Paula Costello

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Articles by Paula Costello

Fraternity events draw corporate sponsors

Having trouble getting your brand in front of university students? Fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi has the answer. The fraternity has been organizing parties, but with a difference. These parties are a professional venture with corporate sponsorship, and raise money for charity.

University of Toronto student and VP of AEPi Kobi Gulersen says they had four parties last year, each drawing between 1,000 to 1,500 attendees. For one of them, Mac Cosmetics was a sponsor and gave away $40,000 worth of cosmetics (everyone got a take-home bag.)


Exclaim! tour seeks additional sponsors for young, male aud

Exclaim! magazine will soon be rolling out its Aggressive Tendencies Tour 2005, sponsored by MuchLOUD. The tour, featuring hard-driving bands Converge, Terror, Cursed and Mare, runs from Sept. 24 in Vancouver to Oct. 8 in Quebec City and is a spinoff of the Aggressive Tendencies section of the magazine. Both target those elusive 16-24s – at least 70% male – so the tour is seeking appropriate sponsors in the cellphone and other consumer goods categories.

Aggressive Tendencies will be getting talked up on MuchLOUD, which is both a Saturday night show on MuchMusic and a digital channel. The fun will also feature a contest on the Exclaim! site in which entrants can win CDs of the touring bands, Much stuff and, potentially, prizing from additional sponsors.


2 Magazine takes ad integration to new level

Due to popular demand, Toronto-based book 2: The Magazine for Couples is expanding its integrated advertising opportunities. The pub, which celebrates its first anniversary with its summer issue due on newsstands this week, has been running advertorial features that it calls ’2 Magazine Promotions.’ Participants’ products are used to create an attractive spread into which advertiser logos are also integrated. The feature is promoted in one issue and then executed in the next issue so advertisers get a double hit.

The vehicle, which covers topics like bedroom makeovers, has proven so successful that 2 has expanded its offering by introducing a contest for its anniversary issue. Readers can enter until July 5 at for a chance to win a ‘Couple Makeover,’ a package that includes, this time around, clothing from Point Zero and a weekend retreat at The Couples Resort, among other things.


Everybody’s keeping it real

Summertime (theoretically) and the living is sleazy. Why, you may ask? Because the flow of reality programming is continuing unabated and seemingly no one can get enough. From trailer park inhabitant makeovers to tattooed rocker Tommy Lee going to college, this low-rent fare often pays high dividends to broadcasters and, in turn, advertisers. But is enough enough?

‘Some formats are going to see a bit of a decline because they’ve been around for a while,’ says Doner Canada SVP/media director Theresa Treutler. ‘People are always interested in something new. I’m not confident that Idol and Big Brother will do as well as last year.’


New for fall

The Canadians are south this week sussing out the new programming and trying to sort out what they’re going to buy. In the meantime, Media in Canada does a quick round-up of the U.S.’s new shows, almost all of which are bound to be picked up for this country. Coverage includes fall and midseason.


Zoom rolls out new services

Montreal-based Zoom Media, a targeted lifestyle media and marketing company, yesterday announced the launch of three advances in its service.
With its new Proof of Performance Web site, advertisers and agencies will now have a personal online campaign tracking system with 24/7 online security access to view their campaign posting details; they can track the progress of their campaign by viewing pictures of every board posted. Developed by software firm Ayuda Media Management Systems, the site is scheduled to go live the week of June 6 at


Branded alerts and targeted blogs: appearing on a computer screen near you

How would you like your target to receive a small ad that drives them to your site every time a content-related blog gets updated? That capability is coming later this year, says Royal Farros, CEO of Redwood City, Calif.-based MessageCast.
Currently MessageCast provides branded alerts to a variety of clients, such as Fox Sports, looking to build frequency of Web site visits. When the Jays are playing, the branded alerts provide a mechanism for updating the target market even while they’re virtuously working away at the office. Alerts appear in the bottom corner of computer screens, with updates like ‘Jays 2, Yankees 1, Top 1st,’ and a Fox Sports logo above the message. The message is a link that takes them to Fox Sports’ site where they can get more on the story. If they don’t click, the alert will melt away. Low annoyance factor.


Corus Radio podcasts up and running

Corus Radio has launched podcasts of its popular music doc programs ‘The Ongoing History of New Music’ and ‘Legends of Classic Rock,’ which are now available for download across Corus’ new rock and classic rock stations.
Chris Sisam, VP of sales, says the company’s goal is to match listeners and downloaders with advertisers. ‘However with new technology, we are also going to be developing new ways of advertising. We’ll work with advertisers to do what’s appropriate for their program. For example, we might do opening and closing billboards.’


Media spend being cut despite rising marketing budgets: ICA survey

Budgets for all main categories of marketing spend were revised up in Q1 with the exception of main media ad spend, says the ICA Survey of Marketing Budgets, conducted for the Institute of Communications and Advertising by NTC Research. The study is based on quarterly information provided by a panel of 270 senior marketing executives in Canadian companies in Q1.
Main media ad spend was revised down slightly, having been left unchanged in Q4 and also revised down in Q3. Companies reported that weak profits, linked in turn to poor sales and high oil prices, had encouraged a further shift in the allocation of marketing spend away from main media advertising towards direct marketing and the Internet.


