Alcone Marketing Group – Consumer Lab

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

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

Building a Brand with Widgets

The customizable bits of software on Facebook and other social networking sites are the latest trend in viral marketing. But are widgets here to stay?


Building a Brand with Widgets
The cards were stacked against A&E Television Network as it tried to generate positive buzz about its new series, Parking Wars. For one, it’s a reality show about meter readers. Two, the show doesn’t feature celebrities. “We thought if we could find a clever way of increasing consumer interaction with the concept behind the show that we would increase curiosity in the show itself,” says Lori Peterzell, A&E’s vice-president for consumer marketing.

So A&E hired area/code, a multimedia game developer, to build an online game based on Parking Wars. Played on the social network Facebook,
the game has users park virtual cars on friends’ profile pages, or
“streets,” while slapping tickets on cars parked on their own page and
avoiding tickets themselves.

Filed under: Consumer, digital, Internet, social networking, technology, viral, websites, widgets, Young Adults

Practicing the Subtle Sell of Placing Products on Webisodes

American Eagle Outfitters is at the forefront of a trend toward
advertainment, making videos to engross viewers while glamorizing a


Practicing the Subtle Sell of Placing Products on Webisodes – New York Times
AMERICAN EAGLE OUTFITTERS, the retailer that sells jeans, T-shirts and hoodies for the 15- to-25-year-old set, has been at the forefront of the trend toward advertainment, in which companies make videos to engross viewers while glamorizing a particular brand.

Last summer, on its Web site,, American Eagle introduced a dedicated media channel called 77e, which plays music and videos. The idea was to make visitors intrigued enough by what they saw to entice them to click further and buy clothes. Much of the content on the channel has been commissioned specifically as entertainment and used the American Eagle brand almost incidentally.

Filed under: advertising, Branded Entertainment, Consumer, Internet, trends, Video, video search, viral, VOD, widgets, WOM, youtube

Web Playgrounds of the Very Young

In all, eMarketer estimates that 20 million children will be part of a virtual
world by 2011, up from 8.2 million today. Disney, for example, plans to follow
Club Penguin’s success with virtual worlds for “Pirates of the Caribbean” and

“Get ready for a total inundation” of kiddie-oriented virtual worlds, says
eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson. Webkinz, Club Penguin and the like have
been a smashing success where adult-oriented counterparts Second Life and have not. According to comScore, Disney-owned Club Penguin attracts
seven times the traffic of Second Life. Webkinz, a site where children create
and care for virtual stuffed animals, has seen its traffic soar 342 percent in
the last year.


Web Playgrounds of the Very Young – New York Times
LOS ANGELES — Forget Second Life. The real virtual world gold rush centers on the grammar-school set.

Trying to duplicate the success of blockbuster Web sites like Club
Penguin and Webkinz, children’s entertainment companies are greatly
accelerating efforts to build virtual worlds for children. Media
conglomerates in particular think these sites — part online
role-playing game and part social scene — can deliver quick growth,
help keep movie franchises alive and instill brand loyalty in a
generation of new customers.

Filed under: advertising, Branded Entertainment, Consumer, content, Games, Gaming, Gen Y, kids, trends, Tweens, widgets

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

Young Surfers Spurn Banner Ads, Embrace ‘Widgets’

Teens and tweens tend to not like ads that are interuptions, but don’t mind engaging with an ad when it has some content value for them. Widgets have quickly become a common advertising medium, and consumers seem very open to them – especiall if there is an incentive.

Young Surfers Spurn Banner Ads, Embrace ‘Widgets’ –

A study of attitudes about online advertising shows that, not surprisingly, preteens and teenagers don’t like banner ads and other interruptions from marketers. But the study found that in the right circumstances kids enjoy playing with ad-related features on their personal pages in social-networking Web sites.

powered by performancing firefox

Filed under: Teens, Tweens, widgets

Young Surfers Spurn Banner Ads, Embrace ‘Widgets’

An online ad study found that preteens and teenagers don’t like banner
ads and other interruptions from marketers but do embrace widgets with
ad-related features.


