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

Billboards That Look Back

Some entrepreneurs
are equipping billboards with tiny cameras that gather details about passers-by
— their gender, approximate age and how long they looked at a billboard. These
details are then transmitted to a central database.

The small start-ups behind the technology say they are not storing actual
images of the passers-by, so privacy should not be a concern. The cameras, they
say, use software to determine that a person is standing in front of a billboard,
then analyze facial features to judge the person’s gender and age. So far the
companies are not using race as a parameter, but they say that they can and
will soon.

~A

Billboards That Look Back – NYTimes.com
In advertising these days, the brass ring goes to those who can measure everything — how many people see a particular advertisement, when they see it, who they are. All of that is easy on the Internet, and getting easier in television and print.

Filed under: advertising, Consumer, experiential, interactive, OOH

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

Cookbook Publishers Try to Think Small

With a couple of notable exceptions in the 1980s and 1990s, children’s
cookbooks have made little impact, either in sales or attention. But that is changing, as parents who have a keen interest in cooking
encourage their young children to spend time in the kitchen and new
titles take a more sophisticated approach to children’s food. Although
no one tracks overall sales of cookbooks aimed at children, some
retailers say that sales have shot up. Readers too young to drive don’t
yet have their own “Joy of Cooking,” but publishers are looking
everywhere for it. And a number of cooking celebrities have joined in,
too.

~A

Cookbooks for Children Entice Young Chefs to the Stove – New York Times
AT a time when 2-year-olds take cooking classes, trick-or-treaters turn up in chef’s whites and a personalized child’s size spatula costs $20, it is no surprise that the children’s cookbook genre is enjoying a new life.

Filed under: Consumer, experiential, families, food, trends

Everyone’s a Critic

Web sites now speak directly to consumers about
fragrances, and industry leaders are not amused.

~A

Everyone’s a Critic – New York Times
IN the realm of perfume, one man’s pudding is the next man’s tar. That the reaction to a fragrance can be visceral, and personal, is not news to Luca Turin, who over the years has inhaled and critiqued hundreds of scents. In assessing them, Mr. Turin, a scientist and fragrance expert, makes no attempt to hide his partisanship.

He describes Attrape-Coeurs, an amber violet perfume from Guerlain, as
“an intense radiant Wurlitzer organ blast of rose violet and iris
notes,” but paints a bleaker picture of Creed’s Love in White: “If this
were a shampoo offered with your first shower after sleeping rough for
two months in Nouakchott, you’d opt to keep the lice.”

Filed under: Consumer, experiential, Fragrance

Unconventional Marketing Reaches Video-Game College Tour

The marketing campaign for the tour runs the gamut from colorful chalk drawings
on campus sidewalks in front of the student union and fliers posted on
buildings, to online banner ads and 30-second television spots running on local
cable networks – a good way to engage the target audience.

~A

MediaPost Publications – Unconventional Marketing Reaches Video-Game College Tour – 03/31/2008
IT NEVER FAILS. VIDEO GAMES attract college kids. So when Best Buy and Motorola reached out to educated 18- to-24-year-olds, the companies opened their wallets to sponsor the video game spring tour G3: Games, Gear and Gadgets that kicks off today.

Video-game tour organizer Game U planned the marketing campaign for the tour, which runs the gamut from colorful chalk drawings on campus sidewalks in front of the student union and fliers posted on buildings to online banner ads and 30-second television spots running on local cable networks. Tour director and event organizer Robin Davis says, “I typically hire a street team, but sometimes students take the marketing and promotions into their own hands.”

Filed under: college students, Consumer, digital, experiential, Games, Gaming, Gen Y, Young Adults

Corona Concert Series Courts Hispanics

Crown Imports will conduct more
than 100 shows in 50-plus markets under its Hispanic-targeted “Conexion Corona”
concert series this year. Corona Extra, Corona Light and Modelo Especial will
sponsor the events.

~A


Corona Concert Series Courts Hispanics
Crown Imports will conduct more than 100 shows in 50-plus markets under its Hispanic-targeted “Conexion Corona” concert series this year. Corona Extra, Corona Light and Modelo Especial will sponsor the events.

The Corona Extra leg of the concert series begins in September and will feature Alejandro Fernandez, a Latin Grammy Award winner and one of Mexico’s famous crooners of romantic songs, ballads and mariachi favorites. Fernandez has sold more than 20 million records and can boast of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Filed under: Beer, Consumer, experiential, Hispanics

Alcohol Consumption Up In 2007, Group Finds, But Rate Is Slowing

We are seeing a slowdown in people consuming on-premise,” says the Beverage
Information Group’s Eric Schmidt. “When the economy starts to slow down, they
don’t go out as much. What we’re seeing is that they’re not as apt to drink as
much [at home] as before because they can’t replicate [a restaurant] occasion at
home.”

~A

MediaPost Publications – Alcohol Consumption Up In 2007, Group Finds, But Rate Is Slowing – 02/28/2008
DOES THE THOUGHT OF A slowing economy make you want to reach for a drink? You’re not alone. The Beverage Information Group says that beer, wine and spirits sales continued to increase last year, although they did so at a slowing rate.

According to the Norwalk, Conn. research company, wine consumption increased 4%, while distilled spirits were up 3.2% and beer rose 1.2%. Distilled spirits sales reached more than 182 million nine-liter cases–their 10th straight year of growth–and wine sales reached 294.4 million cases, growing for the 14th consecutive year. After declining sales in 2005, beer sales continued to recover, reaching 2.93 billion cases.

Filed under: Beer, Consumer, experiential, spirits

Marketers Salivate Over Lickable Ads

While scent technology — such as scratch-and-sniff ads or fragrant ink
— is commonplace in magazines, lickable ads are still in the
experimental stages. Welch’s is experimenting with an ad for its grape juice that features a lickable strip on a print ad.

~A

Marketers Salivate Over Lickable Ads – WSJ.com
Madison Avenue thinks a tasty approach will give new life to Welch’s grape juice.

Welch’s is taking out full-page print ads in People magazine this month that give readers a chance to sample its grape juice by licking the ad. The front of the advertisement shows a huge bottle of the juice, while the back has a strip that peels up and off, with text that reads: “For a TASTY fact, remove & LICK.”

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Filed under: advertising, CPG, experiential, flavor, food, trends

Rock this way! You, too, can be a music star at fantasy camp

Rock-n-Roll camps are still very much alive and well. And now with the success of video games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, the next natural step is to pick up an actual guitar and rock out for real!

~A

Rock this way! You, too, can be a music star at fantasy camp – USATODAY.com
Life was nagging at Hyun-Joo Park. Too many 14-hour days staring at a computer screen. Not enough time getting her 28-year-old ya-yas out.

So she did what any sensible Wall Street banker would do.

Hopped a flight to Las Vegas. Joined a rock ‘n’ roll band. And for four days screamed herself hoarse while perfecting — with the help of guitar hero Slash — a respectable rendition of Guns N’ Roses’ Paradise City, the climax of which found her leaping off a stack of amplifiers with Axl Rose-like gusto.

Filed under: Branded Entertainment, Consumer, experiential, living target

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