The “Mr and Mrs Incredible” Disneyland Paris Campaign – My Two Cents

In this holiday season, the year is almost over and most of us are running like crazy to wrap up our work in time and to buy some gifts for our siblings and friends. Last week, the buzzword that stuck to my head was “Groupon” which finally landed to Montreal. In the meantime, I ate a bad meal at a restaurant I went because of a Tuango ticket I bought two months ago on an impulsive buying move (damn marketers!). Therefore, I won’t discuss about Groupon since you should already be fed up with that news! Instead, I decided to give you my two cents, as Kent Brockman would say, about a marketing campaign that has landed in Europe earlier this year, that is to say, the “Mr and Mrs Incredible” Disneyland Paris campaign. So let’s jump feet first.

The situation

It is a well-documented fact that Disneyland Paris has had financial difficulties since its creation in 1992, due to unclear managerial objectives, strategies and goals, a questionable location and a ferocious nearby indirect competition. However, at the beginning of July 2010, Disneyland Paris decided to launch a marketing campaign that caught my attention, but unfortunately it caught my attention after I went to Paris in June 2010.

The campaign’s idea

As part of the Disneyland Paris 2010 campaign, multiple emails where sent to influential bloggers that may help to spread the word that Disneyland Paris is changing. Here is the message that was sent to some of my fellow bloggers in the United Kingdom (UK):

“Mr and Mrs Incredible will be landing in your Facebook Page to celebrate the New Generation Festival in Disneyland Paris. Even worse: they kiss at the end. In front of all your friends.

Go to, choose your favorite characters and make them land in your Facebook page, for the best and mostly for the worst. This is gonna be rough!”

The micro-website for the Disneyland Paris campaign
The micro-website for the Disneyland Paris campaign

The micro-website for this campaign offers you to make one of three groups of characters land to your Facebook account in an unconventional way, and in one of four languages (French, English, Italian and Spanish). However, I must admit that the selected URL for the campaign is not really a good choice, but it could have been worse for sure compared to some micro-website URLs I can observe at metro stations every morning. Furthermore, the creative usage of Facebook connect (see the video below) is hitting you right in the face whatever your nationality is. Furthermore, aside from the creative aspect of this campaign there are multiple points of discussion concerning the positioning of this campaign that could be taken in consideration to judge the effectiveness of this campaign.

Point 1 – The competition

When individuals/tourists are flying to Paris, it is generally not to visit an amusement park but more to visit museums, monuments, and/or to enjoy the shopping, the great food, the crazy metro and the French accent. Thus, putting Disneyland Paris on the consideration set of tourists and also Parisians is not an easy task, especially since amusement park are not as present in the European tradition as they are in the North American one. Thus, for the emotional appeal, I like this campaign.

Point 2 – The 3Ws of targeting

Moreover, the 3Ws of marketing could be analyzed, that is to say: (1) when to target? (2) who to target? and (3) where to target?

When to target?

In the case of amusement parks, at the beginning of the season and maybe some time in the middle should be the optimal moment to launch a marketing campaigns, but most budget should focus at the beginning of the season. This campaign was officially launched on July 2nd 2010 which is in the middle of the season.

Who to target?

The teens, the kids or the parents? That is the question. So who is going to amusement parks accompanied with parents? The answer, kids with age lower than 12, which imply that most of their parents are aged between 25 and 40. Thus, targeting these parents may be the solution! And what about the teens? They are coming without their parents anyway, but they may be mainly local consumers. All in all, most of these consumers have Facebook and are heavily present online, which suggests that that the use of Facebook connect is an appropriate tool in this case.

Where to target?

So where to find potential visitors? Where are these people physically coming from and how to find them? For the 25 to 40 years old young couple, they may be mostly in France, but also in Belgium, Germany, Italy and Spain. Don’t forget the United States since they are rollercoaster fanatics. Thus, the campaign could have included a version for the Americans (US) and the Germans. I don’t think it would have taken that much time. And what about Japanese which you find everywhere in Paris? The problem is that they are not necesarily on Facebook but mainly on Mixi, which could be labelled as the Japanese Facebook.

Point 3 – The main objectives

For this type of campaign, there are mainly two objectives which are: (1) to increase the number of tickets sold for the amusement park, and (2) to increase brand awareness. The first objective is a short-term one, which is to sell more tickets for the amusement park right away before a potential bankruptcy can occur, while the second one is more a long-term one, which is to increase the amount of individuals talking about the campaign and the amusement park to eventually get into the consideration set of these individuals when they will be heading to Paris.


So what do you think of this campaign? If you would have planned a trip to Paris this year, would it have an impact on your decision to go to Disneyland Paris with friends, kids or family?

Enjoy the ride!


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From Theory to Practice – The Wisdom of Crowds, Barbie and the Montreal Canadiens

Wisdom” is a word that sounds to anyone ears, more closely related to the Dalai Lama than to hockey fans or Barbie customers. However, I must admit that the marketing team of the Montreal Canadiens hockey team has found an interesting way to take advantage of the wisdom of its own hockey fans by effectively applying the concept of the “wisdom of crowds” while the Barbie marketing team should learned from their now well-known experience.

Wisdom - A word that can be associated in a different manner to the Dalai Lama, Barbie and the Montreal Canadiens fans
Wisdom - A word that can be associated in a different manner to the Dalai Lama, Barbie and the Montreal Canadiens fans

The Wisdom of Crowds Concept

So what is the concept of “wisdom of crowds”? Popularized in the best-selling book entitled “The Wisdom of Crowds” by the journalist James Surowiecki, who is a staff writer for The New Yorker, the concept of wisdom of crowds stipulates that the aggregation of information from a group or a crowd, resulted in decisions that are often better than the ones that could have been made by any single member (expert) of the group. For those who know me well from either my e-marketing class lectures or guest speaker’s presentations noticed that the wisdom of crowds is a concept that I especially like. However, this concept should be applied cautiously, since it can be as powerful as it can be harmful.

