Welcome to Advertising Strategy

Wholistic Principles OCADU
Wholistic Principles OCADU

Welcome to the 1st year Advertising class at OCAD University. This blog is a collection of individual stories from our community.

Advertising starts with a story to be told. How do we tell it? What is the message, and how is it communicated? From a strategic approach, finding relevant information about an audience offers key insights to meaningfully connect on an emotional and logical level. Behaviours, attitudes, and biases can be derived from select research points that inform demographic data – for instance, geography, population, age, home, family structure, environment, income, country of origin and status, gender, political conditions, and so on. From here, general commonalities can be drawn with a certain level of objectivity, narrowing the target market to a profile of coordinates.

This is not such an approach.

Imagine each entry in this blog is a data point. The stories that unfold in the telling of the data sets are much more than the aggregated statistical mean. Each entry is a unique reflection on how the contributors see their environment. What do you know about the Land? How does your connection to Land shape relationships with family, friends, and communities? How does Land inform your identity? Behind every demographic point, a story of lived –  and living – experiences materialize and is shared, co-existing in their own individual subjective network.

Wholistic Principles – principles of Indigenous knowledge developed specifically for OCAD University with Medicine Man James Carpenter and Elder Shirley Williams in 2019 – are introduced as markers to guide the exploration of the relationship to Land. The four principles as shared by Nadia McLaren: Respect, Relationship, Reciprocity, and Responsibility, open a space for us to humbly consider the limits of our knowledge, and to imagine how we can envision many futures of diversity and inclusivity.

The stories that materialize, matter. It becomes matter that changes our ethnocentric position of the world. And if this once-fixed centralized coordinate is moved by critically re-evaluating our relationship to Land, then perhaps the Landscape – digital, physical, psychological, perceived, real, mediated landscape – has the potential to be navigated with a new ROI of relational possibilities, and respectful practices of care.

This course was conducted from January to April of 2021, and wouldn’t have been made possible without the guidance and mentorship of Nadia McLarenPeter Morin, and the generous support of  Leslie Corbay,Sugandha Gaur, Mariela Giuliano, and Shahin Moghaddasi Sarabi.

Jay Irizawa is a 3rd generation Japanese Canadian, interdisciplinary designer and assistant professor in the Faculty of Design at OCAD University. OCAD University acknowledges the ancestral and traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishinaabe and the Huron-Wendat, who are the original owners and custodians of the land on which we stand and create.

11 thoughts on “Welcome to Advertising Strategy”

    1. https://youtu.be/eszNAKhE0H0

      Jose Araujo
      Bogotá Colombia

      I was born in Bogotá, Colombia. The land that brings me back to my roots. A land of beauty and art. A land where everyone is family and yet everyone is unsafe. A land where Incredibly talented people do not have outlets, where there is infinite potential both economically and in quality of life and yet that potential is never explored due to corruption. When I’m there I feel in my element, there is a natural cultural understanding for energetic communication, etiquette, and humor. However this understanding comes at the cost of living a life with little to no opportunity and a life of constant anxiety. Despite this, I love Colombia and wherever I am in the world I will always carry its humor, creativity, simplicity, and enjoyment into my personality and in my work.

      Vaughan, Ontario

      Almost the complete opposite of life in Colombia. The feeling of being family to your neighborhood was gone, people spent a lot of time inside so it was really just my Parents, Brother, and me. My parents exchanged our family’s connection to Colombia for a safe life filled with opportunity for my Brother and I. In this land I was molded by both the Colombian teachings from my parents as well as the Canadian culture I was now a part of. In this land I realized that the opportunity I had was a privilege and I had to make the most out of moving out for school. My time in this land represents my preparation for adulthood.

      Toronto, Ontario

      Toronto felt like the perfect place from the start considering my background and upbringing. I am connected to a busy community and I’ve made strong connections with people from all over the world. This is the Land where I have been falling in love with art and learning how to bring my creativity to projects and collaborate with others to create unique works. Feeling this sense of community is something I have been waiting for since I left Colombia, in spite of this I still have times where I can keep to myself and enjoy my hobbies like in Vaughan, this makes Toronto the perfect place for me. Toronto is the land where I can push forward towards my dreams to create a future worth experiencing.

