Blogcology February 20

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Webcology welcomed marketing legend, award winning CBC host of Under the Influence as well as bestselling author, Terry O’Reilly. Mr. O’Reilly has a professional portfolio that includes some very big names, such as Tim Hortons and Volkswagen not to mention the iconic list of celebrities he’s directed in commercials over time. An interview of this magnitude was a dream for both Dave and Jim and as a follower of the show I walked away feeling inspired and focused. They discussed the similarities between digital and mainstream marketing and how the approach and methodology is not so different. The theme of most of the interview was clutter and how to survive and standout in a sea of advertising white-noise.

How to be Visible Amidst the Clutter

Terry discusses how he feels that our world seems to be consumed by the clutter of advertising caused by both mainstream media and digital. I’ve worked on the internet for a little less than a year but understanding the clutter is something I’ve related with during this short time. It was refreshing to hear somebody like O’Rielly who’s been in the industry for a long while to confirm this for me. His answer to one of Dave’s questions also confirmed the direction I was taking was on track.

Dave Davies asked, “What can marketers do to cut through all that clutter to make yourself unique in your message?”

Terry explains that there are truly two types of answers that globally work to achieve unique diversity. Firstly, it’s imperative that a brand differentiates itself by building a unique image that stands out from the core of the product by understanding the targeted audience. Creative advertising helps to keep things fresh and evolve with their clients. It’s important for any brand to come up with a new mode of interest for its audience but it’s equally important to continually grab their interest year after year.

Secondly, utilizing digital is a must to be visible in a cluttered world. For digital marketing it’s about knowing that perfect algorithm to single out the right person, then sending the right message at exactly the right time. Your relationship with a digital audience demands re-creation often and spontaneous audience targeting. During the last year with all the algorithmic changes within Google search we are required to step up our game to achieve brand awareness.

How Brands Survive Digital Clutter

Brand loyalty and customer relationship is very important when it comes down to a brand’s survival in a digital world. He emphasizes that customer relationship is marketing and to be successful, digital media needs to keep their client in mind. Ultimately, a smart marketer looks at every touch point and involves really understanding your client by making use of everything. His analogy of great marketing consists of a shish kabob on a skewer – you have a piece of chicken, a bit of pork, a mushroom, etcetera and these resemble the different marketing components but the fact that they are skewered links it all together with a consistent strategy and tone. You want it all coming from the same place. He mentioned that the brand that best represents this analogy is Apple. He says that it maintains consistency and client relationship is number one which represents smart marketing.


The art of ambush advertising is becoming more frequent in the world of digital advertising. Terry mentions that it takes careful planning as it could easily negatively impact a brand and preventing that takes careful listening to the after effects when applying ambush advertising. An ambush moves quickly and can easily get out of control therefore, it’s important to listen for feedback from the audience on all efforts including social media in case things move south. He exclaims to be wary of this tactic as very few succeed but if well planned can be a positive outcome.


Terry made many insightful points during the program that works well for both digital and mainstream media. Recognizing the clutter is the first step to understanding how we approach a market. Now that the internet is cleaning up from years of negative and dishonest practices we should take into consideration what we place on our kabob securing our skewer securely through all components thus having a more desirable product.

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