Wharton marketing professor Barbara E. Kahn and Elizabeth G. Miller, a marketing professor at Boston College recently conducted a study which found marketers that name products with ambiguous or surprising descriptions for flavors or colors are likely to see increased sales over conventionally described products. With studies involving the selection of jellybeans and sweaters, the study found showing an example of a strangely named sweater color actually decreased the satisfaction upon respondents seeing the actual sweater.
The study findings elaborate on this further. "We find that the revelation of the color shade (through a picture of the color) prior to viewing the name decreases preference for ambiguous color names, but increases preference for unexpected descriptive color names," the paper states. "These results support the notion that when consumers encounter a surprising name (because it violates beliefs about informativeness), they engage in additional elaboration about the name to try to understand why it was provided. The type of elaboration will depend on how the name violates expectations: If the name is uninformative in a literal sense, consumers will engage in a Gricean process to determine the meaning of the communication; if the name is uninformative because it is atypical, consumers will search for the reason the particular adjective was selected as described by incongruency theory. The result of this additional elaboration is increased satisfaction with the product."
The study reveals online merchants may see better sales for products with uncommonly named colors if a sample of the color is not shown.
In yet another confirmation of the obvious, BIGresearch, in its upcoming Simultaneous Media Survey, found
that multitasking causes people to pay more or less attention to the individual multitasked activities depending upon which activity is receiving primary attention. In English, that means a person watching TV while on the Internet will pay less attention to both those media if they decide to make a phone call. Or, when the TV commands primary attention, the email being typed to a friend will pause mid-stream. You get the point. Most people can only do one thing at a time effectively. This whole multitasking thing is really a myth. It should really be called Multi-fragmentation. Afterall, that's what's happening. Attention is being further fragmented among multiple points of concentration.
Where Can I Find That?
It seems the "Spicy Paris" commercial, featuring Paris Hilton, was a big hit both in generating site traffic for Carl's Jr. as well as, perhaps, influencing hamburger sales for the chain.
According to competitive intelligence service Hitwise, searches for the term "paris hilton" grew 102 percent and queries for "carls jr" grew an astounding 802 percent between the weeks ending May 21, 2005 and May 28, 2005. Comparatively, brand searches for Burger King - in the midst of its co-promotion of Star Wars: Sith Sense - increased just 52 percent during the same time period.
Hitwise Clickstream data reveal that, for the week ending May 28, 2005, a full 58.4 percent of those visiting carlsjr.com continued on to spicyparis.com, where the controversial advertisement was available for download. Perhaps more important for actual hamburger sales, 7.4 percent of visitors to www.carlsjr.com continued directly on to a Carl's Jr. store locator Web site. While Carl's hasn't released detailed sales figures for this period, indicators do point "Spicy Paris" having influence.
"By examining both search volume and clickstream data for this campaign, it is clear that the Spicy Paris campaign had two positive results for Carl's Jr.", said Hitwise VP of Research Bill Tancer. "First it raised awareness for the brand, but also prompted an immediate increase in consumer searches for local Carl's Jr. Restaurants."
Who said sex doesn't sell.
Causing all to utter a collective "no shit," an Edison Media Research study done for Clear Channel found 47 percent of people would listen to a lot more radio if there were fewer ads. Gee, that's stunning. But, we all know most people won't simply take Clear Channel's word that their "less is more" approach to radio ad sales is working. So, money has to be paid to a company to confirm the obvious. Perhaps more insightful and beneficial to radio is the study's finding that very few (73 percent "rarely" or "never") change the station when a commercial airs. The figure for TV is dramatically different with 19 percent claiming they "rarely" or "never" change station when a commercial airs.
Ad Age has released its annual Agency Report indicating U.S. agency revenue grew 8.6 percent to $17.59 billion. Fifty Seven percent of that figure was generated by the four agency holding companies; Omnicom, WPP, Interpublic and Publicis.
Dueling it out recently over the how many consumers delete cookies form their computers on a regular basis, Jupiter said lots do it. Nielsen said lots do it. Atlas, an ad serving company, said, wait, not so many do. Jupiter's Nate Elliott brings to our attention that, after seeing the Atlas report "the industry sighed a relief, went to AD:TECH and had a beer" only to realize Atlas had updated their figures to agree with Jupiter's early figures which claimed a fairly high degree of cookie deletion. One Atlas metric even claimed more cookie deletion than Jupiter did. Jupiter Lead Analyst Eric Peterson has the details here. Everyone should just forget about cookies and keep an eye on this company.
In a session entitled "Market Segment Insights" on Monday at AD:TECH in San Francisco, three industry experts shared insights specific to the demographic, psychographic and behavioral make up of four distinct generations: Gen Y, Gen X, Baby Boomers and Seniors. Leading off with Seniors was Nielsen//Netratings Senior Analyst Leslie Marable stressed the over 55 crowd should not be ignored by online marketers citing increased usage of broadband, a 25 percent increased likelihood over average household of computer purchase, 25 percent increased likelihood of music CD purchase and 15 percent increased likelihood of book purchase.
Covering Gen X and the Baby Boomer groups, Veritas Director of Research Scott Marden reminded the audience Baby Boomers are the country's biggest spenders and look for quality products that help define the generation's focus on itself. He cited the group's love of all forms of media from television to radio to billboards to the Internet and recommended marketers be sensitive to the generation's appreciation of value and sensitivity to price. Referring to Gen X, Marden told the audience this group wants value too but, at the same time, instant gratification because of the group's experience with the proliferation of choice made possible by new forms of media.
Painting a picture far less bleak than Bob Garfield did with his Chaos Manifesto, DoubleClick Director of Research Rick Bruner has published The Decade in Online Advertising, a look back at the history of online advertising as well as a look forward to what can be expected in the future. Granted, Garfield's piece focused on the entire field of advertising while Bruner's piece focuses on the online segment, there are similarities, namely, the increasing control consumers will have over the consumption of media. Along with the increase in consumer control, Bruner states online media's accountability will cause marketers to demand more accountability in traditional media and the recent rapid growth of online advertising will turn the medium from a buyer's market to a seller's market.
While Garfield has painted the future of advertising as some sort of doomsday, Bruner has produced a fact-filled, optimistic viewpoint of the future. Both, though, are well worth reading. Garfield's is here. Bruner's DoubleClick report is here (pdf).
Forrester Research and Headlight Vision, commissioned by Yahoo and Mediaedge:cia will, today, release a study that shows the increase in Internet usage is actually increasing, not decreasing the consumption of other media. Detailed findings will be released during a Yahoo forum at the Museum of Television and Radio today. Early indications lead to the belief it's multitasking, not an increase in total media consumption, that's saving old media. Unfortunately, multitasking goes against the idea of "undivided attention" and "captive audience" many advertisers crave.
The Atlas Institute, research arm to ad serving company Atlas, recently published a Digital Marketing Insights report entitled, "Is the Sky Falling on Cookies?" The study was done in response to many other recently published studies that claim the deletion of cookies, small pieces of
software identifying information that track user activity online, is rampant and a threat to online advertisers who need to know which ads to serve to people and what those people after clicking on an ad. The Atlas study, which did not just query people on their cookie deletion habits but matched survey response with actual user behavior gleaned from its 100 billion monthly served impressions, clicks and page views, found 56 percent of those who claimed to have deleted cookies at least monthly actually deleted them at intervals between 45 and 59 days.
Relating this behavior to ad response and conversion, the Atlas study cited past analysis has shown between 70 and 90 percent of conversions (click, visit, buy) occur within 24 hours of a cookie-placed click or impression making weekly cookie deletion almost a non-issue. Read the full report here.