My kids and I used to play this game every time we watch movies on TV. We try to spot the visual cues that would give away whether or not the flick was shot in Canada.

Nestor Arellano

Back then, it always seemed to amaze them that local cities like Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal could be used as stand-ins for cities like Seattle, New York or Paris.

Bleaching out the Canada from their metropolitan landscape may be profitable for some Canadian locales seeking Hollywood dollars, but marketing guru Terry O’Reilly, author of the book The Age of Persuasion, says the same strategy could backfire on businesses selling products and services.

“Every product has a story and when you tell that story in an engaging way that sets your product apart from others in the market and adds value to your product,” says O’Reilly.

Telling your company’s and product’s unique Canadian story, especially when marketing to fellow Canadians, can only boost your reputation and sales, he says.

“Toonies, Timmy’s, double-double… cultural shorthand we all understand,” according to O’Reilly.

This is not to say that businesses should go out of their way to write a Canadian story, but rather, they should not go out of their way to bleach the Canada out of their story.

O’Reilly explains further in the videos below:

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