Playing the stock market

From her delicate forelegs and onyx coat to her big brown eyes and expansive udder, Eastside Lewisdale Gold Missy is an admittedly attractive bovine. But is she worth $1.2-million? Morsan Farms in Alberta certainly thinks so. That’s who bought the comely cow at auction during the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto last November.

Missy was bred in Frenchfort, Prince Edward Island by Bloyce Thompson, owner of Eastside Holsteins. Thompson says that she’s currently the most valuable cow in the world, and one of the top “show cows” in North America. What makes her so exceptional? “This has nothing to do with milk,” says Thompson. “Good genetics are in demand around the world, and Missy has a unique blood line.”

He explains that genetics and blood lines are more complex and fascinating with breeding cows than with race horses. In Missy’s case, if she turns out to be as prolific an embryo producer as her mother, she can be expected to produce 170 embryos a year which will sell for $6,000 each. Which means that Missy’s new owners can expect to recoup their investment in about a year and a half.

Was he surprised at Missy’s selling price? Thompson says he and his business partner were anticipating that she’d sell for $500,000, so they were shocked when bidding went over a million. “We were at the auction. We sat behind the runner-up bidder, he was from England. He was willing to go higher, but his wife stopped him at $1.15-million.”

Missy’s $1.2-million price tag is the second-highest amount ever paid for a cow at auction in Canada. The highest price ever paid was $1.5-million, back in the ‘80s.

Travel Trivia

The following table shows the top three U.S. destinations for four Atlantic Canadian cities (inbound/outbound travel total) in 2008, as tabulated by Statistics Canada. Halifax Regional Municipality, with 1.6 times the population of Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula, has approximately three times the traffic volume of St. John’s International Airport (SJIA). A similar statistic appears between St. John’s and Moncton. The Greater Avalon population (which feeds into the SJIA) is approximately double that of Greater Moncton, and SJIA’s air traffic volume is triple that of Moncton’s airport. It’ll be curious to see what this chart looks like after this year’s recessionary figures are factored in.

City Destination Outbound Inbound Total % Change over 2007
Charlottetown, PEI New York, New York 2,220 2,270 4,490 42%
Boston, Massachusetts 1,900 1,860 3,760 -20%
Orlando, Florida 1,190 1,150 2,340 34%
Moncton, NB Orlando, Florida 2,930 3210 6,140 4%
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 1,820 1,900 3,720 35%
Las Vegas, Nevada 1,490 1,640 3,130 -4%
Halifax, NS New York, New York 20,040 20,500 40,540 -1%
Orlando, Florida 18,280 18,210 36,490 29%
Boston, Massachusetts 17,740 17,460 35,200 -2%
St. John’s, NL Orlando, Florida 7,260 7,380 14,640 51%
Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida 6,670 6,870 13,540 40%
New York, New York 4,610 5,280 9,890 90%
Downtown Moves Up

At a meeting in Moncton on December 3, the Downtown Business Improvement Associations of Atlantic Canada signed an MOU to form a new organization: Downtowns Atlantic Canada (DAC). The alliance is intended to: “…work to improve the positioning (of) Downtown Business Improvement Areas as unique, diverse, vibrant and economically healthy urban cores.” Though their official release describes their concept as a “self-help approach”, the founders see increased partnerships with all levels of government as essential to achieving growth, investment and downtown revitalization in their respective urban cores.

DAC founding member Daniel Allain of Downtown Moncton Centre-ville Inc. explains the apparent discrepancy: “BIAs (business improvement associations) work at a micro level. We are funded by our members – who are business owners. And we work for our members. The problem is that BIAs are not recognized by governments as economic development agencies. Which means we can’t access programs that are available through ACOA and other sources. We’re not looking for operational funding. All we want is to be recognized so we can develop a working relationship with them. Our message to government is that BIAs have been here for 30 years, and we work. Use us!”

DAC’s proposed pan-Atlantic effort will promote an urban strategy which identifies challenges such as an ageing population, business retention, urban sprawl, residential and urban planning, economic development, tourism, and heritage and culture. The ambitious fledgling organization also aims to address challenges around social issues such as housing, homelessness, urban poverty, addiction and crime.

Betting on a Loser

He’s rude. Crude. Quite often lewd. Yet Jonze, an obnoxious and perpetually partying cartoon character, is the face of the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation’s social responsibility campaign. Jonze’s booze-fuelled exploits, and the resulting humiliations, are an overt example of the dangers associated with binge drinking. Though the character is make believe, the situations in which he finds himself are all too familiar to the campaign’s intended young adult audience.

Designed by boutique brand agency Revolve, the gutsy campaign was the only Atlantic Canadian entrant to win Gold at the 39th annual Canadian Marketing Association Awards. It was also the third year in a row that NSLC has won the prestigious award.

Not every organization has the courage to invest in such unorthodox marketing. Why does NSLC do it? Because it works, says Rick Perkins, VP, Communications & Corporate Responsibility for Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation. “NSLC social responsibility campaigns continue to be effective campaigns with the use of edgy creative that is humorous.  Combined with advertising techniques best suited to the target audience (university students) and a desire to get through the clutter of marketing messages we all receive, it is a testament to the success of these campaigns that the CMA continues to recognize our work as the best in Canada.”

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