By The Associated Press - Friday, January 25, 2013 - 0 Comments
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Subway is apologizing that its “Footlong” sandwiches fell short of…
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Subway is apologizing that its “Footlong” sandwiches fell short of expectations.
The world’s largest fast-food chain faced widespread criticism last week after a man posted a photo online showing a “Footlong” next to a tape measure that showed it to be just 11 inches. Subway said Friday that it’s redoubling efforts to “ensure consistency and correct length” in all its sandwiches.
The company had already noted last week that bread length could vary when franchisees don’t bake to its exact specifications and that it would reinforce policies to ensure consistency.
In a statement Friday, Subway expressed “regret” for “any instance where we did not fully deliver on our promise to our customers.”
It declined to comment on lawsuit filed this week by two New Jersey men over the subs.
By Luke Simcoe - Monday, July 30, 2012 at 12:12 PM - 0 Comments
Everything is going wrong for Facebook lately, it seems. First, there was the very public spat with GM–which the car giant seemed to time just so it could poo-poo Facebook’s grand debut as a publicly traded company (although now it’s trying to make up)–, then the technical glitch that confused investors at the IPO, not to mention the controversy about Facebook’s underwriters, and finally, last week, some pretty disappointing earnings results. But the one thing that must be keeping Mark Zuckerberg up at night these days is the creeping suspicion among investors that online ads are not quite the moneymaker they thought they would be–even on Facebook.
The bad news on that front, though, just keeps coming. Only last week, in fact, research emerged hinting that, in the world of online advertising, the best ad may be no ad at all.
In a recent experiment conducted by the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) a blank banner ad received more clicks than the average Facebook ad, twice as many as your average “branded” display ad (a static ad which promotes a brand rather than a specific offer or call to action), and only one click in ten thousand less than the average banner ad.
The experiment began when ARF executive Ted McConnell and his friends–including an astrophysicist–decided to test how much clicking on banner ads represented actual user engagement versus how much was just noise–people clicking on the ad by mistake. To do so, the team created and trafficked a blank ad, under the assumption that clicks on an empty ad would qualify as noise. They wired it to measure everything that happened to it, anywhere it ran, and programmed it to ask users who clicked through whether they had done so by mistake or out of curiosity. They even monitored things like mouseovers, and used a heat map to guard against click fraud. (Heat maps detect fraudulent clicks because bots–automated software applications that are sometimes used to inflate click-through rates — tend to click on the same spot every time).
The results are shocking. The click-through rate on the blank ads was 0.08 per cent, just 0.01 per cent short of the average ad. According to independent research from Web Trends, the average click rate on a Facebook ad is only 0.051 per cent, meaning that people click on about one of every 2,000 ads. If that’s the case, then the blank ad performed 60 per cent better.
By Chris Sorensen - Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 12:40 PM - 0 Comments
That didn’t take long. It hasn’t even been 24 hours since the New York Knicks let point-guard Jeremy Lin—as in “Linsanity“—go to the Houston Rockets for US$25 million over three years and already advertisers are pulling out of Madison Square Garden. The 23-year-old Harvard graduate became an international sensation last year—thanks in part to his unlikely story (he went undrafted out of college) and his status as the first Chinese or Taiwanese-American to play in the NBA. The Knicks, however, apparently believed the price of keeping Lin around was too high. We’ll see if they were right.
By Colby Cosh - Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at 4:43 PM - 0 Comments
Alberta made a cameo on the justly popular Language Log linguistics website last week. U of Calgary prof Julie Sedivy signed in to discuss some survey evidence from Louisiana that public resistance to “fracking” (i.e., hydraulic fracturing, a method of extracting oil and gas more efficiently by injecting high-pressure sand, water, and sometimes other chemicals into wells) may result, in part, just from the unpleasantness of the word. The industry tends to use “frac” as an adjective; “fracking” as a verb is a media creation, though, it must be said, not really an unsuitable one. Hydraulic fracturing is intended in part to crack up petroleum-bearing rock strata, so there’s an onomatopoeic appropriateness there.
The Louisiana study [PDF] did find significant differences in survey responses between people who had “fracking” and “hydraulic fracturing” described to them in those terms and those who were given a more elliptical description that referred to “high-pressure injection”. As Sedivy points out, an experimental control of this nature is necessarily a little loose. But it does raise the ugly possibility that we are going to see further low-level linguistic warfare of the sort that has divided Canada asininely into standard-bearers for the terms “oilsands” and “tarsands”. To which I can only say: oh, for frack’s sake.
