Alcone Marketing Group – Consumer Lab

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

The Campaign Is Clean, the Stunts Fairly Dirty

Unilever is hoping to get some college students dirty as part of its marketing campaign for Axe Shower Gel.


The Campaign Is Clean, the Stunts Fairly Dirty – New York Times
NEXT month some college students will face a choice: should they jump into a mound of mashed potatoes and honey, or into a giant ice cream sundae with chocolate sauce and whipped cream?

It may sound like a fraternity hazing, but the event is actually
part of a new advertising campaign for Axe Shower Gel, a soap
alternative made by Unilever.

its success selling Axe body spray and deodorant, Unilever is trying to
persuade more young men to use Axe in the shower. In June, the company
redesigned the gel’s packaging to look like a video game joystick and
now it is creating what the company calls “The World’s Dirtiest Film.”


Filed under: advertising, CPG, experiential, film, Gen Y, Internet, living target, Men, UGM, websites, Young Adults

Nutraceuticals could bridge gap in healthy snacks

Although a new survey indicates more that 20% of American consumers are looking for healthier snacking options, there are still obstacles in the way. Taste factors and credibility of the healthy potential of traditional snacks still stands in the way.

The survey shows that consumers aren’t willing to sacrifice taste in their quest for healthy snacks. Manufacturers must find a balance between health and taste tht will keep consumers coming back for more and make them feel good about their choice.


Nutraceuticals could bridge gap in healthy snacks
9/24/2007 – More than 20 percent of American consumers indicate they are now seeking healthier snacking options, according to Datamonitor – spelling opportunity for healthy ingredient manufacturers.

Consumer priorities are slowly shifting towards better-for-you foods and this could create further potential for the nutraceutical industry to collaborate with snack food makers as they look to enhance the healthy profile of their products.

Filed under: Consumer, CPG, food, health

Betty Crocker Leading The Way To Soul Food

General Mills is filling a need discovered through a recent survey of young
African-American women that shows they are not very confident in the kitchen,
but want to learn how to cook soul food and pass the recipes on to their kids.
The company has launched a dedicated Web site and will host a series of supper
clubs this fall.

It’s important to be authentic, and if you’re not consumers will call you out. Do you think Betty Crocker and soul food are a good fit?

MediaPost Publications – Betty Crocker Leading The Way To Soul Food – 09/26/2007
ALL ABOARD THE SOUL TRAIN at General Mills. Leading the charge is the unlikely Betty Crocker, cultural icon of the kitchen, whose newest recipes focus on soul food dishes.

General Mills is remixing old standards and creating new traditions for 2008, the “Year of the Supper Club.” Think uptown, think A train, think Harlem.

Or, as the food giant’s press release puts it: “Black-eyed peas cornbread salad. Sweet potato pie smoothies. West African peanut stew.” They are just a few of the 100 recipes at, where consumers also will find advice and instructions for easy cooking and entertaining. The site is a partnership with celebrity-hostess entrepreneur B. Smith.

Filed under: African American, CPG, families, Moms, Women

Anheuser-Busch: Healthy Pomegranates Get Tipsy, Too

Mintel predicts that we’ll see even more deep purple and red beverages in the
months ahead: “Chefs will explore the deeper health benefits and flavor of
antioxidant-rich foods such as deep red wine and dark chocolate, the subtleties
of red and white tea, as well as the antioxidant-rich açaí berry,” it predicts.
“And the vitamin C-packed acerola cherry will provide additional sweetness to
the functional flavor category.”

It looks like functional foods will be taken to the next level next year.


MediaPost Publications – Anheuser-Busch: Healthy Pomegranates Get Tipsy, Too – 09/26/2007
AMERICANS ALREADY KNEW POMEGRANATE WAS healthy. Now it looks like we think that weird purple fruit might make booze a little better, too. Anheuser-Busch is introducing Bacardi Silver Pomegranate Mojito–a pomegranate-flavored twist on the Mojito cocktail, which it claims is the first nationally available, pomegranate Mojito-flavored premium malt beverage to hit the market.

And Purple, a juice blend that contains pomegranate, cherry, black currant, purple plum, cranberry and blueberry, is turning up in martinis at The Palm, one of New York’s toniest hotels.

“It’s really all about the intersection of this search for the fountain of youth and intense flavor,” says Karen Caplan, president of Frieda’s Inc., the Los Alamitos, Calif.-based specialty produce firm that has introduced the U.S. to such produce powerhouses as the kiwi fruit, the donut peach and sugar-snap peas.

Filed under: Beer, Consumer, CPG, food, gourmet, spirits

Bar napkins with graphics that pop out

A new printing process used in photo reproduction is now being used to create vivid images on cocktail napkins without tearing the delicate paper. A great tool to reach men at the bar!


Media Life Magazine – Bar napkins with graphics that pop out
Ad messages on paper napkins are hardly new, but typically they’re a company logo and maybe a tagline. There just wasn’t a lot you could do printing on paper that soft and delicate.

What’s new is the ability to print full-color creative with high-definition quality, so that even the subtlest images have a way of standing out.

