The new year evokes a certain excitement that takes root from new possibilities, opportunities, and fresh starts. For my family and I, this weekend also marks the 5th anniversary of the end of my late father’s long battle with cancer. As such, I’d decided to mark the occasion in a different kind of way: the lengthy locks I have been saving up are finally getting donated to a cancer wig program.
Charity, my beloved stylist at W did the honours. The short, but sweet, process was captured in the Vine below. And how did it feel? Fantastic.
If you live in Canada and are interested in donating your hair to an organization that makes wigs for cancer patients, you can refer to the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada’s list of organizations by province. Aside from that, there are a few things you should know in advance before you donate your hair. The rest is easy.
- You’ll need at least 8″ or 12″ of untreated hair (hair that hasn’t been previously dyed, bleached, or treated). The length requirements will depend on where you’re donating to. For example, the “Beautiful Lengths” program managed by the Canadian Cancer Society in partnership with P&G requires 8″, while A Child’s Voice Foundation for children’s wigs requires at least 12″.
- Your hair will need to be both clean and dry. They don’t accept wet hair. If you cut it while it is wet, make sure it is fully dry before sending it in.
- When you cut your hair, make sure your hair is tied off at both ends. Braided is best.
- There can’t be more than 5% grey hair in your ponytail. This is because it takes between 8-15 hair donations to make a wig. To make the wig uniform in colour, all of the hair needs to be treated and dyed one colour. Grey hair tends to take in the colour at a different rate than hair of other colours, which affects the final result of the wig and how authentic the wig looks.
Fuller instructions are provided on each organization’s site, along with their address. It’s best to check in advance to make sure they don’t have additional instructions or more specific requirements I haven’t covered here.
As for me, I decided to send my hair to the Canadian Cancer Society and P&G’s Beautiful Lengths program. In Canada, their address is:
Pantene Beautiful Lengths
C/O Archway Marketing Services
P.O. Box 434
2110 Kipling Ave.
Etobicoke Station B, Ontario
Happy New Year and all the best in 2014!
For the month of December, Hailo and Molson have teamed up to offer $10 free taxi credit to their users during this season of holiday parties and celebrations. The campaign gives users going to select establishments (map below) a $10 credit that they can access through entering a unique promo code into their app before they hail a cab.
If you’re not familiar with Hailo, the service allows users to hail a cab and also to pay automatically for their cab fare with a few taps of their finger through a phone app. Users can see who the driver is going to be, call them, and follow their driver’s progress to their location on a map. The service launched in Toronto a little over a year ago and was met with huge fanfare and open arms. I was certainly one of those fans. And why not? A more convenient, reliable, faster, and safer way of hailing and traveling in cabs? Fantastic.
But back to the campaign – it’s a brilliant example of a triple win campaign. Molson gets customers going to Molson establishments that serve their beer. They also have the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to their “celebrate responsibly” messaging in a very direct and active way. Hailo gets users using their app – potentially new users who have never tried their app before. And finally, all users who participate in the campaign get $10 off their cab fare after their night out.
For marketers, campaigns of this nature are not always easy to create as it’s important to find the right alignment of strategy, opportunity, and channel. However, a strong focus on the end user and what adds value to them is a great place to start. This joint campaign is a great example of providing value to customers in a relevant and integrated way that makes great use of the social and mobile channels.
Happy holidays, everyone!
Every year, UK retailer John Lewis launches a holiday campaign that tends to melt the hardest of hearts. This year, they did not disappoint. In true John Lewis style, they launched The Bear and The Hare, carrying the message: “Give someone a Christmas they’ll never forget”.
At the campaign’s core is their television spot: a beautifully hand-drawn partial stop-motion animation about two dear friends, the bear and the hare. It’s simple, captivating, and moving. (I’ll let you watch it to see for yourself.)
The TV spot is fantastic on its own and is only strengthened by the layer upon layer of digital and offline extensions John Lewis has wrapped around it: each encouraging further exploration, engagement, and reminders of their lovely tale. And with reminders of their tale are also reminders of John Lewis as a retailer for families out shopping. (I have to confess, I wish there were one in Canada.)
As a story, The Bear and The Hare is very accessible to families and children and lends itself exceptionally well to family oriented extensions like: Read more
Tonight is the eve of Remembrance Day and I’m struck by how grateful I feel to be sitting in the warmth and comfort of my own home – unafraid and with ample freedoms. Our country is one of the fortunate ones where people are not actively persecuted for their ideas and opinions, religious beliefs, political dissonance, or under constant threat of war and death.
It has been just under eight years since I was in Afghanistan. I wasn’t there as part of military service, but as a civilian. Upon meeting some of our Canadian troops at a Canada Day event the Consulate was putting on one year, the question I was asked over and over was “how can you be here as a civilian? I can’t even imagine”. Because you see, they couldn’t believe how people like me could go about our days working and living without protection (armed with firepower) – particularly in light of the things they saw and were exposed to on a daily basis. They were all too aware of the constant dangers that faced us all. However, the reality was that people like me were protected… by them. Because they were out patrolling, I got to sleep at night. As one of the protected, I never had to see or be exposed to the kinds of things our military personnel did.
One incident that remains vivid in my memory was a suicide bomber attack on an ISAF troop vehicle right outside my work compound, which resulted in us going into lockdown for over ten hours well into the night. It was the military personnel who cleared the roads, completed two more controlled detonations, and had to deal with the threat of additional suicide bombers who might take advantage of the situation. It was not me. The people like me were inside our compound in lockdown, waiting. Waiting for safety, and eventually, the escorts to take us home. And they did.
I’ll never forget.
And on this eve of Remembrance Day, it seems right that we think back and remember the current and other wars before us and all the men and women who gave their lives for our current future. I was so moved when I came across the news of the project “The Fallen” created by British artists Jamie Wardley and Andy Moss, along with hundreds of volunteers earlier this fall. Read more