Alcone Marketing Group – Consumer Lab

The Consumer Lab is the consumer insights and brand strategy group at Alcone Marketing Group, a consumer activation company.

This Year’s Super Bowl Ads to Be Gentle and Sweet

No matter how rough the action gets when the New England Patriots meet
the New York Giants, the advertisers will be playing nice.

~A

This Year’s Super Bowl Ads to Be Gentle and Sweet – New York Times
NO matter how rough the action gets on the field on Sunday, when the New England Patriots meet the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII, the advertisers will be playing nice.

Most commercials that Fox Broadcasting will run during the game — for
which sponsors are paying record prices or close to it — will be taking
a milder, sweeter approach. There will be cute animals, at least one
talking baby, an appeal to help fight AIDS, a talent contest,
light-hearted parodies and enough celebrities to fill several seasons
of “Dancing With the Stars.”

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Filed under: advertising

False ‘Green’ Ads Draw Global Scrutiny – WSJ.com

Consumer groups are fired up and ready to battle companies that are falsely misleading consumers to believe that they are eco-friendly. While these groups face a long process of proving the the claims to be false, they are still pushing forward. However, many times the misleading ads are already old news before the greewashing can be proven.

False ‘Green’ Ads Draw Global Scrutiny – WSJ.com

With companies eager to tout their “green” credentials to consumers, advertising watchdogs in a number of countries are stepping up efforts to rein in marketers that make false or exaggerated claims.

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Filed under: eco-friendly, environment

Newman’s Own Is Out With Wine Line

Newman’s Own is adding wines to its list of products.

~A

MediaPost Publications – Newman’s Own Is Out With Wine Line – 01/31/2008
NEWMAN’S OWN, THE BRAND CREATED by actor Paul Newman, is out with wins, a 2006 California Chardonnay and a 2006 California Cabernet Sauvignon.

The high-end wines are crafted from select grapes from California’s premiere coastal vineyards, including Napa, Sonoma and San Luis Obispo counties.

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Filed under: wine

Chew This Over: Munchable Ice Sells Like Hot Cakes

Ice isn’t just for chilling drinks anymore, or for packing fish and
treating sprains. It’s a hot snack. Some Sonic Drive-In franchises sell
it in cups and in bags to go. Ice-machine makers are competing to make
the best chewable ice, with names like Chewblet, Nugget Ice and Pearl
Ice. One manufacturer calls the ice-loving South the “Chew Belt.”

~A

Chew This Over: Munchable Ice Sells Like Hot Cakes – WSJ.com
When Kyle Burkhalter gets up in the morning, he goes into the kitchen and fixes himself a nice cup of ice.

The 24-year-old director of research for a Web site
chews the ice in the car on his way to work in Atlanta. He downs two or
three more cups before lunch. He orders ice from drive-thru windows and
dips into the office ice machine. Sometimes, his tongue gets so numb he
can barely talk to clients.

Still, he munches on. “It’s something that you want to do and you think about doing on a constant basis,” he says.

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Filed under: Consumer, food, trends

Overhaul, Make It a Venti

After more than a decade of sensational buzz, Starbucks is struggling
nationwide as it faces slowing sales growth and increased competition.

~A

Overhaul, Make It a Venti – New York Times
KANSAS CITY, Mo.—When a Starbucks moved in next door, the coffee fanatics who run the Broadway Cafe trembled. Sure, they roasted their own beans and served up handmade espresso drinks to a loyal clientele. But would it be enough to fight off a corporate behemoth?

That was nearly 10 years ago, and now the results are in: the Starbucks
is about to shut down. The store had a funereal air the other day as a
handful of loyal customers sipped beverages and jotted goodbye notes in
what amounted to a book of condolences.

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Filed under: coffee, Consumer

Valentine’s Day Retail Spend Expected To Be Flat

Valentine’s Day retail is expected to remain flat this year, with traditional gifts like candy, flowers and jewelry seeing a slight decrease in popularity, while gift cards continue to ride high.

~A

MediaPost Publications – Valentine’s Day Retail Spend Expected To Be Flat – 01/30/2008
ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL RETAIL Federation’s 2008 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, the average consumer plans to spend $122.98 on Valentine’s Day, similar to last year’s $119.67. Total spending on Valentine’s Day is expected to reach $17.02 billion.

