#SMDay2016: The Fun and the Real

As a digital marketing company, June 30 is one of the biggest days of the year for us. Started in 2010 by Mashable, Social Media Day has grown every year and we are very excited for the 7th annual celebration of social media’s impact on global communications. From grassroots activism in the Arab Spring, #FreeTheNipple and the #BlackLivesMatter movement, to the sharing of dank memes, to the baby pictures your sister just posted on Facebook, social media keeps us more connected than ever!

We’ve been sharing some cool social media facts through our Instagram, but if you haven’t kept up, here are two of our favourites to kick off this post.

  1. If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest by population, behind only Cnina and India.
  2. Pizza is the most popular food on Instagram, ahead of steak and sushi.

For #SMDay2016, we’re going to share some of our favourite things that social media makes possible in our world today. First, the things that are nice or “fun to have” but not world-changing. Then, the things that have shaped our reality and will continue to in the future.

The Fun

1. Snapchat Filters

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One of our favourite things to do with social media this year was designing and creating Snapfilters to promote events. For the McCord Museum’s Sugar Ball, we had a filter in our office in the week leading up to it and would Snap fun countdown pictures. At the actual event, we designed a clean filter for guests to use that featured the event hashtag and encouraged people to spread it.

2. Emojis

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The use of emojis has skyrocketed this past year, and it’s already become a science to some. Kids these days can hold entire conversations using emojis only, and sometimes use emojis when talking IRL. It’s cray, but if you can’t fight ’em, join ’em!

3. Artists on Instagram

@worldmanchi #🌎manchi #RIPALI

A photo posted by WATTS (@love.watts) on

It seems intuitive: Instagram is a visual medium meant for photography. But only recently have artists began fully exploiting the platform. Instagrammers such as love.watts have built their Instagrams as online art galleries, carefully curating modern visual art from around the world and sharing it with their followers. Ahead of his highly anticipated album release Skin, Australian producer Flume put out a gorgeous collage stitched out of 16 different pictures that came together beautifully. Each individual picture contained a short preview of each song on the album, and the pictures as a whole were a preview of the album artwork.

The Real

1. Responding to disasters

Facebook’s safety check has given peace of mind to millions following disasters such as the earthquake in Nepal. The feature allows you as an individual to break the news of a disaster quickly and efficiently, and alerts organizations to the safety of individuals at the disaster zone.

2. Thought sharing

You read the news still, and the news is great, but chances are your first take on any big story is informed first by what you see on your newsfeed. What articles your friends post, what statuses they write. Facebook is a great platform that allows opinions to form in an open and safe space, and has made it possible for thoughts from around the world to be shared in one spot, easily.

3. Live streaming video

It’s the next big thing. Periscope has already been bought by Twitter, and 40 years worth of live video are published on the platform every day. Meerkat is another pioneer in the field, and has teamed up with artists such as U2. Watch for both companies to blow up over the next year, and potentially play a huge role in the upcoming US Presidential election.

Stop BSL

They don’t call them a man’s best friend for no reason…. If you’re a dog lover like I am, then I’m sure you’ve heard of the unsettling dispute regarding the discrimination against pit bulls. If you haven’t then I will give you a little insight into this latest devastation. About three weeks ago, a Montreal woman was attacked and killed by her neighbors dog who reportedly was new to the area and had escaped through a hole in the fence. When a neighbor from the area heard noises, he immediately called the police, who then rushed over to the scene to take action. According to a source when the police officers arrived to the scene, they stated that the only way they could approach the injured woman safely was to shoot the dog right on the spot.

Without a doubt, this situation is extremely upsetting and unsettling for many reasons. My thoughts go out to the family members of the woman who was murdered as well as the owners of the dog who was shot by the police.

Although pit bull attacks towards humans are extremely rare, the city of Montreal did not take this incident lightly. Last week Mayor Denis Coderre announced that the city of Montreal plans to “include breed specific legislation (BSL) as part of its solution to address the issue of dangerous dogs”. Existing pit bull owners will still be allowed to keep their dogs under certain conditions, however, Coderre has made it clear that he will force current pit bull owners to understand this position and get rid of their dogs by the end of the year.

