Saturday, April 02, 2011

Classic Ad of the Month

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Diversity & Demographics

In the radio business, I get requests from advertising agencies that are often broken down into simple age and gender demographics.

But we need to think beyond those basics as this story from Mediapost points out:

Tribal Marketing
If you enter a roomful of crying but healthy babies, chances are they all share at least one of the same needs: food, sleep, a diaper, or some undivided attention from a loving grown-up. As they grow into early childhood, they will hit the same developmental benchmarks at roughly the same time, and they'll still want and need lot of the same basics (snacks, naps, potty, hugs), though they are beginning to assert their distinct personalities. Even before preschool, the differences start to emerge. This kid loves soccer, that one only wears sandals, this kid cares about animals, this one is afraid of animals, and this kid collects menus. And so it goes as they grow, with each young soul becoming his or her own person.

Any parent or teacher will tell you that, although they may have similarities, all children are different. Yet we consistently make the mistake of behaving as if they all want and need the same things. While this is obviously practical and necessary on many levels, children become even less alike as they grow into their tween and teenage years -- and we still often act as if they're all cut from the same cloth. This true paradox is that tweens, especially, are bursting out of their early childhood selves, trying to figure out where they fit in, attracted to and afraid of the idea of more independence. They want to be "like the other kids," but they have already formed a distinct set of likes and dislikes. They face a substantial challenge in striking a balance between being like their peers and flexing their one-of-a-kind personalities.

Marketers -- and society in general -- have typically categorized people by their age. You might read something like, "Adult males between the ages of 35 and 45 are more likely to have a Facebook account than adult males between the ages of ..." or "New Yorkers between the ages of 15 and 18 are using the subway at alarming rates." Classifying people by age makes it easy to survey them and is often appropriate. However, in an era of growing individualism and the use of technological profiles to display individual characteristics, it's important to see past the demographic boundaries and begin to define people based on their cultural attributes -- instead of focusing first on numbers.

While we may be inclined to think of them as "ages 9 to 12," the 12 year old may be making the same choices as a 15 year old, and the 9 year old may be an early adopter of certain trends, regardless of his or her age. It's not about how we view them; it's about how they define themselves -- and how the lines often blur between the tween and teenage groups. With that in mind, I've developed a new system for looking at teens and tweens by separating them into four tribes: the wired Techie; the conformist but somewhat paradoxical Preppy; the always-mellow Alternative; and the cutting-edge Independent. We'll have look at each of these in further detail, but first, it's important to explain why we need to look at Millennials in this way.

At some point, we began to blur the lines of which brands, products, and services should be consumed by whom. In another post, I'm going to talk in depth about the concept of a "tweenebe." Tweenebes are adults who want to be tweens. Now, they may not truly want to be 12 again, but they are consuming a 12 year old's culture and loving it. Do you know those moms who love Justin Bieber? Are you one of them? Do you know dads who seem to enjoy rocking out to the Disney channel more than they should? It's okay; they're just enjoying the benefits of being a tween. I have to admit, in a society full of major economic, social, and political concerns, we'd all love to fawn over the latest tween singing sensation, read a Twilight book, or grab a Frappuccino with friends. Oh wait -- don't we already do those things? I think that there are more tweenabes out there than I can even imagine.

As we look at these tribes, we have to ask ourselves: Do you have to be 13 to be a Preppy? Twenty-something to be an Independent? No, you don't. That seems like an easy question to answer, but it has stumped marketers for generations. Now, I doubt that you'll see an ad for Tampax Pearl in Sports Illustrated or a Justin Bieber ad in AARP magazine, but you will see major brand extensions happening over the next few years. And I'm not talking about product development; I'm talking about market development. Marketers have to get outside of thinking in boxes, whether it's ages 7 to 12, 13 to 19, or 20 to 24.

Technology has created so many generationally shared experiences. Facebook is no longer for elite college students. Indeed, the fastest-growing demographic on Facebook is women over 50. How people think, feel, and react to brands is a completely new experience. Because of that, I've developed four tribes that I feel are universal. I think that these tribes definitely have sub-tribes (which I'll explore in the future at some point), and I do believe that consumers can belong to more than one tribe. But the tribal migration is happening, and has been happening for years. As with any good disruptive innovation, technology has forced us to deal with this issue.

Ten years ago, if you wanted to launch a new product for teens, you'd probably launch a major ad campaign in a teen magazine like Seventeen. You would likely reach more than 10 million girls and call it a day. Fast-forward to 2011, where readership of Seventeen is now about 4 million. Where did all those readers go? Well, they're online, of course. They're on thousands of web sites. How are you going to find them? Well, sure, you can just launch a campaign on a network of web sites and hope that you're going to reach your entire target.

