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An outrageous insult to fathers everywhere

1 Mar

Banned image of Piri Weepu bottle feedingThe image on the right, part of an anti-smoking TV ad in New Zealand, has been removed from the commercial after protests by a pro-breastfeeding lobby.

La Leche League pressured the New Zealand government into censoring the image, which they felt would weaken the argument for breast-feeding. Story here.

The dad in the spot is Kiwi rugby player Piri Weepu. He is doing what any dad would do…assisting with the feeding of his baby. It’s entirely possible that he is feeding pre-pumped breast milk, something fathers routinely do to allow mom some sleep time. But this was not material to the position taken by La Leche League.

It’s not mom’s breast, so it’s not acceptable.

I am anxiously waiting to see how this one plays out. A Facebook page has sprung up to bring back the images of Piri feeding his baby. They already have 3,300 Likes.

It’s bad enough that fathers have to sit through innumerable “Moms know best” positionings for children’s products (Vicks for example, which we blogged about here).

But the idea that an image of a loving father bottle-feeding his child should be deemed inappropriate should not go unchallenged.



Pinterest, you’ve got my interest!

30 Jan

Guest post by former Copeland intern Stefanie Grieser

Blogging advice: Love it or leave it , a previous Copeland blog post stressed that regularity in a blog is key and in order to achieve that you must love blogging and “wholeheartedly believe in it.”

Well, I guess that puts me in the “leave it” pile. I did, however, discover something that gives me a happy medium. It’s this new thing called Pinterest.

As it turns out, I am not the only Pinterest fanatic. Apparently it’s the new “it” social media thing and is rapidly growing. So what is Pinterest? What makes Pinterest so great? And why is not just another social media sharing service?

Pinterest is an online, virtual pin board. It creates virtual links through images and videos, called ‘pins’ which can then be categorized, organized and shared on ‘pin boards’. I like to think of it as some sort of mix between a blog, Twitter and Flickr.

In today’s digital era, images and photos are far more likely to be shared than an article. There has been a significant shift in the power of visual content which makes the visual aspect of Pinterest very compelling, but that’s not the only factor that makes it so successful. Few other social networks have captured the combination of self-expression, content sharing and visual imagery in such asimplistic way.  On top of that, it is another great marketing tool that engages conversation, forecasts trends and drives product sales.

Pinterest Marketing

And why can Pinterest work for your business?

It’s focused. Like I said, pin boards are categorized by interests and the search functionality will allow customers to find products or services they are already interested in.

On the other hand, people also love to surf Pinterest and you don’t even have to be a member to simply browse. This allows customers unintentionally stumble upon your product. Can anyone say goldmine?

The photo has a link that redirects your customer back to your site where they can purchase the product.

It a social network (duh), allowing you to engage with your customers.

There is so much room for exploration and creative marketing campaigns!

Graphic Designers (Heck, even ad agencies), this one is for you. You can showcase your portfolio on Pinterest, provide a description on the piece, the concept behind it and any other information you might want to provide. The same goes for artists and photographers.

Restaurants and bakeries, you can upload photos of your dishes. NPO’s you can share your orgainization’s story through quotes and pictures to promote your cause.

LinchPinSEO’s infographic shares some more neat ideas on Pinterest marketing so check it out.

As a marketing student, I created a pin board that focuses on advertising and is my substitute to a blog. I have already pinned some of my favourtie advertisement work. My comment below the image allows me to explain why I enjoy (or don’t enjoy) a certain advisement or marketing campaign and credit the specific agency. The comment isn’t as long as a blog post of course, but doesn’t have a word limit either. I can still write a short blurb expressing my opinion. People can comment on my pins just like they comment on a blog and can also “repin”, similar to Twitters retweet function. It is a work in process, but feel free to check out my Pin Board!

All in all, I believe that this new social media platform has huge potential and room for creative, innovative, engaging and focused marketing strategies.

Into The Wild

26 Jan

This time last year I was preparing to finish my last year of design school. While most days were spent worrying about project deadlines and final presentations, I also remember being clouded by thoughts regarding what I was to do once I was forced to leave this comfy nest called art school. Where will I work? How will I get there? Where do I start?

