Sexist? or Smart Advertising?


This ad has been creating controversy in the media this past week and for good reason.  Originated on the CBC Canada website, the article talked about the condo developer taking the ad down and offering a formal apology as well as the agency that created them offered an apology but the comments on the article are much more interesting than the article itself, I have quoted a few below.

“They are sexist, tasteless and old-fashioned. They will attract the wrong sort of people who think this sort of thing is okay.”

“has anyone ever heard of this popular slogan: SEX SELLS”

“I don’t know about the rest of you… but I’m not wasting any of my 25 year old scotch on a 25 year old Blonde.”

“The ads don’t appeal to me. But you have to be pretty uptight to let these harmless ads bother you.  Wil Knoll says he wouldn’t want to be in a room with people who thought it was a great ad. I don’t think I’d want to be in a room with Wil Knoll.”

From Twitter:

@Jaynauta: I bet the goal of that condo ad was to cause I huge uproar. I’m a guy in Regina not looking for a condo and I saw the ad.”

Yes it may have been a bit sexist but people are going to complain regardless of what you do.  Remember, advertising that’s targeted at everyone is effective on no one.  Timothy Ferris once said “Belief’s, belongings and behaviors, threaten these and you will get a response.”  You don’t have to believe me, just look at the statistics so far on this ad:

275 Diggs on


203 Recommends

It’s all over Twitter just search “Sexist Calgary

Finally this is the comment that summed it up for me, I say smart advertising.

TimPaper wrote:

“Oh, lighten up, everyone. The ads were targeted to men – and they appeared in men’s washrooms at nightclubs. They didn’t target children. And they didn’t target women.
All they did was put in an ad in a place where only adult men could see the ads the very thoughts that go through the minds of 99 per cent of men when they’ve got a few drinks in them at a bar.
This is really a tempest in a teapot. You don’t like the ads? Fine, don’t buy a condo. But, please, get a life.  All the overly-sensitive new men who complained about this ad managed to do is get a heckuva lot more publicity for the condo developer.
In fact, the cynic in me wonders if the complaint about sexism wasn’t orchestrated by the developer or the marketers of the project specifically to create a media fury and get a lot of free exposure. If they didn’t do it on purpose, well, they were born under a lucky star because I’m sure this nonsense really helped their sales.”

Read the full article at:

38 books you need to read

38 books you need to read on the topics of entrepreneurship, creativity, advertising, strategy, motivational, psychology, sociology & economics, new media, general business, presentations, and measurement. Let me know what you think and add one in the comments if I missed one.



Psychology of Advertising:


Blue Ocean Strategy







Amazing read on strategy The best book on business strategy ever.


Psychology, Sociology & Economics:

New Media:


Your new business strategy

General Business:



Make presentations that people remember


Web Analytics 2.0

Everything you need to know about advanced SEO

Again, if there are any you think should be on the list please comment below and leave the link.

Fire the Marketing Department

We’re about to hit a tipping point in Canada.  Yes in Saskatchewan as well but I presume it will be a short time after Canada tips.  Stories like this one, about how Canadians for the first time are on the internet more than television should mean a lot to marketers.  The minds behind the marketing industry should be doing more to accommodate the shift.  They’re not.

I think it’s a generational issue as well as somewhat of an egotistical issue.  If you’ve been doing something for a long time and it has worked, no HBR blog post, University of Massachusetts study, or book is going to convince you to change.  More examples of closer to home success stories will be the TSN turning point in this battle.  But if you’re waiting till your competitor gets on Twitter to make the shift from advertising in the Sunday Sun to online, think again.  The companies that get in early to understand the media will be the ultimate winners in the end.

Large ad agency’s aren’t nimble enough to change their strategy and it seems as if they may be left behind with the billboards and newspapers of the old World.  The smart companies are testing the waters and doing their research, asking why before adopting an online platform.

For younger marketers this opens up a large opportunity in a very undiscovered and underdeveloped medium, the internet.  Soon a marketing department’s most valuable person is not the VP who’s been around for 30 years, it’s the new hire that develops iPhone apps at home in her spare time, who has a vast understanding of new media.  This younger generation understands  that you can not buy your way to a success using mass media anymore (re: Pepsi trying to force upon Canada’s chant, “Eh Oh, Canada… I don’t think so”)

Organizations now have to be accountable and transparent because of the near real time communication we have, this should be a positive externality but many companies still view it as a negative.  If your organization fits in this category your best option may be to fire the marketing department altogether.

Information is Not What We’re Worried About

For the new up and coming generation (my generation) we don’t need to worry about information.  Within a few clicks you can find pretty much anything on the internet today and it’s only going to get more cluttered with, non-other than, more information.  When I was in high school we struggled to find information in the text books we were forced to read, that were outdated.  If we had a question that wasn’t in the textbook we struggled to find answers because we didn’t have tools like Google, Wikipedia, and blogs filled with hyperlinked sources.

Today I’m not worried about lack of information, I’m worried about how we filter the information that make up our opinions and views. Many trusted news sources have been known to be wrong, more and more so-called news outlets have sprung-up online, and propaganda is thrown at us almost daily.  How do you cut through the clutter?  And who do you trust?

Doubt what you read, hear and watch.

Orville Wright once said; “If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true were really true, there would be little hope of advance.“  The next time you read a stat that seems a little far fetched find the source, keep digging until you verify it’s origin.  I listen to podcasts like RadioLab and Skeptoid because I trust their sources and I believe what they tell is the truth.  I get a chuckle out of people who jump on the Zeitgeist band wagon without checking the sources to see if what Peter Joseph preaches is actually true.  One I fell for was the Global Warming fan club, which after seeing Al Gore live is difficult not to support.  I can now say I was completely wrong, want to know where I formed my opinion?  Read SuperFreakonomics then tell me what you think of global warming.

Information is not what we’re worried about, it’s the opinions formed from the vast amount of information, when using the wrong filter.  We’re all guilty of it, but we can improve, get smarter and research our opinions better.  So what is your filter?

An Honest Car Shop?

Alas! My car troubles are solved, well for now.  Yes, I have found a car shop that is (or seems to be) honest.  Rochdale Autopro is the place and this is what happened.

My car needed the front wheel bearings changed so I took it in.  Four hours later the wheel bearings were in but they informed me they had installed the wrong model number and that they’d have to wait till after the weekend to get the right ones in.  I returned on Monday with my car, which had developed a very annoying noise from the front breaks.

Four hours later the proper wheel bearing were installed but the annoying squealing grew louder.  I was told they would find the noise and fix it at their cost if the noise didn’t go away.  It didn’t.

Now the third time in two weeks my car goes back to the garage.  They couldn’t find the squealing sound so the breaks were replaced, and to my delight they graciously covered the cost and installation.

Finally I have found a car repair shop that I can trust, though it was a few visits out of my way, covering the break pads made up for it.  Thanks Napa!

Keeping your customers happy is a great marketing strategy and finally your customers can tell the world how you did.  Click here to see what I wrote on about Rochdale Autopro.

@Fraserstrategy: #Followme

If you’re on Twitter just to promote your business like a traditional advertising campaign you missed the boat.  It’s not about telling everyone your latest deal or special, we’re human, we want interaction, we want to know someone is on the other end of the conversation.

I don’t claim be be a Twitter expert but Scott is and so is Michael.  Read what they have to say about it, there are so many more things local companies can be doing on Twitter besides telling me how great YOUR company is.  Get creative! Yes it may take a little time but I bet if you sat down and actually made a plan for Twitter you’d be surprised with the results you could attain.

So please stop the constant self-promotion and engage a follower or two.

Picture credit: Blog Bloke