TVNewser AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Consumer

E-Cigarettes Are Making Their Way To a Theater Near You

ecigTobacco companies haven’t been able to purchase product placement in movies for two decades. (Though there have been plenty of characters who have puffed on a cigarette, but no deals allowed.) However, those rules don’t apply to e-cigarettes, which have seen a spike in popularity. Estimates say that, since 2005, e-cigarettes have become a $3 billion business with 450 brands in the industry.

So it stands to reason that these brands would be looking for ways to market themselves. And product placement has become, increasingly, a marketing path that many companies, even unexpected ones, want to take. The question is how long before e-cigarettes are facing the same restrictions that traditional cigarettes are.

Read more

Mediabistro Course

Mobile Content Strategy

Mobile Content StrategyStarting September 24, learn how to write content for smartphones, tablets, and mobile devices! In this online course, students will learn how to publish across multiple channels and manage the workflow, optimize content for mobile devices, and  engage with their audience across screens. Register now!

Friends Lives On! Why Nostalgia Is So Important to a Brand


Turn on the TV at any point during the day and chances are you can find an episode of an old favorite: the episode of Seinfeld where Kramer pitches a cologne that smells like the beach; the Cosby Show episode where Cliff gives Theo a lesson in money; that Friends where Ross whitens his teeth.

The ladies of Friends took a walk down memory lane during a recent skit on Jimmy Kimmel LiveIn a replica of the show’s kitchen, 10 years after the show went off the air and 20 years after it debuted, the scene — as ridiculous as it was — still managed to draw loud cheers from the crowd and lead to more than 1.3 million YouTube hits.

While it may seem a little pointless to still be talking about the show, this sort of passion is valuable to a brand. It can sustain a fan base and a career through thick and thin.

It also inspires very odd BuzzFeed quizzes.

Read more

First Step For Marketers to Understand Millennials: Dump the Stereotypes

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Much has been made about marketers’ attempts to reach millennials. This group, probably more so than others, is fragmented by all of the media options at their fingertips. They’re struggling right now with an economy that has made some of the traditional milestones, like buying a house, out of reach. And they have a different set of criteria to determine what’s valuable enough to spend money on.

Learning more about their lives and how they’re managing the obstacles they face is the first step to reaching them with a message that makes sense. Continuing with stereotypes — lazy, entitled, narcissistic, etc — will not.

Read more

Walmart’s #PRFail Recognition May Win the Retailer $3 Billion

Aisles of a Grocery StoreIn the wild and wacky world of corporate PR, it seems the larger the brand, the more difficult it becomes to acknowledge mistakes. The more transparent a brand is, the more vulnerable it becomes.

That may explain what takes place in Bentonville, Ark. (the corporate home of Walmart) on a daily basis. Until recently, the brand has seemed only proactive about growth and global domination.

And then, a story in Time came out last April that read: “Walmart has cut employee hours so deeply that it doesn’t have enough associates on hand to get stuff from back-of-the-store staging areas to the shelves.”

That caused Walmart to do something differently — respond. Sure, it’s more than a year later, but they’re new at this thing. Let’s cut them a break.

Read more

P&G Wants To Convince You That You’re Just-Worn Clothing Needs A ‘Swash’

swashPicture it: It’s an ordinary evening. You’ve had a day filled with meetings, writing a press release for a client and lunch with a reporter. You’re finally home. You’ve pulled on your favorite sweats for an evening of wine and Dating Naked when you take another look at the shirt you wore that day, tossed over the back of a chair. You kind of want to wash it but you think, “Is it really that dirty?” What’s a person to do?

[Insert image of wide-eyed man/woman shrugging in an exaggerated manner.]

You Swash it!

At least that’s the conclusion that P&G wants you to come to. The company will sell a $500, four-foot-tall machine that uses “gel-filled pods” ($6.99 for a pack of 12 single use pods) to “neutralize odors,” rid a garment of wrinkles and restore its fit. It’s not really washing. Not really dry cleaning. It’s “swashing.” The machine will be available at Bloomingdale’s next month.

The target market for this item is what The Wall Street Journal calls the “re-wearer,” someone who feels the item they just wore isn’t really that dirty so they want to get one more wear out of it.

