Winter has come to Toronto (not a weather reference)

Originally posted by The Message, on February 29th, 2019, by David Brown


Who: Twitter, HBO (for Game of Thrones) and Dive Network.

What: The release of 20 Game of Throne emojis to mark the upcoming final season of the HBO mega-hit show. Twitter has done TV show emojis before, but never this many (all 20 listed below).

When & Where: The emojis are on Twitter now through the end of the upcoming final season, but a special out-of-home promotion is running on big screens in London, New York and in Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square starting at 8 a.m. Thursday morning and running until midnight.

Why: Because Game of Throne fans really LOVE to talk about show, and a lot of those conversations happen on Twitter.

How it works: Anyone on Twitter can get the emojis now by hashtagging the character’s name—#JonSnow, for example, instantly generates the Jon Snow emoji. There are also Twitter posters for each of the 20 characters sitting on the Iron Throne, available as a Twitter Moment.


What’s the OOH element: A data driven solution through Dive Network takes in real-time data about which character is getting the most action (via hashtag mentions on Twitter). This data is compiled and then at the top of each hour, characters are shown based on who’s getting the most mentions. “Triggering that up on the boards is really exciting,” said Laura Pearce, head of consumer marketing at Twitter Canada. “We are really pushing the limits of out-of-home and what real-time can do.”

The 20: #DaenerysTargaryen #JonSnow #NightKing #CerseiLannister #AryaStark #JaimeLannister #TyrionLannister #SansaStark #BranStark #BrienneOfTarth #DavosSeaworth #EuronGreyjoy #JorahMormont #Greyworm #Melisandre #Missandei #SamwellTarly #TheonGreyjoy #Varys #TheHound

DIVE Networks Wins an Awards at Ad Club's OOH Day Showdown

Branded Cities and clients, CBC and Twitter x Adidas, named top Out-of-Home campaigns in respective categories at Ad Club’s 7th annual OOH Showdown

Originally posted by Branded Cities Canada, on November 2nd, 2018, by Alexandra Franco


Branded Cities, a premier Out-of-Home (OOH) media company in North America, in collaboration with its clients, has won two awards at Advertising Club’s 7th annual OOH Showdown competition held at the Sheraton Hotel, Toronto. The competition recognizes and honours the best and most innovative Out-of-Home campaigns executed in Canada over the past year.

The OOH Showdown consisted of seven distinct categories, attracting submissions from a variety of top Canadian OOH media providers. Branded Cities took home two awards for the categories: Large Format Digital Billboard for CBC’s crime drama, Caught, and the Mobile Integration category for Twitter x adidas’ #WorldCup campaign. Both campaigns incorporated digital displays at Yonge-Dundas Square, including Canada’s largest, the TEC Media Tower.

The Caught campaign was planned and purchased by media agency Initiative, a full-service global media agency built to grow brands through culture. Twitter x adidas was executed through DIVE Networks, integrating mobile capabilities that broadcasted live #WorldCup Tweets during quarter, semi and final #WorldCup matches on the OOH displays, including digital directories in CF Toronto Eaton Centre. The campaigns generated excitement and buzz in Toronto’s landmark, Yonge-Dundas Square and beyond, and saw impressive results.

“Each year the OOH campaigns submitted to Ad Club’s OOH Day competition become increasingly more creative and innovative, breaking through the cluttered media space,” states Bill McDonald, Vice President of Sales at Branded Cities Canada. “We are proud to share this recognition from Ad Club with our inspired clients, who not only leveraged the sheer size of our iconic media but embraced the power of Digital Out-of-Home and its unique capabilities to create unmissable, award-winning campaigns.”

“These awards are proof that combining iconic media and creative execution can drive powerful and winning outcomes. It also solidifies our position as an iconic, forward-thinking, and creatively flexible media owner,” states Ali Satchu, Vice President of Marketing at Branded Cities Canada.

In addition to winning the two awards, Branded Cities’ Ari Zagury was awarded Rep of the Year for his exceptional work with clients, iconic and leading brands, which leverage the high impact and brand building abilities of the OOH medium.

For a list of all Branded Cities OOH campaign video submissions, please visit Branded Cities’ YouTube channel.

Twitter Canada Partners With Hxouse to Provide a Creative Space for Toronto’s Rising Entrepreneurs

The mentoring program, founded by The Weeknd's creative director, launches on Nov. 6

Originally published by AdWeek, on October 3rd, 2018, by Lindsay Rittenhouse

Hxouse will launch next month with backing from Twitter Canada.  @TwitterCanada

Hxouse will launch next month with backing from Twitter Canada.


When Hxouse (pronounced House), the mentoring and incubator program for Toronto’s emerging artists, entrepreneurs and other innovators formed by The Weeknd’s creative director La Mar Taylor, launches next month, it will do so with the support of Twitter Canada.

