Clarity can be magic

In October 2015 United Airlines stopped flying to JFK airport in New York city. It focused its flights to their nearby hub in Newark, N.J.

Two years later they had an insight that New Yorkers believe JFK is a closer airport than Newark. But that isn’t the case.

The airline installed screens on 125 taxi tops throughout the city that shows the travel times from a taxi's location to both JFK and Newark airports in real time.

Of course they only introduced the taxi top screens after they did their research and realized that travel times to Newark are notably shorter than those to JFK, often at least 30 minutes shorter. Many times even more.

Often times the thing that’s keeping your business from leaping to the next level is simply making something clear.

Is there anything you need clarified?

Thank you Shuly Vorhand for sending me this story.

Morty Silber, CEO

Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner

Ads that move you... literally.

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Advertising has never felt so real.

Late last year, the Cineplex at Yonge-Dundas became Canada’s first 4DX movie auditorium.  The Cineplex website describes 4DX as "a new, state-of-the-art, cinematic technology that physically immerses the viewer into the film. It uses motion-based seating that is expertly synchronized to the screen, along with captivating effects such as: water, rain, fog, snow, and lightning."

The seats vibrate and swerve making you wonder if there would ever be a good time to take a sip of your over-sized fountain drink.

“I love the fact that it sort of envelops you,” said Dan McGrath, chief operating officer of Cineplex Entertainment. “Most people don’t ever get to experience this kind of thing unless you go to Disneyworld or you go to Universal Studios."

The technology is particularly well-suited for action scenes involving fast movements like car chases and films with extreme weather.

Last April, Audi Canada was the first company to release a 4DX commercial. This 4DX-enabled version of "Pure Imagination" is an ad for its A5 2017 mid-size coupe.

“The campaign tag for the A5 is actually, ‘If AI could dream, it would dream the car we’ve just made,’ which is very similar to our goal at Audi, which is to make that connection of emotion on one side, and technology and innovation on the other side,” Christian Schueller, Audi Canada’s director of marketing and digital innovation.

“Innovation has been our key element from the company’s very beginning: emerging with new inventions that are always pushing the boundaries of what’s possible,” Schueller says. “You’re always trying to make things better, or invent new things, re-inventing yourself along the way.”

As you watch the ad, you feel the wind on your face as well as smells from the passing scenery. Your chair veers and shifts to go with the action. You can even feel Audi’s heartbeat-like sound logo at the end of the ad through the vibrations in your chair. Hopefully, now you'll want to go out and try the real thing.

Below is the ad. Unfortunately, you'll have to imagine the wind in your hair, or eyebrows. On the bright side, you'll stay dry. Enjoy!

How can you immerse your customer into more of an emotional experience in your advertising?

Morty Silber, CEO

Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner

Camouflage advertising

Ads that don't feel like ads.

The first goal of an ad is to gain and keep the audience’s full attention long enough to deliver a message. The problem is that consumers are so fed up with being bombarded with ads that they just tune the majority of them out. So how can your ads sneak past the steadfast gate-keeper of the consumer mind?

In 2014, Buzzfeed released a video for Friskies cat food called "Dear Kitten". The video in which a sage old cat gives advice to a new kitten, went viral on YouTube in just 4 days, generating over 5 million views. The ad doesn't feel at all like an ad. The narrative, voiced by Buzzfeed's wonderfully crazy Executive Vice President, Ze Frank, is quite entertaining and comedic in tone. It feels more like a short story than an ad which is why it's so easy to watch.

The commercial begins with “Dear Kitten: Since I have hissed at you the customary 437 times, it is now my duty as the head of the household to — begrudgingly — welcome you,” says the older cat.

They've since made several more equally lovable "Dear kitten" videos but this was the first.


Fans of the video took to Twitter to express their love for the commercial stating “If all ads were this good, maybe we wouldn’t fast-forward them.” Comments on YouTube were equally impressive.

“I laughed, I cried, I wanted to run to the shelter and adopt… the single best commercial I can remember.”

"I'm loathed to give advertisers any kind of incentive. But these ads are an absolute delight. I really. Really like them. The writing. The short story. The characters (of course I mean the Felines) The whole darn production. These Friskies ads are some of the best I've seen in a very, very long time. 👍👌🐱"

"I'm a dog person but this really makes me want to get a cat."

Although these ads are clearly aimed at cat owners, they also appeal to animal lovers everywhere. It has personality and the cuteness abounds! The video also never stops making us laughter out loud with cat-isms.

I'll have to test the efficiency of the invisibility curtains. It may come in handy one day.

What are you doing to make your ads seem more like a story and less like an ad?

Morty Silber, CEO

Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner

The Rainbow Unicorn Evolution

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Why are we so attracted to rainbow colours?

What was once only something only geared toward children is now being seen across several industries. To say that rainbow colours have gone viral would be an understatement. From rainbow food to unicorn themed beauty trends, it's become a bit of an obsession.


These days, rainbows can be found in more places than just your decked out birthday cake. Rainbow sushi, rainbow grilled cheese sandwiches and unicorn poop (cookies) are just a few of the new food trends. The beauty industry has also exploded with colour with the introduction of "holographic" lip gloss, eyeshadow, and a myriad of hair dye colours to achieve rainbow hair.

So why is the rainbow trend spreading like a virus?

Simply put, it's visually appealing. In nature, rainbows are beautiful and rare. They have a magical quality to them that gives us a childlike sense of wonder. According to Laurie Pressman, the VP of the Pantone Color Institute, “Bright shades are happy – they make us smile. These colors in foods…imply a sense of fun and levity. Engaging and inviting, they bring us back to a time when things were simpler and playfully innocent.” 

In April of this year, Starbucks began selling “Unicorn Frappuccinos” and was only available from the 19th to the 23rd. Pictures of the whimsical drink were shared over 150 000 times on Instagram and Twitter was inundated with tweets about the Unicorn Frappuccino creating the buzz Starbucks was hoping for (regardless of how it tasted).

Dizz’s Bagel & Deli in Montreal has also joined the rainbow evolution. Along with other tasty bagels like chocolate & cheese bagels and apple cinnamon cheese sugar-coated bagels, you can find their latest creation, the rainbow bagel. Some would say that a rainbow bagel tastes better than its less colourful counterpart. 

Coloured foods can be entertaining to eat and fun to share on social media. When you stop and think about why people are attracted to rainbow colours, it becomes clear that the joy consumers get from the experience is what its all about. Whether we are talking about rainbow foods or rainbow hair, they are all selling the same thing: pure fun!

Would your products benefit from a colour overhaul? 

Morty Silber, CEO

Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner