Queen's University

Queen's University experts comment on the holidays


Business, law, technology, social media and culture experts from Queen’s University are available to discuss topics related to the holiday season. Stay tuned throughout the week as more experts will be added each day.

Keith McWhirter (Associate Director, ITServices)

Manager of Campus Computer Sales and Service at Queen’s, Keith McWhirter, is available to comment on holiday technology trends for 2013 and how these current trends show how many consumers are leaning more toward cloud technology.

Mr. McWhirter highlights the Samsung Galaxy 4, Microsoft’s XBOX One, and the iPad Air and iPad Mini Retina as hot sellers for this holiday season.

“Samsung Galaxy 4 is Samsung’s newest flagship phone that is leading the pack of Android devices and continues to sit neck and neck with the iPhone 5S. There are lots of comparisons and biases with these devices, it’s best to test out in store and see for yourself,” says Mr. McWhirter. “When it comes to gaming, Microsoft’s XBOX One is an “all in one” game changer that combines a Kinect motion sensor, live TV, Blu-ray, music, browsing and more. However, you probably won’t be able to find one until January 2014.”

“The hottest items of the season are the iPad Air and iPad Mini Retina. The speed, functionality and display quality of this new generation of tablets further blurs the lines between a tablet and a laptop. They have always been laptop contenders, but the scales may have finally tipped in their favour as being true replacements for home computers. All of these devices demonstrate that whether we are communicating, working or playing the cloud is where we are all headed. See you there!”

Tandy Thomas (School of Business)

Marketing expert Tandy Thomas is able to comment on holiday-specific marketing techniques and how some companies and brands become embedded in the holiday experience.

“Embedded in our holiday celebrations with friends and families are several brands and companies that have become entwined with the holiday experience. Some companies, like Coke, have provided us with iconic images of Santa, while other companies have special holiday offerings that have become entwined with consumer’s views of the season. Starbucks and their red cups is one such example,” says Dr. Thomas.

“Still, other companies have built hugely popular rituals around their products, with the Elf on the Shelf craze being a notable example. In short, what we have is a festive season that is just as much about brands and marketing as it is about celebrating the holidays.”

More experts

Laurence Ashworth (School of Business)

Consumer behaviour expert Laurence Ashworth is available to comment on the motives and mechanisms involved in choosing, giving, and receiving gifts.

“The holidays are a fascinating time from a consumer behaviour perspective. Consumers are purchasing more than at any other time of year, but they are doing so primarily for others,” says Dr. Ashworth.

Please note that Dr. Ashworth is only available until December 13th.

Nick Bala (Law)

Family law expert Nick Bala can discuss issues associated with custody, access and parenting arrangements at this time of year.

According to Professor Bala, the parents in front of a judge are those who have the most difficulty cooperating; questions may be asked whether they are thinking more about their children or themselves?

To arrange an interview, or find more experts please contact Rosie Hales at 613-533-6000 ext. 77513 or rosie.hales@queensu.ca or Anne Craig at 613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca.

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Last updated at 4:16 pm EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
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