Growers Ciders

I do not work for the cider company Growers, but I think they are an interesting brand.



Apple-Melinda Phelan, March 21, 2017

In my research, I discovered that the majority age of light to heavy users of Growers brand consumers are predominantly women aged 45+ (average) and males of the same age range (Numeris, 2014). Also from looking at their demographic and psychographic profile on Numeris, they have a household size of between 1-2 people, no adult children at home (Numeris, 2014). Their education consists of a Highschool diploma and some college/university (Numeris, 2014).

The lifestyle trends they display are being conscientious of their health and wellness; they are socially active and crave engagement, they are also digitally savvy (Luke, 2014; Norris, 2015). They are also information seekers and comfort seekers (Luke, 2014).

Regarding their media consumption, they heavily consume TV, Digital, and Magazine (Numeris, 2014). According to ComScore, the digital online sites they visit most are Facebook with a 73.3% reach, Google, with a 94% reach in search, and Microsoft sites (E-mail and search) at 94% reach (ComScore, 2013).

Summing all the data up, I put together the key insights of the Growers brand consumer demographic:

Basic demo: Boomers and Seniors
They are a multi-faceted audience who are seeking consistency, engagement, and a healthy active lifestyle (Norris, 2015). They do not want to be considered “aged” and prefer to behave the opposite of how other generations perceive them (Norris, 2015).

Their media consumption habits gave me a clear set of tactics for choosing the right media vehicles to communicate with this demo. The first is TV via broadcast advertising, the second is Magazine which has the ability for pass-along readership as well, and the third is, of course, digital via search, display, and social media (Facebook) (Numeris, 2014).

Regarding the brand look and feel across these communications, I thought it should be bold and sophisticated but not ‘Old’ and outdated. Most alcohol brands I see advertised are clearly going for millennials, well, the Growers demo behaves younger than their biology dictates, but we do not want them to be confused as to whom we are targeting. If we incorporate women and men in the creatives who are between 35-45, it is a good way to make the brand feel young, but not too young. We want our ad communications to outline our “Get-To-Buy” which is:
GET all boomers and seniors TO engage with the Growers Brand BY making them believe it fits into their lifestyle and aligns with their attitudes.


ComScore. (December, 2013). Top 100 media properties, Dem.Profile. Retrieved from

Luke, Paul. (September 29, 2014). Over 65 and going strong: Baby boomers are reinventing old age. Retrieved from

Norris, Doug. (July 23, 2014). Don’t call us seniors: The Baby Boomers at 65. Retrieved from

Numeris, Kantar Media. (2014). Cider: # drinks drank in past 7 days. Retrieved from Print Measurement Bureau 2015 Spring 2 YR Database

Numeris, Kantar Media. (2014). Cider: Cider brands personally drank most often. Retrieved from Print Measurement Bureau 2015 Spring 2 YR Database

Numeris, Kantar Media. (2014). Demographics-media imperatives- English magazine/TV imperatives. Retrieved from Print Measurement Bureau 2015 Spring 2 YR Database


My two favorite listening tools for social media are Sprout Social and Campaign Monitor.
Technically Campaign Monitor is more geared towards e-mail marketing, but it measures engagement quite effectively depending on the unique engagement level of your e-mail marketing. I worked with this tool while on placement at the Canadian Museum of Nature. I developed an e-mail blast going out to public schools in Ottawa and Gatineau. I had linked their school program’s web pages ticket portal and brochures to the memo style message body.


My thoughts on paper..-Melinda Phelan, July, 2015

I used Campaign Monitor to extract addresses and send out the e-mail. After you send the e-mail, their system tracks how many recipients download the document, and how many people click on the links within the document. It also tracks how long it took for people to open the e-mail, and then click on a link. It presents the data in the form of colorful line graphs indicating each statistic. The best part is that it measures in real-time from the moment the recipient gets the e-mail in their inbox to the engagement click. It will also let you know how many e-mails bounced back and for what reason. I am sure currently they have many more analytics dashboards but even when I used it I was satisfied with the data it provided. At the end of each day, I would produce a report based on the data. We were able to assess the best time to send the e-mails based on the average time at which most recipients opened the e-mail and followed with engagements. We also got a sense of how engaged recipients were with the e-mail and the links provided. We could also track the level of sales via the clicks and purchases through the ticket portal from the e-mail. Another aspect of the system was that you could perform A/B tests with your campaign.

