Psychology of Consumer Behaviour |

Monday, March 30, 2009

It's a Fake World - Elvis fans all shook up

Elvis fans are all a twitter over their King's portrayal. The New York Fries fake Elvis ad recently appeared in the Regina Sun and it seems the president of the "I'll Remember You Elvis Fan Club" lives in Regina and believes they have infringed on the "boundaries acceptable to him."

The campaign, "Real Fries in a Fake World'" is intending to show moms that New York Fries use real potatoes.

This ad was intended to be less offensive than the ones that started running last summer.

For your viewing pleasure here are the others.

Fake wrestlers, fake boobs, fake hair and botoxed cougar and fake Elvis.

Buzz from upset Elvis fans-priceless!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Oh My Gawd Don't Let My Plants on Twitter

Thanks to researchers at New York University, your plants will be able to use twitter to send you messages about their trials and tribulations. The system is called Botanicalls

Here's how it will work:

"Once the kit is assembled, connect it to the Internet through the built-in ethernet jack, jam the leads into the plant's soil, and subscribe to the plant's twitter feed. It will tell you when it needs watering, or scold you if you've overwatered it, and report its status in between."

The device's co-creator Kate Hartman says your plants Twitter messages can be personalized to you or your type of plant. Her plant Pothos even has over 2000 of it's own followers.

Now many of us may have long suspected that our plants have feelings. I know mine would have a nasty thing or two to say to me if they had the energy. So when I hear this news, I'm going to have to keep this little gem to myself lest they start asking questions and have a want to start a twitterin.

It wouldn't be pretty.

Coming to a Pothole Near You? The Colonel

If you are like me, you'd never have guessed that Colonel Sanders had a Christmas Album. These are things we learn from Google searches! But little did I know that he's also a man of many talents.

If you live in Louisville Kentucky, you may see him on street patrol in search of pothole to fill. Yes that is correct. KFC will be filling in potholes!

Of course it's not really going to be the Colonel. He's been dead since 1980, but a guy dressed up as our Colonel and an emissary of KFC or maybe even just regular work crews hired by KFC.

So what's in it for KFC? Well they intend to stamp the pavement with "Refreshed by KFC." with chalk that won't likely last that long.

The mayor of Louisville likes the idea in a time of tight budgets and the VP Marketing of KFC declares it is all about helping the everyday people. It also ties in with KFC recent "Fresh" campaign. They have an open invitation to other US cities that might like a little pothole servicing. They plan on helping at least 4 more cities.

In an age where advertising budgets are being cut, and jobs everywhere are being lost this idea fits into the area of consumer-service or cause based marketing. It's about building goodwill for a brand.

You have to admit that potholes are not good but you have to wonder what else will soon be branded.

I guess it's OK though; that is, as long as the holes are not filled with KFC.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ode to Soupy and his funny green pieces of paper

It was January 1, 1965 and probably most parents were still snug in their beds while the kids were fixed in front of living room televisions watching the antics of Soupy Sales. His show was live and featured his usual brand of slap stick. Soupy made silly, entertaining the kids and himself with wacky humour, puns, and of course pie throwing.

It was minutes from the end of the show and there was time to kill, so he looked into the camera and asked his young viewers a favor. They were to find the wallets of their sleeping parents and take out some of those "funny green pieces of paper" with the nice pictures of George Washington or Abraham Lincoln and put them in an envelope and mail them to their pal Soupy at WNEW, New York.

In reality he wasn't doing anything very much different from what Ovaltine and others did when characters like Little Orphan Annie or Captain Video told kids to get their parents to purchase products and send in box tops for pretty useless things. But parents didn't see Soupy's action that way. Their children were being manipulated! They were outraged and the rumour mill spun a story of thousands of dollars being sent into the station.

Soupy's show was suspended for a couple of weeks and then he was back on the air. Only a few real dollars were sent in and a lot of play money. It was nothing like the reported $80,000. It might have appeared to be much to do about nothing, but for a moment some realized the power of television on a young mind. The station did a token slap to Soupy and then carried on as usual.

The episode was live so there's no clip available. Instead enjoy this one with Soupy and puppet Pookie doing Motown!

