Saturday, December 19, 2009

Needs vs Wants

An interesting read from my Mediapost email inbox:

"Pay Per View" Means What Americans Want To Watch
According to a new Synovate study on which media are the most effective in targeting Americans and their daily media habits, Americans can't live without the internet, want to see advertisements that are innovative, and are open to new technologies that monitor their media usage if privacy is maintained.

Steve Garton, Executive Director of Synovate's media research group, said, "... understanding the media channels that are important in consumers' everyday lives, marketers can derive valuable insights on where consumers are the most receptive to marketing communications."

The cell phone has become an increasingly prevalent channel for Americans to receive news and information, and the rise in smart phones has increased mobile marketing and advertising efforts. 35% percent of people in the US say they cannot live without their cell phones, but as their use of mobile devices has grown, their attitude towards increased mobile marketing is still a bit hesitant. 39% of Americans feel the amount of ads they see now are sufficient, while 54% say they would not accept more ads via their mobile devices even if paid to do so.

58% of Americans say they can't live without the Internet, the highest response across all 11 markets surveyed. However, even though 56% of people in the US say there are too many ads on the Internet, and 41% say they avoid websites with intrusive ads more often than they did a year ago, 52% are open to seeing more ads on the Internet if paid to do so.

Only 5% of Americans said they could easily live without TV, while 34% said they can't live without it. Across all markets surveyed, people, 68% globally and 71% of Americans think there are too many ads on TV. The report suggests that this may be why 48% of people globally and 44% in the US say they skip ads more often than they did a year ago, by either turning down the TV, changing the channel or fast forwarding through commercials.

However, 52% of Americans also say they'd be willing to watch the ads if paid to watch them, such as through money off their cable bill. The US was the second highest market globally that said this, after Spain at 57%.

Americans show less use of social media to promote a brand or ad compared to the rest of the globe, says the study. 13% of people globally, and 8% of Americans, say they are discussing ads with their friends more than they did a year ago, while 11% globally and 8% of Americans are searching more for ads online on the social network.

68% of people globally, and 63% of Americans, say they have never promoted a brand on their social networking page, though 9% of Americans say they are doing this more often compared to a year ago. The number of people following brands on Twitter remains low, with only 5% of people globally and 4% of Americans saying they've done this.

In responding to the question "In thinking about the ads you enjoy the most, which characteristic is most common in these ads?" the variations of responses to this question are enlightening, says the report:

  • Ads that are Innovative / Unique are most well-received, with more than one in five (21%) of people globally and in the US liking them
  • Spontaneous / Playful (the second most admired attribute), liked by 16% of people around the globe and 17% in the US
  • Optimistic / Happy Straightforward (third most admired), with 14% liking this globally and 12% in the US

Garton said, "... the most popular ads tap into this need of fun and light-heartedness. People are down and bored with the negative news... and want something upbeat to lift their spirits."

With regard for the potential for behavioral marketing, respondents were asked, "How would you feel if websites and TV channels developed technology that monitored what you use and watch so they would only show ads on brands and products they thought would interest you?"

  • 26% globally, and 32% of Americans, say they would like this technology if none of the data could identify them
  • An additional 35% of Americans aren't convinced they couldn't be individually identified, so they aren't interested in this technology at all
For more information from Synovate, please visit them here

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More Google Goodies

From one of the agencies I work with:

Tech Tip: Use Google Trends to Gain Valuable Insights for Free

Dec. 11, 2009

Nathan DeSelm
Written by:
Nathan DeSelm

Google has just released their year-end review of search trends, which they call Google Zeitgeist. It’s mostly interesting from a personal perspective to see the stories and people that were big in 2009. However, I think it can also be useful for marketing professionals.

Reviewing this list will give you an idea of the topics that are top-of-mind for your audience. This can help you sculpt your marketing messages to better reach your target market. While the Google Zeitgeist is a compilation of 2009 trends and information, Google actually provides much more comprehensive information on their Google Trends site. If you haven’t played around with this, you really should.

The most basic way to use this tool is to get an idea about the popularity of any search term over time. For instance, the following graph shows the search volume for “obama”. To the right are example news stories that may help explain the spikes in the graph. The bottom graph shows the number of news stories about the topic.

Google Trends for Obama

This type of search can be helpful to get an idea of how a topic is trending over time. However, where things really get interesting is when you start comparing different search terms by separating them with commas. For instance, below is the search traffic for “mcdonalds”, “burger king” and “starbucks” compared over the last 12 months in the state of Indiana.

Google Trends comparing McDonalds, Burger King and Starbucks

You could use this sort of search for competitive purposes if your company is large enough to show up. However, even small businesses can find useful information. For example, as a marketer you might compare something important to your own marketing plans or interests like the relative popularity of social media sites.

Google Trends comparing social networking sites

One interesting thing to notice is the major disconnect between the search popularity and the news story popularity. Twitter gets a lot of news coverage, but has very little relative search volume compared to the others. It’s also interesting to see the decline of MySpace and the ridiculous rise of Facebook.

This kind of competitive company comparison is one way to use Google Trends, but you can also compare topics. For instance, what if I wanted to know what people search for when they are looking for a company like Villing & Company?