Adult dog and puppy of the breed pit bull Isolated on white background

The Montreal SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) took a firm stance towards this issue and we couldn’t agree more. The SPCA stated “The Montreal SPCA opposes BSL because it is ineffective in making communities safer…because it supports the false premise that dogs that happen to look a certain way are inherently “dangerous”. If this law passes, that means that there will be thousands of death of well-behaved and adoptable dogs.

The biggest issue for me here lies with the morals and principals guiding their decision. Based on looks, the government is categorizing this dog as an unsafe creature to function in society and therefore is creating a strict discrimination policy. One of the major problems here lies in the fact that it can be very difficult to actually identify a pit bull by simply looking at it because many breeds have similar characteristics. If people walking along the street come across a pit bull or a dog with a similar resemblance, they will feel threatened and take action to “protect” themselves by either harming the dog or running in the opposite direction.

This type of behavior is already starting to take place. Many Montrealer’s have reported their dogs being abused and even poisoned to death by fellow society members for resembling pit bulls. I find this appalling. Innocent dogs are being beaten and tortured to death based on their looks and families are now losing one of their family members due to this negative prejudice around pit bulls.

The recent manifestation of outbursts of violence has seriously terrified me to the core. What are we showing our children and future generations to come? How are we leading by example? This BSL legislation is actually considered humorous to lawyer and animal activist Anne-France Goldwater for the fact that Quebec has sought to identify itself as an animal protector province. So how contradictory would this law be if in fact it was passed?

 

Pitbull Terrier PuppyHere are just a few of the many similar pictures from my portfolio:

 

 

These decisions can also be used as an example to examine how our government would act if a certain race or religion showcased some similar behavior. If someone from a specific religion or ethnicity acted inappropriately or violent towards another group, should that religion or ethnicity as a whole be shunned from society? Banned and forced to be exiled? NO. We should look at them as individuals and not make general assumptions about groups as an entirety.

Pit bulls are not dangerous. They are not attackers seeking fresh blood. They are dogs, who are loving companions. Yes, unfortunate situation do occur when dogs are put into the wrong hands or are not trained properly. Sometimes animals do crazy things, as well as humans! But this does not give us the incentive to forbid pit bull’s existence.

As a solution, I propose that dog owners should be trained on how to keep their animals under control in various settings. I do believe that certain laws and rules should be put into place when having ANY sort of dog. We should be educating and teaching our neighbors, children and strangers on the street about safety on how to approach ANY strange dog not just dogs with specific mannerisms and features.

As a dog owner myself, I never want to fear for the life of my dog or make anyone uncomfortable at the idea that my dog may be harmful to the public. My dog is my best friend and I would do anything to defend her because she is part of my family and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Join us July 16th at 11:00am to stand Against Breed Specific Legislation (BSL).

Written by Emilie Berbrier

Top 4 Travel Instagrammers

Lauren Bullen (@gypsea_lust)

With the start of summer there are some instagrams that are a must follow, especially when it comes to travelling. 

Ohh baby it feels so good when you play with something as precious as life #LetMyWingsSpread 💙🕊

A photo posted by JAY ALVARREZ (@jayalvarrez) on

Jay Alvarrez: Meet Jay Alvarrez. This 22-year-old has quite the charmed life. Besides traveling the world as a model, he is also a social media superstar. Alvarrez has over 4 million followers on his Instagram and nearly 780,000 people subscribed to his youtube channel. He is an action sports junkie and can often be found skydiving, surfing or just laying on the beach somewhere around the world. He also has gorgeous model Alexis Ren for a girlfriend. Jay is a absolute must follow!

Alice Pye: Follow Alice’s wanderlusting adventures around the world with travel tips, captivating photography and a general sense of desire to explore this amazing world. Her recent travels include South America (Peru, Argentine, Brazil) and Indonesia, Bali (Kuta, Ubud, Seminyak) in 2014. The United Kingdom (London) and Europe (France, Monaco, Spain, Italy, Greece, Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands) in 2015. Finally, the United Arab Emirates (Dubai) and Oman (Muscat) in 2016. 

Jack Morris: He’s a 24-year-old world traveller/ photographer/ Instagram influencer from Britain. Jack Morris got into taking photos from a very early age; He was an avid skateboarder during his teenage years. Around 4 years ago he decided to quit a job that didn’t represent him, pack his bags, and board a one-way flight to Bangkok. 