The Circus is coming to town for 2009

There's a famous quote that uses the idea of a circus that explains all about the differences between advertising, sales promotion, publicity and sales. It goes something like this:

"If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying "Circus Coming to the Fairground Saturday," that's advertising. If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk it into town, that's promotion. If the elephant walks through the mayor's flower bed, that's publicity. And if you get the mayor to laugh about it, that's public relations. If the town's citizens go to the circus, you show them the many entertainment booths, explain how much fun they'll have spending money at the booths, answer their questions, and ultimately they spend a lot of money at the circus, that's sales.”

I got to thinking that it really needs a little updating so with apologies to the original author, my revision.

"If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying "Circus Coming to the Fairground Saturday," that's advertising. If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk it into town, that's promotion. If the elephant walks through the mayor's flower bed, that's publicity. And if you get the mayor to laugh about it, that's public relations.

If you make the elephant run through the mayor’s flower bed, that’s guerrilla marketing. If you run a contest and ask everyone to create their own videos about circus animals running amok, that’s user generated content. If they post their videos and forward them to their friends, that’s viral marketing.

If they tweet their friends about the contest using Twitter, that's micro blogging.

If they post the videos or pictures on Facebook, that’s social networking. If you have used guerrilla marketing, user generated content, viral, blogging or a social network, that’s word of mouth.

If anyone has the time to go out to the town's circus, you show them the many entertainment booths, explain how much fun they'll have spending money at the booths, answer their questions, and they spend money at the circus, that's sales.

But if no one wants to leave their computer to go to the circus, you’ll create a virtual world in maybe SecondLife. You won't need to feed or look after your animals; that's savings.The animals will be able to do all sorts of things that even circus animals can't do; that's creative. A monkey could even be an elephant online, no one would know; that's online. You’ll start at the beginning with your advertising sign and your elephant until finally the people follow and attend the virtual circus.

If no one wants to spend money at the virtual circus, you’ll post more advertisements and fancy products and track their every movement getting to the circus; you'll sell the information to others who will post more advertisements, that’s behavioral targeting. Those marketers will use the behavioral targeting to send you specific messages just for you; that's addressable advertising. You'll even get messages on your iPhone or Crackberry; that's mobile.

Google will take pictures of you in the virtual world; that will be Google virtual world. You'll access all this information about you from your terminal that contains no programs; that's cloud computing.

The circus will be free sort of. It's a bit cloudy.... you may find yourself still at home on your computer but suddenly in debt wondering if PT Barnum has just been to town.”

Vanilla Ice says Sorry! About time!

Virgin Mobile's new viral campaign to Right Music Wrongs features an apology by Vanilla Ice.
From their site, "In a world awash with silicone and botox, where stars are pre-fabricated on 'Reality' TV, where lip-synching is normal and real singing is a special event, something has gone desperately and dangerously wrong. It's time to take a stand."

Check out Jim Carrey's imitation on the site or here from YouTube

You can vote innocent or guilty for Mr.Vanilla on the Virgin Mobile site.

For me -Guilty! The song remains the same. Still selling, but I have to admit I enjoyed the apology.

Shoes to the rescue- Gilligan!

Here's the premise- if you buy shoes that are made from recyclable materials and you find yourself adrift and delirious at sea, you might imagine being chased by a sea monster or rescued by an ethereal ex but it will be nature who will come to your rescue.

Beautiful ad Timberland, but that's a stretch!

I guess we'll have to check our shoes before we set out on our next "three hour tour" Gilligan.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Good, the bad and the ugly of Brands has just released the results of it's BrandJunkie Awards. Here's a summary

Most Controversial: GM

Sample comment " How the mighty have fallen. The penultimate example of modern greed...with such a high level of arrogance (and political and industrial clout) that it had to take the current market situation to draw forth the admission that the greatest example of industrial success has been, for many years, a fraud. "

Best Retail Environment: Apple

Sample comments: "Gadget lovers dream, combined with interactive experience including product trial, lectures, great service and the genius bar." "Graphic, minimal environments that are clearly differentiated from competitor environments and which highlight and reinforce product qualities and encourage customer experience and interaction. "

Quirkiest Name: Snuggie

Sample comments:
"It’s almost just a fad, but then they just keep selling more of those things.
Snuggie proved to be an unexpected success during our recession."

