Toronto’s PanAmDemonium!

Baboon scratching head

If no one understands your message — does the marketing really matter?

Know what I’m talking about right off the top?

Live in/near Toronto?

The Pan Am Games, of course!

For about two years now — I’ve heard rumors here and there about the arrival of the Pan Am Games in the great city of Toronto.

From the beginning I was pretty excited — mostly because we would have to build  long-needed infrastructure to get people from the airport to downtown Toronto via some sort of public transit system — and most likely a train.

Having traveled a fair amount — Toronto is about the only city I know of — that didn’t offer this convenience. Well — it actually does now — so THANK YOU Pan Am Games!

Anyway- the next thing I noticed about the Pan Am Games was the reduction in highway lanes. What used to be a three lane highway, became a two lane highway with a High Occupancy Lane — vehicles with three passengers or more. (We had the HOV lanes for a while — but in smaller sections of the highway and two passenger requirements). The three passenger requirement is heavily enforced by our Police Department — which helps to make the traffic even slower as there are numerous cars and police cars on the sides of the highways.

The final thing I noticed about the Pan Am Games is that I do not know a single thing about them.

I haven’t heard a radio commercial.

I have not seen a sign.

I have no idea what they are about.

I don’t know where they are.
I don’t know ‘why’ they are.

Aren’t the Pan Am Games — second only to the Olympics? Shouldn’t we be clamoring to get tickets? Last report I heard was that the ticket sales are only at 57%.

But no other news than that.

All I know — is for about three weeks — I am confined to the corridor surrounding my house and office because the roadways have become a disaster.

Last week I took a chance and drove into the city. What is normally a 45 minute trip took an hour and 45 minutes. The lane for HOV was completely empty and the two open lanes were backed up as far as you could see and for a very long time.

In addition to my total frustration over the poor planning around getting from A to B — I’m intrigued by the lack of information across the board. I’ve done my own survey with people around me and their experience and lack of knowledge -– is the same as mine.

Having worked in marketing for almost 30 years now — I have to ask: If no one understands your message — does the marketing really matter?

I think not.


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