By macleans.ca - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 12:43 PM - 0 Comments
Earlier this week, Kraft, maker of the Oreo cookie, posted a picture of an…
Earlier this week, Kraft, maker of the Oreo cookie, posted a picture of an Oreo with rainbow icing and the slogan, “Proudly support love!” The post coincided both with Oreo’s 100-year anniversary and Gay Pride Weeks across the country.
The picture irked hundreds of Facebook users who started posting anti-gay (and anti-Oreo) comments, saying the company was supporting gay rights.
“Being gay is totally wrong And should be a crime,” wrote Jason Fortuna. John Martin wrote that he would no longer be buying Kraft products anymore since it “looks like you have plenty Faggots to keep your business going!”
Thirteen hours later, Kraft pulled the picture, along with the thread of anti-gay remarks.The picture is still up on Oreo’s Facebook page, with much more favourable responses.
Meanwhile, a group of cookie-cravers have started an online petition to turn the gay Oreo into a real product.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story stated that Kraft removed the post of the rainbow Oreo after 13 hours. It was not removed, but was rather a U.S.-exclusive post, making it not accessible to Canadian IPs.
By Jesse Brown - Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 12:04 PM - 0 Comments
Google announced new tools yesterday to help marketers measure how their ads are doing. One of these is Active View, which claims to reveal whether or not an online display ad was in fact seen.
Let’s think about that for a second.
Google has always been able to tell its advertisers whether an ad was served. They also can report how many times it was clicked on. These numbers aren’t guesses, they are hard data, the kind of exact information Google loves. But what happens in between those two metrics? If an ad is served but not clicked on, did it fail? The entire history of television ads would suggests otherwise. Nobody really expects me to buy a Twix bar at the exact moment I see an ad for one on TV. I’m supposed to slowly learn to associate Twix with deliciousness and decadence and sexual magnificence or some such twaddle, until one day I find myself needing to make a candy decision and hey, there it is! This kind of slow brainwashing is what television was built on, but it’s proven very hard to replicate online. If I see a dozen Twix ads on the Internet today, it’s certainly possible that they will have some subtle, even subliminal effect on me, but unless I click on one of the ads, how would Twix ever know? And if the ad is served on Google’s ad network, how will Google ever get paid? It’s a problem Active View promises to solve.
By Colby Cosh - Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 12:54 PM - 0 Comments
Because it’s a little difficult to find on the Web, I’ve uploaded a PDF copy of the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench decision on the former CWB directors’ application for an injunction against the demise of single-desk wheat and barley marketing. It contains setbacks within setbacks for the directors’ case: their constitutional argument that the dismantling of the single desk violated the rule of law isn’t serious enough to be considered, says Justice Shane Perlmutter, and even if it were, it doesn’t meet the urgency test for injunctive relief. Perlmutter’s take is, needless to say, very different from Federal Court Justice Douglas Campbell’s.
By Luke Simcoe - Monday, February 13, 2012 at 5:31 PM - 0 Comments
Please welcome Luke Simcoe to the blog. He’ll be contributing the occasional guest post on the Internet and the various kooks and cranks who inhabit it.
Woody Harrelson knows what it’s like to be famous in real life, but after a failed attempt to promote his latest film on Reddit, he’s learning what it’s like to be infamous on the Internet.
As part of the press junket for the upcoming Rampart, Harrelson participated in one of the social news site’s popular “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) threads. Almost immediately, one user asked the former Cheers star about a time he supposedly crashed a high school prom and slept with a female student:
“I swear this is a true story. I went to a high school in LA and you crashed our prom after party (Universal Hilton). You ended up taking the virginity of a girl named Roseanna. You didn’t call her afterwards. She cried a lot. Do you remember any of this and can confirm or have you been so knee deep in hollywood pooty for so long that this qualifies as a mere blip?”
Harrelson denied the allegation, but things only got worse from there, as he refused to answer questions that didn’t pertain to the film and left the conversation shortly thereafter.
By Kate Lunau - Monday, February 13, 2012 at 11:05 AM - 0 Comments
Hired to promote the Mini Cooper Roadster, an ad firm bought naming rights to a cold snap before it wreaked havoc
As of last week, a cold snap across Eastern Europe was responsible for at least 175 deaths. For BMW, the parent company of Mini Cooper, the bad weather had an unfortunate association. Hired to promote the Mini Cooper Roadster, an ad firm bought naming rights to the cold front before it wreaked havoc—and named it “Cooper,” after the car. (The ad agency and BMW have since apologized.) The Free University of Berlin’s meteorological institute sells naming rights to high- and low-pressure systems in Central Europe, which the ad firm must have hoped would raise awareness of the Cooper brand. “People take the same risk when they associate themselves with a cause or a sports team, or use a celebrity endorser,” says Kenneth Wong, a marketing professor at Queen’s School of Business. The problem is that the weather is more unpredictable than, say, Tiger Woods—and a bigger danger to others.