"Oh dear god!"

Most Innovative and Enticing Packaging: Apple
Most Inspiring Brand: Apple Best Able to Rebound from Crisis: Apple

Sample comments:
"Sleek and minimalist....not cluttered by too much info. The main desire is to showcase the product. Apple carries this view through all that it does, from the way it designs the computers and Ipods to the way they design their stores." "iconic, and easily recognized." "innovative, different and provocative."

Most Effective Rebrand: Pepsi

Sample comments: "Refreshing, but does not lose the essence of the old Pepsi icon" "They seemed like they totally stole Obamas logo." "Love it or hate it, everyones talking about it and showing it."

Most Successful Viral Marketing: Facebook

Sample comments:
"Without doing anything but changing the criteria for admission it became the most hyped and talked about website on the Internet." "To the point where they are now jumping the shark, as mothers, grandmothers, and coworkers you never wanted to ever wanted to talk to before have come knocking to befriend you on this very ubiquitous social networking tool."

Brand that truly made an effort at being green and eco-friendly: NONE!

Sample Comment: "I can't think of one brand that really holds up to close scrutiny. There's always a dirty little secret hidden somewhere in the fanfare."

What it says- What it means

We are buying a lot of hype but not the Green hype. Companies have to do not only say what they are but be what they say.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Twitter Future

"So you're saying people will "tweet" what they're eating for breakfast?"
"And 'upload' pictures of their breakfasts to Facebook?
"And other people will look at the breakfasts and make comments?"

"Sorry to burst your bubble dudes, but you asked. Yes that's the future."

"No offense future man, but is everyone in your time stupid?"

Stomach Upset?

The Future of Plastics: Cosmetic surgery

For Dubai Cosmetic Surgery: The Class of 69

Lexus: Every piece is a masterpiece

Lexus: Every piece is a masterpiece.

Except this one of course unless the symbolism of the melting car refers to the automobile market!

Even creepier ads!


Creepy Ads Exact Pregnancy Test

The second best way to tell if your are pregnant.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Society of Uncompromising Men?

Oh the stereotypes from this Canadian made commercial for Wiser's Wiskey.

Apparently women all want men to dress like them and men don't have the cojones to say no so they resort to destroying the clothes women buy. What saves them of course is the Whiskey by Wiser's. That's the Wiserhood?

Coca Cola Madrid --The Wise Old Man's Advice

New from Coca Cola Madrid, the oldest man meets the youngest newborn. Sentiment in troubled times and advice from one who's been through worse.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Recession themes on TV - Evil corporations, new careers and fun for unemployed

It looks like TV land is taking on the recession in theme. Newly proposed shows include "Canned" where a group of friends are all fired on the same day (fun, fun, fun!) and "Waiting to Die" is about a pair of slackers.

The makeover shows are already talking about selling in a recessionary market.

In the TV series "Breaking Bad" the main character (seen to the right) suffering from cancer desperately takes on career of meth-maker to support his family.

Other shows demonize evil corporations with a little paranoia drama. In "The Dollhouse" minds of living dolls are stripped and programmed. How about a little evil human experimentation and gore? Try "Fringe" where in one recent show a guy mysteriously is transformed into a scary giant porcupine.
It seems we can laugh at the silly antics of the unemployed, fear our future careers as managers of a meth lab or be afraid be very afraid about being programmed or worse still ending up as giant porcupines.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Smackdown Srewart vs Cramer- Our Wealth is WorK!

What a pleasure to watch Jon Stewart take on and take out (hopefully) the Wall Street Cheerleading squad at CNBC. You can't help but feel a bit sorry for Cramer because it is not he alone who pontificates and propagates the stories of those who manipulate the market. He's guilty of more in the past and who knows what more. At least he had the guts to face the music and could perhaps do as he said, " try to do things better." If he's not done.

But what does it say of stations owned by NBC who ignored the story?

