Sharpe Blackmore bows social media division at YourSpace

Its insightful moniker is 'Ripple,' and the logic behind its creation was amply bolstered at yesterday's conference in Toronto.

If you’re going to venture into social media, don’t just advertise, make yourself useful. That was the resounding message that came out of yesterday’s YourSpace social media conference – which doubled as a coming out party for Ripple, the new social media division of Toronto-based Sharpe Blackmore Euro RSCG.

Queen’s University marketing prof Ken Wong brought three of his colleagues (also known as about-to-graduate students Cleo Cheung, Sal Patel and Albert Lee) along to share their first-person accounts of what it’s like to be Gen Y’ers using social media. They gave props to such brands as TD Canada Trust and H & R Block for unleashing handy Facebook applications that help users divvy up household bills and estimate potential tax refunds, respectively.

The students weren’t so kind about RBC’s foray into Facebook, which they said didn’t work because the bank wasn’t offering anything valuable, but rather just trying to sell itself and take users away from Facebook – a big no-no – and onto its own site.

Ripple’s GM/CD Janice Diner, formerly CD at Toronto-based Segal Communications, led a two-part presentation highlighting the dos and don’ts of social media ad efforts. She highlighted a current effort by Nature Valley, found at, as a clever way of weaving social media elements like uploading photos onto its main site.

The conference was MC’d by Sharpe Blackmore’s resident stand-up comedian, VP/CD Ron Tite, who seized the opportunity to poke fun at unexplained social media phenomena like YouTube sensations ‘Star Wars Kid’ and ‘Daft Hands.’