April 28, 2008

Women in their 30s

Filed under: Marketing — Emily Reeves @ 12:43 pm

“She’s married, well-educated, trendy and environmentally conscientious.  She works full time, is likely sleep deprived and feels that time is her most precious commodity.  Meet today’s 30-something woman.”  – Advertising Age.  The article goes on to say that women in their 30s don’t fit as easily into marketing buckets a baby boomers or male 18-35:

“Sure, they get profiled as mothers or career women, as health statistics or dating singles, but not often just as women of a 30ish age.”

Key findings from a Marie Claire survey reported in the article:

  • More than half named environmental issues such as global warming and pollution as concerns.
  • The relative youth of the 30-something woman allows her to be more casual about health issues, but that doesn’t mean they’re not on her mind.  Balance the health push with the realistic acknowledgment of everyday life and slip-ups for a more empathetic brand image.
  • Today’s career woman doesn’t leave her business acumen at her desk.  She researches and shops products before spending any money.
  • They are most concerned with their family and their own emotional health–in that order.

April 22, 2008

Listening to Customers

Filed under: Advertising,Culture,Current Events — Emily Reeves @ 1:41 pm

Last week I ordered a “large coffee” from Starbucks. It was an interesting experience for me: usually my order is very complicated. But, just as the new, massive ad campaign promised, I received a venti Pike’s Roast in the brand new Starbucks cup.

The best part about my order however was that my cup came with this little green tab in the sip hole. I actually commented to my co-workers about it: “this is brilliant! I am so tired of spilling coffee on myself and in my car.” As it turns out, this “splash stick” was the result of customer feedback. BusinessWeek this week reports that

“this is corporate democracy in action: At the month-old MyStarbucksIdea.com, customers can make suggestions, other customers can vote on and discuss them and Starbucks can see which ideas gain support. It’s key to Howard Schultz’s plan to reinvigorate his company, to which he returned as chief executive in January.”

Starbucks is not the first company to try this–the company is actually following the lead of Dell.  Both companies are using software that acts “like a live focus group that never closes.”  Customers want to feel like they are being heard, and this is a great way to do that.  Additionally, Starbucks is using “idea partners” to moderate the conversations and tell customers what things have already been tried or why things won’t work.  And the ideas that gain traction on the site, actually get implemented–like the splash stick.  Fantastic example of engaging in conversations with consumers.

April 13, 2008

Cool Car Commercials

Filed under: Advertising,Current Events — Emily Reeves @ 6:51 pm

I will admit that I am in the market for a new car, so maybe I am especially susceptible to car advertising at the moment. Two car commercials have recently caught my attention and made me pause to watch them: one for the Honda CR-V and one for the Kia Spectra.

First up, the Honda CR-V. Last year Honda launched the CRAVE campaign – cute idea that plays on the CR-V name and is a bit reminiscent of the Toyata Camry’s “My Car” campaign. Clever. There is one “Crave” commercial that is different from the others in the campaign: it transforms cookie dough into the CR-V. All the other spots “fill” the car with the “craved” food or drink. I was watching this commercial without the sound on the television and the cookie dough drew my eye to the screen, away from my conversation. I wonder if they were targeting me? I was watching “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” it was 8 PM and a cookie sounded good to me. All of the sudden, the CR-V looks like a cute car for me. Creative execution combined with strategic media buy, and now I am a potential CR-V driver. Check out the spot.

Second, the Kia Spectra. This spot uses two things to make it stand out: music and a current event. The song is catchy and ties perfectly to the story the spot is telling. The spot shows Kia drivers pulling up to the gas station and always ending up on the wrong side of the gas tank. Obviously, the idea is that you have to fuel up so infrequently in a Kia Spectra, that you forget on which side your gas tank is located. Even my dad got it and it sparked a conversation about the monthly cost of gas. The spot works. Here it is:

April 8, 2008

BMW 1-Series: Online Campaign

Filed under: Advertising,Marketing,Technology — Emily Reeves @ 2:26 am

BMW, already known for being on the forefront of new media opportunities–evident by their introduction of BMW Films several years ago–is again proving itself to be a brand that can differentiate itself through digital media, with the launch of a campaign for the new 1-Series. Because the new vehicle is targeted at younger audience, BMW smartly chose to spend almost half their marketing budget online.

Reported in the NY Times:

“Almost half the spending for the campaign, estimated at $15 million to $25 million, is being devoted to online media. By comparison, executives at BMW of North America say, Internet ad spending for other models ranges from 1 percent to 15 percent of the total ad budgets.

“The online elements of the 1-Series campaign include letting members of Facebook…design virtual cars and send them to Facebook friends; buying dominant positions, known as take-overs, on the home pages of msn.com and yahoo.com; posting video clips on YouTube; and developing a microsite devoted to the 1-Series (bmwusa.com/new1).

“The campaign is indicative of efforts by mainstream marketers to alter their media mixes as consumers change their media habits. A recent survey by PQ Media projected that by 2012, advertisers will increase spending by 82 percent from 2008 in areas like search-engine marketing, online video and e-mail messages.”

However, while it seems like I would be in the target market (identified as 20-somethings and 30-somethings) for this new car, I can’t find the Facebook app or the YouTube videos. And, the microsite is hardly a microsite. It looks like any other car website where you can customize and price your vehicle. Am I missing something here? Someone, please tell me.

Well, maybe I will be able to find the traditional ads, which seem pretty cool too:

“There are some unconventional approaches for the traditional media, too. Three magazines — City, Dwell and Paste — are printing pure-white covers that are glued over the actual front covers of the issues; there are ads for the 1-Series on the other sides of the extra covers.

“And magazines like City and AutoWeek are running tiny ads for the 1-Series with numerical themes at the bottom of editorial pages, which double as page-number identifications.

“For example, there is an itsy-bitsy white car on page 26 of the April issue of the magazine City next to this sentence: ’26: number of bones in right foot you’ll use to crush the gas pedal on the all-new BMW 1-Series.’

“At the bottom of page 60, there is a miniature red car and this sentence: ’60: m.p.h. you can reach in 5.1 seconds with the all-new BMW 135i coupe.’