Thursday Night Marketing News

From the fine folks at Mediapost:

Brand Perceptions Of Gas, Airline Industries Nosedive
by Aaron Baar
[Research] One company that saw a big jump in perception was Wal-Mart, up 69% from January to July. Part of that may be due to the slumping economy. “There is often a lot of negative coverage in the news about Wal-Mart,” YouGovPolimetrix’s Ted Marzilli says. “But as the economy is struggling, low prices are winning the day.” – Read the whole story

Dunkin’ Donuts Ups Ante With Egg White Sandwiches
by Nina M. Lentini
[Restaurants] Rachael Ray, the brand’s spokesperson, will appear in print ads for the new Egg White Sandwich. The company says it will spend several million dollars to market the new DDSmart menu, including online and TV ads that will be Rachael-free. All ads are from Hill, Holiday in Boston, the brand’s AOR. – Read the whole story

DIY Enthusiasm Dims As More Women Say ‘Do It For Me!’
by Sarah Mahoney
[Retail] Vertis Communications’ Scott Marden thinks there are actually plenty of opportunities for home-improvement stores. Its research found, in fact, that these stores are still shoppers’ favorite starting point, with 57% turning to large home improvement stores first for home-improvement needs. – Read the whole story

JCPenney Looks To Game To Connect With College Women
by Laurie Sullivan
[Retail] The Dork Dodge game taps into human stereotypes students find in college life. The game toggles between video and digital characters. An option also allows players to invite real-life friends into the game through an email option. A link at the end of the game takes players to JCPenney’s Dorm Life page on Facebook. – Read the whole story

Survey: Online Coupon Usage Up 39% Since 2005
by Karlene Lukovitz
[Retail] Demographically, 29% of online coupon users and 23% of newspaper coupon users are under age 35. (Nearly half of online coupon users are between the ages of 22 and 44.) More online users have household incomes over $60,000 (61%, versus 57% of newspaper coupon users). In addition, 36% of online users, versus 29% of newspaper users, have children under age 18. – Read the whole story

Ruby Tuesday To Blow Self Up, Start Fresh by Nina M. Lentini [Restaurants] After the blast, :30 and :15 TV spots will introduce a new spokesman, described as “slightly over-enthusiastic” in his efforts to help people adapt to change of all kinds–including, of course, the radical changes at Ruby Tuesday. – Read the whole story

Avon Beauty Sales Climb 19% On Increased Ad Spending

Iconix To Expand Brands Into New Territories

Monster Taps Ted Gilvar For EVP/CGMO Role


Screw Up to Show Off?

I’m not suggesting that you deliberately do something wrong, but one of the best ways to build relationships with your customer is to fix a problem:

No Mistakes – It Is a Goal!

One of the bottom line expectations a customer has is no mistakes. However, we must realize that this is a goal, not reality.

If we communicate well and understand what our customer wants, needs and desires, we should be on our way to flawless service.

But, there will still be mistakes. Sometimes the mistakes are our fault. Sometimes they are not, but it looks like they are. (Example: We shipped the product on time, but the overnight company failed on their end.)

At the time a mistake is made, it is an opportunity to show how good you are. Seize it as such. Don’t just fix it, but give the customer a renewed confidence in wanting to do business with you.

Copyright © Shep Hyken, Shepard Presentations Shep Hyken, CSP is a professional speaker and author who works with organizations who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. For more information on Shep’s speaking programs, books and tapes contact (314)692-2200 or ( Shepard Presentations, LLC 711 Old Ballas Road, Suite 215 St. Louis, MO 63141

Where do you get your coupons?

Traditionally there have been two major sources for coupons, the Sunday Newspaper and direct mail.

However with the decline in the newspaper business, there is another source of coupons that is surging, boosted by the increase in technology and the decrease in our economy which has produced a new hunger from consumers to save.

Newspapers Dominate Coupon Sourcing, But Internet Up 83% in American HH Coupon Usage

According to a recent analysis Scarborough Research, Internet coupons are of increasing interest to consumers, Eleven percent of households currently obtain coupons via the Internet, and this has increased 83 percent since 2005. The Sunday newspaper remains the number one place for acquiring household coupons. Fifty-three percent of households get their coupons from the Sunday newspaper.

