Alcone Marketing Group – Consumer Lab

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

Grabbing Older Consumers via Cellphone

Young, tech-savvy consumers aren’t the only ones who use cell phones, you know, and marketers are taking notice.

Text messaging promotions aimed at older consumers are slowly popping up; for instance, Redbook magazine is launching a cell phone sweepstakes game for its readers, a mid-30 to mid-40s woman.

Getting older consumers to use their cell phones as more ways than just a phone may be tricky, but research shows if the incentive is right, they will.


Grabbing Older Consumers via Cellphone –
Until recently, cellphone-ad campaigns have been the preserve of companies targeting young, tech-savvy consumers. Now, marketers aiming at older people are dipping their toes in the mobile marketing waters.

The latest to take the plunge is Hearst’s Redbook magazine, whose average reader is a woman in her mid-30s to mid-40s. In coming weeks, Redbook is launching a cellphone sweepstakes game. In what is planned to be the first of several games over the next year arranged with California mobile-entertainment firm Limbo 41414, Redbook readers can bid on a year’s worth of movie tickets by sending text messages from their cellphones. The bidder with the lowest offer unmatched by anyone else wins.


Filed under: Baby Boomers, Consumer, content, digital, Media, Mobile

How Boss’s Deeds Buff

Social responsibility is coming to the forefront in the corporate world, but it is also something that is on the minds of consumers.

How Boss’s Deeds Buff A Firm’s Reputation –
Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates proved even more appealing than cuddly babies in the eighth-annual Harris Interactive/The Wall Street Journal ranking of the world’s best and worst corporate reputations.

Top-ranked Microsoft managed to beat Johnson & Johnson,
whose emotionally appealing baby-products business had kept it in first
place for a remarkable seven consecutive years. In the Reputation
Quotient survey conducted by market-research firm Harris Interactive
Inc., respondents gave Microsoft very high marks for leadership and
financial results. But Mr. Gates’s personal philanthropy also boosted
the public’s opinion of Microsoft. (See full rankings.)

Filed under: Consumer, social responsibility

McDonald’s Launches YouTube Talent Search

McDonald’s is turning to consumers to help build awareness for its new chicken snack wrap. The winning idea will be featured on YouTube’s homepage (a space normally reserved for advertising) and is positioned more as a talent search than anything else.

Will consumers jump at the chance, or will they realize that YouTube already offers a chance at Internet fame by posting clips of just about anything?


MediaPost Publications – McDonald’s Launches YouTube Talent Search – 01/31/2007
THE FAST-FOOD GOLIATH HAS LAUNCHED a promotion on YouTube that it hopes will build awareness for its new chicken snack wrap by giving videographers a chance to be featured on YouTube’s home page for a day.

Filed under: advertising, Consumer, digital, Internet, Promotions, websites, youtube

State Farm Is There, Right by the Backboard

Despite Super Bowl fever, marketers are still looking for new and engaging places to send their message to consumers. One marketer, State Farm, has ventured on to college basketball courts to affix its message.

State Farm, a longtime sponsor of college basketball, is putting its logo on basketball hoop support arms on more than 40 college basketball arenas.

Because the logo is embedded in the game, it’s a great way for consumers to get the message that engages them at the same time.


State Farm Is There, Right by the Backboard – New York Times
ALTHOUGH it seems that the only thing Madison Avenue is doing this week is making commercials for the Super Bowl, marketers are still finding ways to fill other sports spaces with advertising. If you doubt that, look up the next time you attend a college basketball game or watch one on television, and study the framework behind the backboard.

Filed under: advertising, college students, experiential, sports, TV

Eat That, Subservient Chicken: OfficeMax ElfYourself Site Draws 36 Million

Office Max had a viral hit on its hands with ElfYourself, showing sometimes it pays to skip the TV spots and head straight for the Web to engage consumers.


Advertising Age – Digital – Eat That, Subservient Chicken: OfficeMax ElfYourself Site Draws 36 Million

The company — which is eschewing TV advertising entirely — took what it would have spent to make three 30-second spots and created 20 holiday-themed microsites aimed at catching a viral wave and touting its stores as gift-giving destinations.

Filed under: Consumer, Customization, holidays, Internet, viral, websites

Nickelodeon Begins a Web Site Focusing on Interactive Play

Nickelodeon today launches its online world,, an interactive gaming site for kids 6 to 14.


