Friday, September 26, 2014

Sorry Lincoln, I'm checking out the Subaru.

I live in Manhattan and haven't owned a car since I was a teen, so I usually don't notice car commercials.  But blogging about the new Lincoln campaign with Matthew McConaughey has caused me to tune in. 

While seeing that ad in situ hasn't made me any fonder of the campaign, I did see a local car ad for the Ford Fusion that mentioned some features that interested me.  And, it made me think that if I was in the market, I would probably follow-up, since I tend to be practical about these things.

Therefore it was a total surprise to me when I responded to an ad that was virtually fact free.  It's a new ad from Subaru featuring a flowerchild grandmom bonding with her granddaughter.   If you haven't seen it, you can check it out here.


Since I do take great delight in corrupting all my nieces and nephews -- much to their parents dismay -- it's easy to see why it touched me.  But the fact that it would actually move me to follow-up blows my mind. 

I've been reading for years that research shows that all purchase decisions are emotional.  And, I've been preaching to my students that marketing is all about finding those emotional hot buttons and pressing them.   So why am I surprised to find that I am not the exception to the rule?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Will replacing female bimbos with female entrepreneurs be a successful strategy for GoDaddy?

GoDaddy built their name recognition by running sophomoric ads that left audiences guessing about what they actually did.  And it seemed pretty obvious that only men would bother to go to their website to find out.  (None of the women in my class had a clue.)

Perhaps they finally looked at the data showing that for the past 20 years women have been starting businesses at a higher rate than men, and it occurred to them that they might actually want to reach out to women.  (MacNeil, 2012)

Last February,  after running their usual stuff on the Super Bowl they came out with an ad featuring a woman quitting her job.  Interesting.  Here it is in case you missed it.

 I suspect it must have been successful since they just began a new campaign and the first commercial also features a woman.  (Baar, 2014)

I don't like it quite as much as the first one.  But I think that both are likely to generate more business than the suggestive/uninformative commercials they have been running.  Do you agree?

MacNeil, N. Entrepreneurship is The New Women's Movement.  Retrieved September 18, 2014, from

Baar, A. (2014, September 16)  GoDaddy Tells Small Business Truths.  Retrieved September 18, 2014, from

Friday, September 12, 2014

If you want to reach rich men, traditional media is still the best choice.

According to a new study from the Shullman Research Center, men with a household income of $500,000+ are more likely to see marketers' ads on tv, and in newspapers and magazines then on social media or YouTube.

Specially, 65% report seeing tv ads, 58% newspaper ads, and 50% magazine ads.  For new media, websites do best at 47%, followed by social media at 43% (tied with radio).  YouTube registers a disappointing 20%.  (Hoffmann, 2014)
Undoubtedly, there is a correlation with age as the percentage of young men with a HHI of $500K+ is probably fairly small.  But the message is the clear.  If you want to reach rich people, television is still the best place to do it, even though tv as a whole continues to skew older and more downscale. 

And the best show on tv to use may just be House Hunters International since HGTV delivers the most $100K+ households, and that particular show has a very low ad skip rate (16%) -- something that's very important given this group's high DVR penetration. (Perlberg, 2014)

So bring on the ads for luxury vacations -- 50% want to take one, including me.


Here's the blog I wrote last December about HGTV's delivery of $100K+ households.


Hoffmann, M. (2014, September 10)  How Having Higher Income Affects How Men Spend and Consume Media.  Retrieved September 11, 2014, from

Perlberg, S.  (2014, August 4)  Ad-Skipping Skews Upscale.  Wall Street Journal.  pB4

Friday, September 5, 2014

Is Matthew McConaughey hot enough to convince ladies to buy Lincolns?

With the number of women drivers in the U.S. surpassing the number of men as of 2010, car manufacturers have finally woken up to the fact that women can no longer be ignored.  Not only did they account for 39% of car purchases in 2013, but their behind the scenes influence is even greater.  Estimates are that they make the final decision on more than 60% of purchases, and have impact on anywhere from 85% - 95% of purchases.  But 91% of car salesmen are men, and 74% of women say they are being misunderstood. (Baime, 2014)
So what's a car maker to do?  Lincoln thinks the answer can be found in their decision to hire Matthew McConaughey to be their spokesperson.  The hope is that he will appeal to both the younger end of the target and yes, the females.  (Greenberg, 2014)
The campaign was launched this weekend with commercials on football, and this fall's new shows.  And if you think that college football is an odd place for Lincoln to try to reach women, you should know that 40% of college football fans are now female.  (2013)  And, Lincoln will also be running commercials on the Grammy's and print ads in Woman's Health and Vanity Fair too. 