Other leading places for acquiring coupons include the mail, in-store coupons, preferred customer/loyalty cards, in-store circulars, weekday newspapers, product packages, and magazines. All of the coupon acquisition categories have experienced growth since 2005, however none at the level of Internet coupons.

Coupon Trend: Places Household Usually Obtains Cents-Off Coupons (%hhlds)

Coupon Source

2005 (%hhlds)

2006 (%hhlds)


% Increase 2005-2007

Sunday newspaper










In-store coupons





Preferred customer card/loyalty card





In-store circulars





Weekday newspaper





Product packages















Source: Scarborough Research USA, July 2008

Alisa Joseph, vice president, advertiser marketing services, Scarborough Research, said “… Coupons are one of several economically-focused promotional tools that stores and product brands can use to get shoppers in the door and… the Internet provides an easy to use vehicle to search for coupons.”

Among Grocery Coupon Clipping Households, forty percent of Milwaukee households and 38 percent of Rochester households use grocery coupons once a week or more. Nationally, only 27 percent of households use grocery coupons with this same frequency. At the lowest end of the weekly users, fourteen percent of Albuquerque, and fifteen percent of El Paso, and Fresno households use grocery coupons once a week or more.

People from leading grocery coupon clipping cities have higher than average Sunday newspaper readership rates. Nationally, Sunday newspaper readers are 15 percent more likely than all adults to use grocery coupons in their household. Adults in leading coupon clipping market Milwaukee are 24 percent more likely to read the Sunday newspaper, and those in Rochester are 32 percent more likely to be readers of the Sunday paper.

The analysis also showed that Grocery Coupon Clipping Households spend $114 on groceries weekly, versus the national average of $110, and are more likely than the average household to purchase a variety of grocery products across categories, from pantry staples to health items such as yogurt and energy/nutrition bars.

The study concludes that people across all income brackets clip grocery coupons. However those with higher household incomes tend to be slightly more likely to clip grocery coupons.

Top Ranking Cities for Weekly Grocery Coupon Clipping Households (DMA percent of households)

Local Market

% of HH

Top 20

Milwaukee, WI


Rochester, NY


Pittsburgh, PA


Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA


Buffalo, NY


Hartford/New Haven, CT


Columbus, OH


Toledo, OH


Syracuse, NY


Green Bay/Appleton, WI


Cincinnati, OH


Albany/Schenectady/Troy, NY


Providence/New Bedford, RI


Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN


New York, NY





Lebanon/York, PA



Beach/Melbourne, FL


Philadelphia, PA


Tampa/St.Petersburg, FL


Bottom 20

Denver, CO


Wichita/Hutchinson, KS


Atlanta, GA


Birmingham, AL


Honolulu, HI


Austin, TX


Colorado Springs/Pueblo, CO


Spokane, WA


Little Rock/Pine Bluff, AR


Oklahoma City, OK


Chattanooga, TN


Tulsa, OK


Mobile, AL/Pensacola, FL


Salt Lake City, UT


Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto, CA


Bakersfield, CA


San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose,



Fresno/Visalia, CA


El Paso, TX


Albuquerque/Santa Fe, NM


Source: Scarborough Research USA, July 2008

Please go online here to see full graphics and a complete local market ranking.

A new way to get your newspaper

I don’t like this idea. I use my phone for phone calls.

Ok, I sometime text too.

And I use the camera function also.

So maybe this idea is not that crazy…

International Herald Tribune
Publishing a newspaper, via cellphone

SAN FRANCISCO: The thud of the morning newspaper landing on the front porch may one day be replaced with the beep of download onto a cellphone.

Verve Wireless believes it can save the dying local newspaper in the United States by making it mobile. It offers publishers the technology to create Web sites for cellphones. The company, based in Encinitas, California, already provides mobile versions of 4,000 newspapers from 140 publishers, including Freedom Communications, McClatchy and The New York Times’s Regional Media Group.

The Associated Press, its biggest customer, is betting that Verve has the solution to the nagging problem of dwindling print readership. It led a $3 million round of financing in Verve, a rare investment for the news organization.