  1. https://youtu.be/N3_q14dAInk

    When reading into this assignment and thinking about my responsibility, reciprocity, relationship and respect towards the land, I relate directly to my neighbourhood.
    The area in which I live (Mississauga), it is heavy in immigrants and refugees. I have lived in this community for over the past 18 years and when I was younger, I spent personal time with myself and my friends in the forests all around. But as the population and I grew, the city deforested a lot of the nature around to create cheaper houses for people to live in. Over time the forest ecosystem became so concentrated and dense that they had to block it off from the public. This made me realize that kids growing up in the community won’t get to experience the connections and adventures I had in nature. It took me a long while to reflect and understand that although there isn’t much forest left for me and others to be free in, I still have those connections, memories and friends who have my back.
    So within this animation that I have created, I explicitly speak on:
    -my Relationship with friends who helped me back on my feet
    -my Respect towards the land that continues to fight
    -my Reciprocity to help nature in my own ways in my own backyard
    -my Responsibility to embrace the new future set up for me
    (listen in on the lyrics to grasp the message better)

  2. https://youtu.be/qgekvW-Jh6g

    This assignment has reminded me just how important my roots are to me. My movie describes my experience in Israel and my relationship with its people and the land itself. I traveled to Israel for the first time in August 2016 for my Bar mitzvah, meeting half of my family for the first time. The two weeks I spent there were the most impactful and unforgettable moments in my entire life. I connection it Israel and the land is unique as i do not live there, but consider to be my true home; sometimes, home is a feeling and people as much as it is a place.

    Afterwards, I talk about my experience with the history of Israel and my family’s part in it.

  3. https://youtu.be/GzrIQ9gzH2g

    My lands and I – Self Portraits
    Most times, the places we visit, live and work on, do define us. So far, I’ve lived on 4 lands. Toronto in where I currently live. Vancouver is where I lived from 2014 to 2021. Saudi Arabic is where I was born and raised. And Yemen is where I should have been living. I say should because it has been my mom’s forever fantasy to move back. Each land gave me the experiences and relationships which made me the person I am today. As a visual person, I presented my connection with each land in a self portrait combined with a selection of audios that take me back to special moments I’ve had on that land.

  4. https://youtu.be/GIEpMkJC6hg

    Created By Anahita Ruia & Juanita Castro

    Our approach with this assignment was to tell our story of how we came to Canada as immigrants and made a new home for ourselves in a new community that we felt to be safer than the land on which we were born.

    We used our own photography to depict our emotions and surroundings, as well as sound effects that reinforced our experiences and the way we interact within the space.

  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ux2Bky_S-m0

    When reading into this assignment and thinking about my responsibility, reciprocity, relationship and respect towards the land, I thought directly to my hometown.
    I am from a small town. I have called this community home my whole life. No matter where I moved in the town I still felt a sense of belonging. In my video I discuss:
    -my Relationship with each home
    – my Respect towards the land that comforts me
    – my Reciprocity to the scenery
    – and my Responsibility to embrace life changing scenery.

  6. https://youtu.be/_dV9BP-8XQM

    My name is Natalie Prieto, I moved to Toronto in the autumn of September of 2021, with the aspiration of finding more opportunities for my career, myself as a person, and for my future in general. I find that in Toronto, I’m able to find the peace in myself that I find extremely hard to always obtain, I find happiness here, opportunities, desire and support. I love the large atmospheres, the noise, the large amount of people, the culture, the places, and the art. The land of opportunity, of desire, of finding your drive. The land of business. The land full of life. A city to some, but a refugee to others. A land that I have the most connected relationship to, my home Toronto.
    I come from a small city, Kitchener Waterloo. A land of a large amount of land, but not a lot of opportunity. A land for a lot of desires, but not a place to fulfill those desires, the land I was raised in. A land of less noise, and more peace but less desires of a larger amount of ambition. A land that I have the least connected relationship to, my previous home Waterloo.
    America, Connecticut a land of ambition, but at that time, not a land for immigrants of Colombia. The land I learned English, the land I learned how to write and how to read, a home to many, but created despair to many too. A land to fulfill the American desire of ambition but was unable to due to immigration. The land that I had felt the least welcomed in, the land that was too short of time, to have been able to find any form of relationship to, my what could have been home.
    Colombia, Bogota. The city I was born in, a land of love, a land of culture, a land of noise. A land for happiness, but not a land for opportunity. A land full of love and support, but not a land of security. A land of desires and ambition, but not a land for a large amount of opportunity. The land of my ancestors, of my family, and of my blood. The land that gave me the talents of being able to salsa, to sing and of art. A land I will always be connected to, my homeland, my birth home.
    In all of these lands, I was able to find more desires, to my career, to myself as a person and to my future in general as well, as each of these lands that gave me a distinctive insight of the land, of the respect I have for these lands, of the numerous desires I had to find in myself as a person, and the insight that they all gave me due to the distinctiveness that each of these places have in their own forms of culture. It’s the distinctive forms of relationship that I had with each of these places that gave me not only the desire and ambition that I’ve been able to find and obtain now, but also the momentum to fulfill and find my purpose in this life of complexities.

