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
Everyone knows no one parties like the Irish do. That’s why it’s impossible to walk past any pub on March 17th without stumbling across a group of happy revellers celebrating whatever tiny claim they have to Irish ancestry.
But if you thought St. Patrick’s Day was becoming a global phenomenon before today, wait until you see what’s been cooked up for this year’s celebrations.
Knowing how to capitalize on a good thing when they see it, Tourism Ireland has launched a ‘global greening’ marketing campaign. The result? Some 70 global landmarks will be turned green this year in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.
Some of the monuments and sites that have joined in on the fun include Niagara Falls, the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Burj al Arab in Dubai, and the Las Vegas sign.
Here’s a shot of Sydney’s Opera House getting in on the celebrations: Continue reading
Posted in Irish Quirks
- Tagged Culture, Entertainment, Events, Fun, Global Greening, Green, Ireland, Irish, Saint Patrick's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Tourism Ireland
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.
Posted in Shopping Quirks
- Tagged Black Friday, Boxing Day, Canada, Cultural Quirks, Culture, Events, Holidays, Shopping, Thoughts, Travel, United States
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.
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
If you are anywhere near Calgary, Alberta right now you can’t help but be keenly aware that the Stampede is officially underway. Bales of hay dot nearly every doorway, red and white flags hang from most lampposts, fireworks dance in the sky each night, and C-Trains are being sullied by overindulgent partiers who can’t hold their booze.
If all those signs weren’t enough, the endless sea of cowboy-hatted heads should have given it away.
As someone who grew up in rural Alberta and has only missed attending the Stampede once (I was living in Australia! Get over it!), I can spot a wannabe cowboy from a country mile away. But advances in cowboy hat technology and denim fading techniques have made this much more difficult to do in recent years. Sigh.
Rather than forcing a potential cowboy to display their calf roping skills as evidence, here’s a short checklist that will help you spot those wannabes who are all hat and no cowboy: Continue reading
Posted in Calgary Quirks, Calgary Stampede
- Tagged Alberta, Calgary, Calgary Stampede, Canada, cowboys, Culture, Entertainment, Events, Fun, Rodeo, Stampede, Travel
They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Since I’m not one to argue with people I don’t know (road rage doesn’t count in this instance), I’ll let them have that one. You can, however, get any number of free breakfasts if you follow a few simple rules. Here’s how it’s done: Continue reading
Posted in Calgary Quirks, Calgary Stampede
- Tagged Alberta, Breakfast, Calgary, Calgary Stampede, Canada, Culture, Entertainment, Events, Food, Pancakes, Stampede, stampede breakfast, Travel
When you get yourself tangled up with an Irishman, you unknowingly expose yourself to a whole host of new sports. Some of them (such as hurling) are nothing short of crazy, and you find yourself wondering how long it will be until you get to attend another All-Ireland Final (Up Tipp!). Others (like Gaelic) seem to make no sense to at all, and watching them just leaves you confused and experiencing sympathy pain for the players.
And then there’s football. Continue reading
Graduation season is upon us, which means that billions of snapshots are currently being added to family photo albums all over the world.
As a student, one of the ways I paid the piper was by working at the university I attended. Come June you would find me handing out thousands of caps, gowns, and hoods so students could look the part when they walked across the stage to receive their degrees.
Spending that much time around strange robes and even stranger hats makes you wonder about the history of academic regalia. For instance, why do students receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees wear hats (mortar boards) that look like skull caps? And am I the only one who’s noticed that all grads look like monks?
As a diligent student of life who has access to the Internet, I decided to consult the Oracle to find the answers I sought. Here’s what I found out: Continue reading
While doing some research for this post a few weeks ago, I stumbled on a few classic Canadian “Heritage Minute” videos on YouTube. I was thrilled to find out that they’re available for viewing online because these videos used to leave me transfixed when I was little…and apparently they still do today.
Heritage Minute videos first aired on television in 1991, and each one depicts a significant moment, person or event who influenced Canadian history. I know that Canadian history may seem like a really boring topic, but we’ve actually done some pretty amazing things over the years! From creating Superman and basketball, to our roles in Vimy Ridge and helping free American slaves through the Underground Railroad, these vignettes make your Canadian heart swell with pride.
Whenever a Heritage Minute would come on tv when I was a kid, I used to cross my fingers and hope it was a story I hadn’t yet seen. The minute-long videos were fairly frequently aired over the years, so it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a new one. But through the magic of the internet, you can easily access over 70 of them on the Historica Dominion Institute website.
Here are a few examples of the reasons Canadians have to be proud of our collective heritage: Continue reading