After all, it was on Twitter where the idea for Hxouse spread its wings.

“Since the beginning of our creative journey Twitter has always been a platform that allowed us to express ourselves in our own unfiltered voice,” Taylor, co-founder of Hxouse, creative director of The Weeknd’s XO label (and an) Adweek Toronto Brand Star, said in a statement. (Taylor also discussed the House project when he attended Adweek’s Brand Stars event in Toronto). “It is only right that we align with the platform that allowed for us to build such a resource beyond vision.”

Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 3.48.57 PM.png

The ideation behind Hxouse dates back to Dec. 5, 2016, when Taylor issued a series of tweets addressing a creative problem in Toronto. He wrote that “our kids/Toronto need a place to build. I’m tired of seeing missed opportunities for creatives who didn’t have the tools.” Taylor then followed up with a pledge to “build a facility for all the young creatives in Toronto” by the time he hit 30, giving him four years to accomplish his goal.

In under two years, he hit that goal.

Taylor put that promise “out into the universe to hold himself accountable,” Hxouse co-founder Ahmed Ismail told Adweek. Ismail saw the original tweets and then quickly reached out to his long-time friend and fellow Toronto native to help.

Featuring DIVE’s curated waterfall of tweets

Featuring DIVE’s curated waterfall of tweets

From there, it took off. The Toronto facility will open its doors on Nov. 6, admitting its first wave of students. The program will give students the chance to work on XO projects and other activations at Taylor’s branding agency, Hxouse Creative Studios, which will be located at the same site.

Twitter comes into the equation by providing access to resources, strategic mentorship and opportunities for students to advance their careers.

“This was a natural alliance for us,” Ismail noted. “The Twitter relationship will create bespoke content, mentoring and career opportunities for the next generation of creative leaders, which is the ultimate goal for Hxouse.”

To announce the partnership, Twitter and Hxouse hosted an activation in Yonge-Dundas Square for Nuit Blanche last week, an annual arts festival in Toronto that brought 78 installations to the city this year. Hxouse’s activation illuminated the square with its animated video by JonJonAnimation, which included music from MyBestFriendJacob, to illustrate the journey Taylor and his fellow Toronto natives have been on to launch Hxouse since those initial tweets.


“Twitter is a platform for the open exchange of ideas, where they can take shape and become a reality,” Laura Pearce, head of consumer marketing at Twitter Canada, said in a statement. “There is a natural fit in terms of what the Hxouse team is creating and the conversation around the need to support young creative entrepreneurs in Canada and beyond.”

Ismail said “in a million years” he would have “never” imagined that a few simple tweets could have such a profound impact.

As part of the activation with Twitter, he said Hxouse also featured tweets in real time with the hashtags #HXOUSE and #nbTO18 (for Nuit Blanche) across digital billboards in the square. At one point during the event, the tweets were trending on Twitter second to #SNL.

Hxouse received more than 1,000 applications from within “just a one-hour radius of Toronto” for the initial program, Ismail added, but it only admitted 140 for what he described as the “pilot project.” The group hopes to admit more as the program evolves in upcoming years, but Ismail pointed out that even those not accepted into the program can use the facility thanks to a partnership with Artscape Daniels Launchpad, a business and design hub located on Toronto’s waterfront that will house Hxouse. Inside the facility are a computer lab, sound and video recording units, editing booths and photography and electronics studios.

The problem in Toronto, Ismail said, is that young creatives lack the access to mentorship and opportunities, and as a result, there’s “a huge exodus” of them “that leave the city every day.” He said Hxouse wants these creatives to stay in Toronto and still get the exposure they need to grow their careers.

He said there are plans after the Toronto facility is in full swing to open others in international cities facing similar issues. Ismail declined to reveal more.

Featuring DIVE’s real-time curated tweets

Featuring DIVE’s real-time curated tweets

DIVE Brought the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Trailer to Billboards

Real-time tweets appeared alongside the video in New York, Toronto, Tokyo

Originally published by AdWeek, on September 25th 2018, By David Cohen

Photos by,  @photographerjon .

Photos by, @photographerjon.

Some Fantastic Beasts took over billboards in New York, Toronto and Tokyo, with an assist from Twitter.

Legendary author J.K. Rowling debuted the trailer for upcoming feature film Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald on NBC’s Today Tuesday morning.

Shortly thereafter, the trailer was exclusively available on Twitter, complete with a special cast introduction, and a “waterfall stream” of real-time reaction tweets appeared alongside the trailer on billboards in Times Square and near Penn Station in New York, in Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square and in Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo.

The movie will hit theaters Nov. 16.

Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 3.38.29 PM.png
Photos by,    @photographerjon   .

