BrandPower™: Everything That’s Wrong with Traditional Media

Note: I check my analytics daily - this post has soared to the top of the most viewed content. And because I am a firm believer in user experience - Enjoy!

If any of you are like me and spend at least part of every week defending the much-maligned profession of marketing then you can likely understand why I feel a need to apologize on behalf of BrandPower™. Every time I see one those misleading BrandPower™ commercials on television I want to run from the room professing “That’s not what I do, I promise!” Further, as an Internet Marketing devotee, I would argue that BrandPower™ could only exist in the traditional marketing world of one-way push-message communication and would never be able to have a viable on-line presence.

The bottom line is that BrandPower™ is built on what is best described as a “con”. They create the veneer of being an objective third party focused on “providing rational information about grocery products” (a quote from the BrandPower™ website). In essence they position themselves as a customer advocate. They are “helping you buy better” (their commercial tagline). The reality is, of course, that BrandPower™ is neither objective nor focused on consumer advocacy. BrandPower™ is a made up product name from a multi-national marketing company called Buchannan Group. At their website, (which of course is not the BrandPower™ website) they describe the product for what it really is: “Our products … are based on the delivery of information from a third party perspective.”

The key in that description is the “third party perspective”. This advertising medium is set up essentially to trick jaded media consumers into thinking that this “information” BrandPower™ is providing comes with some sort of expertise or established consumer advocacy role. That’s what third parties generally are. The reality is that they are not in the business of having the consumer’s best interests in mind. They are in the business of getting paid to convince the general public to buy their customers’ “market-superior” products like Cocoa and Crème Tums Smoothies. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Cocoa and Crème Tums Smoothies. In fact, they could quite possibly be the best tasting Tums ever. My issue with this type of marketing tactic is that it’s fundamentally dishonest. Good marketing doesn’t have to deceive the general public to convince them of the merits of a product.

Further, I would argue that this is the type of con job that could only exist in the traditional media and could not be successful online. The moment this ploy existed in a world of two-way communication and user-generated brand interaction, BrandPower™ would get so much criticism and haranguing from the general community that their paying advertisers would leave them quickly.

I would like to be proven wrong on this, of course and therefore I would like to encourage you fine folks at Buchannan Group to create a two-way communication BrandPower™ site for us members of the general public who you believe you are helping to make better product choices. Oh, and please do tell me when it is up so I can be one of the first in line to comment.

**UPDATED to include BrandPower™ website**

July 24, 2014

In the news ... July 24, 2014

Digital Canada 150

William Shatner Doesn't Like Facebook's New App Or George Takei

 The Huffington Post  | By Alexis Kleinman

William Shatner is not impressed.

Shatner, best known as Captain Kirk on the 1960's TV show "Star Trek," is less than enthused about Facebook's new app for celebrities, called Mentions. He made that more than clear on Tuesday, when he wrote a blog post detailing all the ways the app isn't living up to his standards.

Read more

Facebook Share Price Hits All-Time High Of $75 After Hours Thanks To Strong Q2 Numbers

 Facebook’s stock infamously took a nosedive in the months following its public debut in 2012 after analysts wondered if the social network was too overhyped in its IPO and employee share lockups expired. But those days now seem a distant memory.

On the back of a strong Q2 report, Facebook stock is at an all-time high in after-hours trading. It’s been creeping up for the last hour and is currently at over $75/share. Its close today at $71.29 is $1.30 shy of Facebook’s 52-week high, and values the company at just under $183 billion.

Read more


July 21, 2014

In the news ... July 21, 2014

The best social media campaigns of 2014 (so far)

37001Brands seem to (finally) be getting their social media marketing campaigns right. 2014 has already proven to be a good year for many brands to flex their savviness and bring innovative approaches to the social marketing table.

Read more

Disney extends exclusive Netflix pact to Canada

Walt Disney Studios has signed another multi-year licensing agreement with Netflix, this time for the Canadian market, making the subscription service the exclusive pay TV home for its movies. The pact gives Netflix control of the window that traditionally went to television broadcasters.

