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New Simpsons ride at Universal Studios brings fictional brands like Duff Beer and Krusty Burger to life
Ever wanted to try a greasy Krusty Burger or toss back a frosty pint of Duff Beer at Moe’s Tavern? Well, now you can. A life-sized version of the candy-colored cartoon town Springfield – home to the world's most famous cartoon family – just opened in Universal Studios in Orlando this summer (despite the fact, as some aficionados have pointed out, that the Simpson family was banned from Florida after Homer accidentally killed a famous alligator named Captain Jack in the 11th season).
The popular Simpsons Ride, built in 2008, will anchor the massive Universal Studios expansion. Nearby, fans will be able to stroll down Fast Food Boulevard and visit places like Apu Nahasapeemapetilon’s Kwik-E-Mart, Krusty Burger, the Frying Dutchman, Luigi’s Pizza, Lard Lad and, of course, Moe’s Tavern, which will feature a brand of Duff Beer brewed exclusively for the park.
At Krusty's fast food emporium, the menu includes the Krusty Burger, a 6-ounce hunk of beef topped with cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce, a special sauce and served on a special bun. At $9.99, the price is a bit steep, but were you honestly expecting theme park food to be cheap? There's also the Sideshow Bob Foot Long, a foot-long Nathan's all-beef hot dog covered in cheddar cheese sauce, chili, diced onions and coleslaw. No word on which brewery is responsible for the Duff ("that wonderful stuff").
Currently in its 25th season, the Simpsons is the longest-running scripted show in television history, and its fan base spans generations. The famously satirical cartoon is a Gracie Films Production in association with 20th Century Fox Television.
If you haven't perused this presentation put together MARS London, the UK-based shopper marketing agency, then we urge you to check it out.
This deck does a great job of cutting through the jumble of ideas and revealing what will really affect shoppers(in the UK and Europe) in the coming year and how shopper marketers like yourself can make the most of the future. As a Charlotte, NC marketing agency, we believe the trends discussed below are very relevant to shoppers in the U.S. as well. Enjoy!
How long does it take for a gigantic block of ice to melt? Well probably not fast enough for these passerbys. This cool guerrilla marketing stunt, called the "Melting Machine," found that sweetspot at the crossroads of experiential marketing and an insanely thirsty audience.
7UP teamed up with BBDO Argentina to design this non-technological vending machine campaign made of ice –and asked for interaction, not pesos.
As the ice that makes up the machine melts, passers-by are invited to grab a 7Up and to guess what time they think the last can will be freed from its icy encasement. This guess, made via Twitter, gives the company a great way to attract attention and generate social media chatter.
Our Charlotte marketing agency wishes a local soft drink manufacturer like Cheerwine would take notice and pull a simliar stunt in downtown Charlotte when the weather gets hot.
That is one (highly) speculative outcome, according to local news stations and the Wall Street Journal. Apparently two more private-equity firms have surfaced as possible suitors for Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc (NYSE:HTSI).
Cerberus Capital Management LP is considering a number of grocery chains for potential bids, including Harris Teeter, according to the report, which also claims private-equity firm Bain Capital is potentially interested in the Matthews-based grocery chain. Harris Teeter has so far declined to comment, referring only to its earlier statement acknowledging it is considering a possible sale.
Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix has said previously speculation about its interest in Harris Teeter is just a rumor. However, it has also said it is "aggressively looking to expand in the North Carolina market." Plus, a myriad of Publix outdoor has sprouted acoss the inner Charlotte landscape of late.
Given the fact that roughly half the staff of our shopper marketing agency lives in the Plaza Midwood neighborhood, we don't really care who buys what as long as the new 45,000 SF store on The Plaza opens on schedule (see rendering above) and has a decent olive bar with a clean sneeze guard.
Summer's almost here, and unless you're under 18 (and still enjoy an aimless summer vacation), don't count on much to break up the monotony of the work week through the coming hot, steamy months.
Except, of course, crisply refreshing summer cocktails.
At birdsong gregory, we're fortunate enough to employ a couple of amateur mixologists on staff, and when we celebrate Thirsty Thursdays on the rooftop of our downtown shopper marketing agency (715 N Church), the spirits and ingredients vary according to season and mood, but one constant presence on the bar are Scrappy’s Bitters (and crab/manchego/garlic stuffed cremini mushroom caps).
In addition to having award-winning packaging, Scrappy's is the first American bitters company to commercially produce handcrafted bitters. Using organic ingredients of the highest quality with no artificial flavors, chemicals, or dyes, this Seattle based company draws its inspiration from the Old World – small-batch artisanal techniques that let them control the quality of the product on a level not yet achievable by robots.