Google Trends comparing agency searches

This chart shows that people search for “advertising agency” much more than any of the other marketing-related agency searches. So what does that mean? On one hand, it might be better to call ourselves by the name that is top-of-mind for most people. This would seem to provide the best opportunity to show up for the most popular searches. On the other hand, one could make the case for building awareness using a relatively UNpopular term. That way, people searching for that term based on our actual messages will be more likely to find us. It all depends on one’s strategy.

Obviously, this information shouldn’t be used indiscriminately when making critical business decisions, but it can be a useful tool for a quick comparison of the top-of-mind popularity between two or more terms. Plus, since the information can be filtered by country, state and time period, it can provide very specific and useful information about local trends.

If you enjoyed this article or would like to receive your own personal "subscription" to Villing & Company’s News & Views, click here to get free updates by e-mail or RSS.

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Best of 2009...

From the THINKing Blog:

Top Content 2009 Edition

Posted: 18 Dec 2009 09:31 AM PST

In case you missed some of our most read content this year, below is a sample of the top posts of 2009. Is your favorite here?

Twittering Journalists

Customer Retention Strategies

When Billboards Go Bad

Twitter: Time Waster Or Cool Tool?

Branding Lessons From Santa

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Early Birds

Not everyone is aware of this sales tip, from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Get An Early Start

Many decision-makers get to the office early before strategic gate-keepers are in place.

They might just pick up their phone or answer the door if a salesperson calls early. They also have more time to listen to a sales presentation before the constant interruptions that may occur later in the day.

Source: Adapted from Selling When No One is Buying, by sales consultant Stephan Schiffman

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

On my way to a Christmas party, while you click & read:

by Aaron Baar
"With the economy being down, a lot of people are staying at home and renting movies and popping popcorn because popcorn is a relatively inexpensive snack," Linda Segre, senior vice president of corporate and strategic communications for the company, tells Marketing Daily. "The category had been declining up until a year ago, and it's really been growing again." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
In addition, the venues and types of marketing covered are being expanded to include video and computer games rated "EC" or early childhood; other video games that are age-graded on the label as being primarily child-directed, and cell phone and word-of-mouth advertising that is primarily directed to children under 12. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
The music videos, from artists in genres like metal, hip-hop, electro and new-disco, were produced by Scion and will be distributed via iTunes, and Scion's social media channels including Scion's just-launched lifestyle web site The videos will also be on Vimeo and other video sites and promotional DVDs. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
"The types of non-voluntary [advertising] restrictions currently being advocated" -- including restricting ads to "tombstone" formats -- "are both unconstitutional and will do real harm to children by unnecessarily restricting truthful and non-deceptive food advertising," contends Dan Jaffe, EVP at the ANA. "The government can protect children and effectively combat childhood obesity without trampling on the First Amendment." ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
A new survey from American Express reports that many people will reward themselves for paring back on gifts with what it calls "party driven" spending. Some 69% plan to celebrate with friends or family, and 45% plan to attend parties. And 90% plan to make purchases for the occasion. Affluent people will spend $750, for example, and young professionals $470, on food, spirits and other festivities. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
Woods needs to be on his best behavior for the next few years. "Make things right with your wife -- even if she's your ex-wife. Grow up. Be a better father," says The Marketing Arm's Chris Anderson. "Finally, get back on the course and win some tournaments. Nothing will make people forget about this mess faster than if you win. Look at Kobe. Sorry, Tiger, no quick fixes here." ... Read the whole story > >
Sony, Real D Ink 3-D Agreement

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The How & Why You Should Advertise to the Hispanic Market

When I read this story from Mediapost, I got excited.

For the past year, along with my working for three Fort Wayne radio stations, I've been doing some work with the local Hispanic newspaper. Click here to go to my website and on the left side of the page, there are links to all of the media I work with.

In the meantime, read this:

It's The Allocation, Stupid

We sometimes don't realize the obvious until someone points it out, as James Carville famously did during the 1992 presidential election, saying, "It's the economy, stupid." This is often the case with budgeting for Hispanic marketing.

Have you said any of these lines or one similar following a pitch by an agency or Spanish-language media executive?

"I don't have a Hispanic marketing budget."

"Marketing to Hispanics isn't in our plan."

"Call me in a few months to see if we have any budget left to do Hispanic marketing."

"We'll try to include Hispanic marketing budgets in next year's budget"

If so, then please allow me to point out the obvious: You do have a Hispanic marketing budget; you may just be spending it in the wrong places. The question comes down to proper allocation of marketing budgets based on your current and future customer base.

To allocate budgets properly, however, requires an honest look at and understanding of who your actual customer is today and who it will be in the future. Again, sounds obvious, right? Yet, many marketers don't know -- or perhaps don't want to know -- and often resort to going by who their customer was yesterday to make budget allocation decisions for today and for tomorrow.

