Thursday, December 27, 2012

The best ad of 2012 made me want to eat fast food!

Yes, I know it’s shocking since I basically qualify as a health nut these days and can’t remember the last time I entered a QSR.  But when I saw the Chipotle ad – Back to the Start – on the Grammy’s I was intrigued.  Of course its message pushed my buttons since it focuses on sustainability and suggests an organic approach to farming. 

But apparently I wasn’t the only one that found the ad, which was also viewed over 7 million times on YouTube, motivating since company revenue increased by 23% during the first half of 2012. (Vranica, 2012)

In case you missed it, you can check it out here.

Vranica, S. (2012, December 24) Bold Stunts, Bad Taste Mark Year’s Ads.  Wall Street Journal.  pB1

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Overwhelming your customers with emails is not a good sales strategy.

The other day I received 22 emails from Staples.  Granted they only meant to send me two.  But as far as I am concerned two emails a day from Staples is two too many.  I discussed the fact that I find their emails overwhelming and annoying with another small business customer and he agreed.  This was last spring.  Then I noticed that they started coming even more often.  Not surprisingly soon after I read that sales were soft.
It’s true that most of the emails they sent included coupons.  But they all had strings attached – good for purchases over $100 – excluding these items, good in-store or online only, limited timeframes etc.  Even the coupon they sent me to apologize for the 22 emails came with caveats. 

I was never too keen on Staples’ emails to begin with because they are not customized based on my purchases.  Instead they tell me what they have on sale that week even if I have never bought anything like those items before.  What’s the point of having a database if you don’t intend to use it?  On the other hand when they have tried to use my data for outreach it is clear that they are not coordinating my offline and online purchases properly even though I always use my rewards number. 
I have canceled every opt-in newsletter I have ever received due to the same issue with overkill.  I noticed recently that when I canceled one I was given the option of selecting a lesser frequency.  Perhaps Staples offers the same option, but given their database dysfunction I am afraid that if I do try to cancel their promotional emails they will stop sending my rewards as well.  So I just ignore them.

According to the Direct Marketing Association, these days only 22% of emails are opened, and just 1.5% result in a purchase.  (Holmes, 2012)  That’s comparable to direct mail rates; and, much lower than the online rates used to be. 
Perhaps if companies gave a bit more thought to both the frequency and the content of their emails they might become an effective marketing tool again.  At the very least they’ll stop alienating their customers.

Holmes, E. (2102, December 19)  Dark Art of Store Emails.  Wall Street Journal.  pD1

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Is it time for Macy’s to fire Donald Trump?

I have never been a fan of using celebrities in advertising.  While they may be effective in getting your brand noticed, they often overwhelm it and ultimately distract from it.  That’s exactly what’s happening now with Macy’s and Donald Trump.
In case you haven’t been following the story, many people, including me, have been highly offended by the disrespectful comments Mr. Trump has made about President Obama and the American election process over the past several years.

In response, on October 24th a petition was started on urging Macy’s to part ways with this ill-fitting spokesperson.  And as of this morning, 678,789 people have signed that petition. (Carusone, 2012)

Moreover, a recent survey by YouGov BrandIndex shows that since the beginning of November the store’s loyalty measure has dropped from 31 to 19, its lowest levels in more than a year, putting them behind all their competitors -- even J.C. Penney. (Mahoney, 2012)

(Strasser, 2012)

And last, but not least, there’s the boycott.  It will no doubt take a while for the company to assess the damage, but when they do, I imagine they will find that I am not the only Macy’s shopper who took my business elsewhere this holiday season.
Advertisers beware.  You can’t have it both ways, when you partner with a celebrity you have to take the good with the bad.  Why risk it?

Carusone, A. (2012, October 24)  Urge Macy’s To Dump Donald Trump.  Retrieved December 12, 2012, from

Mahoney, S. (2012, November 29)  Is Trump Chasing Women Away From Macy’s?  Retrieved December 12, 2012, from
Strasser, A.  (2012, November 29)  Donald Trump Partnership Ruins Macy’s Popularity.  Retrieved December 12, 2012, from

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Let’s hope the success of Birds Eye’s GenVeg campaign emboldens other healthy foods to reach out to kids.

