Research In Support of Creative Messaging

Posted by Terry

There is a new study out that brings some focus on mothers and their shopping habits. It was conducted among 1,000 consumers, men and women ages 18 to 64. Approximately every 90 minutes over a 10-day period they were asked to detail their media usage and other information in 30-minute blocks. This approach is particularly interesting because the Coalition of Innovative Media Measurement (which conducted the study) was seeking to create a time-based understanding of consumer media habits. By being able to have the time of day, you get this amazing texture to the usage patterns, suggested Jane Clarke, managing director of the Coalition, which is based in New York.

The organization, is composed of two dozen companies in advertising, marketing and media (AT&T, CBS, Comcast, Walt Disney, Hearst, the Mediabrands of Interpublic, the Omnicom Media Group, Procter & Gamble, the Publicis Groupe, Time Warner and Unilever) and ran the survey from September through February. They were looking for better methods of learning how and where consumers watch, read and see commercials and other forms of advertisements.

The organization made an initial presentation of the research the first part of June and used its findings from information gathered among mothers in the sample as an example of what they learned. Here are a few things they found:

*Younger mothers spend less time on so-called "basic duty chores" and tasks like grocery shopping than older mothers.

*Gex X moms spend about the same amount of time on those chores as boomer moms, almost a third of each day.

*Gen X mothers have the least amount of “down time” during the day than any of the three groups of moms.

*When preparing meals, the media that millennial mothers typically interact with include print media and mobile media. The Gen X mothers use media like television, the Internet, e-mail and mobile. The boomer mothers are avid television watchers during meal preparation.

*Millennial mothers spend 43 percent more time during the day than boomer mothers on connecting with others.

*Meal preparation time for millennial moms is diffused throughout the day, while Gen X mothers tend to concentrate on preparing dinners and boomer moms tend to focus on breakfasts.

*For all three groups, the time spent during meal preparation is not generally a “happy” time they say. That is contrary to how that time of day is portrayed in so many commercials and print ads.

That finding, for instance, could lead agencies to tell their advertiser clients that ads depicting products as enabling mothers to cheerfully spend time preparing meals might be more effective if reworked to show those products as helping mothers to quickly complete a chore.

Behavioral research has come of age and is more important than ever as a diagnostic tool to help guide creative implementation. As media costs rise and advertisers seek ways to more effectively present their products and services while leveraging their media investments, this kind of consumer data is invaluable in preventing missteps with creative messaging.

The next step the coalition plans is to combine the data from the pilot study with information from existing media measurement services.



Posted by Emily

According to the Pew Research Center, the most popular genre of online videos is comedy, and the largest group watching them is 18-29 year-olds (a highly desirable audience, from a marketing standpoint). Comedic videos also have the best chance of going viral, which AdWeek describes as “the new Holy Grail for brands.”

With these statistics in mind, stars of the television show Arrested Development, Will Arnett and Jason Bateman, co-founded DumbDumb. DumbDumb follows the same concept as Funny or Die and CollegeHumor. With these “units” there are no creative or account teams dedicated to particular brands and no research departments to perform follow up.

Sites like DumbDumb utilize the talent of popular comedians, film “spitball comedy sketches” and let the Web do the rest. “Unless you’re making the ASPCA commercial with the sad puppies and the Sarah McLachlan music, it’s very difficult to get people to consume through dramatic advertising,” said Arnett. Comedy is the way to go - companies like Wrigley, Denny’s and Blackberry have already employed DumbDumb…with success! Do you foresee the future of advertising as a slew of Saturday-Night-Live-esque comedy shorts?

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I LOVE Local Commercials

Posted by Emily

Who would have thought that purposely awful, cheap commercials could actually be good for business? Cue Rhett & Link, the Internet musicians/comedians who create parodies of ridiculous local commercials. The duo gained such a following that some of the small businesses being parodied ran the spots as actual commercials. Rhett and Link are even going to have their own show on IFC, Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings, a reality show documenting what they became famous for: creating absurd ads for small, local businesses. Check out a few of their masterpieces on AdWeek and don’t miss the premiere of their TV show on June 24.




Posted by Roger

Slinkachu is a well-known street artist, but not in the traditional sense. He leaves tiny hand-painted figurines in random places all over the city. The effect of seeing delicate figurines left alone in the big, scary city works surprisingly well. Here, a safety-conscious skater (note the knee pads and helmet) shreds an orange peel.

