Peaking Interest in Pinterest

With 2014 quickly approaching we are drawling out our typical resolutions for the upcoming year. Lose weight, quit smoking, eat healthy, work more or perhaps work less. A favourite of mine this holiday season came from a friend who has resolved to cut back on her latest addiction, Pinterest.

New Years ensemble pinned by fashion-focused users
New Years ensemble pinned by fashion-focused users.

Pinterest is a social media platform that has been around since 2008. The main premise is it’s used to collect images of things you like and “pin” them to boards. Boards can be named based on categories, such as “arts and crafts”. Other users can then browse and “repin” your pins and like your images. It’s so simple some people have planned their weddings using Pinterest.

A cupcake idea from Martha Stewart posted to Pinterest.
A cupcake idea from Martha Stewart posted to Pinterest.

It’s all very simplistic and similar to many of my other favourite haunts on the Internet; Tumblr and WeHeartIt. The beauty of these type of image-sharing social media sites is they are unlike Facebook and Twitter. They offer an escape from relationship statuses and “Twitter drama”. I once watched an episode of Oprah that suggested the creation of “vision boards” as a tool to defining what you really want in life. The concept? Step One: Cut out pictures from magazines of things you love. Step Two: Paste them onto board.  Step Three: Realize your life’s ambition. Thus is the idea behind Pinterest, sort of. Perhaps pinning pictures of cats to your Cute n’ Cuddly pinboard won’t cause a revelation, but it is offering the user a retreat into a world of their own happiness for a while.

A gift idea posted by Sephora's official Pinterest account.
A gift idea posted by Sephora’s official Pinterest account.

Companies are catching on to Pinterest as well. In 2012, cosmetic retailer Sephora discovered many users were pinning their favourite Sephora beauty products onto boards. Sephora created a Pinterest account and is utilizing the site to its full potential from a business perspective. Sephora even incorporated Pinterest into their email campaigns by making products shown in their emails pinnable directly to recipients boards.

Fun arts and crafts idea
Fun arts and crafts idea

I like Pinterest. It plays to both my love of images and my slight OCD. My favourite board is my Closet board, where I keep pins of clothing, jewelry and shoes. I like curling up in an oversized sweater with a cup of tea and pinning pictures of Norway and places I’d like to visit one day. The images are beautifully displayed and the layout is so simple. It’s a comfortable place to get lost in.


Believe in Marks and Spencer – VS Angel Brings Magic to Holiday Ad

Rosie Huntington-Whitely shooting for M&S Christmas advert
Rosie Huntington-Whitely shooting for M&S Christmas advert

Fall down the rabbit hole and enter a world of fashionable fairy tale fantasy with Rosie Huntington-Whitely for this year’s ethereal Marks and Spencer’s Christmas TV spot.

Marks and Spencer is a major department store franchise in the United Kingdom known colloquially as “M&S”.  It carries everything from clothing to household goods, much like Sears or The Bay. M&S hold a tradition of featuring British celebrities in their holiday ad campaigns. In previous years they’ve included Britain’s X Factor contestants, former supermodel Twiggy and Wallace and Gromit.

This year they invited Victoria Secret Angel Rosie Huntington-Whitely, along with actress Helena Bonham-Carter, to star. Whitely launched a lingerie line, called Rosie for Autograph, at M&S in the fall. The holiday commercial showcases Rosie in a variety of outfits, some being lingerie ensembles from her collection.

Rosie Huntington-Whitely for Rosie By Autograph

The advertisement itself is a decadent, opulent enchantment that appeals to both young and young at heart. The always stunning Whitely models each fashion piece with playful, glossy vivacity while telling the story of a girl stumbling upon a whimsical make-believe world in the midst of the Christmas season.

In the conclusion of the ad, Marks and Spencer invite viewers to “Believe in Magic and Sparkle” and incite them to use the hashtag (#) #MagicandSparkle, a clever play on their initials, M&S. The ad has pulled in over 1 million views since it was posted to Youtube on November 4th. In my personal opinion, it is M&S’s finest holiday advert to date, and one of the most ingenious and imaginative commercial I’ve seen this holiday season.

Trendstalk 2013

Trendstalk is an annual integrated marketing communications lecture series held at St Lawrence College, Kingston campus. Integrated Marketing Communications students present to fellow students, faculty and business owners the latest trends, innovations and dos and don’ts of social media platforms as they relate to marketing.imc_logo_IMC-Black-460x300

It was my pleasure to attend such lectures as Embracing Consumers One Post at a Time, Domain Name Strategies and Fashionable Pinterest. The presenters gave great incite and information on their chosen topics. The presenters conducted themselves more as business professionals and experts in their fields rather then students which I admired and excited me to become like them by third year of IMC. A particular pair of presenters, Chris Kane and James Loveys, handed out business cards which was a key touch.

Each presentation gave incredible detail on how to utilize particular social media platforms such as Twitter and Pinterest. For example, I was unaware of how useful Pinterest can be when used as a marketing tool. It is evolving in the social media universe and may become a main player in the next few years.

All questions were answered in great depth by presenters and links were given to provide attendees with further information. Personally I was greatly impressed by Trendstalk 2013 and highly recommend it.

Why Do All (good) Things Come To An End

ImageI’ve been enraptured in a tailspin of post-traumatic presentation stress and caught in the undertow of 12 page papers. But I am alive and…reasonably well and back into the blogasphere for a few updates.

The final week of work is upon me. I’ve already shed most of my usual class schedule. Four classes are officially complete. Two more hang in the balance. As I slave away in the Mac Computer Lab or cram coffee and knowledge in equal amounts in the eerily quiet school hallways, visions of holiday cookies and never hearing another marketing term for a whole month dance in my head. Even now my finals stress is eating away at me, causing my sentence structure to become recklessly long and laced with comma splices.

I can’t believe it was 3 months ago I was innocently adjusting to college life. I knew this day would come. As the sun set on summer weather and school year started to bear down on me I should have realized it could only get worse. I knew if I chipped away at projects, got a head start and scheduled study days I would be laughing come finals week. But somehow I ended up leaving projects until 3 am the night before. Hashed out on each page are the words of a Redbull fuelled, sleep deprived zombie and not the studious note taker I was in our first week of classes.

Maybe I’ll learn my lesson next semester.