Cowards? Not reporters, that's for sure. The story was big news, and I couldn't wait to turn on the television the next morning to see what the talking heads at MSNBC had to say. But what happened?......nothing, nada, zip. Maybe they wanted to say something, maybe they were censored by the network. Whatever, it's kind of pathetic and really makes the point that Stewart is suggesting.

My favorite moment from the Smackdown came when Stewart said, "When are we going to realize in this country that our wealth is work...and by selling the idea of 'Hey, man, I'll tell you how to be rich.' How different is that than an infomercial?"

Yep, they've been feeding the public a diet of snake oil, no different from the patent medicine peddlers from the turn of the century.

The song remains the same

"Our wealth is work."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Mother of all Funk Chords--Thru-You

Social media is "creating the zeitgeist." Can you make art out of a few seconds of someone? I guess that concept is not new. Artists have long taken a piece of this or that and put it together in a different way. It was Warhol who recognized the art in a soup can and proclaimed that in the future, everyone would be famous "for fifteen minutes."

But who would have guessed that mashing up everybody and everything could be done by just about anyone.

The latest mash up making the rounds by an Israeli funk musician named Kutiman takes instructional and jazzy video clips from YouTube mashes them together into a remixed funk band. The results don’t sound like a typical mashup. It's almost as if it's a real band.

What it says--What it means --The future is CopyLeft

Hamsters- Get down for Kia

New from Kia Soul. Can't get enough of Hamsters..."All I do is party..ha ha"

Hamsters we trust; spokespeople- not always so much!

Revenge- We're all innocent, We're all guilty

Animals seek revenge for plastic bags

"We’re all innocent.
We’re all Guilty.
Plastic bags destroy
The environment.
Bring your bag."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Would you believe e-cigarettes? Canseco and Bonaduce and credibility

What is it that costs about $140, looks like a cigarette, feels like a cigarette, glows like a cigarette, and contains nicotine like a cigarette, but is not a cigarette?

Well it's an e-cigarette, silly.

Invented in China several years ago the e-cigarette is actually a stainless steel tube that when puffed on emits a vaporizing solution which may contain nicotine. When you take a drag a computer aided sensor activates a heating element that creates the mist. The mist can be inhaled and comes in a variety of flavours.

It is being marketed on the internet and at mall kiosks as a smoking deterrent by a Florida company with the aid of former baseball player Jose Canseco.

Supporters say it's like a cigarette but without all the harmful chemicals, and they say it can wean you off nicotine. Since it is tobacco that is illegal in bars, these people say you can smoke the e-cigarette anywhere you choose.

Detractors disagree with these assumptions suggesting that it encourages a culture of smoking and question the claims that it is harmless or if it would help someone quit.

The US Food and Drug Administration may be on the verge of pulling the product from the market because they consider it a drug and as such it would need FDA approval.

So what's so bad about the e-cigarette?

How about this- one of the main ingredients in the e-cig is propylene glycol, which is used in everything from Hollywood smoke machines to food colouring to hydraulic fluids. Yumm!

When asked about the criticisms company vice president, Eitan Peer proclaimed,

"The mist is mostly water. It has to be better for you than smoking. It's been approved by doctors. We've been on Fox News. We've been on The Howard Stern Show.' Our spokesmen are Jose Canseco and Danny Bonaduce."

Ha ha ha ...imagine when your claims for credibility are Fox News, Howard Stern, Jose Canseco, and Danny Bonaduce!

O What is says!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Piggie Eats Ham -Boost Mobile- I feel Wronged!!

Some things seem so wrong. First a declaration- I have a fondness for pigs. I think they are cute and misunderstood and ever since I saw the movie Babe, I've been on a strict Babe-free diet. So I'm the first to admit I am biased. So on viewing Boost Mobile's new commercial, I don't quite know how to feel.

I can't attest to the ethics of these pigs but damn they are fine actors. Thanks to Diana from class for the link to this ad.

Fellas- Swaggerize Yourselves!

Time was when Old Spice was purely for that old fella in your life like your dad or grandpa. A young guy wouldn't consider it. It was old. Along came Axe and a new generation who knew nothing of 'old' Old Spice. A few racy ads here and there and there's competition for Axe.

