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Consumer

Why Does IKEA Need to Know How Often New Yorkers Do Work On the Toilet?

ikea styleIKEA is definitely one brand that you will find in tons of homes around the world. But do they need to be all up in your business too?

IKEA has released the results of its Life At Home study and basically they know everything about everyone everywhere on Earth. The company surveyed 1,000 people in cities including New York, Singapore, Berlin, Mumbai, Moscow and Stockholm. And they did a deep dive into the minutiae of the average person’s morning routine.

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Online Retailers Should Launch PR Campaigns Around Site Safety

e-commerce

A study from USA Today finds that nearly a quarter of Americans (24 percent) have stopped shopping online, at least for the moment. These respondents have ceased their online shopping activity after the string of stories about data breaches and cyber attacks. A full 56 percent have said they’re only making their purchases on sites that belong to major companies with reputable online portals. And more than half (55 percent) say that they’re keeping an eye on their checking account and other financial information more closely.

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Google Has Become eBay’s Panda in the Butt

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As a copywriter, PR professional, and overall Class-A nerd, I love Google.

Why? If you understand the ‘Google Zoo’ — Penguin, Panda, and Hummingbird — then you would know about the many changes Google has made to the search algorithms. In fact, the Internet guardian has practically declared war on Black Hat hackers and other ne’er-do-wells living in Mom’s basement with the latest version of Alienware.

NEWS FLASH: Google is making us better writers. Of course, in the process, they are so angering brands who spam the Internet. Latest on its ess-list is eBay. Not good.

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It Just Got Real: Fast Food Workers Protest In the South

fatfoodglobalThe fast-food industry was warned about today’s global protest, so they should have been ready for it… it was pretty big.

Workers in 150 American cities participated in today’s strike, with newcomers like Philadelphia and Miami joining the movement for a $15 per hour wage and the formation of a union. In addition, protests took place in countries as diverse as Germany and Malawi. In all, 33 countries took part.

But perhaps most surprising were the protests that took place in the American South.

“Walkouts took place in every region of the country, including the South, where labor organizing is notoriously difficult,” says MSNBC. Colorlines also notes the importance of this development.

“In what may be Opelika’s [in Alabama] first labor protest ever and the latest so far, in piecemeal worker grumblings in right-to-work states that are anti-union and proud, local McDonald’s and Burger King employees are joining today’s #FastFoodGlobal strikes.” Far fewer people walked out in the South than in other places. But the fact that it happened is significant.

The labor market has changed over the past few years and as a result, it looks like the fast food industry will have to change as well.

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Is Coca-Cola’s New Ad with Exploited Workers ‘The Real Thing’ or a Fake PR Stunt?

coke commercials

Sure, they look happy. It’s possible they don’t know they’re being used for PR brownie points.

When some global companies — from car manufacturers to retail developers — spend millions of dollars on advertising, there is always a “one-upsmanship” that exists in whiteboard and brainstorm meetings. Forget the wheel. They want to reinvent an entirely new mode of transportation with every new campaign.

Coca-Cola is known for that happy-happy-joy-joy advertising. From cutesy polar bears sucking down caffeine to legendary football players throwing their stank jersey at a child football fan, Coke has come up with iconic advertisements. Why they can’t be happy with that success is beyond me. Maybe that’s why I’m in the perception, earned media rather than pleasure, paid media.

Speaking of perception, there’s also this commercial where Coke is shown exploiting the plight of slave workers in Dubai. Yeah, this happened…

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Documents Show That Coca-Cola Supported Both MADD & A Group Opposed To Stricter Drunk Driving Laws

coke lightboxThe Huffington Post has gotten its hands on documents that show while Coca-Cola was supporting Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) it was also a member of the American Beverage Institute (ABI). The ABI, in trying to live up to its stated mission of “the protection of responsible on-premise consumption of adult beverages” has supported measures that would lower the legal blood-alcohol limits and fought against measures that would raise taxes on alcohol and institute sobriety checkpoints. An op-ed highlighted on the About Us page right now is from the October 24, 2013 issue of the Las Vegas Review-Journal called “Lower blood-alcohol limits won’t curb drunk driving deaths.”

