1 in 10 Sr. Marketers Have an 'Understanding' with Online Editors and Writers

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And by "understanding," that is to say "We'll buy your ad space, you write us up nice and pretty."

A funner statistic: one in five senior-level marketers admit their organizations have purchased advertising in exchange for an online news story, likely even favorable. These figures are up slightly from last year (17 percent versus this year's 19 percent), when five percent admitted to either paying editors or giving them gifts in exchange for upbeat coverage. It's all here, sugar booger.

And just so you know? Yeah, presents, particularly of a monetary or vice-oriented variety, work a lot better than lengthy pitches that start with "I am such a fan!" Products work too. That's what's called "market research."*

Image credit: Delightful Deliveries, which has yet to surprise us with gift-wrapped gratitude in exchange for pushing its logo in this piece.

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by Angela Natividad    Jul-31-08    
Topic: Bad, Online, Publishing, Research, Sponsorship



Waifs Make Women Less Hungry, More Spendy

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You gotta love skinny models. They wear clothes well, improve sales, make other women feel bad. The best part? They don't eat. Think of the savings!

A survey of 194 female college students, aged 18-24, found women feel uglier after seeing thin models. They are also more likely to buy products held in a gamine's claw than from ads with "regular-size models." (Here's a secret: none of us enjoy being characterized as "regular." It's like being called "homely" -- a big fat fucking slap in the face.)

Seeing thin models also made women less likely to accept a snack pack of Oreo cookies offered as a thank-you for their participation in the study. Well, no shit.

You know what a woman does want to do after seeing all those runway waifs? (Second to shopping, that is.) Drink. A lot. And that's why we're so keen on Gawker's coverage of the same survey. It's right next to a banner ad for Sobieski vodka. That's targeting to win!

by Angela Natividad    Jul-31-08    
Topic: Magazine, Online, Research, Television



Obama Ascends to Stardom, Enfatico Falters, Good Good Goes Bad, method Makes Salad

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- McCain puts Obama on the same "soar high, fall hard" platform as Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. Probably because they're the only celebrities he knows. I like how the ad cuts to happy floaty music and a soft McCain profile. What a guy.

- See Microsoft-paid blogger give transparency a go for the i'm talkathon. Yeah. You heard me. Transparency.

- Enfatico's having trouble with that whole "being creative" thing.

- method products: so much more than hand syrups and toilet bowl cleaners. Think of them as a summer salad that doesn't know how to capitalize proper nouns.

- TiVo says relevant ads don't get skipped.

- Wendy's cutesy "good good" ad is objectively disgusting.



Email the (Really Big) Long Tail of Social Media

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In an effort to prove email is more than a medium for spam, eHarmony and Datran Media, next Wednesday, will release a Dynamic Logic study highlighting the branding benefits of email...dubbed "inbox advertising" by some so as to, apparently, leave behind all the baggage the word "email" carries.

The study reveled "inbox advertising" made more than one third of people surveyed aware of a particular eHarmony campaign. The study also found, nebulously stated, "unaided brand awareness and brand favorability increased by significant percentage points as well." I guess we'll all have to wait until the study is released to find out exactly what that means.

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by Steve Hall    Jul-31-08    
Topic: Online, Research



WPP Bids $2.2 Billion For TNS, Agency Dating Examined, Pig Spews

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- What is that white stuff on the back of the woman in this Trojan ad? It's not what you think but pigs and white stuff do make a compelling condom ad.

- WPP has made a $2.2 billion hostile takeover bid for research company Taylor Nelson Sofres.

- Want some more IKEA website freakiness? Check out this new site where two dudes dance backwards and do other weird things inside a closet the size of a room.

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by Steve Hall    Jul- 9-08    
Topic: Agencies, Research



Twitter, Twitter, Twitter!

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Word has it Twitter might buy Summize, a really useful Twitter search tool.

And despite a higher number of outages in the past coupla weeks, visits to Twitter nonetheless grew 500 percent for the week ending July 5 compared to the same time last year, says Hitwise.