People are increasingly using their phones to surf the Web. Of the 95 million mobile Internet subscribers in the United States, 40 million actively use their phones to go online, twice the number of two years ago, according to Nielsen Mobile. After portal sites and e-mail services, newspaper content – weather, news, politics, city guides, sports and entertainment – is most popular among mobile users.

Verve’s chief executive, Art Howe, says he is convinced that people will always want local news and information – just not in the format of a print newspaper. But to be useful to readers, mobile versions of Web sites “cannot just be Internet lite,” Howe warned. The AP recently released a popular iPhone application developed by Verve that lets users scan the day’s headlines, send articles to friends and save articles to read later.

“Mobile is actually a better way to reach people than print or even Web. It’s versatile, immediate, travels and is just as compelling,” said Howe, a Pulitzer Prize-winning former reporter and former owner of 50 local papers.

The problem, said Verve’s president, Tom Kenney, is that local papers do not have the resources, expertise or relationships with cellphone carriers to build mobile sites themselves. Verve does it for them, in exchange for a cut of ad revenue.

Publishers can upload local ads to their cellphone sites using Verve’s software or have Verve place national ad campaigns on their sites. Verve can deliver a particular ad to, say, people age 21 to 30 who live in urban areas and have searched for articles about the bar scene.

Philadelphia Magazine, for example, sent readers of its Verve-developed Web site a text message offering $4 grapefruit cocktails and half-price appetizers at a local bar.

Mobile companies hope that this kind of ad customization could persuade advertisers to pay more for ads on cellphones than they do for Web ads. So far, few do. Advertisers will spend only $1.6 billion on mobile ads this year, while spending $26 billion online, predicts eMarketer, a marketing research firm.

Media General, which runs newspapers and television stations, mostly in the U.S. Southeast region, uses Verve for 79 mobile Web sites. Tim Repsher, who oversees Media General’s mobile products, said he chose Verve because he would not have to hire new staff members to figure out how to publish newspapers on cellphones. Mobile readership quadrupled in a year, with readers using the site to read breaking news and hurricane reports and get updates during power failures.

Newspapers cannot afford to be late to cellphones, said Greg Sterling, who studies the mobile Internet for Opus Research, a consulting firm. “It’s important and smart for newspapers to get out in front on the mobile phenomenon and not make the mistake they made in waiting too long to embrace the Internet.”

Say Goodbye to the Yellow Pages

I speculated on this months ago.

Phone Books are becoming irrelevant.

And now the research supports my prediction.
This is from

orrell Associates has released new research on yellow pages advertising collapsing, and a huge drive by local ad sales departments to capture online dollars that are migrating there due to a big shift in small-business spending.

They’re forecasting a 39% decline in yellow pages advertising over the next five years. Basically, the industry is about to collapse. The report is entitled, “Say Goodbye to Yellow Pages.”

Excerpts: The headline of this report is not so much a prediction of sudden demise as it is a play on a 1998 report by Forrester Research, “Say Goodbye to Classifieds.” When that report was published decade ago, the newspaper industry scoffed as its print classifieds continued to overshadow upstart Internet sites.

Yet the bottom has fallen out of newspaper classifieds, and in generally the same timeframe that they are predicting for print yellow page directories. Since 2001, half of the annual print classifieds spending by car dealers and job recruiters – billions of dollars in annual sales – has dried up.

Last year the newspaper industry saw its steepest ever decline in print classifieds, driven largely by a 23% fall in real estate classifieds. The conditions for yellow pages publishers are eerily similar.

Print directory revenues have shown stability throughout most of this decade despite the rise of the search engines – the same pre-condition that newspapers saw in the late 1990s with the rise of online classifieds verticals. The economic trigger – a recession – is now forcing small-business advertisers to be more careful with their ad budgets.

Over the next five years, Borrell is predicting 39% of the ad spending on print yellow pages revenues will vanish as small businesses shift marketing budgets online. After 12 years as an advertising medium, the Internet has finally reached small-business owners with viable marketing opportunities in the form of keyword advertising, interactive directories and low-priced online video commercials.

