Pia Musngi

Contact Pia by sending an email to pmusngi@brunico.com

Articles by Pia Musngi

Pundits unimpressed with Canadian leverage of Super media play

Global may have boasted an average audience of four million (source: BBM) for Sunday’s Super Bowl, but the only thing heard from our armchair ad critics was a collective yawn. Their take? If you’re looking for a mass audience, this is it. So go big or go home. Canuck advertisers played it safe here, and for the creative and marketing types polled, that just meant a good game of football and a chance to run to the fridge.


One to watch: APTN

Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN)’s viewing numbers are on the rise, positioning the net as one to watch – literally. BBM’s People Meter service revealed last week that APTN’s weekly reach has grown from nearly 1.6 million (between January to October 2004) to just over 2.1 million viewers (over the same 10-month period one year later). This represents a growth of 35% for the net’s secondary audience group consisting of non-Aboriginal viewers. And just last November, APTN began to be measured in Quebec resulting in an increased reach to more than three million viewers per week.


Changing TV consumption a good thing: pundits react to IBM global study

Anheuser-Busch is using this Super Bowl weekend as the launch pad of ‘The Bud Screen,’ a new direct-to-consumer channel that offers viewers ads, programming and branded content downloadable to computers and iPods. CBS just announced the availability of Survivor on CBS.com for $1.99 per download. This would seem to support the findings of an IBM study recently released, The End of Television As We Know It.


Swiss Chalet uses speed concept to leverage creative connection planning

This week marked the launch of eatery chain Swiss Chalet’s new Dine in 15-minute Lunch Guarantee menu and the multimedia campaign uses online games, street teams, a contest and viral components to get its speedy message out. And to up the fun around the campaign, Vaughn, ON-based agency Millenium launched a Pacman-style


Pundits weigh in on product integration matchmaker site

This week marked the launch of Culver City, CA-based marketing match site mediamatchmaker.com, and media pundits on this side of the border were quick to give their opinion. The subscription-based site, helmed by partners Betsy Green, a former Fox TV product placement manager, and entertainment lawyer Jim Mahoney, uses an online dating interface model to connect


Falcon Beach to boast bods, babes, and now, brands

Seems Global’s not the only brand banking on the hotness of Falcon Beach. The new, Canadian drama has scored General Motors’ brands, Pontiac, Cadillac and Buick to appear alongside hot bodies in hot locales throughout its first season, 13-episode run.

‘We saw this as a unique opportunity for a range of GM brands,’ explains Hugh Dow, president of M2 Universal, the agency behind the deal. ‘We wanted a


Global deploys offbeat media to pump new show

Global’s heating up winter with a big promo push for its mid-season entry, Canadian teen drama Falcon Beach — and the net’s deploying a slew of non-traditional tactics to nab attention. The 13-episode series about life in a beach town makes its TV debut on Thursday, Jan. 5 at 8 p.m. – directly competing with CTV’s The O.C.

Beginning December 26 for four weeks in Toronto, Global will be rolling out the Falcon Beach Bowl – a branded flatbed truck complete with a plexiglass frame housing sand, surf and bathing suit-clad models. Models wearing Speedo (a promo partner) will be sampling branded merchandise, handing out frisbees and hand warmers tagged with the ‘it’s hot’ theme. Joining in on the fun are the PixMen who will be spooling previews of the show, with music from Falcon Beach’s upcoming CD by artists Broken Social Scene and Kathleen Edwards. Montreal-based Gearwerx experiential marketing created the Bowl, which will be seen at various events including hockey games, near nightclubs and at university campuses.


Nets bump and shuffle for mid-season programming properties

Mid-season programming plans are well underway for the folks at CHUM and at Global, with key homegrown properties each set to take the lion’s share of the nets’ marketing pie. For CityTV, the big push is on for new reality series MuchMusic VJ Search airing on Monday, Jan. 30, while at Global, new Canadian drama Falcon Beach hopes to net the younger end of the 18-49 bullseye, beginning Thursday, Jan. 5.

‘From the winter through to the spring, we’ve got very reliable hits returning. Fall was stable and [enabled us to] build viewer loyalty, positioning us really well for the winter programs,’ says Barb Williams, SVP of programming and production at CanWest. Williams confirms that Fear Factor will return Mondays at 8 p.m., with 24 taking the 9 p.m. slot in January.


***NEWS FLASH*** Cassies spread the wealth among seven

There was a spread of wealth at the Cassies today with 10 golds distributed among seven agencies. And while TV has long been the award-hogging medium, some campaigns awarded today proved you can do a lot with innovative use of the ‘other’ media, such as radio (used by Target for Irving Oil) or OOH (used by Cossette for the butter campaign).

Target Marketing and Communications scored some hardware today, winning a gold apiece for its McCain Foods and Irving Oil accounts. Most notable in the Irving Oil work is the take-off of a 60-second reality radio show, hyping up small prize wins such as a bag of chips. Arnold Worldwide picked up two golds for its United Way ‘The hand’ campaign, one each in the not-for-profit and sustained success categories. John St. scooped two golds this afternoon, both in the retail category, for its Moores and Harvey’s accounts. The agency also nabbed a certificate of excellence award for its work on K&G Fashion Stores.


