January 2016 | Issue 27

Major brands tap into the marketing machine of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

the force awakensIron your brown vest, polish your black helmet and put fresh batteries in your lightsaber. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the biggest film of the holiday season, and continues to delight and mystify viewers of all ages.

Much of the hype in Canada has been fueled by clever, humorous, cross-promotional marketing campaigns that have captured the hearts and minds of fans. Just before the film’s premiere in December, Mandeep Malik, assistant professor at the DeGroote School of Business and an expert in applied marketing and sales management, offered his take on some of the unique ad campaigns that pushed the film, including a key partnership between Disney and Bell Canada:

Bell Canada has launched a major Star Wars-themed ad campaign to coincide with the film’s blockbuster release this weekend. From a marketing perspective, who benefits more from this partnership – Bell or the filmmakers?

This is about shared wins in geographically-defined markets and segments. Globally, Star Wars has signed agreements with brands such as Duracell, Subway, HP, Cover Girl, General Mills, etc. These market-specific agreements help multiply dollars spent and earn attention for both brands. At the face of it, you might say Bell is the real beneficiary. But the makers of Star Wars realize that Bell is a media giant in Canada, and the company is a worthy partner that can bring additional attention at an incremental cost. Marketing partnerships often allow gains that would be otherwise tough to achieve without significant spending. The return on investment (ROI) in such cases is often much better. Also, keep in mind that standing out among today’s media and digital overload is not easy, unless you plan such clever affiliations. more…


In Practice

Go Ahead Goal: Hockey Coach + MBA Candidate

Sara Alhattab, student experience intern


“I had a sports psychologist named Rich Ennis that worked with me one-on-one when I was [a youth] playing Junior Hockey. He’s now working with one of my own players,” says Daniel Fitzgerald. “I spoke with Rich after my first game coaching Cambridge and he said, ‘I knew you’d be a coach.’ At 16-17 years old, I was destined to be a coach and not a player.”

Fitzgerald, 28, is the newly appointed head coach of the Cambridge Winter Hawks Jr. B hockey club and a first-year MBA candidate at McMaster University.

“Hockey is my passion, it always has been. I love going to the rink, I love thinking about hockey, I love analyzing the game, I love working with the players—I just love every bit of it.” more…

Top 3 Tips for developing leader virtues

Ted Malloch | Oxford, UK


The globalization of business requires a globalization of business ethics. That requires us to have meaningful conversations about leadership and management values. In a Knowledge@DeGroote panel discussion last week, the following items were discussed as a beneficial way to develop leader virtues. more…


Online suite ‘myEXP’ offers new platform for examining mental health treatments

Andrew Baulcomb, Advancement Officer

Christina Hackett, McMaster PhD candidate

For many young people, seeking treatment for a mental health disorder can be a daunting task. Offering feedback on said treatment can be even more intimidating.

A new online suite called myEXP, conceived by McMaster assistant professor Gillian Mulvale, may be the first of its kind in the world to tackle this unique problem.

Developed by Mulvale and her team of student researchers, in collaboration with Halifax-based creative firm WeUsThem, myEXP provides a safe, comfortable forum for youth to share experiences and offer feedback via a familiar device – a smartphone or tablet. more…


Innovate or decline: how Canada’s healthcare system needs to change

Gordon Pitts, DeGroote Writer in Residence

McMasterUMedicalTake a sprawling $50 billion enterprise under severe budget constraints. Add a looming collision with rising costs and other-worldly expectations. That’s the Ontario health care system, as it confronts an aging population and a government that demands improved service at the same cost, or less.

The answer is: innovate or decline. And do it without the heavy profit incentives of private business – or the U.S. health system. more…


Getting Out

Dancing With Change: Why People Resist & What to Do About It

Burlington, Ontario

Linda Morgan

Join us for a Women’s Professional Network seminar event featuring Linda Morgan, President of The Clic Effect Inc. In this session, Linda will introduce a 4-step framework for assessing change, and the corresponding reactions you or your team might have when dealing with change. Participants will learn why and where resistance occurs, and, together discuss strategies on how to address it.  Event details…

Gender Diversity on Boards: Comply or Explain

Toronto, Ontario

This panel of high-level executives and board directors will address current issues and opportunities surrounding gender diversity at the Board level. Discussion will include quotas, disclosure requirements, new leadership models, attracting female talent, and case studies of diversified boards.  Event details…



Dancing With Change: Why People Resist & What to Do About It

Jan 19, 2016 | 7:30 – 9 a.m.

Ron Joyce Centre, 4350 South Service Road, Burlington | $25 inc tax, parking included.

MBA Alumni/Student Networking Reception

Feb 4, 2016 | 6 – 7:30 p.m. The National Club, 303 Bay Street, Toronto

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