Lifestyle: Advertising

From Knowing a Little, to Knowing Everything; The impact of Big Data on Advertising

What and How?

In an era of information, internet, smartphones and Google, one of the most interesting and impactful new tool companies have on the tips of their fingers is the science of data collection namely, Big Data. It consists in collecting, classifying and analyzing data coming from multiple platforms and to transpose them into facts and statistics. This process can be applied to many fields, but the one field that has been significantly influenced by this new phenomenon is the world of Marketing and Advertising. Changing the process of advertising drastically, marketing agencies have to reinvent themselves to produce campaigns that are extremely targeted and precise.

Now able to know and predict the buyer’s intentions, companies have access to information they never would have had before. Social networks are good examples because they offer personal information. What music you like, what social class you are in, approximate income, your habits, things you like and more. Able to know you on a more personal level, companies can assemble campaigns that will engage you, attract you, and connect with your values and beliefs. The analytic aspect of Data collection, is where the marketing agencies are challenged. From the dawn of time to 2003, humans generated around five Exabytes of data. In 2012, global data grew to 2.7 Zettabytes, which is 500 times more data than all data generated prior to 2003 in only 10 years. This constant flows of data, coming from all those different platforms are hard to analyze due to the substantial amount there is. Companies have to invest in sophisticated programs that use complex algorithms to classify all the data. Once the data are analysed, marketers needs to come up with campaigns that are innovative and will target as precisely as possible their consumers.

Big Data, Good or Bad? CLICK here to know more.


big-data An IBM Study :

How do you convince me?

Additionally to the complexity of producing effective marketing strategies, advertisement is also evolving in a brisk way. The mediums by which we consume content has significantly changed passing from fix televisions to a multi-screen reality. With Television, laptop, smartphone, tablet and screens of all sorts, commercials have become somewhat optional. Big data comes into play in a form of online advertisement commonly called pop-ups.

”Commercial web publisher make space available on their web pages for banner and display advertisement. Typically, when a user opens such a web page, the browser reaches out to an online ad exchange network and request an ad unit to serve to that user. The ad exchange broad cast the information enriched with behavior data specific to the user. The information is compared between advertisers to determine which ad is significant to that user. Then bids are made by companies and the higher bidder wins”.

In other words, in order to decide which ad will get the slot on the web site, the exchange board analyse the behavior the user had prior to opening that page. Your research on Google, the web sites you browsed, your Facebook profile and many more are taken down and classified. As an example, if you wrote on your Facebook profile that you just bought a pair of boots, chances are the boots ad won’t be selected to advertise on the page.

Dirty Advertising

Many different marketing techniques are used in relation to big data. The analysis of word is one of those techniques. Based on the traditional marketing technique called ”Weasel Word”, agencies use words that have a positive connotation and that have an upbeat phonetic when pronounced. That way, the customer’s focus is diverted. With data the company use the same technique, but with words that are often employed by their target consumers. Browsing on social media, marketers are able to draw a pattern of word choice in the collected data of their actual customers. They will then use those words in their commercials to engage the buyer. Another technique that is used is the ”Plain Folks” technique which consist in making the product appear to be for ”ordinary” people. Like the cliché example of a regular family eating cereals in the kitchen, companies combine big data by analysing the social class the buyer is part of. That way, they can reproduce their target buyer’s environment and convince them that they can and should have that product. Even favourite colors, book or food can be used in an advertisement even if it has nothing to do with the product. A lot of the tactics that are used are made to act on a subliminal level and that is precisely where advertising is effective.