Now guys have you ever googled your name and come out with nothing, nada, zip? Well Old Spice has an answer for you.

Visit their site Swaggerize Me and a cool looking guy greets you with,
  • "When you search for yourself online, would you like to see yourself show-up more than zero times? Unfortunately it doesn’t because you’re just a normal boring guy who’s boring and normal. When a man of swagger searches for himself online the result is page after page of safari journals, shark punching contests, part nude photos spreads and love letters from Swedish people. If only you’d been using Swagger from Old Spice you’d know what I was talking about. Let me show you. Get ready to generate fake online articles that make you look awesome."
Customize your online swagger from one to ten, with five dials: Goodlookingness, Golden heartedness, Strongliness, Celebrityhood and Genuismanship.

Add your name, facebook address and photo and soon you'll receive a message from Swagger thanking you for the info and saying," You're one click away from inventing healing vaccines and flying stealth helicopters."

Once you verify your email you'll be taken to sites that tell about your authorship of books, and wild scientific discoveries.

Fabrications, untruth and lies what do they smell like? Old Spice

...Vanity with smell!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Rip: a Remix Manifesto---CopyRight or CopyLeft?

It's a different world today and maybe it's time to rethink copyright laws. There's a new film you have to see if you are interested in creative freedom. The documentary Rip: A Remix Manifesto opens March 13 in Toronto at the AMC Yonge and Dundas. Web activist and filmmaker Brett Gaylor mashes up the media landscape in his exploration of copyright in the information age "shattering the wall between users and producers."

"Rip is a dazzling frontal assault on how corporate culture is using copyright law to muzzle freedom of expression.” MacLean's Magazine

“In an age when everyone can express themselves via YouTube, and reach millions of others, it’s time to look at what works about capitalism and what could be remixed” The Globe & Mail

Join Rip's Facebook

Read more on Rip's Website

Beware the EVIL Tweeters! The Wild West of User-Generated Content

One day hailed as "flavour of the day" on social messaging site Twitter, the next day Skittled!

When Skittles redesigned their Web site to allow visitors to fill their page with "tweets" via twitter they got a lot of buzz.

But quickly things turned bad when EVIL Tweeters- Skittlers who were supposed to be talking up Skittles filled the page with inappropriate and profanity-laced comment.

Here's a sample of some of the milder ones:

  • "To all friends chatting re “Skittles” - be aware that is also the street name for cold meds done to excess - poor man PCP, Lucky Charms."
  • "Congratulations, Skittles, on lowering (raising?) the bar for terrible ideas "
  • "#skittles is doing a very nifty thing, but i’m still not going to eat them, they always tasted way too much like rocks."
  • "You are way out of date on today’s fast-moving Internet. That Skittlesthing is *so* six hours ago."
  • "My favorite candy is a frozen Three Musketeer bar. What is yours? I bet you NOT ONE person says Skittles."

Brand Keys President Passikoff said that the campaign brought to light consumer sentiment about the brand based on freedom of speech on the Internet. "The good news is there is freedom of speech, and the bad news is there is freedom of speech."

Skittles lost control of the conversation, but --they still are part of the conversation.

Sunshine Lollipops and Roses Until Tiger's Back

The Good Life, by Wieden & Kennedy....

Heartbroken Smartie Searches for Love

A Smartie love story? From JWT London

They said it wouldn't last and it didn' the end they were eaten...sob sob

Hair Torture- Stop the suffering

Who knew?

from H&C-Leo Burnett, Beirut, Lebanon

Of all the things to be afraid of in Beirut....Scared yet?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Barbie Attacked by The Birds! Tattoo Barbie! Ernst Dichter oh boy!

Ok, now I've seen everything.

That Barbie is a gal about town and damn she looks good for 50...but there is real plastic there. We've seen her with Ken and Skipper and even a surfer dude, but who knew she'd show up starring in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds"

Here's the ad copy

"Alfred Hitchcock The Birds Barbie Doll Description:

* Based on the classic movie!
* Includes real fake birds!
* High-quality head looks scared and has awesome hair!