However, there's an easier way. Targeting a tribe is also about understanding a mind-set. A tribe is defined as a "social division of people." The key word here is social. Social involves so many things. What are people doing? How are they doing it? With whom are they doing it? How often? How long? When? Where? This is starting to sound like an invitation to the best party. That's the mind-set a marketer should have when thinking about tribes, and that's why tribal marketing works.

If you start to think about these consumers -- Preppies, Techies, Alternatives, and Independents -- as tribes, and then think about all of their social activities, you can easily figure out how to reach them. Then you won't just be bowling in the dark. You will hit your mark every time.

Tina Wells is founder/CEO of Buzz Marketing Group, a youth marketing agency specializing in research, events, and promotions. She is the author of "Chasing Youth Culture And Getting It Right," which will be published by Wile

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Social & Sales

Social Media has been a great way for me to find new prospective clients. But don't forget the old standards too:

Daily Sales Tip: Balance Something Old with Something New

The world is full of Twitter, LinkedIn, Plaxo and Facebook, just to name a few. Social media is the new mode of prospecting.

Teach your sales team to integrate new social media with old principles of influence and selling skills. Your team still needs to pick up the phone or send an email to set up a first meeting with a prospect. Your sales team still needs to have a strong value proposition, in writing or verbal, that converts a contact to a meeting.

Remember, while social media marketing tools create the opportunity, selling skills close the opportunity.

Source: Colleen Stanley, president of SalesLeadership, Inc.

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Friday, April 01, 2011

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Hope you survived the pranks today.

Click & Read:

by Sarah Mahoney
"It's certainly a bold move," Ted Zittell, a Toronto-based consultant for McMillan/ Doolittle, which specializes in retail, tells Marketing Daily, adding that Big Y's program is the first of its kind in U.S. supermarkets. "A supermarket is different than a warehouse club, and you're asking shoppers to make a big change in orientation." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The initial salvo of TV and Web creative touts San Francisco Giants' Brian Wilson, American League Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez and Colorado Rockies' Ubaldo Jimenez. The league says that by the time the campaign has unreeled over the course of the MLB season it will have shone the spotlight on 30 players. ...Read the whole story >>
Food and Beverages
by Karlene Lukovitz
Kraft Athenos's new "Yiayia" campaign may have offended some Greek organizations, but its Greek yogurt spot is beating the competition in effectiveness, according to an analysis of recently launched TV commercials within the category conducted by Ace Metrix for Marketing Daily. ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Karl Greenberg
Financial institution BBVA Compass is partnering with the National Basketball Association around a mobile grassroots basketball-themed tour called "Team. Works. on Tour." The road show, which begins April 2 in McAllen, Texas, will make 30 stops in nine markets over the next two months. ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
The pilot program, which runs from April 1 to June 30, builds on HSBC's already visible footprint in airport hallways and jetways across the world. Jet bridge advertising is a concept pioneered by HSBC and launched at London's Heathrow Airport in 2001. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
According to a new study from J.D. Power & Associates, 49% of non-contract plan customers have monthly plans, many of which now mimic traditional contract plans and offer benefits such as unlimited calling and texting, compared with 30% in 2008. The increase can be attributed to a combination of cost savings and increased service offerings, as well positive recommendations from existing customers. ...Read the whole story >>
by Mark Walsh
Baseball's Opening Day annually brings the rollout of the latest version of's popular At Bat application. For the first time, the 2011 installment includes a sponsorship courtesy of Volvo that allows users to watch every out-of-market game free for the first month. ...Read the whole story >>

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The New Standard in Online Advertising

This comes from Seth Godin:

Introducing white space links

Whitespace The challenge of monetizing the web is a tricky one, but a new venture launched right here and right now is out to solve that problem.


It's called whItespAcelInks.


There's all this unused white space on the web. Spaces in between paragraphs or links. Wasted.


Consumers are tired of being overwhelmed by ads and by pages that are stuffed to the gills with ads. What if the ads were invisible? What if we could insert links into the white spaces, links you didn't have to see but could still be clicked on? What if those ads were carefully targeted, location-based and mobile?


This is even better than permission marketing. It's invisible marketing.


In one fell swoop (does anything ever happen in two fell swoops?) we can double or triple the ad inventory of any website! And there's no need for complicated creative, because, after all, the links are invisible.

Some highlights from the funding plan:

  • We will track every user, protecting privacy by never talking about the fact that we're doing it.
  • We will create persistent browser tools that permit us to generate whItespAcelInks revenue even when you're not online.
  • There will be no push back from regulators because the links are invisible.
  • Will there be Android? Yes. There will.
  • An iPad app? I can't believe you even need to ask. In fact, the iPad app will be so appy that people will pay for it by subscription.


First round funding, announced today, is $11 million. We wanted to keep it modest and prove ourselves in the marketplace. The biggest challenge for us going forward is that the service only runs one day a year.

And in case you forgot, it is April Fools Day...

