23 August 2011

The Decision To Immigrate To Canada 2

A quick recap from my previous post regarding The Decision To Emigrate To Canada. I landed in April of 2011 which is the terminology used for a person who has successfully entered Canada as a permanent resident. I have been here four months now and I have found work, it is part time work but I am happy with what I have been offered. It is an excellent opportunity and has the potential to become more permanent in the future I think. I am thankful for this opportunity, I really am! However this is not strictly why I am writing this post.

The main reason for this post is that I believe here in Canada there are some companies that are uneducated with regards to what the permanent resident status actually means. For employers who maybe looking to hire a person who has permanent resident status and is reading this, may I direct you to the following link: About being a permanent resident of Canada. Further more a permanent resident has the option to become a Canadian citizen if the person in question has been living in Canada for at least 3 years.

Some people maybe thinking 'hang on Liam you have been in Canada for only four months and you have been employed.' Yes I know and again I stress that I am grateful for the opportunity. But I have evidence that maybe coincidental to support my thoughts on this.

In the months that I have been applying for various positions here in Canada I have changed the wording on my website and resume to slowly remove most references that suggest that I am originally from the UK. My cover letters for job openings changed from stating that I am originally from the UK to practically no reference that I am from the UK. Was it stupid of me to think companies may actually find that a person from a different country with different cultures, different approaches to design, art, creativity may actually be of interest? Perhaps even an interview or a meeting to talk and chat about possibilities? Was it really that stupid of me to think so positively about what I can offer a company with my experience in a different culture and country? Or is there something else going on here that is embroiled within some political issue? I am referring to illegal immigration!

Take a look at this article I found this doing a quick search on the web regarding Canadian immigration  which was written less than two weeks ago as of the time I post this. To be honest I actually see this situation getting worse for new people granted permanent residence in Canada. Since my initial application I have seen the immigration application process change, as of right now today if I were to apply I would probably be rejected.

But let me just bring this back to my own personal experience thus far regarding finding work here as a new permanent resident. I believe that companies receive lots of resume's and applications for employment opportunities in my field such as web design, graphic design, creative roles etc. Maybe one look at an opening line from a cover letter that states, 'I have recently moved from the UK to Canada on a permanent resident status' just smells of hassle and trouble. And maybe there is a mentality in certain cases that a person asks themselves 'why should we give an opportunity to a foreigner when we have locals here looking for work too?' I can understand this feeling and outlook because coming from the UK there are similar feelings towards Eastern European's coming to the UK looking for work. This is a whole other area that I could talk about but it has no bearing on what this blog is about. The main difference between the UK situation and the Canadian situation regarding immigration is that countries that are part of the European Union (EU) are allowed by European law to live and work anywhere within the EU.

Before anyone reads this and says that I am missing all other UK immigration issues in the UK, I know, I am just making a point.

I have also spoke to Canadian citizens on this topic and generally they are not aware that there is such a problem, but why would they? They are not in my situation. They are not the one's who have been slowly taking any reference to the fact that I am from the UK out of any professional correspondence regarding employment opportunities. Generally when I ask Canadian's about getting work here they all seem to encourage me and wish me well. So maybe it is just a case of educating employers with what a permanent resident can and can't do here in Canada.

To wrap this up for now my advice to anyone who is a NEW permanent resident here in Canada like myself and looking for employment would be to take as much reference out of your correspondence regarding your country of origins. I read this back and it kind of sickens me that I am suggesting this, but I have had more luck since taking this action myself.

To potential employers, I would consider diversity in the workplace and perhaps not shoot applications down so quick without first understanding the legality of what a Permanent Resident status means. Of course this does not apply to every company in Canada, in fact certain government jobs actually have a quota they have to take on. Call me pessimistic here but doesn't it seem convinient that government agencies have a quota for taking on minorities and immigrants and it is the government that sets immigration targets? I don't believe there is such an innitiative in the private sector, perhaps there should be.

This blog actually got longer than anticipated and I certainly don't want to suggest that I have experienced any negativity with regards to my UK origins here in Canada. For myself I would just like to bring awareness as to what a Permanent Resident status actually means here in Canada mainly to companies that may not have actually looked into it.

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3 August 2011

Subliminal Cultural Advertising by McDonalds

OK, I have been meaning to post this for a while now but I couldn't find the appropriate sources in order to make my point! Now that I have found the sources it appears I am not the only one who has noticed what I am suggesting here. Lets start with this and take a listen to the new McDonalds television advert to promote their Mango Pineapple product. Not sure if this ad is just for Canada or if it is in any other countries but I would be interested to know if this is shown anywhere else in the world right now so please leave a comment. Now lets have a listen to this advert:-

The imagery is not that important for my point to be made here, but the question I have is does the soundtrack sound familiar to you at all? Perhaps not! If it doesn't not to worry, this means that generally McDonalds were not trying to target you in this particular marketing campaign. Now lets have a listen to this song:-

This song is by Martin Solveig & Dragonette entitled 'Hello' releases early to mid 2011 depending on where in the world you are. It is interesting to note here that the vocals used are from the electro pop band Dragonette who are from Canada. Again, leave a comment if this advert is seen in other countries please because if this is targeted just for the Canadian market then the use of a Canadian band vocals is even more cunning on behalf of McDonalds.

At first I thought I was going mad and maybe my djing ears were making a jump here, but at 01.00mins into the song, just after the lyric 'hello' is used, is it me or does the McDonalds advert and the Solveig tune have some very apparent similarities? I ask the question if when you first heard the McDonalds advert above and didn't notice any similarities, can you hear them now? The reason you may not have recognized any similarities first time round was because McDonalds aren't trying to target you in this advert, instead they are trying to target in my opinion a teenager perhaps 13 or 14 years old all the way up to someone around the age of late 30's maybe early 40's depending on the persons lifestyle and interests. These people probably listen to the major radio stations to and from work in their car that utilizes a mixture of general chat and popular music. Maybe a majority of these people also like to go out of a weekend to dance clubs drinking cocktails, tall fruity mixers, bottled beer and coolers! [Read my post on bottled beer here] This target audience probably is a Tim Hortons drinker rather than a Starbucks drinker, have an understanding of global environmental issues and probably for that reason doesn't drive a truck but opts for a smaller saloon car, occasionally may use public transport. These are generalizations of course and it doesn't mean that you will fit into all of these catagories.

This is what I would consider subliminal cultural advertising, it is also no mistake that the McDonalds advert uses the words 'say hello' as the first spoken words in this advert that directly invokes a cultural response to the Solveig tune again.

When you ask a person does advertising work? The usual response is no, when asked a little further as to why they think advertising doesn't work the usual reply is because when they see an advert on television it doesn't make them immediately go out and buy that product or service etc. But alas, not all advertising is telling you to go out and buy a product, some do of course but in the case of the larger corporate companies, coca cola, pepsi, budweiser or McDonalds in this case tend to use a different approach. These companies use association methods and the example I give here with the Solveig song is just one. If you like that song, what it stands for, perhaps it recalls a fond memory out in a club somewhere, patriotism, love whatever it is McDonalds want you to see their product in the same way. Of course this can also work in a negative way, but the choice of song is a careful consideration these companies make. After all this song was hardly out of the top 20 most sold list in many countries across the world. Take a look at what Wikipedia says about it here.

Advertising works on many levels and it is naive of us to say it doesn't work just because we don't go out and buy the product, association is one of the biggest weapons advertising use on us, if we associate their products with something that naturally doesn't exist with that product then it has succeeded. There are many examples of this and maybe I may post a few more blogs about this in the future, but for now I ask the simple question again. Do these songs sound strangely similar?

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