I think e-mail marketing is often overlooked as a source of social media. No, it is not specifically intended to allow for conversations per say, but it does allow for engagements online that can lead to social content. For example, you could include social links in the body of your e-mail design or embed social media such as video content.

The second tool I like, but do not have any practical experience with is Sprout Social. I think this is a great low-cost monitoring tool for agencies and individuals. It apparently provides an array of analytics such as indicating and tracking brand mentions, hashtags, keywords, influencers and provides project management widgets for large scale campaigns. So instead of having multiple analytics dashboards and a project management space such as BaseCamp, you can have an all-in-one package. According to a friend of mine who uses Sprout Social and Radian6 has said Radian 6 could become very costly because the reporting can be pricey but with Sprout Social, the cost subscription covers everything without limitations.

My two best sources of information and news regarding DRTV, digital and Broadcast televised media trends are another agency called CanadaTVMedia, and Strategy Magazine Publications. CanadaTVMedia releases free reports on Broadcast tv trends in Canada that are also public files. They offer official data sourced from reliable statistics. Our agency subscribes to Strategy Magazine and Strategy online (its digital platform) to view their reporting section for any news regarding other agencies and trends. Another source is Telefilm Canada. They also provide free reporting on current trends in TV viewership in Canada. Another source, of course, is my reps! They provide reliable statistics about their stations from Numeris (formerly PMB). As an agency that specializes in DRTV, we continually seek information on viewership to keep on top of our demo and their viewing behaviours. It helps us to streamline our buys and know where to buy into and at the right time.



The Art of Reading Well-Blog Post #2

Anyone Can Read. Right?


That is why I have developed my personal system to becoming an “expert reader”.

Author Brian Clark suggests, not everyone is “good” at reading in his article “How To Read”.

According to Clark, there are four types of readers:

  1. Elementary
  2. Inspectional
  3. Analytical
  4. Syntopical

(Clark, 2008)

Below is a brief synopsis of each type:

The first is someone who can read a sentence based on grammar and vocabulary at the most basic level (Clark, 2008).

The second type of reader is someone who has a pre-motivated intention of finding specific information. They just “scan” a document to locate key words or phrases much in the same way SEO works (Clark 2008). This type of reader also accounts for those who read for the sake of reading (Clark, 2008).

The third type of reader is someone who can comprehend the information in its basic form, and compartmentalize it in his or her head to enhance their comprehension (Clark, 2008). In doing so, they identify key terms and points of contention leading into an informed discussion (Clark, 2008).

The final type of reader is someone who can draw meaningful connections between external knowledge and experiences to the information they have just processed (Clark, 2008). By doing so, this person becomes an expert on the chosen subject in their rights (Clark, 2008).

Drawing on Clark’s hierarchy, I have devised 3 easy steps to become an “expert” reader:

Step 1. Know your grammar, spelling and understand the importance of tone: If you don’t understand the basics of writing, you cannot fully comprehend the written word. Regarding tone, most authors use a particular one to enhance their writing styles. For example, if an author is sarcastic, it usually means they disagree with a subject, or they are criticizing a subject. To me, this first step plays into the first two levels of basic reading comprehension.

Step 2. Read Between The Lines: To advance into what Clark considers “The Analytical Reader” I have to be able to not only read what is in plain sight but also identify concepts within. See if I can clearly divide the information into the traditional storyboard quadrants: A) Introduction, B) Middle, C) End or Conclusion (Algonquin College, 2012). I can also think of the end as the beginning, and ask myself what is the main point (s) the author is making?

Step 3. Think Outside The Page: Now I can draw on information not contained within the text at hand. I ask myself “What other information have I read that is either similar to or contradicts the text in front of me?” Going through this thought process and creating these connections will help to develop a unique analysis of the information and provide substance for questions. Now I can become a “Syntopical Reader”, an expert on the subject matter through a unique perspective (Clark, 2008).

These are my three steps to becoming an expert reader and aiding in becoming a better writer by knowing and understanding how people can read your work. Please take the time to read my post and see if you can come up with something better!


Algonquin College. Lesson 2: Becoming a digital storyteller [PDF document]. Retrieved from

Clark, B. (August 27, 2008). How to read. Retrieved from

Melinda Phelan: Blog Post #1-COMOO14

My Trip to Ireland


Jerpoint Abbey. Phelan, Melinda [Image file], May 7, 2016

Last May I travelled to Ireland with my father to visit his family. My father is from a family of 12 including himself! It is because of my father’s background that I was able to become a dual citizen and hold Canadian and Irish citizenship. I get some odd looks sometimes from the security at the Dublin airport because I am actually South Korean by birth but was adopted.