For the “wisdom of crowds” concept to be applied effectively, one marketing expert should take in consideration at least the following five criteria:
1. There is a need to have enough individuals that are targeted;
2. Individuals need to have at least a moderate level of expertise towards the product;
3. Individuals need to be the real target of the product, or the ones buying it;
4. The contribution needs to come from as much different people as possible;
5. There is a need for incentives to participate.

The Bad Application – The Barbie Case

One of the weirdest results I know related to the concept of the wisdom of crowds is the “I can be” Barbie contest. The objective of the contest was to choose a new career for the well-know Barbie. To find the new career, the Barbie marketing team launched a four-week online contest from January 11th 2010 to February 10th 2010. The contest was flooded by high-tech women (see the Wall Street Journal article on the topic) who turned the contest into a claim that the new Barbie should be a computer engineer, which was the profession that actually ranked first. Seeing the beautiful results, the Barbie marketing team decided to create two new “Barbie”, the second position being news anchor, they at least save their face with that one, but to me it was an actual failure of a bad application of the “wisdom of crowds” concept, since the criterion 3 and 4 were not respected.

The Great Application – The Montreal Canadiens Case

On the other side, after sending flowers to the Ottawa Senators loyalty team in my post entitled “A Brilliant Use of Automated Emails as an Online Marketing Strategy Made Me Buy a Hockey Shirt”, I must say “bravo” to the Montreal Canadiens marketing team directed by Vice-president Ray Lalonde for their new “Molson Export three stars of the game” selectors which are now “the fans” (See the story) . Thus, for each Montreal Canadiens hockey game, fans can start to vote 90 minutes after the beginning of the game for “Molson Export three stars to the game” by either visiting, or by downloading the Canadiens smartphone application for BlackBerry, Android and for iPhone. For me, that’s a great application of the wisdom of crowds concept since fans: (1) feel more involved with the product/brand (which is the Montreal Canadiens, (2) want to show to anyone their new smartphone application, (3) buy more merchandise, since Montreal is surely a city that lives and dies with its hockey team, but this does not resulted in hockey jerseys sales if I compare to past hockey games I saw when I went to Philadelphia to see the Flyers or to Long Island to see the Islanders. A single drawback of this “wisdom of crowds” application may only be the bias of fans toward their own players, but after seeing the results for the first game, it seems already like a success.


The “wisdom of Crowds” is a concept that can have an enormous potential in marketing. However, applying it to the right situation, the right media and the right people can have an important between a success or a failure. Have a nice hockey season… Any other case related to the concept of the “wisdom of crowds”?


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…And the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economics Goes to Diamond, Mortensen, and Pissarides

As an alumnus in economics (BSc, U. de Montréal, 2005), I must admit that I always try to keep myself updated with the Nobel Prize winners in economics. Switching from economics to marketing, was a hard but inevitable decision for me at the time, since the research I am currently conducting is related to economics, especially macroeconometrics, but it is not considered as part of economics, more precisely as part of marketing and strategy.

Thus, on this Canada’s Thanksgiving day, at 11AM this morning (5PM, Stockholm time, Sweden), I am happy to share the information that the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in economics to Peter A. Diamond (Massachusetts Institute of Technology; USA), Dale T. Mortensen (Northwestern University; USA), and Christopher A. Pissarides (London School of Economics; Cyprus, UK) three researchers for their contributions in the analysis of markets with search frictions. Instead of repeating word by word what both of the recipients have to say, here are some links to some Nobel Prize winners information.

Professor Bertil Holmlund (left), Permanent secretary of the Royal Academy of Sciences Staffan Normark (center) and Professor Per Krusell announce the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences on Monday October 11th in Stockholm, Sweden.
Professor Bertil Holmlund (left), Permanent secretary of the Royal Academy of Sciences Staffan Normark (center) and Professor Per Krusell announce the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences on Monday October 11th in Stockholm, Sweden.

Diamond, Mortensen, and Pissarides 2010 Nobel Prize in Economics speed read
Diamond, Mortensen, and Pissarides 2010 Nobel Prize in Economics Prize Announcement
Diamond, Mortensen, and Pissarides 2010 Nobel Prize in Economics Press release

Here is also a list of past Nobel Prize winners in Economics from 1969 to 2009, with University of attachment when the prize was awarded, country of attachment (origins, work, etc…), and Curriculum Vitae in parentheses:

1969 – Ragnar Frisch (University of Oslo; Norway; CV), for having developed and applied dynamic models for the analysis of economic processes, and Jan Tinbergen (Netherlands School of Economics; Netherlands; CV).

1970 – Paul, A, Samuelson (Massachusetts Institute of Technology; USA; CV), for efforts to raise the level of scientific analysis in economic theory.

1971 – Simon Kuznets (Harvard University; USA, Ukraine; CV), for developing concept of using a country’s gross national product to determine its economic growth.

1972 – Kenneth J. Arrow (Harvard University; USA; CV) and Sir John R. Hicks (Oxford; UK; CV), for theories that help to assess business risk and government economic and welfare policies.

1973 – Wassily Leontief (Harvard University; USA, Russia; CV), for devising the input-output technique to determine how different sectors of an economic, social and institutional phenomena.

