DX3 Canada is on March 8-9, Virtually! Have you Registered Yet?

We are just 3 weeks away from Canada’s largest marketing, retail and tech event! The 11th annual DX3 Canada will no doubt be the best yet—with two full days of world-class content and speakers that are leading the industry forward.

Join DX3 Canada, virtually, and learn from their THREE unique content streams. Whether you are interested in future retail trends, innovative marketing strategies or the latest tech disrupting the industry, you won’t want to miss year edition

Download The Brochure

As a Canadian event, DX3 Season 11 is proud to feature incredible Canadian brands changing our nation’s retail landscape:

  • Sarah Jordan, CEO, Mastermind Toys
  • Jose Ribau, EVP, Digital and Innovation, Cadillac Fairview
  • Meghan Roach, President and CEO, Roots Corporation
  • Frederick Lecoq, CMO, Sporting Life
  • Andrea Hunt, EVP, CMO, Arterra Wines Canada
  • Galen Davies, VP, Brand and Commercial Strategy, MLSE
  • Corinne Lalonde, Associate Director, e-Commerce and Content Marketing, SAQ
  • Tara Conway, VP, Omnichannel and Customer Care, The Source

Register Now


Welcome to the CIMMO Young Marketer Perspective where young professionals are providing us with their take on important topics in marketing. Our goal is to provide these marketers with a platform to share their learnings and experiences. Here Bhavin Bantva provides marketers with tips to avoid cultural insensitivity in marketing.


The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the world, and we are feeling its impact in almost every aspect of our lives. It has impacted our lifestyles, the environment, and the way governments and businesses operate—its impact on the global economy will be felt for years and generations to come. But there is a silver lining: It has had a positive impact on several things: for instance, the environment is becoming cleaner as less greenhouse gases are emitted into the atmosphere. As well, use of natural resources has also decreased.

As mentioned, not all is gloom-and-doom, however: digital marketing has experienced a boost due to COVID-19. In this article, I will outline how COVID-19 is continuing to drive the partial—but significant—replacement of traditional marketing, with digital marketing.

In a product life cycle, there are four key stages: Introduction, Growth, maturity, decline. But within each of those stages, to varying degrees, the importance of marketing is critical. If a product has the potential to be successful in the market but no one is aware of that product, then there is less chance of it being successful. So, if marketing of a product is not done well, then it directly impacts sales, and there is an increased chance of failure, regardless how good the product may be. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are spending more and more time inside. We can see big changes occurring in marketing, as the field shifts from out-of-home advertising tactics (like billboards), to digital tactics. This demonstrates that marketing is a dynamic field that is constantly changing and evolving; and it’s relying more and more on digital channels to spread content about products and services. This is an especially important consideration, as it is likely remote working will continue to grow and supplant a portion of the office environment as we knew it.

Let’s take an example from the entertainment industry, where they were using out-of-home as well as digital marketing methods for promoting movies, music and shows: due to COVID-19, they can no longer rely on out-of-home methods for promotion, which makes digital marketing the an increasingly used means to reach out customers and consumers. As people are spending most of their time at home, they are spending more time on the internet to do their job and connect with friends and family. This opens many more opportunities for social media marketing (SMM) and email marketing. And if done right way, it has a higher rate of success—with lower costs than traditional marketing, and potentially higher penetration and personalization rates.

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

I believe that if you asked many people, they would say they spend most of their time on the internet, specifically on social medial platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok to name a few. According to Globalwebindex, individuals spend around 863.8 hours (36 days) on average, on social media, so far, in 2020 (Hillier, 2020). Nowadays, social medial platforms are not just for fun; they’re used to stay informed on current news and events, and to share thoughts and opinions about everything and anything, including social responsibility, etc., with the people across the world—in real time! As well, it makes social media a great means to help consumers about newly launched products or services, promotions, discounts, etc. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused online shopping to increase as people avoid shopping in physical stores—to minimize health risks, which is one of the reasons behind the marked increase in social media marketing.

Going back to the entertainment industry example: they’ve always been using social medial platforms for marketing, but now there is a shift away from going to movie theatres or music concerts, to using social medial platforms like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, to do live streams for music concerts and shows. This further emphasizes the ever-growing need and preference for social media marketing, in today’s world.


Email Marketing

Email Marketing is another effective digital marketing strategy that’s been around for quite a while. Social media accounts can be closed on a temporary or permanent basis—at any time; but for the most part, email is always available to reach customers. Sending an email about new products and offers, has a high rate of success in creating loyalty; and affords brands the opportunity to provide personalized messages and curated deals to consumers. The importance of email marketing has increased as people are turning to online shopping more and more; and when ordering online, consumers are also subscribing to the brand’s channels to get direct information related to new product launches and services through email. This helps companies provide offers and information directly to their customers who have purchased their products in the past, and who willingly opt-in to receive advertising.

