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Posts Tagged ‘New York Times’

‘Nudge Marketing’ Most Effective Strategy to Push Produce Sales

Nudge marketing is exactly what it sounds like: compelling consumers to behave in a desired manner by “nudging” them with a marketing message that straddles the delicate balance of not being too soft and subtle nor being too heavy handed and forceful.

It turns out that the public doesn’t mind being marketed to, as long as the marketing strategies behind the messaging is respectful of the public’s vigilant sensibilities. This revelation has emboldened health advocacy groups who feel outgunned by larger food corporations that aggressively, and successfully, market junk food and sugary sweets to an obese and unhealthy public.

This article in the New York Times reveals how several supermarkets are experimenting with nudge marketing techniques ranging from painting arrows on the floor pointing toward the produce section to adding a vegetables only section to shopping carts. The nudge techniques resulted in a dramatic increase in the sales of produce—and decline in the sales of unhealthy foods competing for the same dollars. Not to mention, these techniques require little overhead, which makes them all the more powerful. Read more

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Can Vogue Make Google Glass Fashionable?

Google Glass started appearing on models in runway shows nearly a year ago, so Google has known for some time that the “wearability” aspect of its newest product might prove…problematic. Several of the interviewees in the New York Times Bits blog’s recent take on this fashion conundrum even used the word “dorky” to explain their reluctance to wear Glass in public. But will a twelve-page Vogue spread really turn the tide in Glass’s favor?

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The ABCs of Using Simpler Language

Celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten was no doubt pleased with the New York Times’ two-star review of his latest New York restaurant, abc cocina, on July 31. But whoever wrote the description on the restaurant’s website may have cringed, since food critic Pete Wells questioned key passages. The review serves as a reminder why concise wording usually makes better business sense.

 

Here’s the abc cocina website content that Wells parsed:

abc cocina & michelin star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten welcome you to our modern global exchange celebrating local craft and international culture, a fusion of tradition and innovation uniting yesterday and tomorrow. Experience the vision of abc home curation, a romantic and mystical atmosphere and succumb to a dynamic love affair with an eclectic and enchanting cuisine.

Here are excerpts from Wells’ reaction to that description:

“If that gives you a vivid picture of what’s in store for you at this three-month-old establishment, stop reading and use the free time that now stretches out before you to do something nice for a stranger. If, on the other hand, you found a few passages somewhat hazy, I’ll be happy to do my job.”

“This “modern global exchange” is what we critics like to call a “restaurant.” “International culture” must refer to the menu. I could see how it might be romantic and mystical if you are sexually attracted to gelatinous sea creatures. As for “dynamic love affair,” you are going to have to ask Google. I have absolutely no idea.”

Writing in a “can you top this?” style isn’t unique to the restaurant industry. Overuse of buzzwords also appears to be the rise, and we see frequent evidence across categories, from media to design to travel. Yet clear, simple language is preferred for these five reasons:

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What Does the Publicis/Omnicom Merger Mean?

We’ve all heard enough about this weekend’s Publicis/Omnicom merger to know that it’s too big for our limited minds to even fathom, much less evaluate.

So many questions followed: will it lead to mass layoffs or protracted battles over antitrust laws? Will it doom boutique agencies that don’t get picked up by major “holding company” conglomerates? Will it change our jobs in profound and permanent ways?

These are all valid, fascinating issues that must be considered—and for now we’ll let other people do the thinking for us, starting with those smartasses at The Onion.

Surprisingly accurate! That headline stings a bit, though we finally understand why they didn’t hire us for the grad school internship we wanted so badly (should’ve learned to code in high school, dammit). On a more serious note, Richard Edelman is skeptical of this supposed sea change, writing:

Bigger does not mean better. My 84-year-old mother’s first reaction yesterday was that this reminds her of AOL’s* merger with Time Warner. “They were all screwed up for years,” she said.

In other words, don’t freak out…at least not yet. But there will be blood.

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John McEnroe Holds Court on Past Playing Controversies and Time Broadcasting

As a tennis champion renowned for disputing line calls, John McEnroe also draws a sharp line between his time playing and commentating. “I’ve been broadcasting now for 20 years and haven’t used a bad word yet in the booth. But it was harder to control myself on the court.”

McEnroe looks back fondly on his playing days, recalling his rivals’ colorful personalities and varied playing styles. He preferred having fewer on-court rules and the freedom of not touring with a big entourage as players do now. He’s come to terms with his former bad-boy reputation, but his biggest regret isn’t his tirades, it’s not learning another language. And don’t even get him started on his career commentating: he loves it, immersing himself in the game of tennis and in the players’ highs and lows.

