1. It’s the Canada Day weekend, when many of us negotiate our uncomfortable relationship with patriotism, and advertisers try to tap into the national sentiment. Molson Coors Brewing Co. is hoping again to capitalize on brand Canada, releasing a YouTube video of musicians playing the anthem with bottles, caps, kegs and cases of the Canadian beer brand. It’s not exactly the Molson classic, Joe Canadian, but the use of a can to create speaker distortion is a good trick. Molson is aiming for traction online for the video before it decides whether it will run in other media, such as a TV spot. The video was shown on Thursday at an Olympic block party in the square outside of Air Canada Centre in Toronto, and will be shown at a number of events and concerts this long weekend. It will also be played for the gathered Canadian ex-pats in Trafalgar Square in London, England. There is talk at Molson about how it could be further used in London during the Olympics.
2. Beer and “O Canada” – what a cliché. In May, the New York-based radio show Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen launched a project to redesign Canada, based on the idea that our image doesn’t do the country justice. It enlisted the help of Toronto agency Bruce Mau Design. (The CBC radio show Q has joined in the project with its own effort to redesign America.) The result will be unveiled Friday. The campaign uses the red bars of the Canadian flag as a logo, placing them around people, inventions and places that showcase the culture. It also proposes red bar merchandise such as t-shirts and yes, beer mugs, to support the new image. While there are no plans right now to pitch the campaign to the government, BMD has purchased the knowcanada.org Web address and says it is open to working with partners to take the campaign beyond this experimental phase.
3. If you’re headed to the cottage this long weekend, you may find yourself wishing that you are in Brazil. Or at least that you have some Brazilian innovation on hand when the mosquitos start buzzing. One of the fascinating campaigns highlighted at last weekend’s Cannes advertising festival was the winner of the Grand Prix in that old category, radio. Outdoor magazine Go Outside ran a three-week campaign turning radios into mosquito repellents. A Sao Paolo radio station played a 15 kHz frequency along with the radio programming – inaudible to humans, very annoying for skeeters because it sounds like their predator, a dragonfly. Messages reminded listeners that the repellent radio was sponsored by the magazine. That’s one way to create love for your brand.
4. But not everyone has love for Cannes. While having a drink by the Mediterranean last weekend, DDB's global chief creative officer Amir Kassaei raised the possibility that the agency could boycott next year’s festival. In an interview with Australian trade magazine Creative Brief, he declared that politics infected the judging this year more than ever before – speculating that some of the other big advertising agency holding companies had instructed their jury members to vote for agencies within their own holding networks. “People were briefed, specifically, to kill the other holding companies,” he said, adding work that had won at other prominent shows this year failed to even make some shortlists at Cannes. Mr. Kassaei said this hurts Cannes’ prestige. “I’m a very, very, very big fan of the whole Cannes organization, and the guys who are running it … but they should be careful about what was going on here this year,” he said. “…I’m not sure if DDB will participate at the Cannes festival next year. No, I will save the money and invest it in educating my creative talent. I’m not sure about that.”