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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The Value of Cash

Card payments have become very common, but perhaps we should be more mindful when paying by card over cash. A recent study from Professor Shah (from UTSC) shows the correlation between overspending and non-cash payments. What does this imply and what can we do about it?



In a world where traditional wallets are being replaced by card holders, overspending is becoming more and more common. The shift from cash to card payments seems to have unexpected impacts on people’s buying habits.


A recent study conducted by Professor Shah shows how the average consumer tends to value hard cash over other forms of payment. The theory is that people feel a sharper sting when parting with cash compared to when paying by card because there is a tangible object that they part with. It is not rational, but still people feel it. You may have experienced this yourself, but what is interesting is how this mentality of valuing cash higher than card transactions impacts your thoughts on the product itself after buying it.


The experiment by Professor Shah demonstrates this well. She had two separate groups of people buy the same $2 mug, but one group paid in cash while the other paid with debit or credit card. Two hours after the customers bought the mug, she asked the customers to return the mugs for a price they found fair. While the group that paid with cards asked for an average compensation of $3.83, the group who paid in cash asked for $6.71.


The significant difference between the price of the mug set by the two groups demonstrate how people evaluate the actual product differently depending on how they pay. It is a similar concept with thinking a $100 pair shoes must be a better quality than a $20 pair of shoes. Since people value cash more than card payments, the products bought by cash seem to be of better quality. On top of that, card transactions evoke a smaller sense of ownership. When handling cash, the physical exchange causes one to believe “I own this” more so than cards.


These two different mindsets lead to less satisfaction with a product when bought by card than cash. Not only are people spending more, but they are less content with their purchases!


If you find yourself overspending or unsatisfied with your purchases, perhaps it is time to find a strategy to avoid this mentality. A simple solution is to start carrying cash and using it to make small purchases such as coffee. As Professor Shah says, if you want to enjoy really good coffee, pay with cash. Another method that I personally use is to download the app of your bank and set the notification settings so that each time a transaction passes, you are notified of the amount deducted from your bank account. Believe me, it stings to see a notification on your phone letting you know you’ve spent X amount of dollars, but the coffee I drink is always marvelous.


By: Ellen Imamura


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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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Spring 2018, a Time to Look Forward to!

A new five storey addition facing military trail will add a much needed space and modernization to the campus of University of Toronto Scarborough. Students already can’t wait to see Highland Hall join the campus.


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What’s in it ?


The 134,216 square foot building will house faculty and administrative offices, student services, lounges, and event and study spaces. (In other words, everything!) Perhaps this building will help alleviate the critical issue of study spaces at UTSC.


What is it for?


Highland hall will be a new home for Social Sciences departments and for the UTSC Registrar’s office. This building will also help bring the community together through more access and engagement.


This project will cost $52 million dollars, an investment that has been needed taking the campus forward. Highland Hall as shown in the picture will be an extraordinary work of art that echoes architectural manipulations into a series of volumes that are stacked, offset, and twisted. It will help bring strong contrasts to the rugged concrete (SW Building)  Architecture of John Andrew’s buildings.


The student body of UTSC is already excited and can’t wait for this new building to be ready for our use!


If you are curious about construction and updates, visit the Highland Hall construction page for up-to-date information:


There is also a live webcam! Watch it here:


By Queena Zeng




Reinventing the Casey Neistat Brand

After 217 vlogs, Casey Neistat is saying goodbye to daily vlogging. He wants to reinvent his personal brand and make it stronger by changing the style and production of his videos. Learn more about his new journey and why the reason behind it all.



Like many other college/university students, I spend a majority of my free time watching videos on YouTube.  Watching Casey Neistat’s daily vlogs became a part of my daily routine, until he announced that he would no longer be vlogging daily.

Many of his viewers were left unhappy and questioned why he would be stopping when his YouTube channel was only growing. Casey gained 5.8 million subscribers in just 18 months of daily vlogging, with over 1 billion views on his channel. He is one of the most famous YouTubers because of his creative take on vlogging, showing how adventurous and authentic they were. As pictured on the right, Casey is seen snowboarding in the middle of Times Square.