In May, when Birds Eye announced that they would be spending $6 million over three years on kid-friendly advertising with a goal of increasing vegetable consumption among children, I was hopeful the campaign would be successful as I noted in this blog.

I figured if the corny commercials that the Television Bureau of Canada ran in December 2010 could increase broccoli sales by 8%, then there was every reason to believe that other, possibly better, attempts to increase vegetable consumption would be successful as well.  Here’s that blog for reference.

So I was tickled pink to read that the partnership with “ICarly” appears to have been a great success.  According to Birds Eye, the campaign generated 40,000+ sweepstakes entries, 16,000+ recipe ideas and 225,000 page views on the Nick/Birds Eye site.  Perhaps more importantly, the category experienced growth while the campaign ran, countering the flat to negative sales trends of recent years.

The campaign had so many interesting tactics that it’s hard to know which impacted the kids most.  Was it the” Steamfresh Chef of the Week” which encouraged kids to submit cooking-related photos?  Or the kid’s recipe contest, which resulted in “Yakimaniac Veggie Martians,” being featured on an episode “ICarly?”  In the end, I suspect that it was the totality of the multi-faceted effort that was responsible.

Birds Eye is already preparing a new campaign for next fall based in part on key insights gleaned from the kid-generated recipe ideas.  Doesn’t that sound like a win win?  Chiquita Bananas, are you paying attention?

Lukovitz, K. (2012, November 21)  Birds Eye Reports Success With ‘ICarly’ Partnership.  Retrieved December 6, 2012, from

Friday, November 30, 2012

Say Hello to Generation Edge

Last summer after a discussion about the psychological differences between Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y, a student asked me what comes next.  My answer was that while I didn’t know yet what the next generation would be called, we would all know soon since the oldest members of the group were already 18.

Well the brand consultancy “The Sound Research” has apparently named them “Generation Edge.”  While we’ll have to wait awhile to see if the name sticks, the information emerging about these children of Gen X parents is already fascinating.

The cynicism of their parents and the effect of early life events which includes September 11th and the financial collapse of 2008, have apparently rubbed off on them.  They are less entitled than their predecessors (Gen Y) and understand that life will not be easy; they are defined by their ability to roll with the punches, and they share the rebellious tendencies of their parents.  (Baar, 2012)

Of course since they are seriously outnumbered by Gen Y their impact will be somewhat muted, much as their parents were forced to follow in the footsteps of the larger Baby Boomer generation.  But still as they reach adulthood, advertisers will have to think about using a more realistic approach to reach them than the one that appeals to the idealistic Gen Yers. 

It should certainly be interesting to watch.  

Baar, A. (2012, November 19)  On Edge: The Next Generation Explained.  Retrieved November 22, 2012, from

Friday, November 23, 2012

Does it make sense for Ocean Spray to use their popular spokespeople to fight the government?

Since 2005, Ocean Spray has been running a campaign that features two guys in a bog.  It’s been a big hit with the public and according to Ace Metrix, which measures ad effectiveness based on consumer surveys about persuasion and watchability, it is among the top five brands in its category this year. (Lukovitz, 2012)

So imagine my surprise when I saw that Ocean Spray had decided that not only was it good policy to fight the NYC ban against the sale of sugared beverages over the size of 16 ounces, but chose to do so using their spokespeople.  I have to wonder what they were thinking.  Suger-sweetened drinks are the single largest source of calories in our diet; type 2 diabetes is increasing by epidemic proportions; and they want to be exempt from the ban because cranberries are healthy if you don’t add sugar to them?  It boggles the mind.  (Brody, 2012)

But what puzzles me more is why they would take their comic duo and put them in this video.  What do you think?  Will they be able to use these guys in their advertising again after this?
Lukovitz, K. (2012, November 14)  Ace Releases Brand Of The Year ‘Watch List’.  Retrieved November 22, 2012, from
Brody, J. (2012, October 23)  In Fighting Obesity, Drink Sizes Matter.  The New York Times.  p. D7

Friday, November 16, 2012

Can Richard the Cat Convince You to Get Out the Hammer and Nails?

