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Tag: trends

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At Issue } essential reading

2014 Marketing Trends You Probably Haven't Heard

Patrick Spenner
Jan 13, 2014

It’s that time of year. I’m hopped up on eggnog and ready to go! Last year’s “10 Marketing Trends for 2013 You Haven’t Heard” was a popular one. Let’s do it again. Hoping three or four of these are ones you won’t have thought about or fully appreciated.

15 Tech Trends That Will Define 2014, Selected By Frog

Jan 8, 2014

Drones, driverless cars, and the digital dragon of china are just some of the things that will change our economy, and our lives, this year.

Six Things Every CMO Should Be Watching This Year

David Armano
Jan 8, 2014

This piece looks specifically at what a senior marketing executive or CMO should be keeping an eye on over the next year. While trends like wearable tech, are very real and accelerating—this specific consumer behavior may not be relevant to the marketing machine for your particular organization. In contrast, here are six things every CMO or marketing executive should be watching closely this year.

The Intersection Of SEO & Web Design

Warren Lee
Dec 20, 2013

As technology advances and web usage evolves, so do SEO best practices. Web designers now have more choices and technologies available than ever before. As we enter 2014, I expect we will continue to see advances in web design that bring even more options.

2014 Digital Trends And Predictions From Marketing Thought Leaders

Ekaterina Walter
Dec 17, 2013

What will 2014 bring and what should organizations and individuals expect from the continued digital revolution? These marketers provide their thought-provoking expert opinions.

5 Innovative Trends in Women's Economic Equality

Reem Rahman
Dec 13, 2013

Investing in women creates a multiplier effect for society – including better health and education outcomes, more resilient societies, reinvestment in communities, and greater prosperity. While there has been overall progress globally, women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) still face some of the greatest barriers in asserting their economic rights.

Instagram's Top Posts and Trends From 2013

Kurt Wagner
Dec 13, 2013

Instagram is starting to look every bit the billion dollar company Facebook made it out to be in 2012. The photo sharing app hit some major milestones in 2013, most notably the addition of video, posting of its first advertisements, and the recent roll out of Instagram Direct, a private messaging feature that allows users to share photos with individuals or small groups with in the app.

Here's Where Teens Are Going Instead Of Facebook

Parmy Olson
Nov 19, 2013

Where are teenagers going instead? Not surprisingly, it’s mobile chat services like WeChat, and photo-sharing apps like Instagram and Snapchat.

What The Heck Is Business Culture?

Victor W. Hwang
Sep 13, 2013

What does it mean? And how does culture actually cause innovation?

8 Trends Driving Marketing Attribution Now

Daniel Kehrer
Jul 29, 2013

If marketers could land customers with one killer ad or perfectly crafted message, there’d be no need for one of today’s most talked about marketing disciplines: Attribution. But alas, such is not the case.

Three Tips For Marketing Better With Memes

Cheryl Conner
Jul 2, 2013

Here’s the million dollar question: What is it that turns an idea into an internet meme?

The cycle of media attention (fans to feeders)

Seth Godin
Jul 2, 2013

The views on the music video start to trend, the book starts to get talked about. Who notices? People who notice things that are trending.

How Brands Become Trends

Kathy Bloomgarden
Jun 5, 2013

Trends shape societal opinion and offer insights on where we’re headed as a global community.

The 21st Century Economy Will Be Urban, High Tech, and Green

Alex Steffen
Apr 22, 2013

Our world is not what it once was: the situation is more serious, the timing is more pressing, and the fortunes to be made are more astounding.

5 Ways To Thrive During Marketing’s Seismic Shift To Mobile

Scott Kveton
Apr 2, 2013

As the world’s biggest brands hustle to keep pace with the consumer rush to mobile, several clear trends are emerging.

5 Trends That Will Drive The Future Of Technology

Greg Satell
Mar 12, 2013

The future of technology is, ironically, all too human.

Advertising Growth Shows That for Many, Tablets Are the PC

Michael V. Copeland
Feb 14, 2013

By the end 2013 tablets will account for 20 percent of Google’s paid search ad clicks in the U.S., up from 6 percent in January 2012. It’s not just the volume of the tablet clicks that is rising, it’s also the value.

Don't Struggle With Big Data

Joelle Kaufman
Jan 14, 2013

Marketers are blessed to have so much insight into their customers’ behavior and interests, and the volume of this valuable data is growing exponentially. What is clear is that CMOs are struggling to take advantage of this great blessing.

Startups Skip Video, Hang Hopes On Shareable Multimedia

Sarah Kessler
Jan 14, 2013

When Instagram joined Facebook last April, a race to crown a “Instagram for Video” revved into full throttle. With Instagram's $1 billion price tag fresh in their minds, investors rushed to fund or acquire a piece of what seemed to be the next step in the evolution of social media.

Mobile Video Is all About Home Sweet Home

Christopher Heine
Dec 13, 2012

Sixty-three percent of video streaming on mobile phones happens when folks are in their homes, per research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). And according to the IAB, mobile videos are watched during primetime television hours more than any other time of the day.

Why The Brand Content Trend Is One Marketers Can't Bypass

Chris Perry
Dec 12, 2012

Lots of companies have committed, recasting stories through platforms that look more like digital magazines than traditional websites, and more. While all the attention may give it the luster of a fad today, brand content is nothing new.

Mobile Internet traffic gaining fast on desktop Internet traffic

Steven Musil
Dec 4, 2012

Global mobile traffic is growing so fast that in some places it has already surpassed desktop traffic. That was one of the key conclusions of a year-end Internet trends report.

Is This The #1 Thing That Keeps Marketers Up At Night?

Steve Olenski
Nov 7, 2012

In case you didn’t notice over the past several years the amount of patent battles between some pretty big brands have been waged in the courts. Samsung vs. Apple. Google vs. Facebook. And on and on and on. The folks over at visual.ly put together this handy dandy graphicso you can keep score at home.

Big Data's Big Image Problem

Christopher Heine
Oct 30, 2012

With consumers already uncomfortable about their data being collected for marketing purposes, promoting a term that sounds a lot like other industry-based labels with negative connotations has some marketers scratching their heads.

Future of Mobile News

Oct 9, 2012

Are New Devices Adding to News Consumption? What does the growing expansion of mobile mean for news consumption overall? Are people who own mobile technology getting more news now that they have more ready access to it? Or are they merely replacing one platform with another? Here, the findings are as strong as in 2011, and in some cases even stronger, in suggesting that mobile technology is increasing news consumption.

Pinkification: how breast cancer awareness got commodified for profit

SE Smith
Oct 5, 2012

What began as a social movement serving urgent health needs for women has been hollowed out by cynical marketeering. The gradual commodification of breast cancer reflected a failure of the movement, in that it wasn't able to adapt quickly enough to fight the commercialisation of breast cancer awareness.

Why the Internet Is About to Replace TV as the Most Important Source of News

Derek Thompson
Oct 5, 2012

The headline conclusion of Pew's latest monster survey of the media landscape was the demise of TV news. "There are now signs that television news is increasingly vulnerable," the authors wrote, "as it may be losing its hold on the next generation of news consumers." But the larger story is the rise of the Web, which has surpassed newspapers and radio to become the second most popular source of news for Americans, after TV

The Four Data Waves And How They Help Us Meet Marketing Goals

Mark Marinacci
Oct 2, 2012

A recent IBM study of more than 1,700 CMOs stated that approximately 90% of all the real-time information being created today is unstructured data. CMOs see the data explosion as a game-changer, but continue to struggle with leveraging the data to make smarter business decisions.

Instagram Use Is Exploding

Ryan Tate
Sep 28, 2012

In just six months, Instagram use has more than septupled, growing from around 900,000 people per day to around 7.3 million, according to ComScore. The photo-sharing app’s astonishing growth underscores the growing momentum of mobile-native apps, and the potential of said apps to open wide leads over traditional websites.

What If Teens Prefer Twitter to Facebook?

Dave Williams
Jul 11, 2012

A member of my wife's family and a few of her friends told me recently that they are enamored with Twitter. They love its rapid-fire updates, and the sense Twitter provides of being right in the moment. Over a weekend they were constantly checking and posting updates on their smartphones, and when it came to socializing with friends, she and her peers simply preferred Twitter to Facebook. This isn't earth-shattering news, but here's the catch – all were in high school.

The Economic History of the Last 2,000 Years in 1 Little Graph

Derek Thompson
Jun 19, 2012

That headline is a big promise. But here it is: The economic history of the world going back to Year 1 showing the major powers' share of world GDP, from a research letter written by Michael Cembalest, an analyst at JP Morgan.

SAP's CIO: You're Putting Your Executive Career at Risk if You're Not Social

Mark Fidelman
Jun 11, 2012

Picture yourself as an Executive in 2017, struggling to make sense of how many of your peers failed to become social. Many of them pushed aside by their more savvy underlings who built up both internal and external social networks. Their large networks wield tremendous power, collective intelligence and the ability to influence both employees and customers. Many of the executives that didn’t adapt were caught in a type of ‘vocational innovator’s dilemma’; where they stubbornly refused to change despite the warning signs. Welcome to the new world. It’s the same as the old – only faster, smarter and a bit more effective.

The Huffington Post Wants to Help Brands Create Their Own Content Sites

Jason Del Rey
May 22, 2012

The Huffington Post is expanding the way it works with brands in an effort to cash in on the popular brand-as-publisher trend.

5 Mobile Trends Brands Need to Watch

Jonathan Gardner
Apr 30, 2012

Already, data shows that more than one third of American teens own an iPhone and the one-tablet-per-child initiative is a mainstay in South Korean and Thai schools. It’s easy to see what life will look like for the next generation of consumers, but will marketers be prepared? That will largely depend on whether they’ve considered these five post-mobile trends.

IBM's Anjul Bhambhri on What Is a Data Scientist?

Dan Woods
Feb 16, 2012

To fully exploit the opportunity presented by big data, a value chain must be created that helps address the challenges of acquiring data, evaluating its value, distilling it, building models both manually and automatically, analyzing the data, creating applications, and changing business processes based on what is discovered.

How Companies Learn Your Secrets

Charles Duhigg
Feb 16, 2012

Andrew Pole had just started working as a statistician for Target in 2002, when two colleagues from the marketing department stopped by his desk to ask an odd question: “If we wanted to figure out if a customer is pregnant, even if she didn’t want us to know, can you do that?”

This Is Generation Flux: Meet The Pioneers Of The New (And Chaotic) Frontier Of Business

Robert Safian
Jan 9, 2012

The business climate, it turns out, is a lot like the weather. And we've entered a next-two-hours era. The pace of change in our economy and our culture is accelerating--fueled by global adoption of social, mobile, and other new technologies--and our visibility about the future is declining. From the rise of Facebook to the fall of Blockbuster, from the downgrading of U.S. government debt to the resurgence of Brazil, predicting what will happen next has gotten exponentially harder. Uncertainty has taken hold in boardrooms and cubicles, as executives and workers (employed and unemployed) struggle with core questions: Which competitive advantages have staying power? What skills matter most? How can you weigh risk and opportunity when the fundamentals of your business may change overnight?

All That Authenticity May Be Getting Old

Emily Weinstein
Oct 27, 2011

Like so many others her age, Casey Barber, 33, furnished her home with affordable basics from major retailers, pieces like that requisite “Ikea table that is still making the rounds after all these years,” she said. But when it came to accessories, Ms. Barber, a writer and the editor of the Web site Good.Food.Stories., took care to search out the unique and handmade — things that communicated her personality and a certain sense of authenticity.

JetBlue Pokes Fun at the Competition

Stuart Elliot
Oct 14, 2010

Among the signs that marketers are feeling somewhat better about the economy is an increase in advertising by airlines, an industry that is particularly vulnerable to the ebbs and flows of consumer spending.

Big Ideas for Marketing in 2011

Oct 11, 2010

With autumn in the air, it's time to start looking ahead to next year, and I must admit that I'm downright excited: If this year is any indication, 2011 will bring with it a batch of wildly inventive and surprisingly novel marketing ideas.

15 Trend Tips

Oct 7, 2010

Let's face it, the only thing that separates you—passionate CEO, marketer, entrepreneur—from being in the know, is the time that must be devoted to tracking and applying trend content. And yet, when we ask professionals if and how they spot and apply trends, we're told they're still having a hard time getting a handle on the basics. So here are 15 trend watching tips, some practical, some more contextual, for you to run with today.

Americans Spending More Time Following the News

Survey Report
Sep 13, 2010

There are many more ways to get the news these days, and as a consequence Americans are spending more time with the news than over much of the past decade. Digital platforms are playing a larger role in news consumption, and they seem to be more than making up for modest declines in the audience for traditional platforms. As a result, the average time Americans spend with the news on a given day is as high as it was in the mid-1990s, when audiences for traditional news sources were much larger.

'Chief Listeners' Use Technology to Track, Sort Company Mentions

Aug 30, 2010

The role of a "chief listener" evokes images of fuzzy sweaters, chamomile tea and sitting around with a patient ear. Instead, try sifting through unstructured data and building complex queries.

Clouds, Big Data, and Smart Assets: Ten Tech-Enabled Business Trends to Watch

Jacques Bughin, Michael Chui, and James Manyika
Aug 13, 2010

Advancing technologies and their swift adoption are upending traditional business models. Senior executives need to think strategically about how to prepare their organizations for the challenging new environment.

A Return, Not to Normal, But to Reality

Art Kleiner
Aug 6, 2010

Mark Anderson, the high-tech industry’s most accurate prognosticator, foresees an economic landscape still under the stress of too much liquidity — and decision makers still in denial.

Your Brand Isn’t Selling? You’re Disconnected.

Ted Mininni
Aug 2, 2010

Product cycles aren’t getting shorter. They’re disappearing. Retailers are concentrating on their store brands and giving shorter shrift to national brands and manufacturer partnerships. They’re culling nationally branded products that fall short of sales and turn expectations from shelves. Sometimes, these metrics aren’t even used as justification!

In Advertising? Your Job Description's Changed

Aug 2, 2010

Do you work in a job that involves writing creative, managing clients, media planning and buying, or trafficking ads? Well, take a minute from your busy day to digest this news: Your job description's changed.

Microsoft Quashed Effort to Boost Online Privacy

Nick Wingfield
Aug 2, 2010

In early 2008, Microsoft Corp.'s product planners for the Internet Explorer 8.0 browser intended to give users a simple, effective way to avoid being tracked online. They wanted to design the software to automatically thwart common tracking tools, unless a user deliberately switched to settings affording less privacy. That triggered heated debate inside Microsoft.

Unlike Media Brands, Marketers Slow to Embrace the iPad

Kunur Patel
Aug 2, 2010

While 2009 was arguably the year brands embraced the iPhone, developing apps left and right, the iPad doesn't seem to have inspired the same enthusiasm. Magazines have embraced the iPad, but despite the product's hype, larger screen and dual-touch technology, brands haven't followed suit.

Facebook and Twitter’s New Rival

Aug 2, 2010

By now, plenty of traditional media companies have hopped on the social media bandwagon, pumping out news updates on Facebook and Twitter. But do those companies have the time and resources to work yet another Web outlet into their daily routine?

A Conversation About True Leaders and Leadership

Colin Goedecke
Aug 2, 2010

If you look at the world today, it’s devoid of enough true leaders. We used to have so many. This troubles me. What has happened? Is it because people don’t want to step up to the higher responsibilities of leadership, or don’t know how to be great leaders?

Clive Thompson on the Death of the Phone Call

Jul 30, 2010

We’re moving, in other words, toward a fascinating cultural transition: the death of the telephone call. This shift is particularly stark among the young. Some college students I know go days without talking into their smartphones at all. I was recently hanging out with a twentysomething entrepreneur who fumbled around for 30 seconds trying to find the option that actually let him dial someone.

Will Digital Culture Ever Invent a Homer Simpson?

Jul 30, 2010

Will we ever create our own Homer? I am not being argumentative. This is an open question. The answer could be "soon" or it could be "never," and I'll be happy. However we answer this question, we will have improved our anthropological understanding of contemporary culture.

Barkley vs. Jordan: Who's the Brand Champ?

Jul 30, 2010

Certain celebrity endorsements have the Midas touch and Barkley is a sterling example, despite a checkered past including gambling issues and a DUI conviction. His over-the-top persona has made Barkley a magnet for brands — compared, say, with NBA legend (and Hanes spokesman) Michael Jordan.

The World's Most Valuable Brands

Kurt Badenhausen
Jul 29, 2010

To identify the world's most valuable brands we looked at more than 100 with leadership positions in their respective industries. Forbes evaluated these brands along with Jeffrey Parkhurst, managing director of business strategy at Mindshare, a WPP-owned media agency. We required that brands have at least some presence in the United States, because if a brand is to be considered global, it needs to be a player in the United States.

'DriverVille' To Help Launch '11 Mazda 2

Jul 29, 2010

Mazda is taking to social media to launch the 2011 Mazda 2. A branded game on Facebook, "DriverVille," is a virtual, multiplayer game where players get customizable "Your Inner Driver" avatars and use them to drive virtual cars to win Driver Bucks for virtual products and real weekly sweepstakes prizes.

Brand Building, Beyond Marketing

Nicholas Ind and Majken Schultz
Jul 28, 2010

Not so long ago, brands were in the limelight. They were seemingly powerful, and virtuous. Any inconvenient truths were hidden by glossy packaging and one-way, big-bang marketing campaigns. Now, as organizations become ever more transparent, people can see behind the marketing facade and are questioning what they are told.

BTS: Social Media, Mobile, Department Stores

Jul 28, 2010

Not only will consumers finally be spending more on back-to-school shopping this year, they'll be doing it in decidedly different ways. A new back-to-school survey from Deloitte reports that 28% of consumers plan to spend more this year than they did last year, and only 17% plan to spend less.

Forrester: Why Most Marketers Should Forgo Foursquare

Kunur Patel
Jul 27, 2010

In a study out today, Forrester finds that only 4% of U.S. online adults have ever used location-based mobile apps such as Foursquare, Gowalla and Loopt. Only 1% update these services more than once per week. What's more, 84% of respondents said they are not familiar with such apps, leaving the vast majority of Americans online still in the dark about location-based apps, which have had the marketing world obsessing over them in recent months.

The Irony Of Digital Technology

Jul 27, 2010

More than an analog vs. digital debate (we doubt anyone will trade their smartphone for one of the earliest brick-sized mobile phones), it may simply be driven by a desire to recreate the feeling of a memory, vs. such a perfect, shiningly new image. Will that yearning replace the desire for the highest technical features? We doubt it.

Understanding the Digital Natives

Frederic Filloux
Jul 26, 2010

They see life as a game. They enjoy nothing more than outsmarting the system. They don’t trust politicians, medias, nor brands. They see corporations as inefficient and plagued by an outmoded hierarchy. Even if they harbor little hope of doing better than their parents, they don’t see themselves as unhappy. They belong to a group — several, actually — they trust and rely upon. “They”, are the Digital Natives.

