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Posts Tagged ‘Rob Ford’

DDB Canada Shows Organized Retail Theft Mark-Ups for Toronto Crime Stoppers

Organized retail theft costs Canadian businesses $4 billion a year, but is often perceived as harmless shoplifting. So DDB Canada created a new campaign for Toronto Crime Stoppers, called “It Costs Us All,” to raise public awareness of the realities of organized retail theft.

Sean Sportun, vice chair, Toronto Crime Stoppers explains, “Organized retail theft is often perceived as harmless shoplifting, when in fact, it’s a lucrative, criminal enterprise and part of the business plan for gangs funding other illegal activities.” So those stolen retail goods could go to funding guns, and drugs, which could wind up in the hands of Rob Ford. Their solution? “…asking the public to have their say for stiffer penalties and to contact Crime Stoppers to anonymously report suspected cases of organized retail theft,” says Sportun.

The campaign includes “flyers, wild postings, in-store posters, newspaper, radio and online advertising, which appear like conventional on-sale advertising, but instead of showing prices being discounted, the prices are marked-up on the merchandise shown.” Each of these approaches drives the consumer to the It Costs Us All website. It’s an interesting tactic, combating consumer indifference by showing consumers how they are  ”ultimately paying for the crimes of others,” says David Ross, ACD at DDB Toronto. The result is slightly less heavy-handed and melodramatic than your typical public service campaign, even if the “It Costs Us All” tagline is a tad on the serious side.

“It Costs Us All” was launched with the following corporate partners: BOMA Toronto, Building Technologies, FACECROOK, Interac Association, Loblaw Companies Limited, Mac’s Convenience Stores, Retail Council of Canada, Sobeys and TJX Canada.

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john st. Wants Us to Know that Toronto is ‘More Than Ford’

Making a city self-promo is hard enough without having to compete against a crack-smoking homicidal mayor who has become a big-bellied joke of a scandal around the world. Toronto-based john st.’s “More Than Ford” compilation video of all things pleasant in its hometown attempts to do just that for a Canadian city that has been the unfortunate butt of the news for too long. The project comes from a good place, but the execution is typical, and as a result, uninteresting.

I think there’s a way to do this, to help Toronto separate itself from Rob Ford, but doing so would require a more self-aware, confrontational approach. john st. repeatedly puts out quality work, but this spot feels much too clean for the circumstances. Every city has people doing cool gymnastics in parks and drinking coffee. What makes this interesting and specific to Toronto? Where is the voice? It’s out there, but it doesn’t sound like a benign, glossy magazine cover.

Credits and a brief disclaimer after the drug-free jump.

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Cue the Inevitable Spate of Van Damme/Volvo Parodies (Feat. Rob Ford, Bananas)

Since hitting YouTube on Wednesday, Volvo Trucks’ mind-blowing “The Epic Split” featuring action star Jean-Claude Van Damme has been watched 25 million times. With the amazing amount of online buzz its gotten, which is continuing today, it’s possible that the title of “Best Ad of 2013″ is now accounted for.

But, as is the case with any great spot that so quickly finds itself woven into the cultural fabric, the new challenge is the make the best parody spot. Above, we see disgraced yet hilarious Toronto mayor Rob Ford in place of JCVD, looking his wonderful, slightly confused self. While nothing really changes from the original spot, the producers, NY-based Artjail VFX, do a seamless job with Ford’s face. Since its upload on Saturday, it’s already gained 120,000 views.

Next we have a lower production parody, “The Epic Banana Split” from Miami Ad School student , Eszter Kazinczy. Props for the new VO copy, and while the art leaves something to be desired, it is a tasty-looking banana split, don’t you think? We’ll keep our eyes open for more, but send us any that you stumble across.

There’s More to Toronto Than a Crack-Smoking Mayor, #MoreThanFord Reminds Us

By now (unless you’re completely cut off from all news outlets and/or in a coma) you’ve heard of the crack-smoking shenanigans of Toronto’s disgraceful, conservative mayor, Rob Ford. Ford recently admitted to smoking crack (following an online leak of video evidence), adding that it was ”probably in one of my drunken stupors.” Obviously, people from Toronto are less than thrilled about Ford making their city the butt of a million crack jokes. The fact that Ford not only refuses to resign, but also plans to run for reelection, certainly doesn’t make things any easier.

Marie Richer and Hannah Smit, two Toronto art directors, found it “depressing that a city as great as Toronto has been reduced to an international punchline because of its mayor,” and decided to do something about it. They’ve created a social media campaign called #MoreThanFord, an outlet for disgruntled Toronto-dwellers to express everything they love about their city in an attempt to escape being defined by one especially douchey politician. Richer and Smith describe the campaign as “a way for us all to change the conversation about our city by sharing what we love about it – from small things like a favourite coffee shop, roti place or bike path to bigger things like Pride, TIFF, Nuit Blanche, the Jays, etc.” (Although, given their dismal 2013 performance, you may want to leave the Jays out of it.)

The idea launches today, with the compilation video of Toronto highlights featured above. The campaign’s success is being measured at a microsite, morethanford.com, which pits tweets with the #MoreThanFord hashtag against tweets with the #RobFord hashtag. #MoreThanFord already seems to be catching on, currently leading at 53% as I write this. The #MoreThanFord site invites visitors to tweet what they love about Toronto, or to let #MoreThanFord take over your feed and tweet for you. It also allows visitors to watch the #MoreThanFord video.

I’ve only been to Toronto once, for a short visit, but found it to be a charming city. It’s really sad to see any city’s reputation hijacked by one crazy, crack-smoking, racist, crooked conservative nutcase. So head on over to the #MoreThanFord site, or just tweet something you love about Toronto with the #MoreThanFord hashtag to swing things in favor of the campaign and restore Toronto’s damaged reputation. But if you are looking for some crack, I’m pretty sure Mayor Ford can hook you up. Credits after the jump. Read more