The concept of ”mind share” is at the core of advertising and is another facet of the unconscious effect it has on consumers. Often we claim that claim that we immune to advertising, or that it does not ”work” on us, right? Well that is precisely what agencies want you to believe. The more confident one is about his/her control over marketing, the more this person is in fact affected. Mind share is the idea that certain brands are able to associate themselves to a concept, an event or even beliefs and values. The more you see that advertisement, the more chances you have to buy it. This will happen not because you will consciously think that because you have seen it everywhere you need to buy it, but because you will automatically create a link. If I was to write on a shopping list to buy some Tide, you will most likely know that Tide is a detergent and you will probably see the bright blue yellow and orange of their packaging. You will also find the item pretty fast in the isle of the supermarket and probably one commercial of the company will come to your mind. All this because of a combination of being seen everywhere, having catchy slogans, good commercials and the effective use of advertising techniques.


mindshare Want to know more? CLICK HERE


On a business level, big data is about to change a lot and will provide companies with an effective tool that will help them achieve new summits. Is big data good or bad, the question stays ambiguous for now. Advertisement will get more and more targeted, but where will it stop? For some, data collection has become an issue of privacy since companies use personal information about them. For others, it is a question of evolving into a more intelligent model of consumerism and allowing people to shop more effectively.


Digital Marketing

Agencies Adaptation to Big Data

Advertising Techniques

For More Info : Oral Presentation – Big Data

Word document – Big Data


Lifestyle: Wine

Although wine tasting seems like a difficult and uncecessary art to many, it is actually an essential part in properly appreciating the wine you’re drinking. If you’re broke, like me, and sacrificing 19$ on a bottle of wine, why not appreciate it to its fullest, right? Wine tasting can open up a whole other side of wine you never knew existed.

Step 1: Right after pouring the wine into your glass, tilt it slightly with your rist to analyze the opacity and pigmentation of the wine. Visual analysis will teach you a lot about what kind of wine it is. Bordeaux wines, for example, will be much darker and much more opaque than Beaujolais.

Step 1: Right after pouring the wine into your glass, tilt it slightly with your rist to analyze the opacity and pigmentation of the wine. Visual analysis will teach you a lot about what kind of wine it is. Bordeaux wines, for example, will be much darker and much more opaque than Beaujolais.

Step 2: Without agitating the wine in your glass, smell it and try to take note of what it smells like exactly. Then, stir the wine by moving the glass with your fingers and smell the wine again. The oxygen should bring out different smells in the wine.

Step 2: Without agitating the wine in your glass, smell it and try to take note of what it smells like exactly. Then, stir the wine by moving the glass with your fingers and smell the wine again. The oxygen should bring out different smells in the wine.

You have to actually stick your nose into the glass.

You have to actually stick your nose into the glass.

Step 3: Take a sip of the wine and KEEP THE WINE IN YOUR MOUTH FOR ROUGHLY 15 SECONDS. This is important because you won’t be able to properly taste the wine if you simply swallow it. Keep the wine in your mouth and swirl it around with your tongue. It sounds gross but will allow you to properly discern the different flavours in the wine.

Step 3: Take a sip of the wine and KEEP THE WINE IN YOUR MOUTH FOR ROUGHLY 15 SECONDS. This is important because you won’t be able to properly taste the wine if you simply swallow it. Keep the wine in your mouth and swirl it around with your tongue. It sounds gross but will allow you to properly discern the different flavours in the wine.

All three steps will give you an overall analysis of the wine. Some older wines take longer to taste because it takes a while for the flavours and scents to come out. You can download the questionnaire from the SAQ here:

All three steps will give you an overall analysis of the wine. Some older wines take longer to taste because it takes a while for the flavours and scents to come out. You can download the questionnaire from the SAQ here:

You should always wait 15 minutes after opening a bottle of wine that is older than 10 years old before tasting it.

You should always wait 15 minutes after opening a bottle of wine that is older than 10 years old before tasting it.

Lifestyle: Upcoming Travel Destination of 2015

When it comes to travelling, it isn’t always the “where” that’s important, it’s the “why”. One wants to go on vacation to re-charge ones batteries or to reconnect with oneself or another. Sometimes one wants to meet new people or to discover and learn about another place and another culture. When deciding what the next destination will be, one should try to place the focus more on what’s needed from the trip and what can be given back to destinations and local people. Some of the positive aspects of tourism are that it has become a major resource in international commerce. At the same time, it represents one of the main income sources for many countries. This goes hand in hand with increasing diversification, development and socio-economic progress.

