Archive for February, 2011


Cheers to you, beer aficionados of Canada! You now have a brand new, yet ancient, premium brew to whet your whistle! Our Strategic Objectivesteam was thrilled to herald the arrival of one of the worlds most legendary and unique abbey beers, Grimbergen Drubbel Draught to Canada on February 23, 2011; at a fabulous and exclusive Toronto VIP and media event.

Hosted by Abbott Erik De Sutter and Supprior Karel Stautemas—Fathers at the Belgium Abbey of Grimbergen, founded in 1128 who oversee the production of the premium beer and safeguard its secret recipe—more than 25 national and local traditional and social media types turned out to meet the Fathers, sample the beer and mix and mingle with more than 200 restaurateurs, bartenders and beer connoisseurs.

The delighted attendees lit up the twitterverse with high praise and warm welcomes for the Fathers of Grimbergen Abbey and its unique brew—caramel and toffee flavoured with a distinct brandy finish.

“Burned but never destroyed”

Built in 1128 as a Premonstratensian monastery, a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Norbert, Grimbergen Abbey was ravaged by fire in 1142; destroyed during the Religious wars in 1566; and demolished yet again in 1798.  The abbey was miraculously rebuilt after each wave of destruction. Fittingly, the Fathers of Grimbergen have adopted the phoenix as their emblem for Grimbergen Beer, symbolizing the perpetual rebirth of their abbey—a phoenix rising from the ashes.

It was a unique pleasure for our Strategic Objectives team to partner with the Fathers of Grimbergen and Carlsberg Canada to launch this historic and delicious beer into Canada — a rare opportunity to work with a brand with a complex and compelling 800 year history. It was a hugely successful launch that yielded truly awesome media coverage, a very happy client and a rewarding experience for our team.

The media and blogosphere was generous with their praise for the brand. Check out Sam Fiorella and Michael Nus’s blogs, and don’t miss this great article in the Toronto Star, Toronto Sun and other blogs.

SO here’s to you Grimbergen, welcome to Canada!  Gezondheid! — which is how you say Cheers in Flemish!

By: Andrew F Stewart


We here at SO are a huge supporter of QR codes when used properly. Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case.  I constantly find QR code fails – like on ads in the subway where no one receives reception, therefore rendering the code completely useless.

Last night I was enjoying a wonderful dinner with some friends and found a QR code on the back of our bottle of wine. I see a lot of wineries embracing QR codes on their labels, yet  rarely, in my opinion, done properly.

But this one stood out – it was a lovely local VQA wine from a respected Ontario winery. We scanned the QR code and it took us to their event page – featuring events from 2009!! It was such a mobile marketing fail, I couldn’t quite believe my eyes.

The saving grace was that the winery had a mobile-optimized website, which showed there was hope yet for the brand. But too often I find QR codes on wine bottles doing nothing more than directing the consumer (or potential consumer) to the winery’s website. What’s the point of directing to your website beyond an utter lack of strategy and forward thinking? As a potential consumer, I want more info as to why I should buy your wine at the point-of-purchase. As a consumer, I want to scan to find out more about the tasting notes, and how I can enjoy this wine and others like it in the future.

What do I recommend as a mobile marketing strategy for QR codes on wine bottles? Easy: I want to see tasting notes, pairing tips, and storing/drinking tips. I’d also like to see recommendations for other wines I might like from your winery if I enjoyed this one. Additionally, for those enjoying it from outside of Canada, I’d like to see where I can find it/order it online, and for those enjoying within Canada, I’d like to know its cost at the LCBO.

My other recommendation? Hire Strategic Objectives next time. We’ll put together a proper digital and mobile marketing strategy for you.

What are some of the biggest QR code fails you’ve seen? Please share in the comment section below!

By: Melissa Smich Consultant at Strategic Objectives

At Strategic Objectives we love to meet the bright minds and voices we connect with online in real life scenarios. Not only have we learned a lot from each opportunity to spend time with our favourite online change-makers and status-quo shakers, but have made some amazing friendships and frankly had a blast every time.

A new Strategic Objectives team transplant to Vancouver, I moved from Toronto to start our @SO_pr Vancouver office last November and was eager to meets my virtual peeps, I jumped on the chance to participate in the first ever East Vancouver Tweetup.  The event, lovingly put together by hep kats Cindy Hunter (@Yelp_Vancouver) and Ajay Puri (@Masalapuri) was East Van cool from start to finish.  From the “you must be in-the-know to know how cool it is” Main Street Legion venue, to the hipster bingo that greeted us at the door with tongue firm in cheek, and the karaoke soundtrack, it was all about #EastVanLove.

Rest of Canada, if you haven’t been- East Vancouver, or East Van, as the locals lovingly call it,  this area of Vancouver is home to some of the best art, community activism and progressive culture in the city  (and arguably far beyond). It is a treasured community for those who live here, or those of us who like me are just fans of its cultural happenings, local shops, fair trade coffee spots and laid back hang-outs, and prefer to spend much of our free time there.  A place that, while affected by gentrification, can be seen working to actively protect its diverse multicultural fabric and working class roots.

I’m not sure if the Tweetup venue influenced the crowd or the other way around, but the above can also fairly summarize the Tweeps I was lucky to meet at the #EastVanLove event.  Socially aware, connected, engaged, leading conversations that were just as likely to center around mobile devices, whether “hipster” is a dirty word or not, as they were to look at the economic and political landscape in Canada.

We kicked off the evening by listening to war and Vancouver PD veteran Bernie “Whistling” Smith share some of his incredible experiences, and got a crash course in the East Van cultural happenings from photographer, web strategist, author and leading Vancouver social media voice Kris Krug, and a peak at Mainly Main magazine. Then the evening’s main attraction: hours of fascinating conversation with the best voices of the Vancouver social media scene.

Make no mistake, they speak geek here, and they speak it with authority. This after all is birthplace of Flickr, the home of HootSuite, EA, Telus, Abebooks and countless amazing established and start up tech companies. Although the technology sector is still young here, about 40 years young according to the BCTIA, its growth for the past five years has consistently outpaced the rest of the BC economy and in fact these days the BC tech sector employs more people than the mining, forestry, and oil-and-gas exploration industries combined.

So obviously, there’s a lot to talk about with the Vancouver tech crowd. Which is one of the reasons why I’m already looking forward to the March 23rd East Van Tweetup.

By:  Monika Rola, Strategic Objectives Account Manager located in Vancouver

Extra credit to John Biehier for the great pics.