Until now, the key beneficiaries of this shift have been the search engines. But legacy media companies – yellow pages publishers included – have unleashed a newly trained army of local sales people to hunt down this migrating money.

Directory publishers have crosstrained nearly all their print reps to sell interactive media, while newspaper publishers have launched their own interactive directories and have deployed cross-trained sales troops to sell them. All told, online products are being peddled by 34,100 trained local sales reps – more sales people than any other local medium.

With all those reps hawking banners, paid search, interactive directory listings and online video, it is no wonder that local online advertising is increasing at a rate of 61% this year, to $14.1 billion. Yellow pages publishers have spent the past three years transforming their massive on-the-ground sales forces into marketing consultants who can meet their customers’ demands both in print and online.

Their combined print/online packages are simple, low-priced, one-stop solutions to small-business advertising needs. The proof of the industry’s rapid transformation is in the numbers: Of all local media companies, yellow pages publishers have been the most successful in moving toward digital sales, averaging about 14% of their gross revenues from online sales this year.

By contrast, the online contribution for most local newspaper, radio, cable and TV competitors is less than 5% of gross revenues. The main battle for the small business ad spending is between the two or three years is between pure-plays, on the one hand, and the two groups with the largest local sales forces: newspapers and directory publishers.

Both have feverishly cross-trained their sales forces in the past three years and added “online only” reps to pursue the hottest-selling advertising product in local markets: interactive advertising, including the fastest-growing format of all, online video commercials.

Yellow pages publishers face the least-certain future of all local media. The business of delivering targeted, affordable advertising to small businesses – the yellow pages forte’ – is being battered by more targeted and even more affordable search advertising.

Again, Borrell is forecasting a 38.9% decline in print spending over the next five years – the largest decline of 11 local media categories they track. They expect print directory spending to slide from $12.7 billion this year to $7.8 billion in 2013 as smaller businesses cut back their yellow pages spending in favor of online search, interactive yellow pages, and the hottest category of all – online video commercials.

Publishers have already started making cuts. Idearc recently eliminated 28 of its 1,200 directories, and Yellow Book USA laid off 550 sales reps. Layoffs and folded directory titles are expected to continue over the next two years. The key drivers of these changes are broadband penetration and the growing sophistication of search engines and interactive directories.

Between 2005 and 2007, 10.4 million adults stopped using the yellow pages “during the past month.” If the trend continues, by 2010 average monthly use of the print directories will have slipped below critical mass: the majority of all adults will not crack open a yellow pages book in any given month.

Improving Internet connectivity makes that more likely: broadband users are four times more likely to use an interactive directory than dial-up users. © 2008 Radio Business Report, Inc. All rights reserved

Also look at your Advertising Options.

Here are more links to Phone Book News:

Advertising Campaign Updates

Check out these ad campaigns:

Out to Launch
by Phyllis Fine, Wednesday, Jul 30, 2008 4:15 PM ET
Screaming in the airport. A screeching high for gas prices. Reexperiencing a childhood trauma. Ad campaigns may be kind of stressed-out this week (as am I, subbing for vacationing Out To Launch writer Amy Corr) but, heck — let’s launch anyway.

Great Adventure ad spotCan an airport be the “point of sale” for a trip to a theme park? Yes, if one by one, all the flights on the trusty departures board come up “canceled” — and a head pops up on the board noting that “more fun close to home” is available at Six Flags. That’s what happens in a spot designed to make the point that a trip to Six Flags is much more fun and relaxing than plane travel. Except, the Six Flags guy is so hyper, making his point so loudly, that I went into stress overdrive. Check out the spot here. “Airport” was created by Ogilvy, with media buying handled by MindShare.

American Asthma Foundation ad spotWow! Another nerve-wracking experience with another new campaign. Since I have asthma, I found the PSA for the American Asthma Foundation almost too realistic. The spot shows a man sitting peacefully on a park bench — until a pair of hands appear and place a plastic bag over the man’s head. Three solo drumbeats introduce the words “This…Is…Asthma” as the man struggles to breathe. Thankfully, he eventually frees himself from the bag. I’ve never had an asthma attack that was quite that bad, though I do remember some fairly traumatic hospital visits when I was a child. The 30-second public service announcement (PSA) marks the first awareness advertising undertaken by the one-year-old AAF. The campaign, created by DeVito/Verdi, began airing in May in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. I’d say the ad succeeds very well in increasing awareness of the perils of asthma. I’d be surprised if it wasn’t successful. . Watch it — gasp — here.

