Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fitness Marketing: A Lesson in Originality from the Vancouver Olympics...eh

With the 2010 Olympics in full swing, there's a party happening here in Vancouver. The downtown streets are packed, and it looks as if every second person is wearing one of those CANADA hoodies from The Bay. If not the hoodie, then the oh-so-cute maple-leaf mittens.

In addition to Olympics fashion, we Canadians celebrate every medal with extreme excitement and even surprise. That's because it's not a national given that we kick butt and dazzle the world like some other countries do (hi, America!).

That's What I'm Talkin' Aboot
It's interesting to see your country and city through the eyes of those who are watching the Olympics on TV from afar.

Amid the international party here, it's more ridiculous than ever when people drudge out the same old tired Canada jokes. It sounds funny when we say "about." (What aboot it?) Canadians are polite with good manners. (No shit.) We've got Canadian bacon. (Yawn. How is Canadian bacon different from regular bacon anyway?)

What does this post have to do with my blog's theme of fitness writing, marketing and publicity?

Well, I'd like to make one mild-mannered suggestion: Be careful not to fall back on lame cliches with your marketing and publicity endeavours.

Ensure that whatever idea or concept you're promoting to others--whether it's in a brochure or a publicity pitch--is as fresh for them as it is for you. Otherwise, your efforts come across as uninspired as a Canadian-bacon joke.

And if you really want to poke fun at Canadians, razz us about our national adoration for Tim Hortons coffee. Or how curling works.


Anonymous said...

I love this post! You nail both the Canadians, and the rest of us - wherever we are.

I have loved (down here in the USofA) listening to people comment on the nice neighbors to the north. Today I heard from Colin Cowherd of ESPN describe Canada/USA like this: "Canada is like the nice family living upstairs above a rowdy biker bar. The USA being the biker bar." I loved it!

All "aboots" and "hooses" aside I did understand the meaning of your post. Here is the thought that came to mind, or illustration if you will.
I was given some advice recently when preparing to face an interview with a company that I would like to deal with in business. The advice: "When you go before them, don't take OATMEAL (or do you say "mush") because everyone has that to offer. Instead, come prepared to offer them BACON (and yes, Canadian bacon is preferred) because bacon is something that everyone loves!"

So, I did just that and I could instantly see a change in the conversation. They were preparing to be fed plain ol' mush (oatmeal) all day long, but instead feasted on good ol' lean Canadian bacon! It made all the difference.

Lesson for me: Be real, bring substance and give people something that will have them coming back for more.

I totally agree with Amanda, we are all sick of corny cliches and old worn out jokes.

Way down here in the south, I could only wish for a cool hoodie from the Olympics, even a pair of mittens! Maybe after the party is over, and all order restored I can go on CL or eBay and find one that is absurdly priced and pretend forever that I too was there :)

Jason Armbruster said...

Timmy Ho's ... its funny to see the entire country of Canada enjoy their delicious coffee, but only a select few U.S. cities can even say that we know what Timmy's is ... Go SABRES! ... can you guess where Im from?

P.S. if anyone had to win "THE" Gold... and it wasnt the U.S.A. Im glad it was Canada and not Russia or Sweden. ;)