I was in a “Teaching with Technology” Conference at NYU last spring, when a speaker noted that you can tell when your online network is working because people will start posting photos of cats.  His statement got a big laugh, probably because everyone recognized that it was true.

Apparently this lesson was absorbed by Home Depot who has decided to introduce a feline spokescat for the holiday season.  Perhaps they were encouraged by recent positive sales results to take a chance, or they could have been reacting to data which has shown that icons appear to be an effective way for companies to connect with people in the social media space.  Either way it seems to be a bold move. (Vranica, 2012)

You can expect to read Richard’s sarcastic comments about his inept family’s home improvement disasters on Tumbler, and BuzzFeed‘s home page will be Home Depot orange next week.  Tweets can be found @RichardTheCat and content is planned for Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Foursquare.  (Zmuda, 2012)

It all sounds like fun, but I’m not sure it will inspire me to tackle those home improvements that I have been putting off.  What about you?

Anderson, M. (November 13, 2012)  Home Depot 3Q Results Edge up, Beat Street’s View.  Retrieved November 16, 2012, from

Vranica, S. (March 26, 2012)  Knights, Pirates, Trees Flock to Facebook.  Wall Street Journal p B1.

Zmuda, N. (2012, November 14)  Home Depot Adopts Feline Holiday Mascot.  Retrieved November 16, 2012, from

Friday, November 9, 2012

Can an in-flight safety video persuade you to go to the movies?

If you fly Air New Zealand soon you may get the chance to see something unexpected.  In place of the standard in-flight safety video which seems designed to put people to sleep, they are currently running a Hobbit-themed video featuring hobbits, elves, and even a cameo appearance by director Peter Jackson.  The promotion includes a chance to win passes to attend the world premiere of “The Hobbits.” (Russell, 2012)

But, what’s more interesting to me is the idea of turning a forced exposure into an entertainment/marketing opportunity.  I am reminded of a flight attendant I once had on an American Airlines flight, who added a bit of shtick to the standard message.  She got my attention, made me laugh and perhaps most importantly got me to tune into her speech instead of ignoring it as I usually do.

If you haven’t seen it, here it is below. 

So what do you think?  Is it a win win?

Russell, M.  (2012, November 7)  ‘The Hobbit’ Takes Over Air New Zealand’s In-Flight Safety Video.  Retrieved November 8, 2012, from,

Friday, November 2, 2012

What happens when Duracell offers relief to people who don’t need it?

It sounded like a no-brainer.  With people increasing dependent upon electric devices, why not create a traveling exhibit designed to go to the scene of emergencies and provide a much needed opportunity for people to power up.  (Neff, 2012)

But, as they say the devil is in the details. 

Perhaps it’s because Duracell is located in Bethel, Conn. and is now dependent on a back-up generator themselves.  But all you had to do was watch some of the non-stop TV coverage of Superstorm Sandy to know that the only area of lower Manhattan that didn’t lose their power was Battery Park City, thanks to the fact that they are on a Brooklyn power grid.  So Duracell sending their “Power Forward Community Center” there was an odd decision.  One can only imagine that turnout was poor, and photo opps, which were undoubtedly the point of the effort were non-existent.

So what happens when an effort to build good will fails?  Will anyone even notice?

Neff, J. (2012, October 31)  Duracell Brings Charging Stations to Battery Park After Hurricane Sandy.  Retrieved November 2, 2012, from

(2012, November 1)  Downtown Will Have Power by Saturday, says Con Ed.  Retrieved November 2, 2012, from

Friday, October 26, 2012

Will a 2-D character named Wit Oddoski convince you to try grass-flavored Vodka?

We already know that Gen Y craves variety in their alcoholic beverages and that companies are responding by creating all sorts of interesting flavored options.  Here’s a blog from last May about MillerCoors introduction of Coco Breve for Gen Y women.
But as someone who has been struggling with allergies for several weeks now I can’t help wonder if Pernod Richard missed their mark with this one.  In addition to the fresh cut grass flavor, the line includes apple pie, salty caramel popcorn, wasabi and electricity.  No, I don’t know what electricity tastes like.  But according to the company it tickles the taste buds.
The campaign for the new line called Oddka, which features a 2-D character named Wit Oddoski is scheduled to run on Facebook and Twitter and includes an iTune app that has something to do with growing a virtual mustache. (Schultz, 2012)
So what do you think?  Will you try it? 

