You’re in Trouble When Employees Go Incognito on Their Break. The Decline of Sears.

As of this writing stock prices at Amazon sit at $1003 each. A far cry from 1997’s $1.74. Meanwhile in the the US, Sears Roebuck’s shares have dropped from $192 in 2002 to today’s $6.47.

In its heyday, Sears was Amazon. The company got its start in the late 19th century as a mail order catalogue and through innovation, ever-increasing access to cheaper manufactured goods and what was then seen as cutting-edge promotions, the company grew much so that by the early 1900’s it would dominate the mail order business. Swap out a catalogue for a website, mail order for e-commerce, cheap manufacturing for well, cheap manufacturing and promotions for again, promotions (and up-selling algorhythms) and you have the Amazon of the first half of the 20th century.

By the mid 1920’s Sears had expanded into brick and mortar stores that attracted customers particularly home owners, in droves. Sears dominated Christmas its catalogue acting as a treasure map for kids no matter if the final purchase was made via mail-order or at the store. Parents did the back-to-school shopping in stores, couples called Sears the go-to for bulletproof Kenmore appliances and men wandered weekend aisles to load up on lifetime guaranteed Craftsman Tools. Again mirroring online shopping, the Sears catalogue acted as an easy at-home guide to almost any retail or online…make that, mail-order purchase. Today Google might even refer to what Sears customers started doing with their catalogues starting in 1921 as the consideration phase of a buyer’s journey.

Think about Amazon’s venture into bricks and mortar with Whole Foods and you could say that history is repeating itself. But for Sears, that is of small consolation. Today Sears Canada announced over 2900 layoffs and 59 store closures.

Failure is probably as instructive as success. As Sears stock plummets and Sears Canada seeks protection from creditors we can spot at least one or two of the decisions that may have set the doomsday clock on this once venerated brand as far back as the 1980’s.

Sears and its mall-anchoring department store brethren have missed the fact that today, more than at any time, you can’t be everything unless you are best at everything.

Interestingly, Sears is best at something. If you were handed the keys to Sears today, I’d recommend that you get out of the mass retail business right now and go into to the Kenmore and Craftsman business. Better yet, get a time machine and go back and do it 5 years ago. These are the jewels in the brand’s crown and for good reason; each represents a somewhat unassailable competitive point of difference. Sears is best-in-class at consumer level appliances and tools. Kenmore Appliances are still known as the name for a definitively durable product in the mid-level market. Kenmore has a niche. Craftsman tools, with their lifetime warranty, one that requires no date or proof of purchase, come with an inherent assurance that they are the best tools on the market for the weekend DIY warrior.

Being great at one thing on a retail level does not translate into being great at everything else but in the heyday of the department store that didn’t seem to matter much. But Sears always had a problem, let’s call it a negative brand halo. Kenmore appliances and Craftsman tools make strange bedfellows with any kind of fashion, fashion being a perennial department store mainstay. For the simple fact that Dad liked going to Sears for new wrenches, the stores could never be seen as a place where, to borrow a fashion icon from the era where all this started to go sideways, Madonna could be conceived of to buy a pointy bra. Sears didn’t seem to get it, and created its own house clothing lines, shoes and home décor with the same house-brand enthusiasm that applied to Craftsman and Kenmore. Only in this case, it was hard to land on any kind of point of difference except price – and price only served to prove the point that anything that wasn’t an appliance or a tool at Sears was crap. Embarrassing crap with an unfortunate halo that splattered itself on good and bad house brands in equal proportion.

Certainly the stores sold brands that were not of the house variety but failed to attract any outside halo brands. This comes at no surprise given that any self-respecting fashion brand would quake in its Gucci at the notion of associating itself with what Sears was putting on the floor in women’s, children’s, men’s and (shriek!) teen wear.

Sears became so aggressively uncool that when on break, staff would remove any evidence of being employed by that lonely place at the end of the mall. When that happens, start writing the epitaph.

There are few, if any department stores left in North America that are thriving and in a year where retailers are closing stores at a rate that is faster than any year of the great depression, Sears can be forgiven for sinking with a dropping tide. It’s just that, with its two venerated house brands and its pioneering innovations of yesteryear, we won’t miss it, until we do.

 

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Online Isn’t Killing Retail. Retail is Killing Retail.