Photos by, @photographerjon.

Times Square and Toronto light up with 'Last Jedi' tweets on Twitter's live billboards

Originally published by AdAge, on December 14th 2017, by Alexandra Jardine

The force is with Disney this weekend, and Twitter knows it. The two have teamed up for an outdoor campaign for the hugely anticipated "Star Wars" release "The Last Jedi," which hits theaters Friday.

The force is with Disney this weekend, and Twitter knows it. The two have teamed up for an outdoor campaign for the hugely anticipated "Star Wars" release "The Last Jedi," which hits theaters Friday.

Giant billboards in Toronto's TEC Towers and New York's Times Square and Bryant Park will reflect the conversation taking place on Twitter in real-time, with live Tweet activation delivered by out-of-home broadcast platform Dive. Screens will rotate between visuals from the film's cast, and tweets from fans around the world.

According to Twitter, since Dec.1, there have been 1.8 million tweets about "The Last Jedi" around the world. No comment as to how many of them mention Jar Jar Binks.

Meet the Toronto startup helping Twitter Canada broadcast live tweets on digital billboards

Originally published by IT World Canada, on November 28th, 2017 by Eric Emin Wood

A Toronto-based startup is helping Twitter Canada and its partners bring their messages to greater heights – literally.

Founded in 2013, DIVE Networks advertises itself as a creator of real-time news networks for businesses and organizations, for broadcasting over a customer’s intranet or during conferences – but since February, it’s helped Twitter Canada and its partners broadcast user-generated messages over a slightly larger canvas: digital billboards.

With DIVE’s help, for example, the company broadcast live tweets on Remembrance Day honouring veterans or discussing what the holiday means to users during Nov. 11’s 11 o’clock moment of silence at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square.

On Feb. 21 – the launch of McDonald’s all-day breakfast menu across Canada – the fast food giant and Twitter marked the occasion by broadcasting grateful tweets with the #AllDayBreakfast hashtag once Canadians were finally allowed to purchase Egg McMuffins after 11 AM.

Twitter Canada head of consumer marketing Laura Pearce says the company’s campaigns with DIVE Networks – in which tweets are broadcast on billboards – help amplify the platform’s real-time messages.

“From a marketing perspective, we describe Twitter as what’s happening – it’s a place you go to find out what’s happening in the world in real-time,” Laura Pearce, Twitter Canada’s head of consumer marketing, tells “[Our campaigns with DIVE] are a way for us to amplify things that are trending on Twitter, and bring that real live conversation to life in a public space.”


Most recently, the companies collaborated with food giant Kraft Heinz Canada ULC. on Bear Hug Day, a campaign aimed at encouraging users to reach out to loved ones, whether 30 minutes or 3000 kilometres away, by sending a virtual hug using the Kraft peanut butter bears through Twitter.

Similar to the McDonald’s campaign, tweets using the #KraftBearHugs hashtag were broadcast at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square.

DIVE Networks CEO and co-founder Deborah Hall believes the campaigns’ success lies in their ability to create a bridge between consumers and what she calls the “out-of-home space,” by connecting users to public media campaigns via their mobile devices.

DIVE Networks CEO and co-founder Deborah Hall says the campaigns create a bridge between consumers and the public realm. “When you think about how many digital boards now cover our major cities, there’s such a large canvas now for this type of opportunity – turning those places into dynamic content zones – and the possibilities are limitless,” Hall says. “Remembrance Day is a great example: When you’re standing in the square watching this content that people like you are posting from their devices across Canada, it really gives you an emotional feeling that’s impossible for companies to produce any other way.”

More importantly, Twitter’s Pearce says, users love seeing themselves at the centre of national campaigns.

“We’ve observed – and, frankly, me and Deb do it all the time… people taking a picture, posting it, and seeing how long it takes to come onto the board,” she says. “We often say a tweet is the new autograph – the new way to say ‘I was here’ – and the ability to say that on your mobile phone, and then see it appear as you wrote it, likely with a picture of you in it, on a big screen is really exciting.”

“For us, it really reminds people about Twitter’s value in bringing information to people versus other social networks, by being live and open and real-time,” Pearce continues. “It’s a big differentiator for us.”

And in case you’re wondering, though DIVE is still experimenting with new methods of engagement on many of its campaigns, CEO Hall says the current approach uses a combination of machine learning and human curation: That is, humans vet all content that is published on billboards, lest McDonald’s find itself at the centre of another controversy similar to its most famous tweet of 2017.

McDonald’s amps up year two of fry day celebrations

#NationalFrenchFryDay is going after millennials, and putting Periscope on the big OOH screen to do it.

Originally published by Media in Canada on July 13, 2017 by Val Maloney

McDonald’s Canada is back for an expanded year-two campaign around #NationalFrenchFryDay.