I love how this idea demonstrates that creativity can be big ideas and small ones, too.



Alienating People…One Customer At A Time

Posted by Jennifer

Photo from Alamo Blog


Is it ever a good idea to alienate customers or potential customers?

Would you buy clothing from a designer that advertised as "NO FAT CHICKS," or go to a bar with a sign that said "HOT PEOPLE ONLY?" Probably not if they were that overt.

Of course, clothing designers manage to get around clothing fat chicks by offering their items only in smaller sizes. Some bars have certainly been known to only allow in the beautiful people. But does this deter us from buying their products or patronizing their businesses? Apparently not. But what if an establishment set out to intentionally deter a segment of the population from purchasing its wares or services?

Well, Alamo Draft House may be doing just that. Only their target is talkers and texters.

The Alamo Drafthouse was founded in Austin, TX by Tim and Karrie League, who were "...driven by a simple passion for watching movies and enjoying food and beer." People are coming in droves to enjoy great first-run (and classic) movies while having a great meal and enjoying an "adult beverage." So, where does the alienation come in?

Well, a moviegoer in Austin was recently kicked out of a movie at The Alamo Draft House for texting. After being warned several times to stop. Completely enraged by the situation, she decided to leave a lengthy (and NSFW) voicemail message for the movie house. What did owner Tim League do? Issue a refund? Apologize profusely and offer free movie tickets or concessions at her next visit?

No, he turned her voicemail message into a PSA for the rest of his clientele...letting them know that they, too, would be kicked out for disturbing other customers. And he's not even slightly apologetic for it. This blog about the event, posted today, gives the organization's stance on talkers and texters in Alamo Drafthouse's theaters and gives you full access to the voicemail left by the angered customer. He even goes on to say that the video will be played before all their R-rated movies to make sure there is no confusion on the issue.

Did they go too far in making a point? Or are you, like many moviegoers, tired of having your experience interrupted by people who just don't understand when to shut up and shut down? Perhaps alienating this population is exactly the thing to do to ensure Alamo Draft House gets the customers it wants. Personally, I've never been to an Alamo Draft House, but I plan to view my next movie at my nearest location to show my support of this policy.

What do you think? Is it ever a good idea to tell people you just don't want their business?

(I've placed below the edited version of the PSA, or you can go to Tim's blog for the NSFW version.)



Does Sex Really Sell?

Posted by Terry

I think you might agree that the old adage “sex sells” has been taken a little too closely to heart by many advertisers. But, we ask, is this technique something we just suppose works? Or, is there a more scientific reason behind why so many advertisers choose to take their creative efforts down this road?

We have all seen much of the brouhaha lately in the press about some companies and their strategies for reaching target audiences with blatant sexual messaging. Most notable is Abercrombie & Fitch, which generally features suggestive posses by teen models wearing only very little of the product(s) they're selling. Recently, they got in trouble for marketing padded, push-up bikini tops to children as young as eight years old.

Walmart has gotten in on the act, creating a new line of cosmetics directed at this group with "GeoGirl" makeup. Items in the line include SWAK (Sealed With a Kiss) lip treatment and T2G (Time To Go) facial cleanser.

All of this makes Celia Rivenbark's 2006 book "Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank" much more apropos, doesn't it?


3D Street Art

Posted by Roger

Well, you liked the Dirt Devil "Exorcist" spot so much that we thought we'd share another of our favorites. This shows (in time lapse) the creation of 3D street art by Edgar Mueller at the Festival of World Cultures. It's pretty amazing...and so lifelike! Check it out!



Gizmos To Go

Posted by Ellen

I'd like a venti skinny vanilla latte at 140˚ please.

The coffee served at coffee houses is the customary 180˚ - that's too hot for me. I recently learned that kid's hot chocolate is typically served at 140˚, which is the temperature I like my coffee. Now if I could just keep it at that temperature.

Apparently I'm not the only person with this issue. These two guys (the Daves) had a great idea and put it into action. Joulies can help cool your coffee to a drinkable temperature faster and then keep it there longer.

Finally, I get to enjoy my coffee so that it's truly good to the last drop!


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