Looking at the current scenario, I think post-pandemic will change many things; it’s what’s become a “new normal”. Consumers may not return to bricks-and-mortar stores to the same extent they did pre-pandemic. And this will have an impact on how businesses operate, advertise and communicate with their stakeholders.



Bhavin Bantva is a passionate learner, currently studying Global Business Management at Conestoga College, and working part-time as Customer Service Representative. Bhavin has a solid background in data analysis and problem-solving as he holds a Bachelor of Engineering.



Hillier, L. (2020, september 11). Blog. Retrieved from Econsulatancy : https://econsultancy.com/stats-roundup-coronavirus-impact-on-marketing-ecommerce-advertising



Welcome to the CIMMO Young Marketer Perspective where young professionals are providing us their take on important topics in marketing. Our goal is to provide these marketers with a platform to share their learnings and experiences. Here Aaron Moraes provides marketers with tips to keep grab and maintain consumer attention while advertising through YouTube.


With the rise in digital advertising, we see YouTube rise as the most popular video-sharing platform in the world. About 75% of Canadian internet users watch YouTube videos several times a day (Think With Google, 2016), and, as such, brands’ have made it their first choice to promote their products and services. These statistics indicate YouTube is a powerful marketing tool in a marketer’s arsenal. However, there is a key issue faced by marketers on YouTube: the adverse affect on attention spans, which makes it difficult to attract—and therefore, retain—the audience’s attention.

Our ability to pay attention to things for a long duration is shrinking. When we watch a YouTube video, we often get annoyed at the instrusive ads; something we cannot skip. Oftentimes, when it is a non-skippable ad, we quickly tend to lose focus, which makes it difficult for an advertiser to effectively get their message across. Is it a wise idea to communicate the benefits of your product or service on your YouTube video? The answer depends on how well you can effectively and creatively condense it into 5-8 seconds. According to a study conducted by Microsoft, the attention span of an adult is only eight seconds compared to the 12 seconds in the year 2000 (Cision, 2018). This means you have maximum eight seconds to get your message across. What’s worse, you have merely 5 seconds to grab the attention of the viewer if it is a skippable ad.

YouTube has various types of ads. Below, I will explain in greater detail, skippable and non-skippable ad formats, and highlight key tactics to make sure they are effective for your brand:

  • Skippable: These ads are between 12 seconds to under three minutes long, and can be skipped by the viewer after five seconds.
  • Non-Skippable: These ads cannot be skipped, and usually are about 15 seconds long.

Selecting one of the two is an important decision as both have different effects on people. The skippable versions are good for ads that can create a compelling story, and convey the important points in a five-second window, and continue to deliver information for its duration. Non-skippable ads are better for ads that need the extra time to deliver what’s necessary. You also need to keep in mind that they must dazzle their viewers for an extra 8-10 seconds.

This is a problem for anyone who wishes to create ads on YouTube. What can one do to combat this issue? Listed below are some of the key points that I think will help drive home the message while keeping viewers’ attention.

Straight-to-the-point: Do not beat around the bush whilst advertising on YouTube. Getting straight to the point will help the customer understand what you are offering instead of having to wait until the end of the video. A big mistake advertisers make is spending most of the 5-second window in setting up the advertisement, or only displaying their logo. It is important to make sure your ad is conveyed in those initial five seconds; you still need to get to the storyline right away, to ensure you effectively capture the viewer’s attention.

Relatable: One of the key methods to deliver an effective ad in a short duration, is to make it relatable to the audiences, as they will be reminded of the ad more often. Try to understand how the brand fits in with the audience’s preferences, its relevance, timing, etc. For example, Bai antioxidant drinks created an ad where they state, “You know what doesn’t make sense? Bai, it’s good for you but still somehow tastes amazing.” In this way, the ad challenges the norm that healthy drinks taste bad (Horn, 2016).

Know when to use a short-form video vs. a long-form: We have established it is harder to get people to invest their time in longer ads, even if they have a strong start. If you can’t keep the ad short and simple, make sure the long-form video is captivating—and relevant—from start to end. It makes sense that you would have shorter video ads to complement longer ones, this way as the ad is viewed, consumers will get both the concise, bite-sized version, and the longer, more detailed version.

Entertaining: Audiences generally tend to pay more attention to comedic videos than ones with a general theme. Physical comedy seems to work well, but never underestimate the power of punchlines. However, we must exercise caution where comedy or light-hearted approaches would not be effective, but rather inappropriate and potentially insulting, such as for medical, social awareness, religion, and culture situations.

A right combination of these points must be employed, after considering your target audience, and the point you are trying to make. Every ad should be tailored to the specific requirements of the audience. YOU HAVE JUST 8 SECONDS TO GET THE JOB DONE. Any more than that and the audience will be disengaged from the ad. It is important to have a vision, select the right length of ad, keep it straight to the point, relatable, and entertaining.