Nickelodeon Begins a Web Site Focusing on Interactive Play – New York Times
Nickelodeon, the popular children’s cable network, is pushing hard into the online world with, a new Web site that will let its young users enter their own world of Internet activities.

The Web site, which is to be activated today, is aimed at children ages 6 to 14, and plays heavily to their appetite for games, the company said yesterday.

Filed under: Gen Y, Internet, Teens, Tweens, Virtual Worlds

Non-Celebrities on the Web, Seeming to Make Non-Pitches

More and more marketers are turning to non-celebrities to pitch their products. From Apple’s “Mac Guy” to that guy who lived in his Nissan Sentra for a week, it’s not just small brands who are getting in on the non-celebrity action.

The reason in the shift to “regular people” spokespeople is well calculated; to appael to the young people blogging, linking and commenting about these characters in the virtual and viral world of the Internet. Appealing to this audience is important because they are highly influential, taking cues from the online buzz.

Additionally, leveraging the popularity of these characters online makes them, and in turn the brand, more engaging to the consumer.


Non-Celebrities on the Web, Seeming to Make Non-Pitches – New York Times
THE commercials are rambling musings by the comedian Demetri Martin that seem to have little to do with the product, Microsoft’s new Windows Vista operating system.

Yet Microsoft is tickled with its campaign featuring Mr. Martin. And the same goes for Nissan, which hired a little-known comic to live in a Sentra last fall and blog about it. And for Pepsi,
which is in its third year of featuring a changing cast of comedians —
many unfamiliar to the general public — in its commercials and on a Web
site for its Sierra Mist lemon-lime soft drink.

Filed under: advertising, Consumer, digital, email, Gen Y, Internet, social networking, trends, viral, Virtual Worlds, websites, Young Adults

Stacy’s Eyes Namesakes: Call It Eponymous Marketing

The makers of Stacy’s pita chips are looking for other Stacys around the country.

Anyone named Stacy (spelled just that way) can go to, to register to receive a a free party kit.


MediaPost Publications – Stacy’s Eyes Namesakes: Call It Eponymous Marketing – 01/30/2007
CALL IT EPONYMOUS MARKETING. IN preparation for Super Bowl Sunday, the maker of Stacy’s pita chips, soy thin crisps and bagel chips is sending 133,000 party kits to people named Stacy. Kits are timed to coincide with the Thursday launch of a new Web site, The URL will appear on packaging.

Filed under: Consumer, Internet, Promotions, WOM

P&G Passes On Academy Awards Telecast, Picks Web

Although the Oscars are viewed by nearly a quarter of Americans, some of the shows reoccuring sponsors, P&G and State Farm, do not plan on running a spot during this year’s telecast.

Instead, P&G is looking to the Web to talk to women. Instead of running the spot during the show, P&G put ads for Olay Regenerist on, including multiple banner ads on the homepage.

In the days of DVR and decreased ratings for shows like the Oscars over all (the key female 18-49 demographic ratings increased in 2005 to 18.5 from 18.0 a year before, but fell by 2.3 rating points to 16.2 last year), perhaps engaging the consumer online is a better route.


MediaPost Publications – P&G Passes On Academy Awards Telecast, Picks Web – 01/30/2007
WHEN IT COMES TO THIS year’s Oscar telecast, Procter & Gamble has two words: no deal.

The decision to bypass the Academy Awards is part of the company’s interest in a “media neutral” approach, which means de-emphasizing the primacy of the 30-second spot.

After plugging its Olay Regenerist skin-care brand on last year’s highly rated ABC telecast–often referred to as the Super Bowl for women–the marketer said a 2007 appearance isn’t in the marketing plans for Olay–or any other brands in its portfolio.

Filed under: advertising, CPG, Internet, Media, TV, Women

Pushing yogurt as a beauty beverage

Can yogurt be the next skin care craze? Danone thinks so. The company is set to launch Essensis, its first cosmetic product in Europe next month.

Products like functional yogurt drinks are slowly starting to come over from Europe to the U.S.

Will this product resonate with consumers eager to preserve their youth?


Pushing yogurt as a beauty beverage – Los Angeles Times
As a brand name, “Essensis” could fit all kinds of products. A perfume, for instance, or perhaps an herbal shampoo.

It is not the first name that comes to mind for a yogurt.

It is, nevertheless, the word that Groupe Danone, the French dairy company, has chosen for a yogurt that will be launched in France and Spain next month, followed by Belgium and Italy in March.

Filed under: Baby Boomers, Consumer, Women

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