Graphic Design and Digital Publishing of Sales Event Poster

Graphc elements: plants in cups and bamboo in glass cup. Spring Plant Sale "Spring into Spring with your very own plants"

OPS Urban Gardeners Plant Sale Poster

Promotional poster advertising a sales event for the Ontario Public Service Urban Gardeners to educate people about the seedlings, provide them with samples to plant in their gardens, and raise awareness of the group.

5 reasons to Advertise on Internet TV, Video, and Radio

5 reasons to Advertise on Internet TV, Video, and Radio

I’ve advertised on internet video channels and here are benefits I found you can consider when media planning for internet TV and radio.

Advantages of Internet media

Reaching a Niche

Some people just prefer to listen to free internet radio and watch TV online. They’re usually young people who have modern technology and don’t use radios or have or can afford cable TV.  If those people are your target audience, the digital channel is important for your campaign and you’ll want people clicking on your online ads or going to the campaign landing page.

Ease of Reporting and Tracking Ad Effectiveness

Thanks to services like Google Analytics, you can find out easily your ad’s engagement, impressions, and return on investment.

Market Research

YouTube and other internet media offer you detailed information on people viewing and clicking on your ads (e.g. gender, age, interests). It is worthwhile to run campaign just to see which audiences prefer your brand and style of advertising. I’ve received a lot of marketing data from internet media companies by running ads.

Quick to Test Ads and Change Them

You’re getting real time data about ad impressions and clicks. You can easily test different ads and change them on the fly unlike traditional media. Your ad viewers are one click away from your website and the real time nature can aid in campaigns that are time sensitive.

Reuse your digital media

Most strong brands have videos and sounds clips online already. You can reuse parts or your organization’s existing media (e.g. popular YouTube videos) for an internet TV/radio ad.

Bonus: 3 Tips for Design TV/radio Internet Ads

creative pencil analytics interaction between people

photo credit: David Berkowitz

So now that you’re exciting about making some ads, here tips based on data from past internet campaigns. One insight is very few people will listen or watch a whole internet ad so:

1. Front load important information and in the first 3-5 seconds of the ad. People who are really interested in your product will watch the rest if they need to.

2. The first part of the ad should have catchy visuals and/or sounds to capture your audience or allow them to self-select whether the ad is relevant to them. Here are examples – show a map to indicate a location, choose music to represent your product category’s environment, use text or voice to summarize the ad’s topic or provide a hook.

3. Be open to trying different variations of ads and then use the most successful one (one with the most clicks or engagement). My experience with 2-3 variations of ads is over time 1 will become the preferred one. An easy variation can be to alter the duration of the ad.

12 Tips for Low Cost Advertising & Promotion Strategies and Tactics

12 Tips for Low Cost Advertising & Promotion Strategies and Tactics

I kind of specialize in low cost advertising and marketing promotion production after working for non-profits and promoting employee programs where there is no budget other than people to do the work who are usually volunteers and basic equipment like cameras, printers, and computers. Here are tips I use to make the most of common supplies with a zero to low advertising budget.

Strategies for Low Cost Production

Use as much free stuff as possible like open source/free software, creative commons media, sponsored materials, public domain media (sound clips, videos).

Partner with other organizations to lower the cost of their advertising and combine marketing plans to strengthen their market presence. For example, a tourism organization I work with partners with regional tourism groups and the provincial government to promote their area.

“Who you know” — Ask your team about their talents, especially their hobbies outside of work. You’d be surprised how many people outside their work are talented musicians, video editors, photographers, renovators, etc. who can donate their time or have contacts with people who can provide low cost advertising materials.

woman reading a book in a library stack

photo credit: J. Star

Be simple with your ads and use a casual everyday scenarios, lighting, and scenes for yours ads. A recent ad by President’s Choice is a good example. It was Galen Weston Jr. sitting in a well-lit kitchen talking to two women about the new product – – that’s it!

Use your archives and find older ads and media. Is there something you can reuse and recycle?

Set up a common repository of advertising stories, media, materials, etc. for your organization. It’s common to share a stock photography and video library.

Tactics for Low Cost Production

stormtroopers loading piggy banks with coins

photo credit: Kalexanderson

Combine marketing campaigns with an advertising partner. Ideas to combine are direct mail campaigns, out-of-home media, events, and commercials.