The Future is Another Country

The Economist
Jul 26, 2010

A couple of months or so after becoming Britain’s prime minister, David Cameron wanted a few tips from somebody who could tell him how it felt to be responsible for, and accountable to, many millions of people: people who expected things from him, even though in most cases he would never shake their hands. He turned not to a fellow head of government but to…Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and boss of Facebook, the phenomenally successful social network.

Can Relentless LeBron James Coverage Sell a New National Sports Magazine?

Jul 26, 2010

The Miami-based founders of The Source and Hip Hop Weekly are betting that LeBron James and his new team, the Miami Heat, will be so popular nationally that 20 or more pages of Heat coverage every issue will attract readers from all over the country.

Food Companies Pitch Healthy Offerings, Opinions

Ken Bruno
Jul 23, 2010

Everyone knows they should eat fruits and vegetables. Few people hear it from fast-food companies and snack purveyors. That is changing as companies that make foods rich in fat and salt aggressively market healthier options.

It's GAME ON For Generation Y!

Jul 23, 2010

"Farmville now outpaces Twitter." "One in four people plays social games online." "More than $1.8 billion worth of virtual goods has been sold in virtual worlds." These are just some of the headlines we see today about the popularity of online gaming, but what does this all mean for Gen Y and for brands?

Social Media Draws a Crowd

Suzanne Vranica
Jul 19, 2010

As more and more advertising dollars flow into social media, some Madison Avenue firms are seeking to grab a piece of the action. But it will be a tough fight as the space is overrun with companies seeking to own the segment, from start-ups to public-relations firms. "You can't walk out your house without bumping into a social-media expert today, says Sean Corcoran, an analyst at Forrester Research. "The reality is the space is still very much a Wild West."

How Social Media Drives New Business: Six Case Studies

Jul 19, 2010

Businesses both big and small are flocking to social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Foursquare. The fact is that a presence on these platforms not only allows companies to engage in conversations with consumers, but also serves as an outlet to drive sales through deals and coupons. And while major brands like Starbucks, Virgin, and Levi’s have been participating in the social web for some time now, the rate of adoption among small businesses is increasing too.

Excitement Or Peacefulness?

Jul 19, 2010

I don't have to tell you about the incredible marketing opportunity that is the 45-65 consumer in America today. You know those numbers inside and out. And therein lies the problem. Yes, the numbers are great. In fact, the numbers are amazing and incredible and stupendous and shocking and undeniable. So what.

The New Rich: What Success And Wealth Mean To Consumers In 2010

Andrew Benett and Ann O'Reilly
Jul 16, 2010

All year long Forbes comes out with lists of the world's richest people--the youngest billionaires, the most eligible billionaires, the richest women, the wealthiest families on each continent. People find it fascinating to track the waning and waxing of personal wealth, watching as perennial front-runners Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are eclipsed by a Mexican telecom titan and chased by various silver-spoon princes of Asia and the Middle East. To be among the world's wealthiest is the stuff of many a daydream. And yet our communal vision of what it means to be "rich" is changing.

Corporate Blogging: 8 Tips to Consider

Jul 16, 2010

A corporate blog is one tool in a strategic mix of communications media that a company can use to reach and interact with its customers and prospects. It can be an excellent communication and recruitment tool when created with a clear voice and a consistent content schedule. But before you sign up, here are eight tips to consider.

Facebook Preparing To Announce 500 Million Users

Jul 16, 2010

Facebook is about to announce that they’ve hit 500 million users — a milestone that cements (as if it hadn’t already) the site’s status as one of the web’s biggest successes ever.

Abbreviated Meaning

Jonathan Salem Baskin
Jul 15, 2010

When did brevity become a synonym for clarity or truth? For most of human history, it was the exact opposite. What was brief was least important, as usually the format of a statement dictated the attention it deserved. Shortness was equated with incompleteness, which meant that things communicated quickly were more suspect and were considered less trustworthy (a rapid-fire sales pitch or the unknown threat of someone "of few words" being two examples). The common bias was that brevity could be the same as stupidity.

The Four Pillars Of Viral Videos

Jul 15, 2010

Have you ever watched a video on YouTube and wondered how it could have gained more than 1,000,000 views? Many brands ask themselves the same question: How can we generate the same kind of viral video success as the baby dancing to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” or the wedding party entrance dance that crazed the nation? Brands should mimic everyday people that have had success in viral video—yet construct and disseminate videos in a way that does not lose sight of the fact their purpose is twofold: to entertain and spread a marketing message.

Social Media Buzz. Advantage: Old Spice

Jul 14, 2010

The Cannes Film Grand Prix-winning Old Spice campaign has evolved over the last 24 hours to dominate discussion in social media, in what is sure to become the ‘case study du jour’ for the foreseeable future. Yesterday, however, the marketing campaign took a different turn and really got ‘social media right’. It’s been updated and sees Isaiah Mustafa respond directly to YouTube comments, Tweets, Yahoo! Answers and blog posts about him in 117 publicly available, timely and pesonalised video messages. So what are the results? It’s still early to tell, but a few things are apparent.

Online Video Ad Segment Poised to Explode

Jul 14, 2010

The online video advertising market is poised for rapid growth over the next few years, according to eMarketer. The research firm estimates online video advertising spending will grow more than 48 percent this year, reaching $1.5 billion. By 2014, it expects the video ad market will top $5.5 billion.

Top Execs Dish About Social Media Strategies

Jul 14, 2010

What do senior management executives at CPG companies and retailers think about corporate social media strategies? Top executives were probed on this topic, along with many others, as part of the research for a just-released 2010 Grocery Manufacturers Association/PricewaterhouseCoopers financial performance report -- and the insights gleaned are more specific and practical than marketers might imagine.

How To Create a Customer Advocacy Program

Jeremiah Owyang
Jul 13, 2010

While marketers traditionally were the direct channel and voice to the customer, creating direct mail, advertising and corporate press releases. CMOs today must develop advocacy programs in order to scale, increase credibility and demonstrate commitment to customers. In doing so, marketers will develop a low-cost trusted unpaid army of customer advocates.

A New Tool for Understanding Sustainability Drivers

Jul 13, 2010

I like to step back periodically and look at why companies need to go green. Besides the inherent business logic of creating value by getting leaner or innovating to solve customer problems, what are the forces propelling this movement? Understanding this explicitly can help companies think about solutions systematically.

Gooooaaaal! Marketing Lessons After The Hype

Jul 13, 2010

All across the planet, entire nations were gripped by every moment of the FIFA World Cup, while here in the States another early exit by the U.S. side virtually guaranteed four more years of American indifference toward the sport of soccer. But even the most ardent soccer novice can admire the sports marketing successes of this global spectacle. So here are five World Cup lessons you might consider incorporating into your own marketing efforts.

The Most Imaginative CSR Ad Campaigns

Victoria Taylor
Jul 12, 2010

Corporate social responsibility, or CSR, means companies aligning their values with a greater good and taking action to have a positive effect. They often do so through "cause marketing," joining forces with nonprofit organizations and focusing ad campaigns on those philanthropic relationships. Why are more companies than ever flaunting their good works this way? Partly, experts say, because they realize that their employees want to be part of a business that does more than just make money.

A Sharp Focus on Design When the Package Is Part of the Product

Andrew Adam Newman
Jul 9, 2010

Now Kleenex, the brand that invented facial tissues 86 years ago, is hoping to bolster summer sales with packages that resemble wedges of fruit and look more at home on a picnic table than a bedside table. The A-frame packages, featuring fruits like watermelon, orange and lime, were available only at Target last summer, and are being sold at all major retailers this summer.

How Social Media Has Radically Altered Advertising

Hank Wasiak
Jul 8, 2010

Social Media started out as a bit of a novelty — a playground for the “geekerati.” But it has taken hold as a game changing force that will reshape advertising at its very core. It’s time to move past debates about traditional media co-existing with social media. Madison Avenue should see social media as a wonderful, if not disruptive, gift. It should run hard to catch up with the consumer, let go of legacy business models and build something better.

The Consumer As Waldo: Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook Care Where You Are; Do You?

Jul 8, 2010

Let's step back a moment and just admit it: Location is interesting when it's interesting ... but usually it's not. Sorry, Twitter, but the vast majority of people tweeting about the World Cup weren't actually in the stadium.

Chipotle Ad Campaign Gets Meta

Jul 8, 2010

In the second meta fast food campaign to launch this week, Chipotle Mexican Grill is running ads explaining why it isn’t running the usual fast food ads.

Matrix: Challenges of the Social Technology Industry, July 2010 Edition

Jul 8, 2010

While the opportunities for social technologies to change the world, business, and our individual lives continue to unveil, it’s also key to focus in on the challenges that impact the industry. For many folks who have decided to invest in social technologies to improve their careers and business, it’s even more important to pay attention to these challenges.

Preparing A Social Readiness Gameplan In Seven Steps

Jul 8, 2010

Are organizations really preparing themselves for a day where engaging in public will become more mainstream, ubiquitous and even expected? In other words, will the organization truly be “social” when they need it most? To help answer this question, I’m going to list a few core “plays” that your organization should be incorporating into their gameplan if they truly want to move toward making their business more “social”.

Innovation Insanity

Trend Briefing July 2010
Jul 7, 2010

There will never be a shortage of smart new ventures, brands, goods and services that deliver on consumers’ wants and needs. In fact, with the entire world now engaged in creative destruction, INNOVATION INSANITY is upon us. So yes, the dozens of innovations we’ve rounded up for this briefing, courtesy of our sister-site Springwise, are just the tip of the iceberg. Invent, improve, copy… or perish.

Agile Advertising and the Four Feedback Loops

Jul 7, 2010

Burt’s presentation at Cannes elaborated on their experiences working with some of the world’s top agencies to change how they make and measure large scale, digital advertising – and how drastic improvements in ad effectiveness can be achieved using existing, proven technologies.

Declare Independence From Social Media Silliness

Jul 7, 2010

Having established his bona fides as social media pioneer, let me now call upon the ever-humble B. Franklin to offer us instruction on how modern-day marketing patriots can declare their independence from social media silliness. And while this piece is no Poor Richard's Almanac, it will approach the topic at hand with a similar clarity of purpose and simplicity in language.

Designer Diapers Boost Bottom Line

Jul 1, 2010

Huggies' summer 2010 denim diapers appear to have sparked a trend. Just when we thought we'd seen designer everything in Target stores, the retail chain has managed to score what may be its most creative designer tie-in yet. By the middle of this month, Target stores and Target.com will begin selling the first designer diaper from Pampers.

Food Brands Get Sociable on Facebook and Twitter

Stuart Elliot
Jul 1, 2010

The number of advertisers with presences in the social media like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are increasing faster than the lines at the supermarket when the values of the cents-off coupons are being tripled. Now, two familiar brands of baked goods sold by Kraft Foods are stepping up their marketing efforts in social media.

Wash Away Bad Hair Days

Jun 30, 2010

Believing better data leads to happier shoppers, Procter & Gamble Co. recently mobilized its market researchers to scientifically define those infinitely varied unhappy days when a woman's hair has gone rogue. They are the dreaded bad hair days, and P&G has put them at the center of a massive research and advertising effort aimed at winning back women to Pantene shampoos and conditioners. At stake are millions of dollars in sales lost during the recession, when consumers cut back discretionary spending and economized on things like hair products.

Is The Hispanic Market Right For Your Brand?

Federico Murara
Jun 30, 2010

Did you know that the US is the world’s second-largest Spanish-speaking country? It’s true. In fact, there are 46.3 million Hispanics in the US today, and 20 million of them use the internet. Are you targeting the Hispanic market with search? If not, perhaps it’s time you considered doing so.

How Branding Can Lead To Healthier Architecture

Aziz Ali
Jun 30, 2010

PSFK sat down with Anna Klingmann for a conversation covering trends in architecture as they pertain to sustainability and health. Her agency, Klingmann, specializes in a niche area where architecture meets branding. Although not all applications of branding will bring about improved communities and healthier living/working spaces, Klingmann’s work clearly demonstrates the importance of branding in nurturing a sense of belonging.

Hulu Invites Viewers to Pay For More, and Portable, TV

Jun 30, 2010

Hulu LLC announced a new paid subscription service for watching TV shows on computers, mobile devices and televisions, potentially creating a battle with cable-television operators that are planning similar services. Called Hulu Plus, the offering will initially be available only to invited subscribers for $9.99 a month. The paid service comes on top of the TV episodes that remain free to watch on Hulu.com.

Store Labels Outperforming National Brands

Jun 30, 2010

Look out, national brands: Private-label sales are gaining on you in ways you'd never imagined. Thanks to high-quality generics from such chains as Target, Safeway, Kroger and Whole Foods Markets, SymphonyIRI reports that consumers are increasingly likely to buy these store brands -- and the more categories they dabble in, the more likely they are to be satisfied.

Matrix: Brand Monitoring, Social Analytics, Social Insights

Jun 29, 2010

Social data is overwhelming. More customers, buyers, and consumers are creating content everywhere they go. Companies cannot scale to match this in a 1:1 basis, and most companies are in early phases of the 8 Stages of Listening. Earlier this year, I made clear investments in researching the Social CRM space and Mobile+Social space, it’s clear that Social CRM is starting to get wind under it’s wings, and mobile/social is certainly happening at consumer level. So what do I see happening next?

The Ad Cannes Job

Jonathan Salem Baskin
Jun 29, 2010

An annual orgasm of self-love -- remember, the awards aren't voted by clients or consumers -- suggests to me that the advertising industry is still unable to talk to itself about what's happening. Creative ain't what it used to be. Actually, it never was. For the entirety of human history, advertising was a vehicle to get people to buy things. Creativity was important as long as it was applied to this goal; even corporate ads from the late 1800s had a direct link to a sales strategy.

My Big-Bang Change Theory

Jun 28, 2010

Business is moving fast and furious -- which is great, but I keep hearing and reading about two general overarching themes that are going to collide and change how we manage our business. We are globally climbing out of a recession and now budgets are returning. This growth is in stark contrast to a lot of other industries, which we should all be thankful for, but this growth creates opportunities and is theme one. According to MAGNAGLOBAL, paid search leads global online advertising, representing "49% of total revenues," a trend that could continue for the next five years. Beyond search, MAGNAGLOBAL claims "online advertising [overall] will rise by 12.4% in constant currency terms during 2010, to $61.0 billion dollars globally.

A Look at Who's Getting What on Apple's IAds

Michael Learmonth and Kunur Patel
Jun 28, 2010

The first of Apple's iAds are expected to start popping up on iPhones later this week, but don't expect all the marketers that have committed to the platform to be there. A check-in with declared iAd advertisers found that many are still in the early stages of flushing out concepts and creative. Some are weeks -- perhaps months -- away from having an iAd in the system. What are the i-advertisers up to? Here's a look at some of those willing to share.

Six Steps To Becoming A Social Brand

Jun 25, 2010

We recently published "Evolve: Outlook Report 2010," our annual report on major trends and opportunities in marketing. It covers everything from looking backwards (media spends and trends from 2009) to how we see using agile development as a way to drive critical innovation. Considering all of the attention in the health and wellness space around social, I thought I'd share some thoughts we have around how to become a social brand.

Coke Sees ‘Phenomenal’ Result From Twitter Ads

Jun 25, 2010

Coca-Cola saw “phenomenal” results from its first experiment with paid advertising on Twitter, the drinks company’s digital marketing chief told the Financial Times. The US soft drinks company is only the second brand to sponsor a “trending topic”, using Twitter’s “promoted tweets” to tap into online discussion about the World Cup this week.

Watch Out: Apple May Aim To Reshape Online Advertising

Steve Rubel
Jun 24, 2010

Apple, without a doubt, is creating a massive sea change in how we interact with digital content. Note that I didn't say "the Web." This is because the millions of iPad and iPhone users spend more time within Apple's walled garden of apps rather than in a browser. However, there's a potential dark side to the millions of Apple devices being sold and it should give every marketer pause.

Dispelling Four Top Corporate Myths About Social Media

Jun 24, 2010

As it becomes clear (at last!) that message control is dead, corporations in every industry are scrambling to learn about social media so they can incorporate it into their marketing mix. Fear and misconception abound. Here are the top four issues companies cite, debunked.

The Reality of Social Media

Adrian Chan
Jun 23, 2010

I will try to demonstrate here the manner in which social acts and communication result in mediated social realities. And suggest that the relational connections and value-added associations which are the byproduct of social media use create a marketplace of content whose highest value, individually motivated subjective choices, we are only beginning to capture and mine.

Apple to Brands: C'mon Get Appy

Jun 23, 2010

Apple promotes developers behind apps for Disney, Pandora, games and other content on its just-released iPhone iOS 4 and still-hot iPad (3 million sold in 80 days) devices. With Conde Nast today announcing that its shuttered Gourmet magazine is being revived as a digital-only brand, Gourmet Live, optimized for the iPad, will other old-school media brands skip the Web to head straight to the iPad?

Getting Dad to Do Diaper (Buying) Duty

Jun 23, 2010

Fathers are changing more diapers than ever, but you would never guess that while walking down the diaper aisle, where packages feature mothers but never fathers. Now Pampers, the Procter & Gamble brand, while not planning to advertise on ESPN anytime soon, is taking baby steps toward fathers.

Cute, Cuddly and Commercial

Tim Bradshaw
Jun 22, 2010

Aleksandr is one of the more prominent examples of the trend for animated characters or puppets to act as brand ambassadors. US consumers have long been charmed by the frogs that feature in Budweiser’s advertising or the cockney gecko that stars in Geico’s campaigns. Meanwhile, Domo, the saw-toothed mascot for Japanese broadcaster NHK, has gone on to appear in video games and comics, and spread virally online. But the proliferation and popularity of these creations and the merchandising they have spawned raises questions for both brand owners and advertising agencies hoping to capitalise on the value of the intellectual property.

Social Content

Jun 22, 2010

The best kind of content you can have is a combination of what you organize -- mostly by building the context and providing something for people to do and a system to capture what they do and play it back for them -- and what people contribute in comments, reactions, posts, etc. Football is a social object. It also generates a good amount of content, on both sides of the conversation, and builds buzz in the process.

For CMOs of the Future, Agility Is Key to Success

Jun 21, 2010

Once, chief marketing officers built brands. Now, their primary duty is communicating what the brand means for the financial well-being of the firm -- and they are going to need to be increasingly skilled at that going forward. Marketers of the future "are going to have to speak the language of the rest of the organization," said David Reibstein, professor of marketing at the Wharton School.