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Everyone Loves to Laugh

from Drew:

Is your brand an April Fool’s joke?

Posted: 21 Mar 2011 06:57 PM PDT

Some brands are better suited at being playful than others. The same is true of their customers. With the arrival of April Fool’s Day, you may be thinking about pulling a fast one on your unsuspecting clients. Tread slowly…

While most people enjoy a good chuckle… you walk a fine line when it comes to practical jokes. Some people like to laugh but really hate it when the laugh is on them.

Last year, several big name brands shouted “gotcha” at their loyal followers and it seems like none are any worse for the wear.

Google asked members to sign up to test the newly unveiled “store everything” feature in Google Docs. Google Docs was allowing users to store more than documents; they could store their pet rock collections, winter clothes, apartments and even their pets for a competitive price.

Starbucks announced that in response to customers requesting more beverage sizes, they were introducing the 128-ounce “Plenta” and the 2-ounce “Micra.” Starbucks explained that the additions were a result of direct customer feedback from and a year’s worth of research.

As seen above, Nike released a video revealing the secret behind where they get the air for Nike Air shoes. The video explains that the air is collected from star athletes to help you perform at your best.

GameStation added an “immortal soul clause” into their terms and conditions in which consumers surrendered their souls to the company if they chose not to opt out of the clause. GameStation collected a total of 7,500 souls who decided to skip the terms and conditions (or didn’t mind the new clause).

Coldplay revealed on their website that they had released a perfume called, “Angst.” The bottle was featured in the band’s online store but unfortunately it was all sold out. Frontman Chris Martin said, “This is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time. People like to smell nice and we thought we could help them out.”

What do you think?

  • Is this a gimmick that only works for big consumer brands?
  • Can you see this playing well with your customers?
  • Is the risk of it backfiring worth taking to create big buzz?

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Are Whitepapers a Waste?

In this fast moving social media world we need to strike a balance between new and old tools to reach and communicate with customers.

Lauren sent me the following email which explores this topic:

When was the last time you read a whitepaper that added real value to your research process? I'm racking my brain and finding it quite difficult to come up with anything. More often than not, today's whitepapers are really just masked sales pitches, too long to keep the attention of today's buyer. They aren't engaging the customer and are therefore not serving much of a purpose. So, now what?

It's time for companies to turn to 2.0 technologies to reach the 2.0 buyer. Twitter is extremely powerful for reaching audiences and building relationships. Advances in graphic design and technology leave no excuse for not having vibrant, captivating content. There is even software that makes it easy to create, manage and track buyer activity on your site so that you know the kind of information your potential customers want. With all of these advancements for content marketing, it's about time we shred the whitepaper.

Introducing the new buyer
This is not new information. We all know that the way people consume information has changed. Buyers no longer go directly to vendors for information on products. That information, in addition to reviews and customer commentary, can be found all over the Web. This growing reliance on peer groups for information keeps the buyer away from the vendor sometimes until point of purchase. Another reason for buyer distance is a lack of trust in the content from vendors. While many companies still access vendor whitepapers, the majority say that they are typically just glorified sales pitches and do not provide any actionable insight that can be used in the research process.

Twitter is fast becoming the preferred vehicle of communication between companies and their customers. It offers fast-paced, one-to-one interaction that makes it easy to engage and build relationships. One interesting tool in particular is Twitter #chat. A #chat is a series of tweets on a particular topic that occur at a designated time. They are easy to follow because each tweet will have a specific hashtag attached to it. For example, a chat on lead scoring might have the hashtag #leads attached to it. These chats are valuable tools for sharing information, finding out what potential buyers are interested in, and building relationships.

Microsites are also powerful lead generation tools. I like to think of them as constantly evolving whitepapers, where content is constantly updated, readers can give feedback, and news and information is shared in real-time. The microsite allows you to create a tightly-focused message and user experience, which engages customers and keeps them coming back. Marketing automation software has microsite building tools that allow you to create the site, modify content regularly, and track activity to measure the effectiveness of your content.

For those that are stuck on the PDF format of the whitepaper, I suggest dynamic PDFs and eBooks. Adding multimedia elements to your traditional whitepaper can drastically increase reader engagement. Embedding video, sounds, animation and other interactive elements is very easy to do and is becoming a necessary value-add for many PDFs. There is also the eBook, which is basically a more interactive successor to the whitepaper. It is presented in landscape format, making the content more easily digestible. eBooks often allow readers to click on links, participate in surveys or watch videos, which keeps the reader engaged and interested in the content.

So, the whitepaper may not be dead yet, but it certainly has one foot in the grave. And these new technologies that are taking over might just be the final nail in the coffin. Read more about this on the Software Advice blog and be sure to leave your commentary.
Lauren Carlson
CRM Market Analyst

By the way, we're hiring...