Faith station has new Vision

Visiontv has been taking stock and decided it needs a new outlook. While the Toronto-based faith and spirituality specialty is still not-for-profit, it has switched its focus to becoming a competitive broadcaster in the minds of media planners and buyers.
To that end, the net is putting an aggressive push on sales. It outsources its ad sales to Airtime Sales, of Toronto, but has now hired a consultant to work on sales and has more control over the function.


Fantasy Sports net seeks sponsors for mobile effort

Online game environment Fantasy Sports Network is going mobile. In its current online incarnation, the site garners about 100,000 unique visitors a month who pay to play fantasy hockey, golf and other games. Now Toronto-based FSN is turning its sights to mobile.
GM Steve Hulford sees cellphones as a great medium for such features as polls, trivia and letting people see how they rank. Within the, say, 20,000 people playing, a group of 20 friends can form a league and Hulford is hoping they will use SMS to ‘trash talk’ each other, saying things like: ‘I passed you in the golf pool last night.’ FSN is partnering with Toronto-based mobile game development company Magnet Mobile in the initiative and is looking for a major sponsor in the telecommunications space to help get things ramped up for a summer go.


Advertisers hitting the Sweetspot, a localized Toronto e-mail newsletter and Web site (see MIC, Dec. 2/04) has just expanded into Montreal this month and has plans to invade Vancouver in late May or early June. The publication focuses on shopping finds of interest to upscale urbanites and those who would like to be.
There are now 5,000 subscribers to the e-mail, double the 2,500 it had when MIC interviewed the co. in early December. Visits to the site are holding steady (at 10,000 per week). But ‘that’s considered secondary,’ says founder Joanna Track, an Ogilvy account-side alum. ‘We mainly sell the e-mail. The newsletter’s pass-along factor is up to 25% that Sweetspot can track (those passed along using an embedded forward function), but, says Track: ‘A lot of people just press their [regular] forward button so we can’t track that.’ She says most days they see 10% to 25% pass-along.
Marketers have been hitching their wagons to the star in growing numbers and one must admit the target demo is an advertiser’s dream: primary 25-40, secondary 18-24, with a strong female skew (88%.) Forty per cent claim a $75,000+ income. Track says the newsletter acts as a great filter, with one story a day, on one topic. ‘It’s a very easy read and very digestible,’ she says. ‘Because we keep it short (200 words max,) a person can be in and out and we’re not intrusive.’


Ad opps ‘à la carte’ in new CHUM podcasts

Radio station 104.5 CHUM FM in Toronto is launching a daily podcast next month, the first of many such podvertunities unfolding within the CHUM empire. The debut pod property is its popular morning show with Roger, Rick & Marilyn, downloadable in a handy mp3 version weekdays from 5:00 a.m. at, beginning May 2. ‘We plan to launch a series of services,’ says CHUM FM program director, Rob Farina, ‘from daily entertainment news, exclusive artist interviews and CD previews [to] new music showcases. One of our main initiatives will be to make available the immense archival material [such as] interviews and performances that span CHUM FM’s 40-year history. From Jimi Hendrix to Elton John to Madonna, for the first time fans can download classic interviews with their favourite artists – unedited and uncensored.’
Says Roma Khanna, VP, CHUM Interactive: ‘The mobile lifestyle and use of digital music players is an exciting new way to consume entertainment.’ Farina adds that podcasting will allow CHUM to ‘extend our reach to listeners at times of the day when they are not near a radio.’ And advertisers are invited along for the ride. Says Marc Charlebois, general sales manager of 1050 CHUM and CHUM FM: ‘This creates an engaging marketing opportunity for our clients. It’s online; it’s offline. We can integrate client content into the podcast. Whereas on the morning show hosts may not expand on ad messages since they have to get right back to the music, in the podcast they can.


PMB 2005 shows steady market

‘There’s a lot of good news for magazines,’ says PHD Canada’s Rob Young of the PMB 2005 study released yesterday. ‘If I were Rogers or Transcontinental, I’d be saying ‘yippee!”
PMB released readership data on a record number of 102 magazines. This includes more first-timers than ever before with eight English and five French pubs participating. The new books included Canadian Home & Country, Cottage Life, Fashion18, Inside Entertainment, Ottawa City, Sports Illustrated, TORO, Where Canada, Cote Jardins, En Primeur, Le Devoir, Recevoir and Styles de Vie


Da Vinci Code movie seeks advertiser involvement

Vancouver-based PropStar Product Placements is currently involved in several movie projects that are looking for products/client involvement. Two of the films are The Da Vinci Code and Basic Instinct 2.
The films are designed to appeal to a mass audience and should provide wide exposure to the products placed. PropStar is particularly interested in striking deals with technology and cellphone companies.