Why Twitter's New Ads are Ingenious

Pete Cashmore
Jun 18, 2010

Twitter this week began testing a new type of advertising: "Promoted Trends." Under the new system, brands can pay to appear below the "Trending Topics," the most talked-about terms on Twitter at any given moment. The idea is, in a word, ingenious -- the perfect way to generate revenue from the popular social network without infuriating users.

Why Facebook Can’t Genuinely Connect People

Jun 18, 2010

With all the news about Facebook’s never-ending privacy problems and the exodus of angry users, has the real story been overlooked? Specifically, is Facebook limiting people’s ability to actually, well, connect?

How Much Is a Facebook Fan Really Worth?

Jun 17, 2010

Of course it's in Facebook's best interest to show that people who are fans spend more money. Without that, why would companies buy ads on Facebook? I just think we should think about why people become fans of a brand on Facebook. They already have an interest and desire to be more involved in the brand. They may be looking for deals or looking to contact other people who are interested in the brand. But they're already a fan. I wonder if anyone is asking what they spent on the brand before they became a fan on Facebook. That would at least give some indication as to whether or not Facebook is influencing purchasing or simply the by-product of people who are already fans.

Scent Branding Sweeps the Fragrance Industry

Jun 17, 2010

"The question is: How do you evoke a certain feeling without imposing on people in any way?" The fragrance industry thinks it has the answer. Jovanovic and Gaurin, who are responsible for luxury colognes and perfumes such as Tom Ford Black Violet and Giorgio Armani Onde Extase, are leading the latest fragrance business craze, a form of sensory branding known as "ambient scenting."

Forrester Projects Tablets Will Outsell Netbooks By 2012, Desktops By 2013

Jun 17, 2010

The tablet era has just begun, but Forrester Research is already predicting tablet sales in the U.S. will overtake netbook sales by 2012, and desktop sales by 2015. At the Untetheredconference today in New York City, Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps laid out her projections comparing tablet sales to netbooks, laptops, and desktops. She expects 3.5 million tablets (including the iPad and other tablets) to be sold this year, growing to 20.4 million in 2015. Meanwhile, she expects desktop sales to drop from 18.7 million units in 2010 to 15.7 million units in 2015.

Arby’s Heads For The Aisles

Jun 16, 2010

Supermarkets are the last refuge for an increasing number of distressed quick-serve brands. Arby’s is the latest example of the trend toward putting restaurant-branded products in the grocery aisle. The struggling Atlanta-based fast feeder, part of the Wendy’s Arby’s Group, said that it had reached a deal with Nancy Bailey & Associates, an Atlanta-based marketing firm, to begin fielding offers to sell packaged Arby’s items on supermarket shelves. Nancy Bailey is a well-regarded licensing go-between that, for example, does lots of business with Procter & Gamble.

American Airlines' Your Choice Fee Lets Fliers Board Early

Jun 16, 2010

American Airlines will now let you board early — for a price. Paying to move up in line is the latest round in a trend that has airlines charging for everything from checking bags to switching flights to generate revenue. American's new "Your Choice" fee package allows travelers in the continental U.S. to pay, depending on the length of the flight, from $9 to $19 each way to board right after premium-status passengers. Travelers with young children or who have special needs will still be able to talk to gate agents and pre-board.

Brands x Consumers

Jun 16, 2010

Brands should pay attention to Collaborative Consumption, a movement promoting a cultural shift towards “sharing, bartering, lending, trading, renting, gifting, and swapping.” Brands are already incorporating “peer-to-peer” exchange, from established sites such as eBay and Craigslist, to rising brands such as Zopa, Swaptree, and Zipcar. People are changing what and how they consume goods and services, largely enabled by online and wireless technology.

AT&T, Apple Struggle to Handle iPhone Orders

Jun 16, 2010

AT&T Inc.'s website, unable to handle the demand for Apple Inc.'s new iPhone on Tuesday, had difficulty processing orders and in certain instances appeared to reveal subscribers' personal information to strangers. Although the scope of the problem and its underlying cause couldn't immediately be learned, some AT&T customers, who were logged into AT&T's website as themselves ended up in other users' accounts.

Ford Report Records Sustainability Measures

Jun 16, 2010

It's not exactly about cars, but Ford Motor's latest Sustainability Report might matter to people who are rethinking not just the products they use but the companies that make them, perhaps more so now in light of the crisis in the Gulf of Mexico.

Future Rosy For Online Entertainment, Media

Jun 16, 2010

People worldwide will be looking toward digital technology -- particularly that which uses the Internet -- to serve their entertainment and media needs, proving once again the future is indeed digital. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers' most recent "Global Entertainment and Media Outlook," expenditures in those categories are expected to increase to $1.7 trillion from by 2014 (from $1.3 trillion), with a compound annual growth rate of 5%. In the U.S., such expenditures will increase about 4% annually to $517 billion by 2014 (from $425 billion).

Getting the Ear of an Influential

Jun 16, 2010

To influence these key consumers, it's critical for marketers to develop a better understanding of their media consumption patterns. GfK MRI provides rich data on "category influentials" -- people who have a great deal of knowledge about a product and are trusted sources for advice. When analyzing their media habits, an interesting pattern emerges -- influentials tend to be heavy users of radio.

Dwindling Brand Creativity Narrows Cannes Film Predictions

Jun 15, 2010

How many favorite spots can you name from the past year? Exactly. Brand creativity has felt a bit like a zero sum game lately. As marketers and agencies have devoted more creative energy to digital and digitally spirited work, the creativity pool focused on commercials has seemed commensurately drained.

Advertising Spending Will Grow, Report Says, But Not Until 2011

Jun 15, 2010

Advertising spending in the United States will not begin to grow again until next year, according to an annual forecast from PricewaterhouseCoopers. The 11th annual entertainment and media outlook report, to be released on Tuesday morning, predicts that ad spending will fall 0.5 percent this year compared with last year.

A World of Inspirational Problem-Solving, Savvy Brands and Smart Marketing

Ann Marie Kerwin
Jun 14, 2010

They are among the World's Hottest Brands, an Ad Age Insights global report that tells the stories of 30 brands succeeding on a global, regional and local level. The goal was not to create a list of the largest global marketers or rank the brands that contribute the most to their company's market value -- plenty of others tackle those lofty questions. Rather, we sought to chronicle the brands percolating at the local and regional level; sometimes great marketing lessons can happen in your backyard, sometimes halfway around the world.

Real-Time World Cup

Jun 14, 2010

The World Cup has long been a social experience for fans around the world who cheer their teams on at games, bars and other public gatherings. This year, brands are betting on a different kind of social to connect with fans in ways unimaginable just four years ago, when the last Word Cup was held. Coca-Cola, Nike and Anheuser-Busch are just some of the brands that have made YouTube an important component of their World Cup ad campaigns. Others, like Visa, have added Facebook to their efforts, while still others, including Microsoft, are tapping into the still-emerging field of location-based services.

World Cup 2010: A Social Media Gooooooal!

Jun 11, 2010

The world’s most widely viewed sporting event, FIFA World Cup 2010, begins today. And for the first time ever, the World Cup is playing in the digital age. During the last World Cup, social media was barely kicking: Twitter hit the field on July 2006; Facebook wasn’t public until September 2006. In 2010, it’s a whole new World Cup.

In Global Deal, Unilever Readies First Dove Work on IAd

Jack Neff
Jun 11, 2010

Unilever may be a global marketer, but it hasn't been able to do many truly global ad deals -- at least not until its multimillion-dollar deal with Apple to be the consumer goods "presenting advertiser" on the new iAd platform was announced June 7. For Unilever, the deal aims at tapping the two biggest, and largely interdependent, trends it sees shaping marketing: globalization and mobile digital media.

Coke and Pepsi Add Social Fizz

Jun 11, 2010

Coca-Cola and arch-rival Pepsi are very much on the same page these days — and that page is all about social media. As we've noted, Pepsi has been tapping consumers for ideas via such social engagement programs as DEWmocracy and the Pepsi Refresh Project. Pepsi Loot is its latest social and digital experiment, this time with a Foursquare-powered app to lure music fans with free songs in exchange for checking into establishments that serve Pepsi. PepsiCo's SVP and chief engagement officer, Frank Cooper, feels a company can truly innovate when it decides to "harness the power of your consumer base and allow them to lead in brand decision making." That's where Coke is headed as well.

The Overlooked Power of Category Names

Jun 10, 2010

Every brand has two names: a brand name and a category name. It's not just Kleenex, it's Kleenex tissue. Too many marketing people take the category name as a "given." All of their efforts are spent on promoting the brand, not the category name. Yet over time, the category name can be an extremely important element in the success of a brand.

An Advertising Reformation?

Jonathan Salem Baskin
Jun 10, 2010

I may be looking too hard for hopeful signs but I think we may be at the threshold of a reformation in advertising, which will mean larger changes in the communications world overall. Here are two of them and why I think they’re important (and somewhat related).

Media Brands Practice What They Preach

Jun 10, 2010

Many media properties have started to license their own brands in addition to their programs and franchises. This trend has been gaining traction over the past several years as media companies have come to the realization that consumers can and do associate their favorite TV and magazine brands with certain lifestyle or product categories.

More Men Getting Iced Every Day, Smirnoff Claims It Has Nothing To Do With Their Naming And Branding

Jun 9, 2010

Yesterday The New York Times picked up on the new drinking game called "icing." It's full name is "Bros Icing Bros." You can read the rules for yourself, suffice to say that this is a game aimed at the college age demographic and requires players to drink copious amounts of Smirnoff Ice, hence the name "icing." This game has spread out of the frat house to the world of Goldman Sachs and elsewhere. The word "Bros" and "Bro" has been given new life by this game.

A Sense of Place, A World of Augmented Reality

Mitchell Schwarzer
Jun 9, 2010

In the third millennium it’s getting harder than ever to stay in place. Who hasn’t seen a driver almost crash while talking on a cell phone? Who hasn’t noticed children in a park staring down at a game-boy instead of romping about? Who hasn’t been to a dinner party and caught someone sneaking a glance at his handheld under the table and sending a tweet about the first course before even finishing it? Each week, it seems, industry comes up with new gadgets that help us to jump out of our bodies and flash out there to everything under the sun that can be encoded by electrical signals, pulses of light and binary values. Few of these digital experiences would have registered before the 21st century and some have become widespread only in the past few years. We’re in the first stage of a transformation of our sense of place as momentous as that which occurred a couple of centuries ago, when products from smoke-stacked factories forged modern society.

Mass Mingling

Trend Briefing June 2010
Jun 9, 2010

Long gone are the days when 'online' was synonymous with social isolation and loneliness. In fact, we're now witnessing the exact opposite: technology is driving people to connect and meet up en masse with others, in the 'real world'. It makes for an interesting, easily-digested trend, begging to be turned into new services for your customers.

Time For New Market Research Paradigm?

Karlene Lukovitz
Jun 9, 2010

While the Internet and social media are a potential boon to market researchers, they've also raised concerns and ongoing debate about methodology and the ability to project results. Now, one social media-based research firm is charging into the fray with a report that maintains that today's empowered consumers and marketers' need for faster, actionable insights requires an approach that combines the strengths of newer, "humanistic" approaches with those of traditional, experimentally-based research.

Is Human Media the Next Frontier? A Chinese Case Study

Jun 8, 2010

By now, we all know that we live in a world in which word-of-mouth rules. The recommendation of a friend or family member outweighs anything a brand may have to say for itself. As a result, marketers from around the world are racing to measure the degree in which their customers, and the market at large, is likely to recommend them. And, more importantly, what they should do to be more liked in the social media space that is called my kitchen.

Brand Owners Must Respond To "Megatrends"

Jun 4, 2010

Brand owners looking to drive long-term growth must respond to a range of "megatrends" from the explosion of digital media to the rise of competitors in emerging markets, a study has argued. The Boston Consulting Group has been tracking 78 "megatrends" since 2005, and argued the firms that react most effectively to these shifts will be best placed to increase sales going forward.

Group Buying: Should Small Businesses Jump In?

Jun 4, 2010

A new “group buying” trend is emerging on the web, in which consumers effectively band together to get better deals or discounts when purchasing products and services. One of the flagship group buying web services, GroupOn, was recently valued at over $1 billion — providing a sense of just how big this sector could become. Other services like LivingSocial have raised significant funding. A fleet of other competitors are cropping up as well, from Tippr to Lifebooker and a number of smaller localized deal sites. Although still technically in its early stages, group buying is poised to become one of the bigger trends to emerge in 2010.

What Generation Gap?

Gregg Lipman
Jun 4, 2010

Will the idea of a "generation gap" eventually atrophy into obsolescence? We see this not only in the video-game world, but also in other brands: moms and daughters with matching Ugg boots, Juicy Couture sweatsuits, Abercrombie hoodies and Coach handbags. Fathers and sons comparing fantasy football rankings on matching iPhones or killing precious productivity hours on YouTube. Teachers and students sipping from matching Starbucks latte cups or ordering the same items from Pinkberry. Moms and daughters rooting feverishly for their favorite "American Idol" contestants or shaking their heads in utter disgust at the shameless and hygienically dubious conduct of the latest batch of "The Real World" participants.

But You're Not Saying Anything

Jun 4, 2010

And this is the problem with just about every lame speech, every overlooked memo, every worthless bit of boilerplate foisted on the world: you write and write and talk and talk and bullet and bullet but no, you're not really saying anything.

Too Many Brands Make Hollow Claims

Brad VanAuken
Jun 2, 2010

Is quality important? Yes. Is Innovation important? Absolutely. Is service important? Of course. Is it desirable to be the industry leader? Sure. However, in more and more categories, as I perform brand audits, I find that large numbers of companies in many categories make these claims, so much so that the claims have become hollow.

Is Digital Revolution Driving Decline in U.S. Car Culture?

Jun 2, 2010

The internet has wreaked havoc on the music industry, airlines and media, but it just may be doing the same thing to automobiles. It's a rarely acknowledged transformational shift that's been going on under the noses of marketers for as long as 15 years: The automobile, once a rite of passage for American youth, is becoming less relevant to a growing number of people under 30. And that could have broad implications for marketers in industries far beyond insurance, gasoline and retail.

Silly Bandz: Could The Perfect Toy Save America?

Jun 1, 2010

They are for boys or girls, you wear them on your wrist or elsewhere and just about every kid has to have an arm full of them, prompting many schools to ban them. Welcome to the world of Silly Bandz. Like most toy sensations to hit the market, there are no shortage of gushing morning shows, and idolatry newspaper articles declaring the little silicone/rubber bands in various shapes the must have kids toy of the moment. Stores sell out in hours and brands are getting in on the action by creating licensed versions of these bands. Though this probably fits the textbook definition of what any marketer would call a fad - it does stand apart from many other toy fads for a few key reasons that might just make this one of the most interesting product marketing examples to come along in several years. Before you dismiss this as just another blog post jumping on the bandwagon (um, pun intended), here are a few reasons I think this fad may be worth a deeper look.

Bring on Digital: Why I No Longer Consider Myself a Traditionalist

Jun 1, 2010

Ah, digital. By now, we've supposedly all embraced it -- that vast frontier of untapped potential to interact in new, ever-more creative ways with the consumerscape. And yet, as I walked up to the entrance to my first Interactive One Show, I couldn't help viewing my agency-paid ticket as much of an obligation as I viewed the digital medium itself.

Brands' Mass Appeal

Brian Morrissey
Jun 1, 2010

Judy Hu, GE's global director of advertising and branding, on stage at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference last week, discussed a new effort by GE to crowdsource ideas for how to "avoid the lame and embrace the awesome" in digital media. Over the next four days, GE collected 60 suggestions, ranging from ideas for ad campaigns to product concepts. The effort is the latest example of a worldwide brand testing the crowdsourcing waters. The move has put the spotlight back on the ongoing debate about the value of such efforts -- including to creators.

Can Social Media Really Be Used for Branding?

Jun 1, 2010

Can social media be used for branding? Or to state the question in an even clearer and more tangible way, "Can a marketer abandon conventional broadcast methods and use social media to build reach and drive brand awareness?" First, let's define the terms "branding" and "social media." Through careless overuse, these fundamental advertising concepts have been deprived of their essential essence.

Online Buzz Doesn’t Equate to Ratings

Jun 1, 2010

The statistic is the modern equivalent of water cooler conversation, and is measured by the number of online interactions posted and read about a given show. Moreover, other shows with substantial online buzz did not have commensurate Nielsen ratings. Only four of the 10 shows in the social media ranking were also in the top 10 for ratings.

BP Branding Satire on a Par With Oil-Slicked BP Brand

Jun 1, 2010

As Brandchannel noted earlier, BP's "oil spill disaster is turning out to be a boon for satirists." Everyone from Deapair.com to Zazzle.com to Greenpeace's (and its "Rebrand BP" competition) have offered (for sale in some cases) their own humorous takes on the BP catastrophe. But just like branding, brand satirization is an art where just the right attributes and subtle design details can make all the difference. With this in mind, Brandchannel took a look at ten satirized BP logos and rated them in terms of effectiveness.

From Linear to Organic

May 28, 2010

I saw Sir Ken Robinson speak last year in London. It was without exception the best talk I've ever been to. Witty, erudite, fun, insightful and hugely compelling. A version of it has just been posted as a TED talk in which Sir Ken asserts the need to move away from an industrial, manufacturing model of education based on linearity, conformity and 'batching' people (sound familiar?), toward a model which is based more on principles of agriculture that sees human flourishing as an organic rather than mechanical process. You cannot predict the outcome of human development, says Sir Ken, all you can do is create the conditions under which it will flourish. Which reminded me of this typically erudite post by JP Rangaswami on the desire for predictability in business. Quoting from The Power of Pull, he lists a number of beliefs and assumptions (what I might call Toxic Assumptions) that make up 'the philosophy of push'. Principles that have been the basis of management and economics thinking for the best part of a century.

We Are The Champions

Brian Solis
May 27, 2010

Social Media marketing is not new nor is it widely established or even understood. However in 2010, it will completely transform the way businesses attract customers and the way consumers find the businesses and services that matter to them. And like that, an overnight landmark, which really is over a decade in the making, will challenge business owners, more so than today, as they now compete for the future, right now. Social Networks are no longer the playgrounds we once perceived. The simple truth is this; social networking is not for just for kids or people with too much free time on their hands.

TV And Web Meet, Marry

Tara Walpert Levy
May 26, 2010

"TV meets Web. Web meets TV." This is the tagline that Internet giant Google has given to its new software-based television platform called Google TV, described as the blending of the best of both TV and Web experiences. Realizing that TV still has the majority of the consumer eyeballs, Google is trying something new by extending its reach in cross-platform content--in this case, bringing Web, gaming, online video, and social media to the set top box and/or television set. According to Google, millions of "channels" of entertainment will now be easily maneuverable, seamless and searchable--in one device. Google has also challenged Web developers to start creating new apps using the Android open-source platform.

