The Advertising Behind “The Weeknd”

The Weeknd has grown to be quite famous worldwide, with his new album, Starboy, breaking multiple records and topping charts. Learn more about his journey and how he became so successful with minimal advertising.


With “Starboy” becoming number 1 on charts in over 80 countries in less than 24 hours, it is safe to say that The Weeknd is back with another album with at least three songs on your playlist.  Abel Tesafey has won a total of 42 awards from 137 nominations – all in a span of 6 years. But how did Tesafey develop a strong personal brand in a hit-or-miss industry? Rather than focusing on traditional forms of advertising, the Weeknd used his personal brand strategically to grow his fan base astronomically.  It might actually shock you that the Weeknd’s first daytime appearance was only a few days ago on the Ellen Degeneres show.


“You mean ‘The Weekend’?”

When you first heard of The Weeknd, you probably spelt his stage name incorrectly…with the correct spelling of the word itself. At the beginning of his career in 2010, he posted tracks from his mix tapes without revealing his identity. On Reddit, he revealed that his stage name was created after running away from home with a friend one weekend once he dropped out of high school.  Combined with his dark and mysterious lyricism, fans were intrigued by The Weeknd’s personality and his smooth R&B vocals.


The Iconic Hair

The Weeknd was able to differentiate himself from other artists with not only his voice, but with his hairstyle as well.  Tesafey believed that if “[he] cut his hair, [he’d] look like everyone else. And that [was] just so boring to [him]”. His hair became a major part of his personal brand and has trended on Twitter and on Facebook a few times throughout his career.   Needless to say, his fans were quite shocked when the “Starboy” cover was unveiled.


He Declines Most of his Interviews

It is rare for The Weeknd to answer personal questions that could be used as bait on the cover of magazines. During his breakthrough, the Weeknd refused to meet with interviewers and would only give superficial responses via Twitter. Tesafey even admitted that his career is “going to be so long because I haven’t given people everything”.


An R&B Icon from Toronto

Regardless of where he is, Tesafey will always be a boy from Scarborough chasing after his dreams while overcoming obstacles alongside his immigrant mother. This year, he donated $50,000 towards an Ethiopic Studies program at the University of Toronto – a clear indicator that you can take a boy out of Toronto, but you can’t take the Toronto out of a boy.


By Vaisnavy Sivayoganathan


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4 Ways to Build Your Personal Brand

Building a strong personal brand has become quite relevant in today’s job market with everything being very competitive. You want your personal brand to send out a positive message to your target audience. Here are a few ways to do so.



The term branding has always been associated with companies, but in today’s world almost everyone is building on their personal brand. Your personal brand is how you appear in the world, so you want it send a positive message about your values, personality, and identity. Here are a few ways to build your personal brand.

  1. Understand and be your authentic self

Your brand should be a reflection of who you are. It would be tiresome to maintain a different persona than who you actually are, especially when trying to keep things consistent. In order to create your personal brand, you should first understand yourself and know what you believe in, know what you stand for, and know what your strengths and weaknesses are. The origin of your brand is what will keep you grounded.


  1. Network

Take part in networking events to promote your brand, otherwise it means nothing without an audience to receive and interpret it. This will help people recognize you because word-of-mouth really is the best way of promotion. Don’t be afraid to share your knowledge with others, as the more value you can provide, the stronger your brand will be.


  1. Build Your Online Presence 

With today’s society being heavily driven by technology, it is important to build your online presence to market and promote your personal brand. Ensure that you are monitoring your social media accounts on an ongoing basis and improving it whenever possible. Keep things professional as many employers do a thorough Google search. Many individuals are also creating personal websites with their portfolios to showcase their accomplishments and become more recognizable.


  1. Keep Evolving 

In order to stay relevant in the industry, you must stay up-to-date with the latest changes and trends. There will always be room for growth and improvement, but you must be willing to learn and develop your skills to enhance your personal brand.


By: Petrina Huang


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How to do Well in Case Competitions

Get some insight on how to do well in case competitions from one of TMG’s Operation Director’s, as well as a recognized UTSC student who has won multiple competitions. This can help you prepare for TMG’s first ever marketing based case competition, Ignite.

How to do Well in Case Competitions


Have you ever wondered what it’s like to take part in a case competition or how to even do well in them? With TMG’s first ever case competition, Ignite, quickly approaching, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share some TMG wisdom on how to do well in case competitions. I asked Christo, the Operations Director on TMG, as well as Harshil, a multi-award winning 4th year student, to share some insights on their successful experiences and what tips they could provide.

Although they both agree that there is no solid formula to winning, they both still believe that these 6 tips can help you do well in case competitions.


1) Be Yourself

Participating in case competitions can be very stressful, causing you to feel very anxious and uneasy. Nerves get to everyone, but just remember to be yourself and don’t let it all get into your head. You shouldn’t worry that you are the pink sheep in the crowd, just unleash it.


2) Never Be Intimidated

Case competitions usually require a presentation of your recommendation to a panel of judges, and for some this can be quite intimidating. Don’t forget that you’re not alone on this one, you have your team presenting right there with you. And if it makes it any easier, you could always picture the judges wearing a funny costume.

Christo (2nd from the left) is pictured with his team, who won 3rd place at Unilever’s Elevate Your Brand Case Competition


3) Believe What you are Saying

Your body language and facial expressions can be very telling when presenting in front of the judges. Like Harshil, pictured on the right, have passion, believe in what you are saying, and never underestimate yourself. This will demonstrate confidence and courage, which is crucial when convincing the judges.


