Friday, March 28, 2014

Will inspiring content make you want to buy something?

All the buzz these days is about native advertising -- aka sponsored content.  It appears that marketers have finally caught up with the fact that most of the people clicking on their boxes and banners are actually bots who aren't buying anything. 

Waitrose, a British supermarket chain has announced that they are not only shifting their marketing effort away from paid to free content, they are also seeking to inspire rather than sell.  They believe that advertising in general is changing to help people make better choices and be inspiring.  Therefore they will be investing heavily in their weekly newspaper and online tv service.  (Vizard, 2014)

It's an interesting approach, but at the end of the day, they still need to sell stuff to stay in business.  So what do you think?  Will this work?  Is it the beginning of a trend?

Vizard, S. (2014, March 27)  Waitrose ups content investment as it shifts focus to 'accessible and free' marketing.  Retrieved March 28, 2014, from

Friday, March 21, 2014

If it's cool out this summer will you grab a beer?

Apparently if you live in Chicago you will.  According to Weather FX, if there are three consecutive days of below-average temperature, during the summer in Chicago, beer sales increase.  New York is just the opposite with three above-average temperature days leading to increased sales. 

More interesting patterns include the fact that ice cream sales go up in Atlanta on relatively cool days, while in Los Angeles ice cream consumption increases on clear days.  (Castillo, 2014)

Here's a link to a previous blog about tying behavior to weather patterns and even just checking out the forecast.

So what do you think?  Do you check out the weather when you make your plans?  Are you in the mood for a beer?

Castillo, M. (2014, March 19)  Weather Can Predict Whether You Want a Beer.  Retrieved March 21, 2014, from

Friday, March 14, 2014

Will a loaner Fiat convince people to stay at Loews Hotels?

In an effort to differentiate itself from the competition, Loews Hotels is partnering with Fiat.  While some locations will offer chauffeured services to guests, others will offer loaner vehicles for up to three hours a day. 

Elizabeth Harlow, SVP of Marketing for Loews Hotels says that they are looking to align themselves with brands that share their core values -- i.e. exciting, approachable and local. (Irwin, 2014)

So what do you think?  Is this a good partnership?  Will it generate more sales for both parties?

Irwin, T,. (2014, March 12)  Loews Hotels Partners With Fiat.  Retrieved March 13, 2014, from

Friday, March 7, 2014

Michael Pollan must be thrilled.

Perdue has launched its first consumer campaign for its anti-biotic free Harvestland line with the theme,  "Eat Like Your Ancestors."  I couldn't help but think of a line from Michael Pollan's "Unhappy Meals" article, which ran in The New York Times in 2007 --  "Don't eat anything that your great-great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food." (Pollan, 2007)

The campaign includes a microsite where consumers can find recipes from three time periods and six different regions and upload their own creations.  Digital and mobile ads to drive people to the site will run on sites including Walmart's All You magazine and magazine/brand sites owned by Hearst and Meredith corporations.  Print ads will run in All You and People magazine, and Out-of-Home will run in several select markets. (Lukovitz, 2014)

So what do you think?  Will this strategy sell more chicken?

Pollan, M. (2007, January 28)  Unhappy Meals.  New York Times. Magazine, p.38

Lukovitz, K. (2014, March 3)  Perdue's Harvestland in First Consumer Campaign.  Retrieved March 5, 2014, from