Facebook's Culture Problem May Be Fatal

Bruce Nussbaum
May 25, 2010

Facebook's imbroglio over privacy reveals what may be a fatal business model. I know because my students at Parsons The New School For Design tell me so. They live on Facebook and they are furious at it. This was the technology platform they were born into, built their friendships around, and expected to be with them as they grew up, got jobs, and had families. They just assumed Facebook would evolve as their lives shifted from adolescent to adult and their needs changed. Facebook's failure to recognize this culture change deeply threatens its future profits. At the moment, it has an audience that is at war with its advertisers. Not good.

Post-Digital Era Brings Traits of Web to Real World

Teressa Iezzi
May 24, 2010

Today, much of the marketing world has embraced the spirit of the digital age, and perhaps the strongest evidence is that it's doing a lot of work that's not so, well, "digital." The best companies have harnessed the digital mindset and taken the shareable, ongoing, interactive, participatory nature of digital and created brand experiences that matter to people where they ought to -- in their real, everyday lives.

Shiny New Thing

May 24, 2010

It’s easy to get distracted by the Shiny New Thing. It’s particularly easy to get distracted when the going gets tough on your core plan and energy starts to wane. Whether it’s a new technology, a new product, or a new customer, falling in love with the Shiny New Thing can take a team off course. It’s easy to get enthusiastic about the promise of something new than the hard slog of what you’re already doing.

Winning With Boomers Takes Heart

May 24, 2010

At age 46, Tom Lynch is a trailing-edge Boomer. But he has already made an important shift in his life, from focusing on becoming someone to being someone. It's a shift marketers need to understand if they want to effectively connect with today's older Boomer consumer.

Has the iPhone Lost its Cool?

May 24, 2010

Did Google just turn the tables on Apple? Having entered the mobile software market late with its Android offering, Google's initial efforts were a pale imitation of the iPhone OS, a clunky user experience on sub-par handsets. Fast forward to 2010. Suddenly, Google Android is winning over the hearts and minds of technologists and signing up 100,000 converts a day. That raises the question: Is the iPhone losing its sheen?

E-Books Rewrite Bookselling

Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg
May 21, 2010

In the massive new Barnes & Noble superstore on Manhattan's Upper East Side, generous display space is devoted to baby blankets, Art Deco flight clocks, stationery and adult games like Risk and Stratego. The eclectic merchandise, which has nothing to do with books, may be a glimpse into the future of Barnes & Noble Inc., the nation's largest book chain. Electronic books are still in their infancy, comprising an estimated 3% to 5% of the market today. But they are fast accelerating the decline of physical books, forcing retailers, publishers, authors and agents to reinvent their business models or be painfully crippled.

Google TV: What Does It Mean for Advertisers?

Kunur Patel
May 21, 2010

Google opened up an entirely new store of inventory for advertisers today with Google TV, an interactive platform that collapses the wall between TV and internet in the living room. The service, created with hardware partners Sony, Logitech and Intel, will launch this fall on TVs, set-top boxes and Blu-ray players.

Samsung Courts Consumers, Marketers

May 21, 2010

The South Korean company's plans may include pushing interactive advertisements from other companies through Samsung's phones and flat-screen TVs. Ads will likely be built into Samsung's new application store that, similar to Apple's for its iPhone, lets consumers stream content from the Internet to--in Samsung's case--a Web-connected television. Millions of Samsung's ipTV owners now have access to 30 ad-free applications, such as movie-streaming programs Netflix and Blockbuster. By year-end they will be able to tap into more than 100 of them. Then marketers may start doing it, too, piping their own messages into the apps.

Keeping It Real

Matthew Huss
May 20, 2010

In a time of big promises and increasing consumer skepticism, building a strong corporate brand starts with understanding the truth about an organization.

Procter & Gamble Opens Online Store in the US, With Flat Shipping Rates

May 20, 2010

Procter & Gamble, one of the largest consumer goods corporations in North America and beyond, has opened a direct online store for customers in the US. The Internet store, dubbed the eStore, debuts today with a beta tag attached to its name. The eStore is owned and operated by PFSweb and features the breadth of P&G brands, including Tide, Head & Shoulders, Pampers, Swiffer, Gillette and Febreze.

Android's Apple-Smashing a U.S. Phenomenon

May 19, 2010

Lies, damned lies and statistics: You can play games with numbers, and recently the game has been to show Android phones are beating the iPhone in the U.S. Now new data proves that in the rest of the world, Google's still chasing Apple.

Kodak Turns Over a New Leaf

May 19, 2010

Picture this… Kodak is going sustainable. A new logo will now be attached to packaging, marketing and advertising materials to signify environmental products unique to the brand. The logo, featuring a green and yellow leaf, supports its new tagline of “Kodak Cares.” Further proof of the company's commitment to an environmental corporate conscience is Kodak's new sustainability focus, leveraging a growing movement of consumers willing to pay for and support environmentally friendly companies and products.

Togetherville Brings Social Networking to Children

May 19, 2010

Aside from being "against the rules," there are some real problems with younger kids using sites designed for teens and adults. For one thing, signing up requires lying, which is bad in itself. But, as many adults are finding out, knowing how to protect one's privacy on a site like Facebook can be daunting and most young children are not developmentally ready to use these services. There are other issues as well; including how easy it is for kids to cyberbully each other on social-networking sites. Finally, sites like Facebook just don't have the resources for younger children, including the types of videos, games, and experiences that 6- to 10-year-olds find compelling. Enter Togetherville.com, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based company that has built what founder Mandeep Singh Dhillon calls a "neighborhood" aimed at "kids and their grownups."

GM Challenges Ford With Android Integration in the Volt

May 19, 2010

We blog a lot about Ford around here, mostly because they’ve done a stellar job of integrating social media both into their marketing campaigns and into their vehicles. But as of today, there’s a new sheriff in town: Chevrolet. With the Volt, Chevrolet’s new electric vehicle, the company is rolling out an excellent integration with the Android OS and OnStar that will allow for voice-activated features and mobile-to-car communication.

Reality Becoming More Augmented Daily

May 19, 2010

One of the projections many folks had for this year was the growth of mobile applications that could use browsers, cameras, GPS and compass built into the current generation of phones to layer data on the view from a phone’s camera. The so-called augmented reality this produces is something that is amazing to witness and will become standard fare soon.

Traditional Ads Yield Social Traction

Brian Morrissey
May 18, 2010

That social media is a powerful tool for raising awareness is not new news. But its increasing power is leading some advertisers to reconsider how they plan and measure traditional ad campaigns as they increasingly look to so-called earned media impressions as being as important as primary paid media. The promise of what some are calling "free media" is that it's more credible than paid placements, particularly when it comes from consumers speaking to other consumers.

The Reality of Social Media

Adrian Chang
May 17, 2010

The internet changes over time. That the technology has evolved is obvious. But how we use the internet is also changing. So we have two conceptual distinctions — technology and people — that we frequently conflate into one idea of the internet. This post is about teasing apart the objective and subjective dimensions of social media, to examine what’s behind the relational economy we now live in, and its particular mode of production. All commerce and much personal and social utility implied by use of social media owes to the subjective value added to what was, previously, a mode of production of information (publishing).

The Practice of ‘Why?’

May 17, 2010

Marketing is no longer about “spin” or “positioning.” It’s about representing the authentic and unique attributes of a brand. This can’t be done only via broadcast methods in any form, although generic email broadcasts and mass television, radio, and print advertising can still provide good air cover for your targeted marketing activities. The only way to have any sort of priority or sanity in this new era of marketing is to adopt the Practice of “Why?” It’s a great way to set priorities and distinqish between noise and conversation. It’s a new mantle, patterned after the insatiable curiosity and indefatigable energy of a three-year-old.

Bleep or No Bleep, Bolder Words Blow In

May 14, 2010

How much more frank is the language used in everyday advertising getting? Look, or listen, no further than a print, online and radio campaign for that most prosaic of products, Frank’s RedHot sauce. The theme of the campaign is “I put that ——— on everything.” In print and online ads, the missing word is covered with a splat that makes it look as if a censor spilled some sauce on the page. In the radio commercials, a loud bleeping sound is heard over the word.

College Branding in an Open Source Era

May 13, 2010

What’s a college to do? Building a brand isn’t the only solution, but it certainly must be a key part of any strategy based on attracting students in an increasingly competitive arena. A school that is known for something, whether that something special is academic, geographic, or even extra-curricular, will fare better than schools who have failed to establish their brand.

Wal-Mart tries to Close Gadget Gap with Best Buy

May 13, 2010

Sometime early next week when you walk into the electronics section of your local Wal-Mart, you're likely to notice some changes. More big name brands of TVs, Blu-ray players, smartphones, and other gadgets will begin to populate the store shelves as the retailing giant tries to expand its reach and customer base even further. The new products will include the latest in TV technology, meaning displays with LED backlighting and Internet connections, Web-connected Blu-ray players, and home networking equipment. There's also going to be more emphasis on getting the trendiest smartphones from carriers on the first day they're available elsewhere, and more accessible mobile broadband plans.

Latest Hot Kid Trend: Brand Bandz

May 13, 2010

Forget LiveStrong bands. The hottest thing for kids are Silly Bandz, ZanyBandz and Crazy Bandz -- and now brands are getting involved. The latest kid craze is virally setting off retail madness, skipping from state to state aided by social media, instant messaging and texting. "It's akin to what happened with Beanie Babies and Webkinz across our stores," said a spokeswoman for Hallmark, which is having trouble keeping Silly Bandz in stock.


Trend Briefing May 2010
May 12, 2010

Whatever industry you’re in, in the end, everything is about status. And since what constitutes status in consumer societies is fragmenting rapidly, here’s a (modest) framework to help you start exploring new status symbols and stories with your customers.

The Future of Data Overload as Envisioned for 2020

May 12, 2010

Global innovation firm Frog Design recently brought designers, futurists and journalists together to envision the future of computing in 2020. In 2020, the computer is not only incorporated into every aspect of our lives, but should become an integral part of ourselves. With this in mind, the workshop aimed to imagine how future technology would influence the key areas of Social, Travel, Commerce, Healthcare, and Media.

Facebook Makes Gains in Web Ads

May 12, 2010

Facebook Inc. is catching up to rivals Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp. in selling display ads. In the first quarter, Facebook pulled ahead of Yahoo for the first time and delivered more banner ads to its U.S. users than any other Web publisher, according to market-research firm comScore Inc.

Redefining Teens, $216 Billion Buyer Power

May 12, 2010

Yes, marketers have long acknowledged that teens wield plenty of buying power. And, yes, they have given plenty of thought to their technological prowess. But Marian Salzman, president of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR North America, tells Marketing Daily that most executives are missing the bigger picture -- that these teens wield far more influence than they are given credit for.

The Big Companies of the Future Will All Be Shape-Shifters

Nilofer Merchant
May 11, 2010

A great deal of my community has given up on large organizations, stating that the “true” innovation is now happening at start-ups. What that story misses is that many of the “free agents” we see around us as consultants, and so on are actually part of a larger enterprise, albeit in a loose relationship. Larger organizations will survive if only because of the human need to be apart of something larger and the efficiencies of those ecosystems.

Listening to AND Asking the Customer

May 11, 2010

The older I get, the more I become convinced that the average person in our "sound byte society" has the attention span of a gnat. Worse, I fear that in making this assertion, I may be describing myself. I've traditionally been a bit of a cynic for the latest fads. My elders drilled it into me that you "stick with something that works." Yet despite being the immediate past president of the Marketing Research Association (MRA) and a staunch advocate of classical marketing research methodologies, I'm actually starting to buy into some of the "buzz du jour" about social media as a viable tool for measuring fan sentiment.

Traditional CMO Roles Won't Position Your Company or Your Career for Growth

Carlos Cata and Scott Davis
May 11, 2010

The environment for marketers is changing dramatically. Marketing's leadership in driving business success has never been more in demand, and those who have demonstrably begun to expand mindsets, skills and capabilities are setting the standard. The difference this shift makes has never been more evident than during the bleakness of the lingering recession. Businesses whose marketing leaders have embraced its components may not have emerged unscathed, but they at least have found themselves entering 2010 with substantial positive momentum.

“Daddy, What’s a Brand?” and 9 More Awkward Questions for Uncertain Times

Graham Button
May 11, 2010

Chiquita, Victoria's Secret, The GOP, Amnesty International. They all use marketing and invite trust in a distinct belief system. They're all, to one degree or another, brands. For a brand, nirvana is when your good name is so widely endorsed that it enters the language. "Pass the Kleenex." "Google it." But that's the top of a long and slippery slope--look at Toyota and Tiger Woods. A healthy brand drives up your stock, and vice versa. These are the things we thought we knew. It's 2010--are they still true?

On Twitter, Followers Don't Equal Influence

May 7, 2010

Avnit posited that the number of followers of a Tweeter is largely meaningless, and Cha, after looking at data from all 52 million Twitter accounts (and, more closely, at the 6 million "active users") seems to have proven Avnit right. "Popular users who have a high indegree [number of followers] are not necessarily influential in terms of spawning retweets or mentions," she writes. We asked Cha about the findings, published by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.

Gadget Spend Up, Reflecting Their Essential Nature

May 7, 2010

Despite dropping prices, Americans spent more on consumer electronics last year than they did the year before that, suggesting once again that the gadgets are becoming essential parts of people's lives.

Gens X/Y, Rich Households Hike Private-Label Sales

May 7, 2010

Both trends, he says, speak to the major inroads that private labels are continuing to make against national brands. Fueling that growth, he says, is the continued innovation from relatively upscale retailers, such as Costco and Target, at expanding store lines. "Those brands are clearly aimed at more affluent shoppers," he says.

Why Social Sharing Is Bigger than Facebook & Twitter

May 6, 2010

The digital landscape is being reshaped by the news that Facebook is opening up its social graph. Twitter, too, has made waves by acquiring companies that made third-party services for Twitter. But if you take a closer look, this is part of a more macro trend that transcends two social platforms--despite their emerging dominance. That macro trend is ubiquitous sharing: What are you doing? Where are you doing it? Who are you doing it with? What do you like? These used to be things we kept to ourselves or shared with our friends and family. Now we're willing to broadcast them to whomever is willing to listen.

How Europeans Engage With Social Media

Bas van den Beld
Apr 27, 2010

You seemingly can’t live without social media these days, or at least, that is what many in our industry believe. Why? Because “everybody” is using it. Everybody is communicating, “everybody is a publisher.” But does that mean that every European is publishing through social media? Well, not exactly. Yes, Europeans are online en masse and are using social media in big numbers. But how are they using social media?

What You Don't Know about Crowdsourcing and Why They Often Fail?

Apr 27, 2010

Spend a few days around the world stopping over in Shenzen, Shanghai, Mumbai and Seoul and you know what’s really happening out there. Companies are getting desperate and now reaching out to suppliers and customers for ideas. Some even go to the extreme of sourcing ideas from the everyone - the crowd. There’s this naive belief that the crowd is smarter than individual. This is a dangerous theory. Engaging suppliers, advanced users and front-end employees are good practices, but not letting them do your job.

Too Many Shops, Not Enough Business

Brian Sheehan
Apr 26, 2010

In college, my economics professor used to say that the difference between too much supply and not enough is one unit. Such is the tenuous nature of economic equilibrium. But when it comes to the advertising industry, the basics of supply and demand seem to be permanently suspended. The bottom line? There are far too many agencies chasing too few dollars.

A Milestone for Internet Ad Revenue

Apr 26, 2010

For the first time, marketers spent more in 2009 on Internet advertising than in magazines, according to a report from ZenithOptimedia, which said online ad spending would rapidly close ground on newspapers. Despite a record-setting $6.3 billion fourth quarter, online advertising revenue declined 3.4 percent for the year from 2008, the first year-over-year falloff since 2002. The loss in ad spending across all media was an even steeper 12.3 percent for the year and 2 percent for the fourth quarter.

Upfront Market Looks Primed for an Upswing

Apr 26, 2010

A year after the major television networks slashed advertising rates amid a dismal economy, advertisers are poised to boost spending on commercials for the coming TV season. Last-minute ads are fetching much bigger premiums than they were a year ago. Both buyers and sellers of commercial time say the yearly "upfront" market for commercials could see higher prices per viewer, and greater overall spending.

Moving Up to Sustainability 2.0

Becky Willan
Apr 23, 2010

I'd like to use the term "sustainability 2.0" to talk about this emerging space, in which the world of corporate social responsibility meets the world of brand communications. There's one fundamental difference between sustainability 2.0 and how we've approached things in the past. For some time now, people have recognized that sustainability can be a brand-builder. But using sustainability to build your brand can only be a successful strategy if it starts from a consumer perspective. Sustainability 2.0 is about organizations creating positive effects in the lives of people in three ways: as individuals, helping meet personal needs, goals and ambitions; within their communities, sparking cultural movements, supporting causes and making connections; and within the world at large, tackling environmental issues and enabling greener lifestyles. So what's shaping this new landscape? Five fundamental trends are influencing the sustainability 2.0 agenda.

For Web’s New Wave, Sharing Details Is the Point

Brad Stone
Apr 23, 2010

Mark Brooks wants the whole Web to know that he spent $41 on an iPad case at an Apple store, $24 eating at an Applebee’s, and $6,450 at a Florida plastic surgery clinic for nose work. Too much information, you say? On the Internet, there seems to be no such thing. A wave of Web start-ups aims to help people indulge their urge to divulge — from sites like Blippy, which Mr. Brooks used to broadcast news of what he bought, to Foursquare, a mobile social network that allows people to announce their precise location to the world, to Skimble, an iPhone application that people use to reveal, say, how many push-ups they are doing and how long they spend in yoga class.

Using Cash as an Enticement in Tough Economic Times

Apr 22, 2010

Green, that is, as in greenbacks, bucks, samoleans, moolah, lucre, bread, lettuce or dough. Contests and sweepstakes with large cash prizes are becoming more popular among marketers and media companies that seek to capture the attention of consumers who are still worried about the economy. The trend began soon after the start of the recession in late 2007 and a year later had attracted the likes of Frito-Lay, Sony and Volkswagen. The jackpots seem to have grown since then, as evidenced by a recent contest sponsored by the SoBe Lifewater line of beverages sold by a unit of PepsiCo. The contest, centered on the men’s national college basketball tournament, offered a first prize of $9 million — paid out over 40 years, but still, $9 million.

Word of Mouth Has Greater Impact Than Ads

McKinsey & Warc
Apr 21, 2010

Marketing campaigns that encourage considerable word of mouth among consumers have a greater impact on sales than more traditional forms of advertising, according to McKinsey. The consultancy argued that word of mouth is the "primary factor" behind between 20% and 50% of purchases, with a particular relevance in relation to expensive products and first-time acquisitions. It added that an advertising "overload", growing mistrust of marketing and the social media-driven shift in control away from companies and towards consumers have all encouraged this trend.

