Are you kidding me?

Target loves Canada, but does Canada love Target?

Canada loves Target?

Ever since Target announced they were going to enter the Canadian marketplace, Canadians have been worried that it would be a different, diluted experience. We’ve come to expect this when our favourite stores come here from the United States. The product mix is different, the prices are higher and overall most brands just aren’t as good. Continue reading

Crest Pro-Health Mouthwash: Still the WORST PRODUCT EVER!

Just shy of a year ago, I had an awful experience with my teeth becoming brown and discoloured from using Crest Pro-Health Mouthwash. I made a video expressing my issues, and its had over a thousand views and many comments from people with similar stories. Recently CTV News picked up on the Crest Pro-Health Mouthwash problems after one of its news anchors noticed her teeth were becoming discoloured after using the product. They had entire feature about this product on the nightly news, and I’m proud to say they used a clip of my original video in their story. For their story, click here.

crestctv

Once I noticed the problems, I stopped using the product and ended up negotiating a dental cleaning paid for by Proctor & Gamble after contacting them. On the call to their office, I politely pointed out that they make White Strips and Whitening Toothpaste, yet their mouthwash turned my teeth brown and that’s simply unacceptable. They say it’s easy to remove, but that’s a bold-faced lie. It took an hour for my dentist to scrape off the tar coloured residue on my teeth. No amount of brushing, flossing or whitening will take the stains off. For the record, this problem is not new. Search Google and you’ll see there have been problems with this product for years.

If you’ve had the same problem, call them at 1-866-830-3033. They will ask you a million questions and send you a few forms to fill out, but it’s worth saving the expense of paying your hard-earned money for a faulty product you thought would keep your teeth looking great.

As I mentioned in my video and first blog: DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT!

 

Am I allowed to say Olympics in this blog?

A fantastic article by The Spectator details the absurd rules about the Olympics.

Driving to work the other day, I caught a CBC broadcast about the Olympic Brand protection and the absurd measures the International Olympic Committee will go to protect their brand.

In theory, I’m breaking the laws in place just by speaking ill of the games and linking to their website. According to the IOC rules, you’re only allowed to link to their site if you say nice things. Well, I don’t have anything nice to say, so sue me!

Another big issue is with companies and stores that haven’t paid sponsored the game using the Olympic brand and the legal issues doing so. I get the fact that sponsors like McDonald’s and Adidas have paid millions of dollars to sponsor the games. I also understand brand protection, I do work in advertising after all and must respect the companies making sure their names and likeness are used in only approved ways. The Olympics are different. They are about the people. It’s one thing selling counterfeit Olympic t-shirts, it’s another making the Olympic Rings out of issue in your flower shop to show your support

The people of London have put up with a lot for the Games to happen, including their own tax money. The IOC must understand that having this epic event in your home country, a local business will to want to capitalize upon it. Olympic organisers have warned businesses that during London 2012 their advertising should not include a list of banned words, including 2012. Twenty-Twelve, Olympics, London 2012, Sponsors, Games, Gold, Silver, Bronze, Summer. The list goes on and on. It’s seriously ridiculous, and I’m sure people will backlash against these totalitarian style rules. In theory, if you make a hand-drawn sign that says London 2012 and place it up in your store, you can be sued.

One of the trends to fight back against these rules include brands creating Olympic themed ads that toe the line of breaking the rules. But we’re not talking big brands here, we’re talking Mom & Pop shops that just want to make a buck to keep their business alive during what will probably be the most high-profile event in their neighbourhood ever!

It will be interesting to see how this plays out at Olympic venues around London. If I show up to an event wearing a Nike shirt, holding a Pepsi and eating Burger King, will I be turned away? After all, Adidas, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s are the official sponsors of the games.

What are your thoughts on this censorship? Let me know in the comments.

 

 

3 Reasons why Future Shop is a terrible shopping experience

The gates to hell

If you’re anything like me, going into an electronics store makes you giddy and excited. All the shiny toys you want but don’t need. Most electronics stores are awesome with helpful sales staff, in-stock products and working demo units. Then you go to Future Shop. The mere mention of this store makes me shudder. As one of the biggest electronics retailers in Canada, you can find their stores scattered across many big box power centres. While they do have a a great selection of products, everytime I force myself to go to their stores I leave angry and frustrated. Here are 3 reasons why:

You get 1 of 2 awful experiences

Experience A : You actually want to purchase something and cannot find ANYONE to help you. It feels like a zombie apocalypse has hit the store and god help you, you’re on your own.

Experience B: You go in to browse and comparison shop, and the sales people hover over you like sharks around a dangling piece of bloody meat. This was the experience I had the other night when I went with Nik, a guy I work with. He asked me if I wanted to go help him pick out a video camera, and we headed to Future Shop because it was close. We’re looking at the cameras and there are two salespeople hovering over us. They did their obligatory “if you have any questions let me know.” I’m fine with that, it’s part of your job. You’ve acknowledged I exist and I know you’re there if I need you. So I’m talking with Nik and we’re discusssing things, and everytime we mention a question to each other, the salesperson jumps in to answer. I’m thinking “excuse me, we aren’t talking to you, and we don’t need your help! Go away!” We eventually left to check out other stores.

