by subscribing. 

And don't forget to download my new, free e-book Stop Busting Your Brand!

Halloween, Fear, and Brand Thinking

Halloween, Fear, and Brand Thinking

November 1, 2018

I love pulling together tangents that don't obviously belong together. That's why, in honour of Halloween (yesterday) I did a bit of research into the correlation between fear and brand thinking. 

Crazy? Actually, I was surprised by how MUCH correlation there was. 

If you want the whole story, check out this interview. I spent an hour on the air with CFAX's Mark Brennae, going through everything from the Marquis de Sade and the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake to why people reach for a Coke in a slasher movie. 

Fascinating stuff! Enjoy...

If you like this interview, make sure to get my insights straight to your inbox by subscribing. 

And don't forget to download my new, free e-book Stop Busting Your Brand!