Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Will Absolut's second act be as successful as their debut was?

Absolut Vodka was launched in NYC in 1979 and became a huge part of the American culture -  embracing artists like Andy Warhol along the way.  

Their iconic print campaign was actually outsourced to the media it ran in.  When companies came to discuss how many pages their magazine should receive in the coming year they arrived with creative ideas in hand.  As a result the campaign remained fresh and interesting for years. 

I even remember a cousin telling me that at his university it was cool to collect the ads and display them on your dorm room walls.  Can you imagine that?  A pre-Internet viral campaign!

Sales surged from 10,000 cases in 1980 to nearly 5 million by 2000. (Gianatasio, 2015)

But nothing lasts forever and somewhere along the way Absolut lost their cool.  So, I was fascinated to read that they are now actively trying to retrieve it. 

They have chosen to begin by reintroducing themselves to NYC with a neighborhood tailored Out-of-Home campaign, meant to speak to New Yorkers.  This billboard near the High Line certainly succeeds.  

Billboards have also gone up in Hell's Kitchen, the Lower East Side, Chelsea and Midtown East.  Additional campaign elements will roll out later this year. (Monllos, 2017)

So what do you think?  Is the timing right for a come back?  Why or why not?  Is NYC the right place to do it?  What generation are they trying to reach?  How does their approach demonstrate that?  Do you think they will be able to connect emotionally with their target?  How?  Can they become cool again?

Gianatasio, D. (2015, September 28) How Blending Art and Commerce Drove Absolut Vodka's Legendary Campaigns.  Retrieved November 15, 2017, from

Monllos, K. (2017, November 13)  Absolut Reintroduces Itself to New Yorkers With Out-of-Home Work Tailored to the Neighborhood.  Retrieved November 15, 2017, from


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Why are some people overpaying for aluminum foil?

According to, a national dollar store chain has identified Gen Z's (under 24) and Baby Boomers (55-64) as their primary customers.

The article then goes on to point out that while aluminum foil is only a dollar at the dollar store, the box you buy contains 27 square feet of product.

In contrast, at a well known big box store, you can get 75 feet of foil for $2.08.

That means that you are paying 3.7 cents per square foot at the dollar store, versus 2.7 cents per square foot at the big box store.  A premium of 37%.

Interestingly enough, when this fact was pointed out to the dollar store fan (a Boomer) and then he was asked where he would buy his foil, he responded "At the dollar store."  When asked why, he replied "Because it is a dollar."

What's going on here?  What have we learned about consumer behavior that can explain going to the dollar store in the first place?  Why are Gen Z's and Boomers more likely to shop at the dollar store?  Why did the person keep going to the store despite the evidence presented?  Would another approach have been more successful in persuading him to shop elsewhere?  Which one and why?

Stone, J. (2017, November 7)  Boomers As Value-based Consumers.  Retrieved November 8, 2017, from

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Will opening cafes and partnering with the Olympics increase Kellogg's sales?

Cereal sales are down because Americans tend to eat their breakfasts on the go these days.  So what's a cereal company to do?  How about opening a cafe in Times Square?

That's exactly what Kellogg did last year.  And while I visited with my family for a photo opp.  We did not eat a $7.50 bowl of cereal.

Kellogg closed the cafe in August.  But that's because they are moving to a larger location.  So I guess other people did spend $9.50 for the "Life in Color" sundae featuring Froot Loops. (Taylor, 2017)

But since that's a small scale effort, the company continues to seek other ways to connect.  To that end, they are continuing their "What gets you started" Olympics campaign, which they began last summer at the Rio Olympics.

They have announced the names of the "Team Kellogg" athletes, and created this video to kick things off.  Starting in December, the selected athletes will begin to appear on Kellogg boxes and consumers are being encouraged to follow them on social media. (Lukovitz, 2017)

Clearly the two efforts are trying to connect with different target segments.  Who is the target market for each?  (Gender, age range, plus one - but more is better)  What persuasive techniques is each effort using?  What personality types/core values are they focusing on?  Do you think these campaigns will be successful?

Taylor, K. (2017, August 8)  Kellogg is closing the 'cereal cafe' in New York City that charges $7 per bowl to open an even bigger one - here's what to expect.  retrieved november 1, 2017, from 

Lukovitz, K. (2017, October 31)  Kellogg Continues 'What Gets You Started?' For Winter Games.  Retrieved November 1, 2017 , from