1974 – Gunnar Myrdal (Stockholm University; Sweden; CV) and Friedrich A. von Hayek (University of Salzburg; UK, Austria, Germany; CV), for pioneering analysis of the interdependence of economic, social and institutional phenomena.

1975 – Leonid V. Kantorovich (Academy of Sciences at Moscow; Russia; CV) and Tjalling C. Koopmans (Yale University; USA, Netherlands; CV), for work on the theory of optimum allocation of resources.

1976 – Milton Friedman (University of Chicago; USA; CV), for work in consumption analysis and monetary history and theory, and for demonstration of complexity of stabilization policy.

1977 – Bertil Ohlin (Stockholm University; Sweden; CV) and James E. Meade (University of Cambridge; UK; CV), for contributions to theory of international trade and international capital movements.

1978 – Herbert A. Simon (Carnegie Mellon University; USA; CV), for research into the decision-making process within economic organizations.

1979 – Sir Arthur Lewis (Princeton University; UK, Saint-Lucia; CV) and Theodore Schultz (University of Chicago; USA; CV), for work on economic problems of developing nations.

1980 – Lawrence R. Klein (University of Pennsylvania; USA; CV), for developing models for forecasting economic trends and shaping policies to deal with them.

1981 – James Tobin (Yale University; USA; CV), for analyses of financial markets and their influence on spending and saving by families and businesses.

1982 – George J. Stigler (University of Chicago; USA; CV), for work on government regulation in the economy and the functioning of industry

1983 – Gérard Debreu (University of California, Berkeley; USA, France; CV), in recognition of his work on the basic economic problem of how prices operate to balance what producers supply with what buyers want.

1984 – Sir Richard Stone (University of Cambridge; UK; CV), for his work to develop the systems widely used to measure the performance of national economics.

1985 – Franco Modigliani (Massachusetts Institute of Technology; USA, Italy; CV), for his pioneering work in analyzing the behavior of household savers and the functioning of financial markets.

1986 – James M. Buchanan (Center for Study of Public Choice, Fairfax, VA; USA; CV), for his development of new methods for analyzing economic and political decision-making.

1987 – Robert M. Solow (Massachusetts Institute of Technology; USA; CV), for seminal contributions to the theory of economic growth.

1988 – Maurice Allais (École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris; France; CV), for his pioneering development of theories to better understand market behavior and the efficient use of resources.

1989 – Trygve Haavelmo (University of Oslo; Norway; CV), for his pioneering work in methods for testing economic theories.

1990 – Harry M. Markowitz (City University of New York, NY; USA; CV), William F. Sharpe (Stanford University; USA; CV), and Merton H. Miller (University of Chicago; USA; CV), whose work provided new tools for weighing the risks and rewards of different investments and for valuing corporate stocks and bonds.

1991 – Ronald Coase (University of Chicago; USA, UK; CV), for his pioneering work in how property rights and the cost of doing business affect the economy.

1992 – Gary S. Becker (University of Chicago; USA; CV), for “having extended the domain of economic theory to aspects of human behavior which had previously been dealt with-if at all-by other social science disciplines”.

1993 – Robert W. Fogel (University of Chicago; USA; CV) and Douglass C. North (Washington University; USA; CV), for their work in economic history.

1994 – John F. Nash (Princeton University; USA; CV), John C. Harsanyi (University of California, Berkeley; USA, Hungary; CV), and Reinhard Selten (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn; Germany; CV), for their pioneering work in game theory.

1995 – Robert E. Lucas, Jr. (University of Chicago; USA; CV), for having and the greatest influence on macroeconomic research since 1970.

1996 – James A. Mirrlees (University of Cambridge; UK; CV) and William Vickrey (Columbia University; USA, Canada; CV), for their fundamental contributions to the economic theory of incentives.

1997 – Robert C. Merton (Harvard University; USA; CV) and Myron S. Scholes (Long Term Capital Management, Greenwich, CT; USA, Canada; CV), for developing a formula that determines the value to stock options and other derivatives.

1998 – Amartya Sen (Trinity College, Cambridge; India, UK; CV), for his contributions to welfare economics.

1999 – Robert A, Mundell (Columbia University; Canada, USA; CV), for his work on monetary dynamics and optimum currency areas.

2000 – James J. Heckman (University of Chicago; USA; CV) and Daniel L. McFadden (University of California, Berkeley; USA; CV), for developing methods used in statistical analysis of individual and household behavior.

2001 – George A. Akerlof (University of California, Berkeley; USA; CV), A. Michael Spence (Stanford University; USA; CV), and Joseph E. Stiglitz (Columbia University; USA; CV), for market analyses with asymmetric information.

2002 – Daniel Kahneman (Princeton University; USA, Israel; CV), for having integrated insights from psychological research into economic science; Vernon L. Smith (George Mason University; USA; CV), for having established laboratory experiments as a tool in empirical economic analysis.

2003 – Robert F. Engle III (New York University; USA; CV) and Clive W.J. Granger (University of California, San Diego; UK, USA; CV) for developing the statistical tools for stock prices.

2004 – Finn. E. Kydland (Carnegie Mellon University & University of Santa Barbara; Norway, USA; CV) and Edward C. Prescott (Arizona State University & Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis; USA; CV) for their contribution in macroeconomics.

2005 – Robert Aumann (University of Jerusalem; Israel, Germany; CV) and Thomas Schelling (University of Maryland; USA; CV) for their contribution to Game Theory.

2006 – Edmund S. Phelps (Columbia University; USA; CV), for his analysis of intertemporal tradeoffs in macroeconomic policy”.