Retailers, Restaurants Offer Deals As More Of Us Pinch Pennies

Apr 21, 2010

America has become a nation of penny pinchers. The economic meltdown was the 500-pound catalyst, but even amid signs the economy is picking up, many of us still are pinching away. It's a trend that analysts say reflects a seismic — and perhaps lasting — change in our spending habits, and retailers are responding. Our demand for deals is forcing high-end retailers such as Whole Foods and Starbucks— whose growth symbolized recent boom times — to change how they do business.

Know The ‘Why’ Before The ‘How’ Of Social Media

Apr 21, 2010

I was in a Barnes & Noble store recently and noticed a shelf area called “Trends in Business.” On it was one book after the other touting the virtues of social media for marketing purposes. What concerned me was that most of the titles related directly to tools. At least six of them were about Facebook, another six about Twitter, two were focused on blogging, there was one about YouTube, and so on. This was evidence of a focus that, to me, is unhealthy. Consumers are putting much more emphasis on the “how” and less on the “why” … tactics before strategy. I think that is a mistake. It’s classic putting the cart before the horse. Unless you understand why you’re doing something, it makes little sense to learn how.

The State and Future of Twitter 2010: Part Two

Brian Solis
Apr 21, 2010

To truly capture the State and Future of Twitter and all that was revealed during its first official conference, requires additional time and space. In Part One, we examined the sociological impact of Twitter on society, the true size of the network, as well as equally exploring its challenges and opportunities. In Part Two, we’ll review and interpret streams, interest graphs, and Twitters new advertising platform.

A Look Behind the Scenes Helps with Ads

Apr 20, 2010

Here's a new twist in the world of product placement. Most of the time it's a movie or a TV character, say, opening up a laptop with a clean shot of the Apple logo right there on it. The twist today is product placement during the ads where the product is the programming. CNN has been trying it out with one of its new shows. The camera keeps on rolling right through the commercial breaks.

The Re-Invention Economy

Billee Howard
Apr 20, 2010

A push for real and meaningful innovation permeates the business environment. Leading brands embrace innovation as a tangible driver of business performance as opposed to a meaningless moniker-and inculcate true innovation and entrepreneurialism into their cultures, employees and overall enterprises. Innovation in the Re-Invention Economy shows its evolved self in every aspect of organizational drive and is industry agnostic in its rapid manifestation.

Marketers Blame the Consumer in New Save-the-Planet Pitches

Apr 20, 2010

After years of touting their own green accomplishments, marketers have a new message for consumers as this year's Earth Day approaches: "It's not us. It's you." The focus of most green advertising has primarily centered on marketers' own products and process changes to reduce waste and environmental impact. But a growing number of marketers are shifting the focus toward consumer behavior, either in their sustainability PR efforts, their advertising or both.

The State and Future of Twitter 2010: Part One

Brian Solis
Apr 19, 2010

The State and Future of Twitter was revealed to the world at the Chirp Conference. Developers, futurists, reporters, investors, stakeholders, and businesses convened at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, making the journey from all over the world to witness history in the making.

Why It’s More Important Than Ever To Be an Early Adopter Brand

Apr 19, 2010

It has become standard practice for big brands and businesses to setup shop on Twitter and Facebook and use the social mediums to connect with customers. That’s all yesterday’s news now. But the early adopter brands who paved the way for the rest to follow suit have become the success stories that the media, the public and the web companies in the limelight turn to first.

Companies Slowly Join Cloud-Computing

Apr 19, 2010

Ah, the cloud — these days, Silicon Valley can’t seem to get its head out of it. The idea, though typically expressed in ways larded with jargon, is actually rather simple. Cloud providers, large ones like Amazon, Microsoft, Google and AT&T, and smaller ones like Rackspace and Terremark, aim to convince other companies to give up building and managing their own data centers and to use their computer capacity instead.

Dear Foursquare: This Is Not the Right Time to Sell

Apr 19, 2010

It’s undeniable: Foursquare (Foursquare) has been on fire in a way that no startup since Twitter (Twitter) has come close to achieving. It’s changing the world and acquiring new users at a rapid place, so perhaps that’s why it doesn’t surprise us to learn that Yahoo is trying aggressively to acquire Foursquare. According to Kara Swisher of AllThingsD, Foursquare and its founder Dennis Crowley have two options: raise more money from venture capital firms that would value the company at around $100 million, or be acquired by Yahoo for $125 million or more.

Twitter's Impact on the Engagement Ad Economy

Apr 15, 2010

From Facebook Engagement Ads, to Twitter's Promoted Tweets, to SocialVibe, ad opportunities within social media are justifiably drifting away from "display" and towards "engagement." It seems only natural. Click-through rates on display ads surrounding content have been falling precipitously for years, and those same clicks take one clicker in one direction with one experience. This new crop of engagement ads is leveraging the highly connected environments they appear within, turning every interaction with them into an opportunity for rebroadcasting, creating impressions between people that are arguably more effective than the initial impression that started the chain of events.

Trends In The World Of Search

Apr 14, 2010

PSFK attended the recent Search Engine Strategies Conference in New York for an opportunity to catch a panel on the development of trends in Internet search behavior and product development. Panelists included Stefan Weitz, the Director of Bing, Larry Cornett, VP of Consumer Products at Yahoo! Search, Brett Tabke, CEO of WebmasterWorld.com, and Robert Murray, CEO of iProspect. The panel was moderated by Graham Mudd, VP of Search & Media at ComScore.

New Study Shows the Mobile Web Will Rule by 2015

Apr 14, 2010

In a dense, 87-page report, Morgan Stanley analysts have charted the most important online trends and predicted the future of the Internet. In addition to forecasting more online shopping and showing the geographical distribution of Internet users, the study also shows a dramatic shift toward mobile web use. Including devices such as the Kindle, the iPhone and other smartphones, web-enabled tablets, GPS systems, video games and wireless home appliances, the growth of the mobile web has been exponential — and we’re still just at the beginning of this cycle. Morgan Stanley’s analysts believe that, based on the current rate of change and adoption, the mobile web will be bigger than desktop Internet use by 2015.

How Journalists are Using Social Media for Real Results

Apr 12, 2010

Journalists are, by nature, crafty folk who are wonderfully adept at stalking — I mean, finding sources and relevant information for various and sundry stories. Well, the advent of social media has made the process of reporting all the more nuanced, and has served as a vital channel for everything from finding leads to contacting sources to sharing and furthering one’s brand.

Consumer-Goods Makers Pour Out Ads

Ellen Byron
Apr 12, 2010

As wary Americans start to crack open their wallets, household-goods makers like Procter & Gamble Co., Colgate-Palmolive Co., Kimberly-Clark Corp. and Clorox Co. are cranking up their advertising, hoping to coax consumers farther out of their shells. Amid signs of an improving economy, recent survey data show consumers are more willing to splurge by eating out or buying new shoes, but the same doesn't necessarily hold for everyday household goods.

Analysis Shows Impact of Hispanic Growth

Apr 12, 2010

Statistics confirming the overall growth of Hispanics within the U.S. population and their spending power are readily available and frequently cited, but quantifying the Hispanic market's impact on specific consumer goods categories and industries can prove more elusive.

McKinsey's Four Ways to Get More Value from Digital Marketing Validates Conversation Agent

Apr 8, 2010

Take a look at your marketing materials, and you will probably see that your content is focused on two areas of opportunity. In an analog world, because of the way organizations are structured with a direct and indirect sales force -- through channels -- pre-sale or prospecting and promotion are the two most visible areas of potential impact. Which is why the organization has been investing in them.

A Prediction: Twitter to Predict the Future

Brian Solis
Apr 7, 2010

Trending topics reveal much more than the objects that captivate the hearts, minds, and keyboards of Twitter users around the world. Twitter’s trends is a cultural mirror that reflects the state of attention and intention. And as such, Tweets then offer an MRI that visualizes the minds of consumers and more importantly, serve as a crystal ball that reveals the future of products and services before and soon after they’re released. For the most part, however, the vast amount of precious insight is widely untapped. Instead, businesses focus on volume and congregation, enticing brands to engage in the conversation rather than truly capturing and analyzing the activity that inherently inspires empathy and ultimately relevance. I think that’s about to change…

Ideas About Black, Urban Gen Y Need Update

Apr 7, 2010

At last week's marketing series, "The New Black. The New Urban," which took place at media mogul Damon Dash's DD172 center, the message was, indeed, that marketers can't make it by faking it or by relying on outdated notions about what African-American -- and more broadly, urban Millennials -- see when they look in the mirror.

Annoyed With Retail Service, Women Are Buying Their Clothes Online

Apr 5, 2010

For years I've heard stories from Boomer women about their dissatisfaction with clothes shopping. They can't find stores that understand their taste; they seek more privacy than many stores offer; and they are sick and tired of being ignored by salespeople who don't understand how much money they have to spend. The Internet, which lets this Boomer woman overcome so many other obstacles the marketplace presents her, now clearly answers her clothing needs as well.

Scott Goodson on Cultural Movements

Apr 2, 2010

Scott coined the phrase “Cultural Movements” as the new marketing model for a fragmented media world. I wanted to interview Scott to learn more about how Cultural Movements work in today’s Web 2.0 world. In our talk, Scott explains his thinking on the role of Cultural Movements in brand-building today and gives examples of how they’ve worked in a broad range of categories.

Laptop Killer? Pretty Close

Walt Mossberg
Apr 1, 2010

For the past week or so, I have been testing a sleek, light, silver-and-black tablet computer called an iPad. After spending hours and hours with it, I believe this beautiful new touch-screen device from Apple has the potential to change portable computing profoundly, and to challenge the primacy of the laptop. It could even help, eventually, to propel the finger-driven, multitouch user interface ahead of the mouse-driven interface that has prevailed for decades.

Brewers Tap Into South Africa

Mar 31, 2010

The customers at the Zamisa Tavern in Durban receive every encouragement to drink the products of SABMiller, the international brewer that has dominated South Africa's beer market for decades. Castle and Black Label lagers are relatively cheap. Publicity for Castle beer festoons the walls of the bar, in Umlazi, a township. And anyone driving up to the bar from the centre of Durban cannot fail to notice a huge roadside advert warning drinkers "to beware of the little green bottles". This is a not-so-subtle reference to the more expensive premium brews offered by SAB's Dutch rival, Heineken

The Alienation of Capital

Mar 31, 2010

The result is that capital has become alienated from its value and purpose. Originally intended to enable the increased productivity of the society through investment in productive capacity, it has lost its connection to value creation of any non-financial kind. Consequently, the financial services industry itself becomes alienated from the rest of society, because its work no longer benefits its customers: Who do you think was on the short end of the trades that earned the dominant share of the economy's profits?

Brand Butlers

April 2010 Trend Briefing
Mar 29, 2010

It has never been more important to turn your brand into a service. Jaded, time-poor, pragmatic consumers yearn for service and care, while the mobile online revolution (it's finally, truly here!) makes it possible to offer uber-relevant services to consumers anywhere, anytime. Basically, if you're going to embrace one big consumer trend this year, please let it be BRAND BUTLERS!

Memo to Marketers: It's Your Fault if Your Shops Flounder

Michael Bush
Mar 29, 2010

Simply put, if marketers are counting on their agencies to lead them into a world of changing consumer behaviors and media habits, they should think again. As digital-marketing channels multiply, agencies are struggling to figure out their own businesses, and a recent Forrester study suggests that marketers may need to force their agencies to evolve rather than wait for them to do it themselves. Ad Age got a peek at the 16-page study, called "The Future of Agency Relationships," for which Forrester spent nearly four months interviewing agency and marketing executives.

Creativity Explodes on Chatroulette

Mar 26, 2010

You can play bingo on it. Unknown piano players and rock stars alike can use it to serenade strangers. Bands can announce their albums there. And you can even sell a nightclub's worth of tickets for an evening spent experimenting with it. What is it? Why, Chatroulette, of course. For about two months now, people all over the world have been flocking to the site, which offers little more than a way to connect to random strangers on the other end of a Web cam. Built by a Russian high school student, the site launched in November but became the latest online addiction sometime in February after thousands of people discovered how easy it was to spend hours seeing what other people staring at Webcams were doing.

Marketing Is Being Devalued

Larry Light
Mar 24, 2010

Today's consumers are more intuitive, more informed, more skeptical and more demanding than ever. They live in a world of immense choice and personalization. They want the benefits of increased choice without the complexity of increased choice. With the economic anxiety of our times, there is a growing generation of shoppers for whom frugality is fashionable. These changes are tailor-made for the talents of marketers. But marketers be warned: We need to be concerned about the degradation of marketing. We must redefine it--or be part of its deadly decline.

Deja Vu, All Over Again

Jonathan Salem Baskin
Mar 24, 2010

So the Dow hit a bull-market high last Wednesday and gas costs more than $3/gallon. You know what comes next, don't you? It's not a question of if but rather when we'll all be complaining about falling stocks and rising gas prices. We should be particularly aware of this inevitable reality since most of us are still smarting from the wounds we received over the past year or two. You'd think that the branding brain trusts at big financial services firms and oil companies would have gotten together and recognized these facts -- the context of reality in which their brands exist -- and modified both their business operations and marketing accordingly:

Zittrain: Google Stands Alone

Mar 24, 2010

Don’t expect an army of web companies to rush to Google’s defense in China v. Google. The lines are drawn but Google will stand alone, according to internet law expert and Harvard Professor Jonathan Zittrain. Other companies, Zittrain argues, are too timid to go toe-to-toe with China, especially with the web’s biggest market at stake. That decision to remain neutral seems like a no brainer — at least from the short-term, dollars and cents perspective — but there’s an argument to be made that Google could eventually emerge as the victor.

Can Design Save Management?

Youngjin Yoo
Mar 22, 2010

Design, or design thinking, is becoming increasingly popular among management practitioners and scholars. Leading popular magazines like BusinessWeek and Fast Company regularly feature design as an important topic. Many leading business schools around the world incorporate some elements of design as a part of their curriculum. At the same time, leading design schools around world are challenging business schools by providing plausible alternatives to students and recruiters alike.

Digitally, Location Is Where It’s At

Mar 22, 2010

Last Monday night in Austin, about 200 people were milling around the bar at the Driskill Hotel, an unofficial headquarters for the name-badge-infested horde attending the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference. And just after midnight, about 70 people in different parts of the gorgeous relic of a bar stood up and began moving quickly toward the exit. Where were we all going? To the CollegeHumor party around the corner. How did we know it was time to go there? Because our smartphones told us so.

Consumers Are Tired of Hearing About the Recession

Mar 22, 2010

The recession, while not officially declared over, is over in the minds of many consumers. For marketers, this means it's time to pay more attention to what the consumer is saying and not what the media is reporting. For while the media feeds the country a steady diet of anxiety-inducing news of record job losses, mortgage defaults, out-of-control credit-card debt, the collapse and corruptions of financial institutions, and a host of other economic doom-and-gloom scenarios, consumers surprisingly are moving forward.

Augmented Reality: It's Like Real Life, But Better

Charles Arthur
Mar 21, 2010

Don't act too surprised if, some time in the next year, you meet someone who explains that their business card isn't just a card; it's an augmented reality business card. You can see a collection and, at visualcard.me, you can even design your own, by adding a special marker to your card, which, once put in front of a webcam linked to the internet, will show not only your contact details but also a video or sound clip. Or pretty much anything you want. It's not just business cards.

Digital Insights And Observations - An Interview

Mar 21, 2010

Recently Edelman Digital launched a brand new web site, which features rich insights from across the organization as well as interviews with different people inside and outside the firm. Definitely check it out. One of the cool things we're running are interviews. For one of the first installments, my colleague, Blagica, conducted an interview with me on some of the latest trends

Old and New Media Coexisting Nicely, Thank You

Stuart Elliot
Mar 19, 2010

It was not that long ago when Madison Avenue believed that Web video — also known as webisodes, online video and Web series — would replace television, or at least put a big dent into the ability of TV to reach consumers. Now, however, as more marketers turn to Web video, many are increasingly doing so along with — rather than in place of — television.

Wal-Mart Fires Up Marketing for 'Dragon'

Mar 19, 2010

"How to Train Your Dragon" will not only sway the fortunes of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., but also Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which forged an unusually detailed merchandising partnership with the film studio that the retailer sees as its new blueprint for working with Hollywood. Wal-Mart worked with DreamWorks to design and choose the kind of licensed goods that would be sold around the family movie about a young Viking boy who tames a dragon, slated to hit U.S. theaters next Friday. It also had a hand in selecting who would make the merchandise, including putting plaything maker Spin Master Ltd. in charge of the toys.

Old Is the New Young

Mar 18, 2010

Planners, account directors and researchers are typically busy people. Under a barrage of internal and client demands, it's hard for us not to fall into shorthand approaches sometimes. For instance, when targeting different age groups. But it's time for a wake-up call. Standard age-related targeting can't be relied on any more, thanks to a new social trend: flip-flop generations. Many adolescents today are acting in ways we might expect middle-age Americans to do, while older consumers are maintaining their "adolescent" interests, outlooks and behaviors into middle age.

Google and Partners Seek TV Foothold

Nick Bilton
Mar 18, 2010

Google and Intel have teamed with Sony to develop a platform called Google TV to bring the Web into the living room through a new generation of televisions and set-top boxes. The move is an effort by Google and Intel to extend their dominance of computing to television, an arena where they have little sway. For Sony, which has struggled to retain a pricing and technological advantage in the competitive TV hardware market, the partnership is an effort to get a leg up on competitors.

The New Consumer Frugality

Matthew Egol, Andrew Clyde, and Kasturi Rangan
Mar 17, 2010

A new survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers, the second issued by Booz & Company since the early days of the recession in October 2008, confirms that a “new frugality,” born of the Great Recession and evidenced by two consecutive years of declining per capita consumption, is now becoming entrenched among U.S. consumers and is reshaping their consumption patterns in ways that will persist even as the economy starts to recover.

NBC, Dr Pepper Manage to Blur Commerce, Content Even More

Brian Steinberg
Mar 17, 2010

The day when commercials are indistinguishable from the programs they support finally arrived -- just before 10 p.m. Eastern last Thursday night. That's when an ad for Dr Pepper ran after NBC's insider-y sitcom "30 Rock," making use of recurring character Dr. Spaceman, played by comic Chris Parnell. In the spot, which was paired with a more-traditional TV commercial for the soda, Mr. Parnell's fictional medical practitioner decried boredom and told viewers how drinking Dr Pepper could banish it. A few moments later, viewers saw the credits roll for "30 Rock." Staffers from "30 Rock" were not involved in the creation of the commercial, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Five Unsolved Problems Social Media Could Fix

Mar 17, 2010

Check out the panels or exhibitors at this year's SXSW and you'll see how many longstanding social media and web app challenges now have compelling, or at least viable, solutions. Staying on top of the latest social media news? Check. Coordinating the 5 different computers to you need to manage your life online? Check and check. Finding your online friends onto the real world so that you can have a beer together? Check, check, and check. With so many solutions on display, the still-unsolved problems are all the more conspicuous. Here are five of the toughest problems that social media and web applications still haven't successfully addressed.