Last year the QSR launched its first promotion around the day, broadcasting a one-and-a-half hour Periscope broadcast of fries being cooked from one of its locations. That live feed got over 170,000 views. Rashel Hariri, digital social media manager, McDonald’s Canada, said some people watched it for over 15 minutes because they were “mesmerized.”

“Part of our strategy, especially from the social side, is to connect with millennials” in a way that drives “more brand love,” she said.

This year, McDonald’s Canada is taking that Periscope feed to the next level, broadcasting it live on a screen at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Similar to the activation it did recently for the launch of its all-day breakfast menu, McDonald’s will also be integrating tweets about #NationalFrenchFryDay onto the board. The execution is the first time a Periscope feed has been on a digital OOH board in Canada, and also includes custom McDonald’s fries in addition to the typical hearts.

The execution is being run with media from OMD and Periscope board support from Clear Channel and DIVE.

Beyond the media buy, the QSR is also promoting its My McDs app on the day, offering a free medium French fry with any purchase to those using the app in-store. Amina Qureshi, associate director, digital, OMD, said that will help McDonald’s achieve its KPI of building out its database.

The QSR has brought back its giveaways throughout the day on social, changing up last year’s t-shirts for Instagram friendly French fry pool floaties and towels. The pool floaties and towels will be available through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram throughout the day until they are gone.

DIVE Networks partners with Twitter & McDonald's to showcase Global First Broadcast


DIVE Networks enables companies and marketing partners to engage their employees in real time with events as they happen. On March 7 McDonald's Canada's huge #AllDayBreakfast campaign was broadcast to employees for the first time in sync with their agency OMD Canada, at Twitter's headquarters, and live in Toronto's Dundas Square. Employees at McDonald's HQ, OMD Canada and Twitter Inc. were all able to follow along by watching DIVE screens in their offices.

Tweet by Rory Capern, Managing Director, Twitter Canada

Spotted! McDonald’s broadcasts its breakfast message

The QSR took over a Yonge-Dundas Square digital billboard in Toronto to show real-time Tweets and drum up excitement for its all-day breakfast offering.

Originally published by Media in Canada on March 8, 2017 By Bree Rody-Mantha

For anyone who has ever craved an Egg McMuffin at 3 p.m., McDonald’s Canada wants you to know it’s possible.

The fast food chain officially rolled out all-day breakfast nationwide on Feb. 21 after a short testing period — and on March 7, it promoted the new option through a massive digital billboard at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square (where there are no less than 13 McDonald’s locations within a 1 km radius). Rather than feature traditional static images or videos, the billboard instead displayed a dashboard of real-time Tweets using the #AllDayBreakfast hashtag.

The billboard went live at 11:01 a.m. yeaterday, one minute after breakfast would normally stop being served at McDonald’s. It was a joint effort between McDonald’s Canada, Twitter Canada, media buying agency OMD, outdoor advertising company Clear Channel Canada and data analytics/digital signage company Dive Networks.

“We needed a way to show that all-day breakfast was very huge,” Robert Nolan, digital supervisor with OMD, told MiC. After the idea of doing a promoted hashtag on Twitter was brought up numerous times, OMD connected McDonald’s with Twitter Canada to see what else could be done to make it bigger.

Twitter had already worked with Clear Channel and Dive Networks to bring tweets onto a digital display at BMO Field at this year’s Grey Cup, and Laura Pearce, head of B2B marketing at Twitter told MiC this campaign was a good opportunity to bring the technology into a more public space. On top of the billboard Twitter also created a custom McDonald’s breakfast emoji which would generate whenever any user penned the #AllDayBreakfast hashtag.

The activation, said Nolan, helped to expand the campaign beyond just a digital screen. “It will show how many people were excited about it,” he said.

But the event also worked twofold, said Pearce, promoting more active use of Twitter.

“In many ways, it was a product demo for us [Twitter],” said Pearce. “We’re obviously looking to drive volume of Tweets, we’re looking to drive intent to use Twitter and exposure to it.”

The one-day event also included a national Snapchat geofilter, while the broader all-day breakfast campaign will include out-of-home, digital advertising and promoted social media and last until the end of April.

Twitter and DIVE partner for Grey Cup

The partners worked on an in-game display unique to the game.

Originally published by Media in Canada on November 28, 2016 by Val Maloney

In-game tweets during yesterday’s Grey Cup in Toronto had a different look thanks to a partnership with digital media company DIVE Networks.

The pair partnered on an execution that displayed live tweets that used the hashtag #GreyCup as well as updates from @CFL, @REDBLACKS and @calstampeders on an in-stadium display at BMO Field.