KIA and Subway sit rink-side for season two of The Tournament

Automaker KIA Canada has hooked up with CBC hockey mockumentary series The Tournament for its second season as fully-integrated marketing partners. And new this year, sandwich chain Subway has been added as secondary sponsor. Steven Pitkanen, customer marketing manager at the CBC says the partners are all working together to make an even bigger splash this year.

In January, the lead characters, ‘hockey dads’ Barry and Doug, (played by Alain Goulem and Christian Potenza) will be making appearances at various dealerships in the GTA. The two are also on tap to be at the KIA booth for the Toronto Auto Show in February. On the show, the characters are KIA dealership employees.


Mocknews: the medium is the message, or is it? Virgin Mobile messes with readers + Mayor Da Vinci lays down the law

Advertisers are pushing the limits to get attention, and they’re getting in the news to do it. We’re not talking public relations. This is news hijacking – and innovative media buys/plans are key to this ‘gotcha’ phenom. Case in point? Virgin Mobile and TV drama DaVinci’s City Hall. True story: If you happened to pick up a copy of free daily, 24 Hours last week, you may have been struck by the headline that read: ‘Magical reindeer ate my phone.’ No, this isn’t a joke – it’s a tongue-in-cheek tactic employed by Virgin Mobile to nab readers’ attention.

The mock news bit is just the first of many holiday tactics up Virgin’s sleeve, says James Powell, sr. manager, brand and communications. Powell insists that readers of 24 Hours loved the stunt and the paper is now being inundated with requests from other brands to do the same. Building on the current reindeer-themed TV spots on rotation now and to push sales of the Virgin Mobile Hot Box, he says: ‘Keep your eyes peeled. Hundreds of reindeers [in various sizes] will be finding their way into the lives of Canadians in December.’ Creative for the campaign was done by Lowe Roche, with media buying managed by Wills & Co., both of Toronto.


Brand Canada deploys offbeat media

Canada is looking for some company and is inviting the rest of the world to drop by for a visit. The Canadian Tourism Commission’s (CTC) Brand Canada ad campaign, complete with tag line ‘Canada. Keep exploring,’ was unveiled in London, England yesterday. The mandate? To get on potential visitors’ radars through innovative media placement.

‘We want to get the message across in the course of their daily lives,’ explains Steve Wright, strategic planner at DDB Canada, the agency behind the campaign. ‘We want to get on people’s shopping lists.’

As such, bagel and bread bags, coffee sleeves, branded smart cars and, oh yes, even instructional diagrams on health clubs’ weight machines will be sporting the Brand Canada maple leaf in various European markets such as the U.K., France and Germany. Other campaign executions include superboards, public bus wraps and 3-D posters (depicting a stroll through Old Quebec City for example). All this in addition to traditional radio and print buys.

‘There’s no point in our providing ad number 22 in a block of 85 ads within a travel magazine. The point is to get outside of traditional travel media,’ says Wright.


Top nods go to OMD and HP: Gunn Report for Media

The Gunn Report for Media has named OMD the top creative media agency – at 161 points – for the second year in a row. The list, which ranks the most awarded campaigns, agencies and advertisers at media competitions worldwide (including Cannes Media Lions, FIAP, IPA, the Clios and the Effies), has also named Hewlett-Packard as advertiser of the year. Meanwhile, Nike’s Canadian ‘You are faster’ campaign was the sixth most awarded campaign in the Gunn report.

Other nods went to Starcom MediaVest, which took the number two spot in the media agency race, scoring 150 points. The agency’s prize booty this year included laurels at Cannes and the U.S. Effies, two Clios, a Grand Prix at the Malaysian Media Awards and two prizes at FIAP. Third place went to ZenithOptimedia at 95 points with lead campaigns including London’s ‘Virtual history’ and France’s ‘Hype Gallery’ – both for HP. Zenith also nabbed two Effies in the U.S.


Rabble.ca searches for sponsors for new podcast network

Four-year-old online alt-news site rabble.ca has announced today that it is launching the rabble podcast network (rpn), a hub for independently produced, fully-Canadian audio programs covering subjects from books to technology to politics, among others. And they’re looking for brand sponsors.

‘[The podcasting network] gives advertisers the opportunity to reach rabble.ca visitors,’ says executive producer Wayne MacPhail. ‘It provides a multimedia buy because there’s also the opportunity to put video on the podcasts. And because it’s a subscription model, it targets a pre-qualified audience.’ MacPhail reports that the site attracts 300,000 unique visits per month with actual page views at approximately 3 million monthly. According to an online survey conducted in 2004, Rabble.ca attracts two demos: 25-38s and 41-50, skewing male.


Virgin gets naughty with Vice for the holidays

Virgin Mobile wants Canadian Vice readers to wrap it up. As part of its holiday promotions and just in time for the launch of the mobile brand’s Hot Box, (an all-in-one mobile starter kit complete with its newest phone offering), Virgin Mobile is including ‘super hot holiday’ wrapping paper with the December issue of youth mag Vice. The Virgin Mobile Miracle promo also names cinema chain Famous Players as a partner, with street teams giving out the ‘re-gifting’ paper and other swag at theatres across the country during the month of December.

‘The objective here is to build on the launch of our Hot Box,’ explains James Powell, Senior Manager, Brand and Communications at Virgin Mobile. ‘The theme is ‘have a super hot holiday.’ We’re really playing off Vice readers’ intelligence and [in the future] we’re waiting on more opportunities to work closer together.’