Schultz, E. (2012, October 24)  Pernod’s New Vodka Brand Includes ‘Fresh Cut Grass’ Spirits Industry Pushing Flavor Boundaries All the Way to Front Lawn.  Retrieved October 25, 2012, from

Friday, October 19, 2012

Does playing a game make you want to buy a house?

On October 17, Century 21 began a three week presence in Sim City on Facebook.  The promotion allows players to purchase and buy buildings, impact other people’s buildings and earn extra points by watching a commercial. 
But to what end?  Bev Thorne, Century 21 CMO says that they are attempting to reach Adults 25-34, who they see as the next generation of home buyers.   While she admits that the game is unlikely to generate immediate business, she is hoping that increased awareness and affinity will translate into sales when the economy improves. (Baar, 2012)
What do you think?  Is she right? 

Baar, A. (2012, October 17) Century 21 Plays 21st Century Marketing Game.  Retrieved October 19, 2012, from

Friday, October 12, 2012

Do you “like” brands on Facebook? Why?

According to a new study by Lab42, 87% of Facebook users say that they “like” brands on Facebook.  Are you one of them?  What brands do you “like?”  Why?
The study says that most people who “like” a brand expect something in return such as promotions and discounts (34%) or free product (21%).  Is this what motivates you too?
But the study goes on to say that 46% of users who like a brand have no intention of buying it.  They either can’t afford it (46%) or want it for free (52%).  (Loechner, 2012)
So much for Sheryl Sandberg’s outrageous statement that “engagement always leads to revenue.”  (Dauble, 2012)
So where do you stand?  Are you one of the people who “like” brands but have no purchase intent?

Loechner, J. (2012, October 8)  Like It or Leave It.  Retrieved October 10, 2012, from


Friday, October 5, 2012

Will you fly Jet Blue because they support KaBoom?

Studies have shown that people are not only more likely to do business with companies that support charities they care about, but they may also be willing to pay a premium price for their services.  I remain skeptical.

Jet Blue has been sponsoring the “Swing for Good Golf Classic” since 2009 and the “Bid for Good” online auction since 2010.  This year, the recipient charities are KaBoom, a non-profit that envisions a place to play within walking distance for every child in the US, and PBS Kids, an educational brand for children.  They’re both terrific causes.

But, I don’t think Jet Blue’s support of them would impact my airline selection.  What about you?  Will you be more likely to fly Jet Blue because they support these causes?  Will you participate in the auction or golf tournament?

Irwin, T.  (2012, October 2).  JetBlue Continues Support of Charitable Partners.  Retrieved October 4, 2012, from

Friday, September 28, 2012

The launch of iPhone 5 made me want to buy a Samsung Galaxy S III. How about you?

While Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal, who is usually my go to guy for electronics advice, found much to like about the new iPhone 5, it was Jessica Vascellaro’s article about features the iPhone 5 lacks that other smart phones already have that got my attention.  (Vascellaro, 2012)

Then I saw this ad, which Samsung cleverly ran during the week the iPhone 5 launched. 

Since people were camping out around Manhattan it struck a chord.  And interestingly, the ad snagged 13.2 million views online, making it number one for the week.  (Russell, 2012)

I’m not sure that I would ever use touch to share, but I did come away with the impression that Samsung was the superior phone. What about you?  Did you buy an iPhone last week?  Or did you check out the Samsung Galaxy instead?

Vascellaro, J. (2012, September 13)  Is Apple’s iPhone Boring?  Retrieved September 27, 2012, from

Russell, M. (2012, September 26)  How Samsung Upstaged Apple During the Launch of iPhone 5.  Retrieved September 27, 2012, from

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Oh so that’s why I don’t get those Sonic ads.

While I always discuss with my students the fact that men and women do not think alike to explain why it is difficult to effectively address both genders in a campaign, I didn’t really have a handle on what those differences are.

