Volkswagen Talks Smiles, not Miles

Do you have fond memories of your very first car? When you take a car home for the first time, does it feel like a special occasion? Those are the memories automobile marketers dream of—and they would very much like you to think about brands when you think about cars.

The most recent to take this route is Volkswagen, with it’s Why VW campaign. It asks VW drivers to tell the stories that come with their cars. The good memories, the family trips, the love affairs that start when you drive off the lot—all of it. And its customers are obliging, posting stories, videos and photos for the world to see, many of which could be printed as straight testimonials. The campaign site is pretty cool, presenting a mix of user contributed content and official marketing material in an infinite canvas of Volkwagen love.

The really cool part is the video the company is using to direct fans to its site, though. It’s not the miles, it’s how you live them, as it says. The video if filled with joyful laughter, so much so that it’s hard not to crack a smile yourself. Give it a watch—you might be able to check it out without laughing, but it’s a lot more fun to just go with it.

Written by Nissa on September 26, 2012 – 3:19 pm -
Posted in Viral Marketing | No Comments »

Highpoint Unveils In-Center Pinboard

Pinterest is pretty cool, but it’s only really a good way to keep shoppers thinking about your retailers’ fashions when they’re not in the center. How about a pinboard that works for the shoppers while they’re in your center?

That’s what Highpoint Shopping Centre has put together for its Spring fashion season—specifically, the Spring Style Board. Using technology designed exclusively for the center, shoppers in the center can search for key items from Highpoint retailers, compare styles and collect their favorite pieces into a custom, personal style board.

Once a shopper has put her style board together, she can take it on the go: the system will email it so it can be taken on a shopping trip or shared on Facebook.

“We see the Spring Style Board as a way to bring the online shopping world into centre,” said Highpoint’s centre manager Scott Crellin. “It gives our customers the convenience of a quick online search to find the item they are after, while having all our retailers at their fingertips so they can try on, touch and feel the product before making their purchase.”

And that right there is where Pinterest misses out: nothing ever looks as great out of a parcel as it does expertly posed for pinning. A chance to get up close and personal before purchasing? Well that’s just what shopping centers are perfect for.

Written by Nissa on September 12, 2012 – 6:31 pm -
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Mic Mac Mall Goes Looking For Love

Mic Mac Mall is looking for a little love. The shopping center wants two things, and it’s willing to give a little in return.

First up, it’s looking for some love stories—stories of the history that shoppers share with the center. It opened a microsite at and has been taking submissions over the last month. Shoppers have shared their stories of bringing their children to meet Santa, of winning the center’s contests and attending its special events.

At the same time, it’s taking ideas. If shoppers want to see changes, new stores and more, they can post their submissions online. Other shoppers can lend their support to the ideas, but it’s not a popularity contest—it’s a chance for Mic Mac Mall to see what shoppers really care about.

While it isn’t a popularity contest, it is a contest. Each and every day the center holds a draw and awards one submitter a $50 center gift certificate. Their photos get posted online, creating a whole tapestry of people who really care about their mall.

Written by Nissa on June 20, 2012 – 5:18 pm -
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Yorkdale Leaves Prom Blogging to the Pros

Yorkdale Shopping Centre always has a plan for prom. Last year it introduced its teen bloggers around this time of year, and they took on all the trends. It’s doing the same this year, but it’s upping the ante (and the exposure) by teaming up with growing teen blog

Like its big sister,, the website focuses on fashion, events, health education and music for trendsetters. The four prom ambassadors chosen for the project not only get $1000 to spend at the shopping center, they also get an audience at both the Yorkdale website and a blog already popular with their peers.

Given that shopping center websites aren’t always the first place teens bookmark for repeat visits, this seems like a brilliant partnership. This year’s ambassadors also break out of the restrictive categories last years’ operated under. All four have distinct styles, but the labels are dropped. After all, what teen girl doesn’t feel she’s a little bit Diva sometimes and a little bit It Girl others?

Written by Nissa on March 28, 2012 – 5:10 pm -
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Coquitlam Centre Seeks Young Writers

You might be tapped in to your markets with a center blogger and a teen advisory board, but have you ever considering combining the two? That’s the project Coquitlam Centre is working on right now.

The center has reached out to local teens, looking for someone both media savvy and socially connected enough to reach out and capture the attention of its 13-18 year old shoppers. It’s currently looking for entries, 300-word original blog posts on any topic. Coquitlam Centre judges will go through the entries and pick out five finalists.

From there, the finalists will be invited to a VIP event, where they’ll be given their assignment packages. These packages contain details about the competition and an exclusive invitation to attend a professional writing and fashion style workshop by style editor Catherine Dunwoody.

Each week after the event, the five finalists will need to write a blog post on a pre-selected topic. To win each weekly challenge, the young bloggers will need to get more Likes for their posts the center’s Facebook page than their peers.

At the end of the challenge period, all five finalists will be invited to bring a guest and attend the center’s “Celebrity Make-Over Party,” where they’ll receive a $200 Coquitlam Centre Gift Card and a deluxe SWAG bag. Then one will be crowned winner of the contest.

From there, the winner’s duties are just beginning. After they take home their Grand Prize Package (including a new iPad or iPhone 4S, cosmetic package and $500 Sephora Gift Card), they’ll begin a Behind the Scenes internship at the center. Along with the usual, the internship will include a chance to participate in a video shoot and a major style event.

Written by Nissa on March 21, 2012 – 6:20 pm -
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