Aaron Moraes holds a Bachelor’s in Management Studies with a major in Marketing from Mumbai University, a certificate in Global Management from Conestoga College, and is pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Marketing Management from Seneca College. Aaron is a volunteer at a thrift store where he handles the operations and marketing efforts. Aaron is passionate about brand management, strategies, systems thinking—and Harry Potter.



Cision. (2018, 01 22). Are Declining Attention Spans Killing Your Content Marketing Strategy?

Retrieved 07 27, 2020, from Cision: https://www.cision.com/us/2018/01/declining-attention-killing-content-marketing strategy/#:~:text=According%20to%20a%20study%20by,seconds%20in%20the%20year%202000.

Horn, P. (2016, 02 08). Horse Whisperer, Bai 2016 Super Bowl. Retrieved 09 23, 2020, from

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFdPlLAXSYY&ab_channel=PabloHorn

Think with Google. (2016, 09). YouTube Pulse: What Canadians Are Watching and How it Can

Impact Your Media Plan. Retrieved 09 23, 2020, from Think with Google: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-ca/marketing-strategies/video/youtube-pulse-what-canadians-are-watching-and-how-it-can-impact-your-media-plan/


Welcome to the CIMMO Young Marketer Perspective where young professionals are providing us with their take on important topics in marketing. Our goal is to provide these marketers with a platform to share their learnings and experiences. Here Samrat Kamble provides marketers with tips to avoid cultural insensitivity in marketing.


Culture is a set of practices, beliefs, and values that differentiates one group of people from another. As a result of there being many different cultures, there is well-formed diversity throughout the globe. Diversity is a gift bestowed upon us by nature; it is what makes humankind unique and amazing. Small economies, each having some unique characteristics, together form a global economy. These unique characteristics are the differences in cultures. So what role can culture and diversity play in marketing? In this article I am going to outline how when culture is used incorrectly in marketing, it can have longstanding negative effects on a brand. If we aren’t careful, wrong judgment or ignorance of local culture can backfire for advertisers. Not researching local cultures before deploying advertising campaigns, can lead to cultural appropriation. This can result in cultures being mocked, patronized and misrepresented. Further, launching a campaign in a foreign locality without researching the culture, can be offensive to its residents. There are many examples of brands doing this. But one that caught my attention was by Dolce & Gabbana, an Italian luxury fashion brand.

In November 2014, Dolce & Gabbana launched three videos on social media in China to promote their fashion show, Shanghai Runway Extravaganza. The video featured an Asian woman eating Italian food items like cannoli, pizza, and spaghetti with chopsticks (Sunrise Sunset, 2018). The video consisted of intentional mispronunciations of words that mocked the Mandarin language, a patronizing voice asking the model whether the cannoli is too big for her, and a few more acts the locals found to be stereotypical, perhaps even racist. This resulted in a huge outburst of anger amongst the citizens calling the video outright racist, and demanded a boycott of the brand. Later, Dolce & Gabbana issued an apology statement, but it was too late. The show had to be canceled and it also resulted in e-commerce sites like Alibaba and JD.com removing D&G products from their sites. (Xu, 2018). According to a report by a London-based finance consultancy firm, this incident could have hurt 20% of the brand’s value estimated to be around $937 million. Chinese customers spend approximately one-third of the global spending on luxury goods, according to Bain consultancy. (Associated Press, 2018)

The D&G advertising gaff is an example of how certain marketing practices that are used in the western world, like using cultural humour, might be offensive and hurtful in non-western markets. Here are some measures I think could be taken by advertisers to avoid these mistakes:

  • Consult the experts: Conducting a survey or running focus groups among a group of culture experts would help advertisers understand practices and humours that should be avoided.
  • Be aware of social norms: Paying attention to social norms and conforming to them is very important for acceptance. Conduct secondary research in the culture you are planning to advertise. Avoid jokes and phrases that challenge the social norms of the locals that result as unacceptable during your research.
  • Use local advertising agencies: Partnering with a local advertising agency helps to better understand the local culture. They will help develop ads that match the taste of the local consumers. This approach also helps to mitigate the risk of cultural backlashes.



Associated Press. (2018, 11 27). Dolce & Gabbana fiasco shows importance, risks of China market. Retrieved 09 04, 2020, from NBC News: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/dolce-gabbana-fiasco-shows-importance-risks-china-market-n940706

Sunrise Sunset. (2018, 11 26). Full Commercial | Dolce and Gabbana China | Full Ads. Retrieved 2020, from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBFC5isQuYA

Xu, Y. (2018, 12 01). Dolce & Gabbana Ad (With Chopsticks) Provokes Public Outrage in China. Retrieved 07 11, 2020, from npr: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/12/01/671891818/dolce-gabbana-ad-with-chopsticks-provokes-public-outrage-in-china