Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Would You Skip It?

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

How much time does an advertisement have to capture an audience?  Well, if you asked a regular Youtube user, they’d say 5 seconds.

When watching a Youtube video with an advertisement, you have the option of skipping the ad after 5 seconds.  The quality or appeal of a commercial played on Youtube can, thus, be measured by the percentage of people who decided to not skip the ad.  That is, they wanted to watch the commercial.

This is an interesting way to think of commercials, as many of us see commercials as painful interruptions from the content for which we actually have interest.  Thus, we cannot create commercials that simply tell the audience the name and service of the company anymore.  We should begin to shift to a new paradigm where the commercials are as good, if not better, than the content that follows it.  We need to make commercials that are worth watching from the moment it begins.

So how do you know when you’ve created a commercial worth watching.  Well, give me five seconds.

PepsiCo. everywhere!

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

As a retail sales associate for Canucks Sports & Entertainment at Roger’s arena, I don’t usually get emailed about topics other than availability, scheduling and promotions; however in the middle of September I was informed via email that affective immediately, Pepsi would be the exclusive soft drink of the Canucks and Rogers Arena. Interestingly enough, Coca-Cola was in possession of this deal since the arena opening in 1995 before Pepsi took over and signed a 5-year contract. According to Pepsi Ousts Coke in Rogers Arena Deal, this partnership authorizes Pepsi Co. exclusive beverage and snack rights, branding and advertising all over the arena, branded cups, rink board signage, and more. But more importantly, this means Coca-Cola and their affiliated products will no longer be found sold anywhere in the arena.

In addition, according to the article PepsiCo. is also the exclusive soft drink supplier at BC Place Stadium, home to the Lions and new home to the Whitecaps. This means fans attending any of BC’s largest sporting events (Hockey, Football and Soccer) will be indulging in exclusively Pepsi products (at least for the next 5 years). Additionally, those who attend concerts, all held at Rogers Arena, will also be restricted to only purchasing Pepsi products.

So this whole partnership thing seems like a huge deal. According to my email, it was thanks to much hard work and team efforts (they named many names) that “brought this deal to fruition”. Also attached was a complete overview of their products to help us “understand the full extent of PepsiCo’s portfolio”. I never realized how much effort it takes to secure partnerships such as these, and how big of a deal it is. To be honest, if I’m thirsty at a hockey game, I’m indifferent to whether I purchase a Pepsi, or Coke. I probably don’t even think twice about the brand.

It is obvious that this partnership is a huge deal for Pepsi and also for their archrival, Coca-Cola. Exclusive provider of soft drinks and snacks in both BC Place and now Rogers Arena, the 2 largest stadiums in BC. So my question is, how much did it cost? 



I want an Ipad!

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
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Chances are, every time I turn on the TV I come across an Ipad/Iphone/Imac commercial and no matter how many times I’ve seen the commercial, I am still fascinated at the product’s capabilities (and design, quality, versatility… etc.). We are all well aware of how successful Apple is and how large a market share they possess without having to do research – it is evident in the number of people who own ipods (or people who own multiple generations of ipods), iphones, and macbooks. So if most people own an Apple product – or for the very least have heard of Apple – why must they spend money on Marketing and Advertising?

…It’s probably to “manipulate” easily persuaded people like myself into thinking they “need” the latest Apple product (or model). For instance, I am completely satisfied with my Macbook. It was lasted me 3 solid years and although it has recently been running a bit on the slow side, it still works perfectly fine. But let’s face it… now, I am more concerned with convenience and comfort than functionality. This laptop is a pain in the butt to lug to and from school everyday! It is SO HEAVY. So I could have easily opted for a simple netbook, you can find new ones these days for $200 or even less, but no, I want an Ipad 2 or a Macbook Air (thanks to the commercials), regardless that it comes at triple, or quintuple (that’s 5 times) the price, respectively.

The commercial for the Ipad 2 displayed above mentions how different groups of people such as parents, musicians, doctors, CEOs, teachers, and children value the Ipad in different ways; however, I am none of those, so why do I still desperately want one?According to the commercial, the Ipad is so versitile it has the ability to cater to all types of people – even doctors! They said “…to a doctor, it’s groundbreaking“, and on the ipad was an ultrasound… in what hospital today do doctors show future mothers their baby’s ultrasound on an Ipad? …I still want one!

I’m pretty sure the keyboard on the Ipad is so sensitive and tiny it is hard to type on, thus limiting its efficiency and capability.

I think I’m still going to get one 🙂

Lesson learnt

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Not surprisingly, the greatest lesson I have ever learned came from my dad. He is the most well respected, confident and intelligent individual I know, and he is my inspiration. Like myself, my parents were both born and raised in Vancouver with ‘Canadian’ attitudes. Because I fully respect and honor my parents’ decisions, I usually comply with their “rules” and respect their decisions.