The execution marked the first time the company’s had partnered on an in-game display, with Laura Pearce, head of consumer marketing at Twitter Canada, saying there are more projects between the two in the works.

Twitter Canada has been a longtime partner of the CFL and Grey Cup, extending its activations this year to include things like a custom emoji for the game. Tweets around the CFL playoffs and Grey Cup are always the peak of activity around the league on the social media platform, according to numbers from the social media co.

DIVE featured as key trend

Streamlined News Networks

DIVE Simplifies Relevant Information for Companies So They Don't Have to

By: Riley von Niessen - Oct 13, 2016


DIVE, a company that's based in both Toronto and Chicago, works with organizations and businesses to create real-time news networks.

Founded by Deborah Hall, a creative with broad experience in technology, including social media and mobile marketing, came up with DIVE as a means to ensure that her client's data would be more enlightening and captivating to those it employs.

In short, DIVE generates a report that streamlines relevant news regarding competing brands, organizations and more so that its clients can more efficiently find ways to standout amongst them.

In order to do this, DIVE takes the information it's garnered from working with a global range of Fortune 500 brands, which are constantly updating to keep their name at the top of the pyramid.

Taking this, DIVE has made itself into the first "data-driven Media Ecosystem," helping its clients to engage audiences by utilizing insightful information that's processed in a contextualized and simplified fashion, leading to entertaining content that's proven to produce positive results.

Metabridge Announces Top 15 Tech Startups Selected to Connect with Silicon Valley VIP's

Kelowna B.C May 5th, 2016 - Talent, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit are energizing the technology ecosystem across Canada. According to independent technology analyst Carmi Levy, “All of the ingredients are there for Canada to be a tech powerhouse.” Unfortunately, many promising startups lack the funding needed to drive their companies forward. Non-profit organization Metabridge is changing that by connecting technology startups to Silicon Valley investors.

On June 9th - 10th, fifteen of the best and brightest technology startups will congregate at an exclusive lakeside retreat in Kelowna, where they will be given the opportunity to meet with VCs and serial entrepreneurs from leading companies such as Google, AngelList and Omers Ventures. Investment opportunities, strategic partnerships and mentorship from leading tech entrepreneurs help the startups take their business to the next level, and it’s building Canada’s technology sector into the country’s fastest growing industry.

The competition is stiff, but the rewards have been huge for previous winners encouraging more tech startups to apply said Executive Director, Sehra Bremner, "We had an overwhelming response to Metabridge this year. 109 companies applied, which is more than ever before. We are really pleased with the strength of all the companies that took the time to apply”.

This year Metabridge has expanded its reach to establish Canada as a leader in supporting tech industries. The fifteen participants are based in cities across Canada and also include a start-up from Kenya. "Although we had startups apply from across Canada and other countries, this is the first time an international startup has made it to the final 15. We are excited to host our national tech retreat in Kelowna and to showcase these amazing companies and entrepreneurs by facilitating meaningful connections for them," said Steve Wandler, Metabridge Founder.

The Metabridge 2016 Top 15 Startup companies are:

Brightsquid (Alberta)
Chalk (Ontario)
Communitysift (British Columbia)
Dive (Ontario)
Drop Loyalty Inc. (Ontario)
Flytographer (British Columbia)
Lynk Jobs Ltd. (Kenya)
Nobal Technologies (Alberta)
Open Channel (Ontario)
RentMoola (British Columbia)
RingPartner Inc. (British Columbia)
SilkStart (British Columbia)
TalentClick (British Columbia)
Tapplock (Ontario)
Turnstyle (Ontario)
Metabridge 2016 Sponsors: Accelerate Okanagan, BCIC, IBM, GoodSIR, Vanedge Capital, Gowling WLG, DIRTT, Central Okanagan Economic Development Commision, iNovia Capital, CDMN, City of Kelowna, Lawson Lundell, Silicon Valley Bank, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, FreshGrade, Kitsch Wines, Interior Savings, and IHE School.

A teatime chat about women in tech at Toronto's SoHo House


Two silver tea pots crowded a tiny table between me and Deborah Hall as we tried to shake off the chill. Hall had arrived first and was already sipping from a china cup when I sat down and offered a colourful curse towards March’s last wintry blast. Ours were not the only winter coats hung over the chairs inside SoHo house – an upscale hangout for creatives and media types working in Toronto’s core.

I’d been looking forward to catching up with Hall, who had been an early comrade in Cannes when I was first sent to cover the Lions. She’d gotten us into yacht parties to which we were not invited where, sipping unbelievable scotches, she’d introduced me to keynote speakers she’d met while I was scribbling in the press room.

But more than a catch up, this tea time conversation took place in the days following Gustavo Martinez’s departure from JWT amid allegations he made sexist and racist remarks. It had made the entire industry pause to ask hard questions such as “where are all the women in leadership roles?” and I wanted Hall’s take on women in martech.