Back in 2006, you could jump in your new Pontiac and take a drive over to Circuit City for a DVD player. After that, you could stroll over to Linens N Things for new sheets. Then, push your cart past that giant new Bombay Company megastore. Hey, check out the new Hummer in the parking lot.

A lot can happen in a decade or so. Pontiac, Circuit City, Linens N Things, Bombay Company and Hummer, all gone. What erased these brands and their deceased contemporaries from the early 21st century landscape?

Let’s see… A big recession, technology and price-driven commoditization due to an over-reliance on price competition and a poorly targeted, price-sensitive customer base. But let’s not overlook another important fact, while those businesses failed, others, most significantly those that offered an appeal that could transcend price-competition, thrived.

Now it’s 2017 and a whole bunch of retailers are on their way down. Some may say that those brands are falling to a new enemy, online retail. Why,  just look at this chart.

So, Amazon has stolen everyone’s lunch right? Not so fast. The US Department of Commerce has been tracking online retail sales for the past decade. The latest DoC numbers show that online sales in the USA between Q1 2007 and Q1 2017 have grown from 3.5% to 8.5%. That’s pretty significant but think about this… 8.5% of all US online retail sales during 1 quarter represents 105.7 billion USD. That means about 1.138 trillion USD in Q1 sales was left on the table for bricks and mortar retail.

Almost 1.4 Trillion USD per quarter. And that’s depressing old Q1, the one containing the annual post-Christmas malaise. So I’m going to stick my neck out here and say that when it comes to old fashioned storefronts, there’s still plenty of money to go around. Not saying we should ignore a fast approaching future. What I am saying, is that to place all the blame on online retail is to rely on a handy excuse for either sticking to an obsolete model or just being a crappy retailer.

Have another look at the top chart. Start with Best Buy. In 2006 you bought that cool new flatscreen at Best Buy and the days of radical innovation in everything from phones to Fitbits lay ahead. Today, if you are not already saturated with technology, you can buy a TV, a new phone, a surround sound or a Bluetooth speaker, and well almost anything at Costco, Walmart and yes, Amazon. And you can pick up dinner and a twelve pack of socks at the same time. Aside from the very real fact of technological saturation, fewer people feel the need to run out and change phones every time Apple or Samsung shift the position of the headphone jack.  So Best Buy isn’t dying of online. Ironically, as a technology source in the age of tech, it is dying of its own obsolescence. Predeceased by Circuit City.

Next, let’s save time and put JC Penny and Sears together. Both are terrible, both attract a fast-dwindling customer who is either aging-out or going to Walmart. Does anyone ever get excited about going to either store? To blame Amazon for the demise of Sears or JC Penny makes as much sense as blaming the cat for not walking the dog. While we’re at it, let’s say the same about Kohl’s.

Target has lost its way as the owner of chic/cheap. Perhaps it is becoming living proof that you can’t have both at once. It got into a price war with WalMart and lost. Maybe Target isn’t failing, but it sure isn’t thriving in second place.

I’d like to venture that Macy’s and Nordstrom are suffering from a shift in customer behaviour. As maturing millennials and more moneyed and free-spending segments go out in search of experience and meaning in their shopping, the scale, location and plain old “mall-ness” of these stores become increasingly contradictory to the desires of their potential customers. Macy’s and Nordstrom could benefit from a better understanding of their customer’s journey. Neither retailer seems to grasp the idea that a potential customer is exploring ideas, inspiration and validation on their laptops and smartphones before going out on that bricks and mortar shopping trip.

Finally we arrive at Walmart, which might be losing ground but it’s not going anywhere.

It would be foolish to say that changes are not afoot in retail. But online or not, every retailer on that top list with a red number beside its name is in deep or at least shallow trouble for a whole bunch of reasons that do not come from the world outside their sliding doors but from the world within.

Oh and by the way, Amazon shares hit $1000 this week. Wish I’d picked a few up ten years ago, when they were $18 each.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-40095518

 

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Kids Today: Gen Z and the next seismic shift in media.

Generation Z teenager

The author’s resident Gen Z’er possibly imitating said author.

A few years ago we marketing types woke up to the rise of the Millennial. Yes and now we profess to understand that demographic segment using the same sorts of generalities that helped us to oversimplify the demographics that came before. Millennials like craft beer, Gen X’ers own a pair of Doc Martens, Baby Boomers all went to Woodstock and their parents all watch Matlock. Or Murder She Wrote.