Use free open source software. Lots of choices for creative people on different computer platforms (online web tools, Windows, Linux, Mac)

Ask your corporate/organization’s sponsors to help you with events by providing materials you can use for promotion. My sponsors commonly pay for printing of posters if you include them in the poster and thank them for sponsorship.

Borrow and Share. Do search on the internet for ads that resemble yours and adapt their designs or approach to your brand.

Use Bing/Yahoo, Facebook, or Google promotional coupons for free digital advertising. Usually they provide $50 of free advertising for new sign ups. You can sign up, use the free $50 and continue if you like.

Use social media to get input from customers. Not an innovative idea, but getting input either through voting, a contest, or reward system is a win-win for the company and consumer. Plus, you can get good publicity from asking for input.

Internet Advertising and Web Marketing Implementation Resources

Internet Advertising and Web Marketing Implementation Resources

The list below provide sources to be used with the development of electronic / web / online marketing as well as integrated electronic communications.

Good marketing implementation resources

Google Advertising Programs (AdSense and AdWords) and Microsoft Advertising provide a variety of advertising opportunities both through search engine marketing (SEM), TV ads, content network ads, website banners ads, and other channels like mobile, games, etc..

Google Alerts allows you to monitor the web for interesting new content via email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic. Alerts can be used to monitor marketing campaigns and web
activity (e.g. competitors, trends, social commentary).

Copy blogger contains tips for copywriters, bloggers, and content marketers and aims to give effective online copywriting and content marketing strategies.

Radian 6 offers paid tools for social media monitoring. The tools allow you view relevant conversations on selected topics and aggregate and report on those
conversations allowing easier analysis and measurement.

Social Oomph helps manage your social media efforts through scheduling, links management, monitoring, a channel synchronization among other things. The are free features and paid features.

TweetDeck is a tool for managing social media feeds, viewing profiles and updates, and performing interactions in one tool. It is available for deskops and some mobile platforms. It makes it easy to monitor various social media networks in one place and is particularly strong in using Twitter API features.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (Version 2.0) provide principles and content
techniques to ensure content is inclusive to various people including people
with disabilities and the ways they consume web content. The principles are
also standard practices to follow to make web content easily accessible,
usable, and understandable. is about usability and web design research, studies, news, and guidelines.

Website grader is a website search engine optimization (SEO) tool that tells how well a website is doing for things like SEO, social media mentions and popularity, and page analytics.

Royal Wedding in Communications and Storytelling Context

Royal Wedding in Communications and Storytelling Context

What in the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on April 29, 2011 captured people’s attentions and emotions ?

What would engage an estimated 2 billion people who watched or listened to live media broadcasts of the wedding?

Communications Goal:

Essentially, it was a story of love and celebration of partnership that engaged people around the world

Specifically, it is the story of two young people in love and their celebration of marriage. The wedding represented love, happiness, and promise of partnership between William and Kate. Given the people involved and their relations and backgrounds, there was pomp and magnificent displays, but the wedding could also be considered to show the pleasures of a modern, elegant, and down to earth wedding. The celebration also contained the hope for a bright future for the couple in the British monarchy and the royal family of the Commonwealth realms.

Royal Wedding 2011 in the Context of Communications, Marketing, and Event Planning

The media, marketing channels, and event organizers recognized the story of the royal wedding and how it could engage people.

Target Audience

People around the world like those in the Commonwealth of Nations wanted to capture emotions and moments of the royal wedding or experience parts of it through:

  • a piece of the happy moments,
  • ceremonial splendour,
  • the elegance of the wedding, and
  • share in the celebration.

To cater to this audience, events, products, and buzz were generated.


Events were held in the spirit of the royal wedding from children’s events, schools, businesses, and entertainment venues and outdoor parties with people dressing up, combining events with the media broadcasts, and majestic decorations and accessories among other things.


Commercial products were promoted featuring the wedding in some way similar to the events. Advertisers also used the wedding and royal elements in their marketing tie-ins and to prepare for the upcoming spring and summer season of weddings.

Souvenirs and memorabilia were also made to celebrate the event.