She has certainly had to deal with the Old Boys Club in her career. The first job that her mechanical engineering degree earned her was at one of the world’s largest computer component manufacturers, building those green, metal-studded boards in the guts of all our electronics.

“There were no women there,” she said. “Zero. And what freaked me the most was there were pinup girls on the walls. I didn’t acknowledge that. I just tried to pretend it was not a problem, that I could roll with it. I’m not sure that was the right way to go, but I remember dressing so conservatively. You don’t want to mess with it, right? You’re just happy to have a job.” But from there, where I think many would want to rail against those who passively create hostile workplaces, it becomes clear Hall sees this converstaion being about something more positive: mentorship.

“The best conversation we could have is about getting fewer barriers beyond the question, ‘How do I get a tech career going?’ Certainly a lot of women come to me and say that getting into tech seems so hard.”

It’s not surprising that young people seek Hall out. She is earnestly and unreservedly energized by this business and the ideas that could change it. It’s why she has been so successful with startups, which require that kind of tireless passion for what’s next. In 2010, she sold her own start­up, Web2Mobile, to Torstar Digital and then led that business until 2013. Dive Networks, which she cofounded with OneStop Media’s Michael Girgis after leaving Torstar, is her latest endeavour and has already built partnerships with several Fortune 500 companies. She’s currently out procuring funding for it. “I know we definitely have an equality issue for women in tech, and definitely for women raising money for tech companies. There needs to be more women starting tech ventures.”

Given that only 25-30% of engineering and computer science graduates in Canada are women, according to StatsCan, it will be a few years before any real difference will be made on that front. Dive needs people with very specific skills in new programming languages, making the prospect of hiring more women even tougher for Hall. Then again, Hall acknowledges that she’s flourished as a technologist even though many of her mentors came from traditional marketing backgrounds, like former Zenith Optimedia CEO Sunni Boot, whom she met when Publicis acquired Rare Medium (another startup she had joined). Whether that fact reveals to Hall that she—having worked at creative, technology and media companies of all sizes—is an ideal mentor for young women, I don’t know. But it certainly appears that way to me.

The Drinks: Tea (Earl Grey and English Breakfast), with milk and sugar

This article provided courtesy of Marketing Magazine
This story can be found at:­with­deborah­hall­173189.
Copyright © 1996­2016 by Rogers Media Inc. All rights reserved.

DIVE Networks teams up with Twitter, Waze & Foursquare to showcase global brands at CES in the OMD Oasis Lounge

New York, NY / Chicago, IL / Toronto, ON

Thursday, January 7th 2016: Last year, DIVE Networks launched at CES in partnership with OMD, Think with Google and LinkedIn and featured 29 Brand Channels. One year later, DIVE is back at CES showcasing 236 Brand Channels and has announced new partnerships with mobile data providers Waze, Twitter and Foursquare. These global data partners showcase specifically how brands like Under Armour, FedEx and Bacardi use curated data to make more informed, successful marketing decisions.

“By combining all of these leading edge technologies and data points - OMD showcases the best in class in partnership with the best data partners in the business - we are excited to showcase with our clients to kick off 2016” says Matthew Yorke, head of business development at OMD.

“At DIVE, we believe that every brand needs a brand channel. DIVE’s unique approach of broadcasting a brand’s information on TVs and mobile devices evolves how marketing teams view and digest real-time information. We are excited to continue to push the envelope of data-driven brand channels, transforming the real-time decision making environments for marketers” says Deborah Hall, CEO, DIVE Networks.

"We believe the places you go are the best indicator of who you are. Because we have the largest set of first party data, we are able to offer the most accurate and trusted location solutions,” says Andy Chapman, Head of Agency Development at Foursquare. "Our Pinpoint advertising solution provides an informed understanding of people’s movements in the physical world, enabling marketers to plan intelligently, reach the right audience and track real world results."

In 2016, channels like Twitter will continue to change the way marketing works - and their showcase in the OMD Oasis lounge shows how brands have participated throughout 2015.

"Waze builds meaningful relationships with our users by empowering them to share real-time road information and improve their daily drives. At CES we're illustrating this familiarity with user behavior via heatmap of tourist and local resident drives in Las Vegas. Understanding the context of each drive - where people are headed, and why - creates a tremendous opportunity for brands on Waze to engage with consumers in an unparalleled, relevant way.” says Dan Brough, Head of Agency Business Development at Waze.

About DIVE NetworksTM

DIVE is the real-time news network for Brands and Organizations. DIVE informs and inspires marketers with data-driven content about their company, customers and competitors. DIVE’s broadcast-as-a-service approach provides contextual and engaging content to digital TVs and touch screens in-offices and on the phones, tablets and personal computers of marketers.