Don't let anyone ever dull your sparkle..✨🎈

A photo posted by LAUREN BULLEN (@gypsea_lust) on

Lauren Bullen: She’s more used to wearing a bikini than clothes and her life consists of oceans and waterfalls. The 22-year-old blogger from Northern New South Wales takes such incredible photographs – you’ll wish you can quit what you’re doing and join her. 

Golden Oldies: Mario

Be honest, you had completely forgotten about Mario until clicking on this link. Well, Mario hasn’t forgotten about you. In fact, he hasn’t stopped thinking about you for one second, and he’s ready to sing his way back into your blissfully ignorant life. The 29-year-old Mario Dewar Barrett, Billboard’s 98th best artist of the 2000’s, wants your attention.

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Just A Friend

Biz Markie did it first, but Mario’s rendition of this classic is on point. It was one of his first releases (2002) and set the tone for his career of singing songs about girls not realizing how good he is. The talent is just oozing out of this fresh-faced yung Mario as he complains about the worst thing there is in life: The Friendzone. The voice, the swag, the moves. It’s all on POINT.

"Girl stop playing games with me / And let's get it on tonight"

“Girl stop playing games with me / And let’s get it on tonight”

Let Me Love You

Yeah, there’s definitely a theme in Mario songs. He just wants to love you, girl. Why won’t you let him? This is his biggest hit for a reason. The beat is fire, the looped vocal sample in the background gives it a Shakira feel, and Mario’s vocals are incredible. Best lyric: “Fistful of diamonds (handful of rings).” Here’s a great rework of the song by talented producer Sllash.

How Could You

“How could you let somebody lay were I lay.” Yeah, sh*t gets pretty real pretty fast in this one. It’s not clear whether he caught her cheating, or whether he can’t come to terms with her dating someone else after a breakup, but it’s a vulnerable and tender track that’s perfect for going through heartbreak. And towards the end of the song there’s a triumphant key change and Mario seems to be getting over it, so it’s not all sad. Best lyric: “How could you put him up to the Ghetto Kama Sutra.” Whatever that means.

 

Welcome Back Curb, We’ve Missed You

If you haven’t already heard, after a five year hiatus, Curb Your Enthusiasm is coming back for another season! The news was broken by HBO and Larry David in a Tuesday morning press release, and although we don’t know when the season will kick off, we hope it’s before Game of Thrones ends so we can spend an hour crying over some major character’s death and then the next half hour laughing hysterically at Larry’s antics.

Asked why he decided to reboot the longest running show on HBO, David said, “In the immortal words of Julius Caesar, ‘I left, I did nothing, I returned.’”

Classic LD humility, but not really true. Since 2011, which is when season 8 ended, David co-wrote and starred in the HBO film Clear History with John Hamm (2013), wrote and co-starred in his own Broadway show with Jason Alexander (George from Seinfeld), made us crack up as Bernie Sanders on SNL, and probably executed dozens of flawless chat-and-cuts that were sadly not caught on film.

If you’re a big Larry David nerd have the patience to tolerate him for longer than half an hour, Bill Simmons did a podcast back in summer 2015 where David hinted at a new season of Curb (and brilliantly defended the Seinfeld finale.)

Curb, like Seinfeld and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, is a show that could easily go on forever because nothing really ever moves forward. The characters never mature in any significant way, never learn from their lessons, and while the relationships may change, you know they’ll all die single eventually. Some people love that, some people don’t, but Larry David sure as hell doesn’t care either way.

So, what to expect from season 9? More of the same old takes on fresh social bullshit, of course. And with the world getting more and more ridiculous in 2016 (think selfie sticks/memes/drones/dating apps), prepare to laugh a lot. Although David has always tried to make his topics timeless, season 9 of Curb has the potential to be like @Seinfeld2000 for real.

A few ideas for season 9. (These are free, Larry, free! And gold, Jerry, gold!)

  • Larry looks for a way to get his constant rage out and accidentally joins ISIS after watching a recruitment video.
  • Larry doesn’t understand why “Damn, Daniel” is so funny and annoys everyone about it.
  • Larry gets ghosted on Tinder and demands justice any way he can get it.
  • Larry is tired of Suzie documenting every moment with her drone camera on a ski trip so he destroys it and frames Jeff.
  • Larry tries to score tickets for Hamilton and is convinced he’s being sabotaged.
  • Larry sees Cheryl on Bumble and gets frustrated that he can’t message her.