Now, my parents don’t ask for much. This is what I love about them; however, the one thing my dad habitually emphasizes is for my sister and I to always do our best. Whether the feat be something as simple as completing a homework assignment or as admirable as winning a gold medal, the most important thing, A+ or F, win or lose, is that the task was done to the best of our ability. Only then would they be proud, and the outcome irrelevant.

I carry this lesson with me for whatever I do. If I go to an interview and don’t get the position, my parents, nor I, can be disappointed in myself if I gave it my best shot. Obviously I would be disappointed if I sincerely wanted the job, but I wouldn’t beat myself over it. I strive to make my parents proud, and I know I do them proud when I try to do my best – what more could anyone ask for?

Not all Asians are “Asians”

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

The article The Enrollment Controversy, originally titled “Too Asian?” published by Maclean’s Magazine sparked overwhelming response. From the article, the majority of respondents attacked Maclean’s because “it was suggested that by publishing this article, Maclean’s views Canadian universities as “Too Asian,” or that [they] hold a negative view of Asian students.” However, Maclean’s defensive response was that although it is obvious that the trend of accepted Asian applicants in Canadian Universities is increasing, it is fair because their acceptance is merit-based, regardless of race, and should be the sole criteria for selecting applicants, and Maclean’s attacks American universities as they “find the trend toward race-based admission policies in some American schools deplorable”.

Quotes from the original article include:
“Asian kids, meanwhile, say they are resented for taking the spots of white kids.”
“That Asian students work harder is a fact born out by hard data. They tend to be strivers, high achievers and single-minded in their approach to university.”

Myself being a third-generation Chinese Canadian, with parents born and raised in Vancouver, find those quotes, particularly the latter, offensive and stereotypical. My black hair, brown eyes and petite stature are the extent of my Asian traits. When traveling, I am constantly asked “Where are you from?” with my response being “Canada”, which immediately prompts, “No, where are you FROM?”  I am not the cookie-cutter Asian the article addresses; my Chinese is horribly embarrassing and rice in my household is a monthly, not a daily, occurrence. The fact that I got accepted into UBC’s Sauder School of Business is not because of endless nights studying in highschool, but rather my school and community involvement, athletic achievements, and hard work. The key to my success was balance, and Maclean’s was wrong for racial profiling.

On the flip side, the article does present some valid points. There are many Asians that fit Maclean’s description. There is nothing more frustrating than being put in a group project with someone who is obviously smart, or else they would not have gotten into UBC, but lacks all other aspects in which the business world is depended upon, in addition to the English language. While American universities take race into consideration, particularly with the acceptance in Ivy League schools, it is understandable because they want a well-rounded group of individuals; however, to generalize all Asians as “Asians” is wrong. This applies to the business world because while business leaders are to be intelligent, they must also be relatable, assertive, and personable.

Innovative Aritzia

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

When the store Aritzia is mentioned, I immediately think trendy, fashionable, and quality. When I approached my dad, his response was trendy, noisy and over-priced. At least we can both agree Artizia is trendy. Founded in Vancouver at Hill’s of Kerrisdale in 1984, the thing that makes the store such an innovative success is its core values: they are strictly all about selling clothes, with the customers as their first priority. Their top operators, including Aritzia’s CEO, takes a hands-on approach, managing and retailing the stores not from an office, but from the stores themselves. Aritzia’s innovation stems from the majority of their merchandise being their own design. Even more, Aritzia houses brands such as Community, an ethical brand that uses organic and sustainable materials, appealing to the growing environmental-conscious women.

Check out Aritzia’s Holiday Gift Guide.

In my opinion, I love Aritzia’s culture because walking into a store, I am always greeted warmly by the associates and am constantly being helped. Sometimes it gets annoying, something about being approached every couple seconds to ask if they could take my items and start a room is irritating, but it is definitely better than the alternative – we all know too well getting frustrated in a store where sales associates are scarce. True to my dad, the price tags are a tad on the steep side but I feel that the environment and experience of Aritzia is worth it; I never feel let down purchasing Aritzia merchandise.

Source: Aritzia’s Wong ensures company’s focus is on customers from The Vancouver Sun.

Groupon gets complicated

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

With the launch of in late 2008, coupons are a thing of the past. Starting off as a simple idea by CEO Andrew Mason, Groupon has boomed into a multi-million dollar online entrepreneurial success and is available to markets worldwide. The company offers one “Groupon” deal per day, and the retailers it partners with use Groupon as a sales promotion tool, hoping to attract customers. In exchange, Groupon receives a cut (50%) from every discount purchased. Groupon’s undeniable success in the past couple years has caught the attention of Google Inc., who has made an offer to buy the company for $6 billion.

One of Groupon’s best features is it’s simplicity. The site offers one deal a day, specifically personalized to your city. Whether that deal be two-for-one dinner deals or 90% off helicopter tours, consumers are either interested that day, or find themselves leaving the site.

