I spent a week of vacation in Ontario last week. Here are some observations I made along the way.
I was surprised to see the contrast in styles that Quebec and Ontario have regarding their tourists. On Highway 401 in Ontario, there are rest stops called “On Route”. Each stop has gas pumps, a convenience store, coffee shop, one or two fast food outlets, large washrooms and a tourist information area. In contrast, on Highway 20 in Quebec, the rest stops consist of a couple of small washrooms and a lunch truck. I think Ontario has got it right.
Here is a great example of not living up to the marketing hype. Last November, the Wahlbergs opened their first Canadian Wahlburgers in downtown Toronto. Great brand recognition, their own reality show on A & E, big line ups to get in. Perception is that it’s going to be good. Much to my disappointment, it was just okay. Service was spotty and the food was over-priced and average. It wasn’t bad, it just didn’t live up to the marketing hype.
Too much of a good thing. Large graphics such as window vinyl, wall murals, etc, are great marketing investments for most companies. However, after my stroll up Yonge Street, I realized you can have too much of a good thing. Almost every square foot of window, wall, door and store front space is covered in graphics. It got to the point that the stores that kept it really simple actually stood out more.
I had a great trip. I enjoy the hustle and bustle of large cities, but it is easy to get marketing sensory overload when so many companies are competing for your attention. I think we have it pretty good here