1. The police are not known for making puns. But Halifax Regional Police had a bit of fun Thursday, issuing a public advisory that they are "keeping [their] ear to the ground" after a supersized pair of headphones was stolen from a bus shelter. The headphones, which enveloped the shelter, are part of an outdoor campaign for Dairy Farmers of Canada. It's one of a series of ads targeting health-conscious consumers and encouraging them to consider chocolate milk as a post-workout drink. The campaign, created by Due North Communications, includes a QR (quick-response) code that can be scanned to download free workout music. Because of the size of the headphones, "it is believed that two or more people are responsible for the theft," the police statement said.
2. Less than two weeks before the global ad industry flocks to the south of France, the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity has scrambled to add more judges after receiving a record number of entries. A total of 34,301 submissions came in, a 19-per-cent bump from last year. More than 1,000 entries came from Canada, up 31 per cent from last year. Two new award categories added this year – Mobile and Branded Content & Entertainment – attracted nearly 1,800 entries from around the world. The category with the most global submissions was Press, followed by the Outdoor and Film categories.
3. It hasn't quite outpaced some of the big banks or the BlackBerry, but Canada's fastest-growing brand is built on pricey yoga pants that flatter the bum. For the first time, Lululemon has vaulted into the Top 10 in a ranking of Best Canadian Brands. The Canadian list, compiled by brand consulting firm Interbrand, is published every two years; since 2010, the retailer has seen its brand value grow nearly 300 per cent, overtaking such Canadian stalwarts as Bombardier Inc. and Canadian Tire Corp. The list is based on the companies with the biggest "brand value," or the portion of their economic performance that can be attributed to marketing and branding power. Toronto-Dominion Bank took the top spot this year.
4. Look out Expedia. Google Inc. is getting into the vacation business. Google.ca/flights allows consumers to see fares from different airlines, and compare their chosen destination with other points on a map and different dates to find deals. It's part of Google's quest to deliver every bit of information people could possibly be searching for – and attract the advertisers hoping to reach those inquisitive folks. The flights aren't booked through Google directly; the site provides links to airline websites or aggregators such as Travelocity and Expedia. The search results and links are not paid ads. But the company is experimenting with selling ads against the flight information.