Every day, our inboxes are slammed with laughably bad PR pitches that range from the unrelated — “tell your readers to check out our booth at the International Fly Fishing Film Festival” — to the hyperbolic — “this tip-figuring calculator app will literally change the way you dine out!” We don’t share these with you because, well… they’re just awful. But we recently received one that was both insidious and all-too-indicative of the ways in which marketers dangle money in front of blogs in order to get them to deliver on-message content. [More]
It’s no secret that consumers’ online habits influence the advertisements they’re shown while surfing the internet. But Verizon Wireless just upped the ante when it comes to sharing your online activities with marketers. [More]
Young adults are no longer interested in mediocre coffee. As far as Maxwell House is concerned, that’s okay. They don’t need the cool kids with their pour-overs and their burr grinders. Their new marketing campaign targets customers who want coffee that’s just, you know, good enough. [More]
Okay, the electronics industry in general isn’t known for its commitment to progressive views on gender. As Samsung has become a global brand, though, people are noticing the subtle and not-at-all subtle sexism of their advertising. [More]
Last month, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency published a very simple, very funny prose description of the world’s most banal promotional video for a brand. What brand? What are they selling? It doesn’t really matter, and that was the point: a montage of stock footage of positive images and ethnically diverse smiling people can sell anything. Now the piece has been brought to life…by a stock footage firm.
Savvy consumers all know that their lifetime debt history ends up in their credit score, and that lenders use that score to try to predict if someone is a good bet for a big loan like a mortgage. But even the most-connected consumer may not realize how many hundreds of other scores we all now trail in our wakes too, thanks to the advent of big data. Do you know, to the last decimal, how likely are you to buy jewelry? To sign up for cable? To have a kid in the next year? Someone, somewhere, is tallying all of that information about almost everyone. But good luck finding out what’s out there, who’s scoring it, and if your numbers are even actually about you at all.
Say you’re faced with making a decision between multiple brands or change service providers. Your willingness to seek variety, or make a change — even if it requires additional effort — may be tied to how confident and empowered you feel at that moment. [More]
The Girl Scouts: they stand for wholesome, educational, and fun childhood activities. Right? Generally, yes, and even without coating every visible surface with pink sparkles. A new set of Barbie-themed activities and patch for the Daisy and Brownie levels (kindergarten through third grade) has horrified some critics, who think that the toy-maker’s influence is bad for girls’ self-image. [More]
Here I am, a single woman with a career, lying around on heaps and heaps of money. But since I don’t have kids of my own, who can I spoil with all these riches? The nearest available child might do, but the travel industry is betting I’ll throw down my dispensable income to visit my nieces and nephews so I can ply them with presents like any childless aunt would. Heck, maybe I’ll take them to Disney World.* [More]
One of the perks of being a professional athlete is that you get paid the big bucks to endorse products, based on the premise that your fans will buy anything you put your name on. But one report says those lucrative endorsement deals are often tied to unhealthy foods marketed toward kids. [More]
It seems like a very long time ago that the phrase “Black Friday” referred to the day after Thanksgiving, an important but scary day in the retail calendar that kicked off the Christmas shopping season. Isn’t that still supposed to be the case? Not according to marketers, who have now expanded Black Fridays to every month of the year, because why not? [More]
Maybe they sent out the wrong mailing at the wrong time. Maybe they’re planning way ahead. Or maybe Gabriel’s local Hyundai dealership is putting whatever random crap gets people to open messages from them in the subject lines of their e-mails. In Gabriel’s case, it worked. He opened it. [More]
Even though some early studies have showed that Gmail’s recent effort to put all of our marketing e-mails in one folder for us hasn’t really affected response rates for the businesses that blast us with e-mails, some companies are desperate to persuade us to keep them in our inboxes. Desperate enough to walk us through changing our e-mail preferences. [More]
Back in May, Gmail introduced a new way to sort our inboxes, automatically assigning messages to different tabs. The default setting sticks marketing emails into a “promotions” folder that you can ignore entirely if you want to. Seems like a great idea…unless you’re the person sending out those e-mails. [More]
Visits from the Tooth Fairy are, by their nature, a commercial transaction. Many families buy or make special under-pillow holders that make it easier for the overnight visitor to find the teeth she (or he) is after and leave behind some cash. What the Tooth Fairy lacked was a coordinated marketing campaign with an online game, books, costumes, toys and other merch. Until now. [More]
As the Mid-Atlantic settles in for what must be the 623rd straight day of searing-hot temperatures, the folks at JetBlue are learning that maybe they shouldn’t rely on Mother Nature to cooperate when planning a promotional discount. The airline has had to pull the plug on an ill-conceived weather-related offering after too many people signed up. [More]