Young Surfers Spurn Banner Ads, Embrace ‘Widgets’ –
A study of attitudes about online advertising shows that, not surprisingly, preteens and teenagers don’t like banner ads and other interruptions from marketers. But the study found that in the right circumstances kids enjoy playing with ad-related features on their personal pages in social-networking Web sites.

The study is likely to prove useful for marketers trying to reach today’s generation of children. It is likely to fuel a push by digital ad agencies to get marketers to experiment with new ways to advertise on social-networking sites such as Facebook and News Corp.’s MySpace.

Filed under: advertising, college students, Consumer, Customization, digital, Gen Y, interactive, Internet, Media, Teens, trends, Tweens, websites, widgets

A quick take on widgets

Our pal Randy sent us this great breakdown on Web widgets (Thanks Randy!). He also passed along this report from Forrester. Check it out: forrester-quick-take-web-widgets.pdf

“Lots of discussion and articles about engaging consumers, activating them and supplying the “core influencers” ….

….with tools (Widgets) to create, post and share content (their experiences) across all variety of social networking sites turning them into brand “broadcasters”.

Also referred to as online guerilla, “buzz” marketing, viral or organic branding.

Widgets are available for all forms of content (AVT, Audio Video Text) media and increasing popular with brand marketers “seeding” branded content on (MySpace, YouTube, Facebook)

There are 2 types of Widgets (Desktop and Web):

  1. Web Widgets

(Tools to author, edit, share with no special software or no download required)

  1. Desktop OS Widgets (ie. Mac or Vista) or Yahoo Widgets/Google desktop

(Need to download)

Bottom Line (Strategic+Revenue Opportunity):

Super opportunity and great DIY tools; but “dead in the water” without an account coordinator/project manager.


  • Manage & Filter content created as part of promotion uses of widgets
  • Keep the content updated (brand visuals on flickr, photobucket, youtube etc etc that these widgets “pull” from….
  • Interface with brand teams to insure updated content is available
  • Monitor “buzz” (good and bad); report “finger on the pulse” insights, brand perceptions & product usage
  • Metrics Reporting & Analysis”

For more information on widgets, Randy suggests looking here:

or here:



Filed under: digital, Internet, Media, websites, widgets

Study Says Web Shoppers Crave ‘Social’ Experience

“Social” Internet shoppers, for whom the emotional connection and enjoyment of shopping is as important as the actual purchase, make up half of online users but are not being courted by marketers, according to a new report from technology research firm Gartner. Sites should add the following features to woo these shoppers, according to a Gartner analyst: a simplified buying system; a mix of shopping and nonshopping features; information from multiple sources; and links to other sites.


Adweek Magazine In Print – Advertising News – Advertising Information
SAN FRANCISCO Up to now, e-commerce sites have largely focused on making the buying process as efficient as possible. But shopping is not always a rational process and online marketers will need to tap into the non-rational, “social” side of shopping to be successful in coming years, according to a new study by technology research firm Gartner.

According to the study, released May 22, there are two kinds of online shoppers. First is the goal-oriented solo shopper, who has an immediate need that leads to a specific objective and “has a good idea where the item will be found. The solo hunter wants to find the item quickly and leave with the catch,” the study said.

Filed under: digital, Internet, shopping, social networking, widgets, WOM, Women

Bebo To Roll Out Ad Widgets

Create your own advertising applications come to Bebo. Users can register to have widgets appear on their pages – showing their support for brands or organizations. It’s interesting because it is really just another way for peoploe to put themselves out there – however, its not the users creating the content.

Bebo To Roll Out Ad Widgets
December 29, 2006

By Brian Morrissey, Adweek

NEW YORK – Social networking site Bebo is readying the launch of its first advertiser widgets, small Web applications users can embed in their personal Web pages.

The site last week began allowing users to embed miniature Web applications into their profile pages, letting them choose from three photo-sharing widgets from Slide, Photobucket and Rockyou. Bebo plans to build a collection of widgets users can choose to add to their profiles.

Filed under: advertising, social networking, widgets

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