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Karl Greenberg is predicting a 1.24 million unit month, a 16.5% increase from last March and a 25.1% increase from February this year. The firm predicts that unless GM managed to pull a rabbit out of the hat during the past week or Ford hit speed bumps because of inventory constraints due to supply shortfall from Japan, Ford may overtake GM in monthly sales for only the second time since 1998.< ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Walmart retains its position as the most valuable retail brand for the third consecutive year, according to the Interbrand ranking, despite an 8% drop in its valuation. "U.S. same-store sales have suffered a slight decrease, an indication that customers are spreading their spending to other stores as the economy recovers," the report notes. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
The campaign, which breaks April 1, includes online, print and radio and will highlight the distinctive characteristics of each region within the airline's expanding worldwide network. Radio ads were completed in several languages. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
New Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and greenhouse gas (GHG) rules may well require automakers to achieve fleet fuel economy of at least 42 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2020, though automakers are pushing back on that, emboldened as Congress has taken a sharp right turn. Automakers have become more vocal in arguing that they need more time. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
During the period from March 9 to March 24, when the ad was in heavy rotation during the NCAA Basketball Tournament, the brand's buzz score, which measures a positive vs. negative response to a brand, dropped from a high of 44.1 (on a scale of -100 to 100, with 0 being neutral) to 17.3 on March 24. ...Read the whole story >>

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10 Reasons Your Business needs to go Social

I write and edit 4 full time blog sites including this one. Over 50 new stories every week generate around 12,000 views per month.

The newest site is titled ScLoHo's Social Media Adventure and is updated 5 days a week at noon.

Click here to go there.

And from comes this story as to why this matters:

Ten Reasons You Shouldn't Ignore Social Media

Plenty of businesses thought social media was a passing fad—something that would dazzle everyone for a brief time and disappear. But as the Facebooks and Twitters show staying power, Christine Whittemore says many skeptics have come to the conclusion that traditional methods of attracting customers are no longer enough.

"They’ve noticed their mothers online, their friends using mobile devices to share YouTube videos, or even a co-worker circulating an insightful blog article about business innovation," she writes at MarketingProfs Daily Fix blog. "They're wondering how might this make sense for their businesses. Will it allow them to connect with customers?"

She believes the answer is yes—and suggests 10 ways your company can benefit from social media:

  1. You demonstrate to potential customers that you are human and care about their world.
  2. You bring to life an externally focused mindset.
  3. You to bring to life your otherwise static brochure-like website with a dynamic presence.
  4. You address in a public forum the questions and concerns your customers have about your products and services—which are being asked anyway without your participation.
  5. You participate in the conversations taking place that relate to your business, products, industry—and have the opportunity to shape the agenda.
  6. You manage your reputation.
  7. You build a customer community.
  8. You direct prequalified prospects—with whom you've already established a relationship—to your website, so you can engage in business.
  9. You build your digital visibility and online presence.
  10. You remain relevant to customers.

The Po!nt: It's really simple. If your customers use social media, you need to be there, too.

Source: MarketingProfs Daily Fix.

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New Ad Campaigns

From Amy:

A promiscuous alley cat, mini-giraffes for sale and MINI, the car, goes 3D. Let's launch!

GE launched a hysterical video that sheds light on one of the mysteries of life: where do missing socks go? A PSA for L.O.S.S. (Laundered and Orphaned Sock Society) shows the group holding a peaceful protest outside a laundromat to educate passersby about this serious problem. Pedestrians pass by the cheery clipboard-holding volunteers, uninterested in signing a petition. Volunteers chant: "They live in shoes, but socks are people, too." They carry quirky signs: "This socks," "Lint free or Die" and "Vicious Cycle." The society leader gets arrested. The video, seen here, drives users to, where the "GE Center for Advanced Laundry Studies" answers sock-saving questions. Feel free to design a missing sock flyer, and enter a sweepstakes for a GE washer and dryer. Lbi created the video.

Keeping with dryer issues, Farmers Insurance launched "Dryer Fire," illustrating, on an extreme level, how lint balls can cause massive problems for homeowners. Clean your lint filters! Training exercises take place at the University of Farmers, with Professor Nathaniel Burk, played by actor J.K. Simmons, at the helm. To demonstrate how 15,000 dryer fires occur yearly, Professor Burk takes a flamethrower to an oversized lint ball he crafted himself. See the ad here, created by RPA.

The Tokyo, Canada and Singapore offices of BBDO/Proximity created, a site where users can create a message, placed on an origami crane, to those affected by the earthquake and tsunami. The site's origin comes from a Japanese legend where anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane, such as recovery from illness. Visitors can add their messages of prayers and support and donate to the Japanese Red Cross.

