The Advertising Apprentice

December 19, 2011

Christmas Greetings from Acart Communications

Filed under: Advertising — adamlauzon @ 11:54 PM
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This past Friday, the following video was posted on YouTube:

That’s right, this slightly creepy, yet ingenious video, a parody of the Paranormal Activity movie franchise, is supposed to serve as a Christmas card from Ottawa-based ad agency Acart Communications.

The video itself was very well-done and effectively holds your attention for the minute and forty-two seconds running time because you want to figure out where it’s going! Even the pun in the title of the video is a nice touch. Paranoël Activity shows its purpose and consistency with regards to copy reinforcing visuals, with the copy “You better watch out… hiring the wrong agency can be a nightmare.” Followed by the solution to the so-called nightmare, “Luckily, you’re in good hands with Acart.”

Since being posted online, it has been viewed nearly 4,000 times on YouTube. While this far from makes it a viral success, it has people talking. I first heard about it Sunday in a tweet, which I then re-tweeted, (be sure to follow me on Twitter, @adam_lauzon) from Ads of the World. That tweet plus re-tweets, by the way, reached 75,836 people. In addition to being featured on the Ad of the World website, the video has been posted to social media websites Reddit and Funny or Die, and it has been embedded on several other websites.

If you work at Acart, what more could you want? They probably posted it online figuring it would generate some buzz locally here in Ottawa. But to get to work Monday morning and see the worldwide attention it has received must have been unexpected. Their efforts with this video should undoubtedly result in some calls from prospective clients. So if you are in the Ottawa-area and have advertising you’d like done, you now know who to call.



December 15, 2011

The Heart & Stroke Foundation Wants You to Make Death Wait

Filed under: Advertising — adamlauzon @ 1:49 PM

Leading up to, and throughout, the holiday season, I’ve noticed two different campaigns from an organization very near and dear to my heart, pun intended; the Heart & Stroke Foundation (HSF). The headline for today’s entry is the bold and attention-grabbing tagline being used in spots for one of their new campaigns:


As a quick side before I get further into this discussion, while studying advertising in Sudbury, I volunteered with the HSF.  It was nothing short of a very rewarding experience and I highly recommend everyone to get involved in your community and give back.

But with that being said, in this case, my position on these campaigns is not biased because the advertising speaks for itself. The two commercials above are extremely well done. I think the HSF and their ad agency absolutely made the right call in producing two targeted spots; one aimed at men and the other aimed at women. The uncommon and almost eery narration from the perspective of death added an element to the spots that enhanced their effect. And this is ultimately why their tagline, Make Death Wait, despite being simple is so strong and very effective in terms of being memorable. At the end of each spot there was a call-to-action that directs people to the HSF’s website to donate, but I can’t help but think that raising funds was a secondary objective for this campaign; the primary objective being to increase awareness of heart disease and stroke.

The other HSF campaign I’ve seen a lot lately has been in promotion of their Heart & Stroke Calendar Lottery. Their ad buy must have significant because for what it seems like the last two months, anytime I’ve turned on the TV; I’ve seen a spot for this campaign. These types of lottery promotions from not-for-profits is not uncommon, the Ottawa Hospital Foundation and Princess Margaret Lottery are just two examples of organizations you’ll see similar promotions from during certain parts of the year.

The difference between the two campaigns is that the Make Death Wait campaign is, in my opinion, about increasing awareness while the calendar lottery’s primary objective is to raise funds for the HSF. But what I feel is unique is the timing: the constant exposure to these spots helped remind us about the HSF and create that name/brand recognition leading up to the launch of the powerful and arguably more important Make Death Wait campaign.

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