Well according to a new study from Nielsen, men and women differ dramatically in what they consider to be funny.  Men like slapstick, edgy and sarcastic humor, while women like an off-beat approach that isn’t mean spirited.  They also found that men like normal guys in exaggerated situations in their commercials while women prefer happy situations that incorporate someone like them.  (Goetzl, 2012)

For years I have been watching the Sonic commercials and wondering how their customers could relate to ads that portray them as idiots.  Now I realize that I was looking at them from a female perspective when they were clearly designed for men.  No wonder I didn’t get it.  But on the other hand 58% of the chain’s customers are women.  Is it a coincidence that sales declined in 2009 and 2010?  (Smith, 2011)

And now that they have rebounded, why has Sonic decided to revive that campaign?  I do not think that their female customers will be amused.


Goetzl, D. (2012, September 14).  Humor In Ads: Laughs Fall Along Gender Lines.  Retrieved September 20, 2012, from

Smith, D. (2011, August)  A Sonic Rebound.  Retrieved September 20, 2012, from

Thursday, September 13, 2012

You mean that skin cream won’t make me look 10 years younger?

Cosmetics and skin cream companies have long sold hope in a bottle.  And while I have recently found myself pondering whether or not anti-aging creams work, and if so how, I just couldn’t bring myself to believe that they really did.

Now after years of ignoring cosmetic claims, probably because they thought we were all smart enough to realize using these products was not going to turn us into supermodels, the FDA has fired a warning shot at Lancome.  Apparently they have gone a step too far with claims like “boosts the activity of genes and stimulates the production of youth proteins,” which the agency perceives to be a drug claim.  (Forbes, 2012)

Well.  It’s a start.  Last year the U.K. banned a couple of L’Oreal ads featuring Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington for overuse of photoshop retouching.  And before that, there was the mascara ad featuring Eva Longoria wearing false eyelashes.  It certainly made me wonder why the U.S. wasn’t taking a closer look at these ads. (Gibson, 2011)

But let’s take a moment to consider how sad is it that even these extraordinary women need help to look the way they do in the media.  I think it’s time to take another look at Dove’s Evolution ad, and pay a little more attention to misleading beauty product claims.  Don’t you?

Forbes, T. (2012, September 12)  FDA Crackdown On Lancome Claims Signals Shift.  Retrieved September 12, 2012, from

Gibson, M. (2011, July 28)  U.K. Bans Two Retouched Makeup Ads For Being ‘Misleading’.  Retrieved September 12, 2012, from

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Will launching Cherry Noir vodka using Pinterest and Instagram be successful?

Last week an article ran in discussing the fact that 61% of advertising and marketing execs are not interested in using Pinterest. (Loechner, 2012)  That doesn’t surprise me at all.  Taking risks on new media is scary, particularly when marketers are still struggling to find the formula for success on Facebook.

So kudos to Grey Goose for giving it a shot.  Based on its name -- Cherry Noir --  I would guess that the new brand is targeted to experimental Gen Y’s.  So, the use of Pinterest and Instagram seems appropriate from a media perspective.   

The heart of the campaign is the weekly release of a two-minute imagery heavy “Hotel Noir” video.  Instagram photographers were commissioned to release photos inspired by the video theme, and it appears that the accompanying Pinterest board will also be populated by professionals.  But, users are being encouraged to participate as well.  (Lukovitz, 2012)

That makes this a very trendy launch.  But will it be successful? 


Loechner, J. (2012, August 31)  Pinterest Interest.  Retrieved September 6, 2012, from

Lukovitz, K. (2012, September 6) Grey Goose Employs Instagram, Pinterest For Launch.  Retrieved September 6, 2012, from

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Andy Warhol would have loved it.

Andy who is probably as famous for saying “In the future everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes” as he is for his pop art, would have loved this campaign. 

Campbell’s who at first was skeptical of the artist’s support, ultimately embraced him and sent him cases of tomato soup, commissioned paintings, and even established an art scholarship in his name.   Why not?  When he was asked why he chose to paint the soup can in 1962 he said that he had eaten the soup for lunch every day for the past 20 years; talk about a loyal user!

