Alcone Marketing Group – Consumer Lab

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

Father’s Day Lament: ‘No Mon, No Fun, Your Son’

] Fewer consumers–70% versus 77% last year–plan to buy one or more
gifts this Father’s Day. Furthermore, they’ll spend $115 on average, or 8% less
than in 2007, according to the 2008 installment of an annual survey conducted
by Brand Keys. This year, so few reported planning to buy dad a computer that
this item didn’t even make the list.

~A

MediaPost Publications – Father’s Day Lament: ‘No Mon, No Fun, Your Son’ – 05/29/2008

The sinking economy affected Mother’s Day spending a bit, and it looks like it’s going to hurt fathers even more.

Fewer consumers–70% versus 77% last year–plan to buy one or more gifts this Father’s Day.

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Filed under: Consumer, economy, gift giving, holidays

Apparel, Entertainment Top Mom’s Spending: Survey

The report, “Kids’ Share of
Wallet,” by The NPD Group, looks at how and where mothers spend theor
discretionary income on their children and gives manufacturers and retailers of
kids’ products an inside look at those factors and how much kids influence what
is spent.

~A

Apparel, Entertainment Top Mom’s Spending: Survey
When it comes to discretionary spending, moms drop the most (23%) on a single category—apparel. But nearly half (48%) of every dollar is used on entertainment items, including toys and board games, leisure activities, books, music movies videos games, electronics and concerts, according to a recent report.

Filed under: clothing, Consumer, families, fashion, Games, Moms, Women

Entering Virtual Worlds for Real-Life Pitches

Starting in June, people who play The Sims 2 will be able to buy a
“stuff pack” that lets them decorate their simulated families’ homes
with Ikea furniture.

~A

Advertising – Marketers Entering Virtual Worlds for Real-Life Pitches – NYTimes.com
IN 2002, when Electronic Arts signed a multimillion-dollar agreement with McDonald’s to place virtual burgers in an online version of its popular Sims video game, the move drew protests from players who resented the commercial intrusion.

But the Sims, a virtual family designed by players, are only becoming
more brand-conscious. Starting in June, people who play The Sims 2, the
current version of the game, will be able to buy a “stuff pack” (on a
disc or online) that lets them decorate their simulated families’ homes
with Ikea furniture. Last year a similar deal was made with H&M,
the Swedish clothing retailer, that lets players buy a disc full of
H&M-branded clothing for their Sims avatars.

Filed under: advertising, digital, Gaming, gardening

Study Finds Advertisers Don’t Quite Get Shopper Marketing

The Promotion Marketing Association’s Bonnie Carlson says that, done
right, shopper marketing “is all about making it easy for shoppers, so
things like packaging and store layout become very important.” An example,
she says, is a little kitchen set up by Nabisco near the dairy case: “That
puts its crackers near the cheese, and its cookies near the milk. It can both
surprise and delight a shopper.”

~A


MediaPost Publications – Study Finds Advertisers Don’t Quite Get Shopper Marketing – 05/28/2008
When it comes to shopper marketing–reaching consumers when they are actually in shopping mode–a new study shows that major advertisers still have a lot to learn.

Part of the problem is that while both retailers and marketers agree that it is primarily the marketers’ job to bring consumer insights into the planning process, there’s a fair amount of misunderstanding about what that means, says Bonnie Carlson, president of the Promotion Marketing Association, which fielded the study.

Filed under: advertising, Consumer, shopping

For Coors Light, a Night Out That Begins on MySpace

Coors Light is extending its presence in the new media with efforts on the social networking Web sites Facebook and MySpace.

~A

Advertising – For Coors Light, a Night Out That Begins on MySpace – NYTimes.com
BEER has long been marketed as a sociable beverage, from a campaign for Budweiser that carried the theme “When gentlemen agree” to the Löwenbräu jingle that began, “Here’s to good friends.” Now, another beer brand, Coors Light, is extending its presence in the new media with efforts on the social networking Web sites Facebook and MySpace.