That being said there are always trends in the travel and tourism industry. Brazil was a popular choice due to the FIFA World Cup in 2014. Statistics show that a total of one million foreign visitors visited the country for the month-long World Cup event. Soccer is a passion and an art, and it takes form in the shape of Brazil. In comparison, 310 thousand foreign tourists went to South Africa for the World Cup in 2010. Germany received 2 million foreign visitors for the World Cup in 2006. With the 2016 Olympics less than two years away, the World Travel & Tourism Council said earlier this year it expected Brazil will receive 6.4 million international tourist arrivals in 2015. This number will grow to 14.2 million by 2024.

London was another popular choice. The city had 16.8 million visitors in 2013, an increase of 1.3 million from 2012. The increase was due to the summer Olympics. London surpassed Paris and became the most popular destination for tourists in the world.

With the New Year approaching, it’s time to predict future travel destinations discover somewhere new for 2015. Every year, National Geographic releases a list of Must See Destination; this list affects travellers as well. We aim to come across something off the popular path, a travel destination yet to be fully appreciated, maybe an underrated city or a place that just needs more attention.

  • Milan, Italy


The Duomo di Milan situated directly in the centre of Milan city.

This City was selected because from the dates of May 1st to October 31st 2015, the city will be hosting the next Universal Exposition. The theme for the Expo will be “Feeding the planet, energy for life.” 144 countries participate in this Expo and Milan is expecting 20 million visitors. It will surely surpass this number because the last Expo in Shanghai received 73 million visitors. Milan is underrated, mostly because of Italy’s main attractions -Rome, Florence and Venice. Of course, other reasons to visit this city include Gothic Cathedrals, museums and monuments, such as the Piazza del Duomo (which will be finished its restoration process in time for the Expo). You can see the city best from the top of the Duomo cathedral. La Scale, another grand cathedral, is known simply as the “home of opera” for over 200 years. Milan is also one of the world’s best fashion districts. Monte Napoleone is the most famous street in Milan where it is home to Gucci, Roberto Cavalli, D&G, Prada, Valentino and Versace; Giorgio Armani’s superstore and his new hotel are at either end of the street. Milan is elegant and stylish yet drowning in history. Each area of the city has its own personality- from very posh to truly quiet places.


  • Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina


View of Sarajevo from Yellow Bastion, in the mountains

Bosnia has a very complex history. From one end of town to the other, one can literally step through centuries of history, from cobblestoned Ottoman empire to Austrian empire to Socialist Yugoslavian republic and back to modern, independent Bosnia and Herzegovina. This country has something that is hard to find and impossible to mimic – it offers tourists and travellers a time warped experience where you will feel as though you have stepped back in time (in a good way). A touristic spot is Yellow Bastion. It is part of old walls that protected the city, built in the 18th century. Yellow Bastion is up on the hills and has the best view of the city. The Bastion always looks different during each part of the day and every seasons. Locals are always smitten, no matter how many times they see it. To be like a local, it is very trendy in Sarajevo to sit in specialty cafes and enjoy exclusively cigarettes and coffee. It is part of Bosnian culture. Just hours away from the city centre are the Olympic Mountains (Sarajevo hosted the 1984 Winter Games). When it’s cold out, one can enjoy skiing and sledding activities. National Geographic named it one of the Best Adventure Cities. Hikers and mountain bikers have made their mark in their mountainside. Budgeting can easily become one of the immediate downfalls to travel, but if you’re travelling to Bosnia and Herzegovina you can forget the thought of constantly watching your budget, as it is incredibly cheap to get by with food and living costs (particularly when comparing to other European countries). Sarajevo isn’t a glamorous city, but will welcome and charm you with its atmosphere and sense charisma. Season by season, the country is seeing more and more visitors make their way here to discover the beauty on offer… so it’s just a matter of time before tourism really kicks into overdrive. Now is the perfect time to visit Bosnia.


  • Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)


Old Bagan and New Bagan

Now is the moment to visit this extraordinary land, scattered with temples, where the traditional ways of Asia endure and areas previously off-limits are opening up. Bagan is an ancient city dating to the 9th century. The city has over 10 thousand temples and monasteries scattered across it. Over 2 thousand are in pristine condition today. In a nation with well over 100 ethnic groups, exploring Myanmar can often feel like you’ve stumbled into a living edition of the National Geographic. The country, for instance, has yet to be completely overwhelmed by Western fashion. People still get around in trishaws and, in rural areas, horse and cart. Drinking tea – a British colonial aspect – is enthusiastically embraced in thousands of traditional teahouses. Amazingly, over a century later, Myanmar retains the power to surprise and delight even the most jaded of travellers. Bagan is filled with Buddhist sites and monks walking around casually. In 2013 Myanmar remained a Starbucks-free nation – but that could soon change. As the country makes tentative steps towards democracy, sanctions have been dropped and the world is rushing to do business here. In recent years conveniences such as mobile phone coverage, Internet access and internationally linked ATMs have all improved or made their debut. Relaxing of censorship has led to an explosion of new media and an astonishing openness in public discussions of once-taboo topics, including politics. Parts of the county, off-limits for years by the government, can now be freely visited.


  • Muscat, Oman


The Golf of Oman in Muscat

Oman is a small Arabic country in the Middle East. The nation is bordered by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Oman has one of the most diverse environments in the Middle East with various tourist attractions and is particularly well known for Cultural tourism. It was chosen as the capital of Arab tourism in 2013. The country’s beaches and cultural sites are free of tourist crowds. But see them now, because Oman is on the verge of discovery. Muscat offers a combination of sophisticated Arabian heritage and unspoiled natural landscape that includes mountains, sand dunes and beaches, as well as caves, meteorite fields, and more than 500 forts and castles to explore. Oman has embraced modernization, while rejecting high-rises and sky scrapers, which is described as “visual pollution.” The entire city of Muscat is white or pastel with an Arabian palace feel.  Muscat has a policy in place to keep visitor numbers down to minimize culture clash. What you see is purely authentic.


  • Space


This panorama of Space was taken by the deployed Imager for Mars Pathfinder.

It’s only normal that once the globe has been seen that tourists are longing to see the rest of the Universe. After years of anticipation, it’s here: Virgin Galactic is the world first commercial space line. More than 600 travelers have already lined up for the experience, which gets you three days of training at Spaceport America in New Mexico before you rocket into suborbital space. Passengers will experience the unique thrills of spaceflight, enjoying the opportunity to leave their seats to float in zero gravity for several minutes. Looking out twelve large windows, passengers will take in astounding views of space and of the Earth below. The spaceship will hit speeds of up to 2,664 mph and float in zero gravity for several minutes before returning to earth. The price is currently at $250 000 for the experience. When talking about upcoming travel destinations, tourism space travel can very much become a common reality, maybe not in 2015 but definitely with years to come.

Lifestyle: Food

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 3.01.37 PM

Every first Friday of the month (during summertime only), 40 food trucks fill up the Olympic Stadium for everyone to enjoy. Running from 4pm to 11pm, you’ll have plenty of time to consume all of your favourite foods and listen to great music. Walking around the stadium is great exercise, leaving you hungrier as you walk from food truck to food truck.

On June 6, I took part in the First Friday of the month festival at the Olympic Stadium and while I was there I ingested a month’s worth of food. Lower down you will see pictures of the food trucks I visited, as well as popular dishes from each truck, along with the food I ate and descriptions of how I enjoyed it.