4) Have an Unexpected Solution

As unfair as it sounds, judges in case competitions often sit in a room and listen to the same solution being proposed by teams over and over again. Repeating that solution does not do you any favours. If the competition allows, come up with a conventional solution, as well as an unconventional alternative. That said, don’t just do it for the sake of doing it. Treat the unconventional idea as equally important in terms of the analysis and research you put behind it.


5) Trust Your Team

As soon as you read through the case, your first step should be to identify the deliverables and divide the necessary tasks amongst your team mates based on their individual strengths. However, once the division has been done, it is equally important to trust your team to get the job done. A lack of trust may lead you to continually look over their shoulders, therefore, build a diverse team with core strengths and choose people with a proven track record of succeeding under pressure. This will keep your mind uncluttered and allow you to complete your own tasks to the best of your ability, as well as making your team more versatile.


6) Have Fun

Case competitions should not always be about the prize money, it should be about the experiences you make out of it, not to mention all the relationships and networks you’ve built from it. At the end of the day, remember to have fun!


By: Petrina Huang, Christo Mohan, and Harshil Dhanky

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6 Interview Tips

In order to survive job seeking season, here are a few tips to help you prepare. You may be familiar with some or even all of them, but either way they are a great reminder to help get your gears turning.

Job seeking season has begun and everyone is scrambling around trying to recover from the warm summer weather, attempting to get everything together. Seeking for a job can become quite stressful, whether it be for a part-time position, full-time position, or even a co-op position. Here are a few tips to help get you started!


  1. Research the company


It is always good to read up on the company to find out more about their visions/values to see if they align with yours. Make sure to also learn the different products/services the company offers, along with its history. It also never hurts to dig a little deeper and read up on the current news about the company, alongside tracking how their stocks have been doing.


  1. Find out who you’re interviewing with and research them too


Researching your interviewer beforehand is important as well as this gives you an idea of you can relate to them. Cultural fit is an important factor in a successful team environment, which is why this may be useful, but try not to go over board with this one.


  1. Dress for the jobposing-in-suits


Your outfit can make more of an impact than you think because first impressions are made within the first 30 seconds of meeting. Make sure your outfit demonstrates your personality, but stays within the business-professional look. Try to wear solid colours over patterns, and neutral colours over bright ones, this will help not distract the interviewers.

  1. Bring extra copies of your resume


Although the interviewer may already have your resume printed out in front of them, it doesn’t hurt to have extra copies of your resume because you always have to expect the unexpected. The interviewer may not have had the time to print it out, which is when your copy will come in handy.

  1. Body language is key

girl-doing-hand-action-to-guy-in-suitSimilar to what your wearing, the body language you make during your interview can make a huge impact. For starters, practice your handshake with friends and family to ensure that it is firm and not too weak. During the interview, try to talk with subtle hand gestures, while maintain good posture and good eye contact.

  1. Send a thank you e-mail

After the interview, it is always nice to send a thank you e-mail to everyone you met. It shows that you care and are serious about getting the job.


At the end of the day, know that you gave it your best and you’ve already done all that you could to do well on the interview. Good luck!

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5 Business Tips for Students

By: Deepana Devadas

The beginning of school can bring a lot of different emotions among students, especially when entering a new school for the first time! You may be filled with joy and fear all at the same time, unsure of what to do. We have prepared a few tips for students looking to survive through the university life.

As September rolls in, we all fear the beginning of school. Coming into first year, as a business student can be very overwhelming, and that is why we have some tips for you.


  1. Find your motivation

The transition from high school to university can be a very hard one, and it is important to stay motivated and keep going. Finding a balance between your academic and social life can be hard, and life will be stressful. However, this is a time for new ideas and experiences. As a business student, you’ll encounter many business and academic opportunities, and as you meet and expand your professional and social networks, you’ll be able to explore and find yourself.

Some tips for time management and prioritizing:


  1. Deal with the opportunity cost

As university students, there are so many sacrifices that will have to be made. While making decisions to spend your time a certain way, there are always going to be other opportunities that you are going to miss out on. Finding your passion and strengths can help you stay motivated and on the right path. It is definitely important to prioritize your time and relax. Go out with friends, adopt new hobbies, continue with the old, but do so responsibly. To maintain a balance between your academic and social life, study in groups and socialize while studying!

Find that balance:


  1. Explore


ExploreWith all the new experiences and ideas, you’ll encounter in university, learn to accept and explore your options. An education in business is very eye-opening, as there are so many opportunities to exercise the transferability of your knowledge. There are many clubs on campus where one will be able to use and develop their skills and potential. Also, there are many networking opportunities that should be taken advantage of, because students will be able to meet business professionals and develop connections.


  1. Make the most out of it

Lastly, it is important to make the most of your time in university. It is a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, make new friends, form long-lasting relationships, and grow as an individual. Interact with your professors, alumni, older students and your fellow peers.

How to enjoy university:

Have fun and good luck!


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3 Business Tips that No One Tells You

By: Linda Bo

Attitude > Aptitude

You’ve probably heard this all your life – positivity takes you further. It’s true! The same idea applies in the business world. This means that not only should you approach problems with a ‘can-do’ attitude, but also that you are to be determined and stay persevering in times of doubt or stress. Talent is not the only driving factor that will help you achieve your goal. Read more

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