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Posts Tagged ‘Cornell University’

How Has Social Media Changed Nightlife Promotion?

In yet another example of “All the News That’s Fit to Print”, The New York Times ran a somewhat unexpected story yesterday on the trials and tribulations of running a successful college bar in the social media age. According to the Times, bar owners in the party-friendly college town of Ithaca, New York recently got desperate enough to hold a joint strategy session: How could they get more college students to frequent their dives?

We always felt like social media was perfect for nightlife promotion purposes. Turns out that foursquare and other networking tools have made the young folk pickier when it comes to drinking and socializing. They also seem to have become more frugal with their pocket change—or at least more interested in efficiency when it comes to alcohol consumption. One subject in the article explains that “I drink liquor because it takes too long to drink beer.”

OK then! Social media has also made the process of organizing house parties easier, so students no longer have to trek to the local watering hole to meet their peers—and they don’t have to pay bar prices for drinks or worry about carrying fake IDs either. On any given night, they can immediately find out where the parties are and get a fairly good idea of who is in attendance.

We see how this might be a problem. So how have business owners responded?

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Good News: Elmo Sells Fruit!

Today in The Positive Power of Branding News: findings from a recent Cornell University branding study caught our eye as a rare point of light among the usual thread of negative news. Why? Because researchers seem to have discovered, at long last, a way to convince kids to eat their fruits (if not their vegetables).

When given a choice, a 10-year-olds will always pick a cookie over an apple, right? Well, this nugget of common knowledge is no match for the power of branding fueled by a little of that Muppets magic.

The study in question involved more than 200 boys and girls of various backgrounds aged 8 to 11. On each day of a given week, after each child selected a lunch option, they were given a choice of either a cookie or an apple for an after-meal “dessert.” Here’s where the researchers played with the kids’ minds: On alternating days, they placed an Elmo sticker on each item. They also measured the results when the sticker bore an unfamiliar character and when neither item included a sticker.

Their findings were a little shocking: Kids were twice as likely to pick the apple over the cookie if it had Elmo’s image on it. What’s more, the Muppet didn’t make the cookie any more appealing–and the unknown character made no difference at all.

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