Meet Smutley, an alley cat that sleeps with any animal he encounters. Smutley is part of an online campaign for AIDES, a French non-profit that encourages safe sex. "Protect yourself" also includes print and out-of-home elements, all promoting condom use. The online video stars Smutley in a black-and-white cartoon reminiscent of the "Steamboat Willie" era, until Joan Jett & the Blackhearts' "Bad Reputation" starts playing. Smutley comes across a turtle, rabbit, dolphin, seals, a roasting pig and elephant, to name a few, and he loves them all equally. "He's got nine lives. You only have one. Protect yourself," closes the video, shown here. In addition, a series of comic strips were created to encourage condom use. Illustrated by Nathan Fox, Cristiano Siqueria and Mike Kazaleh, each comic drives traffic to, a soon-to-launch Web site that offers tools and tips for talking about condoms with your partner. See the comics here, here, here, here and here, but be warned that they are NSFW. The final component of the campaign is a detailed map of a fictional theme park called SexLand, illustrated by Rod Hunt. The NSFW map, shown here and here, will be distributed in magazines and to the visitors of the Museum of Sex in New York. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners created the campaign.

The League Against Cancer (Liga Contra Cancer) launched a trio of print ads where adults and kids are shown shielding their eyes from the sun's harsh glare. So why do we sunbathe and go outdoors without using SPF, increasing our risk of developing skin cancer? "Obey your instinct" says each ad -- while a girl on a swing, a sunbather and a man in direct sunlight shield their eyes from the sun. See the ads here, here and here, created by Y&R Peru.

Grey New York is capitalizing on the popularity of the mini-giraffe shown in its latest TV campaign featuring the Russian mogul who wants for nothing, no matter how excessive and unnecessary. Enter, a site run by Sokoblovsky Farms, Russia's finest purveyors of miniature lap giraffes. The faux site has a mini-giraffe cam, pictures of calves and a waiting list for your own mini-giraffe. Copy is written in broken English, similar to how the Russian mogul communicates in the TV ads. Upon adding myself to the waiting list, I received this message:"I make #331,747 on waiting list for own premium Petite Lap Giraffe. A dream made true. If you like, you buy at Sokoblovsky Farms." I have a long wait ahead of me.

Regardless of the weather and road conditions Citroën faces in "Dominoes," the vehicle handles itself quite nicely. Each road factor or season is a domino that falls to the ground as Citroën approaches. The car drives through autumn leaves, rain, snow and high altitudes. See the ad here, created by Agence H, Paris, with visual effects and animation by Psyop.

adidas launched "Bring it on," a TV spot starring Cricket player Sachin Tendulkar. "It's a young man's game. He has to reinvent himself," says the voiceover while Tendulkar truly "brings it" to his exercise routines, clearly showing that age is just a number. Did I mention that he's an ancient 37? The spot ends with the Tendulkar suiting up for his latest match and directing viewers to adidas' Cricket page. Watch the ad here, created by TBWA/India.

Random iPhone App of the week: Climb every mountain, while sitting around, playing with your iPhone. Helios Interactive Technologies created an augmented reality app for MINI. Users can take pictures of a superimposed virtual MINI Countryman in their garage, on a mountain, near a waterfall, or on the end of their toothbrush. Users can choose one of four different colors and configurations of the MINI Countryman. The app is available for free in the App Store.

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

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from Labov & Beyond:

Out with the old

One of your best salespeople is leaving. You just found out a longtime customer is now doing business with your competitor. You don’t agree with a change a manufacturer has made to a product you’ve been selling for years.

These are the kinds of trials that give change a bad name. You can sit around and lament about your bad luck, think back to the good ole days or decide what, if anything, you can do about your situation.

For us pessimists this is a hard thing to do, but you could also consider there might be a bright side to the situation.

Maybe you’ll find a salesperson who’s even better than the one you lost. Maybe that customer wasn’t doing you any favors if you’d done everything you could to make him happy, but he still wasn’t satisfied or appreciative. Maybe you should give that product change a chance before you write it off.

It’s hard to think of the positive when a seemingly negative change is staring you in the face, but just consider it might be a blessing in disguise.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & read:

by Sarah Mahoney
When it comes to Gen Y, demographers tend to be a little unkind: "Entitled" and "impatient" are words that come up often. But as these Millennials face major life changes -- with the leading edge moving into parenthood -- it's time to rethink some of those labels. Nancy Robinson, VP/consumer strategist and insight director on Millennials for Iconoculture, a trend-watching firm in Minneapolis, tells Marketing Daily how this crowd is changing. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Nissan Motor's Infiniti luxury brand is heading way south. The company will begin sales in Australia starting in 2012, according to the company. Infiniti, which topped luxury imports in growth numbers last year in the U.S. market, is heading to the continent after having expanded into Western Europe, Asian markets and South America. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
The strategic unification is a necessary next step for the brand, given its large and expanding global footprint, and is also designed to enhance marketing productivity, said Coca-Cola Company EVP and chief marketing and commercial officer Joe Tripodi, during a press Webcast Tuesday announcing the campaign. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
As part of the nearly month-long program, Haier has launched a microsite,, which will feature a new video featuring an environmental advocate or expert every day. In the videos, each of which is less than two minutes long, the participants challenge consumers to do something small every day to help the environment. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
The animated campaign, which includes six 30-second and 15-second spots, is from Los Angeles-based M&C Saatchi, which recently won the business. The ads are part of a fully integrated marketing program which includes print and online advertising, social media, and consumer-generated point of sale materials. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The study gives Subway the nod as "Quick Serve Restaurant Brand of the Year," followed by Dairy Queen, Wendy's and McDonald's. But the companies whose brand equity is heading up are not burger places: Domino's Pizza, KFC restaurants and Taco Bell all saw positive movement. ...Read the whole story >>

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Radio...Still Not Dead

Good thing too, since that's the business I've spent the most time in since my teen years.

In a Renaissance for Radio, More Listeners Are Tuning In

Radio stations are receiving a surprisingly strong signal from audiences and the financial markets this year, even as they face intensifying competition from satellite and Web-based audio services including Sirius XM Satellite Radio XM and Pandora.

An average of 241.6 million people 12 and older listened to conventional radio stations each week last year, an increase of 2.1 million over 2009 -- and up 4.9% vs. 2005, according to an annual study that media and marketing research company Arbitron released Monday.

"Radio is much stronger than the general perception of it has been," says Carol Hanley, Arbitron's executive VP of sales and marketing.

The report follows the announcement this month of the biggest radio deal in years: Cumulus Media, the No. 2 station owner, agreed to buy No. 3 Citadel Media for cash and stock that values Citadel at $2.4 billion.

Cumulus will have 572 stations if federal antitrust officials approve the union. That would trail industry leader Clear Channel, with more than 850 stations.

The industry still faces challenges. From 2000 through 2010, teens and young adults cut their radio-listening time in half as they became infatuated with the Internet, cellphones and video games, Edison Research reported.

Yet stations appear to be getting a lift from their ability to adapt to local tastes. Radio owners "can shift their programming very quickly," says Howard Bass, senior media and entertainment partner with consulting firm Ernst & Young. "That's why they're so resilient."

That has helped radio appeal to the growing Hispanic population. The number of Hispanic radio listeners increased 1.1 million last year, Arbitron says, as stations picked up on programming formats for Spanish-speaking audiences.

For example, Texas now has 154 Spanish-language stations, up from 25 in 2000.

The Hispanic audience "has grown immensely," Bass says. "Clearly the listenership has followed the trends."

Meanwhile, radio is benefiting financially from this year's stronger-than-expected market for local ads. Radio's biggest customers, automakers and dealers, are introducing 65 models in 2011, up from 60 last year and 40 in 2009, Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker says.

"As these local dealers become more (economically) sure-footed, you're just going to see incremental growth in that category," Cumulus CEO Lewis Dickey told Wall Street analysts last week.

The auto industry accounted for $1.8 billion of radio's $17.3 billion in ad sales last year, according to the Radio Advertising. The industry total was up 6% vs. 2009.

(Source: USA Today, 03/22/11)

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Mess with Success

There's a couple different schools of thought.

1. We are successful, don't change anything.

2. We are successful, but we need to change to stay ahead.

The question really is what do you want to change and why.

Drew explains:

Your logo is a business tool

Posted: 28 Mar 2011 05:34 AM PDT

Your logo is a tool, not art

We were sitting in the conference room the other day with a new client. He’s been in business for many years and is very successful. He’s ready to reallyramp up his marketing and tackle some lofty goals.

And we’re ready to help. (After all, that’s what we do)

He went on to tell us that he really doesn’t like his logo. It doesn’t tell his company’s story very well, it’s a little expected and in his opinion, it isn’t very attractive. So the first project he’d like us to launch is a logo re-design.

I took a deep breath and told him no.

Now… granted I said it with more words…and nicer. But basically I said this:

  • No logo is going to tell the whole story of your business
  • You have over a decade of equity in your current logo
  • Your current logo isn’t costing you any customers or any money (no one’s not choosing you because of your logo)
  • Your current logo is fine. It’s not perfect and we’d be able to come up with something better. But not so much better that it will line your pockets.
  • Remember a logo cost is far beyond just the cost of designing a new logo. There are legal costs to register it, you have to re-print all of your business cards, letterhead, etc., your staff’s uniforms would need to be changed and your trucks would need to be re-vinyled. Then, there’s building signage etc, etc. etc.

I summed it up with… if the only reason you want to change your logo is because you don’t like it, it’s not a good enough reason. It’s not a piece of art you choose to put in your home, it is a business tool and your current logo is doing the job adequately.