Facebook And Twitter Making A Major Impact On Purchase Decisions

Mar 16, 2010

A new study shows that those who are fans or followers of a brand on Facebook or Twitter, respectively, are significantly more likely to buy products and services or recommend the brand to a friend. Specifically, the study by Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies found that consumers are 67% more likely to buy from the brands they follow on Twitter, and 51% more likely to buy from a brand they follow on Facebook. Moreover, they’re 79% more likely to recommend their Twitter follows to a friend, and 60% more likely to do the same on Facebook.

Talking Back to Your TV, Incessantly

Mar 16, 2010

Today, the peanut gallery, digitally enabled by social media, is casting real-time shadows onto the screen of popular culture. As my colleague Brian Stelter wrote in The New York Times recently, the Internet, which was thought to be a TV killer, is turning out to be its wingman, helping build huge, and in some cases record, audiences for large events like the Super Bowl, the Grammys and the Olympics. (How else to explain the baffling ardency for curling?) During the Oscars last week, there were as many as 70,000 posts an hour on Twitter, according to Trendr.

Rebelling Against the Commonly Evasive Feminine Care Ad

Mar 16, 2010

Ads for menstrual products remain conspicuously euphemistic, typically featuring women practicing yoga in white spandex, riding white horses along the beach, or airborne in cheerleader outfits. “Fem-care advertising is so sterilized and so removed from what a period is,” said Elissa Stein, co-author (with Susan Kim) of the book “Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation.” “You never see a bathroom, you never see a woman using a product. They never show someone having cramps or her face breaking out or tearful — it’s always happy, playful, sporty women.”

Telling Friends Where You Are (or Not)

Mar 15, 2010

Mobile services like Loopt and Google’s Latitude have promoted the notion of constantly beaming your location to a map that is visible to a network of friends — an idea that is not for everybody. But now there is a different approach, one that is being popularized by Foursquare. After firing up the Foursquare application on their phones, users see a list of nearby bars, restaurants and other places, select their location and “check in,” sending an alert to friends using the service.

Lexus, a Toyota Brand, Avoids Taint From Recalls

Mar 12, 2010

It has been a rough few months for Toyota because of its three big safety recalls. But the automaker’s luxury division, Lexus, appears to have avoided much of the fallout. Even though a Lexus ES 350 was involved in a widely publicized accident before the recalls, Lexus sales are up about 5 percent so far in 2010 compared with last year. That is close to the average for other luxury brands.

2010 is the Year of Location-based Social Media Tools

Matt Rhodes
Mar 11, 2010

It is a truth universally acknowledged that everybody makes predictions at the end of a year about ‘the big thing for next year’. Sometimes they’re right and sometimes they’re wrong. And sometimes you only really start to notice trends and change when you are in them. In social media it is becoming clearer and clearer that the big thing for 2010 is location-based tools.

Video Chat Is Where It's at -- but How Do Brands Fit in?

Mar 8, 2010

When Jackie Huba and David Armano got into a heated Twitter debate about Skittles' social-media home page switch last year -- she called it a "stunt," he said it was "remarkable" -- she invited him onto OoVoo to hash it out. The video chat lasted 12 minutes. That's far longer than any 140-character tete-e-tete would likely sustain, and it was more revealing, offering debaters facial expressions and real-time conversation.

Male Call: Marketers Jump on Men's Grooming Trend

Mar 8, 2010

It's a beautiful time to be a man -- or at least to market to men -- as personal-care marketers rev up for what looks to be the biggest array of product launches for men in nearly a decade and maybe ever.

Studies of Web Searches Offer Preview of Hiring Trends

Mar 7, 2010

Payroll and unemployment data released Friday offered a snapshot of the labor market's health last month. But some researchers say they can get a read on such trends days or weeks ahead of the official numbers by studying Google searches, tweets and even queries at an online phone directory. Economists painted a mostly positive picture of the latest government data, which showed the economy shed fewer jobs than expected in February and the jobless rate held steady. For people who look at early-warning indicators, the figures were no surprise. The Web-based data have been telling a similar story for at least a month: The job market is getting better—very slowly.

Ditching Designers to Sell the Clothes

Christina Passariello
Mar 5, 2010

Renzo Rosso, the tattooed, Ducati-driving founder of denim giant Diesel, owns some of fashion's most cutting-edge labels. In addition to the popular jeans-maker, Mr. Rosso's holding company, Only the Brave, includes celebrated European fashion houses Viktor & Rolf and Maison Martin Margiela. But Mr. Margiela is gone, as is the designer of Diesel, which Mr. Rosso founded in 1978. Mr. Rosso has replaced them with unknown teams that rank lower in the brands' hierarchy than business executives. The new creative director at Diesel is a magazine editor, not a clothing designer. Mr. Rosso believes his brands need trend-spotters more than someone who can craft a hemline.

Bottega Veneta Grows Up

Mar 5, 2010

Buyers Saturday will get their first glimpse of Bottega Veneta's winter handbags at Fashion Week here. But the Italian fashion house has already bet on what it thinks the hottest bags will be. As Bottega pursues its strategy to grow from a niche player into a global brand, it has been conducting a major overhaul to its business, starting from the production line. As part of that, it now decides well before its catwalks what—and how much—to manufacture and send to stores. It is a significant switch for the Italian fashion house.

Why Baby Boomers Can't Be Put in One Box

Jerry Shereshewsky
Mar 3, 2010

It seems like the American marketing community is poised on the brink of an astounding discovery: the value of the post-war baby boom market! With the upcoming (and much anticipated) Tom Brokaw special, "Tom Brokaw Reports: Boomer$," it seems like everyone is trying to jump on this particular wagon. On March 1, Advertising Age published a fun piece by Judann Pollack called "The 15 Biggest Baby Boomer Brands" in which Pollack attempts to lay out the iconic products and their ad campaigns of her generation. This is precisely why marketing to boomers is in such a state of disarray. Folks are trying to take 20 pounds and shove it into a five-pound bag.

6 Trend Videos

Mar 2, 2010

Instead of our usual text-based Trend Briefings, we bring you a light-hearted yet insight-heavy video edition this month, featuring consumers from all over the world speaking their minds on a variety of trend topics. After all, one consumer video sometimes says more than a 20-page Trend Briefing ;-) Enjoy!

Do You Need All That Data?

Ron Ashkenas
Mar 2, 2010

Organizations love data: numbers, reports, trend lines, graphs, spreadsheets — the more the better. And, as a result, many organizations have a substantial internal factory that churns out data on a regular basis, as well as external resources on call that produce data for onetime studies and questions. But what's the evidence (or dare I say "the data") that all of this data is worth the cost and indeed leads to better business decisions? Is some amount of data collection unnecessary, perhaps even damaging by creating complexity and confusion?

Companies Map Routes to Recovery

Mar 2, 2010

Corporate America is emerging from the worst downturn since the Great Depression smaller and thriftier. To survive, companies have laid off millions of workers, closed hundreds of factories and vacated acres of office space. Like those who grew up in the Depression and still reuse sheets of aluminum foil, the experience has left them financially conservative and wary of risk. The road to recovery will likely be marked by slow and steady acceleration, rather than speed. Some companies will see opportunities to amass undervalued assets or steal customers. But it is unclear if their efforts will create enough new jobs to spark broader economic growth

Magazines Team Up to Tout 'Power of Print'

Russell Adams and Shira Ovide
Mar 1, 2010

Magazine executives spent much of last year telling anyone who would listen that they were taking their brands digital. Their message this year: Print rules. Five leading magazine publishers have pitched in on a multimillion-dollar ad campaign touting the "power of print." They say nearly 1,400 pages of the ads will be sprinkled through magazines including People, Vogue and Ladies' Home Journal this year.

The Last Time

Mar 1, 2010

With Blockbuster's deft PR manipulation of the Wall Street Journal to write about its "remake" on the same morning it announced the continued collapse of its business yesterday, I also feel compelled to write about the company. This will be the last time I do so. In the spirit of full disclosure, I joined Blockbuster's senior leadership team in the late 1990s soon after Viacom acquired it; I was fired three years later in one of those bloodless corporate coups when a new CEO brought his own team along. Blockbuster took excruciatingly good care of me, however, and my experiences there had been very positive, so I've always been an alum who hoped the company would succeed.

How the Global Fortune 100 are Using Social Media: Some Statistics

Matt Rhodes
Feb 26, 2010

A useful survey from global PR firm Burson-Marsteller this week looks at the ways in which the Global Fortune 100 companies are using social media. The tools they are using and how they are developing a social media strategy. The survey looked at 100 firms in the US, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America and examined how these firms are using social media.

Content Strategy is, in Fact, the Next Big Thing

Kristina Halvorson
Feb 25, 2010

In January of 2009, I started telling people that content strategy would be the next big focus for organizations worldwide. I even went so far as to say, “Content strategy will soon be getting more attention than social media.” Lots of folks smiled encouragingly, patted my shoulder, and told me to get back to my style guides. Some people just laughed at me. And that’s when I hit them over the head with my content inventory. Bam!

Saks To Add More Exclusive Lines

Feb 25, 2010

Luxury retailer Saks Inc. is betting that it can grab market share, improve profits and stand out from rivals by adding more exclusive lines. Merchandise that can't be found anywhere else makes up less than 10% of the assortment at Saks Fifth Avenue stores. But the New York-based retailer said Wednesday it will announce several new product lines in 2010 and will make exclusive brands about 20% of its offerings over the next several years.

Time Spent on Social Networks up 82% Around the World

Feb 24, 2010

Nielsen recently released a new report that officially documents what many of us already know, just never substantiated through data. According to a study published at the end of January 2010, Nielsen observed the online social activity of consumers around the world and discovered an 82% increase in time spent on social networking sites in December 2009. On average, users spent more than five and a half hours on popular networks such as Facebook and Twitter. In December 2008, users clocked just over three hours on social networking sites.

Airlines Can Offer Lessons for Online Newspapers

Brett Gordon
Feb 24, 2010

Online newspapers face two seemingly insurmountable challenges: getting customers used to paying for content and getting the industry used to charging for it. But in fact airlines have faced a similar, albeit simpler, situation with respect to baggage.

A Worldwide Look At The State Of Digital Marketing

Feb 23, 2010

Executives at ICOM, a global network of independent ad agencies, were surveyed by Ad Age about the top digital trends and issues facing their markets in 2010. Among the findings: Facebook and Twitter rule the world (except in China and Spain), but digital budgets are still small and, in some countries, mostly reserved for the bravest of marketers. Oh, and don't insult the monarch in Malaysia.

Four Ways of Looking at Twitter

Scott Berinato
Feb 19, 2010

Data visualization is cool. It's also becoming ever more useful, as the vibrant online community of data visualizers (programmers, designers, artists, and statisticians — sometimes all in one person) grows and the tools to execute their visions improve. Jeff Clark is part of this community. He, like many data visualization enthusiasts, fell into it after being inspired by pioneer Martin Wattenberg's landmark treemap that visualized the stock market. Clark's latest work shows much promise. He's built four engines that visualize that giant pile of data known as Twitter. All four basically search words used in tweets, then look for relationships to other words or to other Tweeters. They function in almost real time.

Leaf Blowing: Nissan Aims to Create a Market for Zero-Emission Cars

Laurie Burkitt
Feb 19, 2010

Richard Saul Wurman is an architect and graphic designer known for sparking debate. In 1984 he founded nonprofit TED and began holding annual events to stir up conversations about technology, entertainment and design. More recently, Wurman is appearing in Web videos to create chatter about a new topic: emissions, cars and the hope for a cleaner environment. Nissan Motor tapped Wurman and other thought leaders in December as part of a year-long marketing effort geared to make more people aware about the impact of emissions on the environment. Wurman and other luminaries, including Swedish designer Marcus Eriksson, appear on in videos a Web site called Journey to Zero that many might miss as being a message from Nissan.

Disney Invites 'Goths' to the Party

Ethan Smith
Feb 19, 2010

Disney, the company that created "the happiest place on earth" and cornered the market on pink, is embracing a darker aesthetic as it reaches out to an unlikely audience for new merchandise: female "goths." In the run-up to the March 5 opening of director Tim Burton's movie "Alice in Wonderland," Walt Disney Co.'s consumer-products division is aiming its marketing firepower at young women and teenage girls, particularly those who gravitate to darkly romantic entertainment like the "Twilight" series.

A Search Engine Identifies Real-Time Demand So Marketers Can Create Supply

Feb 17, 2010

Curt Dalton has found a way to turn marketing on its head. The 36-year- old economics major, based near Boston, will launch a search engine by the end of the month that identifies demand for products and services, so marketers can fill the supply.

Social Media Optimization: SMO is the New SEO – Part 2

Feb 17, 2010

In the last post, I discussed the importance of social objects (images, videos, blog posts, comments, status updates, wall posts, etc.) in a Social Media Optimization campaign. This month, I am going to explore the five major ways that these social objects can be contextualized: keywords, titles, descriptions, tags and/or links.

Tech Boom(ers)

Feb 17, 2010

Who knew that Boomers were such media-hungry digital infovores? New research on the media use habits of the age 45 to 54 consumer demographic by the CRE Mapping Study shows that they consume more TV and more Internet media than any other cohort.

Does Social Sell?

Brian Morrissey
Feb 16, 2010

For all the excitement about social media, there's a specter hanging over its use by companies. Is all this tweeting, blogging and Facebooking paying off? For some proponents, the question is irrelevant. They agree with the view encapsulated in the social media bible The Cluetrain Manifesto -- markets are conversations. Companies have to participate in the conversations where they're happening, ROI be damned. Their dismissal of metrics is summed up in an oft-repeated question, "What's the ROI of putting on your pants in the morning?"

Social Media Optimization: SMO is the New SEO – Part 1

Brian Solis
Feb 16, 2010

As a brand, publisher, designer, photographer, artist, or filmmaker, the social web is your new distribution channel as well as your portfolio for intellectual assets. Whether you’re in the business of creating, marketing, selling, or distributing media, the social Web is an incredible medium that can create a brand, establish visibility, and build demand, all without active promotion. It’s about letting your expertise or work market itself through the practice of a socialized form of inbound marketing that helps make content discoverable when people search.

But Will It Sell Soda Pop?

Feb 15, 2010

Pepsi launched a promotional campaign earlier this month through which it will donate $20 million to good causes identified and voted upon by consumers via the program’s website. "A big brand is letting what used to be called the audience take part in what can become a movement," explained a guru from the firm that designed refresheverything.com. When noting the campaign's connection to selling soda pop, reviewers make glib mentions of "social currency" and "engagement," and are happy to point out that Pepsi broke its 23-year addiction to advertising on the Super Bowl so it could focus on this massive social media experiment. Is it possible that doing something good is an utter waste of marketing money?

Less Networks. More Meaning.

Feb 15, 2010

Here's what I observed this past week after scanning the reactions of people in my own networks in relation to Google Buzz. People in my own ecosystem seem utterly exhausted by the plethora of networks they manage and the number of people within those networks. E-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Yammer, Instant Messenger... just how many platforms can we participate in?

Local TV for Devices on the Move

Feb 15, 2010

Who has time to sit on the couch and watch TV anymore? In the last 10 years, broadcasters have lost 25 percent of their audience. So to win back some viewers, the industry has a plan to grab their attention while they are on the move. Beginning in April, eight television stations in Washington, D.C., will broadcast a signal for a new class of devices that can show programming, even in a car at high speed. In all, 30 stations in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle and Washington have installed the necessary equipment, at a cost of $75,000 to $150,000.

Will People Leave Facebook for Buzz? Fat Chance

Feb 12, 2010

Let's say you'd constituted a drinking game for the aftermath of Tuesday's unveiling of Google Buzz, the odd new mishmash of status messages, geolocation, and social-media aggregation: Take a drink every time some pundit says Google is trying to "kill" Facebook, Twitter, or any number of the "geo" start-ups out there. You'd have been totally blitzed. The cries of "It's a Facebook killer!" and "It's going to kill Twitter!" are tedious, but completely understandable considering that this is one of the first big pushes from Google, which has never been able to get a good grip on social networking, to make inroads in the space. And Buzz is indeed a product that's reactionary as opposed to trailblazing.

Championing Change from Within

Feb 12, 2010

Social Media is as revolutionary as it is evolutionary. It represents an important chapter in the ongoing saga and transformation of new media. Over the years, we’ve witnessed that the 10 stages of social media integration in business are almost always set in motion by an internal champion who is determined and impassioned to engender change from the inside out. These champions emerge from different disciplines and departments and are typically role agnostic. Depending on the organization, champions exist in customer service, communications, marketing, interactive, as well as executive management. The change that these champions engender will ultimately represent a revolution in the spirit, philosophy, vision, and framework for organizations, one that increases market relevance and dramatically enhances the opportunity for affinity and fidelity.

Why Great Companies Fail

Simon Sinek
Feb 11, 2010

"To build a global medium as central to people's lives as the telephone or television ... and even more valuable." This was Steve Case's vision in the early 1990s, and everyone wanted to be a part of it. The company he founded, American Online, was one of the nation's most admired. By turning Internet access into a home utility, AOL became one of the nation's most admired brands and workplaces. It was the Google or the Facebook of its time. Then something happened.

The Future of Reading

Josh Quittner
Feb 11, 2010

Magazines, books, newspapers -- all that printed stuff is supposed to be dying. Advertising pages, which have been steadily declining, dropped 26% in 2009 alone. But here, surely, was some evidence that publishing might have a chance. If an adolescent who otherwise spends every waking hour on a laptop still craves the printed word, then maybe, just maybe, there's a little new growth left in old media.

Wikimedia Strategy: Ideas for Strengthening Online Communities

Barry Newstead
Feb 10, 2010

For those of you who have been following Wikimedia's open strategy initiative on this blog, you'll know that one of the goals of the work has been to strengthen the health of the Wikipedia community of contributors who create and use its online encyclopedias. In a healthy community, contributors feel a sense of affiliation and social bonding, they come from diverse backgrounds and expertise areas required to accomplish the project's expansive work, remain open to differences of perspective and able to resolve disputes respectfully. "Community health" is a hot topic among participants engaged in developing the Wikimedia strategy, both within the broader Wikimedia community and outside it.