Le Cheese Truck:

Le Cheese Truck is my all time favourite food truck in Montreal because I could literally live off of cheese. Every dish on the menu is extremely yummy. The Mac n Cheese, Homemade Ice Tea, Deep Fried Cheesecake, Tater Tots, Mac-Attack and Philly Cheese Steak are some of their most popular dishes. Personally, I love their sandwiches and below you will see why.

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 2.53.13 PM

This is a grilled cheese, mac n cheese sandwich with added pesto. I found this sandwich amazing, and quite possibly the best grilled cheese mac n cheese I’ve ever had. I’d rate this meal a 10/10.

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 2.53.57 PM

This sandwich is one of Le Cheese’s famous dishes, called the “Mac-Attack”. I enjoyed this sandwich, however when I ordered it, I wasn’t aware that it had meat in it as the ingredients weren’t listed on the menu. I like meat, but I found the combination of meat and grilled cheese a bit strange. I’d rate this meal an 8/10.


Gaufrabec is known for their real traditional Belgian waffle’s. When I visited this food truck, I was amazed by the quality of their waffle. They weren’t the typical square, round or rectangular waffles; they were extremely tasty liege waffles.

GAUFRABECScreen Shot 2014-10-15 at 2.52.47 PM

This is a waffle topped with chocolate sauce and powdered sugar. I love dessert foods and this waffle was extremely delicious. I’d rate this meal a 10/10.

Chaud Dogs:

Chaud Dogs is known for their corn dog, it’s the “staple” item they offer. All other dishes on the menu change at least once or twice a week. That means you’re sure to find something new almost every time you see them. This is a smart strategy to keep food lovers coming back for more.

Chaud-Dogs-1Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 3.11.30 PM

This corn dog was probably the best pogo I’ve ever had, each bite just got better and better and I was sad when I finished it. I’d rate this meal a 10/10.

Pizza No.900:

Pizza No.900 is known for their amazing tasting pizzas. The truck had a small variety of pizza’s, such as: Marguerita, Marguerita bianca, Marinara, Salami biologique and Roquette. Upon ordering, I asked which was the most popular and they said the Marguerita so that is what I ordered.

???????????????????????????????Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 2.57.58 PM

This Margherita pizza was very delightful; I love pizza but I found this one over the top. I’d rate this meal a 10/10.


Lucille’s Oyster Dive restaurant has been a huge such success at it’s Monkland location. Opening a food truck was an amazing choice for them because everyone gets a chance to taste their delicious dishes, even those who live far from the NDG area. Lucille’s signature dish is definitely their lobster roll, and so there was no choice but to get one.

food-truckScreen Shot 2014-10-15 at 3.11.19 PM

The lobster roll was absolutely amazing, it had the perfect amount of lobster in it, and the perfect amount of spice. I’d rate this meal an 10/10.

To guide you into planning which foods you want to indulge in, here is a list of all the food trucks that partake in the First Fridays festival at the Olympic Stadium (I have included links to their Facebook pages as well):

Supertruck     Nomade So6     Panthère Verte     Fous Truck     Lola’s petits gâteaux     Dispatch     Crémy Pâtisserie     Grumman 78     Pizza No.900     Roux     Quai roulant     Winneburger     Route 27     Chaud dogs     Lucille’s     Monsieur Crémeux     Ta pies     Smoothfruit     Gaufrabec     Point sans G     P.A. et Gagantua     Lucky’s     Dim Sum     Larue & fils     Phoenix 1     Landry & filles     Guru     Saïgon, je me souviens     Euro Polonia     Boîte à Fromage     Alexis le Gourmand     Meatball     Pied de cochon     Ô sœurs volantes     Gourmand Vagabond     Pas d’cochon dans mon salon     L’Assomoir     Zeste TV     Das Food Truck     Le Cheese Truck

Melissa Aflalo, the fashion girl

Now, twenty years old, Melissa Aflalo was never really into fashion and never thought for one second she would become the ‘fashion girl’ in Montreal. But she sure did. ‘’ I attended a private school so I pretty much had to wear a uniform everyday,’’ says Aflalo. ‘’There was no specific reason for me to be into fashion.’’ After high school, Aflalo attended Dawson College for for two years. ‘’ I was into liberal art,’’ she says. ‘’ It was a small program and everyone dressed up in a very cool and different way. They loved expressing themselves throughout fashion.’’ Aflalo admits that CEGEP was a way for her to discover her passion : fashion.