2007 – Leonid Hurwicz (University of Minnesota; USA, Poland, Russia; CV), Eric S. Maskin (Princeton University; USA; CV), and Roger B. Myerson (University of Chicago; USA; CV) for having laid the foundations of mechanism design theory.

2008 – Paul Krugman (Princeton University; USA; CV), for his work on international trade and the benefits trade brings to local communities.

2009 – Elinor Ostrom (Indiana University & Arizona State University; USA; CV) for her work on economic governance, particularly in managing Commons, and Oliver E. Williamson (University of California, Berkeley; USA; CV) for his work on the economics and economic boundaries of firms and companies

And here a prediction list of winners for this year from the Harvard University Economics Department website, thanks to well-known Professor Greg Mankiw’s blog for this link:

1 – Robert Barro (Harvard University) – 10.3%
2 – Martin Weitzman (Harvard University) – 5.5%
3 – Paul Romer (Stanford University) – 4.9%
4 – Jean Tirole *Université de Toulouse) – 4.9%
5 – Peter A. Diamond (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) – 4.2%
6 – Robert Shiller (Yale University) – 4.2%
7 – Alberto Alesina (Harvard University) – 3.6%
8 – Lars Peter Hansen (University of Chicago) – 3.6%
9 – Paul Milgrom (Stanford University) – 3.6%
10 – Richard Thaler (University of Chicago)- 3.6%

As you can from this list, Peter A. Diamond ranked 5th on this list was one of the winners, all the other ones non-winners will still be top contenders next year unless they die.


Anyway, for those who didn’t really know about these researchers, it is simply a good moment to read more about who they are, for the other ones, maybe it’s a good opportunity to humanize these authors by watching their Nobel Prize speech.

Have a nice one,


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Looking to Create Some Buzz – Get Inspired by the Top 10 Buzz-building Actors of the Rock and Metal Music Industry History

PG-13 – Parents Strongly Cautioned – Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13 –

Strangely, one of the buzzword of the moment in marketing is the word “buzz”, it seems like every organization wants to create some buzz, but many of these organizations fail to do so when it comes to create what can be considered as “The Buzz”. When it comes to buzz, one interesting inspiration is the music industry. Last week, the German industrial-metal band Rammstein gave an eccentric show in Quebec City using pyrotechnics to accompany – and as part of – their musical performance (for more on this performance, I recommend these three videos: Part I (starting at 1:54), Part II, Part III). However, this story is no exception in the world of music, and especially when it comes to rock and metal music. This is why, in this post, I proposed you a summary of the most prominent Buzz-building actors in the history of Rock and Metal music. This also illustrates how the music industry can be an interesting playground when it comes to generate/test new ideas. So open your eyes and let’s get ready for some in-your-face stories.

1. Alice Cooper – The Father of Theatrical Live Shows

Considered by many experts as one of the father of theatrical live shows, Alice Cooper emerged at the end of the 60’s and had most of his success in the 70’s presenting live shows that features guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, boa constructor and baby doll. However, it is during a show at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival in September 1969 that his reputation developed, when spectators thrown a live chicken on stage and Cooper picked it up and had thrown it out over the crowd expecting the chicken to fly away. Naturally, instead of flying, the chicken plummeted into the first rows occupied by disabled people in wheelchairs, who reportedly proceeded to tear the animal to pieces. On the next day, the incident made the front page of multiple national newspapers which reported “that he had bitten the head off the chicken and drunk its blood on stage”. It was only the beginning of a new era.

Representative video -> School’s Out (See below)

2. Black Sabbath – The First Heavy Metal Band

Formed in 1968 in Birmingham, United Kingdom (UK), by a line-up including vocalist Ozzy Osbourne and guitarist Tony Iommi, Black Sabbath has been named as the “Greatest Metal Band of all time” by MTV. However, along with being extremely heavy for the 60’s, Black Sabbath fame on stage performance came when singer Ozzy Osbourne ate a bat (pigeon) on stage during a concert (See this video for those interested: Ozzy Osbourne eating a bat). The band was also known for its performance on stage, especially the one of vocalist Ozzy Osbourne who was always shaking his head while bent at the post of the microphone; a gesture which influenced a generation of music bands. After Ozzy Osbourne was replaced in 1979, Ronnie James Dio took the stage as vocalist and is often credited as having popularized the famous “devil sign” which is similar to the “sign of the horns” in Mediterranean countries.

Ronnie James Dio doing a devil's sign
Ronnie James Dio doing a devil's sign

Representative video -> Iron Man (See below)

3. Kiss – Putting the “Brand” in the “Band”

Well-known as a rock’n’roll band, it is more as a rock’n’roll “brand” that Kiss have made its name. Formed in 1973 in New York City by a line-up including guitarist/singer Paul Stanley and bassist Gene Simmons, Kiss made itself a name using specific makeup design, and presenting live shows which featured fire breathing, blood spitting, smoking guitars, and pyrotechnics. The band is also known for having licensed its name to more than 2,000 product categories. As a lucky one, I had the opportunity to attend one of their concerts last year in Quebec City last summer. Even at 60 years old, they were still entertaining.