McEnroe discussed a range of tennis topics at a TimesTalks event with New York Times sports editor Jason Stallman on Tuesday. They also showed the audience an amusing video of “Johnny Mac” in his heyday, with his trademark headband and curly hair, berating the umpires.

Below are selected interview highlights and comments from McEnroe.

Playing experience: McEnroe’s line call challenges may have sparked criticism, but he had a good eye, and his actions may have eventually led to the player challenge system in place now. But even though fellow tennis star Arthur Ashe used to tell him, “All the calls would even out”, McEnroe clearly didn’t subscribe to that notion:

“I did a terrible job of composing myself. I was a spoiled brat from Long Island who benefitted from the energy of New York. I got a lot of publicity but it steamrolled. Event organizers weren’t used to that kind of behavior, so later they tightened the rules. Sometimes my negativity worked to my advantage, and early in my career it got me going. But you need to understand that you’re not just fighting opponents, you’re also fighting yourself.”

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‘Architect’s Newspaper’ Calls Out Organization For Pushing Secondhand Fake News

The rendering by Diller Scofidio & Renfro via The New York Times

The Municipal Art Society (MAS) invited the press to an event Wednesday morning in which they would be able to take a look at four renderings of the new Madison Square Garden. They’re just ideas at the moment since the actual building of the facility is more than 15 years away, but still. If you’re into this, like the architecture and design press who were invited to the event would be, this is pretty exciting stuff.

Except the MAS had already given the story and the images to The New York Times the night before.

Journalists working for smaller outlets are used to playing second fiddle to top-tier outlets. But really, don’t rub salt in the wound by pulling this kind of stunt. Especially when those other journalists can wound you and do a little salt rubbing in return.

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Anthony Weiner Promises to Keep It in His Pants This Time

Oh my. Disgraced former Representative Anthony “I did not send pictures of my crotch to those women” Weiner has wormed his way into the headlines again this week with talk of a comeback, a return to the public spotlight or a “political rebranding”, if you will. In case you forgot or didn’t pay attention in the first place (lucky you), we have Weiner to thank for some of the best/worst puns in recent memory:

The big reveal is a TL;DR profile in this coming weekend’s New York Times magazine in which Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin review the painful details of the fallout and his plans for a new beginning in which he will rise from the ashes like a triumphant phoenix in boxer-briefs. It seems that Weiner entertains fantasies of running for mayor of New York City next year along with everyone else who lives in the greater metropolitan area.

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Bittman Issues Apology in Chick-Fil-A Dustup

He's sorryMark Bittman, inspirational DIY food writer and noted non-vegan, issued a rare apology on his New York Times blog this week for referring to recently deceased Chick-Fil-A spokesman Don Perry as a “pig” in what has become the latest salvo in an unfortunate war of words over a perennial hot topic: same-sex marriage.

We won’t go into detail regarding a story that has by now inspired thousands of nasty Facebook exchanges and exhausted many a pundit, but Bittman admitted to letting his emotions get the best of him in using a word that “did not rise to either my own standards or to The Times’s.” This sordid tale of clashing culture warriors has certainly brought out the less civilized sides of many in media and politics, and we can only hope that all involved will learn from the experience…oh, who are we kidding? It’s a big, unfortunate mess.

Revolving Door: Robin Roberts announces new health battle, Changes at ‘The Cut’ blog and MSNBC

Robin Roberts announced on GMA this morning that she has a rare blood and bone marrow disease called MDS for which she is beginning treatment today. You can learn more about this disease here and watch video of Roberts revealing her illness here. But be warned, it’s absolutely heartbreaking. We wish Roberts a speedy recovery.

Christina Han has joined New York magazine’s The Cut blog as its first beauty editor. Gawker’s Maureen O’Connor announced last week she was joining the site as the first features editor.

New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg outlines five ways to get on the cover of the paper. There’s a lot of personal embarrassment involved. [via JimRomenesko.com]

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Revolving Door: SJP, Anna Wintour for Obama, Margaret Brennan to CBS, Narrative.ly

Margaret Brennan, previously an anchor at Bloomberg TV, is joining CBS News as a State Department correspondent and general assignment reporter. Brennan was with Bloomberg for three years. She spoke with us for a Media Beat interview last summer, which you can check out here.

Vogue‘s Anna Wintour is pushing hard for President Obama via email. “There’s simply no excuse to let this slip,” reads the note, which The New York Observer characterizes as having “her trademark dose of mild menace.” The email is part of a campaign fundraising effort that includes a dinner with Sarah Jessica Parker. The ad for that fundraiser debuted during the MTV Movie Awards last night. Attached above. *Update 6/5: Glenn Beck rants, gets the facts wrong, mocks Wintour’s accent.

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