The promotion, which ties into the exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art includes four limited edition cans available exclusively at Target.  A “15 minutes of fame” app will enable users to turn photos into Warhol-inspired works of art, and the best ones will be featured on Campbell’s Facebook page. (Lukovitz, 2012)

I have to admit that I am tempted to track down the cans for display purposes.  And I will visit the Met exhibit, which they sponsored, during member previews.  But I don’t think that it will make me want to consume Campbell’s soup again.  The last time I tried – it was way too salty.  What do you think?  Does it make you want to buy something?
Lukovitz, K. (2012, August 29)  Campbell Cans Salute Warhol’s Iconic Soup Art.  Retrieved August 30, 2012, from

Thursday, August 23, 2012

What social media do you use? What gender and age are you?

As social media matures, it is expanding and fragmenting, following in the footsteps of television.  And each network is now becoming more distinct in terms of the audience that it attracts.  So depending upon who you are trying to reach, a variety of new options are available.
According to a recent study by Pingdom, males like tech-oriented sites like Slashdot, Hacker News and Stack Overflow, while females like Pinterest, Goodreads and Blogger.   Marketers who want to reach 25-34 year-olds should consider Hi5, while those seeking 35-44 year-olds might want to check out Quora.

And, while the estimated age of the average social media user is under 37, LinkedIn’s average user is 44 and Facebook’s is 50! (Sullivan, 2012)

That surprises me.  How about you?

Sullivan, L. (2012, August 27).  Social Media Users’ Age, Gender Impact Site Choices.  Retrieved August 23 , from

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Why in the world would anyone care how old Walgreens is?

Maybe I’m just bitter because after they bought my local Duane Reade chain they slashed the loyalty program and dropped many of my favorite name brands for generic products that don’t taste or work as well. 
But as a marketer, I just don’t understand why any company would tout the fact that they are 111 years old – especially a retailer.  Apparently it’s so they can brag about being the inventors of childproof caps and drive-through pharmacies.  And that’s supposed to make me want to shop there now?  Why? (Baar, 2012)

Personally I think their new smartphone app for prescription refills sounds interesting.  So, why not just talk about that instead of ancient history?

Baar, A.  (2012, August 11)  Walgreens Campaign Touts Its History Of Innovation. Retrieved August 15, 2012, from

Thursday, August 9, 2012

And the gold medal goes to … Chobani.

According to Ace Metrix, the Chobani Olympics ad has earned the second highest Ace Scores in the competition.  Ace Scores which are based on user surveys, measure relevance, persuasion, “watchability”, information and attendance. (Lukovitz, 2012)

They go on to point out that like many of the other high scoring ads including those for GE and P&G, the commercial makes an emotional connection with its audience.  Given that they could have focused on the fact that they are currently the number one brand, kudos to them for resisting the urge, and remembering their audience. (Walsh, 2012)

I know the approach worked because after my husband watched the ad he announced that he liked Chobani better than Dannon because it wasn’t as sweet.  He then went out and bought several containers and declared red raspberry to be his new favorite.

Now that’s what I call a winning effort.

Lukovitz, K. (2012, August 7)  Chobani, GE, Coca-Cola, P&G Score With Olympics Ads. Retrieved August 8, 2012, from

Walsh, M. (2012, July 31)  Chobani Takes Gold in the Yogurt Aisle. Retrieved August 8, 2012, from

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Can Gen Y be persuaded to buy Sweet ‘N Low?

At first it seems odd that a 50 year-old brand would think they had a chance to increase sales by targeting the variety craving Gen Y, but really what choice do they have?  Gen Y is now projected to be 80 million strong, larger than the Baby Boomers.  And since they are 18 - 33, they are the future. (Parekh, 2012)

But will they embrace a chemical product even if it tastes better than a natural one?  Perhaps.  A segmentation study of Gen Y from last April suggested that many segments of the group don’t particularly care about natural products.  While the 2010 Gallup survey said that 61% of women want to lose weight.  (Mendes, 2010)

So, what do you think?  Can this campaign be successful?

Here’s the link to the blog about the segmentation study.