The wedding dominated social discussions, media, and social media on the internet (e.g. Twitter #RoyalWedding hashtag) in the weeks around the royal wedding in April and May 2011 ensuring it was in the minds of many people plugged into media or those interacting with people (word of mouth) who were engaged by the royal wedding.


The large amount of engagement and buzz the royal wedding generated shows a story of love and the celebration of a royal wedding between two young people with respectable backgrounds can capture the hopes, emotions, hearts, and attentions of millions (if not billions) of people.

Metrics of the Royal Wedding’s Media Engagement

The Wikipedia article of the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton cites several interesting metrics from news sources about how engaging the royal wedding was:

  • “It was estimated that the coverage would be watched by two billion people worldwide”
  • Viewership of the wedding was recorded by electricity use in Ontario [a province in Canada], where, at the approximate moment Middleton arrived at Westminster Abbey [… there was …] recorded a 300 megawatt drop in electricity use, which was attributed to [… people stopping their regular morning routines and watching the ceremonies …] rather than make breakfast or shower, and watch the TV.
  • In the [United Kingdom] UK the National Grid reported a huge surge in demand for power after the service, equivalent to one million kettles being boiled, when the royal couple returned to Buckingham Palace.

Google AdWords Campaign Strategy and Results Example

Below is a Google AdWords campaign strategy and post-campaign report for a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaign for the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.

The AdWords marketing campaign was planned and done by a team I was in for the Google Online Marketing Challenge and also as part of a web marketing class at the University of Toronto taught by Michelle Pellettier.

Canadian Women’s Hockey League

Google AdWords Pre-Campaign Strategy

Client profile

  • The Canadian Womenʼs Hockey League (CWHL) was established in May 2007 and considers itself to be a premier professional female oriented hockey league as many of the athletes also play at the Olympic level.
  • Five North American teams from Boston, Brampton, Burlington, Montreal and Toronto participate in the league and strive to win its annual Clarkson Cup Championship event that will be the focus of this challenge.
  • Event that will be promoted in the Google Ad Campaign is the 2011 Clarkson Cup Championship runs from March 24-27, 2011 at the Barrie Molson Centre in Barrie, Ontario.

Market analysis

  • The CWHL resides in the broader market of hockey leagues for top players and specifically, leagues for women in North America.
  • The CWHL’s main product is entertainment through hockey games and revenue is in the form of ticket sales for hockey fans of all ages.
  • CWHL marketing is mostly online initiatives with teams employing community outreach. is the main marketing vehicle that encompasses game reviews, news, schedules, scores, up-to-date statistics and team pages which together provide fans direct access to the league.

Proposed AdWords Strategy

Number of Ad Groups and the focus for each Ad Group

  • Four Ad Groups will be used to start, focusing on ticket sales, event timing, players, and location.
  • More Ad Groups will be incorporated once key word popularity and quality score data is available to analyze.

Keywords, Negative Keywords, Target Audience Settings and Geotargeting

  • Since “Clarkson Cup” is practically a non-active key word, generic hockey related keywords will be used so that the ad is posted to users looking for hockey related information.
  • Searches by geography are relevant since potential ticket buyers would likely be associating their search with certain cities due to their travel plans or place of residence.
  • Searches by date may be relevant to users so the month “March” should also be included as a keyword.
  • Additionally, the names of certain current star athletes in the League will be included as key words.

Campaign settings

  • The daily spending plan for the campaign is to spend more or less evenly throughout the week unless initial analysis
  • Only display the ads for Search, not Network.
  • Optimizing for clicks (default) will be used with automatic bidding

Goals for impressions, clicks, CPC and CTR

  • Will be talked about in Campaign Overview

Google Ads Campaign for Clarkson Cup Championship Event

Executive Summary

1. Campaign Overview (Major Goals)

  • The Adwords campaign was designed to increase ticket sales for the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) flagship event
  • The Clarkson Cup Championship took place March 24-27 at the Barrie Molson Centre.
  • Strategic goals were set:
  1. target a CTR of between 1-2% with a CPC of 5-10 cents;
  2. Have the CWHL box office monitor ticket sales influenced by web leads and estimate a conversion rate since tickets could not be purchased directly online but rather by telephone or in-person at the box office;
  3. Use 100% of the budget but not all of it before the Clarkson Cup i.e. put a higher budget allowance on the days immediately preceeding the Clarkson Cup but allow for allocation of the budget for days after the Clarkson Cup since there could be web site interest generated as a result of off-line publicity that would benefit the league.

