Local man goes furniture shopping, gets featured in company’s newspaper advertisement


Bad Boy store uses ironic marketing in a very effective manner. Those who support/identify with Ford and his persona will see a just one of us view of the store’s image. Those with a less charitable view of Ford’s public persona will see the irony and believe the store is sharing in the joke with them. They have managed to connect a single ad with two diverse target audiences. Add to this that the advertisement itself becomes a news item and they have gotten free advertising that could go viral.

Originally posted on National Post:

Toronto Star scan Toronto Star scan

A Toronto furniture store has rewarded a loyal customer with a prominent place in its marketing materials.

A Mr. Robert Bruce Ford, a lifelong resident of Etobicoke and a football enthusiast, appears in newspaper ads running in the Toronto Star this week for the Bad Boys furniture chain, founded by former Toronto mayor Mel Lastman and known for claiming that “noooobody” can beat its prices.

An ad that ran in the newspaper Wednesday shows Mr. Ford, currently undergoing treatment for an aggressive form of cancer, reclining in a leather sofa and posing with staff.

“He came into the store, he bought something,” Bad Boy CEO Blayne Lastman told Metro.

He added that Mr. Ford “negotiated a great deal.”

When a manager asked Mr. Ford if he wanted to be featured in an ad, he readily agreed, apparently indifferent to the fact that Bad Boy’s logo is…

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Understanding McLuhan is the Message

Is the form that you receive a message as significant as the message itself? Marshall McLuhan argued that throughout history what has been communicated has been less important than the particular medium through which people communicate. The technology that transfers the message changes us and changes society, the individual, the family, work, leisure and more.
The above video is from the BBC Radio 4 series about life’s big questions – A History of Ideas. It is narrated by Gillian Anderson and scripted by Nigel Warburton. The project is from the BBC in partnership with The Open University, the animations were created by Cognitive.


Part of the struggle in understanding McLuhan is one of context. His interpretation of how we as individuals & a society & culture interact with mass media becomes much more obvious in our current age of social media saturation. The level of skill required to become immersed in Mass Media is now meaningless.  Language and reading are level 1 & 2 skills.  With new digital devices & social media platforms even an infant can interact with Grannie and Granpa on Skype. The trick is for the parents to make sure the grandparents can figure out their digital devices.

Two of the challenges faced by McLuhan were that he needed new terminology that was almost metaphorical to convey the concepts and that it was easier to express them in a newer type of media because printed text was too linear and dense for the global interconnected conceptual world he was trying to convey to his audience. His concepts were full of kinetic energy travelling in tangential lines crisscrossing and inter-connecting at traversal nodes of meaning. What he needed was the internet and a blog where various forms of mass media blend into something new.







Your “Make Under” Looks Gorgeous!


“Make Under” Dolls Look like Real People – no Disney Princesses here. This is a perfect example of how Mass Media contain & convey values, beliefs & ideologies. Dolls and other toys are a form of Mass Media. They can be a brand onto themselves or a means of communicating other products/services. Integrated media is a business model that has saturated our society with a constructed reality that more & more people are struggling with. Either they become consumed trying to live up to it or looking for a method of countering its influence.

This is why, when someone like Sonia Singh offers an alternative that presents a reality that appears more natural it has such an impact. There is the question of whether this is just offering a different set of values, beliefs & ideology that can become just as restrictive & narrow.  As long as there multiple messages to choose from, rather than a mono-myth standard being imposed then the target audience children & their parents can make a choice in behaviour and personal self expression.

Make sure to read the rest of the linked post and see the video.

Originally posted on Rockmom's Blog:

Now days, society has a really crappy way of what so-called beauty standards should be, and it was nice to see this video of a woman who started “making down” these dolls to give them a more natural look.

The dolls that are out there now days, seem to focus on what beauty is by adding big eyes, big lips, lots of make up, and high fashion to their wardrobe….and let’s not forget too skinny in that list.

There are girls out there that think that this is what they need to look like in order to be accepted, and if you don’t, your self-esteem shoots downward or they are the ones making fun of the other girls because of their appearance not being “socially accepted”. To me, that is completely unacceptable.

When I was a teenager some thirty years ago, the concept was about the same. It’s just that…

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Marvel’s Nova Four Replaces Fantastic Four ?

Infinity Gauntlet - Marvel 2015


Marvel has released a teaser image for a new Infinity Gauntlet event. Infinity Gauntlet is schedule for the summer of 2015.  It features a Nova Corps family along with Thanos and Star-Lord (Information is courtesy of Marvel. ).

Fantastic Four back in blueWith Marvel’s June 2015 solicitations comes the announcement for James Robinson and Leonard  Kirk‘s Fantastic Four: “The End Is Fourever” –  THE END IS FOUREVER! Witness the closing act on the First Family of the Marvel Universe! THE INVADERS meet the FANTASTIC FOUR as the hunt for REED RICHARDS and the missing kids of the FUTURE FOUNDATION continues. Meanwhile the mastermind behind everything unveils his ultimate plan. But how does FRANKLIN RICHARDS factor in? And how does this all lead to…The END?! Collecting FANTASTIC FOUR #642-644 and the Triple Sized Final Issue 645!

It was revealed at the New York Comic Con  that the rumours were accurate, as first presented by Bleeding Cool, that Marvel was so upset with the movie deal with Fox that it would cancel the Fantastic Four comic to coincide with the the launch of the Fox  movie ( the Fox movie’s date was moved from June to August – there is no evidence that this change reflects Marvel’s actions). While it is not without precedent for comics, including Fantastic Four, to be cancelled and then revived again as short time later, the strong public denials by Marvel reps combined with backroom chatter would appear to indicate that the timing and motivation for this particular cancellation is firmly rooted in strong emotional and business interests within the Marvel corporate structure.  It would appear that Marvel intends on redistributing the members of  their First Family of Cosmic Adventures – positioning  them as individuals & members of other teams. In this manner, diluting Fox’s access to new material and placing the characters adventures within the Marvel-Disney control.

Fantastic Four's Sue part of Shield, hunts for her husband Reed Richards.

Fantastic Four’s Sue part of Shield, hunts for her husband Reed Richards.

So this creates an opening for a new family of cosmic adventures that would be a perfect fit for the Disney all ages vision of mass media product. The Nova family, who are still unknown characters at this point, would appear to be designed to fill that marketing niche.  For those of you who are not aware of some of Marvel’s recent re-arranging of their properties, consider the attempt to move the Inhuman characters into greater prominence and put the brakes on the creation of new characters related to the X-Men and mutants.



Marvel Inhumans

Inhumans are Among Us

Attilan Rising Marvel 2015

Disney-Marvel’s control of the X-men product beyond the comics is very limited, again due to earlier negotiations with Fox. For example, the term Mutant and mutation are strictly avoided in the Marvel movie universe. In order to introduce individuals with powers/abilities some origin involving extra-terrestrial/dimensional energy, material or technology is required.

Avengers, Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver, revealed to be Inhumans, not Mutants ?

Avengers, Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver, revealed to be Inhumans, not Mutants ?

To sum up, Disney-Marvel seeks to maintain  control of the Mass Media product – the concepts & characters generated in the creation of the comics. This is a practical aspect of the basic Mass Media  principle that all  Mass Media have a business interest. To enrich and gain consolidated control, the business dictates creative & editorial direction of the comics. Characters will be modified, comic titles cancelled and new ones generated to better control the cinema & other multimedia aspects of the business.