Clearly they are sincere in their desire to reach women.  Now we'll have to see if they are successful.  Because this sure doesn't feel like a female targeted ad to me.



Baime, A.J. (2014, August 21)  Car Sellers Refine Pitch to Women.  Wall Street Journal.  pD1 & D3

Greenberg, K. (2014, September 4)  McConaughey Behind the Wheel of Lincoln in 5 new ads.  Retrieved September 5, 2014, from

(2013, March 19.)  Passion for College Football Remains Robust.  Retrieved September 5, 2014, from

Friday, August 29, 2014

I want to go to Science World.

 It all started when I was looking for a topic for this week's blog.  I went on Adweek's website looking for ideas and came across this headline: "See the Painfully Funny Science Museum Ad That Was Too Violent for Canadian TV."  Who could resist that?  Not me.  Here's the link so you can check it out too.  Of course it's far less violent than most of the stuff we see on American TV. (Gianatasio, 2014)

I enjoyed it so much that I clicked on this link to Rethink Canada's website see more Science World ads.  They're all so funny it's hard for me to pick a favorite.  And I just love the fact that each one also contains a piece of interesting information.

I have only one complaint.  It appears that Science World is in British Columbia.  So I don't see myself going there anytime soon.  But these ads sure make me want to!


Gianatasio, D. (2014, August 27)  See the Painfully Funny Science Museum Ad That Was Too Violent for Canadian TV.  Retrieved August 28, 2014, from

(2013, August 20)  According to science, science is fun!  Retrieved August 28, 2014, from

Friday, August 22, 2014

An idea to get kids moving that just might work.

On September 6, LeapFrog is launching LeapBand, a wearable activity tracker designed just for kids.  While their parents versions offer data as payout, the kids version involves the nurturing of a personalized virtual pet.
The concept is simple, the more active the child is, the more points they will earn.  More points unlock additional challenges.  (There are 50 in all.)  And the points also buy virtual rewards for their on-screen pets.

The spokesperson for the effort is soccer star Mia Hamm -- mother of three.  September 6 has been dubbed "Fit Made Fun Day," and the kick-off will begin with an event in Santa Monica, CA for 300+ kids. (Irwin, 2014)
I love it.  Kids love to copy their parents -- there's a funny email going around now with adorable pics to prove it.  And, the interactive nature of the program bodes well for its success.  It reminds me of the Verb campaign from the CDC, which encouraged tweens to play with a ball, blog about it, and then pass it along to someone else to play with.  That campaign, which showed signs of success, was discontinued in 2010 after funding ran out.  You can read more about it here.

So, I have high hopes that a program like this could play an important part in addressing the obesity crisis.  Why don't you get your favorite kids a band and let's give it a shot.


Irwin, T. (2014, August 21)  LeapFrog, Mia Hamm Partner To Get Kids Active.  Retrieved August 22, 2014, from

Friday, August 15, 2014

Would you use your smartphone to shop for cars? You would if you are a Millennial.

According to a new study from AutoTrader, 66% of 18-33 year-olds use mobile to find a dealer, and 65% use it to find actual vehicles.  (Greenberg, 2014)

Consistent with the shift in buying patterns discussed last week, Millennials are spending 16.4 hours researching and choosing their cars online before they visit a dealer.  When they do visit a showroom, they are testing and hopefully buying the vehicle they have settled on.  And 70% do.

While we see similar trends emerging to a lesser degree among older cohorts, as with the move from offline to online buying, the Millennials are leading the way with 95% using the web to shop for vehicles.

They spend over half their online time on third-party sites like AutoTrader, but only 5% use social sites as a resource, and only 22% say that it influences their brand perceptions.  Manufacturers and dealers had better tune in, because 59% say that they will think less of a brand that has a poorly functioning mobile site.

Greenberg, K. (2014, August 14)  Millennial Auto Shoppers Are Digital, Mobile, Confused.  Retrieved August 15, 2014, from