I'm reminded of an indoor water park I pitched in the past whose marketing director said they weren't budgeting for Hispanics because, "Hispanics aren't our target market." Pressed a bit further on who is the target, the marketing person indicated it was families within a 40-mile radius of their location, an area that includes five of the state's largest cities, each with at least 30% Hispanic populations, and some as high as 45%. Not to mention the fact Hispanics have larger families than any other demographic in that area and are 10 years younger on average. So, in essence, they're content to spend 100% of their marketing budget trying to target an older population that has smaller families.

Here are some practical tips to ensure you're maximizing your marketing budgets:

1.Allocate proportional to your customer base, not a census number. If you spend 15% on the Hispanic market because Uncle Sam says that's the percentage of Hispanics there are in the U.S., the good news is you are probably ahead of your competitors. The bad news is you are likely not maximizing your reach.

2.Test market. If you're not ready to take a full plunge, try testing a Hispanic marketing program in one geographical area or across one product line.

3.But, dip more than your toe in the water. If you do decide to test market, invest properly and do a legitimate test. Don't do one or two small or short-term activities and then blame the market for a lack of response.

4.Research the cost of Spanish-language marketing. You might be pleasantly surprised at the reach and frequency you can obtain, not to mention ROI, through the Spanish-language media at a fraction of the cost of the general market media.

5.Yes, you are likely reaching some of us via general market, but don't waste the opportunity. While research is clear that Hispanics respond at a high rate to Spanish-language commercials and place affinity on those brands that cater to us, many Hispanics do consume general market media. However, don't assume your message is connecting with us just because we saw your spot. Even in English, commercials need to be culturally relevant and appeal to Hispanics in ways that may differ greatly than the general market. Why? Because marketing to Hispanic is not about appealing to a language preference, but rather it's about speaking our culture. There is a big difference between being bilingual and bi-cultural.

6.Go beyond topical spending. Some companies have budgets for Hispanic Heritage Month or are perhaps eyeing the 2010 World Cup, but tactical approaches will only yield you modest returns. This is a relationship-building demographic that is brand loyal where sustained approaches are most effective.

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Get Discovered on the Web with a Blog

One way to get attention from Google and have your business appear in a search, is with a blog that you keep up to date.
You don't need to so as many updates as I do on this blog, which is 3 to 4 a day, 7 days a week.

I would recommend at least once a week like I do on my other marketing blog

But you have to start! Take a look at this advice from MarketingProfs:

Five, Four, Three, Two, Gone

"You've decided to launch a blog for your business and you're busy laying the groundwork," says Mack Collier in an article at MarketingProfs. "You've selected a name for it, and you know what you want to blog about and who your bloggers will be."

In the midst of your big ideas, though, don't forget one important detail: You have no more than five seconds to tell new visitors who you are, what you do and how to make contact.

With this in mind, Collier argues for blogging must-haves like these:

  • An "About" page. Operate on the assumption that visitors don't know you from Adam. Also, "it's very possible that the first exposure someone has to your company will be via your blog, not your main website," he notes. "So you must clearly explain [who you are] on your blog."

  • Complete contact information. Collier recommends placing at least three forms of contact—ideally, your email address, phone number and physical address—in a prominent location. "Let's say you sell mountain bikes," he says, "and someone arrives at your blog after doing a Google search for a particular model, wanting to find out whether it's available yet." If she can't find a quick way to get an answer, she'll beat a quick path back to her search results—and do business with your competitors.

  • Headshots and bios. Avoid anonymous posts by an "Admin" or "The Team." When people can put a face and name to an author, they're more likely to connect with, and trust, your content.

The Po!nt: Get the conversation started with a blog that is immediately informative, helpful and approachable.

Source: MarketingProfs. Click here for the full article.

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Customers Are Not Your Best Source of Referrals

by Ivan Misner

If you're like most people, you may think your best source of referrals is your customer base. The reason people sometimes fall into this delusion is that they've been trained to believe it and have never pursued any other source of referrals. The only referrals they've ever received are from customers.

Don't get me wrong: Customers and clients can be a good source of referrals; we know that. However, the best sources in the long run are likely to be the people you refer business to. When you help another businessperson build his or her business, you're cultivating a long-term relationship with someone who's motivated to return the favor by bringing business to you, who's sharing your target market, and who will work systematically with you for mutual benefit.

With a well-developed referral network, you can realize more good referrals from one or two professional referral sources than from all your customers combined. Why? Because these professionals are better salespeople than your clients and they spend more time in contact with your target market. They know how to sell to your client base. They talk your talk. If you've done your job of educating and training them to refer business to you, they can communicate your value better to their contacts.

There's also a built-in problem with customers. If you're spending part of your time with a customer trying to get referrals, you're generating a conflict of interest. Instead of devoting all your time and attention to the customer's needs, you're diverting part of that effort toward your own self-interest. Customers may sense that they're not getting full value, and they may be right. You may be polluting customer service time with "gimme business" time.

Yes, you can expect to get referrals from a happy customer, but you'd better make darn sure the customer is indeed happy. This means keeping your attention, and your motivations, focused on the customer's needs when that is the purpose of the visit or call. However, there's nothing wrong with asking for another appointment specifically so you and your client can discuss how you can help each other.

