Thursday, June 24, 2010

Can advertising make people healthier?


People often rant about the evils of advertising, and how it forces people to buy things they don’t really want. I say prove it. Advertising is just a communications tool, and its power can be harnessed for good or bad purposes. I just wish it would be used more for the former.

A good place to start is by addressing the obesity crisis. But how do we do that when 76% of people say they know that what they eat affects their health, but only 36% consider their diets to be healthy? (And don’t forget the fudge factor.)

The first step, as always, is to understand the target. A recent segmentation study has identified six distinct groups based on attitudes toward wellness. They are:
The I Give Ups (24%)
The Strugglers (14%)
The Immortals (16%)
The Fitterati (16%)
The Fact Finders (15%)
The Heath Gurus (15%)
(Banikarim, 2010)

While the data has not been crossed referenced with health issues, it seems fairly likely that the first group would be the one most in need of encouragement; and given that it’s the largest, a good place to start.

Research shows that this group is overwhelmed by the amount of things they need to do to get healthy. That suggests simplifying the information they are being given, and providing it in small sound bites with easy to follow changes might work.

What do you think? Does this seem like a good direction? Or would we be better off addressing another segment – like the Fact Finders – and encouraging them to become advocates?

Banikarim, M. (2010, June 18). Weighing In On Health: Marketing Behavior Change. Retrieved June 23, 2010, from

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Do you “like” a brand on Facebook?


It appears that there may be hope for successful advertising in the social networking space after all.

According to a recent study, 50% of Facebook users click on Facebook ads to “like” a brand. Are you one of them? 37% learned about a new product or service from a social networking site. How about you? Or are you part of the 32% that has recommended a product/service/brand?

49% of respondents have also indicated that they would like more printable coupons. Is that on your wish list? (Loechner, 2010)

Loechner, J. (2010, June 16). Social Media Driving Consumer Behavioral Changes. Retrieved June 17, 2010, from

Thursday, June 10, 2010

“Nah, we don’t got that.”

June 10, 2010

For several years Staples used the tagline: “Yeah, we got that,” and they actually did. When I needed paper and ink and blank CDs, I could pretty much pop into any store around town and pick up what I needed. But, recently I noticed that more often or not, the item I was looking for was out-of-stock. My first thought was that they were simply seeking to move traffic to their website, so I looked for the items there. No luck.

Now comes word from the CEO that they are transforming their business, selling more private label products, and focusing on services, where inventory needs are low and margins are better. (Mahoney, 2010).

Great. So where do I go now to get staples when I need them?

But perhaps more importantly, does it make sense to jettison a brand positioning that led to so much success?

Mahoney, S. (2010, June 2). Staples Focuses On Growing Tech, Services. Retrieved June 9, 2010, from

Thursday, June 3, 2010

TNT and Curves -- a match made in heaven?


TNT wants to boost its female-driven dramas, and Curves wants to boost membership. Together they have created a “Strong Women Challenge.” TNT hopes viewers will identify with the characters on its dramas. Curves hopes women will work out three times a week for the six week length of the promotion.

The “wow” tactics for the effort include “Try Us Tuesdays” at Curves, when non-members will be welcome; and a sneak preview of TNT’s new drama “Rizzoli & Isles,” where women will be encouraged to sign up for workout teams based on the women portrayed in TNT shows. (Friedman, 2010)

Given that recent studies show that 40% of people prefer exercising with others, and that a nudge as minor as a voicemail reminder can be effective in motivating non-exercisers. The idea may have potential.

What do you think? Is this a better fit than AFLAC and Toy Story 3?

Friedman, W. (2010, June 1) TNT, CURVES’ “Woman Challenge’ Push Health, Character Bonding. Retrieved June 2, 2010, from