Read more

Meow Mix Takes Things Too Far With Mobile Sound Booth

Meow Mix is cat food.

To promote this brand of cat food, a mobile sound booth is traveling around New York City giving people the opportunity to sing the Meow Mix jingle. The words to this jingle are “Meow. Meow.”

This is the sort of thing that makes us question our sanity.

Read more

With the US Muslim Population Growing, Marketers Are Missing a Consumer Opportunity

muslim familyUnless you were celebrating Ramadan or know someone who was, you may have missed the fact that the month-long religious fast ended on Monday. Unlike other times of year, Ramadan doesn’t have a national day of recognition. That includes a day or days that shoppers can score a deal as a means of acknowledgement.

The Atlantic argues that should change.

Read more

The Barbie/Girl Scouts Partnership Is Not Going Over Well

girl scout barbieA Girl Scouts-themed Barbie doll is coming to stores this week. And, as one would expect, it is not going over well with parents who think that Barbie is not the best role model for little girls.

The relationship between Mattel and the Girl Scouts was actually forged last year, when the Girl Scouts began to offer a “Be anything. Do everything” patch, the first time the group signed on for a corporate partnership.

“Barbie is basically a terrible role model for girls, and she’s not about what the Girl Scouts’ principles are, which have to do with leadership and courage,” Susan Linn,  director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood tells the Today show.

However, the Girl Scouts have defended the partnership.

“Girls and moms alike associate this doll with the outdoors, camping, giving back in your community, and we think that those are really positive messages to all of our girls,” Kelly Parisi, spokeswoman for Girl Scouts of the USA told the morning show.

The partnership appears to be a mutually beneficial one. But some women can’t get over the fact that a good chunk of Barbie’s appeal is superficial.

Read more

Best Practices: What to Do When Activists Come Calling

bpa_free_logoOne of my go-to quick-and-healthy dinners is a can of Amy’s Organic fat-free vegetable soup topped with slices of chicken sausage.

OK, yes: It’s still processed food (and I know I could and should do better!), but some of that guilt is removed thanks to a new sticker Amy’s has been putting on every can that reads: “This soup is canned in a BPA-free liner.”

Good move, right? This little sticker reinforces the notion that buying Amy’s Organic is the healthier choice. It’s also a perfectly proportional response to health concerns raised by groups such as the Breast Cancer Fund over the use of Bisphenol A, or BPA, in can linings. Other companies, such as Campbell Soup Co., have followed suit in removing BPA from their packaging.

As Advertising Age points out, processed-food companies—even seemingly “good” companies, like Amy’s Organic—are on the defensive as never before, and repeatedly under attack from online health advocates and activists.

The rise in attacks comes from, you guessed it, “social networking tools and digital media, [which] have created opportunity for groups of consumer advocates to target individual brands in order to influence company decisions,” notes Sanford C. Bernstein notes in a recent report.

So what’s a company to do? Should companies respond to every single threat? And how?

Read more

Whole Foods Is Getting Hit By Hobby Lobby In An Unexpected Way

whole foods signSometimes, a brand can get hit with a controversy that they didn’t even know they were involved with. Surely, that must be what Whole Foods is thinking.

Usually involved with issues surrounding food and the prices at their shops, it’s likely they didn’t have a crisis plan in place for the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, which made it OK for employers to determine whether or not to offer contraception coverage. The company itself has no plans of discontinuing the coverage. However, one of the brands they carry, Eden Foods, is trying to opt out of the coverage. And now there’s a petition against Whole Foods with 12,500 names, demanding that they stop selling Eden Foods products. According to The Daily Beast, the company is one of 82 trying to discontinue the coverage.

“While individual-level boycotting of Eden Foods may not have much of an impact, telling Whole Foods to stop carrying Eden Foods’ products in their stores around the nation should have a much bigger effect. Let’s seek out the best messenger to send this message to Eden Foods- and in this case, Whole Foods seems like the perfect fit,” reads the petition.

We can all just imagine the looks on faces of the Whole Foods publicists when they saw this.

Read more

NEXT PAGE >>