Called the father of modern networking by CNN, Dr. Ivan Misner is a New York Times bestselling author. He is the Founder and Chairman of BNI, the world's largest business networking organization. His latest book, The 29% Solution, can be viewed at Dr. Misner is also the Sr. Partner for the Referral Institute, an international referral training company with operations around the world. He can be reached at

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Mediapost writes it, I post it, you read it:

by Tanya Irwin
Despite the ongoing sex saga involving Tiger Woods, AirTran's Christopher White says the airline is not concerned about signing celebrity endorsers. "We carefully select the athletes and celebrities we choose to associate ourselves with," White says. "Dwight Howard is one of the brightest stars in the NBA and is equally dedicated to the communities he grew up and now lives in." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
Jon Leibowitz says the FTC and other government agencies comprising the Interagency Working Group on Food Marketing to Children "continue to believe that the food industry and children's media are trying to effect positive change," but adds that companies "cannot simply congratulate themselves" on meeting self-regulatory pledges. "We need to be sure that the pledges are adequate," he says. ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
The program, which will feature profiles, performances and exclusive content from 20 performers, will be promoted through MTV Network of Web sites and digital properties, including social media platforms. "This taps into our consumers' passion points of music and entertainment," says Subway's Karie Ford. "Social media is a great outlet for us to push our message out, and we're excited to use it." ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
"We are in the midst of launching a new customer sales, service and retention tool where we will be able to reach out to our customers via direct mail, email, etc. at least 30 times over the customer ownership lifecycle. The purchase of a vehicle is only the beginning," Susan Docherty says. "We also are working very hard to retain our Pontiac and Saturn customers to ensure we can keep them in the family." ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
Separately, the NRF's Retail Advertising and Marketing Association reports that Wal-Mart Stores's "Snowflake" ad has been rated the highest among viewers. In the heart-tugging spot, a son conjures up a snowstorm for his soldier Dad, deployed in the desert. Wal-Mart leapfrogged over Target, which has topped the fan-favorite list every year since 2005. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
In the newest TV spot, the actress is in bed with the salads. The effort, by L.A.-based Mendelsohn Zien, breaks next week on the chain's Facebook page, where she will also host a live event called "The Ultimate Salad Lunch Date" on Jan. 13. During the interactive webcast, she will chat via webcam with consumers while lunching on one of the salads. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
Overall, the study found 83%, or 99 out of a total of 119 identifiable food products, to be "unhealthy." The study found that more CFBAI-participant companies (63%) clearly identified their games as ads. It also found that four CFBAI companies that have pledged to refrain from advertising directed to children under 12 honored that pledge in respect to advergames. ... Read the whole story > >
Johnnie Walker Launches N.J. Campaign

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10 for 2010

from my email:

Top 10 Integrated Marketing Trends for 2010

1. Less will get done: until we learn to do more with less.
While the cutbacks may be behind us, those left standing have more work to do, and less time and money to get it done. Small ideas and individual channel tactics often consume more time than their worth. The only way to do more with less is to align remaining resources toward a single and powerful integrated marketing solution.

2. Marketers will mistakenly whack a medium of the marketing mix.
With reduced marketing budgets, something has to give. Unfortunately, marketers are making wholesale cuts to specific channels (i.e., print media). Can we afford to drop a medium from the mix? Does the Internet behave like print? Is the consumer experience the same for both media? Are the message formats the same? The answer is clear. Reduced resources should not come at the expense of an integrated, multichannel mix.

3. Marketers will rush to employ social networking strategies.
Marketers will mistakenly rush to hire social media "experts" to create social media experiences for brands. They're missing the larger opportunity. Social networking is not a marketing tactic, nor is it a surrogate for the brand's social experience. A brand's social experience cannot be placed; rather, it is earned. Only consumers can decide what is truly "social."

4. We'll have more data and even less "understanding."
We'll have more data from credible sources: set-top boxes, foundations, academics, marketers and the media themselves. And the data will concur: the media world is highly fluid, interactive and quick to change structure and form. We are left with a real data problem: we can't rely on past correlations to drive future decisions. I'd say we're entering a "Wild West" era of integrated channel planning.

5. Lines between media will continue to blur.
In 2010, more prime-time television content will appear in more places than ever before. Fans will have multiple access points: live view, delayed views from a DVR, video on demand, Hulu, the network's own Web sites, and shared distribution deals (i.e., DirecTV and NBC for Friday Night Lights). It is no longer clear where one screen medium ends and another begins. Maybe we're starting to realize -- it's all a screen!

6. Push vs. Pull will become less relevant.
While marketers continue to debate the merits of push vs. pull marketing strategies, the issue may resolve itself. Clear lines between push and pull media no longer exist. The best content (both programming and commercial content) will increasingly become "push" and "pull" at the same time. We must refocus our efforts on creating experiences that offer both opportunities: to reach as many people as possible, but in ways that will invite their participation and their desire to share the experience with others.

7. Great content will travel at the "speed of share" while "average" experiences will evaporate.
Great content in any media channel can travel as fast as consumers are willing to share it with others. Consumers are the most powerful accelerant. They move content along with a simple behavior: the click. Their clicks travel at the high speed of broadband or 3G. The "Speed of Share" renders the speed of traditional content distribution obsolete. It's like comparing real-time to slow motion! However, content will only travel at such speed if it's worth sharing in the first place. There will be less tolerance for mediocre content, and consumers will have more means of disposing with, and/or avoiding it.