Representative video -> Detroit Rock City (See below)

4. Guns N’ Roses – Sexy Hair, Sexy Girls and Unsexy Incidents

Led by eccentric and undisciplined vocalist Axl Rose, as well as guitarist Slash, Guns N’ Rose (GNR) was considered as an icon band of the Glam/Hair Metal movement in the 80’s. Their looks and attitude included debauched lifestyles of late-night parties (widely covered in the tabloid press), very long backcombed hair, use of make-up, gaudy clothing and accessories (chiefly consisting of tight denim or leather jeans, spandex, and headbands). GNR’s vocalist Axl Rose is also famous for tackling a fan who was illegally filming the show with a camera. After being pulled out of the crowd by members of the band, Rose said: “Well, thanks to the lame-ass security, I’m going home!”, slammed his microphone on the ground and stormed off stage. Furthermore, in 1992, at Montreal Olympic Stadium, as GNR were performing the second part after Metallica’s vocalist James Hedfield was injured on stage after stepping too close to a pyrotechnics blast, GNR were therefore forced to go on stage earlier. The sound wasn’t really good, and after some songs, Axl Rose decided to end the show, claiming that his throat was hurting. This behaviour later led to an infamous riot around Olympic Stadium.

Representative video -> Welcome to the Jungle (See below)

5. Metallica – Attitude and Talent

Formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California and known as the premier band when it comes to trash metal and modern metal music, Metallica brought a lot of attitude and a more manly approach to metal music. The band also brought extremely raw performances which notably include Kirk Hammett solos on guitar and Lars Ulrich now famous fast drumming technique. Furthermore, there was a time where the band was nicknamed by some metal specialists as Alcoholica due to abuse of alcohol. The story behind the band is exposed in the 2004 documentary entitled “Some Kind of Monster”.

Representative video -> Enter Sandman (See below)

6. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Never too Hot

Formed in 1983 in Los Angeles, California by members including vocalist Anthony Kiedis and bassist Flea, the band soon made their reputation of special live performances and California style wearing. The band has made its reputation out of eccentricity with the infamous “sox on cox” outfit where each of the members where playing live on stage naked with only a long sock to cover their genitals (See in this video: Sox on cox). However, after some years in the dark, the band finally earned success after recording the cult album “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” in 1991.

Representative video -> Give it Away (See below)

Parody of the video by Weird Al Yankovic -> Bedrock Anthem

7. Nirvana – The Anti-Marketing Attitude

Emerging as the most popular band of the Seattle grunge scene (Alice in Chains, Mudhoney, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden) with their second album entitled “Nevermind” in 1991, Nirvana was considered by many experts as the most influential “band” of the early “90’s”. The band adopted an “anti-marketing” attitude and casual wearing such as the infamous grunge shirt. It was a time in the 90’s where it was common to cross on the street a group of teenagers all wearing a Nirvana t-shirt. Unfortunately, the activities of the band suddenly ended, when vocalist Kurt Cobain committed suicide in 1994.

Representative video -> Smells Like Teen Spirit (See below)

8. Marilyn Manson – Whatever it Looks Like, As Long as Its Ugly

Professional provoker Marilyn Manson alias Brian Hugh Warner, started to terrify parents of teenagers in the early 90’s. Everything he made since then is perfectly described in the sentence: “talk to me in good, talk to me in bad, as long as you talk about me”. Furthermore, in the case of Marilyn Manson there had always been a duality between the beauty and the beast as the Marilyn Manson name comes from the contraction of the busty “Marilyn Monroe” and the infamous murderer “Charles Manson”.

Representative video -> Sweet Dreams (cover of Eurythmics; See below)

9. Rammstein – Sometimes Its Better Not to Understand German

Formed in 1994 in Berlin, Germany by members including one-time junior olympic swimmer Till Lindemann as vocalist. The band is well-known for their strange and provocative videos, unique music style that blends metal and industrial music, and provocative performance on stage. For instance, vocalist Till Lindeman is well-known for lighting himself on stage with fire (See video: Till Lindeman lights himself on stage) and masochist behaviors such as slapping himself. Other behaviors include when keyboardist Christian “Flake” Lorenz surfs over the crowd using an inflatable boat (See video: Christian “Flake” Lorenz surfs over the crowd using an inflatable boat).

Representative video -> Feuer Frei (See below)

10. Slipknot – Bad Clowns and Heavy Music

Emerging from Des Moines, Iowa with their first album simply entitled “Slipknot” in 1999, and with a first video clip entitled “Wait and Bleed” and banned on MTV, the 8-member band was once considered as the heaviest band on earth. The band originally includes all members dressed with nasty clown masks that covers their actual identity and costumes that seem to be directly borrowed from a horror movie. The band is also characterized with extreme live performances which has culminates with the “Jump the f*** up” gesture. (See video: “Jump the f*** up” gesture)

Representative video -> Left Behind (See below)


In conclusion, are you inspired or are you simply disgusted by the description of these moments of buzz-building in the music industry? Did you understand the recipe: (1) a minimum of talent as a necessary condition, (2) a unique style, (3) cool wearing, (4) special live shows and (5) attitude!!! Any other popular bands that could/should have been considered as a major buzz-building actor in the rock and metal music industry without copying too much the style of these already described bands?

Rock on!


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Capitalizing on Previously Created Buzz: The “Old Spice Man” Strikes Back

In the last few days, the Old Spice man struck back. But who is the “Old Spice man”? The “Old Spice man” was an integrative part of what could/should be considered as one of the best ad of the 2010 year (see below), logging more than 13 million views on YouTube.

The “New” Concept

The concept following-up the February 2010 Old Spice ad includes more than a single ad as it consists of a single ad similar to to the original one (see Should your man smell like an Old Spice man?) and multiple YouTube videos answering back comments related to the February 2010 ad posted on social media platforms by either well-known personalities (e.g Alyssa Milano (see below), Ashton Kutcher) or users with a large and influential network. Was the strategy new? Not really! Answering back comments from individuals considered as “important” is an old and primitive strategy. Was the tactic used new? Yes it was! Using YouTube to answer back these comments can be considered as new, at least in North America.

