Alcone Marketing Group – Consumer Lab

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

Retailer has big plans for big customers

Casual Male Retail Group has launched “LivingXL,” an online and print catalog it
hopes will parlay the marketing know-how it has gleaned from its 500 Casual Male
XL stores into the largely untapped market for specialty products for obese men
and women.

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Retailer has big plans for big customers – U.S. Business – MSNBC.com
BOSTON – At first glance, the catalog’s pitch for lawn chairs appears ordinary: A seated man and woman relax near a tree-lined lake shore, enjoying drinks.

But look closer. “Supports up to 800 lbs,” reads the text next to the man’s $139.95 lawn chair.

Flip deeper into the catalog, and the products get even more
specialized, such as a “Big John” toilet seat with a 1,200-pound
capacity — “larger than any other toilet seat in the world” — priced at
$124.95.

Filed under: advertising, Consumer, Internet, Men, shopping, Women

Modern Marathoners Have Fewer Miles on Them

It’s interesting to think that marathons today aren’t so much about competition, but rather the personal gratification one gets in completing a marathon. Today, it seems, the marathon has become “everyman’s Everest.” With so many people taking up running, marketers will want to take a look at these venues as a way to get their messages across.

~A

Modern Marathoners Have Fewer Miles on Them – New York Times
SO you want to run a marathon?

During the first running boom three decades ago, aspirants embarked
upon a six-day regimen of arduous runs hellbent on crossing the finish
line in the fastest time possible. Hollow cheeks, hobbled feet and an
overuse injury or two were badges of honor for the mostly middle-class
men who tackled the 26.2-mile challenge. Their icon was Frank Shorter,
a Yale-educated lawyer whose victory in the 1972 Olympic marathon
ignited the mass running movement.

Filed under: Consumer, exercise trends

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Agree to Curb Animal Tests

The corporate responsibility pressure is coming to a head. Both Pepsi & coke have agreed to stop animal testing to a fairly large degree. There is quite a bit of controversy over the need for animal testing. One school of thought says that it is justifiable and necessary for certain research, while another camp says that technological advances have grown tremendously and there is almost no need to test on animals.

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Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Agree to Curb Animal Tests – New York Times

ATLANTA, May 30 — Under pressure from animal rights advocates, two soft drink giants, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, have agreed to stop directly financing research that uses animals to test or develop their products, except where such testing is required by law.

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Filed under: CPG, social responsibility, trends

Comedy Business Turns to the Web – New York Times

If you haven’t seen “The Landlord” you must be living in a hole. Will Farrell has brought his comedy skills to the web, as many comedians have already done. And why shouldn’t they – its a low cost, easy to do way to stay relevant with their fans and make some money from advertising. I think its pretty clear that the top viewed and most most viral videos tend to be those that are short in length and use humor. There are many video sites for comedy poping up as well as network sites like ConedyCentral.com where you can watch clips from The Daily Show and other shows. I think these videos are far more engaging and entertaining to consumers than flipping TV channels.
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Comedy Business Turns to the Web – New York Times

LOS ANGELES — For Will Ferrell, who commands up to $20 million for movies like “Anchorman” and “Blades of Glory,” starring in a short Web video may not seem like the best use of time.

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Filed under: Consumer, Internet, trends, Video, viral, websites

Unilever Commits to Rainforest Alliance Certification

Unilever is attempting to improve their business practices by seeking out certification by the Rainforset Alliance. The Alliance will audit Unilever’s tea farms and impose standards designed to improve worker welfare, farm management and environmental protection. Unilever has shown their commitment in understanding that the certification process will not happen overnight.
Many companies have already begun to make adjustments to their business practices in terms of treatment of employees and sustainable manufacturing. I think that this movement is in response to the growing demands of consumers to buy from environmentally responsible companies. These changes are good for the environment, but more importantly for corporations, its good for the bottom line.
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Unilever Commits to Rainforest Alliance Certification

MAY 29, 2007 — NEW YORK — Unilever, the world’s largest tea company, plans to source its entire tea supply sustainably, starting with the certification of its tea producers in East Africa, to Rainforest Alliance standards, the Rainforest Alliance here said.

The news also signals the Rainforest Alliance’s move into certifying tea farms in addition to its long established programs in coffee, cocoa, bananas and other crops; sustainable forestry; and tourism.