On the other hand, a few of his viewers, like myself, understand why he is doing this. I already sensed this coming a few months back, as his vlogs were becoming quite repetitive and he was no longer being creative with them. Casey’s personal brand portrays himself as a passionate filmmaker that seeks out challenges and daily vlogs were no longer giving him that challenge. His personal brand is already well recognized by many companies and people worldwide, but he is still looking for opportunities to grow. In order to keep his personal brand relevant, he must change as he mentions that when YouTubers find a degree of success, they stop innovating creatively because they don’t want to change and jeopardize that success.


He mentions in his last vlog, that in order for him to grow, he must fully let go of daily vlogging. He will still be making high quality videos, but ones that will take more than just a day to produce. Casey saw this as an opportunity to reinvent the Casey Neistat brand and challenge himself to grab onto the next vine. He wants to use his personal brand to teach his audience more about the world and how they can make it better, as well as help their voices through technology. I look forward to his new videos, and if you’ve not already watched his latest one about Vietnam you should, it was really good!


Casey’s Vietnam Video:


By: Petrina Huang


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Clive Owen is Back in the Driver’s Seat…

Can you keep up with The Escape? 15 years since BMW Films and Fallon released “The Hire,” a series of eight original short films that helped branded entertainment, with help from a menagerie of A-list stars and directors.

Clive Owen is Back in the Driver’s Seat as BMW Films Return After 15 Years


BMW has dropped a new film series “The Escape” – featuring Clive Owen and Dakota Fanning! The thrilling 13-minute commercial featured the All-New 2017 BMW 5 series through a well orientated plot and fast paced action.

BMW Films began in 2001, “The Hire” was the first series of eight ground-breaking online short films starring Clive Owen as an enigmatic driver for hire. Each film was a unique story! In “The Escape”, the Driver (Clive Owen) saves the last living clone, a young woman named Lily (Dakota Fanning) through his extraordinary and mettle driving skills.

Nonetheless, the new BMW film is a piece of art that is beautifully crafted to not only tell a wonderful plot but showcased BMW’s brand exceptionally. The film was able to showcase BMW’s luxurious new series and glorified its brand of sophistication and perfectionism in quality, image and luxury.

So far, online comments are fascinated with the new film. People are excited to see BMW bringing back their old tradition and can’t wait for more!

“We do not make cars.

We are the creators of emotion.

We are the keepers of thrill

We are the guardians of one three-letter word.

JOY.”   – BMW. The Ultimate Driving Machine.


Youtube Link to the Ad:


By: Queena Zeng

The Revival of Barbie

Barbie has gone through a major makeover over the last couple of years, see how they repositioned themselves to make a comeback in the 21st century. Will this be the end of Barbie, or will the new campaigns succeed in the revival?


The Revival of Barbie


Like many of you, I grew up in the Barbie era, where everyone knew what Barbie was even if they hadn’t owned one themselves. I owned a few Barbie’s myself and like any other girl, I loved changing my Barbie dolls into new outfits, allowing my imagination to spur. It really fit the purpose of giving young girls an outlet to think about their future aspirations.

Over the years, Barbie’s figure was being criticized for being an unrealistic stereotypical stick-figure, with an empty-headed reputation. Parents and young girls were tired of the way Barbie was portraying how girls should grow up to look like, resulting in Mattel’s stocks to decline by 40 % after experiencing 10 quarters of sales declines.

The revival of Barbie in the 21st century occurred just over a year ago, when they launched the “You Can Be Anything” campaign, which can be seen in the video below. Barbie’s makeover helped the brand increase the sales of Barbie’s by 23% and 16% in the second and third quarter of 2016 respectively.

Barbie has been progressing by trying to include more diverse and inclusive dolls. There are now picture4multicultural Barbie’s that reflect similar features as Gabby Douglas and Zendaya. Barbie’s makeover also included measurement changes to her body to reflect real-world body types.

The brand also has a plan in development to target boys, to reduce the gender stereotype in the toy industry. They are working on changing the perception of Barbie by reiterating to its consumers that “the power of Barbie does not lie in the shape of her body, but the imagination of the one who plays with her.”

Can Barbie make a full recovery or will it the Barbie era finally come to an end?

Video Ad:




By: Petrina Huang

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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Why Women Enjoy Shopping but Most Men Don’t

There is no evidence to suggest that women shop more than men. It’s only that females enjoy shopping more than males do!