Here's what's on the menu this week:
The BG Gin Highball
2 ounces Nolet’s Silver gin
1 teaspoon honey simple syrup
2 dashes cardamom bitters
1 lime wedge.
Fill a highball with ice. Add gin and simple syrup. Stir gently, top with club soda. Add bitters. Garnish with a lime wedge. And enjoy!
Detailed on an official page created by Ogilvy Brazil, the Huggies TweetPee is a small, connected device that attaches to the front of a baby’s diaper and alerts a parent when the baby wets the diaper and needs a change. Using a small humidity sensor, the TweetPee constantly monitors humidity levels and fires off a tweet notification to a linked smartphone in case of an accident.
A few of the messages sent from the TweetPee include phrases like “Time to Change,” “Oops, Did a few drops,” and “Everything OK here.”
Beyond helping parents keep their kid dry and comfortable, this baby gear can also keep track of how many diapers will be needed for the upcoming month based on past habits.
At this time, the Huggies TweetPee is being test marketed to Brazilian customers, but The Kimberly-Clark Corporation, the owner of the Huggies brand, hasn’t announced any plans to roll out the TweetPee in North America. In addition, Ogilvy Brazil hasn’t announced the availability of the TweetPee sensor or the price on the device. (ad agency charlotte)
Does blogging help build brands? Apparently so. The latest findings from Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Report show that “consumers are turning to blogs when looking to make a purchase." Consumers said that blogs rank higher than Twitter for shaping their opinions and higher than Facebook for motivating purchasing decisions.
Buying decisions, especially by women consumers, aren’t only being shaped by online advertising or brand websites. As bloggers become a greater influence in the media environment, they are making a greater impact on consumer buying behavior. Studies show that half of blog readers say they find blogs useful when making a purchase decision. Frequent blog readers say that they trust relevant content and that blog posts about a particular product or service influences them when they are making buying a product, more than the content they get from social networking sites.
Whether it’s discovering or deciding on a particular product and service, consumers are exploring new blogs to seek out advice on product information. They aren’t just seeking out the views of one blogger, but rather they read more than one blog per session. Unlike the traditional journalist, bloggers are building bonds with their readers. Frequent readers return to their favorite blogs time and time again because they trust their advice. Just like you seek out the advice of your family and friends – people you trust – before you make a major purchase, blog readers are going to the written resource that they are beginning to trust – their favorite bloggers. So if you're looking to develop a blogging strategy for your brand, give our Charlotte marketing agency a buzz.
Everybody knows that when you’re hungry, you’re not yourself. Your productivity goes down, thinking becomes murky and you begin to make mistakes here and there. This weakened, snake craving (excuse me, SNACK craving) mental state been the basis of Snickers’ campaign over the last few months, and this smart online campaign takes advantage of that common occurrence.
AMV BBDO in London worked with Google to identify the top 500 words people regularly misspell and bid on them through Google Adwords. So when someone makes a typographical error, they would be greeted by an ad linking to Snickers’ site.
As a use of AdWords, this tactic is pretty clever. Since we type so fast, we’re all guilty of misspelling search terms every now and again. In fact, in just two days, the ad was seen by over 500,000 people, and since few would run an ad campaign based specifically around misspelled words, the cost for implementing it was rather minimal.
Top 10 Ad Agency Excuses
- Our server has been acting up.
- We weren’t sure if you meant COB, EOB, EOD, EOW, or ASAP.
- Our Traffic Manager is still on her honeymoon.
- Oh…you meant 5pm YOUR time?
- The printer was trying to tighten up the plates and a pressman lost his hand.
- I never got that messa…oh wait, what’s this?
- We assumed you guys closed for Earth Day too.
- I’m calling FedEx again right now.
- I’m sorry, but our server is still down.
- Funny story…turns out the bike messenger we use was also selling drugs – so the work is sitting in an evidence locker down at the police station.
If you've worked in the advertising/marketing/branding arena for as long as we have, you understand that occasionally, s(tuff) happens. And given the fast-paced environment and operational complexity of shopper marketing, it doesn't take much to throw a project off deadline or insert a wrench into even the tightest of plans. But it’s also true that clients can smell the difference between an Act of God and a bogus line of BS.
Plus, a lot of bigger, hungrier agencies can’t keep up with their clients because they’re always out chasing the next one – or trying to replace the last one. And that’s when you start paying for excuses.
