Friday, July 25, 2014

Let's drink to George's birthday with some Tetley Tea.

In honor of Prince George's first birthday, Tetley Tea offered a coupon for a free box of their British Blend to all US residents who have "George" somewhere in their legal name and who posted a baby photo of themselves on Tetley's Facebook page on July 22. (Lukovitz, 2014)

The 24 hour giveaway was promoted that day only on Facebook and Twitter.  The results?  A 543% increase in posts engagement.  Which just goes to show that no one can resist a cute baby picture.

But, as Tetley marketing executive Marc Birnbaum points out, the promotion is a way of reminding people that Tetley Tea is the quintessential British tea.

So what do you think of this approach?  Is this promotion a good fit?  Does it make you want to buy Tetley tea?

Lukovitz, K. (2014, July 24)  Tetley Continues To Score With Royal Social Promos.  Retrieved July 25, 2014, from

Friday, July 18, 2014

52 million Americans watched original digital videos last month. What about you?

A 2014 study from the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) indicated that 22% of American adults watch original digital video monthly, up from 15% in 2013.

The study also found that 28% watch tv online monthly and 31% watch amateur videos.  46% of those watch on their smartphones, 41% on their tablets, and 48% use internet-connected tv. (Loechner, 2014)

Is this consistent with your habits?  What kind of online videos are you watching and what device are you using to watch it?  Oh, and do you even look at the advertising preceding it?

Loechner, J. (2014, July 16)  53 Million US Viewers Watch Original Digital Video Each Month.  Retrieved July 17, 2014, from

Friday, July 11, 2014

Have you taken a quiz on your mobile device yet?

Enroll America, a nonprofit coalition of groups supportive of the Affordable Care Act, was looking for uninsured leads.  To find them they worked with Qriously to create and deliver a mobile quiz. 

The  banner ads asked the question, "Why do you not have health insurance?"  Three answers were provided -- "cost", "complicated" and "lack of info."  And consumers clicked on their choice.  (Results were fairly even across the options.) 

While the responses were tallied, the more important thing was that in all likelihood those who participated lacked health insurance, so it was an effective means for reaching the target.  And, not surprisingly, 40% of consumers who answered the question clicked through to the website to learn more about health care options.  Follow-up also included one targeted ad per day for those who responded. 

Enroll America has declined to share sign-up results, but a follow-up survey indicated that they increased from 18% to 26% for those who had seen the ad. (Johnson, 2014)

So what do you think?  Have you taken a quiz yet?  Did you follow-through by going to a website?  Did they follow-through by sending you targeted emails?  Do you think this is an effective form of advertising?

Johnson, L. (2014, July 8)  How Mobile Ads Found 53,000 Uninsured Leads for Healthcare Provider.  Retrieved July 11, 2014, from

Friday, July 4, 2014

What was Restoration Hardware thinking?

I bought a chair from Restoration Hardware last year.  It was a knock-off of a classic 50's ant chair and we wanted to try it out to see if we should buy the real thing.  Ultimately we decided we weren't fond of it and bought different chairs from a different store.

So I was horrified a few weeks ago when a package arrived of 13 very heavy Restoration Hardware catalogs -- apparently 17 pounds worth.  While I couldn't resist the urge to skim through them, I bought nothing.  And I felt so guilty about killing all those trees that I thought about contacting them to ask them to take me off their mailing list.

Well, I wasn't the only one that had this reaction.  Twitter exploded with nasty and sarcastic comments like this -- "No thanks @Restoration Hardware.  Come take it back."  And, "Going out this morning to clean up all the dead UPS guys who were delivering Restoration Hardware catalogs today."  (Forbes, 2014)

The Daily Mail has rounded up some of the best reactions and you can check them out here...

It used to be that it didn't matter what people said about you as long as they spelled your name right.  Do you think that's still true?  Is there value to be had in generating brand buzz of the negative kind? 

And, how do you feel about catalogs in general?  Do you get them, like them, and order things from them? 

Forbes, T. (2014, June 20)  Restoration Hardware's Catalog Lands With A Thud.  Retrieved July 4, 2014, from

Friday, June 27, 2014

Do you think supporting honey bees helps companies sell stuff?

Last week President Obama announced a task force to address the issue of rapidly diminishing honey bees and other pollinators. 

It's an important issue, and several companies have already adopted it as a pet cause.  Most notably Whole Foods, which this week  is sponsoring "Human Bee-In" events and "Give Bees A Chance" promotions. Participants include General Mills which will donate $1 for each box of Cascadian Farms Buzz Crunch Honey Almond sold, up to $100,000 to the Xerces Society, a leader in pollinator conservation.  Annie's, Barney Butter, Celestial Seasonings and Luna are also making donations. (Mahoney, 2014)

What effect do you think this promotion will have on sales?  Are your purchase decisions influenced by the charitable efforts of the brands you buy?  How?

Mahoney, S. (2014, June 23)  General Mills, Whole Foods Generate Buzz For Bees.  Retrieved June 23, 2014, from

Friday, June 20, 2014

Will pet-friendly dating events be a winning idea for

According to, a survey showed that 80% of singles are pet lovers.  And, 59% agree that finding out your date had adopted rather than bought their pets would make them seem more attractive. (Irwin, 2014)

Therefore it makes sense that would partner with PetSmart charities on pet-friendly dating events.  The members only events include advice about when to introduce a pet to a potential date, and whether or not cat people and dog people can truly get along.  (Apparently the answer is yes, since 66% of dog owners would date cat people.)  

So what do you think?  Is this an good way for to increase membership?

Irwin, T. (2014, June 20)  PetSmart Charities, Pair For Dating Events.  Retrieved June 20, 2014, from

Friday, June 13, 2014

Taco Bell proves that rules are meant to be broken.

One of the points that I make frequently in both my class and book is that the more narrowly you define your target audience the easier it is to create communications that motivate them.  The principle is quite simple if you think about it.  If you define your target as 25-54 year-olds, you are talking about you and your parents (or you and your kids).  When was the last time you thought the same way about anything as they do?

But, much to my surprise in their new breakfast ads Taco Bell has found common ground between generations.  And in doing so has demonstrated that a one-handed breakfast has benefits for both seniors and millennials.  Kudos to them. 

Here's the commercial if you haven't seen it yet.