However, lately I have noticed changes about Groupon. An avid shopper myself, I’ll admit to receiving Groupon’s “Daily Deal” emails. One special a day is all I can handle – it keeps it simple. Now, Groupon is adding features such as the “Holiday Gift Store” on the site where the deals last longer than the traditional one-day promotions. These confuse me as there are just too many deals to look at now. As I mentioned previously, I am not afraid to shop online, and therefore I find myself falling far too hard for these – dare I say it -unnecessary deals.

The most recent change to Groupon is the unveiling of its Group Stores. Now, individual stores set up their own online specials and customers will be able to follow deals for their favourite stores by subscribing online. The company hopes that this strategy will contribute to its long-term growth. This idea scares me as I will not be able to resist a good sale from one of my favourite stores, and I already know that all the emails will only confuse me. Quite frankly, I’ll be the first to admit that I miss the simple daily deals.

Source: Will Groupon’s expansion plan appeal to fans?

UPDATE 12/04/10:
Groupon Is Said to Walk Away From Google’s $6 Billion Acquisition Offer

KIK Messenger… BBM for everyone?

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

BlackBerry Messenger, more commonly referred to as BBM, has become an instant hit among the teens and young adults of our generation. The perks of BlackBerry’s instant-messaging application include the instantaneity of delivered messages, making it quicker than texting, unlimited delivered and sent messages at no charge, and the exclusivity to BlackBerry owners. The application’s famous symbols that appear beside a message, a “check mark” for sent, “D” for delivered and “R” for read are patented by RIM, and thus give BBM and BlackBerry an important point of difference and a valuable asset.

According to the article RIM launches KIK instant-messaging patent suit published in the Globe and Mail, Kik Interactive Ltd, a popular application developer, created an app virtuously identical to BBM, and made it available to all smartphone users. This way, along with BlackBerry owners, the Iphone and Android users can also enjoy this application cross-platform. No longer are BBM’s features exclusive.

In Research In Motion gives Kik Messenger the boot, the famous issue of ethics is addressed. Though RIM blocked the application from BlackBerry App World, Kik’s CEO argued that their messenger application would benefit everyone – all smartphone and BlackBerry users alike as it will “enrich their users” and “everybody will win”.

If BBM is BlackBerry’s its most attractive point of difference, I believe it to be unethical for another company to produce something so similar; yes, Kik created their own messenger to stay competitive, but myself being a BlackBerry user, perhaps I am being biased in saying so, but I think applications such as BBM should stay exclusive to the brand. RIM thought of the idea first, everyone else can use text messaging.

Facebook: an online entrepreneurial success

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Five years ago, the social networking site Facebook was near to nonexistent in Vancouver. Now, it is safe to assume that everyone has heard of Facebook, and even more, has a Facebook profile. Heck, even my grandpa has Facebook! Lines such as “Facebook me” can be heard in everyday conversations and many consider the site to be highly addictive. As the company is estimated to be worth a staggering 25 billion dollars, I would consider Facebook to be an very successful entrepreneurial initiative.

Facebook is innovative because unlike other social networking sites, it connects people while remaining polished. Customization on Facebook is near to none excluding the addition of applications; however, it remains neat and organized. The site makes it easy for friends to send each other messages, share pictures and videos, see what others are up to all at the same time. Although Facebook was originally targeted towards post-secondary students, it attracts all ages.

Facebook was co-founded by entrepreneur Mark Zuckerburg at a youthful 19 years of age. An instant success currently housing more than 500 million users, Facebook is the world’s largest social networking website. Though it’s worth in such a short period of time is very impressive, Mark’s innovative motives are not driven by money in “The thing I really care about is the mission, making the world open.”. Just because Mr. Zuckerburg is not in it for the profits doesn’t eliminate the potential risk in the creation of his site; the creation of Facebook nearly jeopardized his enrollment at Harvard University and to this day, Mr. Zuckerburg finds himself tangled in numerous lawsuits.

The Social Network

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

Linked below is the trailer for “The Social Network”, which has hit the top of the box office. It outlines the creation of Facebook by Mark Zuckerburg, a then Harvard sophomore, and the amazing instant success of the site. I just watched this movie a couple hours ago and instantly thought about linking it to class 8 when we learned about social media and it’s growing profitability for companies.

Growing up in the twentyfirst century, social media has become a huge part of our lives. Almost everyone I know has a facebook page. The movie aims to show how a simple idea, which led to the creation of facebook, is powerful, and although the protagonist didn’t have a strategy going in to make money, the site is now worth an estimated 25 billion dollars. There is a lot of money to be made through social media, and this is why companies are now shifting to match the needs of online communities.

But of course with the internet comes risks. Mark Zuckerburg was fined millions of dollars for “stealing” the original idea of facebook. The industry is deceiving, and intensely competitive. However, the companies who can successfully promote and connect with consumers through social media find themselves profitable because in today’s age, opportunities lie within the online community, and the connections to the people are in the hands of social media.

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