By Chris Sorensen - Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 9:45 AM - 0 Comments
There’s a movement underway to convince customers their fast food is being cooked by someone other than teenage staff
Just as marketers scrape bottom in the whole “artisan” trend (official low point: Tostitos Artisan Recipes chips), the fast-food industry is gravitating to a new wholesome sales tool: the white-jacketed chef. Whether it’s Burger King’s new “Chef’s Choice” burger or Domino’s decision to feature Brandon Solano, the pizza chain’s vice-president for marketing and retail innovation, in a chef’s uniform in television ads, there’s a movement underway to convince customers their food is being cooked by someone other than the teenage staff actually slaving away in the kitchen. As a recent article in Advertising Age noted, McDonald’s executive chef Dan Coudreaut is increasingly being made available to talk about new products, while KFC’s “chief chicken officer” was used as a spokesman for the chain’s cook certification program. Just don’t try asking for wine recommendations at the drive-through.
By Jacqueline Nelson - Thursday, March 24, 2011 at 10:08 AM - 2 Comments
How companies are finding new success marketing a suddenly hot Canadian brand abroad
Doughnuts, hockey, Mounties and self-deprecating gags are effective at branding Canada to Canadians. But globally, these stereotypes just don’t translate. Some of the strongest national brands and companies, like BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, aren’t largely known to be Canadian outside our borders, and there was only so long the country’s space reputation could rest on the shoulder of the Canadarm. Just a quarter of Canadian business people surveyed by Maclean’s and Canadian Business as part of the Business without Borders initiative last year felt there was a distinct brand surrounding Canadian companies and products abroad.
Over the past few years, though, Canada’s image has matured, and some sectors are developing new strategies to communicate the country’s strengths. That doesn’t mean beating a patriotic drum. Many companies that have found success abroad did so by adopting the country’s “post-nationalist” attributes, and blending in with the places they do business.
The Great Recession has proven a big factor helping forge Canada’s brand. While the country was hit by the economic collapse, it wasn’t hit as hard as the U.S. or Europe. As our banks required no bailouts and our dollar strengthened, other countries looked to Canada’s economic policies for answers. And the more foreigners ask why Canada is different, the more it gives businesses a chance to explain and define Canada as a country and a brand.
By Colin Campbell - Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 8:40 AM - 0 Comments
Major technology firms are on the hunt for economists
The job most in demand in Silicon Valley lately is not in social networking or marketing, but something slightly less trendy. Major technology firms are on the hunt for economists. Yahoo, Facebook, Amazon.com and eBay are all currently recruiting economists, reports the San Jose Mercury News. Those companies are following the likes of Google and Microsoft, which in recent years have added big-name academics to their staffs, including Hal Varian from University of California, Berkeley and Susan Athey from Harvard University, respectively.
Economists have proven adept at helping tech firms tweak everything from search methods to online advertising platforms—intricate systems that can be manipulated to produce better results, or studied to predict outcomes from different strategies. Tech ﬁrms also tend to be creating entirely new businesses, and sometimes the best person to help explain how traditional markets will react to them is a good old-fashioned economist.
By Kate Lunau - Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 10:00 AM - 0 Comments
Canada’s lobster industry could do with some better marketing
Everybody knows the slogan, “Got Milk?” Pork producers urge Canadians to “Put pork on your fork.” Now, a new report suggests Canada’s lobster industry could do with some better marketing, too.
Though Canada’s lobster business has been plagued by low prices for years, it was hit especially hard during the recession. Last year, prices were at record lows, with some fishermen forced to sell for less than $3 a pound. Canada exports lobsters to 55 countries, but 80 per cent go to the U.S., notes the report, done for the Lobster Council of Canada (LCC). “The increasing Canadian dollar has hammered us hard,” says Geoff Irvine, the LCC’s executive director. (Last year, some fishermen resorted to selling their catch on the online classified site Kijiji.)
