1. This time last year, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock's latest release spoofed the idea of an entire movie based on product placement. Now it's a reality. Labatt Brewing Co. Ltd. and its agency Grip have teamed up with Alliance films to produce a feature-length movie to push its Kokanee beer brand. Pitched as a buddy movie set in Western Canada, it will feature promotional figures such as the Sasquatch and Glacier Girls. It also allows for a big marketing push around its production, especially in Western Canada, as Kokanee invites Canadians to audition, submit props and songs for the soundtrack, and nominate their local bar to be featured. The film has not yet secured distribution in movie theatres – Alliance will approach exhibitors such as Cineplex to sell them on the idea. The projected release date is early 2013.
2. The value of Facebook's paid advertising has been prominently called into question in the past two weeks, but few advertisers dispute the worth of having a presence on the social network – and that includes non-profit organizations who need to get the word out about their cause. A new campaign from Grey Canada for the Missing Children Society of Canada is aiming to create " the world's most valuable social network." Facebook users are invited to "donate" their page, allowing Missing Children to publish an alert there that their friends will see when a child goes missing. The hope is to create an informal search party using social media, so that more people will be keeping an eye out for a missing child during those crucial first few hours. The campaign officially launches Friday in conjunction with International Missing Children's Day.
3. Normally, customer service does not include the promise to give someone grandchildren. But that's just one sticky situation a Vidéotron Ltée technician found himself in as Montreal agency Sid Lee continued its award-winning campaign for the cable company. New hidden-camera pranks are being launched this month testing just how good-natured the company's employees are, such as being asked to pose as a boyfriend to meet a woman's mother, and submitting to being called Martha. In March, the agency netted the Grand Prix Créa for Quebec's best ad of the year for the earlier version of the Vidéotron campaign, which had comedians Sugar Sammy and André-Philippe Gagnon prank call its customer service agents to test the patience of call centre staff.