This Barbie is for The Birds! Actually, this Barbie from The Birds is for you! Celebrating Alfred Hitchcock's classic film, this incredible collector's doll features our heroine being attacked by a trio of fine feathered foes, just like in the movie. Will these plastic birds damage her delightful handbag or her carefully styled hair? We certainly hope not! Be sure to let Barbie into your home and pray that the birds don't come in with her! "

About $44 and it's even at Walmart. .... Just what every little girls needs.

And Babs is still making news as a democratic lawmaker in West Virginia has proposed a bill to ban sales of Barbie and her ilk. Delegate Jeff Eldridge says these toys influence girls to place too much importance on physical beauty, at the expense of intellectual and emotional development.

In other news mothers are outraged over "Totally Stylin' Tattoos" Barbie, who comes with tattoo stickers that can be placed anywhere on her body. The set comes with a tattoo gun that allows kids to stamp tattoos on Barbie or themselves.

When Barbie hit the market in 1959, she was "adorned in a black-and-white striped bathing suit and stiletto heels," eyes painted with black eyeliner and priced to sell at $3.

Mattel turned to
Ernst Dichter pseudo psychologist and Director of the Institute for Motivational Research to market Barbie. The boobs were Dichter's idea. If you listened to Dichter humans were immature, irrational, and insecure with insatiable erotic desires. Dichter positioned the doll as a teaching tool that would endow young girls with the skills to attract and catch a man.

Oh what it says

Parody Alert! Walk-in Fridge -It's official; it's a Meme

A couple of months ago Heineken came out with their walk-in fridge commercial that has quickly garnered over a million and a half views on YouTube. If you haven't seen the original here it is

It wasn't long before the parodies came. Here's one from Bavaria

What it says..What it means?
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? Why think up our own idea when you can ride on the coat tails of another?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Tupperware- Then and Now- Brownie Wise

Nancy White of the Toronto Star reports today that in tough times folks turn to Tupperware. She doesn't mention Snuggies but I'm sure you need one to comfortably sell in.

Apparently, Tupperware has opened a store front office on McCaul Street complete with a "wall of pride" featuring "the chili-red vegetable chopper, the chickory-yellow cake carrier, the seamist-blue veggie container" and all manner of burpable stackable Tupperware.

The article goes on to talk about the popularity of home based direct sales in uncertain times.

This week in class we'll be talking about the fabulous fifties marketing and the role of women. We'll talk about Tupperware and some of it's not so perfect history.

It was 1945 when Earl Tupper created his now famous Tupperware but it sat on the shelf until a "wise" marketing woman name Brownie Wise came along and convinced him that the way to sell the product was through home parties with women selling to women. Under Brownie's direction Tupperware conquered the globe bowl by bowl.

It was Brownie who thought up the idea of the parties, the distribution network, the yearly Golden Jubilees where women celebrated their sales accomplishments, the giveaways of Minks, appliances and vacations. She even wrote inspirational selling books.

Women in the 50s could now earn thousands all by selling bowls that burped. As they moved up the ladder though it was not they who participated in management, it was their husbands.

Brownie was the only woman in management. When sales reached $100 million Tupper fired Brownie removing all mention of her from the company's history. Brownie had owned no part of the company and left with only a $35,000 settlement. A year later Tupper sold the business.

What it says- What it Means?

The Downfall of Capitalism from The Financial Adviser!

From what I'm hearing and reading fewer people are making contributions to their RRSPs. That was evident when I went into the bank one afternoon last week. I waited about five minutes before a nice young financial adviser met with me.

He asked if my accountant had sent me. I replied, "I am my accountant." Anyhow he went through the usual questions and went about the task. He noted that he thought I had too much money in a bank account and that really I should think of investing it to get higher interest. He was taken aback when I told him,"I don't really want to make more money, "and that "everything isn't about more money, more money."

After a little bit of discussion, he decided I wasn't insane afterall and he started chatting probably in a much different way than he ever had with a client. He talked about the country he was from and about the state of the world and how he saw the downfall of capitalism. It was getting later in the day and he had no more customers so it was easy for some real think to fall out.

As he unlocked the bank door to let me out I had to smile. Imagine your financial adviser really levelling with you and spouting anti-capitalist have to love that!