Plurk and FriendFeed continue to fight the good fight, but they're swimming uphill against the microblogging first-to-marketer: Twitter beats both with 12 and 24 times higher traffic, respectively -- yeah, even if their services are more reliable in terms of up-time.

If Friendster's watching right now, it's probably sighing, "I remember when I was the prettiest girl at the party." Yeah, things change fast.

by Angela Natividad    Jul- 9-08    
Topic: Online, Research



Men Are Spending More to Improve Their Self-Worth. Don't Be Dumb, Cash In Early

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Earlier today, Gay List Daily sent its (mostly male) subscribers an invitation to try John Allan beauty products. The pitch began like so:

Meet John Allan. He's been quietly hiding in New York developing a line of men's care. His set of products satisfies a man's every grooming need, from hair care, personal care, shaving, and skin beautifiers.

Skin beautifiers?

Okay. I realize I'm on a gay mailing list, but mens' increasing willingness to explore beauty regimens -- and shop for style's sake (think Beckham!) -- isn't a gay vs. straight thing anymore. For a growing number of guys, the pursuit of youth, beauty and expensive jeans has become a norm. And not just among metrosexuals. (In fact, most men we'd call "metro" don't even like the term.)

How much do we know about mens' changing self-perception -- and their shopping habits? Probably too little. Marketers and book writers like shining the spotlight on the so-called gender minority with her iron hand on the family pocketbook. She's always stealing the show!

Meanwhile, we've let Axe run off with the New Male Order.

Looking to change that? Then you should read Branded Male.

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by Angela Natividad    Jul- 8-08    
Topic: Good, Opinion, Packaging, Publishing, Research



Devo Sues McDonald's, Starch Engages, Colt 45 Dubbed Too Cool

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- Musical group Devo (yes, apparently, they still exist) is suing McDonald's for making Happy Meal dolls in the band's likeness.

- Wanna hop on the "engagement" bus and whip out some cool "engagement" figures during your next client presentation? Then check out Starch's new engagement index, a buzzword-worthy combination of the organization's "noticed" and "read half/some" metrics.

- As only George Parker can, Yahoo's recent re-organization is characterized akin to the way Queen Victoria characterized the inevitability of rape.

- AgencySpy reports, "AS just got another tip that "at least 2 ECDs and a bunch of lower level creatives have gotten the axe today" at Doner. This can't possibly have anything to do with Minute Maid. No, you think? That was quick."

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by Steve Hall    Jun-27-08    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Research



Some People Really do Want to 'Join the Conversation'

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In a recent study conducted by product review online TV site, ExpoTV, it was found that, yes, some people do actually want to "have a conversation" with a brand. The study found:

- Consumers not only want to talk to brands, they want to establish a conversation: 55% of consumers want an ongoing dialogue with brands

- Learning about new products in the pipeline is a top priority: Respondents were most anxious to talk to the product design (49%) department, followed by customer support (14%), marketing (14%) and pricing (13%)

- Positive brand experiences can generate word-of-mouth buzz: More than 60% of those polled said they tell 10 or more people about the products they like while a third tell 20 or more people

- Listening leads to loyalty: 89% of respondents would feel more loyal to brands which invited them to participate in a feedback group, and 92 percent of those who have a positive experience communicating with a brand will recommend purchasing a product from that brand to someone they know

- Consumers are open to engaging with the competition: 93 percent of consumers surveyed would be interested or very interested in communicating with competitive brands that expressed interest in their feedback if their first choice is not interested in hearing what they have to say

by Steve Hall    Jun-26-08    
Topic: Research, Social



Army Wives Pranked, Pig Glides, Product Placement Studied

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- Lifetime's Army Wives poster becomes Iraq Wives courtesy of a few pranksters who've recently also pranked boards for the move The Happening and Get Smart.

- That lawsuit Naked Cowboy filed against Mars Inc. for making a blue M&M look like a cowboy is moving ahead.

- A pig stuck between two buildings somehow promotes Crest Glide dental floss.

- The Federal Communications Agency will launch a study to examine product placement on television which Reuters reports increased 13 percent from 2006 to 2007.

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by Steve Hall    Jun-25-08    
Topic: Outdoor, Research










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