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 –

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.


Billboards That Look Back –
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

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.


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

Unilever To Launch Dove Digital Channel

Dove is launching its own channel on The initiative will feature experts discussing today’s beauty issues. The channel will also give viewers a chance to join the conversation.

MediaPost Publications – Unilever To Launch Dove Digital Channel – 04/11/2008

CALLING IT A MAJOR INITIATIVE in the digital space for a consumer brand, Dove says the channel will reside at  The innovative new interactive, multimedia channel launches first in the U.S. and will be rolled out to the UK and Canada in the next three months.

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Filed under: advertising, CPG, interactive, Promotions, UGM, Video, VOD, Women

Social Site’s New Friends Are Athletes

Madison Avenue has long seen the value of aligning with sports teams,
and over the years has been reaching further down the athletic food
chain: first professional, then college, and more recently high school.
Takkle, a social-networking site for high school athletes, is partially
owned by Sports Illustrated. With WePlay, advertisers will have the
chance to go even younger.


Social Site’s New Friends Are Athletes – New York Times
Late last year, Pamela Firestone, the mother of Tony Parker, the San Antonio Spurs point guard, went rooting through her home in Paris and dug up a VHS tape of a 9-year-old Tony on a Parisian basketball court with his two brothers.

“O.K., let’s start,” the future N.B.A. star says in French. “It’s going to be the Chicago Bulls versus the San Antonio Spurs.”

In most families such artifacts are merely heirlooms, their value
measured in memories. For the Hollywood talent agency Creative Artists
Agency and the hedge fund Pequot Capital, these are assets to be

Filed under: interactive, Internet, social networking

Marketers Make Friends With Savvy Online Consumers

Marketers’ presence on the sites is growing, and is drawing consumers’ free
media time less than a year after brands took to the social network scene. Yet,
while one some see it as a desirable inevitability, others caution that
participation with a brand is not always endorsement.


MediaPost Publications – Marketers Make Friends With Savvy Online Consumers – 01/21/2008
LENDING CLUB, A FUNDS EXCHANGE and lending network, launched this fall … on Facebook. As a social network, Facebook helps consumers build trust in the brand partners presented to them, says Lending Club COO John Donovan.

Word-of-mouth–or rather word-of-mouse–marketing is a natural outcome of social networks. Consumers compile connections and further feather their nests with friends of friends. Lending Club’s business model leverages these links, inspiring borrowers’ responsibility by engaging investors from their communities or extended social groups. (Lender funds are aggregated before monies are distributed to borrowers, reducing lender risk further and adding anonymity to the borrower’s side of the deal.)

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Filed under: Consumer, interactive, Internet, social networking

Saying ‘Will You’ for Prizes, on the Web

1800-Flowers has partnered with several other big names for its Valentine’s Day promotion. The idea behind the contests is to grab consumers’ attention before the Valentine’s shopping season gets under way.


Saying ‘Will You’ for Prizes, on the Web – New York Times
“ENGAGING the consumer” is a popular phrase in marketing, particularly as the public shifts its attention from television to interactive media like the Internet. This Valentine’s Day, engaging consumers — or getting consumers engaged — is precisely what the online floral retailer aims to do.

As the first component of a yearlong partnership with Google,
the company is holding a “Will You Marry Me?” contest to find the
season’s most intriguing marriage proposal. Love-smitten users can log
on to a special YouTube channel starting on Monday
and submit a video of themselves proposing.

Filed under: Consumer, interactive, Internet, Promotions

Gaming Nearly Ubiquitous among Kids Online, One-Third Have Email Address

A new study confirms that kids really do love playing games online. Close to 80% of kids age 6 to 11 play online games, the largest percentage performing any online activity.


Gaming Nearly Ubiquitous among Kids Online, One-Third Have Email Address – Marketing Charts
Nearly 8 in 10 children (78.1%) age 6-11 report they play online games – by far the largest percentage performing any online activity, according to (pdf) the “2007 American Kids Survey” from Mediamark Research and Intelligence (MRI).

The percentage of boys and girls who play online games was virtually the same, 77.7% vs. 78.5%, respectively. Boys are much more likely to report they go online to get tips or cheats* for their gaming: One-quarter of boys (25.8%) versus only 5.6% of girls.

Filed under: Consumer, digital, Games, Gaming, Gen Y, interactive, Internet, living target, technology, Teens, Tweens, websites

The Joy of Cyber-Cooking

Food sites are hugely popular on the Web. Fueling the growth are social networking tools that let home cooks share recipes, tips and comments.


The Joy of Cyber-Cooking
Bonnie Bucqueroux is the Internet’s own iron chef. Doubt it? Just watch the woman cook a Christmas turducken.

Ms. Bucqueroux, (pronounced “buck-a-roo” she says), wrestles with the meaty monstrosity in a homemade video on, Condé Nast’s online site for foodies. In the seven-and-a-half minute short video, Bucqueroux talks viewers through the proper preparation techniques to cook a deboned turkey filled with a deboned duck crammed, in turn, with a large-breasted chicken (deboned, of course). “It’s enough to make the PETA people cringe,” says Bucqueroux, a vegetarian who often cooks for her carnivorous extended family during the holidays.

Filed under: Consumer, content, experiential, food, interactive, Internet, social networking, technology, trends, Video, VOD, widgets, youtube

BMW Launches Site That Welcomes Consumer Input

BMW has set up an interactive Web site where consumers will be able to talk to each other and leave
reviews, ratings and comments. BMW hopes it will be an online
community of enthusiasts, as well as a 360-degree marketing kiosk for
configuring, ordering, buying, and servicing BMW cars.


MediaPost Publications – BMW Launches Site That Welcomes Consumer Input – 12/24/2007
THERE MAY BE 12 DAYS of Christmas and 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are 130 million ways to reconfigure a BMW. The company’s North American arm has launched a new consumer Web site that lets consumers configure a vehicle in highly specific ways. The site also has features that seem more like social-networking sites, with areas that allow consumers to upload videos. The site will also be linked to BMW Assist–which is an in-vehicle telematics and assistance program like GM’s OnStar–and Financial Services.

Filed under: Branded Entertainment, Consumer, content, digital, interactive, Internet, Media, social networking, websites

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