The Peeps connection

A snapshot of the evening of Peeps Talk 02

Toronto—On the evening of Peeps Talk 02, a diverse group of marketing, communications, design, and education professionals came together at the Ivey ING Leadership Centre to hear three thought-leaders distill insights from their work. Our goal was to discuss different means of creating meaningful connections with consumers, but somewhere along the way another connection was made between the speakers, the audience, and organizers: the Peeps connection.


Right from the beginning of the event it was clear to us that it was going to be a special evening. Audience members began arriving for the reception promptly at 5 p.m., eager to meet our speakers and their fellow audience members, and happy to share their thoughts in our candid photography booth. When it was time to begin the Talk, the room was loud, full, and alive with engaging conversation and anticipation.


Peeps Talk alumnus Sam Maglio gave a stirring introduction, passing the floor to our first speaker with this memorable closer: “Now, let’s hear from Pankaj Aggarwal, to see what’s behind door No. 1.” Plans for a game show-style three-door Peeps Talk stage were immediately put into motion.


Dr. Pankaj Aggarwal spoke first, giving a rigorous and thought-provoking Talk on the development of relationships between brands and consumers. He focused on two types of relationships, communal and exchange, noting that, as we would expect in any relationship, there are norms that must be observed in order to maintain harmony in such relationships. Brand/consumer relationships are no different, and Dr. Aggarwal’s take-home message was that consumers will have expectations of your brand that reflect the type of relationships your brand wants to have with them. Meeting those expectations will keep consumers satisfied, whereas violating them will lead to dissatisfaction.


Gavin Johnston followed Dr. Aggarwal with a highly entertaining and equally enlightening Talk on the role of semiotics in marketing campaigns. There were many memorable moments in Gavin’s Talk, one of the first coming straight off the top: “In my world, everything has to do with language and symbolism. You may choose to reject that in the end… But you’d be wrong.” Our audience took away one resounding point from this talk: that symbols are powerful and, like any powerful element, can make or break your campaign depending on how they are used.



Finally, our charismatic ethnographic filmmaker took to the stage. Bruno Moynie began his Talk by announcing that he has wanted to be an ethnographer since he was 13 years old. As incredible as this may have seemed, Bruno’s passion and enthusiasm for his work was undeniable. His Talk featured three different ethnographic films, one of his own, and the other two works he admired and aspired to, all of which he engaged with in detail. “Subtle observations are where we find the big insights,” he told us, and after seeing the three examples, it was impossible to disagree.


When we were finally kicked out of our venue it was clear to us that the evening had been a great success. And while our speakers and audience members may have come from different fields, geographies, age groups, and interests, all are now connected by one thing: belonging to the Peeps community. We look forward to bringing it together again.

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TAGS /Aggarwal / Johnston / Maglio / Moynie / PeepsTalk /