Staples ad spot

In another scary ad, gas is now $92.50 a gallon. And the woman who attempts to use her “Easy” button to get a discount is foiled when she’s told the button only works at Staples. Two other variants of the same concept are less frightening, because the prices for the products are within the realm of retail reality — $219 for a pair of jeans (I’ve never paid that much, but some women do) and $319.07 for groceries. “Groceries” is the funniest of the bunch — the irritated clerk ups the total to $323.40, scanning the bag of opened potato chips being chomped on by the customer’s son. The 15-second spots, also supported by print, in-store and online, were created by McCann Erickson New York; media chores were handled by Mediacom. See the ads here, here and here.

StateFarm billboardFinally, a more peaceful vibe. A State Farm out of home campaign running in California — of course — offers tranquility and bliss, but for your car.Experience Peace of Drive,” is the tag for 2- and 3-D outdoor, street installations, and pop-up “car spas,” along with billboards, cable car posters, bus shelters and bus wraps. Gotta envy those cars, which get the full spa treatment, from aromatherapy candles to massage to yoga to the equivalent of cucumber slices on one’s eyelids. I just wondered about the acupuncture ad. Wouldn’t acupuncture virgins (I’m experienced, thank you) wonder if the car had maybe been attacked by spear-throwing Indians in an old-time Western movie? BooneOakley handled both creative and media-buying duties. See the ads here, here, here and here.

San Francisco Zoo campaignAnother, more peaceful campaign promotes the San Francisco Zoo.
A series of bus shelters ads showcase distinctive animal features like butterfly wings and peacock feathers. When people stand in front of the ads, they take on these features. The ad copy encourages people to have their pictures taken and uploaded to an e-mail address where they can subsequently be posted as part of an online gallery ( Ultimately, the best photos will appear in a print ad. “Critter Quest” campaign was created by BBDO West.

Phyllis Fine is columns editor for MediaPost.

Wednesday’s Marketing After Hours Headlines

Here’s what arrived in my email earlier today from Mediapost:

Marketing To Kids: FTC, CBBB Weigh In With Reports
by Karlene Lukovitz
[Food] While the actual long-term impact on issues such as childhood obesity will require monitoring and study, it appears that major food and beverage marketers’ recent commitments to self-regulation of marketing to children are already yielding benefits in the public/governmental perception arenas. – Read the whole story

Best Buy Seeks Consumers’ Inner Rock Star
by Sarah Mahoney
[Retail] “We’re really looking to create musicians,” the spokesperson says. While marketing plans will include Best Buy inserts, “there will also be marketing customized to local markets, with live events and specific promotions,” he says. – Read the whole story

Enerpulse Launches New Ads Focusing On Fuel Savings Factor
by Aaron Baar
[Automotive] As company research showed more people were buying the Pulstar plugs for fuel economy reasons, performance took a back seat to gas savings in the company’s marketing strategy. “Had it not been for the fuel situation the way it is, we would have continued along our performance strategy,” says marketing manager Natalie Carter. “This is a broader campaign based on our finding and the [sales] results we’ve been seeing.” – Read the whole story

Starbucks Cuts Jobs, Realigns Management
by Nina M. Lentini
[Restaurants] The beleaguered company on Tuesday announced that it will cut 1,000 jobs. One of those is chief operating officer. In an announcement made to employees, founder/CEO Howard Schultz said COO Martin Coles will resume the role of president, Starbucks Coffee International. – Read the whole story

Consumers Confident In Banks, Survey Finds

Bacardi To Buy Minority Share In Patrón

Bennigan’s, Steak & Ale File For Bankruptcy

Coach Sales Up 20% In Quarter

Burger King Readies ‘Futbol Kingdom’

Toys ‘R’ Us Sponsors ‘Star Wars’ CD-Rom