The bottom line: you need help when you need it. You need access and accountability. You need to be able to count on your agency partner having your best interest in mind at all times. And when that deadline looms in the distance, you need the ability to stare it down with confidence, secure in the knowledge that everything is covered.
So go ahead – challenge birdsong gregory to make that deadline, make those numbers, or make your day.
Instead of making excuses, we’ll make it happen.
Major consumer brands have been using various neuromarketing techniques for years, but most have been reluctant to talk about that activity. The idea of measuring a consumer’s subconscious preferences has always felt a bit Orwellian, but companies are now coming clean in their efforts to go beyond the (often) glib responses of qualitative research to gain a better understanding of what's really going in our minds when we interact with brands and their advertising.
According to Millward Brown, a global agency specializing in brand and consumer research, this year’s commitment from Unilever and Coca-Cola represents the largest-scale adoption of facial coding technology in the industry to date.
The facial platform uses proprietary software to interpret viewers’ facial expressions to gauge how viewers feel about the ads they see. “Facial analysis adds depth to our understanding and builds on our validated metrics to delivery new insights in an easily applied and cost-effective way,” Graham Page, head of Millward’s neuroscience practice said.
Millward, which says it’s used the facial analysis on over 400 advertising research projects, expects to see great growth in the use of this technology this year.
Millward doesn’t only use the facial analysis to gauge effectiveness – results are also compared with survey responses to help marketers better craft and target campaigns.
Besides targeting ads, shopper marketing agencies are also looking to get their hands on facial recognition technology built into TVs to monitor television ratings and get a sense of how many people are watching ads at any particular time, as well as how they are emotionally responsive to them.
While the technologies used in these projects don’t involve actual measurements of brain waves or activity, the commitment of major brands to the importance of measuring subconscious preferences is significant for the neuromarketing business as a whole – and a trend our Charlotte marketing agency is closely watching.
The Chillest, Freshest, Funnest, Frenchest Streaming Radio Station You've Probably Never Listened To
Heck. We hope you have, but if you've never given this excellent mix of genres and smooth transitions a listen, you definitely should. It's not in iTunes. Rather, you have to go to their website and open up a stream. At our Charlotte ad agency, we spend a LOT of time sitting quietly in front of a computers either designing or researching, and a mellow, aurally interesting flow of tunes is indispensable to the quality of our office life (a couple of Rocketfish wireless speakers help ensure high fidelity).
Plus, the DJ's speak French and have a sugary, über-cool tone of voice and style.
FIP (originally France Inter Paris) is a French radio network, founded in 1971 as part of the Radio France group. The concept behind FIP has scarcely changed since its founding: continuous music interrupted only for traffic updates, occasional announcements about forthcoming events, and a short news broadcast at 10 minutes before the hour, but no advertising.
FIP's programming is an eclectic mix of musical genres: chanson, classical, film music, jazz, rock, world music and more, but with careful attention paid to smooth and unobtrusive transition from item to item. FIP is one of the few stations in the world to transmit this type of programming around the clock. The broadcasts are presented live from 7 am to 11 pm, after which a computer replays a selection of the music broadcast earlier in the day.
The station was founded in 1971 by Jean Garetto and Pierre Codou, both week-end presenters at France Inter. It was broadcast from Paris on 514 m (585 kHz) medium wave, hence its original name of France Inter Paris 514.
I don’t buy 10 cartons of Yoplait because I can’t (won’t) eat 10 cartons of yogurt before they go bad. I’m lucky if I can eat my way to the bottom of one carton. So when my local Food Lion has a great deal on yogurt, I tend to pass. From a shopper marketing perspective however, such outlier behavior is generally atypical of how middle America reacts to a ten for $10.
Using buying patterns detected from loyalty cards, receipts, and other research, grocery chains are searching for the multiples sweet spot. For example, Kroger currently has lemonade, socks and Kroger gummi bears candy on sale at 10 for $10. And, to the chagrin of right-brained finger counters everywhere, the old gimmick — buy one, get one free — has been expanded to include some pricing equations based on complex NASA-inpsired algorithms – or at least it appears so to my mathematical challenged mind.
Most grocery shoppers make a list before going to the store, according to two recent studies, In one, Acosta Sales and Marketing, which advises clients like Nestlé on pricing, found that 84 percent of shoppers make a list, 23 percent make fewer grocery trips than a year ago, and that, over all, shoppers are spending less per trip than a year ago.
Then, throw unemployment, rising gas prices and more expensive food into an already meager stew, and you get consumers who have become extremely value driven, budget minded, list minded, less impulsive, and very deal oriented. So in order to get someone to buy something that wasn’t on their list (or more of what was), grocers need incentives to nudge shoppers outside their typical behavior. And it’s working.
