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Toronto: Queen City

12 Aug

Because I love the city where I live I wanted to share this amazing video that shows all its glory.


Favorite Brand?

12 Aug

I must say that although branding fascinates me I had never thought of picking a brand as my favorite. For one of my marketing postgraduate courses I had to create and design an integrated marketing communications plans for a product or brand, I chose NARS cosmetics. NARS is a brand I admire because of its high level of differentiation, ability to position itself in a competitive luxury market and create an image that is both timeless and sophisticated. NARS not only has a polished image that eludes the apparent quality of its products but also manages to shape the meaning of its brand to meet societal trends. The brand started as a symbol for fashion and was represented with top models and celebrities, however the recent movement towards portrayal of the “real” in cosmetic pressured the company to change its strategy. Francois Nars, creator and director of the brand, wrote a book on “real women” wearing NARS, as if this was not enough NARS launched one of the most integrated campaigns ever made by a cosmetic company. The use of social networks, interactivity and experiential methods in the Make up your Mind Express Yourself is outstanding and it positioned the brand within several markets that were not previously targeted as well as appeasing public opinion regarding the portrayal of “real women”.

In semiotic terms the brand has carefully crafted signs that signified many layers of meaning it represents style, fashion, sophistication, youth, simplicity. Similarly to Apple’s success of minimalist packaging and design NARS has achieved a status in the market with its sleek designer packaging and controversial product name. The brand’s most successful product is the Orgasm blush; evidently the use of a provocative term that evokes sex and defiance is what separates it from the multitude of seemingly identical blushes in the oversaturated market. Very few brands dare to break the boundaries of what is socially accepted or allowed, thus remaining within the limitations of traditional marketing boundaries. NARS went beyond what was expected of a cosmetic company, and it really made a brand that does not need a tag line or a picture for people to understand its meaning.

I guess this would qualify NARS as one of my favorite brands, not because I am cosmetic enthusiast of any sort, but because I believe that the brand is one that I truly admire as a semiotician and as marketer. It accomplishes the ultimate marketing dream; the product doesn’t even matter as much because the concept is so strong that it carries it through.

I am back!

10 Aug

After a long hiatus I am back and ready to give this blog some much needed direction. I have decided for it to be my “interest journal” a space where I write about brands, advertising, social media and the city where I live. Yes I know, I didn’t give it much direction… I just have so much to say!


Ms. Valdivieso

Be back soon!

20 Jul

Hello Everyone!

I have been absent for a few months due to school and life being crazy! I have not retired and I will be back shortly with a more focused and better blog for your reading enjoyment!

Stay tuned!

Ms. Valdivieso

The Year of Foursquare

27 Jan

Is 2011 the year of geo-location app devices? Well we know that as mobile technology literally takes over our lives we become more and more keen on using applications that move at the same speed that we do- and that’s exactly what Foursquare does it follows you and lets you share with everyone where exactly you are and what you are doing. I am not particularly thrilled with the idea of letting everyone know what I am up to but I cannot ignore that this is one if not the most interesting opportunities for marketing and advertising. The possibilities are endless for market researchers and for business to take advantage of this consumer self-tracking. Above is the infographic the company released representing its impressive growth in 2010 – which leads me to believe we are now in the year of Foursquare… start checking in!

As you can see there is no country in the world that hasn’t checked in! I am not sure if this is something frightening or impressive. Nevertheless North Korea checked in last.

What if the US Federal Government had an Ad Campaign?

27 Jan

I came across this brilliant article on Harper’s magazine titled “A Super Bowl for Uncle Sam” — a forum of four Madison Av. creative directors (Grey Group, Saatchi and Saatchi, Wieden+Kennedy and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners) brainstorming hypothetical advertising campaigns for the U.S. federal government to run during the Super Bowl. It is no secret to us Canadians that our neighbors down south don’t like their federal government. Ever since the late 1960’s popularity began to fall in what now has become a national feeling of discontent- no matter who is running the gorvernment, it is described as “constipated,” “obese,” “crappy” “bureaucracy” run by a “bunch of yahoos,” or by a “bunch of [profanity deleted].” .

In any business, when consumers opinion has taken a negative turn, it’s time to reinvent the brand and launch a new marketing campaign — why not do the same for the government? After a debate, the ad men come to the conclusion that it’s the federal brand, not the product, that Americans hate. No one really dislikes the post office employee that brings the mail everyday or NASA’s astronauts; what people hate is the federal brand. The immediate association is one of bureaucracy, crazy spending, poor decisions and unethical behavior. How can marketers change that opinion? The article goes through all the possible directions this ad could take — either cynical, informative or plain emotional.

Can advertisement change the product not just the image- can it influence a change within an organization as big as the US government? Well there is that old adage that the fastest way to kill a bad product is with good advertisement.

I will let you make the judgment on what campaign works the best reminding Americans that although the government has a lot of problems the U.S. is not such a bad place to live. (Unfortunately you are going to have to go see the ads in the nearest magazine stand- below is the pic of Goodby and Silverstein’s, which has this accompanying website).

Hello world!

16 Jan

The start of my Post Graduate Certificate at Humber in Marketing Management also marks the start of my blogging experience. Welcome to my space for everything related to marketing as well as other interests (such as Fashion, Toronto, Literature and Food)! I will also post my work in here so you can check out what I am up to in the program and what my skills are.

Hope you enjoy it and come back for more!