As Data Flows In, the Dollars Flow Out

Feb 9, 2010

It used to be that a basic $25-a-month phone bill was your main telecommunications expense. But by 2004, the average American spent $770.95 annually on services like cable television, Internet connectivity and video games, according to data from the Census Bureau. By 2008, that number rose to $903, outstripping inflation. By the end of this year, it is expected to have grown to $997.07. Add another $1,000 or more for cellphone service and the average family is spending as much on entertainment over devices as they are on dining out or buying gasoline.

Stores Reach Into Bag of Tactics as Luxury-Goods Sales Improve

Feb 9, 2010

Optimism is creeping back into style, following three seasons of budget slashing, according to luxury-retail executives who will attend New York Fashion Week. More than 50 designers will showcase their collections in the tents at Bryant Park this week, with dozens more holding shows elsewhere in Manhattan as part of the twice-a-year fashion extravaganza staged for retail buyers and the press. Forecasting consumer sentiment six months out—when those styles will land in stores—has become easier in recent months, as wealthy shoppers have exhibited an increased willingness to spend. Even so, there's a focus on luring back "aspirational shoppers."

Pass or Fail, Pepsi's Refresh Will Be Case for Marketing Textbooks

Natalie Zmuda
Feb 8, 2010

Pepsi's Refresh Project, a first-of-its-kind experiment in social media that invests the brand in community-building projects, won't simply leave a legacy for the recipients of its financial grants. It's also a pivotal test case for other brands trying to navigate an ad-cluttered, cynic-rich marketing landscape.

In Super Bowl Commercials, the Nostalgia Bowl

Stuart Elliot
Feb 8, 2010

As dangerous as it may be to generalize, it is probably safe to say that few folks think of Marcel Proust as they watch the Super Bowl. But for the advertising bowl that took place inside Super Bowl XLIV on Sunday, it was one long remembrance of things past — with candy bars, mobile phones and beer bottles standing in for madeleines. Nostalgia is a critical component of the pitches from sponsors on Super Bowl Sunday. After all, the best way to appeal to a mass audience of 100 million or so Americans is usually to fill spots with paeans to the past along with catchy music, stars, special effects, talking babies and endearing animals.

Marketers Say TV Spending Will Drop. Nets Stay Bullish. Let the Deals Begin

Feb 8, 2010

Even as major marketers once again threaten to pull back on TV spending -- a new survey indicates they will allocate only 41% of their budgets to the medium this year -- the TV networks are gearing up for an "upfront" ad-sales market they expect will be more robust than in the recent past. In a new Forrester and Association of National Advertisers survey of 104 U.S. advertisers that collectively spend almost $14 billion in measured media, more than half of them -- 62% -- said that TV advertising is less effective than it used to be.

Mobile Internet Market to Eclipse Desktop Internet

Brian Solis
Feb 3, 2010

Sounds like a sensationalistic headline, but if you read Morgan Stanley’s latest series of reports on the Mobile Internet, you’ll walk away with the same impression. Morgan Stanley’s global technology and telecom analysts documented the rapidly changing mobile Internet market to provide a framework for emerging trends and direction. To set the stage, Morgan Stanley forecasts that the mobile Internet market will be at least 2x the size of desktop Internet when comparing Internet users to mobile subscribers.

Magazines' Newsstand Recession May Be Lightening Up

Feb 2, 2010

Magazines' newsstand recession certainly isn't over -- but it seems to be lightening up. Many magazine publishers now reporting circulation figures for the second half of last year are again posting declines, but in most cases those declines aren't nearly as steep as the plunges that came before.

Misleading Metrics

Feb 2, 2010

Ever since the phrase “you manage what you measure” made its way into the dialogue of corporate America, metrics have played an increasingly important role in the management of businesses. No one can argue the value of timely, detailed, and accurate measures of performance as assessments of effectiveness and guides for decision-making. Yet, which metrics are best remains highly debatable.

The Economist on Social Networking

Feb 1, 2010

What joy. This week, The Economist, every Capitalist’s favorite magazine, has published a special report on social networking: The Economist on social networking - world of connections. A World of Connections, provides an excellent overview of the current state of social media for those still trying to get to grips with it.

Towards a Socialised State

special report
Jan 29, 2010

What will the future of social networking look like? Imagine this: your digital video recorder automatically copies a television show that several of your friends were talking about on a social network before the show went on air. Or this: you get into your car, switch on its navigation system and ask it to guide you to a friend’s house. As you pull out of the driveway, the network to which you both belong automatically alerts her that you are on your way. And this: as you are buying a pair of running shoes that you think one of your friends might be interested in, you can send a picture to their network page with a couple of clicks on a keypad next to the checkout counter.

5 Lessons Learned From The Front Line

Jan 29, 2010

There is no doubt that 2009 was a fierce battleground for online marketers to reach the hearts and minds of Generation Y. Between the economic downturn, the proliferation of new media and blogs and the explosive growth of social networking sites, advertisers were challenged like never before to reach millennials and do it with the tightest marketing budgets seen in years. Many marketers, such as Vitaminwater, launched great campaigns and won, while others barely made it off the battlefield.

Who is the ME in Social Media?

Brian Solis
Jan 29, 2010

Good friend Stowe Boyd recently shared a quote by Gabriel García Márquez, “Everyone has three lives: a public life, a private life, and a secret life.” Indeed, quite simply many of us live life allowing specific, trusted individuals to know us in one or more of our personae. Our moral compass as well as outside influences affect how we balance our three lives. The size and permeability of our personal dividers vary in the separation of each life and resemble doors that open and close based on our desires. We nurture each individually with slight coalescence, but concentrate on the establishment of a distinct ecosystem for cultivating and grooming who we are in public, private, and in secret.

Ad Networks Multiply: What's The Difference?

Jan 28, 2010

The new report from the Pew Hispanic Trust -- Latinos Online -- shows that 64% of all U.S. Hispanics use the Internet and that foreign-born Latinos have crossed the tipping point with 52% online. As the Hispanic audience grows, they seek new content and increasingly find and regularly visit foreign web sites.

Twitter Brings Its Trends Right To Your Neighborhood

Jan 27, 2010

After a test roll-out last week, Twitter's just added a new system that displays the Tweet trends that are most relevant to your particular location. It's an experiment in location-based news discovery, and it could make Twitter very powerful indeed.


February 2010 Trend Briefing
Jan 26, 2010

As we wanted to keep things straightforward and hands-on this month, we're highlighting "FUNCTIONALL". Which is all about a new breed of products that are simple, small and/or cheap (with a dash of sustainability), giving them global appeal, from India to Sweden. Now, if that doesn't warrant a brainstorming session...

The Diagnosis: 'Boomeritis'

Jan 25, 2010

The national debate on healthcare may be part of most cocktail party conversations these days, but in our recent interactions with older Boomers, the national issue runs a distant second to a more personal topic -- me and my doctor(s). At social gatherings we have been struck by the number of conversations between older Boomers about doctor visits, chronic conditions, recent procedures, physical therapy sessions and prescription drugs. At first we thought they were talking about providing care for elderly parents. But, no, the patient was in the room; in fact, he or she was in every conversation.

Customer Experience More Important than Ever

Jan 25, 2010

"Eighty percent of companies believe they deliver a superior customer experience, but only 8 percent of their customers agree." [Bain & Company, Harvard Management Update] I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, of course. However, there might be a few areas of improvement that have not have crossed your mind yet. First off, let's define what we mean by "customer experience". From Wikipedia: Customer experience is the sum of all experiences a customer has with a supplier of goods or services, over the duration of their relationship with that supplier.

17 Ways Consumers Are Changing

Jan 21, 2010

You seem different. More anxious. Pensive, perhaps. What's on your mind? A lot of people desperately want to know. Market researchers always want to get inside the heads of consumers, and they've never been more curious than they are now. In the aftermath of a wrenching recession, Americans are saving more, spending less, and rethinking many of the tenets that have governed middle-class living for the past 40 years. Vast amounts of money are at stake, as consumer-product firms try to guess how Americans will spend their scarce dollars in the future.

Online Marketing Trends For 2010

Jan 19, 2010

As savvy marketers look to meet the needs of an increasingly mobile and social customer, the marketers that will be successful are those that adapt their strategies to align with shifting online trends. The adoption of new online marketing techniques will also be paramount to keeping a competitive edge and ensuring ROI. At Lyris, we have identified five trends likely to impact online marketing ROI in 2010.

Century-Old Hallmark Eyes Augmented Reality

Jan 18, 2010

As a company, Hallmark may have just celebrated its 100th anniversary, but it's determined not to be accused of living in the past. The Kansas City, Mo. card maker, which was founded on Jan. 10, 1910, has introduced a new line of cards that is designed to work with a computer's Web camera to show off an animated 3-D message via the computer. The cards feature what Hallmark is calling "augmented reality."

A New Age for Social Media Marketing

Brian Solis
Jan 15, 2010

In 2010, Social Media will rapidly escalate from novelty or perceived necessity to an integrated and strategic business communications, service, and information community and ecosystem. Our experiences and education will foster growth and propel us through each stage of the Social Media Marketing evolution. As MarketingSherpa observes, “2010 is the year where social media marketers gain the experience required to advance from novice to competent practitioner capable of achieving social marketing objectives and proving ROI.” It’s a powerful prediction and it’s one that I also believe. This is your year to excel, teach, and create your own destiny.

3 Non-Tech Business Trends From CES That Matter For All Of Us

Jan 14, 2010

The end of last week was the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) which attracts more than 120,000 people from all parts of the technology industry together to Las Vegas to share their latest innovations and visions for the future. NBC was reporting live from the tradeshow floor, all the big tech publications were there and anyone who works in the technology industry spent the weekend either talking about all the things they were doing, or wishing they were in Vegas to be part of it. The hype this year was definitely around the promise of 3-D TV technology, with ebooks following as a close second. But what about if you are not in the technology industry at all?

A Business Strategy That Is Evergreen

Jan 13, 2010

The charge of marketing departments has always been to connect to people in an authentic and impactful way. Reaching out to eco-consumers gives brands an opportunity to develop a distinct voice in the environmental landscape. Making that voice a sustainable voice, one that can weather scrutiny, marketing fads and tough economic times, calls for a strategically sound and authentic campaign.

The World in 2020: A Glimpse Into the Future

Jan 13, 2010

Ten years ago we thought wireless was another word for radio, Peter Mandelson’s career was over – and only birds tweeted. So what will life be like a decade from now? The Independent newspaper provides a glimpse.

Social Media Case Study: Vitamin Water’s Newest Flavour Created By Facebook Fans

Jan 12, 2010

Vitamin Water’s latest flavour, launching in March this year, was developed and named by the brand’s Facebook fans. The black cherry and lime flavoured drink will be called ‘Connect’ and one Facebook fan, Sarah from Illinois, won $5,000 for her role in developing this new product. The competition was interesting and unique in that it used Facebook fans to develop all aspects of the product.

Four Trends for the 'Tens

Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Jan 11, 2010

Farewell and good riddance to the Decade of the Zeroes, when many people felt reduced to nothingness after two big economic bubbles burst. Welcome to the 2010s, a chance for a fresh start — sort of. The year opens with four trends that gained momentum in the past decade.

What to Take Away From CES

Chris Dannen
Jan 11, 2010

Sometimes it takes a million square feet of gizmos to understand where humanity is headed. After all the pageantry and pixels, here's what the world learned about tech in 2010.

Sharing Your Bra Color Is the New 25 Things On Facebook

Jan 8, 2010

Facebook is quite the colorful place today. An odd meme — bra color status updates — has made its way around the network, but no one really knows how or why the what-color-is-your-bra meme took off. In case you haven’t seen it yet, women (and some men) are posting single word updates with the color of their bra, hence the barrage of “black,” “red,” and “nothing” updates from your female friends. But who’s actually behind the bra color campaign, and what they’re trying to accomplish, remains a mystery. Speculation, however, is running rampant

10 Trends For A Green New Year

Jan 5, 2010

Green is the new black. At Clownfish, we believe that it isn't a fad. Sustainability is here to stay. But for those who aren't experts in the field, it can often be complicated to navigate what products and services are actually doing the right things for the environment. How can consumers determine if a product is "green"? Are there ways to uncover whether a company is "greenwashing," or making false claims by using misleading PR tactics? Are your favorite brands throwing buzzwords like "environmentally friendly" around to cause confusion? Here's a list of 10 sustainability trends that consumers will be watching out for.

Are You Better Off Today?

Tom Asacker
Jan 5, 2010

The first ten years of the new century may go down as the decade to forget. Terrorists attacks, devastating natural disasters, scary increases in CO2emissions, Wall Street scandals and two market crashes. The stock market is down 26% since 2000, median household income is also down, and unemployment is up. The price of oil has more than tripled, health care costs have spiraled out of control and there appears to be no end in sight to corporate bankruptcies and the mass exodus of loyal employees.

Cheap Beer If You Check-In… Or Just Tweet.

Jan 4, 2010

One of the most compelling aspects of the location-based service Foursquare is that they are increasingly enticing users to check-in to venues by partnering up to offer special deals to those who do. A person who checks-in at a coffee shop and shows the barista, may get a free coffee, for example. It’s a win-win for both the service and the venue because it gets people using the app more and gets people visiting the venue more. But what if users and venues go around Foursquare and start using Twitter for that?

10 Meaningful CES Trends That Won't Stay in Vegas

Jan 3, 2010

We've become a nation of early adopters -- now can the consumer electronics industry lead the U.S. recovery? That's what CE manufacturers (who happen to include a few of the world's biggest consumer marketers) hope for as they gather in Las Vegas this week for the annual Consumer Electronics Show.

Five Tech Themes for 2010

Jenna Wortham
Jan 1, 2010

It’s hard to believe that at the beginning of the last decade, there was no Facebook, iPhone, Wikipedia, or YouTube. Almost shocking, considering how those entities have shaped a culture around the Internet, disrupted business models and impacted how and what information was shared through the Web. So what big Web themes might we see emerging into the next few years? Based on reporting and informal chats with venture capitalists, here’s a quick guess at what might be big in 2010.

Where Digital Marketing Is Heading in 2010 (Part Two)

Ken Mallon and Duncan Southgate
Dec 31, 2009

Yesterday we posted the first five digital-marketing predictions from Millward Brown and Dynamic Logic, which looked at mobility, geo-location, viral marketing, gaming and online display. Today, we bring you the final five. And we want to know -- do you agree? What do you think will be the big issues of 2010? Here's the rest of the predictions for 2010.

Where Digital Marketing Is Heading in 2010 (Part 1)

Ken Mallon and Duncan Southgate
Dec 31, 2009

In our discussions about what will happen in the digital marketing industry during the next 12 months, one overarching trend emerged: The basic rules of brand building are just as important for innovations in the digital space as they are for traditional forms of communication. Using new technology won't in itself bring success; your digital communications still need to be creative, engaging and relevant if they are to cut it during the second decade of this century. Here are the first five of our top 10 trends for 2010.

Kraft Makes a Bet on At-Home Eating

Dec 30, 2009

The casual-dining industry may be looking for sunny indicators as to what 2010 may bring, but Kraft is betting big that consumers will continue to eat at home next year. The world's second-largest food company is unveiling 20 products, many of them designed to help consumers re-create restaurant experiences at home.

Melanie Wells On Marketing And Advertising

Dec 30, 2009

Marketers will try to convince consumers that behavioral targeting doesn't violate their privacy. Companies have collected online data about consumers and their Web habits for several years. This information helps them figure out which consumers will be most receptive to ads for their products. 2010 will be the year when the marketers, media companies and consumer watchdogs find out if consumers believe--and if they care--that behavioral targeting violates their privacy.

Kava 'Anti-Energy' Drink Takes Root in the Southland

Dec 30, 2009

Southern California has become the bestselling market for Mary Jane's Relaxing Soda, a sugary drink laced with kava, a South Pacific root purported to have sedative properties. Matt Moody, a Denver nutritional supplement developer who created the beverage, said the name is an unabashed reference to weed, though the relaxant compounds in kava are chemically unrelated to those in marijuana. Along with drinks like Slow Cow and Ex Chill, Mary Jane's is part of a new group of so-called slow-down or anti-energy drinks, which are expected to be among the top food trends of 2010, according to advertising agency J. Walter Thompson.

Top Digital Trends of 2010

Brian Morrissey
Dec 28, 2009

As a rough 2009 draws to a close, the digital marketing world is looking ahead to 2010, hoping to deliver stronger growth in the sector, which is one of the few bright spots in the media world. What lies ahead? We identified 10 trends that are sure to make waves in 2010.

The Only Workable Revenue Model for the Web Is Trust

Dec 28, 2009

Marketing may resemble warfare from time to time, but if you play by the rules of war -- dividing commerce into winners and losers -- you will eventually be defeated. The relationships which are the true foundation of marketing have always been consensual. Misunderstand this in this, the Age of Limitless Choices, and you're cooked.

Back From the Brink (but Watch Your Step)

Julie Creswell
Dec 28, 2009

Last year, most Americans felt as if they had been hit in the head by a 4-iron. Wall Street nearly collapsed. The economy plunged into its deepest recession in decades. As housing prices sank, many homeowners realized that they owed more on their mortgages than their homes were worth. Millions lost their jobs, and even those who didn’t hunkered down, burying their wallets in the backyard. This year — with more than a few bumps along the way — the situation brightened. With that, here’s a look back at five of the biggest business stories of this year — and what to look for in the next 12 months.

A Year In Review: 2009 Social Marketing Trends

Jeremiah Owyang
Dec 24, 2009

As we close out the year, it's important to look back at what happened in social marketing in order to plan for the future. There were four key trends in 2009 that CMOs should reflect on, starting at the macro level then shifting down to micro real-time updates.

As Stores Sputter, Sales Sizzle Online

Dec 21, 2009

A holiday season of Web price wars and aggressive online promotions by store-based retailers is leaving e-commerce a larger force in American retail. While sales conducted at brick-and mortar stores are about flat this season compared with 2008, online retailing grew 4% from the beginning of November through Dec. 18 to $24.8 billion, according to Web tracking company comScore Inc. Online sales on Dec. 15 totaled $913 million, marking a one-day record for the industry.

Looking ahead to 2010 with Shiv Singh

Dec 15, 2009

Social media is evolving quickly. What are the three trends on the horizon that business leaders absolutely must keep up with?

10 Ways Social Media Will Change In 2010

Ravit Lichtenberg
Dec 15, 2009

This time last year, I wrote about the 10 ways social media will change 2009, and while all predictions have materialized or are on their way, it has only become clear in recent months how significant of a change we've seen this year. 2009 will go down as the year in which the shroud of uncertainty was lifted off of social media and mainstream adoption began at the speed of light. Barack Obama's campaign proved that social media can mobilize millions into action, and Iran's election protests demonstrated its importance to the freedom of speech.