8. The Adult 18-49 demo will become even less relevant as a target cohort.
The media world for an 18-year-old is vastly different from that of a 49-year-old. Every year, the divide between Internet-raised and television-raised consumers becomes more profound. According to "Media Generations" (Martin Block PhD, Don Schultz PhD, and BIGresearch), today's 18-49 demographic cohort contains four different media generations. We cannot continue to cloud our view of this complex truth by looking through the lens of a demographic that does not hold together.

9. Symbiosis will create interesting -- and at times strange -- partnerships.
The media landscape will be affected more by the laws of symbiosis than the laws of natural selection. Consider the relationship between YouTube and television: these seemingly competing channels quickly evolved into a symbiotic relationship. Just ask Tina Fey or Susan Boyle, and they will speak of the power of one medium to reinforce and amplify the other. We will continue to see emerging relationships among what appear on the surface as competing media channels.

10. The year 2010 will become the year of the "good idea."
In the recent past, our conversations were dominated by media channels. In our hyper-focus on the dynamics of the media world, we may have taken our eye off the ball. Remember, media channels, by definition, serve only as pipeline for content. Without a good idea, content will evaporate. It's that simple! Despite fewer resources, more diversity, and less certainty, I am advocating for good ideas to fuel integrated marketing outcomes in 2010.

(Source: Marketing Daily, 11/27/09)

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New Ad Campaigns

from Amy at Mediapost:

James Lipton's beard. Videogame "Playfaces." Unsolved mysteries. Let's launch!

Nike's MVPs (Most Valuable Puppets) are back in a series of TV spots promoting Nike Basketball gear. The first spot features puppet versions of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant driving with the top down and dishing plates of trash talk. The topic: whether a lion (James) would eat a black mamba (Bryant). Both deliver compelling points to their argument, but the spot ends with the song, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." Enough said. Watch it here. A detective is called to help James find his missing Nike Air Max Lebron VII, in the second ad, shown here. Columbo, he's not. There are a handful of possible suspects, from Kobe Bryant, Little Desmond and Sneaky Pete, but it's Mrs. Lewis who knows the culprit's identity. Mrs. Lewis reveals the thief in the second-part of the two-part ad. Bryant's snake swallowed the shoe whole, leaving zero doubt about its whereabouts. See the conclusion here. Wieden + Kennedy Portland created the ads.

Let's keep talking detectives. kgb, the text service that answers questions when a person isn't near, say, Google, launched a TV and online partnership with the Warner Bros. release of "Sherlock Holmes." "When the world's greatest detective has a question, who does he ask?" broods the TV ad. Cue the kgb experts, who promptly answer Holmes' toxic text. Did we forget in what time period "Sherlock Holmes" takes place? Maybe the next movie partnership will use a character capable of text-messaging. Watch the ad here. There's also a microsite that will offer consumers the chance to win advance screening passes to see "Sherlock Holmes," movie tickets, T-shirts and posters. The Brooklyn Brothers created the campaign.

LG launched four hysterical PSAs starring James Lipton and his beard, urging teens to think before texting gossip or inappropriate pictures of themselves. Teens think twice about sending dirty texts, once they don Lipton's beard in the "give it a ponder" campaign. A girl contemplates sending a text rumor to her friends in an effort to make a play for one friend's boyfriend. One stroke of Lipton's beard and she sees things differently. She doesn't want to take part in a catfight. I did love Lipton's cat noises, though. See it here. A boy, angry at being dumped via text, decides not to send a nasty rumor about his ex since she's allergic to nuts and has already suffered enough. Watch it here. A jock gets sweaty in the school locker room, from a steamy text-message convo with his girlfriend. He considers sending her a picture of his junk, but reconsiders when he recalls her addiction to Twitter. Retweet and repeat. Click here to watch. The final ad, seen here, shows a girl and the unicorn collection that saved her from forwarding gossip onto others. There's also a Web site where users can see the campaign's print component. Print creative is lost in translation, though, since James Lipton isn't shown. All you see are teens with full-grown beards. Y&R created the campaign.

The look of death stares back at you in a TV spot for "Assassins Creed 2." Blank stares belong to victims of main character Ezio, who is shown later in the ad fighting and attacking enemies while the rhythmic sound of a bell tower rings. "Live by the creed," concludes the ad, seen here and created by Cutwater.

Lady Gaga has a "Poker Face" and PlayStation 3 gamers reveal their best "Playface" in a branding ad running in Japan. Gamers elicit looks of happiness, sadness, anger, grimaces, shock, confrontation and eye-twitching while playing PlayStation 3. And you thought love brought out a gamut of emotions. Watch the ad here. Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo created the spot, edited by Cut + Run's Dayn Williams.

Looks don't matter if you're a Verizon Droid phone. It's all about production value. Droid would rather "rip through the Web like a circular saw through a ripe banana. Is it a precious porcelain figurine of a phone? In truth, no." Droid knows its strengths. "It's not a princess, it's a robot," ends "Pretty." Watch the ad here, created by Mcgarrybowen New York and score created by Expansion Team New York.