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Filed under: Consumer, holidays

Wal-Mart Leverages Economic Concerns With Promotion

Wal-Mart is riding the economic stimulus bandwagon by slashing prices and offering no interest on its credit card. Will these offers be compelling enough to get consumers to spend at Wal-Mart?

~A

MediaPost Publications – Wal-Mart Leverages Economic Concerns With Promotion – 01/30/2008
DO RECESSIONS AND WAL-MART GO together? The company, which has built its marketing platform on helping families save money, is wasting no time in jumping on the “economic stimulus” bandwagon. The company says it is rolling back prices on many items between 10% and 30% this week. And it’s also easing the credit crunch, offering no interest for 18 months on purchases of $250 or more with a Wal-Mart credit card.

A spokesperson for the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer says the company’s TV spots supporting its “Save Money, Live Better” ads, which highlight the company’s claim that it saves the average American family $2,500 a year, are still running intermittently. Seasonal rollbacks support that positioning, she says.

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Filed under: advertising, Consumer

Study: Purchase Intent Grows With Each Event

According to a new report from Advertising Research Foundation, found that consumer intent to purchase is on the rise after they attend a brand sponsored event. The study also shows that the intent is directly translated into sales about 50% of the time.
C.

Study: Purchase Intent Grows With Each Event

Getting up close and personal isn’t just for politicians. A new survey shows in-person events can boost purchase intent as high as 52%.

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Filed under: advertising, Branded Entertainment, Consumer, Promotions

What College Students Look For In Advertising: Honesty

From YPulse.com…

What College Students Look For In Advertising: Honesty

Ypulse College Mashup research sponsor Survey U just completed a batch of research on college students that they will be presenting this Friday. One of the series of questions they asked students was about what they look for in advertising — they asked them to rank which of the following characteristics were “extremely important” to “not important at all” with a couple of rankings in between. Here’s what they found in the order of what’s most important…

Be truthful
60 percent said extremely important
30 percent said somewhat important
7 percent said important nor unimportant
2 percent said not very important
2 percent said not important at all

Show the functionality
41 percent said extremely important
43 percent said somewhat important
11 percent said important nor unimportant
3 percent said not very important
2 percent said not important at all

Show me the value
38 percent said extremely important
43 percent said somewhat important
13 percent said important nor unimportant
3 percent said not very important
3 percent said not important at all

Be current
30 percent said extremely important
49 percent said somewhat important
14 percent said important nor unimportant
4 percent said not very important
3 percent said not important at all

Be funny
32 percent said extremely important
46 percent said somewhat important
16 percent said important nor unimportant
3 percent said not very important
3 percent said not important at all

Speak to me in my own language
35 percent said extremely important
38 percent said somewhat important
19 percent said important nor unimportant
5 percent said not very important
4 percent said n o t important at all

Be cutting edge
20 percent said extremely important
43 percent said somewhat important
26 percent said important nor unimportant
6 percent said not very important
5 percent said not important at all

Be stylish
15 percent said extremely important
42 percent said somewhat important
27 percent said important nor unimportant
10 percent said not very important
6 percent said not important at all

Exude cool
8 percent said extremely important
26 percent said somewhat important
42 percent said important nor unimportant
15 percent said not very important
8 percent said not important at all

Filed under: advertising, college students

Is It a Recession? Marketers Seem to Think So

Let the economists and politicians debate whether the American economy
is in a recession. Madison Avenue is already battening down the hatches.

~A

Is It a Recession? Marketers Seem to Think So – New York Times
Let the economists and politicians debate whether the American economy is in a recession. Madison Avenue is already battening down the hatches.

Since September, Wal-Mart Stores,
the nation’s largest retailer, has built its entire current advertising
approach upon this bald premise: “Save money. Live better.” Skeptics
wondered at the time whether Wal-Mart and its new agency, the Martin
Agency in Richmond, Va., part of the Interpublic Group of Companies, were fixating on price at the expense of other attractions like fashion or breadth of merchandise.

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Filed under: advertising, Consumer

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