Posted: February 2, 2009 | 8:20 ET
Not so long ago, trend forecasting was a lucrative business. Now, any Joe with an Internet connection can use Google to predict consumer preferences. Or can he?

In Googling the Future, Newsweek looks at how easily accessible online tools can help companies determine rising or falling interest in products or services.

Google offers two such tools: Google Trends and Google Insights for Search. (It also offers Google Hot Trends, which shows users the most recent top 100 phrases entered into the search engine from U.S. destinations.)

Posted: January 30, 2009 | 21:50 ET
Media in Canada reports that:
  • The winners of Advertising Week's Youth Day contest have been announced. Entrants worked with mentors from Toronto agencies to create a campaign for Virgin Unite's RE*Generation program, and the winning submission was chosen by Sir Richard Branson.

Posted: January 30, 2009 | 18:34 ET

As of late, newspaper has been getting a lot of bad press, if you'll forgive the expression.

You'd never know it, though, if you attended the Ad Club of Toronto's Newspaper Day on Friday.

Instead, what you saw was genuine passion for the medium and excitement about how it's adapting to meet the needs of a changing readership.

Posted: January 30, 2009 | 16:15 ET
Jennifer Wells talks to DDB Canada chairman and CEO Frank Palmer about how his company is faring in these tough times, and what the current downturn means for Canadian agencies in general. In Created, she looks three new spots for Lay's potato chips. And in Created, Wells salutes Ogilvy & Mather, whose Diamond campaign for Shreddies won the Grand Prix at last night's Cassies.

Posted: January 30, 2009 | 9:33 ET
AIRLINE HOSTAGES--ER, PASSENGERS--have watched ads pop up on boarding passes, seatbacks and cocktail napkins. But one airline wants to plaster them on its flight attendants, too.

The union representing attendants on low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines, based in Florida, has rejected new uniforms that included an apron adorned with the logos of Budweiser and other alcoholic beverages, according to The Detroit News.

The logos would send customers the wrong message and hamper an attendant's ability to be taken seriously in the event of an emergency, the union says.

Posted: January 30, 2009 | 8:05 ET
Because it's Friday, something fun.

Posted: January 29, 2009 | 18:49 ET
The Internet Advertising Bureau of Canada drew a capacity crowd for the presentation of this year's Canadian Media Usage Trends Report.

The report addressed a number of questions, including:
  • At what rate is Internet usage growing?
  • How it is growing compared to the use of other media?
  • How does Internet usage vary among men and women, English and French Canadians, geographic regions and different age groups?

Posted: January 29, 2009 | 11:14 ET
Summaries of events I missed but wish I hadn't:
  • Media in Canada covered Leading Social Change: Public Sector Marketing, and the Advertising Week kick-off breakfast and cocktail party, on Monday.

Posted: January 28, 2009 | 23:58 ET
The Canadian Advertising Research Foundation's presentation today saw a good turnout, despite a healthy overnight dump of Toronto snow.

Millward Brown EVP and chief global analyst Nigel Hollis spoke first, citing studies that support the premise that a recession can be a great time to build a brand.

Hollis, who recently authored The Global Brand, reminded the audience that "recoveries last longer than the dips that lead to them"--a welcome bit of perspective for nervous marketers.

Posted: January 27, 2009 | 23:29 ET
I was lucky enough to catch the afternoon session of Advertising in the Age of Creativity earlier today.

In just a few hours, I learned why the price of television ads should increase, not decrease, even in an increasingly fragmented media market, and what frequently entered search engine terms can tell us about consumers and society. Plus I got to see Bruce Lee battle ping pong opponents with nunchucks (in a viral ad for Nokia's N96 multimedia phone).

Posted: January 26, 2009 | 7:16 ET

What's the best way to pass the last week of January in the Great White North?

If you're like me, your first instinct is to bundle up with a cup of tea and a SAD light therapy lamp while counting off the days 'til spring.

Happily, there is an alternative, at least for us marketing types.

The country's first-ever Advertising Week starts today, with plenty to explore, engage and inspire.

Posted: January 23, 2009 | 13:56 ET
Because it's Friday, something fun.

This promo piece for the German agency Scholz and Friends doesn't necessarily tell the whole story, but it does remind us that a marketer's job is a whole lot harder today than it used to be.