The Monday Hot 5!
On Saturday, Canadians took a collective pause to tune in and watch the Tragically Hip’s final show. The evening was a chance for the nation to say goodbye to the band whose fingerprint has been all over our nation for more than three decades.
What I found interesting, though, was how CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), the often maligned national broadcaster, decided to broadcast the concert, commercial-free during primetime; not the kind of innovation I have come to expect from CBC. Almost 12 million Canadians tuned in to watch the show, and if you were anywhere around social media, your feeds were filled with mentions of the show, and that’s the kind of exposure that broadcasters only dream about.
Could this be a shift in CBC’s strategy to start taking more strategic risks, giving itself the chance to start leading within the digital space? I would love to equate the CBC with the quality of our British friend’s public broadcaster: the BBC.
While we’re on the CBC, can we give them a slow clap for their Olympic coverage? If you were anywhere in Canada, you had free, live access to the entire event. And not only that, if you tuned in digitally, you had interactive options likes rewinding to key parts of the events, adding in additional information like who was up next, which country was in a certain lane, and lastly, you had the ability to watch some events like diving in the new 360 format where you controlled the camera angle.
As Canadians, we don’t often have the ability to brag about our telecommunications prowess, but in this instance, CBC deserves a huge shoutout for developing a premiere Olympics experience. It was so good that I saw a lot of forums where people were giving Americans work around access to watch OUR feeds! We might have been roasted in the medal counts, but knowing there was a bunch of Americans trying to find their way into my Canadian Olympics feed, was a nice consolation.
Always looking to get an edge in the cut-throat fast food industry, McDonalds is making another shift – self-ordering. While most of us will be unsurprised by this and view it as a state of the industry with high employee premiums, it was the table service that caught me off guard. I ordered my burger – an incredible mix of real cheese, crispy onions, grilled mushrooms and garlic aioli – and was asked to take a seat to wait for my order. It was then that Steph, the McDonlads waitress came out, introduced herself and asked me what I wanted to drink. She went and grabbed my drink, made small talk, and let me know my meal should be ready in about two minutes. She came back two minutes later with my meal and a smile, thanking me for ordering from McDonalds.
This was an incredible experience, at McDonalds. What I want to know is, will it be enough to keep you coming back, or is fast food all about price– getting the most food for the cheapest price, as fast as you can. McDonalds is investing heavily that this is the future of their business, but does it really matter if your nuggets come in a brown paper bag shoved out a drive-thru window or delivered by a friendly staff member?
If you haven’t heard – and I’m guessing you haven’t because you don’t care – Twitter recently launched stickers that can be used in the photos on your Twitter stream, which you’re still not taking through Twitter. Stickers are a large part of social media in other parts of the world outside of Canada and are just beginning to find their way into the mainstream. For Twitter especially, these stickers are meant to be another revenue source, as brands like Pepsi can pay to have promoted stickers that can be used. Props to Twitter for trying something, but this effort further cements the impression that the platform is becoming stagnant and finding it hard to innovate. Here’s hoping that their new TV and live streaming initiatives take off!
I’m a big fan of brands trying new things, and when you’re the NHL and no one in North America knows who you are and thinks that a Gretzky is a classic form of Italian sausage “I’ll get some ketchup and mayo on my Gretzky,” you’ve got issues. The initiative asks people to watch a movie at the same time and share their comments and thoughts in real time. If you’ve ever done this before with a movie or television show, the results can be surprising– see Sharknado. This does beg the question though, does the fact that this is ‘an event’ steal away from the authenticity of the event? Would you prefer it to happen naturally and grow organically?
I’m going to say that this is a good move by the NHL, even if it doesn’t make a huge splash in terms of earned media, there’s bound to be a good time for all those involved. What do you think, should we see more of this from live sports? Will the NFL plan a “Little Giants” movie night for their fans? Nope. But, when you’re low on the totem pole (the NHL is 4th in professional sports in North America) you’ve got to try new ventures.