The strategies used to obtain these goals are as outlined below:

A) Targeted adword groups were established.
B) Keywords in each ad group were adjusted regularly based on performance.
C) Key word bidding was initially done manually then switched to automatic bidding.
D) Ad copy was revised frequently in order to experiment with the success of certain wording in generating hype and interest.

2. Operational Details/Campaign Strategy Evolution

The ads belonged to the following 5 ad groups that targeted audiences with different interests:

  • Unbeatable Prices – cheap hockey tickets
  • Scotiabank Sponsored Hockey – sponsors, social responsibilty
  • CWHL Elite Players – professional female hockey players
  • CWHL Women’s Hockey Action – women’s hockey games
  • Barrie Molson Centre Games – hockey games in the geo-location.
  • More focused keywords were determined by adding more complex phrases, using Google suggested keywords and from keyword tool searches. The keyword type was also reviewed
  • Continuous monitoring resulted in the realization that the ad copies should be enhanced to create urgency and excitement.
  • The budget was again increased several times through the campaign and event time.
  • With an aim to further heighten excitement and urgency a new ad featuring the 2 teams that made it to the championship match to be played the next day was prepared and called “Championship Match”.
  • After the championship match the final ad aptly named “Championship Results” was created with a focus on the results and used the names of players especially of the two final teams as keywords.
  • Ultimately, these changes increased the number of total clicks and impressions and ensured that the $200 budget was spent.

3. Key Results

Figure P1 is a graph shows the number of clicks and impressions during the campaign.
AdWords timeline for clicks and impressions
  • The initial campaign had almost no impressions and money spent.
  • Optimization efforts resulted in more clicks, impressions, and more money spent per day leading up to the CWHL event on March 24-27
Key metrics of the campaign
Total Impressions Clicks CTR Avg. CPC Avg. Pos.
2,125,296 for Search and Display network 337 0.02% US$0.51 2.2
10,278 for Search only 130 1.26% US$0.65 2.7
  • The display network created many impressions, but had a poor CTR compared to search.
  • Each ad group had strengths which are bolded in blue below.

Ad Group Name / Ad

Target Audience interests




Avg. CPC

Avg Pos.

Unbeatable prices
Affordable Hockey
4-day weekend women’s hockey action
Buy Clarkson Cup tickets from $10!
Ticket buying 27 399,555 0.01 US$0.62 2.2
Scotiabank Sponsored Hockey
Scotiabank Hockey
Exciting Clarkson Cup 2011
March 24th – 27th, Barrie Ontario
Social responsibility, sponsors 72 437,421 0.02 US$0.62 1.8
CWHL Elite Players
Women’s Hockey Olympians
See Elite Players in Women’s Hockey
This Weekend Only! March 26-27
Female hockey players / Olympians 78 404,324 0.02 US$0.69 2.1
CWHL – Women’s Hockey Action
Women’s Hockey Action
Get tickets now! Low prices $10-$25
Call 705 739 4220 ext 4617
Women’s Hockey League games 30 294,341 0.01 US$0.60 2.3
Championship Results
Barrie Molson Centre
MTL defeats TOR 5-0 for hockey cup.
View all championship stats here!
After event results 56 466,896 0.01 US$0.52 2.5
Championship Match
Barrie Molson Centre
Who will rule the ice? TOR vs MON
Today @ 1pm, Buy tickets only $15!
Event matches and tickets 19 118,800 0.02 US$0.47 2.2
Barrie Molson Centre Games
Barrie Molson Centre
Hockey fun for the whole family
Women’s Hockey Championship – $10
Hockey games in Geo. location 55 3,959 1.39 US$0.53 3.7
  • The tickets, women’s hockey, event results, and sponsorship ad groups generated a large number of impressions.
  • The geo-location ad group performed significantly better than other ad groups in CTR.
  • The sponsorship and female hockey player ad groups both performed well in generating impressions and driving traffic to the landing page.
Figure P2 is a graph showing campaign costs and clicks during later part of campaign (March 22 – April 2, 2011).
AdWords timeline for clicks and cost


  • Keywords that were the most effective involved the geographical location of the event promoted by the campaign combined with women’s hockey phrases.
  • Names of some hockey players and Scotiabank sponsor produced good CTRs.
  • The ineffective keywords were similar to the top performing ones (some hockey player names), but were usually less relevant to the event or were less popular variations of the effective keywords.


