Friday, August 28, 2015

Cereal for Dinner?

This just in... the not very surprising news that singles sometimes eat snacks for dinner.  I once had a roommate who seemed to survive solely on popcorn. 

But even among solo diners snacking appears to be up.  And with 38 million single-person households that's a lot of popcorn.  Although they do claim that they are motivated by health and weight management concerns.  

If that's true, then why aren't they reaching for a piece of fruit?

Lukovitz, K. (2015, August 11)  Single Households, Solo Diners Driving Snacks-As-Meals Trend  Retrieved August 27, 2015, from

Friday, August 21, 2015

If you bought your pet a birthday gift, you’re probably a Millennial.

Americans spent almost $20 billion on their pets last year.  That’s a lot of dog treats. 

62% of Americans have at least one pet.  And 95% of them think their pets are part of the family.  I knew that because my brother made me get up and give the dog back his chair the last time I visited.  I guess we know where I rank.

71% own dogs versus 49% for cats.  11% have fish.  I have plants. 

Despite the fact that Millennials also like to dress their pets in clothes, Gen X actually has the highest percent of pet ownership at 71%, followed by Millennials at 65%.  And, if you visit one for the holidays don’t forget to bring a gift – 64% of Americans buy their pets holiday gifts too!

Irwin, T. (2015, August 21)  Americans’ Spending Proves Love of Pets.  Retrieved August 21, 2015, from

Friday, August 14, 2015

Retail isn't being forced out of business, it's committing suicide.

My home cordless answering machine broke last week.  Yes, I know that wanting to replace it makes me a dinosaur, but I work from home, and call quality on smart phones still leaves much to be desired. 

The last time I bought one it was fairly simple.  I went to J&R, they had about a dozen to choose from, I picked one, paid and walked out of the store with it.  End of story.  Of course J&R is no longer in business.  So I looked online and it appeared that Staples carries them.  Lots of them.  At least 50 different kinds.  (I got tired of reloading at that point.)  So, I figured that I would head to a store and pick one up.

I arrived at a huge store to find three people just waiting to help me, and no other shoppers.  When I told them what I wanted, their response was "We can order it for you."  What?  After some more questions they admitted that they had none in the store. 

Since I live in Manhattan, I thought I'd try a different store the next day.  This one had about six models in a locked case.  When a person asked if they could help me, I pointed to the simple one and asked if it had an answering machine.  He said "No," I responded in kind and left the store.

Now, I will need to go through all those options online and pick one.  Something that will take me more time than picking one up in a store did.  And I have found that I make more mistakes when I buy online which forces me to have more do-overs, something I really hate.

So what's the solution?  Stores that only display samples so that people can see them, feel them, touch them, and ask questions about them.  Once the selection is made the customer orders online and the item is shipped directly to them.  In other words, if people are show rooming, then make it work for you! 

Blue Nile and Bonobos are pioneering the new approach and proving that it works.  Macy's is giving it a try -- just in the nick of time apparently, as they just announced flat earnings projections for the year. (Kapner, 2015)

Staples are you listening?  I still need a new answering machine.

Kapner, S. (2015, August 12)  Web Retailers Teach In-Store Tricks.  Wall Street Journal.  pB1

Friday, August 7, 2015

Brooke Shields in an over-the-top soap? Could work.

The last ad campaign that featured a soap opera type format was the Taster's Choice campaign from the 90's.  They ran 13 spots over 7 years and left us hanging.  Here's the Gold Blend version of the spots in case you missed them.

Given the campaign's success, it's surprising that no one has tried the format again.  But La-Z-Boy is clearly on a roll with Brooke, so why not give it a try?  Of course in keeping with the times it's far less subtle than the TC couple but definitely a hoot.  It actually reminds me more of a telenovela than a soap.  And I don't think that's a coincidence.

But neither one compares to "Love of Chair" the brilliant Electric Company segment that kept me amused while I was babysitting my cousin.  It still makes me LOL.

So what do you think?  Hit or miss?

Jicha, T. (1998, April 25)  Coffee Commercial Romance grinds To A Halt.   Retrieved August 6, 2015 , from

Corr, A. (2015, August 3)  Brooke Shields, Constantine, Ham it Up in La-Z-Boy's 'As The Room Turns'.  Retrieved August 6, 2015 , from