When I think classical piano music, I think smart phone touchscreens. Doesn't everyone? AT&T filmed pianist Kwan Yi sitting at a piano, yet striking smart phone touchscreens. "When your touchscreen runs on the nation's fastest 3G network, the difference can be dramatic," concludes the voiceover, which also states that touchscreens run faster on AT&T. Watch "Piano" here, created by BBDO and directed by Shilo.

Growers Cider created a Web site where users can nudify pictures by adding a range of nudists to tame vacation pictures. I had a lot of fun playing around on this site -- and looking through the photo gallery as well. The Canadian cider also offered Canadian residents a chance to win prizes, but even though the contest is over, the site will remain active and allow users to upload pictures until November 2010. Blame Canada if you're procrastinating at work today. HQvB, along with Lollipop, created the site.

Random iPhone App of the week: Are you an American who can't get enough of European sports? Eurosport's free sports app may help simplify your life. The free app is available in nine different languages, along with an international version (in English) and offers live sports content, breaking sports-news coverage, player stats and standings. The app is available for download from the App Store.

Amy Corr is managing editor, online newsletters for MediaPost. She can be reached at

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No Slime Allowed

from my email recently:

Daily Sales Tip: Focus and Be Sincere
As a salesperson, if you appear nervous or unsure, you may seem devious or incompetent. If your sales presentation does not respond to your prospects' concerns and you just grind on with a prepared pitch, they will decide you don't care about them and their problems.

Look people right in the eye and convince them that you stand 100% behind the ideas, products or services that you want to sell them. Pick up on their concerns, and address them.

Source: Professional speaker and sales trainer Patricia Fripp (

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost


Do you want these nightly updates in 2010? Let me know in the comments...

by Karlene Lukovitz
The IWG is requesting input on possible/likely marketplace impacts, including what percentage of foods currently marketed to children would be eliminated under these guidelines; whether there are some foods that need to be addressed with specific standards or exemptions; and whether any of the proposed guidelines could create incentives for marketers to change some foods in a way that is nutrition-negative, such as adding bulk fillers. ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
The new survey, from America's Research Group and UBS, reports that a sudden stampede toward flat-panel TV sets may buoy overall holiday results. As a result, ARG is now projecting that holiday sales will fall just 1.2% this holiday season, versus the earlier prediction of 2.9%. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
To enter the challenge, people have to submit a video clip or an essay that illustrates how their ideas spread happiness by March 15. Eight finalists, aided by stars from the Globetrotters, will be featured on the site for public voting. The hotel will sponsor the team's 2010 North American tour, "Magical Memories," which begins Dec. 26. ... Read the whole story > >
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
At, users are invited to either submit a "Swap a Solid" request or view Solid requests to see the swaps their Facebook friends have posted. To request a Solid, users write a quick description of what they need and what they are willing to swap in return. For example, they might ask for a children's bike and in return offer a gently used tricycle. ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
Text answer company kgb542542 has entered into a cross-marketing deal with the upcoming Warner Brothers release, "Sherlock Holmes." The multiplatform program will include television advertising, an online contest, national radio advertising and a mobile text promotion. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
Half of Pontiac avoiders mention it, followed by Chrysler and Saturn, 40% of whose avoiders mention the health of the company. Next are Chrysler, Dodge and Saturn, 40% of whose near-misses said they avoided the brands because of the companies' health. Thirty-five percent of Hummer avoiders said the same thing. ... Read the whole story > >
FedEx Office Launches 'Out Of Office' Blog

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Don't Judge Me by My Music

Having worked in the radio business for a number of years, I know that there are stereotypes of people based on their music tastes.

A few years ago my company resurrected a heritage rock station, that previous management killed off. The radio station had been on the air for over 25 years and was not healthy financially, thus the format change.

However the summer leading up to the return of ROCK 104, WXKE, I asked people what they thought of ROCK 104. Time and Time again, people from all walks of life, all incomes levels and backgrounds would share with me their favorite ROCK 104 moment. On Labor Day weekend that year we put ROCK 104 back on the air and it quickly became one of the top radio stations in our city.

The kids who listened to ROCK 104 in the late 70's and 80's were now parents (& Grandparents!) and will come up to us when we are out in the community and introduce us to their "Rock Tots".

Our three Radio Stations are music based. Each serves a different style of music and each reaches different demographics. Keep all of this in mind as you read this recent story from Mediapost:

Listen Without Prejudice
It's relatively easy to identify members of a specific generation by the music that they listen to. Big Band and Swing welcomed the GIs home from World War II, Elvis gyrated upon the American Bandstand to the delight of the Silent Generation, Boomers saw their social awakening take flight via folk music and classic rock, while Gen Xers rebelled against a cold and uncaring establishment using the hard edges of punk and rap.

The musical preferences of one generation are typically anathema to another. I can vividly recall the contempt that Xers had for disco, but the same could be said for the way the GI generation felt about rock 'n' roll or how Boomers felt about the musical stylings of Perry Como.