When we got to the airport in Dublin my aunt and uncle came and picked us up. We then made the long journey to Kilkenny.

photo 2

Walking through Kilkenny with mum and dad-Phelan, Melinda [Image File] May 8, 2016

Once we were settled in at their house I decided to go exploring. First off, I only knew a few areas of the town including Kilkenny Castle.

Well, I knew where it was anyways. So I wondered what was around it rather than just seeing the gardens again. I walked from the front entrance down the side this time round and found a walking path.

photo 5

The lonely winding path. Phelan, Melinda [Image file] May 8, 2016

And another..

photo 4

Walking path 2. Phelan, Melinda [Image file] May 8, 2016

Until I stumbled upon this:

photo 3

The Manor House. Phelan, Melinda [Image file] May 8, 2016

It was an old stone manor house probably built sometime in the 1700s (Purely a wild guess by the skeletal architecture). I walked closer to get a better look at it, and it was an amazing feeling finding this building!


My personal discovery. Phelan, Melinda [Image file] May 8, 2016

I felt like Indiana Jones. It was pretty cool, I walked inside the open space and felt like I was transported to the late 1600s/1700s. I could imagine the people who might have used the space and wondered what it looked like before it fell into disrepair. I guessed it might be a manor house, but when I was done snapping photos and filming my own little video I ran all the way back to the castle to meet my parents. According to my father, he says it might have actually been a jail at one point but he had nothing to prove this either. I have searched for information on it but I could not find anything concrete. It it also very likely it was associated with the land belonging to the Castle grounds which would make sense. But to this day I do not know what it was for or for whom it was built.

Please help me out if you know this building!

Post a reply in the comments if you want to help me solve this mystery. I want to learn about its history. Any leads will help.

I hope you enjoyed my story, thanks for your time.


Melinda Phelan




 “Noise and Confusion” 2002-Melinda Phelan

I just read an article out of what feels like hundreds all saying the same thing: PewDiePie aka Felix Kjellberg, has been cut off from his business venture with Disney, and Youtube has removed him from their premium channel YouTube Red for posting anti-Semitic content (Kovach, 2017).

I was personally a huge fan of PewDiePie, and I am still willing to be a fan if I can thoroughly be convinced he is not racist or anti-Semitic. But…this is much easier said than done.

In an article written by Steve Kovach for Business Insider, he poses some interesting questions regarding Youtube’s business strategy of generating and sourcing new talent from the internet’s public domains (Kovach, 2017). He questions the validity of Youtube’s strategy with regards to Youtube Red. He says that stars like PewDiePie who developed over the internet are a huge risk that should not have went unseen by Youtube (Kovach, 2017). The concept of “Freedom of Speech” runs so deep within the internet and it’s users that it should have been a no-brainer to for-see something like this. In conclusion, he asks readers to think about whether or not Youtube and other platforms like it should have better solutions to screen its talent (Kovach, 2017).

It also did not help that PewDiePie’s new video serving as his response to the incident was less than pleasing. I felt that he was honest when he did apologize for his actions, but he then attempted to put half the blame on the media. He seems to think the media cannot accept/understand him or popular internet culture and is trying to ruin him. I do I believe he does have a point that the media can misinterpret and skew information. I do however think he needed to stop blaming others where there is no blame in this particular case. I thought that all he should have done was simply acknowledge that his language and content was not appropriate. His view that the media is targeting him was not applicable to the consequences of his actions. He was using it almost to create a red-herring and divert the attention. As I said, his response video was less than pleasing, and he did not fully take responsibility which he should have.

What makes this case so confusing for me is that I want to believe that he is truly sorry for what he did, but in another article by Shona Ghosh, she writes that Youtube stars are now rallying behind him as well as fans (Ghosh, 2017). I feel like I don’t want to trust other fans, but I can trust other Youtubers. Some notable others are saying he is not an anti-Semite, and that he’s just a guy doing what everyone else is today over the internet (Ghosh, 2017).

