Start-up Dittie LLC has launched a new line of tampons that dispenses with the staid medical tone that most other manufacturers have used for years. Using colorful packaging and guerilla marketing, Dittie hopes to breath new life into the category and take some market share from the big guys.
Founder Barbara Carey saw that the category was stale and without style. Additionally, she went against the notion that a woman's menstrual cycle is an ailment positioning the product in a way that celebrates rather than shuns this natural female event.
Working with Alloy's AMP Insights, the one million dollar campaign includes new packaging, a sampling program in schools and doctor's offices, ads in girl's bathrooms, school newspapers and hallways. There's even a street buzz team. The Dittie web site includes areas such as "The bathroom Stall" which offers a discussion community, "Fun and Games" which includes Tampon Bowling and a section where IM icons and Dittie Desktops can be downloaded.
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Gamers can see a marketing ploy coming from a mile away. As advertisers imbue video and online games with ads and product placement, a certain degree of caution is advised to avoid backlash. If done incorrectly, it devalues the game and the characters within the game.
According to SMV Group's Play VP P.J. MacGregor, there's a right and wrong way to do video game advertising. The right way is to respect what he calls the "value exchange" between player and game. The marketing message should not disrupt this exchange.
In an email exchange MacGregor clarifies the "value exchange" approach to video game advertising, "...if Coca-Cola wants to extend it's association with the World Cup by connecting with the worlds most popular video game audience, placing billboards around the stadiums isn't going to cut it...but, if Coke offered the gamers a "refreshable" soundtrack (12 new music tracks that gamers can download into their game) and/or a massively multiplayer World Cup tournament (for cash/prizes etc.) in exchange for their presence/involvement in the game I tend to think that gamers will see that as acceptable...or perhaps even cool."
This approach dovetails with SMV Group Rishad Tobaccowala's creed toward consumers, "Consumers are god and marketers must pay tribute. In a sense, respect the consumer.
Furthering the "value exchange" proposition, MacGregor adds, "'Product placement' and 'advergames' aren't the direction that this space is heading - the medium is far more malleable and the audience is extremely finicky so it requires far more creative solutions. It requires that we 'pay tribute'."
With over 60% of all U.S. households playing one form of a game or another, finding acceptable methods to use this medium as a marketing channel become increasingly important.
You might think everyone on the planet has a PDA, but alas, that isn't true. "Only" seven percent on U.S. households are predicted to have a PDA user by 2008, according to Jupiter. But PDA users are most often the cream of the demographic crop - highly educated, higher income and more Internet savvy.
Through aggregation services such as Vindigo and AvantGo, advertisers can reach this highly desirable segment through channel sponsorship or even through the creation of a content channel. One of ClickZ writer James Hering's automotive clients recently ran a campaign on AvantGo and saw costs per lead half that of comparable web-based campaigns. This is not surprising, given the uncluttered content environment of the PDA and the control the user has over the content that is delivered.
Hallmark, known for its weepy television movies, has introduced a new ad unit on its Hallmark Channel called the Sponsored Solutions Unit. It consists of a four minute break during each movie hour - much less than is standard. Claritan bought all the units last month for the channel's airing of "The Long Shot." While rating for the movie were respectable and efforts to reduce ad clutter and commendable, do these units really mean more people are actually watching the commercials? We will never know until Nielsen gets with the program, changes its model and starts measuring ad viewership instead of program viewership.
As part of its event marketing services, Clear Channel will now offer advertisers sponsorship of originally produced programming from its broadcasted concerts and sporting events. Clear Channel is hoping advertisers create their own events and include Clear Channel as a programming partner and distributor.
Radio broadcasting firm Emmis has plans to add at least two paralegals to its army of dump button pushing legal staff. The company is considering adding these new hires to Chicago's WKQX Mancow show and to St. Loius' KPNT for its Howard Stern broadcast. Emmis currently has $28,000 in fines pending due to past Mancow broadcasts. From an economical standpoint, one can't blame the move. On the other hand, radio is going to get a lot more bland and boring in the years to come if this trend continues.