While Gen Y began its generational arc to the pop tunes of Britney Spears and other (at the time) squeaky-clean Disney troubadours, what is most remarkable about this generation is that they exhibit tremendous diversity in their musical tastes.

Examining musical genres, Pop music is listened to "Always" or "Nearly All the Time" by 46% of those aged 13-24, with Hip-Hop a close second at 44%, followed by Rock (43%) and Dance (39%). Older eens differ from collegians, listening to more rock, punk, alternative and emo.

Moving from genres to artists, the top three artists cited by teens and collegians in our November Ypulse Report were Taylor Swift (Country), Lady Gaga (Pop) and Lil' Wayne (Rap).

If the top three artists aren't diverse enough already, the rest of the top 10 includes Owl City, Beyonce, Paramore, The Beatles, Green Day, Nickelback and Linkin' Park. That The Beatles are named within Gen Y's top 10 artists list says a lot about the enduring quality of their music as well as the way in which Gen Y cheerfully builds bridges across generational divides.

While this inclusive and multicultural generation naturally embraces a wide range of cultures and styles, technology has played a significant role in the musical ecosystem that is inhabited by Gen Y.

The MP3 file format has exponentially increased the accessibility of music, both past and present. The distribution of music on physical media constrained what was available to whom, where and when. Prior to the rise of the MP3, those that wanted to stray from the decisions made by the music industry were forced (underground) to comb through the racks of used record stores in order to taste the forbidden fruits of yesteryear.

Digitization has not only increased access, but it has also dramatically shifted the locus of control. Music is not only purchased and consumed, but ripped, streamed, downloaded, rated, reviewed, mixed and mashed. It is also played, more often with virtual instruments than with real ones: the release of The Beatles catalog to the Rock Band video game is likely the primary reason Gen Y is embracing a band that performed its first gig nearly 50 years ago.

The rise of the MP3 has also dramatically changed how youth listen to music. The number one device used to listen to music among collegians is a computer or laptop. The number one device used to listen to music among teens is an iPod. Youth listen to more music on their cell phones than they do on a proper stereo system.

Most importantly, the power of music to connect youth with the emotions that they feel as they discover themselves and the world around them can't be understated. High levels of agreement with statements such as "Music makes any situation more enjoyable" (86%), "I can't imagine my life without music" (84%) and "Without music I'd feel lost" (70%), "My friends listen to the same kind of music I do" and "The music I listen to defines who I am" all indicate the level to which Gen Y finds personal fulfillment and definition in the soundtrack that will likely follow them through the rest of their lives.

Dan Coates is president of Ypulse, the leading authority on tween, teen, college and young adult insights for marketing, brand and media professionals, providing news, commentary, events, research and strategy. A veteran opinionista, Dan and his Ypulse colleagues tweet an endless stream of Gen Y news, factoids and insights at and can be contacted via email at You can also reach him here.

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Hispanics and Social Media

They are the fastest growing miniority group in America. From Mediapost:

A Year Of Social Media Marketing

Astronaut José Hernández, a/k/a @Astro_Jose, tweets in both English and Spanish to 100,000 people who have been following his remarkable life from field-worker as a child in northern California to outer space.

It's not hard for him to find followers these days.

The majority of online Americans now visit social networking sites, and Hispanics and other minorities continue to visit them more than non-Hispanic whites, according to the 2009 Multicultural Marketing Study by the Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication at Florida State University, DMS Research, and Captura Group.

The study also reveals that social media usage among Hispanics and other minorities continues to grow by double digits, with Facebook and MySpace leading the way. What's more, smaller social networking sites such as Hi5, Black Planet, Twitter and LinkedIn have strong appeal with certain ethnic groups.

Most online Americans visit social networking sites at least twice a month

In the past year, we found that usage of social networks across ethnic segments has grown exponentially. Marketers take note: most Americans now visit social networking sites and use them as increasingly important means for communication and information.

Percent of a given segment who visit a social networking site at least 2 -3 times per month:

  • 62% of English-Preferring Hispanics, up from 46% in 2008
  • 63% of Asian Americans, up from 42% in 2008
  • 60% of African Americans, up from 33% in 2008
  • 59% of Spanish-Preferring Hispanics, up from 35% in 2008
  • 55% of Non-Hispanic Whites, up from 24% in 2008

Although ethnic minorities are still more likely to visit social networking sites when compared to Non-Hispanic Whites, the gap has closed considerably as social networking has become more popular.

Most ethnic segments now prefer Facebook over MySpace

In 2008, we found that MySpace held a firm lead over Facebook. Today, the tables have turned, and Facebook has become more popular among all of the ethnic groups that we analyzed with the exception of Spanish-Preferring Hispanics.

Percent of a given segment who visit Facebook (2009/2008) and MySpace (2009/2008) regularly:

English-Preferring Hispanics Facebook (44%/18%) MySpace (41%/44%)
Asian Americans Facebook (55%/18%) MySpace (29%/31%)
African Americans Facebook (42%12%) MySpace (40%/29%)
Spanish-Preferring Hispanics Facebook (36%/13%) MySpace (41%/35%)
Non-Hispanic Whites Facebook (43%/7%) MySpace (31%/22%)

Social media preferences are beginning to fragment among minorities

When considering a social media strategy, marketers should take note that ethnic groups have preferences between social networking sites. Consider the case of Hi5, a social media site with a strong presence in Latin America. Its success in the southern hemisphere has made it extremely popular with Spanish-Preferring Hispanics in the U.S. who want to connect with family members back home.

