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14 posts from September 2006

Attractive Packaging from Coca-Cola

060215b2ce Coca-Cola hopes to attract holiday shoppers with innovative seasonal packaging. In fact, they've been experimenting with many different containers, including one shaped like a soccer ball for the World Cup and artistically decorated aluminum bottles for trendy bars. I would include their tests of new types of vending machines in this effort. So we now have five P's for marketing: product, price, promotion, place (or distribution channels), and packaging!

Coca-Cola Enterprises is to launch a range of Christmas packaging, including seasonal gift-wrapping, to promote its Coke and Diet Coke brands. The work reflects Coca-Cola's strategy of focusing not only on brand extensions but also packaging innovation to drive sales. ...According to Coca-Cola Enterprises, the right packaging is key to enabling retailers to drive sales.

Brand Republic: Coca-Cola plans special editions for Christmas, 2006-Sep-12, by Nicola Clark


Temporary Mall Marketing

Em_22 Simon and other mall owners are making space available for more and more temporary installations, from Coca-Cola lounges to vehicles being displayed by either car dealers or manufacturers. These short-term leases can be a terrific way for a marketing firm to test experiential marketing initiatives without as much financial exposure. Mall audiences are generally receptive, but I must admit, the thought of all the walking space being clogged with cars and booths makes my head hurt.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Car manufacturers hang up tradition and hit the mall to reach buyers, 2006-Sep-11, by Jeff Zbar

Placing retail or large-scale marketing initiatives on a temporary basis within a mall location is called the "pop-up" store or mobile marketing initiative. The move by GM and other marketers to these out-of-home initiatives can help overcome the diminishing value of traditional advertising programs, said Joel Benson, president of EventNet USA, a Fort Lauderdale-based national mall marketing company. ... if the audience won't come to their commercials, they are taking their commercials to their audience."


Mobile Entertainment

Em_21 New cell phone service Amp'd Mobile is apparently doing better than ESPN Mobile. Service is targeted at 18 to 34 year olds, contracts range from $30 to $150 and prepaid service is available. With such a young demographic, prepaid service is key to lowering cost of trial. But here's the phenomenal part...so far their revenue per user per month is $100, twice the national average, according to IDC. 060911Of course, the business is still losing money and raising capital, but they are starting to get awareness for the original programming they are commissioning, including an edgy comedy series called "Lil' Bush."

NY Times Are You Breaking Up? A Cellphone Original Comedy Is Calling, 2006-Sep-11, by Fred Bierman

“When we started the company it was more along the lines of being a mobile entertainment company rather than being solely a cellphone company,” said Mr. Cummings, the senior vice president of Amp’d Mobile and one of its founders.


Sponsoring Authenticity

Ss_7 The hip-hop music business is finding more opportunities to snag sponsors for their artists, but they are also very sensitive about creating partnerships that unleash the best for their artists. Ludacris is especially pleased to help promote the Pontiac Solstice, the type of car he loves, and partly because they needed visuals for a commercial, Pontiac funded a video.

060908a BillboardBiz: Artists Finding 'Authenticity' In Brands, 2006-Sep-7, by Michael Paoletta

...Valerie Graves, chief creative officer of the Vigilante agency, which helmed the Solstice campaign, [says] “We’re living in an age of authenticity,” ... “When you saw Ludacris in the Solstice commercial, you really saw Ludacris".... Music World Entertainment founder/CEO Mathew Knowles... shared stories of his own dealings between brands... members of Destiny’s Child. Brand partnerships must be the right fit, Knowles said. During the early days of Destiny’s Child, he said he was bombarded with branding offers, the bulk of which he turned down. “You must always keep the artist’s reputation, image and credibility in mind when considering partnering with a brand.


Transferring Shoppers from Web to Phone

Em_20 When I hear about "click-to-call," I think of search advertising, but click-to-call buttons are popping up all over the internet, including email and web sites. In most cases, the retailer is calling back the prospect rather than answering an inbound voice-over-internet call. Of course, this also increases the appeal to database marekters, because now they have the prospect's phone number.

060907 WSJ.com:Marketers Embrace Click-to-Call, 2006-Sep-7, by Suzanne Vranica

"We were looking for a strategy to increase sales efficiencies," says Jeanniey Mullen, senior director of email marketing at OgilvyOne, a direct-marketing unit of WPP Group, which is behind the Six Flag's push. OgilvyOne, which has been promoting click-to-call, says 10 of its clients are using the technology.


Shopping by Opinion

Cgm_5 Sales are up at the Petco web site since they signed up with Bazaarvoice to collect reviews of the products. In the NY Times, Bob Tedeschi has an excellent overview of the trend, but the only cold hard numbers are from Petco so far. I expect that selling products online will now often require some customer-generated info accompanying the product, or being accessible to the shopper.

060906 NY Times Help for the Merchant in Navigating a Sea of Shopper Opinions, 2006-Sep-4, by Bob Tedeschi

Earlier this year, the site devoted entire sections within each pet category to “top rated” products. Shoppers who browsed products that way purchased at a 35 percent higher rate than those who browsed assortments arranged in the traditional manner. And those who bought from the top-rated sections spent 40 percent more than those who did not. “I think we’re one of the first, if not the first, to create a primary shopping experience that’s driven by the voice of other shoppers,” Mr. Lazarchic said.


Getting Schooled by OfficeMax

Ce_16 The back-to-school experience has been seriously enhanced by OfficeMax. Focusing on kids old enough to pick out their own school supplies, the retailer developed an integrated campaign that includes "Creation Stations" in the stores where kids can personlize their notebooks and backpacks, a reality show called "Schooled" where a classroom of eighth-graders are "punked" into thinking they have to take another test before they can be admitted to high school, stressed for an hour, then treated to a concert....and the school got $40,000 gift cards (?!)

As a parent of teenagers who dreads the fundraising activities, I'm most impressed with their program that allows school groups to use the Creation Station for a fundraiser. The program is sufficiently structured that kids can almost run it by themselves, but still allows for their creativity. Wow.

060901 OfficeMax.com - Creation Station: Fundraising Information

Create notebooks: On the day of your party, you'll help your friends create their customized notebooks. ...The Creation Station will be stocked with all sorts of papers and supplies to make one-of-a-kind notebooks. Each notebook's retail price is $5.99. $3.00 from each notebook sold will be donated to your school group.

ChiefMarketer.com: Making School Cool, 2006-Aug-31, by Beth Negus Viveiros

OfficeMax products were subtly featured in "Schooled," and... Video shorts from the program have been showcased on a Google Video microsite, which drives kids to the OfficeMax online store. A DVD of the show...is being given out free to customers who buy $50 or more in school supplies....The microsite has had over a million clickthroughs, and the video hit number 38 on the top 100 Google videos.