Capitalizing on Previously Created Buzz

As previously stated in my post entitled Demystifying Viral Marketing – 7 Myths of Viral Marketing: “viral marketing campaigns should be considered as long-term strategies that should be used to attract new users and propagate awareness”. In this way, the February 2010 ad created buzz, and capitalizing on this previously created buzz was brightly executed using a new tactic.

The Next Step

Once again, as stated in my post entitled Demystifying Viral Marketing – 7 Myths of Viral Marketing: “one of the fundamental objectives of viral marketing campaigns is to gain a larger database [and to] turn [users] into loyal users (consumers)”. Thus, the next step for Old Spice would be for sure to turn this “buzz” into customer loyalty.

The Old Spice man in the February 2010 ad
The Old Spice man in the February 2010 ad


Bringing back the “Old Spice man” using a new tactic was certainly a bright idea for the Old Spice brand! However, once users know about the tactic used, would it be a bright idea for another company to use the same tactic? Absolutely not! The buzz was there for mainly two reasons: (1) because consumers perceived the tactic used was new, and (2) Old Spice capitalized on previously created buzz. Thus, using the same tactic would be redundant. So what do you think of this Old Spice tactic?


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I Will Buy it in Any Color as Long as it’s Orange

The omnipresence of the orange color floating all around me due to the presence of the Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup final reminds me my days spent in Amsterdam last month (June) at the beginning of the tournament. But commercially what it reminds me, is an analogy to the famous sentence by Henry Ford: “You can buy it in any color as long as it’s black”, when referring to the Model T in 1908. Thus, when thinking about the presence of the Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup final, a team that most soccer (football) fans would refer to as the “Oranje”, I can analogously propose the following sentence: “I will buy it in any color as long as it’s orange”. Simply think all the objects left from these dark and cold Halloween-related days that one company can finally get rid of (sell) on these extremely hot summer days. Moreover, what a good occasion to sell a box of 12 orange popsicles at a higher price than a mixed-color one? The “orange” is the air, it’s time to sell! But for those who might want to know more, why are the “Oranje” named that way? And what the orange color is broadly associated to?

That's me in Amsterdam, half-awake and really happy to have an orange doughnut for breakfast
That's me in Amsterdam, half-awake and really happy to have an orange doughnut for breakfast

The origin of the Orange jersey for Netherlands

I always remember, when I was about 9 years old, my time spent learning to associate flags with their related countries. When arriving at the Netherlands flag, I used to give “France” as the answer due to the fact that both flags incorporate the same three colors. So why are the “Oranje” all in orange and not in red, white and blue? First of all, orange is the historic national color of the Netherlands, originating from the coat of arms of the Dutch founding father William of Orange-Nassau. Furthermore, the top red band of the current flag was originally orange, but the orange dye was light-sensitive and used to fade to red, so it was later officially changed to red.

A flag comparison between Netherlands and France
A flag comparison between Netherlands and France

The “pop” psychology of the orange color

So what about the power of the orange color? Overall, the color is associated with fun, warmth and energy, and can stimulate activity, appetite and encourage socialization. For more on the topic, I would suggest the second book written on the topic by the color expert Leatrice Eiseman entitled “Color – Messages & Meanings: A PANTONE Color Resource”.


So what do you think? Do you have orange antiques to sell or are you jealous of my orange doughnut?


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Is Clotaire Rapaille Feeding or Failing Marketing?

Last week, brands’ psychoanalyst (sometimes referred as cultural anthropologist) Clotaire Rapaille was fired by the Quebec City mayor Regis Labeaume from his role as a brand management (image) consultant for the city because mainly of curriculum vitae falsifications. The news arrived more than a month after being hired to a $300,000 3-month contract to propose a branding plan for Quebec City. By trying to push too far his own marketing, Clotaire Rapaille completely violated the fundamental principles of personal branding and lost a portion of his credibility. When reading all these stories about Rapaille, one question came off the top of my head: Is Clotaire Rapaille feeding or failing marketing?

Clotaire Rapaille
Clotaire Rapaille

Why is Clotaire Rapaille feeding marketing?

By qualifying himself as an anthropologist, Clotaire Rapaille first reminds me cultural anthropologist Grant McCracken who to my limited knowledge in this field, was one of the first high-end anthropologist marketing consultant to sign lucrative consulting contracts with multinationals (Coca-Cola Company, Diageo, IBM, IKEA, Chrysler, Kraft, and Kimberly Clark). Perhaps the hiring of Clotaire Rapaille is the sign pointing the beginning of an era of lucrative consulting contracts for marketers’ anthropologists. On the academic side, this hiring could reinforce the appeal of cultural anthropology in marketing at the undergraduate and MBA-level, a field led by the York University crew (Russell W. Belk, Eileen Fischer, Robert Kozinets & Detlev Zwick) and growing in importance in the Montreal area (Zeynep Arsel and Annamma Joy at Concordia University and Jonathan Deschênes, Jean-Sébastien Marcoux, Marie-Agnès Parmentier, Yannik St-James at HEC Montréal) and especially at HEC Montréal.

Why is Clotaire Rapaille failing marketing?

By being fired from his consulting contract with Quebec City, Clotaire Rapaille makes marketing sounds like magic in the eyes of the populace, which is completely false. Surely, marketing is not a hard science at the same level as pure mathematics. However, marketers are not magicians or should not claim to be, let magic to mindfreak like Criss Angel. The discipline takes its roots in psychology, anthropology, statistics, economics and computer science, which creates a sexy melting pot. The “science” of marketing is based on empirical generalizations, strong conceptual frameworks and learning-by-doing case studies that lead to best practices.