The stereotype of women, being as they are, shop more than men. But there’s actually no evidence that supports this statement! Female only enjoys shopping more than males.
In 2013, a study of 2,000 shoppers in UK found that men got bored of shopping within 26 minutes. However, women did not show any signs of fatigue for the next two hours!
But wait, why is this the case?

One theory says that hundreds of years of conditioning makes men and women behave this way. Back in the old days, when our ancestors lived in caves, the male hunted animals while the females gathered food. It was necessary for males to kill quick and head back to safety of settlement as fast as they could. This explains why males often enter the store, choose a product, pay, and leave at efficiently and at ease. Although, hunters went out in groups, hunting was not a social event. Thus, this theory also suggests that men prefer to shop alone. This holds true in UK as they found that 80% of men prefer to shop alone.

On the other hand, female gatherers were not in such a tearing hurry. Foraging for food was a social event that bonded other females of the tribe, inspecting every bush and tree to choose the best quality of food available. Which is now how women shops, by comparing item to item, looking for alternatives and exchanging information among other female shoppers.

So, next time when you are shopping, whether if you’re a female or male, watch your behaviour! It is truly interesting if you fall within the boundaries of this theory or even out of the range. Either way, we are consumers with all the interest in maximizing our satisfaction, whatever that may and however long we shop.


By: Queena Zeng

Petrina’s Solo Adventure to L.A

Petrina traveled alone to LA this summer to visit her friend who was on a co-op work term there. Follow her along her journey to see what she did and how she survived travelling alone for the first time!


Hello everyone! To give you guys a bit of a background about myself, I am a fourth year student in the Management co-op program, specializing in marketing. This summer, I decided to travel to Los Angeles to visit my friend who was doing co-op there. Although I was taking 4 courses in summer school, I was determined to head out to LA to experience what all the hype was all about.

This was my first time travelling alone! I’ve always travelled with my family, so I was scared about the entire experience: going on a plane by myself, going through customs, finding transportation once I landed in LAX. It was all frightening at first, but I was able to manage and find my way around.

When I landed in LAX, my friend told me to take a bus from the airport which dropped me off at a station where she then picked me up. The moment I saw my friend’s car pull into the pickup area I was finally relieved, and I no longer felt like a foreigner.

She quickly drove me to her apartment, provided me with some food, and then told me that she had to get back to work because she was technically on her lunch break. It was at these moments that I had to explore the city on my own. It took some time to get use to travelling alone, but this was a great way to help me grow.


petrina-2Being the tourist that I was, I spent my 5 days in LA seeing the all the must see tourist sites. My friend took me to Hollywood to see the huge famous sign seen in movies, the Hollywood walk of fame, the Chinese theatre, the Getty Centre, Santa Monica beach, LACMA (pictured on the right), and Universal Studios. We even went on a bus tour that drove around Mullholland Drive to see the houses of famous celebrities. Unfortunately for me, I did not see any celebrities during my stay in LA. I was quite disappointed that I did not even bump into any famous YouTubers! Oh well there’s always a next time.

The key highlight of my trip was when I decided to go to Santa Monica beach alone, when my friend had to go to work that day. Being in a new city with Wi-Fi as my only source of communication, of course I was scared to go alone, but I challenged myself to not waste my day in the apartment doing nothing. I took an Uber to Santa Monica beach and just laid on the sand for a couple hours, getting a nice tan in. After I had enough of the sun, I went to get sushi for lunch at a popular sushi restaurant called Sugarfish. It was my first time EVER eating alone in a restaurant, I felt like everyone was staring at me, but I came to realize that it was quite normal for people to eat alone. Although it was quite pricey in the end, I would have to say it was so worth it!



My entire trip to LA was so much fun, I’m already planning on when my next trip will be! There was just so much too see in so little time, that I feel like I need to go back there to really enjoy LA without being rushed. The one thing I definitely miss the most about LA is surprisingly not the endless sunshine and amazing mountain views, but their Acai bowls (pictured on the right)! I have still yet to find a place in Toronto that has comparable Acai bowls. I am so proud of myself for actually travelling on my own and I would encourage everyone to do so at least once in their lives 🙂

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