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Stupid human tricks as smart marketing Add to ...

Selling both of your kidneys online; DIY electrician work; swallowing Super Glue – these are all examples of “dumb ways to die” that Canadians may hear about soon.

It started out as a campaign for train safety from Melbourne, Australia rail company Metro Trains – comparing recklessness around trains with a number of other stupid and fatal mistakes. The video, which has been viewed on YouTube more than 80-million times and won a slew of awards, shows adorable cartoon characters meeting a variety of grisly ends.

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Now Kingston, Ont.-based The Empire Life Insurance Co. has reached a licensing deal to use the song and the animated characters in a new ad campaign that claims “the dumbest way to die is without life insurance.”

It’s part of a larger effort by Metro to capitalize on its campaign. Earlier this year, Advertising Age reported that the company would soon begin selling plush toy versions of its cartoon victims in stores.

World Cup a time to pitch beer and video games to Canadians

With the World Cup kicking off this week, marketers are buying in to reach viewers of the big events. But just who are they speaking to?

Advertising targeting firm Exponential, which runs an online ad network, tracked online consumer behaviour to create a profile of soccer fans. Some of its findings for Canada:

  • Canadian World Cup fans are three times more likely to be beer drinkers
  • Soccer accounts for about 11 per cent of sports interest in Canada, second behind hockey (however, it is nowhere near the level of soccer-mad places such as the United Kingdom, where 45 per cent of interest is focused on the sport, Mexico at 54 per cent and the European Union at 62 per cent.)
  • Among sports fans, soccer fans are most likely to be interested in video games
  • Not surprisingly, new Canadians make up a significant portion of soccer fans. Compared with NHL fans, they are more interested in immigration law and currency exchange

Body art may finally get its time in the spotlight

The moms who appear in advertising seemingly have closets full of capri pants and sensible cardigans. But soon, that could change.

Photos of tattooed moms will form an art exhibit in Toronto this weekend sponsored by 3M Co. It’s the first stage in what will become a nationwide campaign starting next month for the company’s Nexcare brand of bandages, a competitor for Band-Aids.

The face of the campaign will likely be chosen from the exhibit, and the ads will also feature other moms who do not conform with the typical images of moms seen in ads.

It’s an attempt by 3M to reach mothers born after 1980 – broadly known as millennials.

This generation is becoming a growing focus for advertisers as they are digitally savvy, skeptical of traditional advertising and control a large portion of household ad spending.

In surveys, those younger mothers have also said they do not feel advertising reflects a real image of their families’ lives.

Expect marketers such as 3M to invest more in changing their minds.

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