Starbucks recently dropped the company name from  its logo, leaving only a green “siren” symbol. This is the fourth logo in 40 years.

My opinion? I loved the old logo. It’s one of the most recognizable logos in the world. On the other hand, Nike removed its name, leaving only a swoosh as its logo – and now everyone around the world knows swoosh = Nike.  So I’ll wait and see. Maybe it will grow on me. Maybe it will be a success. Maybe Starbucks will save money on one-colour printing but spend a lot on swapping out the logos. Maybe people will forget Starbucks, and call it “that green mermaid place.”

What do you think?


Info & photo credit here.

In 2007, I had my first winter ever. My boyfriend excitedly took me skiing with his family in Fernie over the Christmas Holidays. While these people are all experienced black diamond skiers who’ve done it since they were three years old, I have never skied before. Heck, I did not even know how to walk on snow. But always the positive thinker, I thought, “I can rock this skiing business!”

Remind me to never ever again make statements like that out loud. At the time, I did not think it was an ambitious nor bold statement to make. But at the time, I had no idea that:

…skis slide (For some reason, I thought there was a go-stop button that I could press anytime I pleased.)

…skis slide BACKWARDS too!

…that I could not wear jeans on the ski hill. I had to borrow ski pants from my boyfriend, which were slightly too big for me that I had to duct tape them around my waist.

…that it’s nearly impossible to go on a bathroom break if you duct taped your ski pants around your waist.

…that I would be the only person in the bunny hill taller than 3 feet.

…that I should  not have picked the Australian ski instructor. He was hot but I could not understand a word he was yelling at me as I flew down the hill at a speed of 120 km per hour.

…that snow can look deceivingly soft.

Now it’s that time of year again. I’m cramming for some “training” time to get into shape for holidays with the soon-to-be in-laws. No bold statements this time. Wish me luck!

I would like to make an addendum to my last blog post “Exposing My Dirty Little Secret.” I’ve received comments from friends that the Dirty Laundry Vineyard is definitely a must-see (or rather, a must-taste) in the Okanagan Valley. But now that it’s winter, make sure to check the business hours before you go. You don’t want to make a trip expecting to see naughty business there, only to see the sign, “Sorry, we are clothed!”

Okay, here it is. My dirty little secret is that I am obsessed with “Dirty Laundry.”

No, I don’t mean dirty underwear. I’m referring to this charming little vineyard that I discovered during a recent trip to the Okanagan Valley. Behind its name is an interesting story that started during the gold rush era in the 1800’s, when fur traders, gold miners and railway workers settled in the valley. One Chinese railway worker, I forget his name but I am pretty sure his name was Sam, fled the terrible working conditions of the railway construction and started a business – a laundry business. It seemed innocent enough, but little did anyone know that Sam had expanded to include a brother on the second floor!!!

Sam’s business became later called across town as “The Dirty Laundry.” Today, Sam’s business is long gone and replaced by this beautiful vineyard, which became named after this little piece of Summerland history.

I had a lot of fun learning about the name, and I’m pretty sure the business owners had a lot of fun with their marketing and branding. The logo, for example, is that of a steam iron. Again, it looks innocent enough, but if you look closely at the steam coming out, you will see shapes of women – 14 in total.

Each wine represents a lady, as suggested by the following clever wine names:

  • Naughty Chardonnay
  • Not so Knotty Chardonnay
  • Hush – a complicated, evasive woman that will keep you “blushing”
  • Merlot – a dark, mysterious and alluring woman that reminds you of dark cherry, wild berries and chocolate
  • Bordello – a full bodied and provocative woman representing an exotic swirl of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc
  • A new port called “Girl in Every Port”
  • A new ice wine called “Whore Frost”

They most definitely had a lot of fun with the packaging as well.

This is the bordello. The bottle comes with a magnifying glass for you and I to see the tiny women, corsets and boots on its passion red label.

This is the hush, which comes in a pink bottle designed with naughty quotes forming the shape of steam. One of them by Zsa Zsa Gabor, “How many husbands have I had? You mean apart from my own?”

Finally, this is the concept for their new ice wine, called “Whore Frost” – a play on hoar frost, which is frozen dew that forms beautiful white crystals on EVERYTHING during winter.

I loved their wines, even the Merlot which I am not usually fond of. They flirted with my taste buds and made me crave for more. I ended the tour with a purchase that would fill my wine fridge and last me quite a while. I’m not sure if I am more seduced by the marketing genius behind this little vineyard more so than their wines.