Magician Criss Angel
Magician Criss Angel


Briefly, one sure thing is that Clotaire Rapaille is a good example of a personal branding failure. However, the Clotaire Rapaille personal branding failure has had negative and positive spillover effects for all those working in the field of marketing in the province of Quebec and perhaps even in North America. What do you think? Any other comments?

Jean-Francois Belisle

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One of the Best Gifts for Your Future Baby is Digital and Free

Every week, like everybody around me, I am getting older, that’s nothing new and nothing really imaginative to say as a first sentence of a post. However, with communications facilitated by social media, it seems like every week I hear the news that the girlfriend of an old friend of mine will give birth to a beautiful 9 pounds baby. Each of these times, I feel much older than only a week older since this situation is not part of my everyday life for the moment.

However, for any new parents, besides all the joy, the gifts and the baby showers which come with the newborn, there is also the hard task of choosing the baby name. And personally, how many times do you hear your friends saying the name of their baby, and you just tell yourself: “that’s so common” or “that’s so awful”! Most of the time, you stay polite and once arrived back home you have a short discussion with either your girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, husband, dog or cat, about how the new baby’s name sounds so ugly to your ears and how the parents did a poor job of choosing the “right” name. On my side, when talking about a newborn name, as an online marketing “freak”, all types of different digitally-oriented questions popped-up to my head:

1. Is he already on Facebook?
2. What do we say about this newborn on Google?
3. Is he already tweeting?
4. With who is he/she already connected to? To celebrities or to all-star burglars?
5. Is his/her full name short enough to be typed in a tweet?
6. Is his/her name easy to recall for his/her future portfolio “URL”? Is this URL still available?

Little kids having fun
Little kids having fun

Even if my list of questions sounds more pathetic than poetic to some of you, I personally feel that the task of choosing a name for a future baby is a hard one. On a rational perspective, it’s much more like choosing a name for a new brand, you want the name:

(1) To reflect the personality of the child (which you suppose will be aligned with yours);
(2) To be unique (nearly absent when you run a research query on Google or any social media websites, see Namechk);
(3) To be common enough (so it doesn’t sound like a new planet name and other kids with get fun of it);
(4) To be easily pronounceable (similar to point 3).

What a hell of a brainstorming task! Personally, if one name satisfies each of these conditions, I would go for it. Is my name qualifying for all of these four conditions? Not really for condition 3, simply “Google” me with “Jean-Francois Belisle” and you will find out that I’m not only what I claim to be in my “Who is Jean-Francois Belisle?” page, I am also a University Professor in Latin America History at University of Ottawa, the director of the “Association des Galeries d’Arts”. Oh, I forget, I am also an author who wrote the books “Town House, Country House: Recollections of a Quebec Childhood“ in 1990, “Annie-la-rousse” in 1991, and the testosterone-packed book entitled “Parler en male” in 1999.


In conclusion, it seems like I am either positioning myself to be invited to one of these baby names brainstorming sessions or either to be kicked out from all these festivities due to my digitally-oriented point of view. But anyway, any additional thoughts on the topic? And what would my life had been if my name was Erasmus Belisle?

Jean-François Belisle

Erasmus de Rotterdam, since I thought a picture of Erasmus would be interesting here
Erasmus de Rotterdam, since I thought a picture of Erasmus would be interesting here

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A Brilliant Use of Automated Emails as an Online Marketing Strategy Made Me Buy a Hockey Shirt

I spent the last few days/weeks computing some R functions for automating a multiple variable selection of linear models using the LASSO and the SCAD penalties. It took me time to create my code, but at the end of the day, it is freshly automated and it is able to perform a statistical task in a few seconds which would have taken me days to run using standard statistical software.

And the Relationship with Online Marketing?

So what is the relationship with Online Marketing? Well, my automated program has allowed me to save time in the future, and that is exactly an objective that should achieve any organization who wants to take advantage of web features. However, these organizations should do even more than only saving time, they should also build online customer loyalty through automated programs. My latest example is related to a sport that I cherish, which is hockey. Living in Montreal, I have the chance to live in a city which is home to the team with the most Stanley Cups in the NHL history, the Montreal Canadians who played their home games at the Bell Center. I also have the chance to be 2 hours away from Ottawa (Ontario) where the Ottawa Senators play their home games at the “Scotia Bank Place” in Kanata, which is a few miles away from Ottawa. Over the last week, I attended a game in both of these arenas. This was the third time I went to Kanata to see a hockey game during this hockey season, and every time, a day before the game, I always receive an email similar to this one presented below.

“Dear Jean-Francois,

We are looking forward to seeing you on Game Day to watch the Ottawa Senators vs. Toronto Maple Leafs on March 6th, 2010 at 07:00 p.m.

Doors for Ottawa Senators games open at 5:30 p.m. for evening games, 11:30 for 1:00 p.m. games and 12:30 for 2:00 p.m. games.

Here’s everything you need to know to make your game day run smoothly.

• Scotiabank Place is a quick 15 minute drive from downtown Ottawa. Click here for directions and a map.
• Scotiabank Place Parking Tips
• Public Transportation


Before the game:
If you haven’t already received your tickets by mail, printed them on-line or picked them up, tickets can be picked up with the credit card used for purchase and photo ID matching the credit card at any Sports Experts location in Ottawa.

Paperless tickets:
If you selected paperless delivery, your tickets have been delivered to the credit card used for purchase. Bring your credit card used for purchase and your photo identification matching the credit card to the game. DO NOT visit the box office. Go directly to the ticket taker. They will swipe your credit card, verify your identification and print a receipt displaying your seat location.


At the game:
Express Ticket Kiosks are located at Gate 1. Tickets may be picked up at the kiosks by swiping your credit card used for purchase or at the box office windows with credit card and photo ID. Wait times can be in excess of one hour so we recommend, when possible, picking up in advance!

Scotiabank Place – the place to eat. Six restaurants to suit every budget from stone-fired thin crust pizza to chef attended food stations featuring prime rib. Eat dinner then walk to your seats to enjoy the game! Reservations available at each restaurant.

Full restaurant descriptions and menus
RESERVE ONLINE or call: 613-599-2582

Score, the Ottawa Senators’ game-day program, is now available online. Along with reader favourites such as player profiles and opponents previews, Score Online features bonus links to bio pages, video highlights and photo galleries. Click here for the latest edition.”

Email I received before the Ottawa Senators Game
Email I received before the Ottawa Senators Game

And After the Game

Furthermore, after each game in Kanata, I always receive an email similar to this one below.

“Dear Jean-Francois,

We hope you had a great time at the Sens game on March 6th, 2010.


For a complete recap of the game, including player statistics and photo galleries, go to, your home for exclusive Ottawa Senators information.

You can also see the post-game interviews, video highlights and more on Sens TV

2010 Score Magazine Survey

Tell us what you think of Score, the Ottawa Senators’ game-day program, by participating in this survey, and we’ll enter you into a draw for two club seats to the Senators vs. Philadelphia Flyers game at Scotiabank Place on March 23.

Special post-game ticket offer

Eastern Conference battle! Watch Chris Pronger take on the Sens. Tickets starting as low as $39.14. This offer will apply to 100 ends,
200 ends and 300 upper and lower level.

– March 23 at 7:30 pm

Visit and reference the special code: XXXXXXXX

This offer ends Friday, March 19 at midnight and is available by Internet only.”

… And With the Montreal Canadians?

That’s not the end of the story, so what do I receive before and after each Montreal Canadians game? I always receive “nothing”. The tickets are always sold out anyway even when the team is playing like a minor league team, so perhaps the organization thinks there is no need for building online customer loyalty through automated emails.

My conclusion

In conclusion, I am not a huge fan of any hockey team, I like the game from an objective perspective. However, last Saturday, I decided to buy a hockey shirt for the Ottawa Senators game, the game was coined as the “Battle of Ontario” and I decided to support the Ottawa Senators by buying a “Daniel Alfredsson” shirt, and sincerely the two emails that I showed you both had an impact on my decision of buying this item. So what is the lesson of this story? Don’t take me for granted? Innovation in online sports marketing comes from organizations in markets where it is harder to load the arena? Anyway, any additional thoughts on the topic?

Jean-Francois Belisle

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Visitors: To Convert Them Right Away or to Make Them Comeback, That is the Question?

Two weeks ago, I attended a conference given by my friend Marc Poulin at the W3Quebec. The conference was quite interesting from a practioner’s perspective, and after his presentation, Marc and I had a discussion around the importance of either converting or creating incentives for users to come back to the website. At first glance, we discussed about the difference between low-involvement and high-involvement products.

After some “hardcore” thinking, my thoughts on the topic would help me come to the conclusion that depending on the type of website, both objectives are positive outcomes but depending on the type of website, the preferred outcome should vary. Personally, my objective on an e-commerce website would always be to convert the visitor for any type of product. In this way, for an e-commerce website selling dishwashers, which could be considered as a high-involvement product, I would put the emphasis on comparing the product to competitors to facilitate the sale. However, my objective would be to convert and not to make the visitor comeback again and again. Thus, for this reason I present in the table below a list of type of websites and which of the “comeback” and “convert” options should be considered as the most important outcome.

Convert the visitor or creating incentizes to make him comeback
Convert the visitor or creating incentizes to make him comeback?
# Type of website Example Primary objective Other objective
1 E-Commerce website
Convert Comeback
2 Relational website Convert Comeback
3 Brand promotion websites Comeback Convert
4 Newspaper websites Comeback Convert
5 Social Network sites (SNs) Comeback Convert

1. E-Commerce websites

Like mentioned before, the primary objective of any e-commerce website should be to convert the visitor into a buyer, and generally, in a minimum number of clicks.

2. Relational websites

Relational websites can be quite similar to e-commerce websites even though we can’t buy products on these websites, they should emphasize a call-to-action (conversion) aligned to more traditional objectives (i.e. calling the company, answering a callback facility questionnaire).

3. Brand promotion websites

Brand promotion websites had for objective to be relational, but also they should be made to constantly increase the aura and the positioning of the brand. But this aura is only possible if users visit this website, the more active users are, the better it is for the organization. For this reason, brand promotion websites should focus on creating incentives to increase the willingness of the user to come back to the website.

4. Newspaper websites

Newspaper websites differs from blogs that are mainly like personal relational websites in the sense that the main objective would be to convert a visitor into an e-mail or RSS feed subscriber. Any newspaper website makes most of its money out of advertising (and VIP content) which reinforces the need for integrating features that encourages the visitor to comeback to the website.

5. Social Network sites

Social network sites (SNs) are emerging in the webosphere as websites where forcing a visitor to comeback is the main objective. In this situation, the objective would be more associated to actions like clicking on an ad or to concepts such as stickiness, but at the end of the day what is most important is that the visitor come back to the website to create a larger and more active network.


In conclusion, to borrow William Shakespeare phrasing, or if you prefer Tom Dickson one, to “convert” or to “comeback”, that is the question? And it all depends on the type of website. However, a good first step for any organization having a website is that, at least, one of these objectives is reached. Questions? Comments? Or Suggestions?

Jean-Francois Belisle

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