You tease me with products you don’t have

Another major issue was having products on display they NO LONGER SELL! Why the hell is a demo unit  out on the floor then? The Flip Camera being the product. Sales dude was like “they went out of business so we don’t have any more in stock and won’t be getting anymore.” Great, so TAKE IT OFF THE SHELF! A few other products had no prices on the labels. We eventually figured out this is their “code” for out of stock or discontinued product. Glad we’re part of the secret club who knows now.

Your demo units don’t work

One would assume that if demo units are out on display, they would have fully charged batteries so you can use the product. Not here folks. You can pick up the product to look at it, but try and turn it on and the likelihood of it working is the same as the odds of playing a slot machine. Will it work or not? Most likely not.

Just for the record, these 3 problems are business as usual with this retailer, it wasn’t just a series of unfortunate events this time. Considering it’s the holiday shopping season, an awful economy and people are looking at the small details when deciding where to shop, these issues are a big deal.

At the end of the day, we have many alternatives. Best Buy (which happens to be the same company as Future Shop) is a far superior experience. Maybe the fact the salespeople aren’t on commission makes the difference. You also have Walmart, Canadian Tire, and Superstore, as well as many other retailers that carry random selections of electronics. Or, if you’re like me, you can shop online at Amazon, the American site. I mention this site because the Canadian site doesn’t carry as much in the electronics department. You can have your products shipped to the border using Kinek (check it out) and go pick them up. Seems like a lot of work, but you can save tons of money this way, and to be honest, just keeping my money out of Future Shop is enough satisfaction for me! Have you had terrible experiences at Future Shop or any other retailer? Comment and let me know!

Arthur Christmas: A blatant rip-off of Prep & Landing?

Arthur top, Prep and Landing below

Watching television tonight I saw a trailer for “Arthur Christmas,” a new movie from Sony. Here’s the description: “On Christmas night at the North Pole, Santa’s youngest son looks to use his father’s high-tech operation for an urgent mission.” The first thing I thought was that this is a blatant rip-off of Disney’s Prep and Landing. Here’s the description of that: “Wayne gets a new rookie partner, Lanny, after his previous partner got the promotion he wanted. Lanny has to remind Wayne of the Spirit of Christmas and the importance of being an elf in Santa’s Prep and Landing elite unit.” The difference being that Prep and Landing is a television special that came out 2 YEARS AGO! Looking further into Arthur Christmas, it really isn’t a simple copy, but some sequences look a little too similar to me. Mainly the whole high-tech, Mission Impossible type elves. Even other websites have made this mistake. (See screencap below.) You can’t argue that some of the ideas are definitely “borrowed”. Check out the trailer below, followed by a clip of Prep and Landing. What do you think?


The listing says Arthur Christmas, but the image below is Prep and Landing.

Why the MTV Video Music Videos FAILED!

Where do I begin? First off, I normally love the craziness of Lady Gaga, but seriously the whole man persona was totally whack. She did this strange monologue of sorts as a New York man that was totally out of place, especially as an opening act that went on way too long. Then she randomly appeared throughout the broadcast as the same guy and it was simply awkward when she presented an award to Britney Spears. As for the rest of the show, it was actually the worst television broadcast ever. And everytime they cut to and from commercial breaks they had the truly horrendous Jessie J sing an amazingly bad cover of one of many popular songs. The whole show reeked of awkwardness all around and in addition had really stupid commentary from the Muchmusic panel in between the real broadcast. Of course Much had to oblige with the retarded CRTC laws of having some Canadian content on the show. They also decided to go without a host this year, bad idea. The whole show was a disorganized mess that was simply an embarrassment to everyone involved. Most of the stars I saw all had the same look on their face, the one that screams “when is this over, and where is the after party with the open bar?”. There were many other horrible parts to this show, mainly everything, but I’m too lazy to write about it at this point. Maybe well see what the the others say in the morning and then write a follow up. Regardless, it was probably the worst thing I’ve seen on TV for a long time, and I watch a lot of stuff.

UPDATE

And now I just saw the Cloris Leachman/ Jersey Shore crapola. And now Lady Gaga is back with her man crap. This thing keeps on getting worse. Can’t wait to see the reviews in the AM!

Brrr….it’s cold in here

I can’t believe how in one week we went from a quasi-summer type weather to almost being October. The weather outside is so cold, I mean it says it’s 19-degrees out with a low of 11-degrees, but I think the thermometer is lying. Are you kidding me, it’s supposed to be summer. I mean were still waiting for summer to arrive here in southern Ontario. Throw us a frickin bone! Anyways, less than 3 weeks from now I’ll be on my journey to Florida to skip winter.
Cold Day

Brrr….it’s cold in here

I can’t believe how in one week we went from a quasi-summer type weather to almost being October. The weather outside is so cold, I mean it says it’s 19-degrees out with a low of 11-degrees, but I think the thermometer is lying. Are you kidding me, it’s supposed to be summer. I mean were still waiting for summer to arrive here in southern Ontario. Throw us a frickin bone! Anyways, less than 3 weeks from now I’ll be on my journey to Florida to skip winter.
Cold Day