Friday, August 29, 2014

I want to go to Science World.

 It all started when I was looking for a topic for this week's blog.  I went on Adweek's website looking for ideas and came across this headline: "See the Painfully Funny Science Museum Ad That Was Too Violent for Canadian TV."  Who could resist that?  Not me.  Here's the link so you can check it out too.  Of course it's far less violent than most of the stuff we see on American TV. (Gianatasio, 2014)

I enjoyed it so much that I clicked on this link to Rethink Canada's website see more Science World ads.  They're all so funny it's hard for me to pick a favorite.  And I just love the fact that each one also contains a piece of interesting information.

I have only one complaint.  It appears that Science World is in British Columbia.  So I don't see myself going there anytime soon.  But these ads sure make me want to!


Gianatasio, D. (2014, August 27)  See the Painfully Funny Science Museum Ad That Was Too Violent for Canadian TV.  Retrieved August 28, 2014, from

(2013, August 20)  According to science, science is fun!  Retrieved August 28, 2014, from

Friday, August 22, 2014

An idea to get kids moving that just might work.

On September 6, LeapFrog is launching LeapBand, a wearable activity tracker designed just for kids.  While their parents versions offer data as payout, the kids version involves the nurturing of a personalized virtual pet.
The concept is simple, the more active the child is, the more points they will earn.  More points unlock additional challenges.  (There are 50 in all.)  And the points also buy virtual rewards for their on-screen pets.

The spokesperson for the effort is soccer star Mia Hamm -- mother of three.  September 6 has been dubbed "Fit Made Fun Day," and the kick-off will begin with an event in Santa Monica, CA for 300+ kids. (Irwin, 2014)
I love it.  Kids love to copy their parents -- there's a funny email going around now with adorable pics to prove it.  And, the interactive nature of the program bodes well for its success.  It reminds me of the Verb campaign from the CDC, which encouraged tweens to play with a ball, blog about it, and then pass it along to someone else to play with.  That campaign, which showed signs of success, was discontinued in 2010 after funding ran out.  You can read more about it here.

So, I have high hopes that a program like this could play an important part in addressing the obesity crisis.  Why don't you get your favorite kids a band and let's give it a shot.


Irwin, T. (2014, August 21)  LeapFrog, Mia Hamm Partner To Get Kids Active.  Retrieved August 22, 2014, from

Friday, August 15, 2014

Would you use your smartphone to shop for cars? You would if you are a Millennial.

According to a new study from AutoTrader, 66% of 18-33 year-olds use mobile to find a dealer, and 65% use it to find actual vehicles.  (Greenberg, 2014)

Consistent with the shift in buying patterns discussed last week, Millennials are spending 16.4 hours researching and choosing their cars online before they visit a dealer.  When they do visit a showroom, they are testing and hopefully buying the vehicle they have settled on.  And 70% do.

While we see similar trends emerging to a lesser degree among older cohorts, as with the move from offline to online buying, the Millennials are leading the way with 95% using the web to shop for vehicles.

They spend over half their online time on third-party sites like AutoTrader, but only 5% use social sites as a resource, and only 22% say that it influences their brand perceptions.  Manufacturers and dealers had better tune in, because 59% say that they will think less of a brand that has a poorly functioning mobile site.

Greenberg, K. (2014, August 14)  Millennial Auto Shoppers Are Digital, Mobile, Confused.  Retrieved August 15, 2014, from

Friday, August 8, 2014

Where do I go to buy a new album?

That's the question my husband was pondering out loud the other night.  As natives of Manhattan we have always been able to buy whatever we wanted at one or more local retailers.  But when J&R went out of business a few months ago, he was left without a viable option for music purchases that were out of the mainstream. 

I feel his pain.  When Pearl Paint closed I was left facing a similar issue -- where to buy my art supplies.

One would think that in Manhattan there would be enough potential consumers to keep stores open.  But they would obviously be wrong, as evidenced by the closing of these two storied retailers.

So what's up?  It's simple.  According to ShopperTrak, shopper visits to retail stores have fallen by 5% or more from a year earlier in every month for the past two years, with the exception of a small uptick in April.   

They believe that we are experiencing a major shift in consumer behavior.  That instead of wandering through stores making impulse purchases as they used to, shoppers are using their mobile phones and computers to cherry-pick promotions.  (Banjo & Ziobro, 2014)

Interesting.  We already know that the Millennials are surgically attached to their mobile devices so it's easy to see what's driving the trend.  The question to consider is how it will affect marketing.  Does it make sense to continue to advertise in a broad reach medium like television if  people aren't making impulse purchases in the store anymore?  If people are so honed in on specific products and promotions, is retargeting, with pricing information, the answer?  And yet, we still know that when it comes to moving product nothing beats television.

I can't wait to see what happens.  In the meantime though, I am heading off to The Strand to buy some used books, before it closes too. 

Banjo, S. & Ziobro, P. (2014, August 6)  Shoppers Flee Physical Stores, Wall Street Journal, p.B1-2

Friday, August 1, 2014

Cereal for dinner anyone?

With cereal volume sales declining or flat every year since 2000, both General Mills and Kellogg's have announced new sales initiatives in the past few months.  Among these is the move to market cereal for non-breakfast occasions.  Currently around 20% of cereal eating happens outside of breakfast.  But companies see potential for growth. 

For instance, Cinnamon Toast Crunch is a popular snack for 20 & 30 somethings to eat while playing video games at night.  So, the brand sponsored a videogame conference last year.  (Nassauer, 2014)

What do you think?  Would you like some Fruit Loops for your afternoon snack?

Nassauer, S. (2014, June 18)  Pitching Cereal for Dinner and Late Nights.  Retrieved 7/31/14, from,