Well advertised, relevant multiples push customers a little higher than their typical purchase rate. People tend to buy the amount, or buy in increments, that are advertised – ten boxes of tortellini for $10, for example. According to John T. Gourville, professor of marketing at Harvard Business School who studies pricing strategies, even though shoppers usually do not have to buy the suggested amount to get the discount, they do anyway. “It is all about the power of suggestion,” he said. Ad agency Charlotte.
If the clear expression of good ideas was easy, our Charlotte ad agency would go out of business. Here are some great tips from David Ogilvy on how not to sound like a pretensious, bloviating fool.
"People who think well, write well."
It's a wearable computer with a head-mounted display (HMD) being developed by Google in the Project Glass research and development project that displays information in a smartphone-like hands-free format that can interact with the Internet via natural language voice commands. While the frames do not currently have lenses fitted to them, Google is considering partnering with sunglass retailers such as Ray-Ban, and may also open retail stores to allow customers to try on the device. The Explorer Edition cannot be used by people who wear prescription glasses, but Google has confirmed that Glass will eventually work with frames and lenses that match the wearer's prescription; the glasses will be modular and therefore possibly attachable to normal prescription glasses
Wearable computing is not a new idea, but Google's enormous bank account and can-do attitude means Project Glass could well be the first product to do significant numbers.
The core of Google Glass is its tiny prism display which sits not in your eyeline, but a little above it. You can see what is on the display by glancing up. The glasses also have an embedded camera, microphone, GPS and, reportedly, use bone induction to give you sound.
Voice control is used to control the device; you say "ok glass" to get a range of options including taking pictures, videos, send messages using speech to text, 'hang out' with people or get directions to somewhere. You access these options by saying them out loud.
Most of this functionality is self explanatory; hang out is Google's video conferencing technology and allows you to talk to a people over web cam, and stream them what you are seeing and the directions use Google Maps and the inbuilt GPS to help you find your way.
The results are displayed on the prism - essentially putting data into your view like a head up display (HUD). It's potentially incredibly handy. Also rather nifty is the potential for automatic voice and speech recognition.
People are already developing some rather cool apps for Google Glass – including one that allows you to identify your friends in a crowd, and another that allows you to dictate an email.
And at this year’s SXSW conference in Austin (which, unfortunatley, our Charlotte ad agency wasn't able to attend this year), Google revealed a number of apps it's developing, including a New York Times app that will provide a headline, byline, and image to the tiny screen embedded in the Google Glass lens.
At POPAI’s 2013 Marketsmart in January, Jason Dubroy of DDB Canada gave a very insightful presentation into ways shopper marketing evolved in 2012 and what retailers, manufacturers, and their brands can expect in 2013. As always, our Charlotte shopper marketing agency was paying close attention. Here are few highlights
It all ends in-store. This past year, Unilever Canada moved almost all of its marketing spending for its Knorr products – about $5 million annually – to in-store initiatives. ”POP can never be an afterthought, but retailers are now realizing planned display is not the only way to plan incremental volume, but it’s still the best way – for now.”
In-store is BIG, but multichannel is still the real deal. If you’re unaware of the big changes in retail concerning the idea of multichannel, then you must have been living under a rock in 2012. Flights, hotels, books, music, movies/tv, clothes, software, games, & electronics – what do they have in common? They’re all predominantly bought online. Multichannel retail is clearly here to stay, and if you need more proof, Macy’s just named its first-ever Chief Omnichannel Executive.
The Why of Buy. “How we buy stuff will continue to change, every minute.” The why behind the buy can be broken down into a tried-and-true formula–societal changes affect and alter us, and therefore, our shopping habits and behavior. A good example of that in 2012 (and beginning in late 2008 and 2009 after our economic downturn) was the entrenchment of a two-shopper world: the “discount” shopper and, well, everybody else.
- It’s time to move forward. ”Functional POP is designed not just to facilitate a purchase…but become part of it. In short: POP must respond, and adapt, for the changing shopper moving forward.” What does all of this mean? Frankly, it means adaptation. For the most part, retailers have not kept up with these resulting changes in behavior – from those brought on by societal influencers, to the introduction of multichannel, to shoppers demanding more of in-store. That change is required if we’re like to succeed, and that means designing offerings based on how shoppers are now absorbing information, from digital to in-store to everything else under the sun that influences them.
You can download the full presentation here.