‘’I started buying little things that I thought were cute but weren’t necessarily trendy,’’ she says. ‘’ I knew I could pull them off perfectly though. I wore a lot of high collar, peter pan collars and skirts or shorts with tights.’’  During her second year at Dawson College, Aflalo started getting really into it. ‘’ All the time, teachers and students would Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 4.11.52 PMcomment on my outfits,’’ she says. ‘’ I was never the ‘fashion girl’ but from there I started making that image for myself.’’ At the end of the year, during the liberal art ceremony, Aflalo got ‘the best dressed’ award.

Contrary to many fashion bloggers, Aflalo never had any interest in posting her daily outfits on the famous social media application, Instagram.  ‘’ I only got my first IPhone last year and downloaded Instagram then,’’ she says. ‘’ I didn’t want to conform to the social network aspect and I was really against it. I simply used Instagram to look at what kind of pictures the fashion bloggers posted.’’ At first, Aflalo didn’t want to post the similar and typical fashion outfit so she decided to use Instagram in a different and a more creative way. ‘’ I started posting cool scenery with me in the background,’’ she says. ‘’People would comment and say: ‘’Cool outfit!’’ as well as ‘’Love what you’re wearing!’’ So that’s when I decided to start posting my best outfits.’’

Everyone gets inspired by someone or something when it comes to fashion. Aflalo’s biggest inspirations are the famous fashion bloggers, Olivia Palermo (@oliviapalermo), Blaire Eadie (@blaireadiebee) and Rivkah Levy (rlevy01). ‘’ Palermo has a good way of mixing and matching,’’ she says. ‘’ She dresses very modestly and that is something I find very important in fashion. I think it is more beautiful to look at someone who humble and unshowy then someone who shows too much skin.’’ Her second inspiration inspires her because of her coquette and girly style. ‘’ She always wears skirts, cute shoes and high collars,’’ she says. ‘’It is very similar to my style. ‘’ Her third inspiration is a friend of hers that started her own fashion blog called MyFashionology. ‘’ She is very successful and inspires me so much,’’ says Aflalo. ‘‘ She manages to pull off her clothes in her own kind of style.’’

Aflalo’s favourite season is fall and I was wondering what she thought about the trends for this year’s season.‘’ This fall, the famous turtle neck is in,’’ she says. ‘‘As well as fur, plaid, leather, big scarves and pointed bootiesScreen Shot 2014-12-03 at 4.11.22 PM.’’ Winter is the season Aflalo dislikes most. ‘’It’s very hard to wear cute shoes during winter.’’

Being into fashion or not, Aflalo’s main message is to not have the fear that you won’t be able to pull your outfit off. ‘’ When I was in liberal arts, everyone was really supportive of my creativity as well as what I was wearing.’’ Aflalo says, ‘’ I never had the feeling of ‘I can’t pull that off’ or ‘that’s too fancy for school’. She says to wear anything whenever you want. ‘’ Don’t be afraid. Don’t hold yourself back and most importantly, wear whatever you want and own it.’’ Aflalo declares very proudly that people can’t pull their outfit off if they put that in their heads.

Today, Aflalo studies industrial relations and a minor in communication at McGill University. ‘’ It is not directly related to fashion because I have another passion which is the film industry, ‘’ Aflalo says.  ‘’ After university, I want to move to New York City and pursue a career in the film industry but somehow relate it to fashion.”