Today, Hi5 competes with both Facebook and MySpace among Spanish-Preferring Hispanics (29.1% usage versus 36% and 41%, respectively).

These findings are important because as social networking has become ubiquitous, specialized sites have become viable options for advertisers looking to target ethnic audiences.

Percent of a given segment who visit Hi5 and Black Planet regularly (2009):

English-Preferring Hispanics Hi5 (6.1%) Black Planet (2.4%)
Asian Americans Hi5 (5.0%) Black Planet (1.0%)
African Americans Hi5 (4.8%) Black Planet (17.2%)
Spanish-Preferring Hispanics Hi5 (29.3%) Black Planet (0.6%)
Non-Hispanic Whites Hi5 (0.4%) Black Planet (0.0%)

Asian Americans are twice as likely to use LinkedIn and Twitter

The 2009 study also included the usage of LinkedIn and Twitter. We found that both sites are still emerging and most popular among Asian Americans. We attribute the popularity of LinkedIn and Twitter among Asian Americans to higher income levels and technology adoption.

Percent of a given segment who visit Twitter and LinkedIn regularly (2009):

English-Preferring Hispanics LinkedIn (7.2%) Twitter (6.7%)
Asian Americans LinkedIn (14.5%) Twitter (10.8%)
African Americans LinkedIn (4.2%) Twitter (6.6%)
Spanish-Preferring Hispanics LinkedIn (0.9%) Twitter (2.6%)
Non-Hispanic Whites LinkedIn (7.1%) Twitter (5.6%)

More growth expected for 2010

In the past year, usage of social networking websites has exploded among all ethnic groups and we expect this trend to continue. While preferences of certain social networking sites might change over time, social media promises to remain relevant for all ethnic groups.

People such as José Hernández can expect many more followers. For marketers, the sky should also be the limit.

Lee Vann is founder and CEO of Captura Group Captura Group. For nine years he has led Hispanic interactive initiatives for clients including the U.S. government, Allstate Insurance Co., Century 21, PayPal and Ford Motor Co. Reach him here.

Felipe Korzenny is the director of the Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication at Florida State University and senior strategy consultant at Captura Group. He has over 30 years of Hispanic marketing experience and has published six books, nearly 100 publications on communication and culture and is a prominent nationwide speaker. Reach him here.

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Confidence & Trust

from my email: Daily Sales Tip: Sell Your Record of Success
While past performance is not a guarantee of future performance, it is the best predictor. Sell your track record to the customer.

Talk about your successes and the benefits your other customers experienced. But also talk about the problems you've encountered along the way and what you and your company did to overcome them.

Strictly talking about successes can create a rose-colored picture and might raise some doubt within prospects. A balanced discussion that examines your successes and how you quickly resolved problems will give the customer a good idea of what he/she can realistically expect and help raise his/her comfort level with you.

Your straightforward manner also increases the likelihood of getting the sale.

Source: Sales trainer Dean Goettsch

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

When I think of Sylvania, I think of light bulbs....

by Tanya Irwin
The agreement includes marketing and promotional rights, attraction sponsorships and a promotional presence that features Siemens products and services at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California. Siemens also is the sponsor of the Epcot icon, SpaceShip Earth. ... Read the whole story > >
by Sarah Mahoney
Performics says that the 11-day period, or "Cyber Stretch," around Black Friday and Cyber Monday proved more beneficial to advertisers than either day on its own. Better yet? The research shows "a return to 2007-like fourth-quarter sales and conversion rates among its retailers, with data trending positive for the remainder of the holiday season." ... Read the whole story > >
by Aaron Baar
To promote the initiative, Samsung will employ online marketing through its Twitter feed and Facebook page. In addition, the company has recruited Women's Snowboarding Gold Medalist Hannah Teter to promote the program. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karlene Lukovitz
But the bigger concern is that, for the first time in NPD's tracking history, sales are also down -- by 2% in this last quarter, for example. "In past recessions, restaurant operators have been able to make up for traffic declines by increasing the size of checks or the cost of the meal. This time, they're having to offer deep discounts just to stay in the game," notes NPD's Bonnie Briggs. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
Sponsored by Reebok and HP, the sites will contain games, video highlights, select Hindi content, player blogs and original columns from two India-based NBA journalists. The Web site will cast a live game during the regular season. The mobile site, which is available on smartphones at, shows NBA news, scores and standings. ... Read the whole story > >
by Karl Greenberg
Jaguar North America is hoping to claw its way back up into the higher branches of the luxury-car Christmas tree with the appointment of Sharon Corrigan. She had joined the company in 2001 after 18 years with Ford, and was most recently VP of retail operations. That position will be taken by Pat Ward, who is new to the company. ... Read the whole story > >
Rock Band To Release Green Day Game

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