I also told him, it was his company. And if he hated the logo that much and he gritted his teeth every day when he saw it and it haunted him in his dreams — we’d design him a new logo. But that if it was my money — I wouldn’t spend it there.

Do not get me wrong. A logo is a very important part of your marketing effort. Most logos suck and should be changed. But his didn’t. And it shouldn’t be changed for the subjective reason of his personal taste.

Your logo is a business tool. If it’s doing a good job — leave it be.

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Harvey's Take on People

from Harvey Mackay's weekly newsletter:

People like people who like people

By Harvey Mackay

Quick, name three people at your workplace whom you look forward to seeing every day. Now, name three who rain on your parade every time you see them.

Which list was easier to generate?

I believe it was Lucy of Peanuts fame who said, "I love mankind. It's people I can't stand!"

But Lucy would have had an argument from former Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca, who said: "Anyone who doesn't get along with people has earned the kiss of death because that's all we've got around here are people."

Whether you like them or not, you need to learn to get along with others. Having a co-worker who is difficult to deal with can destroy an office dynamic, which can be very bad for business. Customers wonder, if they can't get along with each other, how will they treat us?

On the flip side, a staff that has learned how to cooperate regardless of personal differences will project a positive vibe to customers. People, not specs, in many cases will be the key in determining who gets the sale.

William J. Bennett, former U. S. Secretary of Education, was once asked by a seventh grader: "How can you tell a good country from a bad one?"

The Secretary replied, "I apply the 'gate' test. When the gates of a country are open, watch which way the people run. Do they run into the country or out of the country?"

Bennett's answer can easily be translated to business settings. If a company is good, people want to work there and customers know they are valued. The doors don't spin fast enough at a bad company.

Never underestimate the importance of people in your life. And always look for opportunities to improve your relationships, no matter how good they already are.

Successful work relationships depend on several factors. Perhaps the most important is you. What can you do to become a better co-worker?
  • Maintain a positive attitude. Managers and co-workers alike appreciate the support of someone with an upbeat outlook. Show some enthusiasm about your job and the organization you work for. Look for opportunities, not problems, and find the bright side of the challenges you face.
  • Always demonstrate integrity. Be honest with people. When you don't have an answer, say so. Admit your mistakes (and concentrate on not repeating them). Keep your promises, and meet your deadlines. All this shows your respect for other people and demonstrates your reliability.
  • Show a willingness to try. Don't be afraid to stretch out of your comfort zone. Volunteer for new tasks and extra responsibility. Take risks -- be realistic about what you can and can't do, of course, but don't back away from a challenge because of the possibility of failure. Ask the right questions so you know what's really going on, regardless of whether you fear you may appear "ignorant."
  • Co-operate. Be a team player -- help your colleagues with their priorities, and share information instead of hoarding it. Know what your manager wants, and support him or her to the best of your abilities. Offer your support when people need it, so they know you're not just out to get ahead for your own benefit.
  • Manage conflict. The ability to resolve conflicts among different groups of workers is a coveted skill in most organizations. Companies are looking for employees who can build positive relationships between people, yet don't shy away from controversy.
  • Focus on other people. Ask questions that let other people talk, and encourage them to open up and share their thoughts. You'll be less worried about saying something wrong, and you'll probably find enough common ground on which to build a real conversation.
  • Set a great example. Show others that they can count on you to be fair, friendly and even-tempered. Keep your cool. Remember that you are dealing with people who also have feelings, opinions and ideas. You can't learn anything if you are doing all the talking.
  • Then, take these suggestions and apply them to your customer service. Your customers are people too! If there's one complaint I hear over and over again from customers, it is that some companies they deal with treat them like account numbers rather than flesh and blood. Deliver your customer service with a human touch. Your customers should feel like the technology you use is an enhancement of your personal service, not a replacement.
Mackay's Moral: If you want to get ahead, learn how to get along.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Karl Greenberg
Mercedes-Benz is tying in with the PGA this year to teach golf. The Mercedes-Benz Performance Center is a mobile golf tour co-branded with the PGA of America that will be rolling around the country to golf events and Mercedes-Benz dealerships in the vicinity. The program launches in Augusta, Ga., under the oversight of two-time Masters winner Champion Bernhard Langer. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
Soymilk maker Silk has launched the "Silk for Milk 10 Challenge," which encourages people to substitute the dairy milk in their lives -- in their cereal, coffee, etc. -- with Silk soymilk. The company is backing the effort with a print, television and digital advertising campaign, as well as through a mobile tasting tour. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
A new, limited-edition flavor of Snapple is carrying the name of a TV show -- CBS's "The Amazing Race" -- on its label, as well as being featured in the show's product placements and ads. The partnership also includes a co-branded contest hosted on Snapple's Facebook site. ...Read the whole story >>
Book Review
by Sarah Mahoney
Our critic reviews Kelly McDonald's premise in How to Market to People Not Like You: "Know It or Blow It" Rules for Reaching Diverse Customers (Wiley), Jacquelyn A. Ottman's The New Rules of Green Marketing: Strategies, Tools and Inspiration for Sustainable Branding (Berrett-Koehler), and Brand Relevance: Making Competitors Irrelevant, by David A. Aaker (Jossey-Bass). ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
Kraft Foods' Planters brand wants to recognize American peanut farmers who are implementing sustainable practices and making positive social changes in their communities. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Ford launched Sync -- its telematics joint venture with Microsoft -- four years ago, and promoted it heavily when it debuted the Ford Fusion. A new report from suggests the technology is becoming old school, as competitors are now offering that same ability to tether a mobile device to the car's dedicated platform. ...Read the whole story >>

