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Hellman?s Eat Real campaign this week won the Grand Prix Cassie


1. Do you like ads on Facebook? Sorry, we meant to say: Do you Like ads on Facebook? Because this week, the social network behemoth rolled out a new system that could potentially turn every one of your Likes into an ad. Sponsored Stories enable marketers to co-opt your friends' status updates, Likes, and Check-ins that mention a brand (are they drinking a Coke? shopping?) and slap a logo next to their profile pic. So far, Coke, Levi's, Anheuser-Busch, and Unicef have signed up. Amnesty International, too. That strikes us as a shame, because, to judge from the early response, Facebook users want someone to help free them from the tyranny of the Logoed Like.

2. Maybe the Haters (er, the unLikers?) are just overreacting. Because a study released by the Institute of Communication Agencies as part of AdWeek found that 36 per cent of Canadians aged 18-34 have shared a "humorous or clever ad" with someone online. Those in that demographic, according to the ICA survey conducted by Ipsos-Reid, are also one-third more likely than others to admit having a purchase decision influenced by television or in-store displays. The ICA pointed to the results as proof that people like ads more than conventional wisdom would have it. It's true, people like good ads. We just wish there were more. By which we mean: We wish there were fewer bad ones.

3. You know what everyone likes? Mayonnaise! At least that's what this week's Cassies declared, in awarding Hellman's Eat Real campaign the Grand Prix Cassie, and covering Ogilvy and its client Unilever in wonderful egg-based glory. The campaign included the creation of community gardens and a short film on how the global food system is crippling Canada. The Cassies praised the campaign, noting it spurred a jump in market share from 25 per cent to 29.3 per cent. We'd like to make some wry comment about the irony of an $84-billion (U.S.) company that sources ingredients across the globe, jumping on the local food bandwagon. But we'd probably end up with egg on our face.

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4. Like, say, NFL owners. This week, with an eye to the March 4 expiration of their collective bargaining agreement with the league, the National Football League Players Association launched a pre-emptive strike to avert a lockout next season, with a 60-second spot entitled Let us play . The stark ad, which shows empty stadiums, padlocks, and grim-faced fans insisting, 'Let them play,' is being promoted by players via their Twitter feeds; it's scheduled to air on TV only once. Experts say the social media strategy is a good one. But with the $3-million-for-30-seconds Super Bowl just over a week away, will they really like what happens if they prove you don't need TV to get your message across?

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