By Colin Campbell - Thursday, December 2, 2010 at 10:40 AM - 1 Comment
Insurance brokers say in the past few years there has been a marked rise in the number of firms seeking to guard against losses stemming from misbehaving spokespeople
The scandals that hit athletes Tiger Woods and more recently Wayne Rooney sent a loud warning to companies that pay millions of dollars for big-name endorsements: no pitchman is immune to embarrassing and costly meltdowns. For many firms anxious to avoid a marketing black eye, the answer is “disgrace insurance.” Insurance brokers say in the past few years there has been a marked rise in the number of firms seeking to guard against losses stemming from misbehaving spokespeople, reports the Independent.
Disgrace insurance can cover lost sales and lost ad campaign expenses (Rooney was dumped from Coca-Cola ads this year following reports that he cheated on his pregnant wife with a prostitute). It can also cover crisis management fees incurred from the fallout of Woods-like marketing messes. The policies cost as much as one per cent of the amount being insured. But with tens of millions of dollars on the line, firms are finding there is such a thing as bad publicity.
By Kate Lunau - Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 12:20 PM - 1 Comment
In portraying itself as the “cool” choice, Toyota has reinforced how boring its vehicles can be
In a commercial for the Toyota Highlander SUV, a tousle-haired preteen mocks his classmate Billy, whose dad picks him up from school in a wood-panelled Buick Roadmaster station wagon. “That’s what utter humiliation looks like,” the kid scoffs as Billy hides from his dad. “This Highlander is so cool, I actually want to be seen in it.”
The commercial seems to have backfired. In portraying itself as the “cool” choice, Toyota has reinforced how boring its vehicles can be—car enthusiasts love old station wagons, not hybrids, and the Buick Roadmaster is a cult classic. (Auto blog Jalopnik posted an updated version of the commercial that makes Billy’s station wagon look like the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard.) “A Buick Roadmaster is, and always will be, cooler than a beige Highlander,” Matt Hardigree writes on Jalopnik. Among the many reasons, he notes, “It’s not a Toyota.”
By Erica Alini - Monday, November 8, 2010 at 9:00 AM - 9 Comments
Today’s youth are set to become bigger consumers than the boomers
“If I want something I want it, no matter what,” says Kezia, one of the protagonists of a new Slice TV series Princess, where Til Debt Do Us Part host Gail Vaz-Oxlade tries to put young, female serial shoppers through personal finance rehab. A makeup artist who normally makes “probably” around $30,000 a year, Kezia would shed up to $355 a month on her hairdo, and eat out “probably” four times a week. “I don’t ever look at my credit card statements,” the pretty (dyed) blond says, gazing dreamingly at the camera. “As soon as they come, I throw them away.”
Twenty-five-year-old Kezia belongs to a new species of consumer whose capacity to spend will surpass that of the boomers sometime in the next decade. Variously referred to as Generation Y or Generation Next, they are loosely defined as the age group going from kids in their early teens to young adults. In the U.S., eight- to 24-year-olds are expected to spend $224 billion of their projected $348 billion annual income, according to Harris Interactive, a market research and consulting firm. Yet the percentage of those who have no savings at all is over 50 per cent. The stats in Canada are equally troubling. For young adults, the proportion between the ages of 25 and 34 who say they are impulsive spenders and can’t save is 30 per cent, a figure very similar to the 31 per cent found among the so-called Generation X (or 35- to 49-year-olds), according to a recent study by the Royal Bank of Canada.
By Anne Kingston - Monday, October 18, 2010 at 9:00 AM - 0 Comments
Breast cancer awareness campaigns have become provocative—sexy, even
Last week, when people logged into their Facebook feed, they found themselves confronted by titillating and occasionally creepy disclosures on female friends’ status updates: “I like it on the floor” was popular. And many children got to read mom admitting: “I like it hanging from the bedpost.” It soon emerged that the “it” in the innuendo-laden meme referred to where the women liked to put their purses, and that the whole thing was an incongruous stealth campaign to raise breast cancer awareness. Last year’s version was a “What colour is your bra?” campaign—which also made headlines, though it was nominally more connected to the cause.
Proponents of the viral crusade argue that a breast cancer awareness campaign that gets attention without mentioning the disease is ingenious. Perhaps, but it highlights the provocative sexualized pulse of the new breast cancer awareness campaigns targeted at women under 40—and more than a few men. The cheeky tone is evident in Feel Your Boobies, a U.S. foundation started by Leigh Hurst, who had a breast cancer diagnosis at age 33, and the “boob lube” soap sold on savethetatas.com. “I (heart) boobies” rubber bracelets sold by San Diego-based Keep a Breast are considered so risqué many U.S. school boards banned them. Michelle Murray, a member of the organization’s board who lives in Sudbury, Ont., can’t keep the five-dollar items in stock: “Even my dad wears one.”