Filed under: Beer, Consumer, social networking

Rand McNally: Some Road Travel Affected By High Gas Prices

Three-quarters of Americans said they are at least somewhat likely to
take a road trip this year. Nearly a third said they were very likely to take a
road trip. However, two-thirds of U.S. adults who planned to take a road trip
this summer have altered their plans. More than half will shorten their trip’s
duration or distance. However, only 10% will cancel their trips altogether.

~A

MediaPost Publications – Rand McNally: Some Road Travel Affected By High Gas Prices – 05/27/2008
As gas prices increased into Memorial Day weekend–the traditional start of the summer travel season–consumers admit those rising prices are having an effect on their summer travel plans, although perhaps not as much as one might expect.


“In recent years, we’ve seen rising fuel prices and airline-related
concerns prompt travelers to take shorter trips,” said Rand McNally
editorial director Laurie Borman, in a statement. “Even so, the
American tradition of the summer road trip remains strong, with
three-quarters of adults at least somewhat likely to take a summer road
trip in 2008.”

Filed under: auto, Consumer, travel

Study Reveals Women Are Far More Concerned About Physical Appearance and Weight Than Serious Diseases

According
to a the second in a series of findings from the Meredith/NBC Universal
“What do Women Want?”, when it comes to health, 56% of women are more
concerned about diet/weight and 36% about eating right, while only 23% express
the same degree of concern about cancer, 20% about heart health, and 18% about
diabetes.

~A

Meredith Corporation Mediaroom – News Releases
NEW YORK, N.Y. (May 21, 2008) – Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP) and NBC Universal (NYSE: GE), two of the nation’s leading media companies, today announced the second in a series of findings from the Meredith/NBC Universal “What do Women Want?”™ survey.

The below findings from the nationwide survey conducted among more
than 3,000 women reveal key insights on the female psyche across topics
including health and well-being:

• When it comes to health, women are more concerned about
diet/weight (56%) and eating right (36%) than they are about cancer
(23%), cardiovascular/heart health (20%), and diabetes (18%)

Filed under: health, Women

Advertisers to Consumers: We’ll Text You

A growing number of companies are using cellphone text messages to lend
more interactivity to their ads. Silicon Valley start-up 4INFO plans to
announce a new trial partnership with Yahoo to provide
content-publishing technology.

~A

Advertisers to Consumers: We’ll Text You – WSJ.com
Analysts like to make bold predictions about the growth of mobile advertising. Most have overshot reality.

But at least one slice of the business appears to be catching on, according to marketers: ads sent via text message. A growing number of companies are using cellphone text messages to lend more interactivity to their ads. For instance, Coors Brewing’s Coors Light beer recently added a text-message component to its traditional sponsorship of the NFL Draft. Football fans opted to receive draft alerts, and each message contained a squib about Coors Light.

Filed under: advertising, Consumer, digital, Mobile, texting

A Few Tremors in Oprahland

Could Oprah’s reign at the top be coming to an end?

~A

A Few Tremors in Oprahland – NYTimes.com
LOS ANGELES — Oprah Winfrey is still the queen of all media, but her crown is beginning to look a bit tarnished.

The average audience for “The Oprah Winfrey Show” has fallen nearly 7
percent this year, according to Nielsen Media Research — its third
straight year of decline. “Oprah’s Big Give,” an ABC philanthropic
reality show, beat every program on television except “American Idol”
in its premiere week this winter, but steadily lost nearly one-third of
its audience during the rest of its eight-week run, according to
Nielsen.

Filed under: celebrity, Consumer

Raiding the Pantry to Add Sparkle and Shine

There’s no need to pay $4.99 for a bottle of cleaner with ingredients
the company won’t name when you can make your own with well-known
ingredients for pennies.

~A

Raiding the Pantry to Add Sparkle and Shine – New York Times
“MICHELLE, would you like to head up the creamy soft-scrub team?”

With that call to arms, the women in Laura Gosa’s kitchen in Jersey
City fell to, blending the ingredients spread out on her counters like
so many blasts from Grandma’s preindustrial past: baking soda, borax,
Castile soap, lemon oil, vinegar, glycerin and other staples of the
all-natural armamentarium.

Filed under: Consumer, experiential

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