Thursday, January 28, 2010

You can’t argue with success.


Stand by for another round of creepy e-trade babies in this year’s Superbowl.

Why? According to e-trade, they saw a 19% increase in online applications following last year’s game. They didn’t say if that covers the $3 million they paid for the placement, not to mention the cost of producing the commercial. But, in addition to the application increase they also saw an 86% increase in unique prospects visiting the site in the week following the game. (Steinberg, 2010)

I’m convinced. Are you?

Steinberg, B. (2010, January 25). Why This $3 Million Baby Is Back on the Super Bowl. Retrived January 27, 2010, from

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Margarine wars? Time to reach for the butter.


Proving that they learned absolutely nothing from the recent soup wars which proved to be a lose lose for both Campbell’s and Progresso, Unilever’s Promise margarine has decided to take on rival Smart Balance with the claim “we think natural tastes better.” Excuse me, but what’s natural about oil filled with additives? (Baar, 2010)

Apparently the folks behind this idea don’t watch Alton Brown’s Good Eats show on the Food Channel, because he did an admirable job explaining in his Defense of Butter episode that the only natural product in this category is butter. And they clearly haven’t read Michael Pollan’s book In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, because if they had they would have already switched to butter.

Well this misguided effort ought to turn even non-watchers and non-readers into butter converts in no time flat. I’ve already made the switch, have you?

Baar, A. (2010, January 19). Unilever’s Promise Takes on Smart Balance. Retrived January 20, 2010, from

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Try it, you’ll like it.


This just in from Lipton – Hugh Jackman has been signed to a three-year global deal with Lipton Ice Tea in an effort to get Brits to try drinking their tea cold.

According to Lipton, 53% of UK consumers claimed they did not like the taste of ice tea without even trying it. The tagline for the campaign? “Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it”. (Thomas, 2010)

I don’t know which disturbs me more, people making uninformed decisions or another celebrity pushing a product that they have no direct connection to. What do you think?

Thomas, J. (2010, January 12). Pepsi backs Lipton with Hollywood A-lister Hugh Jackman. Retrived January 13, 2010, from

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Out with the Superbowl, in with cause-related marketing.


In a surprise move, PepsiCo announced that after 23 years of sponsorship, their beverages – including Pepsi would be sitting out the 2010 Superbowl. (Vranica, 2009)

The reason is that they are shifting their strategy to one focused on cause-related marketing, and the proposition can’t be properly explained in a :30 second commercial. The strategy shift is even more interesting when you consider new research which says 50% of teens, 40% of tweens (9-12) and 20% of kids (6-10) have bought an item tied to a social cause. (Hurley, 2009)

What do you think? Will this be an effective strategy for a soft drink to capture a new generation?

Vranica, S. (2009, December 17). Pepsi Benches Its Drinks. Wall Street Journal, p. B11

Hurley, B. (2009, October 29). Find A Cause, Show Real Commitment. Retrived 1/7/10, from