Alcone Marketing Group – Consumer Lab

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

Summer Silliness Brings a Pizza Field and a Giant Oreo

Advertising – Summer Silliness Brings a Pizza Field and a Giant Oreo – NYTimes.com

OUTDOOR advertising is a growing category — not just billboards, but increasingly, weird publicity stunts that often go awry.

“Advertisers are being pushed to creative extremes, partly because
it’s just so difficult to get consumers’ attention these days,” said
Pete Blackshaw, executive vice president of Nielsen Online Digital
Strategic Services, which advises clients on managing their online
reputations. “It may just be a flash of brilliance that everyone pays
attention to, and it gets that huge return, but it’s very difficult to
replicate on a regular basis.”

Advertisers spent $7.3 billion on
outdoor ads last year, a rise of 7 percent from 2006, according to the
Outdoor Advertising Association of America. About 16 percent of that
fell in the “alternative” category, which covers ads that were not on
billboards, bus shelters or the like.

Filed under: advertising, entertainment, experiential, interactive, Media, OOH, Promotions

Rooms to Stop the Young From Straying – NYTimes.com

Rooms to Stop the Young From Straying – NYTimes.com

The rec room, once a wood-paneled corner of the basement with a dumpy couch and a TV with rabbit ears, is enjoying a revival in more upscale form. The space that parents cringed at the thought of entering and adolescents couldn’t wait to escape has been reimagined, largely by affluent suburbanites, as a haven of home theaters, stylish furniture, stainless kitchens and spa bathrooms — all deployed as lures to keep teenagers at home.

Filed under: affluent, Customization, entertainment, families, kids, Teens

Keeping Pace: The Evolution of Marketing and Branding

The 2.0 world is evolving rapidly, creating new promotions and
marketing opportunities such as RSS feeds, podcasting, blogging,
talking avatars and widgets everywhere.

~A

Keeping Pace: The Evolution of Marketing and Branding
In the digital space, the world of marketing and branding is constantly changing. New technology developments are prompting companies to take a fresh look at the ways they reach and interact with their vendors and customers.

Filed under: advertising, Blogroll, Consumer, Customization, digital, entertainment, gadgets, interactive, Internet, Media, Promotions, technology, trends, UGM, viral, websites, widgets

Consumers Cut Back On Everything But Driving, Study Finds

Prices are on the rise in just about every industry – which is a little scary considering that major corporations have been cutting jobs. A recent survey from Kelley Blue Book finds that consumers are making changes to their purchase habits to cut costs. In particular, they are spending less on non-essential retail items and dining & entertainment.
C.

MediaPost Publications – Consumers Cut Back On Everything But Driving, Study Finds – 04/25/2008

Rising gas prices are already taking a toll on Americans’ discretionary spending –all the way up to influencing purchasing a new house–according to new marketing research from Kelley Blue Book.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Filed under: Consumer, economy, entertainment, financial, living target, shopping

New Wii Games Find a Big (but Stingy) Audience

Marketing its Wii video-game system at a lower price than competitors,
Nintendo has caught a wider net of potential customers, but game sales
have also been slower with this softer audience.

~A

New Wii Games Find a Big (but Stingy) Audience – New York Times
Nintendo sits atop the home video-game market. Its Wii, though less technologically advanced than Microsoft’s Xbox 360 or Sony’s PlayStation 3, continues to outsell those machines and is now in more than 20 million homes.

So why are retailers having so much trouble selling Wii games?

Filed under: Consumer, digital, entertainment, Games, Gaming, wii

Changing Courses at the Food Network

Having taken food and chefs from what was once the domain of public
television to new celebrity heights, the Food Network is now undergoing
a transformation.

~A

Changing Courses at the Food Network – New York Times
You can find chef Emeril Lagasse’s name and face all over a dozen cookbooks, 10 restaurants, lines of pots and pans, knives, Wedgwood dishes, spices, salad dressings and pasta sauces, and even a deep fryer.

But as of last week, it will no longer be found on new episodes of
his signature “Emeril Live” show on the Food Network. The program taped
its last installments and laid off a half-dozen staff members, bringing
an end to an impressive 11-year, every-weeknight run.

Viewers
will not see a difference for at least a year as the new episodes that
have already been taped are shown. But industry executives are
scratching their heads over why the network canceled “Emeril Live” —
which they speculate became too expensive for its softening ratings —
without having a new deal in place, given the role that his program
played in the network’s success.