A year later, now three weeks into my role as Art Director, I thought I’d look back at what I’ve learned since then and see if I can’t share it with the next crop of students. Having just gone into the wild – here are a few tips that worked for me and a few more I didn’t get the chance to try.


Often times people would say to me “Victoria is so small that all the good design jobs are taken”. The way I see it, the smaller the town the easier it should be to stand out amongst the crowd. So before you decide to pack up and move to that neighbouring metropolis, remember: you have to ability to make a mark in your small town, too. Find out exactly what your dream job is and make it your goal. Stay optimistic and keep focused. The unfortunate reality is that as time passes your competition will slowly drop out of the race. If you manage to outlast you’ll start to move up the ladder.


Don’t sit idle between dropping off resumes. Do something to get your work noticed. Start a design blog and post local content, re-design your school newsletter and offer to maintain it, pitch your designs to companies you admire. Take a chance and don’t be afraid to be shot down. Sure you could get rejected, and at first you probably will – but if you’re lucky you might at least gain a pro’s insight regarding your work. While these ideas might not get you paid, they’re all are great steps towards growing your portfolio with real world experience.


Don’t stress this one. Networking will come naturally, if you’re here reading this blog then you’re already doing it. Because most jobs aren’t advertised, networking can be your best bet to get your foot in the door. Consider a student membership to the Graphic Designers of Canada. Your local chapter has dozens of social events each year. Why not start by volunteering to check coats or take tickets at an event? These events are meant to be fun, so relax. Nobody’s there to interview you, try to have fun and enjoy yourself. Your personality should be on show, not your portfolio.


Get to know any potential employers in your area. Navigate your way through the company, introduce yourself to the staff, find out what the mood around the office is like. Now the fun part – don’t just tell potential employers that you’re creative, show them!  Go a step further by customizing a package based on what you’ve learned. Put aside the typical resume. Try a website, video or DVD portfolio.


Now is the perfect time to start seeking out internships, scholarships and awards. Internships are your best bet for work right now, it’s how mostly all designers start.

Check Applied Arts, Communication Arts and Adobe for student awards. They’re a great way to get regional and even worldwide recognition for your work. Another benefit of the GDC is that they’ll do much of the work for you. A student membership gives you access to up-to-date job/internship postings, scholarships and awards info.

Get yourself a website to showcase your work but keep it simple, and remember when it comes to a portfolio it’s always quality over quantity. Be sure to replace old pieces with new ones as your skills progress. And if your web skills aren’t up to snuff yet, there’s plenty of easy-to-use portfolio sites out there. Try Behance , Carbon Made or Cargo Collective.


You’d be surprised what opportunities that might arise from Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. There’s no reason why you wouldn’t want to access all three. Each one is different, so learn which to use for particular content. They’re a great way to engage with people, and give them a reason to follow you. Share unique content specific to you: your opinions, your portfolio pieces, and discussions that you’re taking part in.

Thanks for reading, I hope that helps. I’ve included my icon pack for download if you’d like them for personal use. For now you can get to know us @YourCopeland. We love students.

A Wikid Awareness Campaign

18 Jan

Just now, as I was deep into writing a strategy document, I googled for an expanded definition of a concept I was working through. As a source I typically value for overarching conceptual ideas, I immediately clicked on Wikipedia. I was abruptly re-directed to the following page:

Wikipedia Blackout

It’s somber, eerie and in complete contrast to the gleaming white, information packed page I was expecting.  So of course, I began to read…

Wikipedia is on a 24 hour blackout to raise awareness of two bills, SOPA and PIPA, said to infringe “free expression while harming the Internet”. Regardless if you are in favour of or opposed to the bills, you have to stand back for one second and applaud the exceptional execution of this awareness campaign.

It’s a textbook implementation of what’s required for an awareness campaign set to go viral.

Strong Visual Impact

The mourning colours and the full page blowout instantly grabbed my attention and set a somber tone. No small banner message here to be easily overlooked.

Personal Relevance

Because of the blackout, I was personally affected by the cause. It’s easy to feel removed from the situation and indifferently change the channel or stop reading when you hear stories on the radio or other news outlets. But, I needed to use Wikipedia, and now I can’t! – better get to the bottom of this…


… easy. One click takes you to the Wikipedia information page (does anyone else find this a little humorous?). 13 short and direct answers later you are caught up on the issue. Have more time and want to read more? Wikipedia makes that easy too with a list of related links.