Read more

Financing for interactive digital media needed: CIAIC study

Canada’s interactive digital media sector continues to suffer from a lack of private financing despite efforts by governments to build a competitive national funding marketplace for these firms, according to a new study commissioned by the Canadian Interactive Alliance/l’Alliance Interactive Canadienne (CIAIC).

Read more




July 17, 2014

In the news ... July 17. 2014

Supporting Ontario's Vulnerable Workers

July 16, 2014 11:10 a.m.Ministry of Labour
Following Ontario's June 1, 2014 minimum wage increase to $11, the province is introducing legislation today to provide more fairness for both employees and businesses, and ensure its minimum wage keeps pace with the cost of living.

Read more

New NFB Ontario Centre Producers Bring Interactive Storytelling, Multi-media Production Skills


The art of the interactive documentary has received a boost with word that the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) has named Justine Pimlott and David Oppenheim as producers.

Pimlott and Oppenheim, who assume their duties this fall, will join executive producer Anita Lee and producer Lea Marin at the NFB’s English Program production centre in Toronto.

BlackBerry Ltd tapping into ‘Internet of Things’ for more than just buzz

The technology industry has made the “Internet of Things” its latest buzzphrase, with a growing stream of connected cars, watches, and even fridges in the pipeline — and BlackBerry Ltd. has a unique edge, having embedded its QNX technology in automobiles and other devices for years before many people had even heard of the now popular term.

Read more



July 11, 2014

In the news ... July 11, 2014

What Canada's national public broadcaster could learn from the BBC

3e6dc642-6fda-4daf-ba99-83d2b84a8a55-460x276The beleaguered CBC could do worse than look to the BBC's now-shelved plans for a publicly funded online archive of the nation's collective cultural memory.

Read more

Postmedia trims losses as digital strategy expands


Postmedia Network Canada reported third quarter results Thursday and announced that it would next roll out its new platform-based digital strategy in Montreal and Calgary, after a successful launch at the Ottawa Citizen in May.

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Everyone hates the CBC’s new strategic plan

The future had never looked bleaker for the CBC than it did last month, after CEO Hubert Lacroix announced that he would be cutting as many 1,500 jobs over the next six years as part of a strategic effort to absorb the broadcaster’s many budget cuts. Lacroix tried to put the best possible face on the move, couching it in terms of an inevitable shift to cheaper, web-based production. “We’re going to lead now with mobility,” he said. “We’re going to lead with whatever widget you use.” But in the weeks since the news broke, the plan has been eviscerated from all sides. Here, three ways to complain about the decline of the Ceeb.

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July 07, 2014

In the news ... July 7. 2014

Building Ontario Up Through a Stronger Economy

Proposed Legislation Would Support Ontario Businesses and Grow Economy

July 7, 2014 12:15 p.m.

Ontario is introducing legislation today that, if passed, would strengthen the province's economy by reducing red tape for business, driving regional economic growth by developing clusters and supporting long-term infrastructure planning.

Read more

CANADIAN TELECOM SUMMIT 2014: Canada’s digital strategy hinges on tech adoption and education


TORONTO – It quickly became clear during Wednesday morning’s panel discussion at the Canadian Telecom Summit that no one-size-fits-all solution exists when it comes to implementing a national digital strategy that positions Canada as a key player in the global digital marketplace.

Read more

10 Things Every Marketer in Canada Needs to Know About the New Realities of Digital Marketing

Posted by Matt Dion on Jun 30, 2014

Canada’s new anti-spam e-mail legislation is almost here, and it’s a game changer for every digital marketing manager. The law imposes tough restrictions on what e-marketers can and can’t do with their e-mail campaigns. But for many digital marketers, the law actually comes at an opportune time.

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July 04, 2014

In the news ... July 4, 2014

Torontonians to loose a vital weekly newspaper

OTTAWA, July 3, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Journalists was saddened to hear Star Media Group announce the shuttering of The Grid on Wednesday.