I think they do have a point that lots of entertainment mediums like TV, film, and blogs, etc. use inappropriate humor yet, they do not garner such negative attention to the point where they are affected financially (at least from what I know). Family Guy, for example, has lots of inappropriate content as does the show South Park, so why do they still exist on air? That is the part that confuses me. I do not agree with their content in most cases (I am also NOT racist or anti-Semitic), but a small part of me feels this incident is also viewed as an extreme case that is creating a media frenzy due to the current political climate in the US. It certainly does not excuse his actions at all, and he should be pulled off the channels, but then I feel that certain TV shows and other media should as well. In other words, all mediums should receive the same attention when it comes to these types of incidents despite the political climate. The show Family Guy and South Park are criticized by the public, but they still aired episodes for years. The internet is a tricky place to implement laws and monitor but advertisers have laws to follow even in the digital space, so do companies. I think that Kovach is right in questioning Youtube’s screening process and their policy regarding misconduct. They cut his account on Youtube Red, but does that mean he is also banned from using other channels on Youtube? Or is he still free to continue posting what could be more inappropriate content? Will they cut everyone who posts similar content?

I am interested to hear what you think!

The articles are in the links!


Ghosh, Shona. (February 18, 2017). “He’s Not an Anti-Semite”: YouTube Stars Rally Behind PewDiePie. Retrieved from

Kovach, Steve. (February 18, 2017). PewDiePie Taught YouTube A Valuable Lesson. Retrieved from


Robots have been expected to continue to become an integral part of our society fo years. Now robotics is an avenue to fight “hate speech” (Leetaru, 2017). Forbes contributor Kalev Leetaru writes that deep learning bots are a possible key to eliminating hate speech over social media. These bots have gained in intelligence over the years to the point of high sophistication regarding their ability to analyze human text and imagery (Leetaru, 2017). The idea is to release them in mass numbers and have them report, counter and overwhelm writers of hate speech online (Leetaru, 2017). They would do this by identifying specific words and phrases or meanings to then generate a report of abusive behavior on social platforms (Leetaru, 2017). In doing so, they will gather specific data on account names, timestamps and response rates as to eliminate any bias (Leetaru, 2017). The data would then be uploaded to the platforms to notify them and lead to the bots being able to write post responses back to the authors to encourage “self-censorship” (Leetaru, 2017).

When I read this article, I originally thought of the movies, the idea of robots fighting off online vandals seems unrealistic. But then I thought about how far we have come in robots and engineering. I like the idea of having a coordinated and completely cohesive fleet of robots monitoring platform activity without any inherant bias in their policy. The article touches on the fact that policies regarding behavior on platforms are not always properly followed because they rely on some form of human discretion even within their coding algorithms embedded into their platforms (Leetaru, 2017). The reality that these bots can achieve well written human speech is also amazing; they could shut down an argument on behalf of victims all while gathering data on the perpetrator. They can help companies and platforms monitor behaviour and respond faster and smarter to online threats and hate.

On the other hand, though, having these bots can also go too much to the other extreme where free speech is cut out. Leetaru also notes this issue; it is a worrying byproduct of invasive technologies of its nature (Leetaru, 2017). I think the key here is to have strict control over the testing period and as with most procedures, companies who use the bots need to set guidelines and policies in turn that are made based on a collective thought process rather than one person or a small group of people.The only issue this course faces is also the quesiton of governments having the right to control such a  large scale program/initiative or do individual companies pay to ahve control? 

What are your thoughts on the use of robots to defend the public’s ideals on social media?

To read the full article you can find it here!


Leetaru, Kalev, (February 04, 2017). Fighting Social Media Hate Speech With AI-Powered Bots. Retrieved from

The Evolution Revolution of Social Tech

In a Forbes article entitled “5 Social Media Trends That Will Change The Game in 2017”, there are some interesting trends highlighted.




Author Tom Ward mentions the continued relevance of live video, via Facebook Live, Youtube Live, and Periscope Pro, all of which allow streaming (Ward, 2016). He also mentions that 41% of subscribers to cable TV are saying they will soon cut their cable out completely (Ward, 2016). This statistic is both worrying and compelling to those of us who currently work with Direct Response television via cable networks. For clients who’s demographic is men and women age 55+ it is crazy to imagine what my own demographic will be like by the time we are in our 50s and 60s. As our client’s demographic continues to change and new seniors come into our market, it will be neat to develop some unique strategies using such technology in an experiment.

The article also highlights messaging apps. Personally, when I think of this, it makes me think of those help chat options on Microsoft, or other institutions such as Expedia and banks. However, the article refers to “bots that provide relevant content and learn from the consumer’s behavior” which then creates the ideal two-way communication between consumers and brands (Ward, 2016). If brands can or continue to develop and deliver unique content in the same way I am thinking of that is exciting, and especially for real-time events not just how to’s and fixes. Just think, if you could be talking to a live agent as you are playing with other gamers during a mission in Battlefield 4 on the PlayStation while commenting on their games or the system, Playstation can have immediate data to give to HQ and the game label.