When questioned about the support, Coke spokesperson Kirsten Witt told HuffPo, “On behalf of our customers, Coca-Cola has provided support to ABI over the years. We are not engaged in ABI advocacy efforts.” According to the HuffPo story, the annual membership dues at ABI are in “… between $2,500 a year (for companies with under $1 billion in sales that attend no meetings) to $45,000 a year (for those with $2 billion in sales that attend the three ABI meetings a year)” for non-alcohol companies. Dues vary for restaurants, retailers, companies that sell non-alcoholic beverages and businesses that sell alcohol.

MADD’s chief government affairs officer J.T. Griffin said of the situation, “It is a little shocking. I guess it is unfortunate. But it certainly is their right.”

Griffin is right. It’s totally Coke’s right to support both. But with customers looking for authenticity, it calls the company’s brand into question.

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Nintendo Responds to Petition Asking for Reinstatement of Same-Sex Relationships in ‘Tomodachi Life’ Game

Nintendo Strikes Down Gay Marriage Requests for Tomodachi Life - IGNJust weeks before Nintendo plans to release its life-simulation game Tomodachi Life in western markets, it has patched out a “bug” that allowed — as the company put it — “strange relationships,” AKA same-sex romances between characters. The decision has sparked an increasingly-popular online petition called Miiquality, which is asking Nintendo to reverse its actions.

Tye Marini, the 23-year-old Nintendo fan from Mesa, Arizona, who launched the campaign last month, said of his hopes for the 3DS game, “I want to be able to marry my real-life fiancé’s Mii, but I can’t do that…My only options are to marry some female Mii, to change the gender of either my Mii or my fiancé’s Mii, or to completely avoid marriage altogether and miss out on the exclusive content that comes with it.”

In response to the petition and growing controversy, Nintendo released a statement, saying:

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Consumers are Clueless Sheep in ‘Marketing: The Musical’

Marketing_ The Musical! - SHOES - CMA National Convention - YouTube

How do you get a bunch of marketing and branding professionals to attend a convention? By reminding them that they have a deeply important social responsibility to hone their skills, because without them, consumers would be lost, doddling oafs unable to make a single decision or find direction or meaning in their empty, uninformed lives. Obviously.

Oh, and making that reminder musical doesn’t hurt, either.

The invitation to the Canadian Marketing Association‘s 2014 convention states matter-of-factly, “People want to want things. Consumers need you to go.” And to hammer that message home, Toronto agency Cundari has created musical numbers from fictional production “Marketing: The Musical,” which feature lyrics like these:

“Should I buy the red one or the blue? I wish someone would tell me what to think; then I would know what to drink.”

And:

“Our cars are pretty much identical in every single way, so I really need some branding to know how much we paid. Without a logo or hood ornament, I’m in a big predicament.” Read more

Impulse Buying Reaches New Level: Now You Can Add Things to Your Amazon Cart from Twitter

#AmazonCart_ Add it Now. Buy it Later. Shop from within Twitter. - YouTube-1As if the “buy with one click” option wasn’t dangerous enough, now Amazon is allowing customers to add items to their shopping carts via Twitter by using hashtags.

“No more switching apps, typing passwords, or trying to remember items you saw on Twitter,” says a female voiceover in an ad explaining the new feature (after the jump), and it’s clear from her exasperated tone that such tasks have obviously been the most inconvenient, exhausting, intolelrable parts of consumers’ lives. Finally, our cries for relief have been heard!

Once you link your Amazon to your Twitter account, whenever you see an Amazon product link in a tweet, you can add it to your cart by replying to the tweet with hashtag #AmazonCart. It’s basically another virtual way to make impulse purchasing even easier than grabbing that candy bar at the Target checkout.

Aside from impulse purchases, though, this just seems to us like one of those “improvements” that might actually be less convenient than the traditional process. Read more

STUDY: Mobile Marketing Isn’t Just for Kids Anymore

gty_smartphone_ll_130104_wmainThink it’s only Millenials clogging up store isles while pausing to check their smartphones for coupons and better deals on the items they’re about to purchase? Think again.

According to a Thrive Analytics study recently released by the Local Search Association, Baby Boomers and seniors are catching up to their younger counterparts when it comes to actively using their mobile devices throughout the local purchasing process. The data suggests that it may be important for businesses to invest in their mobile presence and marketing in order to attract and retain not just younger customers, but those of all ages.

While 97 percent of Gen Y respondents said they use their smartphones at least sometimes when shopping in-store, 69 percent of seniors and Boomers admitted to doing the same; sure, the younger crowd is still ahead, but the majority of the older crowd is taking part in mobile — that’s pretty huge. Read more

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