Buckle up and prepare to be simultaneously crying of laughter, slightly offended, and very disgusted. Welcome back Curb Your Enthusiasm!

What Should You Do On Grand Prix Weekend?

Hold up, it’s already Wednesday?? We’ve been waiting since the snow melted, and Grand Prix Weekend is finally here! With so many events to choose from, here are a few of our picks for this weekend. We’ll be sleeping approximately zero hours this weekend as we try to hit up all of these events, so make sure to follow us on Instagram (@dreamsmktg) and Snapchat (@costadinamg) to see what we’ll be up to!

Thursday

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Make Your Own Pizza with BEVO

The home of Montreal’s best wood-fired pizza is celebrating its 4th birthday by inviting everyone over to their curbside terrace to make your own pizza for free! A pizza maestro will be there to guide you, and we hear there’ll be free cocktails and local DJs spinning on site. It’s first come first serve and kicks off at 5pm.

Negroni Week

It’s three simple ingredients – Campari, Gin, and Vermouth – but it’s so damn good. From June 6 – 12, several restaurants/bars/terrasses will be working to make sure you get your dose of the delicious Negroni. You can check out all the locations on the website, but we’ll be soaking up the sun at Terrrasse Place d’Armes on Thursday.

Friday

The Ritz Party

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This event is the swanky crown jewel of Montreal’s Grand Prix Weekend. It’ll cost you a pretty penny, but you can be sure this event will have A-list celebs, pro athletes, entertainers, and Montreal’s biggest personalities. And with Brahm Mauer Bar Services running the booze, you’ll be in for a wild night!

Saturday

Monkland Street Festival

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The toughest choice you will make all summer: Do you put on your bucket hat and buckle up for the rowdy, noisy, touristy downtown scene? Or do you check out the quieter, up-and-coming Monkland Grand Prix Festival? In our opinion, it’s an easy choice – especially if you’re looking for family fun. The Monkland Street Festival will run from June 9-12 this year and feature a Kidzone, live music, free yoga, sweet cars, and tons of great food!

Sunday

THE CODE 20 

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You need to get up early for work Monday morning? So does everyone else. Get over it and come to this party (if you can). The event is invite only, with around 1,500 guests on the list – including most of the F1 drivers. The party is organized by Alexandre Brosseau of Soubois and Flyjin, and is taking place at the historic Windsor Station.

 

Golden Oldies: Queen Latifah

Disclaimer: I’ve been a huge Queen Latifah fan ever since watching Last Holiday. It’s the perfect movie: it has LL Cool J, Gerard Depardieu as a french chef, Queen Latifah snowboarding and skydiving, and some hilarious scenes. 

But it wasn’t until last year that I realized that she started out as a rapper. I immediately went to Youtube…and was completely blown away. Her toughness, her no-nonsense flow, her throwback swag. It was all captivating. In addition to being one of the only female MC’s in the game in the late 90’s, she was also gay, which makes her success and determination all the more impressive. Move aside Queen Bey, there’s a new Queen in town.

Queen Latifah

U.N.I.T.Y

This is probably the most serious Queen Latifah track, but the way she tackles the difficult subject matter of domestic abuse with swag and toughness is what makes her one of the most underrated and fearless MC’s of all-time. So many good lines, but this one takes the cake for me: “Huh, I punched him dead in his eye and said ‘Who you calling a bitch?'”

Latifah’s Had It Up 2 Here

This old school track is a great example of the Queen’s unique flow.

Flipped back visor on fleek.

Flipped back visor on fleek.

The title says it all: Rappers in the game were dissing Latifah for trying to make it as a female MC in a male-dominated game, and also talking behind her back about her sexuality. And Latifah’s Had It Up 2 Here with those “rappers.” My favourite line: “Here’s more from a woman/ All woman / Keep the rumors / To Your / Self”

Go Head

The beat is on another level in this song. It sounds like a mix of Missy Elliot and early Timbaland with Native and Arabian influences going on in the background. This is a #squad song, and Latifah rolls out with her biker gang for the music video with Lil’ Kim sitting in the backseat. It’s a mix of happy and don’t-mess-with-us, and the sound is way ahead of it’s time. 

#SQUADGOALS

#SQUADGOALS