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Filed under: CPG, eco-friendly, environment

Chase Backing Mini-Series For Hispanics On Home Ownership

The effort follows a similar one directed to Chinese-Americans and is leveraging
the emergence of non-traditional markets. “The goal is really to reach a broad
audience,” says a Chase spokesperson. “We are mass market, which means reaching
all audiences and in their own language in a way that makes sense culturally.”

~A

MediaPost Publications – Chase Backing Mini-Series For Hispanics On Home Ownership – 05/31/2007
CHASE’S RESIDENTIAL HOUSING LOAN DIVISION is following up its first-ever, in-language campaign to Chinese-Americans with a similar campaign directed at Hispanic people in the housing market.

Chase will be the exclusive advertising sponsor of “Nuestro Barrio” (“Our Neighborhood”), a Spanish-language TV mini-series about Hispanic life in the United States, set to air in New York City/New Jersey and select California markets.

Filed under: banking, Consumer, financial, Hispanics, TV

Channel M Puts Hasbro Products In Gyms Geared To Kids

The partnership works, says Channel M’s VP/marketing, because it creates an
environment in which consumers are receptive to advertising. “If you’re bringing
your kid to a trusted environment like a children’s fitness center, you trust
them enough to support them and to be part of it. We make sure we do the exact
same thing.”

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MediaPost Publications – Channel M Puts Hasbro Products In Gyms Geared To Kids – 05/31/2007
MARKETERS ARE STILL USING TELEVISION, radio and print and they’re likely to continue to do so for a good long while, but some marketers are looking to agencies to find a way to reach consumers where they live–and it’s not just on the sofa or in the car.

Consumers go places, and Channel M, based in Los Angeles, brings clients to the places they go. Most recently, the agency has brought Hasbro and its roster of products for tots and tweens into My Gym, a children’s fitness center with more than 350 locations worldwide.

Filed under: exercise trends, Gen Y, In Store, kids, Tweens

Younger Consumers Receptive to Ads on UGC Sites

A recent comScore study shows that consumers are most likely to be receptive to TV ads. The study also looked at consumer receptiveness to ads on UGM sites. The results are interesting, but not surprising that the younger set is far more receptive than 35-54 year olds or consumers 55+.

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Younger Consumers Receptive to Ads on UGC Sites

Consumers are most likely – 85% – to be receptive to advertising if they see it on TV (and trust it more), whereas user-generated content (UGC) sites have a much lower (28%) attention level, but results vary significantly by age, according to a comScore study of consumers’ receptivity to advertising via various media.

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Filed under: advertising, Consumer, UGM

BusinessWeek, US Airways in ad deal / Magazine will put Welch and wine columns in skies

Travelers will now be able to read content from BusinessWeek while on an airplane – and they don’t even need to purchase the pubilcation.
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BusinessWeek, US Airways in ad deal / Magazine will put Welch and wine columns in skies

Consumers who suspect they may never escape the omnipresence of wine god Robert Parker and management gurus Jack and Suzy Welch will soon have one more reason to think so: Starting next month, columns by Parker and the Welches will be laminated onto airplane pull-down tray tables as part of a deal to sell advertising on US Airways planes.

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Filed under: advertising

Nike Tries to Catch Up to Trend

Nike finds itself playing catch up to more fashion-conscious brands since
European shoppers and U.S. skate-boarders started buying low-profile sneakers
that top out at the ankle rather than mid-calf. Sales of such shoes grew 4.4% to
$4.7 billion in 2006, surpassing sales of basketball shoes and second only to
running shoes, according to figures compiled by NPD Group.

~A

Nike Tries to Catch Up to Trend – WSJ.com
Nike Inc. admits it was caught flat-footed when European shoppers and U.S. skate-boarders started wearing streamlined sneakers that topped out at the ankle rather than mid-calf.

This trend, called low-profile due to price and styling, caused some investors to worry the Beaverton, Ore., athletic apparel and shoe titan was losing momentum.

As a brand that prides itself on performance first, Nike has always had to do a delicate dance between fashion and function. While it has been late to enter the low-profile race, indications are it is making some gains, though it will take time to see solid results because Nike is so big, analysts say.

Filed under: Consumer, fashion, Men, Teens, trends, Tweens, Women, Young Adults

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