The two social media revolution/evolutions I am most excited for on a personal level are Social Commerce and VR tech. Social commerce makes it so easy and convenient to pay for everyday items or impulsive items (everyone does it). My only concern is the safety issue, how safe is my credit card info/payment info. The concept is still a win for tech in my mind, though. Ward points out that the idea of a “peer to peer” system is perfect for brand outreach and growth on a massive scale (Ward, 2016). I agree with this; it gives brands a greater scope to reach their consumers at the point of purchase using social media which is already so mainstream and widespread.

The second is VR. I just bought the VR PlayStation system add-on and WOW. It is something, playing Batman in VR. If VR expands to shopping experiences with virtual stores sort of like the XBOX virtual fitting room but a few steps further refined, I think it will change the retail industry.

Please check out the link below to the original article:

Let me know which trends you find most exciting!

Ward, Tom. (November 22, 2016). 5 Social Media Trends That Will Change The Game In 2017. Retrieved from

Circuit Board Background. (N.D). Meyer, Levgenii. Shutter Stock. Retrieved from


Social Museums

Hi there!

For those of you who do not know me, my name is Melinda Phelan.
I am the Media Coordinator at a small media advertising agency in Toronto, and I also have a background in Medieval Studies and Museology. As such I have a passion for the arts and culture!



I recently came across an interesting article about how museums around the world are accepting social media and utilizing it to engage visitors and enhance their experiences when visiting a museum.

The first step museums need to take before devising a social media strategy is to accept it according to the article (Gilbert, 2016).
According to the author Sophie Gilbert, she reports that museums have struggled for years with the idea that social media can have a positive impact on heritage institutions (Gilbert, 2016). Directors and curators were never sure about how to approach the topic. Now, museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art have retracted their policy on use of cell phones in the galleries (Gilbert, 2016). Other museums are following suit or have already done so about five years ago when the MET did (Gilbert, 2016).

This retraction gave rise to a new type of gallery experience for visitors. Curators are now designing exhibits to include the use of mobile devices and partnering with tech shops to develop sophisticated apps (Gilbert 2016). The article goes on to give examples of different ways in which museums have altered their ways of thinking to include Augmented Reality apps, digital information beacons, and path-finder applications.

These digital formats tie into visitor accessibility via social media. A visitor can now access additional information about an artifact that they are looking at in real time, they can track their progress through a museum, and they can engage with art via the infamous selfie!

Not only can social media platforms open up new ways to design exhibits, but they can also prove to be beneficial to a museum’s growth. To me, one of the main components of a “successful” visit is that I can engage with an object or gallery on a personal level, and can easily get to what I am most passionate about seeing. The development of new apps that can allow me to access more information on my favorite museum spaces or objects on the spot is a huge wow factor. I agree with the author in that social media, and mobile devices are here to stay, and they are a part of our modern lives. Museums need to recognize this and adapt to remain relevant.

But… On the other hand, when the author refers to examples, most of them are referring to art galleries. It stands to say that perhaps other cultural institutions are lacking on the creative train for social media because it is much harder to devise non-traditional levels of engagement with an artifact that is not an “artwork.” The article does mention the ROM and the Smithsonian Museums using unique augmented and virtual reality techniques to enhance the visitor experience, but the majority of new applications revolve around the world of art (Gilbert, 2016).

One particular item mentioned is the Google Art Project which I do not agree is a positive thing. The article describes this project as a “Museum in your pocket,” it can provide accessibility to these institutions to anyone no matter where they live geographically (Gilbert, 2016). I feel it is far more valuable to go to a museum to see it, (and feel it where possible) rather than looking at a high-resolution picture of it on Google Art Project via a computer or mobile screen. To me, this kind of widespread digital access detracts from the museum experience and the authenticity of the “real” object or artwork.

I suppose this is an eternal uphill battle for museums, finding ways to provide innovative accessibility without taking away the authenticity of history and art.

Please let me know your thoughts on this!

If you wish to explore more articles on the topic of social media in museums check these out:

Thank you for reading.

Gilbert. S. (2016, October). Please Turn On Your Phone in the Museum: Cultural institutions learn to love selfies, tailor-made apps, and social media. The Atlantic. Retrieved from

FACEBOOK POST: Do you feel the urge to whip out your phone in the middle of the ROM? Check this out:

TWEET: It’s ok to use the P word in a museum-