  7. https://youtu.be/hNqyRwkAcgc
    When I was exploring the idea of this assignment I could only think about my relationship to where I grew up. I was born and raised in the same city and haven’t had the chance to do much traveling. My parents both grew up in small towns so Guelph seemed big to them but to me it felt small. I explore these thoughts in my video for this assignment.

  8. Link to my video: https://youtu.be/9WMiVRhmxNk
    We’re all sprinting onward, yet our hearts and last vestiges of belonging always fall to the roots.
    When I see the sky translucent due to the blue, the air is crisp. Through the open doors of certain people, you may see roses, orchids, and others blooming in the historic courtyard. As the sun sank and colourful clouds shrouded the sky, Kunming filled my sense of belonging.
    My city, Kunming, is well-known because of the pleasant weather. It’s decorated with flowers all throughout, and when I open my eyes, it’s always “springtime.” In a low-latitude plateau and mountain monsoon climate, daylight hours are prolonged, and frost season is brief; in my recollection, the red-billed gulls travelled from afar and landed in the city, avoiding the cold wind in the northern sea. It was also tinged with the town’s adoration and a yearning for it. Factory and gas pollutions are absent, resulting in a pristine blue sky. Each cloud generates a unique skyscape. I enjoy watching them because they are unpredictable and untethered. They create one-of-a-kind works of art on the canvas of the sky. There is always a point in twilight when the sun gradually dims, misty and trance-like, the city turns purple-gray, the world unexpectedly grinds to a halt, and the people on the street appear to be in the past.
    I walked the regular route through the market, realizing it wasn’t like the market I remembered, with only a tiny table and a layer of plastic bags on the ground. New stalls were built, and each was neat and tidy. The only things that haven’t changed were the vendors’ zeal and genuine smiles on their faces.
    Walking along the path, the former gravel road has been converted into a smooth cement road with lamps installed. The ground was bathed in a warm yellow light that stretched the shadows out for miles.
    A warm breeze frequently brought me back home when I was studying abroad. It was a city in my heart but had infused my memory with fairy tales. It’s a dream vision, but I see blue waves in Dianchi Lake and mandarin ducks splashing in Green Lake. Memories are similar to sequences from a film that can be replayed only in my mind.
    When I was a child, my hometown’s never-ending sunny rays instilled a positive philosophy toward life. Although the world does not exist in a dreamlike state, here impacted me. This sensation has profoundly affected my entire life, inspiring me to cherish my heart and the world into which I was born for the rest of my days.
    Home is more than a geographical concept. I used to think that time moved slowly and that nothing changed. But everything is changing, including the environment, and the only thing that will remain constant is the beauty of my land. We miss home, especially those ordinary people and small things unwittingly strewn across our daily lives. Perhaps here is not a particularly contemporary city, and isn’t the most abundant, amazing, or wild one, but here, people have embraced nature; this is not to say that Kunming is a paradise for me, but it is a place that offers me great consolation whenever I am crying or homesick, quietly tucked away in my heart like a treasure. The beauty here can’t be captured in a single video; it’s a combination of perceptual aspects; it’s the eternal and softest poetry in the depths of my heart.

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