Few condiments hold a candle to this savory-sweet, palate-pleasing treat enjoyed by adults and children alike. Ketchup, your pairings are endless: eggs, bacon, bologna, hot dogs, fries, burgers, sausages, onion rings, grilled cheese, chicken fingers, fish sticks…alright maybe not endless. That’s getting pretty close to an exhaustive list, as far as any self-respecting person can enumerate. Yes, this powerful condiment possesses an innate ability to make-or-break your summer BBQ. And it recently showed off some of its unique power to rally social media supporters in a very surprising way. Canadian Connoisseurs Speak Up In March 2016, Loblaws decided to pull French’s ketchup from its shelves without warning, inciting a viral backlash demanding Loblaws re-list the item. The sense of importance associated with this particular product most likely stems from its local origins. French’s ketchup is made with tomatoes grown here in Canada; Leamington, Ontario to be geographically precise. Thus it’s a source of national pride, of small-town Canadian jobs and, ultimately, of significance extending well beyond something squeezed from a bottle. This high level of engagement in the supply chain management process led Globe and Mail food columnist Sylvan Charlebois to declare in his Ketchup Wars opinion piece that “the politics of food distribution are alive and well in Canada”. Many speculated that unfair competitive practices among vendors may have had something to do with Loblaws’ decision to de-list the product. Finding evidence to support this theory is challenging. However, the ketchup story illustrates how the complexities of food retailing are increasingly intermingling with unexpected social media uprisings.
To a child of the ’80s it still seems unbelievable that vacations today are researched and booked almost exclusively online. I remember visiting travel agencies with my parents. I can recall flipping through the glossy pages of snazzy magazines, always trying to sneak that Disney booklet into a place of prominence on the agent’s desk. I can picture how every “Sunshiny Holidays” guide was divided into country-specific sections, and hotels had a single picture depicting what they were all about. One picture. That was all. To help with the limited visuals were 5-7 sentence descriptions written by the proprietors themselves. So you’d thumb through the guide, gaze at the photos and dutifully try to convince your parents to choose the spot with the best-looking pool. All the while the agent typed away on her keyboard, telling you what was available and at what price. It felt like a simpler time, even if it was a comparatively powerless one for consumers. Alas, I won’t be offering the same memories to my kids (hey!…remember when Mom spent 4 hours staring at her cellphone reading reviews for our one-day getaway to Great Wolf Lodge?). The limited technological sophistication available “back then” unfortunately meant very limited access to accurate, reliable information when booking a holiday. Transforming the Industry The transformation of the Tourism & Hospitality industry caused by the influence and upsurge of social media is nothing short of astounding. Approximately one-fifth of leisure travelers worldwide turn to social media platforms for inspiration within different categories of their travel planning including: Hotels (23%) Vacation activities (22%) Attractions (21%) Restaurants (17%). Along with these sweeping changes, the Travel Marketing Industry has had to adapt to the ever-shifting landscape, finding innovative ways for determining how to create desirable experiences, and secure a high number of bookings. As early as 2011, Ryan McElroy, a recognized leader in the travel and hospitality industry, discovered that many travel agencies were still operating from old blueprints. They were missing opportunities to generate bookings because they weren’t harnessing the social media and digital platforms available. As a solution, McElroy created Travel Agency Tribes. Travel Agency Tribes is a SaaS (software as a service) company that creates all the technology required to make a travel agency’s online presence dynamic, easy to update, and adept at crossing all the new channels that today’s savvy travel consumer expects. This Canadian company has its ear firmly glued to the ground. It’s leveraging the very best that social media… Read more »
If you’re like me and a fan of the television show Big Brother Canada, you were undoubtedly excited when it returned earlier this month for its fifth season. One thing they changed up however, was the live show following the eviction. In the past, the evicted house guest was interviewed on stage by the show’s host Arisa Cox and former house guests Peter Brown and Gary Levy. This year however, the format has changed and viewers are now asked to watch ‘After the Eviction’ live on Facebook. Every day when I scroll through my Facebook feed I notice at least one Facebook Live video posted by someone I follow. Whether it’s an acquaintance who as has begun using the social media platform to try and make a name for them self in the fitness community, or someone who has attended a concert and wanted everyone to get a glimpse into the show by posting their favourite song as it’s being played – live streaming appears to be here to stay.
Organization name: Sony Industry: Electronics Company Contact: Phil Molyneux, President Web references: Sony Description of how social media is used for business performance: In 2013, Sony U.S. president Phil Molyneux turned to the general public to help develop a name for the company’s new wireless mobile speakers – in the shape of pink, black, and white balls. In an official… Read more »
Organization name: Snapchat, Inc. Industry: Photo sharing, social networking service Company Contact: Evan Spiegel, CEO Snapchat Web references: Snapchat Description of how social media is used for business performance: When I started reviewing Snapchat, and how it could play a role in the future of the brands I represent on social media I couldn’t get my head around it. The… Read more »
Organization name: Lowe’s Companies, Inc. Industry: Retail home improvement and appliance stores Company Contact: Tom Lamb, Lowe’s Senior Vice President of Marketing & Advertising Web references: Lowe’s Description of how social media is used for business performance: According to a release from advertising giants BBDO, Lowe’s is the second largest home improvement retailer in the world. As a part of the… Read more »
Organization name: Foiled Cupcakes Industry: Food, online Bakery Company Contact: Mari Luangrath, Head Cupcakeologist of Foiled Cupcake Web references: Foiled Cupcakes Description of how social media is used for business performance: In 2009, when Mari Luangrath was getting ready to launch her online home-based cupcake business she ran in a massive setback – the overseas web developer that was creating… Read more »
Organization name: State of Hawaii Industry: Government Company Contact: Adjutant General Darryll Wong, Hawaii National Guard and Civil Defense Kevin Montgomery, founder of Intelesense Technologies and Senior Researcher, Center for Innovation in Global Health at Stanford University School of Medicine Web references: Collaborate Description of how social media is used for business performance: Exemplary State Initiative is the vision of… Read more »
Organization name: Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph Who they are: As a founding college of the University of Guelph and one of the earliest established Veterinary Medical Colleges in North America, the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) is a world leader in veterinary health care, learning and research – for the health of all species, including our own. Company Contact:… Read more »