To borrow a term from that last crowd, much of that thinking is pure hokum, disproven by Google Analytics, Facebook and any number of consumer behavior segmentation tools and properly aligned media buying tools – both digital and traditional.

But in the face of this real information we still fall into the habit of generalizing swathes of the human condition based on nothing more than decade of birth.

Ok, now with that disclaimer dispensed with, there is something to be said about the intersection of technology, a given generation and the interplay between those forces.

Which brings us to Generation Z. Or, as described in my house, my 17-year-old daughter.

Last week Adweek published a piece from Defy Media on Generation Z, those born between 1996 and 2010. Unlike Millennials, members of Generation Z have never known a world without smartphones, YouTube and social media.

Defy Media interviewed 1,452 respondents aged 13-20 to learn about media usage and behaviors among members of Generation Z. When asked which digital platforms that they most used.

Turns out that YouTube is the authority of this generation. It leads as a trusted source for shopping recommendations, news and as it is with other groups, how-to searches. 51% of Generation Z look to YouTube for a good laugh. They also trust social stars as much if not more than mainstream celebrities and 79% accept endorsements from either. In the case of tech, social celebrities lead mainstream celebrities as endorsers by a margin of 70% to 21%.

Now let’s put aside what is essentially a portal into information and influence for the moment and look at what is at the other end of it, Branded Content. According to a recent report from Fullscreen Media, Gen Z is the biggest user of branded content out there. So when you cross the Defy Media research with Fullscreen’s you get a more dimensional picture of a generation that is in search of content and far more willing to accept it, no matter what it might be, with an endorsement. Which, when you think about it, could speak of a future where the brand doesn’t live primarily outside the content, such as we understand it in advertising, but inside the content.

Ten Things About Those Darn Kids of Gen Z.

  • 95% use YouTube. 50% Say they couldn’t live without it
  • So much for embarrassing your kids on FB. Although 65% have an account, 81% could do without it
  • 79% are good with Celebrities talking about products that they like
  • YouTube stars and traditional celebrities have about equal, and powerful influence YouTube stars have more influence in specific areas such as beauty products and tech.
  • They are OK with Celebrities getting political
  • Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat sit at about equal usage, between 65 and 67% of Gen Z’ers use one or more of these platforms. All are used primarily for socializing
  • If given your advertising budget, 54% would spend it on Celebrity influencers. Cheer up, 51% would blow it on TV commercials
  • Video content is preferred six to one over read content
  • While 37% of Millennials have used product reviews in the last 6 months, 40% of Gen Z’ers have done the same
  • That “how to” search on YouTube is not going away. Over 60% use it

Ok let’s end with every politician’s favourite cliché’, “Children are our future.” In this case, how our world will communicate in the future, what channels will influence it most and what content will have the most impact are being shown to us today by those who never had to text on a flip phone.

Infographic: 50% of Gen Z ‘Can’t Live Without YouTube’ and Other Stats That Will Make You Feel Old

FULLSCREEN ORIGINAL RESEARCH RESULTS ARE IN

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Audi Wins the Super Bowl

So that was a Hell of a Super Bowl. Yes Tom Brady is (fill in list of glowing superlatives here). Now, on to the commercials. Quite a few pundits are talking about how Alfa Romeo won the day with its sponsorship. I disagree. The winner is Audi. The loser is Alfa. Here’s why.

For those of you who have not seen it already, Audi’s Super Bowl piece took the automotive day. It’s a spot where a father, in voice-over speaks in indignantly lyrical terms of the disparity in pay between men and women while his brave daughter competes in the world’s most super-bowl commercial-esque soapbox derby. Go daughter! Go equal pay and opportunity! Go buy an Audi!

Is this a cheap piece of issue-association used in the service of selling upper, upper-middle-class Volkswagens? Or is it something more?

First of all, we are talking Super Bowl so we are still telling a story set in what remains the pinnacle of all things advertising. No one can wholly extinguish all cynicism. But let’s just put that aside and enter the two, make that three car companies (Ford was there too) that sought our car-buying dollars on World Brady Day.

First Alfa Romeo. Oh to be new. Oh to be so beautiful, so soaked in heritage, so marinated in Italian passion and so baked in association with Ferrari. And oh those ads were crap. Why on earth are we subjected to a hectoring voice-over and a freighter-load of car clichés? There is a rule in storytelling, and it holds true in advertising: Don’t tell people how to feel, give them a reason. Yet armed with so many gorgeous reasons, Alfa erased what could have made its introduction astounding and instead acted like a pathologically insecure B-list actor who interrupts a party to loudly enumerate his own qualities. Riding dragons? Really?