Very clearly, it’s stated what action Wikipedia would like you to take: “we encouraging you to share your views with your representatives, and with each other on social media”. And then with a handy  representative look-up tool, they make it easy for you to take action.


Wikipedia Blackout on twitter

Arguably one of the most important components of making a campaign go viral, Wikipedia conveniently put hot links on their blackout page that automatically load your favourite social media profile with a supportive message. Within seconds and with very little effort, a consistent message, dictated by Wikipedia, is  spread through your social network.


You’ll notice that the first content on the info page highlights the success of the campaign: 10,000 Wikipedia comments, 7,200 articles, 90 million unique visits to the blackout page, 5 million representative look-ups. It’s not a coincidence that this is the first section. People like to be part of a movement that’s working; it’s empowering. Speak to the heart then to the brain.

On the heals of the much scrutinized occupy movement, (why the occupy movement didn’t work) it’s refreshing to see such a substantial campaign which has a clear message executed to perfection. Today, let the W stand for WOW.

The rise of the Super Consumer

16 Dec

Female superhero flying

If you’ve been paying attention over the past few years, you’ll have noticed that your passive, trusting, free-spending customer has been replaced by a demanding, attention-deficient control-freak.

The new Super Consumer is also just as likely to be a woman as a man. The stay-at-home mom is as connected to the marketplace as the career-gal, and the old stereotypes are long out the window.

She wants you to play ball according to her rules and if you don’t, you can expect to hear about it before she vocally moves on to your competition.

What does she want from you?

She wants you to win her over. You will have to offer her value on two fronts: price and authority. By authority, I mean that you are the go-to product or service in your market or category. She is willing to pay more to have a better experience, but she still wants you to duke it out with your rivals over price. Think iPhone.

She wants a long-term relationship. She wants to know that after you’ve wooed her, you are going to repeatedly make her feel that she made a good choice. Or else she’ll say goodbye. Say hello to Customer Relationship Management.

She wants you to play nice. By that I mean she wants to know you are a forward thinking and ecological company. Increasingly, she will look for evidence of it. Given a parity in price and product, she will turn to values to make up her mind. What shape are your business values in?

She wants you to listen. The new Super Consumer is connected in a way that was simply unimaginable 5 years ago. She will talk about you and expects you to pay attention. She will make purchase decisions based on what she hears about you in online social spaces, and she will not be shy in sharing her own views about your performance. Or lack of it.

She wants to be in control. Your customer has had it with your one-way advertising messages and chest-thumping. She’s in charge here and tunes you out when you fail to recognize that. The ways she sees it, she is creating her own experience with your brand through a blending of technology, information and opportunity. And you had better keep up, bucko.

(Photo Courtesy of iStock Photo)

Should you buy social media popularity?

20 Oct

Facebook Fans for sale

Building Facebook and Twitter communities for your business takes persistence and smart tactics.

But plenty of businesses can’t be bothered to invest the time, so they buy their communities from businesses like USocial, a popular and successful service site that sells bums on social seats. (Try saying that three times quickly.)

USocial promises you, among many permutations, 10,000 targeted Facebook fans (and a bonus of 10,000 targeted Twitter followers) for US$907. That’s 30% off their usual price. High-fives all around.

What can you expect from an instant audience?

Well, building a Facebook fanbase for your business is not like throwing together an ant farm. You can’t just dump 10,000 names into a hole and call it your community. They are your fans because they were paid to be your fans – by USocial. They don’t love you. They don’t even like you. In fact, they probably don’t care to know a thing about you – only that you pay.

And now that they’ve discharged their part of the deal, they are free to ignore you, because these fans/followers-4-hire have plenty of other new businesses to sell their services to.

You bought them, but you didn’t earn them. You got quantity, but no loyalty.

If I pay a bunch of people to hang out with me so I look popular, are they likely to be my advocates when there is no ka-ching attached to their action? So much for my community.

Did you just call them Social Media Escorts? I’m glad you did and not me.

Red light district in Amsterdam

Now, nose back to the grindstone. There are no shortcuts to success here!

