The Games have always been a little gay

In the world of advertising, less is usually more.

Too much copy can obscure the true meaning of a print ad. Excessive dialogue often becomes distracting during a commercial. And overselling a call to action can easily lead to your target market to feel alienated.

Before I run the risk of violating the statements I just finished making above, I’ll let the Canadian Institute for Diversity and Inclusion prove how effective one video, one song, and one simple statement can be: Continue reading

You’re Not Crossing the Border with Me, Kinder. Surprise!

Image by Dmitry Valberg via Flicrk

Surprise, indeed!

Aside from all the melting snow and pothole-riddled roads, one of the best ways to determine if spring is its way to Canada is the inevitable return of Easter-themed Kinder Surprises.

Enjoyed by children and adults alike, Kinder Surprise is a two-in-one treat that consists of an unassembled toy contained within a hollow chocolate eggshell. You never know what kind of toy your chocolate egg will reveal, and half the fun of getting a Kinder Surprise is in trying to figure out how to put all the pieces together. Continue reading

Irish Everyone Was That Straightforward


If you’ve spent a decent amount of time with anyone from Ireland, you are likely well aware that they’re a straight-up bunch of lads and lassies. Unless there’s good craic to be had, or a bar stool to keep warm, the Irish just don’t have time to beat around the bush. Maybe it’s the ever-present threat of rain, or the need to get to the punchline before someone else comes out with a better joke. Who knows? Either way, the Irish get to the point and they do it quickly.

While it’s a little difficult to validate such a sweeping claim (and one that I make with love, to be clear), here are a few contrasting examples to clarify my point: Continue reading

Welcome to the Calendar, Black Friday!

Very rarely do you get to witness the birth of a widely-observed cultural event. Most holidays and celebrations have deep histories rooted in the veneration of a significant figure, commemoration of an ancient religious feast day and/or festival to usher in a new season. Given that they generally have historically-significant backgrounds, new holidays haven’t sprung up very often in the past.

But then the era of mass consumption came along. And now all the rules have changed.

Continue reading

Lest We Forget

Each November, Canadians take a day to reflect on and remember the sacrifices of those who fought for our freedom. Known as Remembrance Day, many (but not all) Canadians are given a day off work/school on November 11th to participate in the events held to commemorate our military veterans. If November 11 falls on a weekend (as it does this year), some employers and schools provide a day off in lieu on the Monday after the 11th.

Continue reading

Canadian History is Cool Again

A few months ago I wrote about having the great fortune to discover that Heritage Minutes are available for viewing online. Canadians of almost any age will remember this series of history videos that began airing on television in 1991. Each Minute depicts a significant moment, person or event that influenced Canadian history and they left many a viewer (including yours truly) transfixed back in the day.

If you didn’t grow up watching Heritage Minutes, you likely a) are not Canadian and b) have no idea that history can be interesting enough to make you anticipate commercial breaks. If either of those options apply to you, dear reader, I am truly sorry. While I can’t help you with the first issue, you should check out this post to resolve the second issue. I’ll wait for you to come back…

…okay, now that we’re all on the same page about history commercials being cool, you should brace yourself because Continue reading

A Virtual First for Women’s Hockey

If you live in North America and have been following the news at all in the last month, you’ll be well aware that the National Hockey League (NHL) is in the midst of a lockout. The labour dispute has left hockey fans scrambling to find alternative forms of entertainment while the NHL’s players and team owners squabble over how to divide more than $3 billion in revenue between themselves.

As the 2012-2013 season slips away, many fans who miss watching their beloved hockey team while sipping heroin beer have turned to video games to help ease their pain. Lucky for them, Burnaby-based EA Sports released NHL ’13 last month to help fill those hockeyless nights.

Normally, I would never ever take the time and energy to write a post about a video game. Don’t worry, this is sure to be a one-off topic. No need to stop following me now.

But here’s the thing: NHL ’13 is kind of a big deal when it comes to gender equality. Continue reading

Sanitizing Santa

If you don’t mind, I would like to start this post off with a few stupid questions:

  • As a child, did you add a pipe to your Christmas wish list due to Santa’s penchant for tobacco?
  • Are you worried about Santa’s longevity because he is known to indulge in a pipe from time to time?
  • In high school, were you ever the victim of peer pressure that even remotely resembled the following argument “Smoking is cool because Santa does it. You want to be cool like Santa, right?!”?
  • Have any of the kids in your life taken up smoking because they heard Santa can sometimes be found with smoke circling his head like a wreath?

English: Thomas Nast's most famous drawing, &q...

Yeah, I didn’t think so. Continue reading

Dancing Down Deerfoot

Everyone has some crazy weather story to pull out at less-than-exciting dinner parties. Since we’re all subjected to Mother Nature’s effects on a daily basis, it’s easy to strike up a conversation about a blizzard we just barely survived, or a lightning strike that came this close to taking us out. But if we’re really honest with ourselves, we have to admit that most of the stories we tell are just a little bit exaggerated. I mean, do you really believe that hail storm could have given you a concussion? No, no you don’t.

But sometimes a storm really does almost kill you. And when that happens, wouldn’t you give just about anything to have a video to show your friends that proves you’re not full of it? If your answer is yes, I bet you wish the footage looked something like this: Continue reading