Now, Audi. Here’s the company that, like Subaru, grew its market share right through the Great Recession. Audi did that by being an inherently useful and focused brand – the only all-wheel-drive luxury vehicle that comes in handy for upscale adventure heads and adventure-head hopefuls. These cars are, like so many (too many) brand, aspirational. Yet instead of stating that somewhat obvious and incredibly hackneyed luxury car advertising sentiment, Audi took the idea of aspiration and applied it to something many people care about – equality. Audi didn’t get on a soapbox to talk about a political issue or demean it by association. Audi just took the common thought of aspiration and made it “equal opportunity aspiration”. It said, “We want a world where anyone can afford our cars.” Sure it was commercial, but it was true. Sure it was a hi-jacked value but it was relevant. I’m willing to bet that very few shared Alfa’s advertising efforts from the big day. Views on one posting of the Audi 2017 Super Bowl spot are now at over 8,500,000. Alfa’s effort is in the low 600 thousands.

Oh yes, then there’s Ford who ruined a lovely montage with a bunch of declarations about how Ford is working to build stuff that everybody else is way ahead of them on – like self-driving or electric cars or… Bicycles!!?

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My Internship as a Springer

My internship at Spring was one of the most fun and challenging things I’ve ever done in my life. This is an environment where you work side by side with some of the most innovative and creative individuals in this industry. You are exposed to some really interesting clients. And, most importantly, you are viewed as a valued member of the team, and are expected to pull your weight. Which is awesome, but also a bit intimidating.

While I was doing my internship, I was finishing up my program at BCIT. I thought that since I was almost graduated, I would know almost the majority of things there is to know about this industry. But, I learned quickly that industry expertise is truly gained through real life experiences, and in no way can be obtained through a textbook. And that’s exactly what my Spring internship was- a real life agency experience.

Within the first day of my internship, I was already helping out my mentor with analyzing data from a Facebook campaign. Within the first few weeks, I was conducting industry research and completing website analyses. By the end of my internship, I was seeing minor projects through to completion, from start to finish. I also was able to tag along on some radio recordings and film shoots when the opportunity came up. Spring knew what I needed to get the most out of my internship, and then they made it happen.

Being a BCIT student during my internship, I would go to school one day a week and all of my classmates would be eagerly comparing internships. I was often surprised by some of my classmates’ experiences. Many of my peers had internships that were less hands-on, where they took more of an observing role with the company. While they still enjoyed their time, they didn’t get nearly as many practical skills out of it as I did. My peers were always so surprised when they heard that I had actual responsibility, and was doing real work.

I learned more than I could have ever imagined at Spring. As I continue my education, the skills and industry knowledge that I learned here will always be carried with me. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have worked with such an amazing company, and an amazing group of people, and having the opportunity to really grow. That’s kind of the thing they do here.

Andrea

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How to make sure you don’t achieve premium prices for your luxury real estate condo tower

Seriously, we see this happen time and again. How do you avoid getting a premium $/sq.ft for your condo tower? The answer is DON’T just default to the standard pricing metric, which is what the comps have sold for. Don’t ever price your luxury condos by looking out of the rear view mirror, which is all the comps are. Look out of the windshield instead and think about what could be. Why drive in reverse? Find a project marketing firm that really gets this, like fingerprintstrategies.com and talk to them before you do anything.

Another important way to avoid this mistake is to make sure you don’t look and sound like everyone else in the market. If you look the same, it is really difficult to achieve a premium price. Which is where your brand comes in. It needs to set you apart from others and have a compelling difference that means something to your buyers.

Is it time for you to create a dynamic brand or revitalize your existing one, and create more sales, more quickly and at higher margins? If so, shoot us a note at grow@springadvertising.com.

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I was a Springer first

In the fall of 2014, I walked into Spring’s office to interview for an internship position in the client services department. I was new to the city and looking for that elusive first placement in advertising. (Ill)-­equipped with half a degree in cultural theory and business administration, I had decided to take a year away from school to gain practical work experience. During the interview, Richard (Spring’s Client Services Director) and I chatted about Spring’s expansive body of work and collaborative company culture. I spoke of my past work experiences, carefully using pieces of advertising jargon to supplement my limited agency knowledge. As I left the office, Richard promised that Spring would deliver the best internship in town to those who greeted each task as a challenge with unique opportunities. He maintained that promise. I have learned far more in 3 months at Spring than I would have in an entire year at school.