By Jaime Weinman - Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 8:00 AM - 0 Comments
Recovering car companies are turning to big-name actors to voice their latest ad campaigns
Want more proof that the U.S. auto industry is starting to recover? There are more celebrities than ever lending their voices to car commercials. Jon Hamm, the star of Mad Men, recently lent his perfect advertising-man voice to a commercial for a Mercedes-Benz hybrid vehicle, which he assured us would lead to a “cleaner, safer future.” Not to be outdone, Ford hired Hamm’s Mad Men supporting player, silver-haired John Slattery, to do a commercial for its Lincoln line of cars. Last month, General Motors announced that Tim Allen will be “the new voice of Chevrolet,” while Jeff Bridges continues to do voice-overs for Hyundai, though an arcane Academy rule forced them to pull his voice from a commercial the night he won an Oscar.
Which stars are picked for which cars? That depends on whom the company is trying to reach. Mad Men, which has a small viewership but an older and more affluent one, is perfect for selling expensive luxury vehicles. Ford marketing director Matt VanDyke told the New York Times that his company picked Slattery because he “represents the potential customer” they’re seeking—men in their 40s and 50s with a lot of money to spend. Chevrolet’s Cruze, a compact car, needs a star with broader appeal: Allen, whose voice is recognizable all over the English-speaking world thanks to Toy Story, is the perfect choice to tell us that we should spend what little money we have on a car.
What we’re not seeing much of, yet, are commercials where the actors appear in the flesh, like Ricardo Montalban selling “Corinthian leather.” Slattery is the only one of these celebrities who does his selling on-camera, wearing glasses and looking pensively at us while he drives. This may be not in spite of the fact that he’s less of a star than Hamm, Allen or Bridges, but because of it: car companies worry that people, as opposed to voices, may be too associated with their characters, whereas with Slattery, VanDyke said, “Whether you know him from Mad Men or not, it doesn’t really matter.”
By Kate Lunau - Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 10:40 AM - 0 Comments
Does the fashion icon sell weight-loss better than Elizabeth Manley?
At the recent 25th anniversary party for Fashion Television, Jeanne Beker was the centre of attention. (The “Jane Goodall of fashion,” as National Post gossip columnist Shinan Govani calls her, has hosted the show since it began.) But instead of talking about FT or Beker’s new clothing line at the Bay, everybody was talking about how thin she looked, and rumours she was on Herbal Magic. Beker later confirmed she’d been using the Canadian weight-loss product, a program that can include meal plans and supplements, and taken off 20 lb. “She was skinnier than some of the models,” gushed Fashion magazine editor Bernadette Mora on Twitter. Beker “certainly looks a lot better than poor Elizabeth Manley,” the product’s official spokesperson, journalist Karen von Hahn wrote on her blog.
Manley, an Olympic medallist in figure skating, has been pitching for Herbal Magic since last year and, after losing almost 30 lb., she looks fit and trim. But who makes a better spokesperson for the company is an open question. Canadians have seen Beker at countless fashion events over the years, but can picture Manley barbecuing in the backyard. On the Herbal Magic site, Manley wears a sweater and jeans; Beker is a high-fashion icon. Even so, von Hahn seemed to suggest that Beker (who isn’t an official Herbal Magic spokesperson) might provide some stiff competition for Manley.
By Chris Sorensen - Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 10:20 AM - 0 Comments
After a hot start, the now sputtering Scion brand is trying to win over young buyers all over again
When Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, first introduced its youth-oriented Scion brand to the California market in 2003, the idea was to pique the interest of twentysomethings who viewed vehicles like the Camry as something only their father would drive. The styles were eye-catching—particularly the boxy xB wagon—and the marketing was Guerrilla 101. The cars were parked outside hip nightclubs, where trendsetting patrons might be convinced to book a test drive. Marketers created video game contests and a record label to give the Scion brand more street cred.
It worked. Sales took off—that is, until the recession hit and sent youth unemployment levels soaring. In 2009, Scion’s U.S. sales fell nearly 50 per cent, to about 58,000 from some 114,000 a year earlier. The brand also suffered from a lack of new models, so Scion responded by promising a refreshed lineup. And, this year, the cars will be sold in Canada for the first time at 45 Toyota dealerships across the country.