Press Contact: Janey Lee | | 416-888-2588

About Foursquare

Powered by first-party data, Foursquare provides the most accurate and trusted location services, allowing brands/clients/users to uncover insights into why people go where they go, and discover new, unknown trends, all by using location.

About Waze

Waze is the world's largest community-based traffic and navigation app, allowing users to find the best route, every day, with real–time help from other drivers - That might mean helping them avoid the frustration of sitting in traffic, cluing them in to a police trap or shaving five minutes off of their regular commute by showing them new routes they never even knew about.

Canada takes four at Festival of Media

Originally published by Media in Canada on May 13, 2015 by Val Maloney

Canadian companies took home four accolades at this year’s Festival of Media, which wrapped yesterday in Rome.

DIVE Networks was one of 25 companies recognized as part of the Festival’s Emerge program, which showcases innovative new technology, with the aim of matching those businesses with senior decision-makers in global marketing and media. The data network was featured as a “radical content play,” and given a space in the Emerge zone at the Festival.

Canadian agencies also won three awards at last night’s Festival of Media Global Awards ceremony. Touché! took Gold in Best E-Commerce Campaign for replacing paper flyers for Sport Chek with targeted digital ads on Facebook. Products specifically mentioned in the social flyer saw sales lifts of 34%, with the company getting $2 back for every $1 it invested in the digital ads.

Touché! also took a Silver award in Best Content Creation for “We all Play for Canada.” The brief behind the campaign was to take on international competitors, like Walmart, by focusing on the history of Canadian Tire in Canada. The campaign included a documentary that aired on the CBC, syncing digital ads with TV spots and digital thank-you cards that Canadians could send to volunteers who helped them achieve greatness in sports.

Carat won Silver in Creative use of Media for its “The Sky” spot for Réno-Dépôt in Quebec. The winning spot was a billboard that featured a sensor that would detect the colour of the sky, plugging in the Sico paint colour that best matched it on the board in real-time. The spot was created with Sid Lee on creative and Astral Media as the vendor.

DIVE Networks brings Sid Lee on board

Originally published by Media in Canada on March 11, 2015 by Val Maloney

The recently rebranded DIVE Networks has found its first creative agency partner, announcing that Sid Lee has installed the company’s closed-circuit data visualization network in its Toronto office.

The data network aims to make real-time marketing intelligence accessible and even fun for agency staff, with DIVE Networks CEO Deborah Hall calling the system “Bloomberg for Brands.” The Dive Networks platform, which was first launched at CES, curates real-time data relevant to a brand and presents it as content on multiple digital displays so that an entire office, not just analysts, can follow along. Screens display content that is specific to each company or client, with data like key words that drove to a brand site, or most-engaging articles by audiences, curated from first-party data and data from partners like Instagram, YouTube, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Matt Di Paola, managing director of digital innovation at Sid Lee, says the agency has launched the partnership around its work with Unilever and its new older-skewing Axe White Label line. That data has been instrumental in building the launch campaign for the product, which will be focused on content like comedy, valued by the target demographic more than the traditional Black Label group, he says.

The DIVE Network data has also allowed Sid Lee to discover that the contest promotions Axe was running in the past weren’t actually reaching the demographic that was buying the product.

“We started talking about the DIVE platform because we have a number of clients in the retail space,” he says. “We are increasingly seeing clients getting data from a variety of different sources, and no one was really looking at it holistically. A lot of agencies measure fans and likes. But we want to know what success looks like.”

Di Paola says that Sid Lee is also installing the system at Unilever’s office, and will be rolling it out onto other client work in the coming months.

If You Want to Navigate Data’s Deep Waters, You Need a Dashboard

Originally published by GIGAOM on January 26, 2015

by Carla Cook

In countless movies that depict our future digital lives, larger-than-life dashboards loom, delivering whatever information you seek at the touch of a screen. Every data point is visually compelling, easily digestible, and able to convert into myriad formats. Microsoft took a stab at such a future years ago with Surface, a product that seems to have evolved into PixelSense but hasn’t seen much traction since. So, much like flying cars, where are the touchscreens encompassing entire walls?

A startup called DIVE, the latest entrant in the data visualization space, is taking a stab at this vision. The company launched at CES, with the aim of equipping Fortune 500 companies with interactive dashboards surfacing insights and trends in visually compelling graphics.

Intending to “change the way media is purchased,” according to Deb Hall, founder and CEO, Dive consolidates data sources for brands and turns them into eye-catching marketing intelligence that is “accessible, fun, and entertaining.” It’s all real-time and meant to help marketers not only digest trend data but turn it into actionable content marketing about their industry and competitors. This area is something that Buzzfeed Director of Data Science Ky Harlin might have a few things to say about at Structure Data in March in an interview with Gigaom founder Om Malik.