Tree planter to ad agency boss

18 Oct

(Guest post by our Managing Director 4 a Day winner Grace Campbell)

Copeland's Managing Director 4 a Day winner Grace Campbell of Royal RoadsThree months ago

I plant my 800,000th tree, pack up my tent, move to Victoria, and begin Royal Roads University’s Bachelor of Professional Communication Program. I have no Twitter account, no fixed address and no idea who Doug Brown or Copeland Communications are.

One month ago (to the day)

Doug visits Royal Roads to speak about online self-branding and invites my classmates and I to enter Copeland’s Boss 4 a Day contest. I immediately freak out about my lack of an online presence and my limited knowledge of social media. In a desperate attempt to prove (mostly to myself) that I haven’t “wasted” 5 years of my life planting trees I decide to enter a video in the contest.

Four days later

I create a Twitter account and use my first tweet to submit my video entry. I share it with friends and family on Facebook and YouTube just in case it goes somewhere.


Monday, September 26

I receive an email from Doug telling me that my video has been selected for the finals. I am so shocked that I forget to respond to his email. Doug has to email me back to confirm that I am still interested in the competition.

Tuesday, September 27

Boss 4 a Day contest goes to a live vote. I share it on Facebook and recruit my Royal Roads class of 39 students to my cause. I let the other finalists know that I am in it to win it!

Wednesday the 28th

Begin to use my new Twitter account to share my progress and keep followers (all 14 of them) updated on my progress.

Thursday the 29th

It becomes clear that Brandon Wright from University of Victoria and I are duking it out. So, I appeal to the Royal Roads community for support. I create little flyers with links to Copeland’s Facebook page that read:

Royal Roads University vs. UVIC


I hand 120 of these flyers out at the Royal Roads Fall Fair and make contacts within the three other on-campus cohorts to try and keep the buzz going.

I also create a Facebook group called “Grace Campbell Needs Some LOVE!” Strangely, this is my most successful campaign initiative, teaching me about the power of a simple slogan, no matter how desperate it seems.

The race is so tight that I begin to send personal emails asking for support.

Friday the 30th

I make sure to continue thanking all the friends, contacts, and organizations who have been supporting me. Even if I don’t win, I don’t want to be that annoying girl who asks people to vote for her and then is never heard from again.

3pm– Two hours of voting left and Brandon is 19 votes ahead. As my classmates head to the pub I ask one last time for their help and hunker down with my laptop in the now-empty classroom to virtually battle it out.

4pm– I can’t seem to catch up to Brandon. I send Doug an email saying, “I am chugging water right now to replace the fluids I have lost from sweating and the fluids I might lose from crying.”

4:55pm– My classmates are sitting in a pub with their laptops out, frantically trying to keep me in the lead. I now know exactly what “Too close for comfort” feels like, because I have been uncomfortable for hours.

5pm– I have no idea who has won, but I can’t take the stress any longer. I phone Copeland and beg for the results. 4 votes. I won by 4 votes out of over 1400. I am exhausted.


1. Appreciation for the value of both in-person and online networks.

I had no idea I had such an amazing network that would readily support me and share their influence. At first, my personal sphere of influence seemed small, but through social media and extended networks I had votes from Chicago, Korea, South Africa, Costa Rica, and beyond!

2. Importance of knowing my audience.

I had to learn quickly how to frame this contest in a variety of ways depending on my audience.

For example, with the tree-planting community I framed it as a chance for us planters to prove that we are not wasting our lives doing something we love!  But for the Royal Roads community, I positioned it as a David vs. Goliath story, in which we needed to prove to UVIC that we were worth competing against.

3. I don’t regret a single day spent tree-planting.

This competition was both rewarding and exhausting, a combination that all tree-planters are familiar with. The feeling of trailing by 19 votes with only two hours left is not so different from the feeling of facing nine hours of outdoor labour, knowing that the forecast is sleet and a grizzly bear has been sighted in the area. Both situations seem insurmountable. Both situations are entirely worth the effort.

Even if I hadn’t won in the polls, I learned so much more about marketing myself in four crazy days than I thought I could learn in months.

What about you? Have you ever faced a steep learning curve and decided to charge at it full speed? How did it work out?

(NOTE: Grace enjoyed her day of tyrannical rule yesterday, October 17. She was spectacular!)