They’re showing up in bars and restaurants.

Filed under: advertising, Beer, living target, Men, Promotions

Boomers Use Web for Health Info

Boomers are turning to the Web for health information.


Boomers Use Web for Health Info – eMarketer
Baby boomers consult healthcare professionals about as much as mature consumers born before 1946, but use a wider variety of sources overall, according to Focalyst’s “Boomers and Decisions About Their Health: It’s All About Control”” report.

Focalyst attributed the difference to boomers’ information-seeking nature and their higher rate of Internet penetration.

Filed under: Baby Boomers, Consumer, digital, health, Internet, websites

The View From Your Airplane Window Was Brought to You by …

A start-up called Ad-Air said it had created the “first global aerial
advertising network” — giant, billboardlike ads that will be visible
from the air as planes approach runways. With few blank spaces left, in 10 years from now will consumers ever see a blank space free of ads?


The View From Your Airplane Window Was Brought to You by … – New York Times
LONDON, Sept. 24 — With airlines turning seat backs, tray tables and even overhead bins into advertising platforms, gazing out the window of an airplane has been one of the last ways to enjoy a marketing-free moment.

It looks as if that, too, is about to change — at least during that tedious time on the approach to landing, between the end of the in-flight entertainment program and touchdown on the runway.

A start-up called Ad-Air, based here, said Monday that it had created what it called the “first global aerial advertising network” — giant, billboardlike ads that will be visible from the air as planes approach runways.

Filed under: advertising, OOH

Halloween Doesn’t Look Too Scary For Sales

Even if the economy is saying “Boo” to consumers, retailers aren’t expecting it
to interfere with a little holiday like Halloween: The National Retail
Federation is predicting total Halloween spending to reach $5.07 billion, which
means the average person will spend $64.82 on the holiday compared to $59.06 one
year ago.


MediaPost Publications – Halloween Doesn’t Look Too Scary For Sales – 09/25/2007
EVEN IF THE ECONOMY IS saying “Boo” to consumers, retailers aren’t expecting it to interfere with a little holiday like Halloween: The National Retail Federation is predicting total Halloween spending to reach $5.07 billion, which means the average person will spend $64.82 on the holiday compared to $59.06 one year ago.

That includes costumes ($23.33), candy ($19.84), and increasingly, home décor ($17.73, reports the NRF, which conducted its “Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey” with BIG Research, interviewing nearly 9,000 consumers. And the average Halloween shopper is also likely to spend $3.92 on greeting cards.

Filed under: Consumer, holidays

How Do You Say ‘Got Milk” en Espanol?

Understanding the daily lives as well as aspirations has become a major undertaking for many marketers. This article takes a look at Grupo Gallegos, a Hispanic ad agency, that specializes in reaching this ever growing and diversifying group.

Advertising and Marketing – Spanish Language – Immigration – Retail and Trade – New York Times

Grupo Gallegos advertising runs on Spanish-language television, Spanish radio, in Spanish magazine pages and on Spanish or bilingual Web sites. Some of these enterprises are housed in places you might expect them to be: New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Houston. Many are not. There’s full-time Spanish television broadcasting now in Anchorage; Salt Lake City; Little Rock, Ark.; Wichita Falls, Tex.; Indianapolis; Savannah, Ga.; Boston; Oklahoma City; Syracuse, N.Y.; and Minneapolis. The area encompassing Portland, Ore., now has 10 Spanish radio stations, while four years ago it had only 3. The July issue of ESPN Deportes, with Hugo Sánchez on the cover, had a Gallegos underwear ad inside; so did the gossip magazine ¡Mira!, with Angélica Rivera on the cover; and a People en Español with RBD on the cover; and a Men’s Health en Español, whose cover article promised that James Bond would show readers how to be an hombre de acción.

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Filed under: advertising, Hispanics

As the Fall Season Arrives, TV Screens Get More Cluttered

Snipes — promotional ads for TV programs that share the screen with
other programs — are just the latest effort by network executives to
cram promotions onto television screens.


As the Fall Season Arrives, TV Screens Get More Cluttered – New York Times
Kyra Sedgwick, star of “The Closer” on TNT, walks under a police tape and scans the screen with her flashlight. And every time she does, she makes Gretchen Corbin, a technical writer in Berkeley, Calif., irate.

The promotional ads for “The Closer” run in the bottom right of the
screen during other TNT programs — a graphic called a snipe. But for
Ms. Corbin, who sometimes watches movies that have subtitles, the tiny
images block the dialogue.

“Some ad just took over the entire
bottom of the screen so I missed what the characters said to each
other,” said Ms. Corbin, describing a recent experience. “And it’s TV,
so you can’t rewind.”

Snipes are just the latest effort by
network executives to cram promotions onto television screens in the
age of channel surfing, ad skipping and screen-based multitasking. At
first, viewers may feel a slight jolt of pleasure at the sight of a new
visual effect, they say, but over time the intrusions contribute to the
sense that the screen is far more cluttered — not just with ads, but
with news crawls and other streams of information.

Filed under: advertising, Consumer, content, digital, Media, trends, TV

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