Say an ad agency based in Austin has a big pitch with Universal Music Group coming up. That agency can display all the area searches around UMG musicians, alongside trending hashtags, Spotify plays, and Facebook likes. Taking data from across the Web ensures trends and insights that aren’t confined to just one channel. Austinites love this particular song because they’re streaming it constantly on YouTube, for instance.


DIVE arrived at CES with some heavy hitters in tow. Its first content partner is Google’s online platform for marketers, Think with Google, with installations at agencies and brands. Pulling data from Google searches and YouTube, the DIVE platform will curate content and trends from Think with Google and deliver it in a visually compelling format. Leslee D’Antonio, Managing Editor of Think with Google called DIV “a unique and engaging way to distribute insights in real-time.” And in an onsite demonstration at CES, LinkedIn collaborated with Dive to show off ‘A Year in Review – 2014 Trending Topics and Articles’ alongside some of the world’s top brands, for OMD Worldwide.

Data visualization is an increasingly crowded space. It’s about as hot a market as you can find right now, one we write about often. Gravity is a key competitor to DIVE and they’re a formidable one, recently acquired by AOL. Gravity was also ranked first by Gigaom analysts in a 2013 Sector Roadmap report on content personalization. DIVE is also competing in the content marketing sector, which has gone from hot to overcrowded to a subject about which everyone professes expertise.

Self-funded, not yet profitable but earning revenue, DIVE sees 2015 as a big growth year, adding to its stable of both clients and employees. They also plan to build further on premium products, DIVE Desktop, Mobile, and Interactive.

The data scraping and coalescing is the easy part (like I can talk). The winner of the visualization battle will be the company with the best designers. The reason the category exists to begin with is because humans need eye candy to process, especially when it comes to correlating multiple factors. DIVE was smart in making a Creative Director one of its first hires and it shows in its product. If it keeps its focus on the visual, it could have a chance against AOL.

A 24-Hour TV Channel For Your Brand’: DIVE’s CEO Deb Hall

This article was originally published on Beet.TV on January 16, 2015.

By Robert Andrews on 01/16/2015 6:01 PM

LAS VEGAS — The more social networks across which brands attempt real-time marketing, the more channels they have to monitor for resonance. One Canadian startup, DIVE Networks, wants to help out with that.

“The landscape for brands is very complex. it’s so hard to keep up with real-time marketing,” CEO Deborah Hall, who previously founded mobile marketing company web2mobile, tells Beet.TV in this video interview.

“We do the work for marketers … bring leading insights from Google, Twitter, all of our partners, and then surface them for the brands.

“Imagine like a Bloomberg for brands – a 24-hour show about your brand. We allow brands and marketers to watch their data like they would watch a news program.”

She was interviewed for Beet.TV at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Beet.TV coverage of CES 2015 is sponsored by Adobe Primetime. Find all the coverage here.

The One Thing Marketers Need to Know About CES

by Paul Cowan

CES 2015 came and went with a tsunami of new companies who are trying to connect your home, make everything ‘smart’ or print you something in 3D. This really was a landmark year for proliferation, specifically the proliferation of companies who have jumped into the wearables and internet of things game.

This is the one thing you need to know as a marketer: You are going to be able to access even more data than they ever imagined. Yep, more data.

CES showed that the connected life is here to stay. Wearables are going to be tracking everyone’s health, muscle tone, and sleep patterns - connected devices are automating all aspects of people’s lives. This will resurrect the Big Data buzzword as the exponential growth of data accompanies the growth of ways to track it. Still, the marketing industry is barely keeping up with the ability to integrate social data and other unstructured sources, let alone know how to sort out the ways they want to analyze it.

The data that is going be collected, stored, and mined is massive. Wearable data alone can provide an intense look at people’s health and nutrition patterns, but connecting data sets and inferring other activities will help marketers amass a huge amount of empirical data on what customers are actually doing.

Take for instance a wearable device that has a Twitter account login: The company not only has all the nutrition, exercise and sleep patterns, but it can also look into that person’s Twitter profile, scape their posting activity and understand several other behaviours like their favourite brands, topics they post about, and general interests. This is pretty crazy. It provides marketers with a real one-to-one understanding of who their customers are beyond the purchase or transactional nature of the brand-to-customer relationship. Gone are the days of needing to conduct panels and focus groups. If marketers can't access data by finding ways for their customers to give it to them, they are doing something seriously wrong.

So the four-letter 'data’ word is still around. The new technologies that are encouraging consumers to track and create massive amounts of data on their own patterns is the next frontier of data mining. The smart marketers will think of how they can get their customers to give them access to it now.