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Engine Communications Knows Schools

It’s a numbers game these days. Let us help you get your numbers up with fresh, new and exciting marketing tools to help your school get noticed!

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A Click-Free Week!

I was very lucky to have the opportunity to escape to sunny Florida last week. Oh the sun, the sand and the sound of the waves were ever so rejuvenating! Seven days of glory, sans any and all electronic devices.

That’s right. No email, no computer, no phone, no texts, no surfing, except for the surfers on the beach! I didn’t even check my FaceBook or feel compelled to post images on my wall to prove how much fun I was having.

How enlightening it was and I didn’t miss it one bit!

Back now this week, soul-southed, brain cleared. It’s made a difference, for sure. I feel so refreshed with that little Winter reprieve, now re-fueled, full of new ideas for the many new projects we’re working on! That Click-Free Week, did just the trick. You might want to try it sometime 🙂

~ Laura

Jian Ghomeshi – Pop Culture

CBC Radio

I was invited to The Ambassador Hotel in Kingston last week to hear a speech about Pop Culture. Who better to do that than Jian Ghomeshi, radio host of Q, CBC’s national arts magazine show was a very interesting conversation about “new media”. Being in the communications field I found this to be very interesting! He mentioned that the “new world is new media”, as it always has been. Thinking back, twelve years ago Facebook, U-tube, Google and Twitter all did not exist. Change is everywhere around us and we cannot predict the future. There is an immediacy about Pop Culture that didn’t exist before, and today we are harnessing it for political and social change.

He spoke about the classroom in the Philippines he was visiting recently. He was given an opportunity to teach the children all averaging about 7 years old. Not only was the language barrier and issue, so was the socio-economic barriers that he was facing. Funny story is that after mentioning he was from Canada, one student at the back of the room said “Bieber”… in Justin Bieber…..and yes! …an instant connection was made. Where it seemed hopeless at first, Pop Culture allowed him to connect with these students from a very different world. Very cool.

Creativity in Education was a topic highlighted as well. Jian referenced that employers today are looking for renaissance people. “You are your own unique brand, follow your passions and don’t be afraid to be a unique and individual person…all of this drives your brand”. I found this to be very interesting as we apply this to branding philosophy at Engine. It is nice to see personal and professional lines blurred.

Jian finished with the importance of “the pause”. We live in a world where everything is moving at such a break-neck speed that it is time to slow down and listen. “Part of listening is the pause. Listen and let the person finish speaking. The most amazing things can happen”. Well said.

It’s that time of year!

Well, it’s that time of year! I was excited this morning when I received an e-newsletter from Pier 1 Imports for their annual Unicef Christmas card design contest for children. I make a point of buying these cards every year. Christmas is a special time for family, and we all want a safe world for children to live in. UNICEF is the leading charitable organization dedicated to just this main goal. Children are our future, and what a wonderful way of spreading the message of the tireless efforts of UNICEF. Download the entry form and add your child’s Christmas card design and they could be the next Unicef artist for 2011. Good luck to all!

Unicef Canada

Broken Design?

I came upon this design today at Looks Like Good Design.

At first it brought a grin to my face. Pretty clever packaging… Then as I thought about it – as cool as the aesthetic is, what would be involved in producing this?

Maybe that is the point. Maybe it is worth it to distress the cardboard and to add the tape, and to stick on the “broken” typography…

Ironically, perhaps it is the added care that has to go into creating the packaging that sets it apart. I like it, I just wonder if the expense justifies the concept. What do you think?

Waiting for the iPhone…

There has been a lot of buzz over the last few days regarding Verizon finally being able to sell the iPhone after four years of being available exclusively through AT&T.  My question today is, did Apple make a catastrophic marketing error by not allowing Verizon to sell the iPhone until this year? While the phone is still expected to sell well in the US market, time will tell how many potential iphone users have now settled for another brand of smartphone.

I am a Verizon customer who was waiting for the iPhone. I have been eligible for an upgrade for over a year now. This poor old phone of mine has total call time of 636:37:53. Most people I know gave up on Verizon getting the iPhone and settled for an alternative about a year ago. People have upgraded to Android phones or a Blackberry, because trust me, people’s loyalty to Verizon seems to be a lot higher than to Apple. Funny thing about smart phones is that once people own one, brand loyalty seems to be pretty high.

How many Blackberry or Droid users will readily switch to an iPhone…and how many iPhone users see a blackberry as an alternative. Needless to say many Verizon customers who simply got a Blackberry or Droid and are now locked into contracts for another year or two. As for switching to AT&T, some people did, but lets be honest when you live in the US there is only one network you want to be on….Verizon.

Only time will tell if Apple really has a dominant product strong enough to take over the portion of the market share they could have had, or if they made a fatal marketing error. What do you think?

For more info see this article.

Merry Christmas

We will be closed December 23rd, 2010 at 5:00pm – January 4th, 2011 at 9:00am. Enjoy the Holiday!

Engine Staff on TV tonight

Check out the Engine staff on Eat Local Challenge! Eat Local Challenge is a documentary series that follows Eastern Ontario families and individuals as they challenge themselves to 7 days of eating only foods grown and raised locally.

Episode #1 will air in Belleville tonight, Thursday Nov 11th, at 8:00pm on TVCOGECO Cable Channel 4!

GAP Logo Controversy

This holiday weekend while online I saw an article about the new GAP logo that was revealed on October 4th and the criticism the popular retailer is receiving for it. Now that I’ve had a chance to compare the two logos, I think that I am partial to the old one, only because it is what I grew up with. It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling of happy days and buying cool clothes… brings me back to my University days. I guess I’m not the only one feeling this way. According to the Yahoo article this morning, this comment from a Facebook user is typical of the online response: “By changing it, you’ve completely destroyed what it took 20-plus years to build.” I wonder what is the average age of those who dislike the new logo. I’m curious…which one do you prefer?

Check out the article!

– Kathy