  • A total of 139 keywords were used over the course of the campaign but the top 10 performing took the bulk of the impressions:
  • (i) [Barrie Molson Centre Tickets]
  • (ii) Toronto Women’s hockey
  • (iii) “Clarkson Cup tickets”
  • (iv) “Barrie Molson Centre Events”
  • (v) [Barrie Molson Center]
  • (vi) [Barrie Molson Centre Events]
  • (vii) [Barrie Molson Center]
  • (viii) [Barrie Molson Centre]
  • (ix) Kim St. Pierre
  • (x) Canadian Female hockey

Learning from Results

  • The large number of impressions and respectable number of clicks for the campaign was a success for a growing market for hockey game tickets for the CWHL.
  • Optimizations described above met with expected results and immediately boosted impressions and clicks.
  • One failure was to obtain sufficient data in the first couple weeks of the campaign due to tight restrictions on the budget and CPC.

4. Conclusions

  • This was the first time a campaign such as this was carried out, therefore it is not possible to compare this year’s results with those of previous years.
  • The campaign results were within the client’s expectations and will serve as a basis for future SEO campaigns, which according to the CWHL leadership, is a worthy outcome.
  • The most effective way to leverage an online/SEO campaign would be to “sell” the product or service online; in this case, ticket sales.
  • Since numbers demonstrate a peak in impressions and CTRs during the even -> search engine marketing is influenced by other external elements of the marketing mix, such as PR (news media), advertising, social media, and the proximity of the event.
  • Keywords and ad copy should be adjusted and/or changed, in order to reflect what is happening in overall marketing and media.
  • The geographic location ad group had a significantly higher CTR than other groups, which demonstrates that the local geographical campaign should be a focus point of any future marketing plans for this league.

5. Future Recommendations

  • Tickets can be sold online directly on CWHL’s website or CWHL can partner with a ticket provider such as Ticketmaster.CWHL Montreal and Brampton game with players on ice
  • The online sale of tickets will make it easier to calculate conversion rates, create convenience for fans and ad copies can improve.
  • Creation of a competition to win free tickets to lure fans and peak the interest of undecided persons who may be contemplating on attending a game.
  • Offline advertising for the competition and the event in general via community notices and/or paid ads on local radio and TV stations and on public transportation
  • Deal on landing page -> “buy weekend package get 1 game free”. This deal can be used as a very effective call to action in a future ad.
  • The premier cup sponsor, Scotiabank, was a focus of the team’s AdWords campaign; however, ads featuring secondary sponsors such as Bauer, The City of Barrie can also increase the number of impressions and clicks
  • Installation and use of Google Analytics can also be considered. Valuable data such as keywords derived from traffic sources can be collected from this tool and used to streamline both online and offline marketing campaigns inclusive of Google AdWords.
  • Campaign performance details, on-site visitor behaviour, ad conversion rates and landing page performance all generated by Google Analytics can help in the decision making process during a Google AdWords marketing campaign.

Learning Component

1. Learning objectives and outcomes

We hoped to learn:

  • how to conduct a Google Ad Words campaign
  • learn the tools involved
  • how to gain impressions and drive traffic to our client’s website
We succeeded in those learning goals, but feel more can be learned from observing campaign progression and optimization of ad groups and campaign settings.

2. Group dynamics

To balance team responsibilities later in the campaign, we found it easier to distribute ad groups to people and have them optimize the keywords and ads in them. Also, two leads would handle new ad group creation and campaign settings like budget and ad serving.

3. Client dynamics

  • The initial part of campaign was unexpected when the daily budget and CPC was set low to generate enough impressions and clicks to give meaningful feedback on campaign performance.
  • Later part of the campaign had an expected outcome of the growth of clicks and impressions with campaign settings optimizations.

4. Future recommendations

  • The team would choose to obtain initial feedback on the campaign through clicks and impressions from the Google Ad Words metrics by setting higher daily budgets and more geographical locations and then optimize based on that data.