By Colby Cosh - Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 2:20 PM - 0 Comments
Why the NHL’s unparalleled experiments with the rules of hockey could be the key to its very survival
The popular Canadian view of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is not positive. He’s thought of as a bumbler, a shyster—and, perhaps above all, as a feeble imitation of his mentor, NBA commissioner David Stern. Sports commissioners are rarely beloved, but Stern may come as close as anyone since baseball’s Judge Landis; he has, unlike Bettman, succeeded in being perceived as an avuncular genius, a tribune of the fan.
But consider Stern’s attempt to bring a new synthetic basketball into the NBA at the start of the 2006 season. The Cross Traxxion ball received, at best, casual testing under practice conditions. Players hated it immediately. Stern and the ball’s manufacturer, Spalding, insisted on the superiority of its space-age design, but NBA stars complained that it felt cheap and unnatural. Scientific tests confirmed that its physical qualities were haywire, but Stern held firm for two months, yielding only when players like Steve Nash began to turn up with mysterious cuts on their hands and the players’ union filed a grievance with the U.S.’s National Labor Relations Board. The inexcusable fiasco was soon forgotten—but if Bettman had pulled something like this, hockey fans would still be heckling him for it.
By Chris Sorensen - Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 12:20 PM - 0 Comments
The manly man: Mustafa responded to viewers in a series of over 180 YouTube video ads
Corporate America finally figured out social media. Over two days, beginning July 13, the team behind Procter & Gamble’s Old Spice body wash campaign churned out more than 180 YouTube videos in which a hunky, bare-chested actor named Isaiah Mustafa, playing the most manly man imaginable, responded in near real-time to consumer and celebrity comments posted on Twitter and Facebook.
By Julia Belluz - Thursday, July 22, 2010 at 10:00 AM - 0 Comments
Nestlé is sailing the Amazon with a floating grocery store to try to reach a lucrative, untapped market
For the month of July, Nestlé Brasil has unleashed a floating supermarket barge on the tributaries that thread deep into the Amazon region in an attempt to reach some 800,000 Brazilians living in isolated, riverside communities. “We are going to pick up the customer where he is,” announced Ivan Zurita, the CEO of Nestlé Brasil, in a statement. “This will be a service to the population of the Amazon, which has streets and avenues in the form of rivers.”
Wherever the boat docks, locals can come aboard and wade through 1,000 sq. feet of supermarket space packed with more than 300 products, including chocolate, cookies, yogourt and ice cream. To meet the needs of poorer customers, Nestlé will sell smaller, more affordable packages of their branded foods and enrich them with nutrients to address deficiencies in local populations.
By Stephanie Findlay - Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 10:20 AM - 0 Comments
Samsung Electronics showrooms are just one example of a branding trend that takes the nose into serious consideration when marketing a product.
Is the smell of technological innovation honeydew? The marketing team behind Samsung Electronics thinks so. The company’s showrooms are just one example of a branding trend that takes the nose into serious consideration when marketing a product.
“They developed a fragrance that is honeydew melon,” says Harald Vogt, founder of the Scent Marketing Institute, who says Samsung’s signature scent is sprayed in its showrooms around the world. Pascal Gaurin, a perfumer from International Flavors & Fragrances who helped produce the scent, says that with the ambient aroma customers spend an average of 20 to 30 per cent more time with the Samsung products and are more likely to remember the brand. (Research points to a strong correlation between smell and the brain’s limbic system, where memory and emotions are collected.)
By Cathy Gulli - Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 11:40 AM - 2 Comments
With annual sales of $1.8 billion in Canada, the already sprawling yogourt industry is only getting bigger
It’s a rare honour to be designated “food of the decade,” but yogourt has earned the title for its performance in the dairy aisle of grocery stores. “These are not handed out lightly,” says Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst at the NPD Group, a global market research agency that bestowed the award. “In the 30 years I’ve been doing this, there has only been one other food that was similar” in its rapid popularity, he says: pizza. And yogourt’s unlikely rise (this is a food made from bacteria, after all) is far from over. “There is still a lot of room to grow,” says Balzer.
Yogourt’s distinction is based on consumption data showing that, over the last 10 years, the average person has taken to eating it twice as often. In 2009, Canadians consumed yogourt 42 times, according to NPD Group, up from 20 times in 2000. That rising zeal is reflected in sales. Last year, while the Canadian economy tanked and nearly every dairy retail category took a hit—including milk and cheese—yogourt posted six per cent growth for a total revenue of $1.8 billion, according to the Canadian Dairy Commission.