Filed under: advertising, Consumer, entertainment, Media, TV

Promotions, In-Store Displays Key to Swaying Electronics Shoppers

Almost one-third of shoppers bought electronics based on an offer or
promotion–the most popular being rebates and sale prices–according to a new
survey from Omnicom’s Dallas-based Integer Group. Also, most of the buyers (75%)
browsed on the Web before purchasing–going online an average of more than three
times to do research before buying. It was “not uncommon” for the shoppers to
make 10 or more Internet visits.

~A

Promotions, In-Store Displays Key to Swaying Electronics Shoppers – Advertising Age – News
YORK, Pa. (AdAge.com) — This just in: Men and women shop differently. Shopping for a big-screen TV is an exciting process for men, who definitely find it easier than shopping for groceries or shoes. For women, it’s stress-inducing and requires careful consideration and research.

But while a new survey from Omnicom’s Dallas-based Integer Group may
seem to bolster stereotypes, the results also hold some
holiday-marketing clues. And with a record $22 billion in electronic
purchases up for grabs this season, according to the Consumer
Electronics Association, marketing can be a potent influencer when
angling for that wallet share.

Filed under: advertising, Consumer, digital, entertainment

TV Chefs, Far From Reality

The top chefs who judge the top chefs have morphed into stars so much
larger than, and sometimes so loosely tethered to, the nuts and bolts
of their craft.

~A

TV Chefs, Far From Reality – New York Times
THE third season of “Top Chef” comes to a close tonight, answering questions that have made this contest seem like a timely echo of, or overture to, the precedent-courting presidential race: Will there be a first woman Top Chef or a first nonwhite Top Chef or maybe even a first openly gay Top Chef?

On this matter the Bravo network has expertly teased out the suspense,
but along the way it’s settled another issue. While Top Chef
contestants must endure a finger-numbing, flesh-nicking decathlon of
slicing and dicing, the top chefs who assess them need not come within
10 feet of a whisk — unless, that is, they’re arching an eyebrow at the
clumsy way it’s being handled.

One after another, the country’s most esteemed culinary practitioners — Eric Ripert, Daniel Boulud and Geoffrey Zakarian, to name a few — sauntered onto the set, where they ate on command and frowned on cue.

What
they didn’t do was cook. And in that sense the show perfectly
illustrated how far these celebrities — on “Top Chef,” on “Iron Chef”
and its progeny, on any number of programs — have traveled from the
tedious, earnest hands-on work that gave them their luster in the first
place.

Filed under: entertainment, food, gourmet, Media, trends, TV

At Starbucks, Songs of Instant Gratification

New technology that allows coffee patrons to download the music playing
in Starbucks stores to their iPhones is just the beginning of a wave of
options for impulse purchases.

With this new technology bringing music as an impulse purchase to the coffee-drinking masses, what kinds of other technology-based impulse purchases are on the horizon? What brands would benefit from having this as an option?

~A

At Starbucks, Songs of Instant Gratification – New York Times
Like that song you hear playing at Starbucks, but just cannot wait until you get to a computer to download the song?

Starting tomorrow at certain Starbucks stores, a person with an iPhone
or iTunes software loaded onto a laptop can download the songs they
hear over the speakers directly onto those devices. The price will be
99 cents a song, a small price, Starbucks says, to satisfy an immediate
urge.

“For the customer it’s an instant gratification,” said Ken
Lombard, president of Starbucks Entertainment. “You’ll hear the song,
be able to identify what it is and download to the device.”

Filed under: Consumer, digital, downloads, entertainment, experiential, gadgets, In Store, living target, Mobile, trends

Lexus Runs Virtual Wii Tennis Open Near The Real One

Capitalizing on both the popularity of the U.S. Open and of Nintendo’s Wii gaming system, Lexus will be holding its own tennis tournament at Rockefeller Center this week. Consumers will battle one another in Wii tennis to win a Lexus.

Many marketers are using Wii to connect with their consumers.

~A

Lexus Runs Virtual Wii Tennis Open Near The Real One
In the shadow of the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament, Lexus will run its own virtual tennis tournament in New York City’s Rockefeller Center this week, with a Lexus lease as the top prize.

The Lexus Virtual Open at Rockefeller Center will pit tennis and gaming enthusiasts against each other on Nintendo’s Wii gaming console. Participants will play on a scaled-down tennis court, at Lexus-branded kiosks and out the back of Lexus vehicles that will be on display during the ersatz tourney on Sept. 4-7, with matches running from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

Filed under: advertising, Consumer, digital, entertainment, experiential, Games, Gaming, Promotions, wii

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