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Media Habits and Daylight Savings Time

So, I've finally adjusted my sleep pattern to the Daylight Savings Time change we went through recently, but I'm noticing that my life pattern is still off a little.

I'm not used to it staying light later, the first week I was still working at my office for an extra hour because it was still light outside my window.

And yes, there are plenty of clocks around, it just didn't feel as late as it was.

Media Habits change too which is good news for some and bad for others:

How Daylight Savings Affects Media Usage

Television Viewing Goes Down, But Other Media -- Including Radio -- Benefit

For most people, daylight savings time is a minor annoyance that causes them to miss an hour of sleep every spring. But for smart media people, it should be a consideration when planning spring campaigns. The extra hour of daylight gained has a major impact on people's lives, allowing them to stay outside later as the days grow longer, and that in turn has a major impact on their media consumption.

The pattern on television is obvious. Each spring primetime ratings take a notable dip after daylight savings weekend, and sometimes they don't recover. But other media is also affected by the change. Outdoor campaigns can receive more notice in spring than in fall, when temperatures begin to warm up. And radio and magazines, which can accompany people in their outdoor activities, are two not-so-obvious choices for advertisers eager to connect with people as they stay out longer.

Ricardo de la Blanca, chief executive officer at DLB Group, an agency in Miami, talked to
Media Life about why daylight savings is important, what media it impacts, and why radio and magazines are among them.

Why does daylight savings have such an impact on advertising?

In an industry such as advertising, even the slightest thing can make the difference between a home run campaign and a complete dud. When planning your strategy for the months to come, it's extremely important to have a pulse on your surroundings and environment.

With the longer days and warmer weather that daylight savings brings, advertisers' efforts and focus will gradually shift from more at-home media outlets such as TV and Internet to more out-of-home tactics such as radio, magazines and especially billboards.

The message in campaigns is definitely affected since people feel different during warmer season, are more exposed and interact with each other in a completely different dynamic than during the cold season.

Moreover, the brands use these changes to create new needs and trends for consumers.

What media does it affect most and why?

The fact that it gets darker later in the spring than it did in the winter certainly has an effect on what we do in our daily lives. Since daylight savings brings warmer weather, we tend to be more outdoorsy and spend more time out of home.

In recent years, numbers for more at-home media outlets, such as TV, have shown drops in ratings of 10 to 11 percent during the week that daylight savings started up again.

This means that advertising campaigns should shift focus to more out-of-home tactics, such as radio, magazines and billboards, to reach consumers and broadcast their message more efficiently.

Do you think most media people are mindful of the effect of daylight savings on advertising? Why or why not?

Since advertising is a form of communication intended to persuade audiences, it's essential for media people to connect with crowds and be aware of consumer trends.

Adding daylight to afternoons benefits outdoor activities like sports and retail, indicating a change in lifestyles, mood, among others.

Media people understand that consumers change everything from one season to another in the way they eat, dress, shop and spend their free time, for instance. Media people are aware of this, and thus create summer-type campaigns during this time to be in accordance with the season and accomplish what the audience is looking for.

How have media people adjusted to daylight savings in their advertising work?

Media people are ready to adjust their work to any change in consumer trends. Since daylight savings is intended to make days longer and save energy, we are ready to shift campaigns to more outdoor-friendly outlets and find ways to advertise outside the conventional methods.

Why are radio and magazines included in your list of media that should be more prominent during warm weather months?

Adding daylight to afternoon benefits retailing, sports, and other activities that exploit sunlight after working hours.

Since people are going to be spending more time outdoors, this means a shift from TV and Internet campaigns, to more energy-friendly channels such as magazines and radio.

These outlets should be exploited because they provide a strong out-of-home audience since they can easily accompany people in their outdoor time.

Are clients usually responsive when you discuss daylight savings time strategies with them?

Since DST is a seasonal change in people's lifestyle, our clients are very responsive with us and understand the importance of campaign shifts to interact and connect efficiently and emotionally to consumers.

(Source: Media Life, 03/14/11)

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