Unlike larger agencies, Spring gives interns the opportunity to immerse themselves in meaningful agency activities. By the end of my internship, I was writing creative briefs, sitting in on client meetings, and drafting proposals for upcoming pitches. Sure, I did my fair share of admin/accounting/ miscellaneous tasks, but I was also given the chance to critically engage with a range of client projects. From researching complex sociological developments to coordinating vibrant branding campaigns, I strengthened my business acumen with a variety of clients in a variety of industries. At Spring, I never stopped learning. Therein lies the single best thing about working at Spring – the ability to work in a cross­-disciplinary, creative environment with new challenges each and every day.

During my short time at Spring, I gained an invaluable skillset in client communication, strategy development, and project coordination; these skills extend far beyond the brick buildings of Vancouver’s agency-­spattered Yaletown district. As I prepare to finish my studies this Fall, I move forward with confidence, knowing that the skills gained at Spring will help me realize even the most ambitious professional goals. Advertising? High tech? Management consulting? Who knows. I know only this:

I was a Springer first.

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Someone Had to Go. The Predictable Demise of Future Shop.

In about two weeks, my first book, Finders and Keepers will be published.

Finders and Keepers examines the profound impact of a powerful customer type. One that doesn’t buy on price but instead buys on the quality and real authenticity of a product. Finders care little for brands but do care for the discovery of the new and the lasting value of materials, technology, provenance and craftsmanship. Although Finders represent fewer than half of the adult population, their spending power and the profitability of their buying behavior represents up to 77% of discretionary consumer spending. Finders exist in stark contrast to Keepers, the more commonly pursued, deal-sensitive consumers who are only stimulated to buy by the deepest of discounts, the biggest pile of product features or the status of a brand, or a combination of all of the above. Based on a ten-year study of consumer behavior, Finders and Keepers is an analysis of the habits of these consumers and the profound economic and business impacts that they create. Yet to try to do business with both types can mean certain death for almost any organization.

In the mean time, I couldn’t resist a bit of a tease that speaks to what can only be seen as the inevitable disappearance of the electronics superstore. This excerpt from Finders and Keepers talks about the now defunct US retailer Circuit City. To read this is to perhaps gain a better understanding of what led to This Saturday’s closure of 66 Future Shop stores across Canada. The Financial Post calls this “The Amazon Effect.” They are only partially correct. Enjoy,

CHAPTER 29
DUDE, WHERE’S MY CUSTOMER?

Circuit City

If you were in a mood to sum up the end of a business in one sentence, this one might be fitting when it comes to the end of Circuit City: Somebody had to go.

Like Linens N Things, the rise of the category of home electronics came with an equally precipitous fall. If you are old enough to remember a time before the remote control or MTV or, for that matter, HBO, you will recall that a television set was something that sat in the living room of every home in America. It was a fixture with an expected life span to match that of other household appliances. Up until the turn of the millennium, that Sony or Panasonic or even that Zenith or Electrahome TV held a place in the home where it would be expected to stay for about as long as the washer, the fridge, and the hot water tank in the basement. Then along came the flat screen TV. Suddenly every early adopting, TV watching Finder and High Status Keeper was in the market for a TV. A wave hit the electronics business that carried with it ever more technology in the form of surround sound systems and Blu-ray players. New technology had built a profitable and not very price sensitive new consumer willing to pay the big dollar. On the heels of that consumer came bigger electronics retailers and more volume. As technology matured, prices came down and a second wave of customers hit the market in search of the sub $1,000 flat screen TV and under $300 DVD player.

Factories in China, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Korea were built to take full advantage of demand. Soon that one-time $10,000, 32-inch HD TV could be bought for about $700 and everyone could have one. Surround sound packages dropped below $1,000. DVD players fell lower and lower. How was the quality? Look at it this way, for the big home electronics stores, the number one most profitable product sold during the last decade wasn’t a product at all, it was the extended warranty. Bargain hunting buyers soon learned, at their peril, that one had best shell out the 10% of purchase price for a warranty or risk a DVD player that began to skip the after the one year factory warranty dried up.