Parekh, R. (2012, July 31) Why the Makers of Sweet ‘N Low are Trying to Target Younger Consumers. Retrieved August 1, 2012, from

Mendes, E. (2010, November 24) In U.S., 62% Exceed Ideal Weight, 19% at Their Goal.  Retrieved August 1, 2012, from

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Will Gen Y buy Coconut-Curry Chicken soup for $2.99?

Campbell’s Soup has announced plans to introduce a new line called “Go Soup” aimed at Gen Y foodies, who have a taste for culinary adventure and variety.  Interestingly, many of the announced varieties such as Chorizo and Pulled Chicken with Black Beans seem to have an ethnic skew perhaps reflecting the fact that the U.S. is well on its way to becoming a majority non-white country. (Forbes, 2012)
The new line also taps into the target’s desire for convenience, with fuchsia and white pouches replacing old style cans.  But at least one consultant fears that the $2.99 selling point, approximately three times that of condensed soups, may scare off under and un-employed prospects.  (Welch, 2012)
What do you think?  Is $2.99 too much for a home cooked meal?

Forbes, T. (2012, July 25).  Campbell Looking To Bowl Over Millennials.  Retrieved July 25, 2012, from

Welch, D. (2012, July 24)  Campbell Chases Millennials With Lentils Madras Curry: Retail.  Retrieved July 25, 2012, from

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Let the battle of the condoms begin.

Three leading condom manufacturers – Trojan, Durex and Lifestyles, have recently launched vastly different social and experiential campaigns as they battle for market share.
Trojan has formed a partnership with, and will be sponsoring an interactive video series dealing with questions about – you guessed it -- sex.

Durex has introduced a new Facebook app to help couples choose the perfect mood music for lovemaking.  And they partnered with Ice T and Coco for a Facebook event/Twitter party.

Finally Lifestyles has chosen to partner with Identity, a touring electronic music festival.  They will be distributing free samples at 15 concerts this summer and hosting ticket giveaways on their Facebook and Twitter pages. (Sass, 2012)

They all strike me as interesting approaches.  I wonder if any of them will be successful.  What do you think?  Will any of them make you change your brand preference?

Sass, E. (2012, July 13) Condom Brands Step Up Marketing Efforts. Retrieved July 18, 2012, from

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Can User-Generated Content Transform Expedia?

According to Vic Walia, senior director of brand marketing at Expedia, the company’s new campaign, which carries the tagline ‘Find Yours’, "focuses on how they strive to create an experience that makes each and every trip more relevant, rewarding, and transformational.”  Clearly they read the happiness studies.

But where does user-generated content fit in?  Walia says they are bringing humanity and emotion back to traveling.  Hmm.  It seems to me that there’s a bit too much emotion on plane flights these days.

In addition to mini-documentaries and travel-themed films which will be posted on their website, the effort includes a Twitter photo contest that seeks to get participants to post photos based on key words such as “innocence” and “nirvana.”  On Pinterest consumers are invited to create a travel photo board.  Winners of the contests will of course be treated to 4-day trips, with $10,000 going to the winning film. (Irwin, 2012)

So what do you think?  Will you play the games and take a shot at a free vacation?  More importantly will you book your next trip with Expedia?

Irwin, T. (2012, July 10)  Expedia Campaign Features Real Experiences.  Retrieved July 11, 2012, from

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Will using Olympic athletes help Coke beat Bloomberg?

You have to give credit to Mayor Bloomberg for bringing attention to the huge amount of calories in large sugared beverages.  While 16 ounces of Coke contains 200 calories, a 32 ounce Big Gulp (with ice) contains approximately 364 calories while the 44 ouncer weighs in with a whopping 512 calories – about ¼ of a full day’s allotment for most people. (Sugar Stacks, 2009)

Coke has decided to fight back by using their Olympics advertising to link Coke to a healthful lifestyle.  (Hall, 2102)

I guess my first question is “How much Coke do those athletes consume daily?”
What do you think?  Will this campaign convince you to keep gulping?

(2009, July 7)  Sugar Stacks.  Retrieved July 5, 2012, from
Hall, E. (2012, July 3) Coke Uses Olympics as Link to Healthful Lifestyles.  Retrieved July 5, 2012, from