North Carolina Craft beer followers already pour into our state because of its reputation as the South’s premier beer destination, with more breweries than any state south of Pennsylvania (73 and counting). In April, there’s another reason to imbibe: the state’s inaugural North Carolina Beer Month. Destinations across North Carolina are creating special month-long craft beer promotions for April 2013. Lodging packages, gourmet prix fixe menus, special pairings, classes and chef dinners will be part of this first-time promotion created by the North Carolina Division of Tourism and NC Brewer’s Guild.Among the highlights is the Hickory Hops festival on April 20, with 40-plus breweries, music and the Carolinas Championship of Beers.
Our Charlotte ad agency has been bubbling about this fact for a while – that North Carolina’s craft beer scene is thriving and has become a leading destination for beer travelers. To celebrate this fact and to deepen our state's passion for fermented beverages, NC Beer Month will celebrate ales, lagers, porters and stouts (and possibly ciders) with specialty brewery tours, tastings and travel packages, from coastal villages to urban metropolises to plow-to-pint mountain towns.
Anyone? Because prior to the late 1980's, it was called "Downtown." Which makes sense, since (everywhere but in Charlotte) the term "Uptown" refers to a spatial relationship between different parts of a city center. Commonly, the uptown neighborhood or neighborhoods, separated from a city's lower or central business district, may often be residential, sometimes with particularly upscale or fashionable connotation. In New York, for example, you have a Downtown, a Midtown, and an Uptown. But not in the Queen City ...
There's much confusion brought about by the use of the terms "Uptown" and "Downtown" for Charlotte's center city area, since these terms don't reference different areas of town and are thus interchangeable. Personally, I still call it Downtown for the same reason I call "Bank of American Stadium" Panthers Stadium. I don't like to have my vocabulary manipulated by Charlotte advertising agencies and politicians (ironic, I know).
Prior to the mid-late 1980s, the term "Downtown" was used by residents, media and city leaders for ...well...downtown. During the 1980s, however, a massive campaign was launched to revamp the seedy image of the downtown area and the term "Uptown" was introduced to the general public. On February 14, 1987, the Charlotte Observer began using the term "Uptown" as a way to promote a more positive upbeat image of the center city area, and (in a rather Orwellian twist) schools were provided with "historical" documents justifying use of the term to teach to students (e.g. a barely noticed proclamation designating central shopping and business district as Uptown Charlotte by City of Charlotte Mayor John M. Belk on September 23, 1974).
Throughout the fall and well into 2013, our Charlotte marketing agency has been working closely with Joerns Healthcare to completely reinvent and reintroduce their brand to the world's healthcare providers. The list of deliverables has been pretty extensive, including new brand identity, environmental graphics for their corporate offices, a realignment of their various lines of business, a comprehensive brand standards guide, and a more dynamic, information-driven web presence (which is currently in the works).
Headquarterd here in Charlotte, Joerns Healthcare is a leading provider of healthcare products and services to the operators of hospitals, inpatient rehab, transitional care and skilled nursing facilities. They have operations throughout the US, Canada, the UK and the Netherlands with export sales in the EEMEA and Australasia markets. Joerns Healthcare has a rich history dating back to 1889, with industry-leading brands that include Joerns brand healthcare beds, American of Martinsville-Joerns-Akin brand furnishings, Joerns and BioClinic brand wound management and Hoyer & Oxford brand patient handling products. Joerns is market share leader in the government (veterans) and post-acute markets with growing sales and presence in the U.S. Hospital market. Joerns provides solutions based programs focused on our three core competencies - wound, safety and design solutions.
Check out the long-awaited broadcast support for Threshold, Target's new home goods brand. It just started airing in the last 48 hours, and features a remake of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young's "Our House."
Priding itself on personality, exceptional quality and outstanding design, the collection has been slowly trickling into stores since last fall, and will be completely rolled out this month. As first reported on myprivatebrand.com, the new brand will replace the “Target Home” private brand.
Target launched Threshold last fall, calling it “The biggest rebranding effort in Target’s history,” adding new flare to what was once Target Home. The line includes household products like towels, oven mits, sheets, ottomans, tablecloths, accent rugs, and candles. The style is truthfully very Crate and Barrel: classy, trendy, and easy on the eyes. The brand has a big upside, as it offers a trendy profile (including equestrian themes, Native American prints, brass accents and unique textures) at a low cost to the consumer. It seems as if Target is aiming at middle class mothers, while directly competing with both low cost leaders (Wal-Mart, Pier One) and trendsetters (Crate and Barrel, William Sonoma).
It is no wonder that some people love target (including birdsong gregory): great product mix, high aspirations, and always well-executed shopper marketing.