Then along came Napster. Within a matter of months, the “software” section of every megastore emptied out which meant that the part of the store that generated repeat visits from CD shoppers just didn’t anymore. It didn’t happen overnight; digital downloading, the Apple Store, and streaming would take a few more years to finish off the CD but the damage was done. The high frequency customers, those who from time to time might drop in for an old Pink Floyd CD and walk out with a new flat screen TV, had become a rarity.

The whole market continued to commoditize. Now that once-coveted flat screen, bought as a better way to watch a good movie by some and bought as a better way to symbolize success by others, could be bought EVERYWHERE. In 2005, you could go to a Best Buy or a Circuit City and pay somewhere around $1,000 for an entry level 32-inch “sort of HD” flat screen. Today you would have a hard time spending $250 on the same size unit while getting far superior performance. Which might be okay until you consider that it can be bought at Costco, Walmart, Target, Big Lots, Kmart, Sears, and, well, everywhere. And then there’s online where the buying started with Dell TVs, moved on to Amazon, and then onward to discounters like Newegg and Tiger Direct.

But, DVD had a good run. Right? Until video streaming that is. Video streaming, from conventional cable, pirated movies, video subscription streamers—including the granddaddy of them all—Netflix, and online giants Apple Store and Google Play have killed off the DVD. With the death of the DVD comes another empty software section of the store and another product line in the form of DVD players that no one wants anymore.

By 2008, this cycle had finally hit the off switch for Circuit City. Somebody had to go. It might be fair to say that the end may be near for almost everyone else left in the electronics superstore business.

Was this another case of a business caught in that deadly no-man’s land between Finders and Keepers? Interestingly, it wasn’t. It would be naïve at best, opportunistic at middle, and revisionist at worst to claim that Circuit City would have avoided death by commoditization (Napster and its progeny, streaming video, and competition on all fronts) if it had only sold its goods in some immersive, arty environment filled with unique and definitive products. This wouldn’t have and simply couldn’t have been the case; Circuit City’s problems were just too numerous and unpredictable to have been avoided. There’s relevance here that doesn’t exist within the story of that retailer’s rise and fall; it exists instead in the present and in the future where products that those megastores once thrived on are split into commodities and non-commodities.

Copyright © 2015 Spring Advertising Ltd.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without the permission in writing from the Publisher.

 

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OUR YEAR OF NO AWARD SHOWS STARTS NOW

As you might have read some time ago on this page, I love a good awards show. I really love the Lotus Awards. We’ve had some great years at that show. But I hold a dear place in my heart for the people who make Lotus a night that punches way above its weight from this ever-shrinking Vancouver market.

Last week we picked up gold at the Marketing awards. I am making a shameless brag face.

So it’s a good time to let everyone know that we will retire from all awards shows and annual entries for one full year. Here’s why. Ever since we opened in 2006 we have been giving part of our profits to a good cause. We generally do this on our birthday, the First Day of Spring. See Boink Day and Hugs for Hunger.

But now we find that we’ve been spending more on award shows than on good deeds. With this in mind, we have decided that this is a time to stop showing and to start giving.

We are in the midst of developing something with the aim of changing a person or person’s lives. That’s the brief. Stay tuned for the execution. As part of this effort we will be investing our awards and annual entry budget from May 2013 to May 2014.

We will continue to do our very best work for our clients during that time. Nuff said.

As for everybody else, keep up the good fight, keep doing your incredible work and we’ll see you next year.

Love,

 

Rob

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Free Parking

A few weeks ago I had a near perfect day absolutely ruined by a parking ticket. I returned to my car that day, and learned that the $6 I had paid for a paltry hour of parking simply wasn’t enough, a slip of paper was tucked under my wiper blade and I found myself $70 in the hole.

I did what anyone would do in my situation, I whined about it at work all afternoon and found solace in the mutual parking woes of my coworkers.

I believe a famous hockey player or politician once said:

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.

My coworker Shon and I decided to turn our misfortune into most fortune for other Vancouver motorists. In true Spring random act of kindness fashion, we would go on a parking meter plugging spree!

Armed with all the loose change we could muster and a friendly note disguised as a parking ticket, we set out to the streets of downtown Vancouver and gave the gift of time.

coin zero

We moved swiftly through the streets like parking meter guardian angels and hopefully alleviated a few nasty surprises. When confronted by a group of girls returning to their expired meter in the act of being topped up, we were met with incredulous admiration. “ You’re plugging our meter?!” they asked, “Pay it Forward” we said, well either that or to City Hall.

We are ready to help you with writting my essay” in the expert way

plug

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