An award-winning weekly newspaper renowned for high-quality journalism and innovative design during its three-year run, The Grid had 22 employees. All of them, including every journalist at the publication, are now looking for other work.

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Waterloo Region can grow the next generation of technology companies, new Accelerator Centre head says

By Rose Simone

WATERLOO — This is a region that has long been known for having smart, entrepreneurial people inventing great technology.

But what Paul Salvini realized when he came here from Toronto was that Waterloo Region also has a special kind of cohesiveness.

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 How companies can boost their digital innovation

It’s impossible to talk about any company in tech and avoid mentioning the word “digital.” But how does that concept play out for companies who may have made the jump to digital, and are still planning out their digital strategy?

Read mose


June 30, 2014

In the news ... June 30, 2014

Television news cuts at CBC will hurt Canadians

Canada NewsWire

OTTAWA, June 27, 2014 /CNW/ -  The Canadian Association of Journalists expresses its concern over the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's decision to reduce its workforce in coming years by up to 1,500 employees.

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CNW is Ready for CASL

Canada NewsWire

TORONTO, June 27, 2014

TORONTO, June 27, 2014 /CNW/ - Canada Day marks the implementation of the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). In preparation, CNW has undergone a thorough examination of its operations to ensure our compliance under the law and to assist our clients with their own compliance obligations. CNW is ready for CASL

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The CBC report is, shall we say, unwieldy in its use of jargon


The Globe and Mail

Published Saturday, Jun. 28 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

The things I do for you people. While the rest of you were dipping a toe into summer, I plunged headfirst into the new report on the future of the CBC, A Space For Us All, so you wouldn’t have to.

I was hoping that report might be called The Miracle Of The Loaves And The Fishes, given its promise to do a lot more with a lot less. Apparently that title isn’t compatible with a digital-focused future, since it brings to mind the wrong kind of tablet.


June 27, 2014

In the news ... June 27, 2014

Study praises Canada’s digital diplomacy on Twitter

Harper_vs_obama.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterboxBy: Abdul Latheef The Canadian Press, Published on Wed Jun 25 2014

TORONTO — Canada is among a small group of countries that have Twitter accounts for most of their embassies and missions, a global study revealed Wednesday.

The study, called Twiplomacy and conducted by the public relations firm Burson-Marsteller, looked at the use of the microblogging site by heads of state and by governments and ministers of foreign affairs.

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Okay App will be a social network which will enable users to post 3/4 pictures of outfits and get immediate access to the collective intelligence of the members of their own social network, and selected elite fashion advisors from Paris, by getting the percentages of popularity between these pictures. 

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comScore Says that Over Half of Digital Media Time Spent is On Mobile Apps

In case there was any doubt, the Internet is now primarily a mobile medium. A new comScore report estimates that in May, 51% of digital media time was spent on mobile apps, while an amazing 60% of digital time was spent on mobile devices. That’s up from 50% a year ago.

This mobile wave has huge implications for brands and Web publishers. For starters, publishers need to figure out how to generate more revenue from mobile ads, which often command much lower prices than traditional banner ads on desktop sites. That’s a big reason so much of the digital media world has embrace native advertising, which is thought to be a more effective ad vehicle on mobile devices.

Read more


June 25, 2014

The CASL (Canadian Anti-Spam Law) is taking affect July 1, 2014!

New Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation Requires You Take Immediate Action

The CASL (Canadian Anti-Spam Law) is taking affect July 1, 2014!

You have no doubt been receiving "opt-in" emails for a month or so, and if you have a list of your own you should be sending out your own opt in email. Now would be good! 
Here is a great article about CASL Compliance from Inbox Marketer.
I saw a couple of interesting twists - my insurance broker sent me an opt in email with a contest. If you opt in you have a chance to win a $100 gas card.
And the Toronto Golf Show will send me a $5 off voucher if I opt in to their email list I am on.
As a direct marketing guy from way back - the offer is King!
But, is this the right thing to do? Is it ethical? Legal?

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