So there it is… my dirty little secret. Perhaps it’s best that we keep this hush hush.


Photo Credit:

At the risk of sounding like a heretic, I have to admit that I am a bit tired of this “social media” nonsense. If I hear the words “engage” and “tweet” one more time, I am going to get sick. So for the rest of this blog, every time I need to mention any of those words, I will simply replace them with “beep!”

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to shut down my social media accounts any time soon. In fact, I still love them and use them. How else am I going to share photos of my latest trip with friends and family without Face-BEEP? How else am I going to find out the latest interesting trends in the Marketing industry and, ahem, Hollywood gossip without Twi-BEEP? How else am I going to network without Linked-BEEP? How else am I going to write this blog without Word-BEEP? Beep! Beep! Beep!

I hate this big fuss around social media. Fine, the creators of BEEP, BEEP and BEEP have revolutionized technology and the way people connect and communicate for the next several generations. That’s a big deal, I get it. But really, social media is JUST media. What is really interesting are people’s ideas, opinions and stories that travel via these media.

So for the next while, until I get over this social media fatigue, I will be blogging about my own ideas, opinions and stories.

You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.

This is the tagline for the upcoming movie The Social Network, a film about the youngest billionaire in history – Mark Zuckerberg. In 2003, Harvard graduate and computer programming genius Zuckerberg works on an idea that turns into global social network Facebook.

The movie is based on the book “The Accidental Billionaires” by Mezrich. I have not read the book, and obviously I have not seen the movie as it isn’t out in theatres yet. But I do want to know why Mark Zuckerberg famously falls under the category of Accidental Billionaires.

What is an accidental billionaire anyway? Is it someone who made billions by accident, as opposed to intentionally? Did he accidentally teach himself how to program? Did he accidentally get into Harvard? Did he accidentally work countless hours to develop, launch and run the world’s largest social networking site today?

I wonder what this accidental billionaire must be thinking. Whoops, I accidentally spilled my coffee. Whoops, I accidentally wrote a code for a website. Whoops, I accidentally called it Facebook. Whoops, I accidentally made myself worth $4B.


Photo taken from the official site of The Social Network.

So we’ve all probably heard about the Old Spice commercial. In case you’ve been out of the planet these past few months, here’s the clip:

Now, the shirtless, extremely suave Old Spice guy is back with an encore. In what is definitely one of the most creative social media campaigns out there since Shreddies’ Diamond vs. Square campaign, Old Spice  released over 100 personalized YouTube videos shot in a span of 48 hours. These videos show the muscled Old Spice guy, played by actor Isaiah Mustafa, responding to tweets from people, including well-known celebrities like @Alyssa_Milano:

Here’s his response to @biz, the co-founder of Twitter:

Here’s his response to @GStephanopoulos, Good Morning America Anchor and ABC News Chief Political Correspondent who wrote “Hey Old Spice Man — Political question: President [Obama]’s lost some female support. How does WH get those women voters back?”

Here’s his response to @jsbeals who asks: “Can you ask my girlfriend to marry me?”

The girlfriend said yes. After all, who could say no to Old Spice guy?

Kudos to Mustafa for perfect delivery and abs, as well as to Wieden+Kennedy, the creative team behind this campaign. You deserve to win best commercial of the year at Cannes. As Mark Tutssel, global chief creative officer at the Leo Burnett Worldwide ad agency said, “It took an old, sleepy brand and woke it up, and overnight wove its way into popular culture.”

The social media campaign deserves an award in its own category. The words “social media” have become sickening these past few months, so it’s very refreshing to see a campaign actually worth buzzing about. If only Old Spice Guy could make ads for all products out there, there might actually be no need for Tivo.

This is a follow-up to my previous post “What the f*** is social media?

By Marta Kagan

Yes, I should be blogging about more important things like business, marketing, the economy or the environment. But hey, Brett Wilson is one of my favorite business icons. Hence, this is business-related!

I was watching Dragon’s Den on CBC tonight (a show that my boss insists should be called “I’m Out!!!” with triple exclamation marks), and I just realized that:

1.  I’ve got a huge crush on Brett Wilson. He’s obviously intelligent, and he’s just so damn good looking.

2. More importantly, he looks so much like Robert Downey Jr., who of course plays Tony Stark in the Iron Man series – a billion dollar magnate/superhero, which is similar to Brett Wilson’s real life role (minus the suit… and the flying… and the bad guys). Okay, maybe they don’t have parallel lives. But don’t they LOOK alike?

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