8 Lessons From the Creativity and Technology Conference

Kunur Patel and Emma Hall
Nov 23, 2009

Some 300 attendees gathered at the Saatchi Gallery last week for Ad Age sibling Creativity's technology conference, Creativity and Technology, were treated to musings on bleeding-edge digital communication from Europe's top talent in advertising, technology and design. Speakers ranged from agency creatives and technologists to writers such as Adam Greenfield, author of "Everyware" and head of design direction at Nokia. Here are a eight takeaways from the conference if you missed it.

The New Way To Work: Top 5 Trends To Watch In 2010

Nov 23, 2009

Looking back at pivotal events that took place within the business world in 2009, it is becoming increasingly clear that there are five macro trends that will be shaping a New Way to Work in 2010 and beyond. Together, these five trends point to a New Way To Work in which creativity and innovation are more valued by employers than ever before and the traditional notion of work as merely an economic activity is being supplemented by ideas about happiness and well-being.

Marketers As Media Companies: A Disruptive Trend Revisited

Hoag Levins
Nov 19, 2009

A growing number of big marketers have circumvented the middleman and launched their own mainstream media and entertainment properties. The revolutionary development has moved them into direct competition for audiences with traditional media companies. But are these projects just novel anomalies, as some suggest, or a powerful trend that will ultimately reshape the media business? Ad Age editor Jonah Bloom addresses the issue in his talk at the ANA annual conference in Phoenix.

Design Based on Trends, Not What's Trendy

Sohrab Vossoughi and Wibke Fleischer
Nov 18, 2009

Design thinking translates rigorous trend research into meaningful experiences that lead markets and foster brand loyalty instead of merely following the cult of now. Blue may be the new green, but how is that relevant to an industry, a brand and the evolving desires of its customers? Times and trends can change so quickly that a campaign, product or service can be rendered irrelevant by the time it gets to market.

10 Crucial Consumer Trends For 2010

December 2009 Trend Briefing
Nov 18, 2009

First of all: It’s going to be another interesting year. Has the global recession really, officially ended? And if so, will the aftermath cause pains for years to come? Whatever the outcome, we find ourselves spotting more recession-proof opportunities than ever before. Why? Consumers, recession-stricken or not, still value innovations that are pragmatic, or exciting, or those that save them money, or entertain them.... oh well, you get the picture.

Mobile Plus Social Equals Opportunity

Nov 12, 2009

Social networking is one of the fastest-growing activities among mobile users around the world. And as one of the primary ways mobile users communicate with one another, it is proving a significant driver of Internet usage on mobile devices. eMarketer predicts the number of mobile users accessing social networks from their mobile devices will reach 607.5 million worldwide by 2013, representing 43% of global mobile Internet users. In the US, mobile social networkers will total 56.2 million by 2013, accounting for 45% of the mobile Internet user population.

On the Web Amateurs Rivaling Professionals

Mark Penn
Nov 4, 2009

This is the age of the amafessional, when amateurs are rivaling professionals in opportunity, talent and the ability to produce quality work. It's happening in virtually every field. In areas ranging from communications to medicine to simply making things with your hands, amafessionals are gaining in numbers and the ability to market their services. Struggling amateurs used to want to become stars, and of course some still do, but this new phenomenon is different. Millions are participating just for the fun and challenge of it–-almost like running in a marathon. "Amafessionals" include both the amateur/professional hybrid and pajama professionals, who often work at home rather than the studio or the office.

Six Social Media Trends for 2010

Nov 2, 2009

In 2009 we saw exponential growth of social media. According to Nielson Online, Twitter alone grew 1,382% year-over-year in February, registering a total of just more than 7 million unique visitors in the US for the month. Meanwhile, Facebook continued to outpace MySpace. So what could social media look like in 2010? In 2010, social media will get even more popular, more mobile, and more exclusive — at least, that's my guess. What are the near-term trends we could see as soon as next year?

National Brands vs. Private Label

Nov 2, 2009

National-brand frozen food companies have been keeping an eye on the rearview mirror as private label sales have grown during the recession’s penny-pinching days. Store brands have made gains in several frozen categories. However, while tough times may have changed the shopping lists of some consumers, the times have not frozen out national brands, which continue to command 80 percent of frozen food sales. In 2008, private label frozen foods represented one-fifth of total department sales of $29.4 billion (The Nielsen Co., 52 weeks ending Dec. 27, 2008). Over the past few years, statistics show store brands have increased their share in several frozen categories, including ice cream, desserts/fruits/toppings, juices, ice and, in particular, vegetables.

Text is the New Multimedia

Jonathan Salem Baskin
Nov 2, 2009

If video killed the radio star, wasn't video supposed to obliterate text? It hasn't. Not even close. Who would have thought that 2009 would witness instead the continued resurgence of the written word? The language was sometimes indeterminable, and the conversations often unrepeatable without a blush added to the shrug, but text has proven amazingly resilient as a communications medium. Words "work" on printed pages and mobile phone screens (i.e. cross-platform), find utility for marketing strategies old and new (you can use them to declare, or to converse), and prove convenient and adaptable for users young and old.

How Will "Augmented Reality" Affect Your Business?

Nov 2, 2009

My colleague Anand and I think that augmented reality is going to be a big deal for businesses. What is it? It is the idea that locations, devices, even the human body will be "augmented" by linking and overlaying additional information on top of "regular" reality. Anand and I think augmented reality will change at least the following five things:

In Search of Usefulness

Oct 30, 2009

A few years ago, I interviewed usability expert Jakob Nielsen about where search might go in the future. He shared an interesting insight:"I think there is a tendency now for a lot of not very useful results to be dredged up that happen to be very popular, like Wikipedia and various blogs. They're not going to be very useful or substantial to people who are trying to solve problems." That stuck with me. Relevance, as determined by search algorithms, and usefulness are not the same thing. And then, John Battelle touched on the same topic in a blog post a few months back: "So first, how would I like to decide about my quest to buy a classic car? Well, ideally, I'd have a search application that could automate and process the tedious back and forth required to truly understand what the market looks like."

4 Emerging Trends of the Real-Time Web

Oct 30, 2009

There is a lot of hype surrounding the real-time web, and much of the feeding frenzy reminds me of the RSS space four years ago — though there is a lot of potential, there is also a lot of noise. How do you navigate through it all and which developments should you be paying attention to? What are the emerging trends for companies and entrepreneurs to watch for? Here are four real-time web trends that I’m tracking.

Wake-up: A Screen is a Screen is a Screen!

Oct 29, 2009

According to recent research from the Nielsen Three Screen Report ("More Looks, More Screens"), consumers are viewing vast amounts of video across multiple screens: televisions, computers, and mobile phones. Surprised? The research is simply catching up to what consumers already know: It's all a screen (movie screen, television screen, computer screen, mobile phone screen). Consumers will take their content on any screen that is readily available. Just ask any parent ... why do you think they coined the term "screen time" in the first place?

Top Ten Integrated Marketing Trends for 2010

Oct 27, 2009

While the year 2009 was marked as the 'great recession', we won't feel its full effects until 2010. Both marketers and their marketing services agency partners are dealing with reduced resources in terms of head-count and budgets. We won't likely see enough breakthroughs in the marketplace, simply because marketers and agencies alike have to remain focused on 'getting the work out the door'. The only way to 'do more with less' is to align resources toward a single and powerful integrated marketing solution. Individual marketing tactics will simply become marginalized and highly tactical with 'less'.

Death of Concept: Beginning of the End of the Local Movement

Grant McCracken
Oct 22, 2009

Every trend comes with a ticking clock. It may feel inevitable, but its days are numbered. This too shall pass.

The Post-Crisis Consumer

John Gerzema
Oct 19, 2009

John Gerzema says there's an upside to the recent financial crisis -- the opportunity for positive change. Speaking at TEDxKC, he identifies four major cultural shifts driving new consumer behavior and shows how businesses are evolving to connect with thoughtful spending.

Top 5 Twitter Trends to Watch Right Now

Oct 19, 2009

We’ve been taking an active analytical look at emerging Twitter related trends on a monthly basis. This month instead of analyzing the state of the Twittersphere on our own, we thought we’d give some of the web’s most experimental, influential, and knowledgeable thought leaders an opportunity to share their perspectives on Twitter trends. Given that BlogWorld Expo is currently underway in Las Vegas, with the best of the best wandering the halls, we decided to stop a few of the greats — Steve Rubel, Chris Pirillo, Leo Laporte, Brian Solis, and Guy Kawasaki — to get their candid take on the what’s trending in the Twittersphere.

The Viral Video Bandwagon

Oct 19, 2009

Viral video marketing has exploded in the years since (and you no longer need Guy Ritchie to direct them). Along the way, there have been some great standouts like Smirnoff's Tea Partay, but also a lot of complete rubbish. This year, it feels like every marketing plan features viral video as a tactic. Yet, many brands treat these videos in the same dull way as placing a grocery cart ad or staging an on-pack promotion. They feel like infomercials. These brands assume that if they build it, viewers will come (and watch, and share).

Balloon Boy, Kanye West and Lady Gaga Walk Into a Bar ...

Oct 16, 2009

Balloon Boy, Kanye West and Lady Gaga Walk into a bar. Bartender says, "Hey, wait a second -- how old is that kid? You can't bring a kid in here!" Lady Gaga says nothing and just tries to keep a poker face, but you can tell she's pissed that the kid is getting all the attention. Kanye West says, "Yo Bartender, Imma let you finish, but ..." -- but then the bartender, fumbling with his cellphone, says, "Actually, hold that thought, I've gotta get a TwitPic of this!" First, though, he starts to tweet "Balloon Boy, Kanye West and La" -- but before he can finish, I grab the phone out of his hands and smash it to the ground while screaming, "Stop it!! For the love of God, just STOP IT!!" On Monday, I published a column about how the rapid dissemination of misinformation through Twitter and other real-time social media is increasingly causing a "general derangement of reality" that's "becoming more and more endemic to the way we consume information and communicate -- and think -- now." And that that social-media-enabled nonsense filtered back "through the prism of the worst of the old media -- particularly cable news channels and talk radio" -- is making us all a little bit nuts.

Stop Buying Customers

Oct 16, 2009

Every traditional marketing campaign is a customer purchase, that is no revelation: ROI and CPC, CPM, CPA are all standards. But I suggest there is something wrong with that mindset. In fact, with the uncertainty of the future of media, everything might be wrong with that mindset.

We're Spending More Time with Social Media: Advertisers Follow

Brian Solis
Oct 16, 2009

The attention dashboard is rapidly emerging as the online hub for sharing and discovering information, connecting us to people, content, and events in real-time. According to research, we’re already spending more time in social networks than we are in email. New studies are only fortifying these findings, documenting an increase time spent specifically in Social Media and blogs. In fact, the Nielsen Company reports reports that time spent on social networks and blogs accounted for 17 percent of total time spent on the Internet in August 2009. Most notably, but not surprising, however, is that this discovery represents nearly triple the percentage of time spent using Social Media just one year ago.

Beverage Industry Expects More Entertaining at Home

Oct 16, 2009

When it comes to alcoholic beverages, there will still be a good amount of holiday cheer in the coming months. American consumers are still looking to purchase beer, wine and spirits, and are more likely to seek value and entertain in the home compared to years past, according to the latest Nielsen data. The alcoholic beverage category has proven to be resilient, but not recession proof. Sales were up slightly, at 2 percent, for the 52 weeks ended Sept. 5 compared to the year prior. Wine saw the biggest spike at 5.1 percent followed by spirits (2 percent) and beer (0.7 percent).

5 Retail Marketing Trends for 2010

Oct 15, 2009

1) Inconspicuous Consumption: Consumers respond to the social moment by taking consumption into the closet. As when we talk about going to Fred's (in-store restaurant), not Barney's. Or, ask to have new purchases shipped, rather than be seen carrying a branded shopping bag. Or, decide to have shoes repaired and last year's jacket altered. Spending as a covert activity. No bragging rights.

The Habits of Fruit Flies

Sep 22, 2009

Federated Media and Palm are running a new tool called Trend Tracker that identifies and tracks emerging Twitter trends by tweet volume over time and geography, with the intent of predicting the next hot trend topics. If this is primary research, then painting-by-numbers is art.

Four-Wheeled: PSFK Trend Insights Around Food

Sep 18, 2009

We spent some time recently looking back at the patterns in the content in PSFK to try to identify emerging themes within specific target categories. ‘Four-Wheeled’ is one of three trends we identified from the data found on our site.

Google Launches Internet Stat Center

Sep 10, 2009

Without any fanfare, Google has launched a new resource called "Google Internet Stats" which brings together industry facts and insights from across five different industries. Using a number of third party vendors as sources, the stats tool parses through online data to reveal Twitter-sized snippets and factoids like: "Over 90% of online merchants are planning to add rich media and social networking functions in 2009 -Internet Retailing" or "Runners have collectively logged over 93 million miles on nikeplus.com - BusinessWeek." While the stat center is an excellent new resource, there is one odd thing about it - it's hosted on the google.co.uk domain even though many of the sources used for stats have a global focus. The collection of statistics is broken down into five main areas of focus: Technology, Macro Economic Trends, Media Landscape, Media Consumption, and Consumer Trends.

Blue Chip, White Cotton: What Underwear Says About the Economy

Aug 31, 2009

For one answer to the nation's most pressing economic question -- when will the recession end? -- just take a peek inside the American man's underwear drawer. There may be some new pairs there, judging by recent reports from retailers and analysts, and that could mean better days ahead for everyone. Here's the theory, briefly: Sales of men's underwear typically are stable because they rank as a necessity. But during times of severe financial strain, men will try to stretch the time between buying new pairs, causing underwear sales to dip.

A Few Good Things to Come Out of the Recession

Freddie Laker
Aug 27, 2009

I'm sure I'm not the first one to tell you: We're in a recession. The doom has advertisers hanging signs along the lines of "Will Work For Food" on their agency walls, and marketers continue to face facts and figures like these, from Forrester's 2009 Global CMO Recession Survey: 71% of marketing budgets have been reduced this year, and more than half reported reductions greater than 20%. Now here comes the curveball: I think this might be the best thing that has happened to our industry in decades.

Google Adds Forecast Insight to Insights for Search

Aug 19, 2009

Last year, Google updated Google Trends and launched Google Insights for Search, allowing advertisers and marketers to track search behavior based on frequency of searches, time frame, or geographic location. Now Google is throwing the element of predictability into the mix. Looking at a particular trend's historical search popularity, Google forecasts the trend's future performance.

Using Twitter as a Collective Mood Ring

Aug 11, 2009

Twitter has been described many ways. At its best, it has been called a revolutionary political tool and a low-cost marketing machine. At its worst, it has been dubbed a waste of time. Now, two researchers are calling it a hedonimeter, a device that measures happiness.

Breakfast Can Wait. The Day’s First Stop Is Online.

Aug 10, 2009

Karl and Dorsey Gude of East Lansing, Mich., can remember simpler mornings, not too long ago. They sat together and chatted as they ate breakfast. They read the newspaper and competed only with the television for the attention of their two teenage sons. That was so last century. Today, Mr. Gude wakes at around 6 a.m. to check his work e-mail and his Facebook and Twitter accounts. The two boys, Cole and Erik, start each morning with text messages, video games and Facebook.

The Goal of Twitter’s New Homepage? Be the World’s Water Cooler

Jul 29, 2009

Twitter now has a brand spankin’ new homepage. Of course, if you’re a regular Twitter user, you’re rarely going to see it because you’re already logged in. But for the 5 billion+ people Twitter has yet to convert, it provides the company’s big chance to get them to sign up and stay on their website.

Site Wins Fashion Fans by Letting Them Design

Jul 27, 2009

The fashion magazines Vogue, InStyle and Lucky may rule the newsstand racks. But online, they are also-rans, overlooked by the fashion-conscious in favor of Polyvore, an upstart Web site far from Fifth Avenue.

Starbucks Goes Back to Its Roots With Cafe Concept

Jul 20, 2009

Starbucks is going back to its premium-coffeehouse roots -- by building premium coffeehouses. The chain, in the latest attempt to negotiate its turnaround, is focusing on stores with smaller-batch coffee, community involvement and entertainment.

Smashing the Template

Jul 14, 2009

Visual design, in Stocks’ mind, is not a passive endeavor but a form of communication—design is part of the message, not a shiny coat over the message. If the trends in design currently tilt toward simplicity and transparency, Stocks presents a strong counterargument for using aesthetics to tell the story in a different light. The grungy, painterly aesthetic and complex visual structure of his blog—in which every visual element leads to another—demonstrate that his theories can be used to make a website a work of narrative art.

H&M Blasts Past Nike; Wal-Mart Wallops Tesco

Jul 6, 2009

H&M, Esprit and Adidas are apparel brands that are coming on strong, while Nike, Zara, Gap and Puma are weakening. And although Wal-Mart is still tops, Amazon -- a brand that does little conventional advertising -- is blistering past its retail competitors, according to the latest brand evaluation from Millward Brown Optimor, a division of WPP.

What Are Googlers Googling?

Jun 24, 2009

Last week I had the privilege of visiting the nice folks at Google's New York City office for lunch. Lair of creativity and Web savvy that it is, I wanted to know which of Google's tools fascinate their own ranks most. One of the fascinating answers I got: Google Insights, a little-publicized tool Google launched last summer to analyze search terms over time and location. It lets you plot search terms against each other, figuring out who is searching what, when, and where.

The Social Media-Gaming Connection

Jun 11, 2009

What are the hottest business trends in social media? Gaming and virtual payments are among the fastest-growing segments, according to social media experts gathered at the Advertising 2.0 conference Wednesday in New York.

Ogilvy Extends Focus Beyond Traditional Role

May 26, 2009

Ogilvy & Mather is creating a multinational practice to handle clients’ communications on the theme of sustainability, in a push by its new chief executive to be seen as more of a consultancy than an advertising agency.

Study: The Three Stages Of Trading Down

May 19, 2009

At this point, no one needs reminding that the recession has changed the way people shop. But a new study from the Food Marketing Institute paints an intriguing picture of the stages consumers go through as they continue to cut back. And to be sure, the study finds, they are cutting back.

Social Media is Here to Stay... Now What?

Danah Boyd
May 14, 2009

Social media is not new. Media has been leveraged for sociable purposes since the caveman's walls. Even in the realm of the Internet, some of the first applications were framed around communication and sharing. For decades, we've watched the development of new genres of social media - MUDs/MOOs, instant messaging, chatrooms, bulletin boards, etc. Social media is the latest buzzword in a long line of buzzwords. It is often used to describe the collection of software that enables individuals and communities to gather, communicate, share, and in some cases collaborate or play.

Is The Netbook Phenomenon Over? In a Way, Yes

May 13, 2009

New research by IDC points to falling sales of the chip that drives the majority of netbook PCs--Intel's Atom CPU. One suggestion is that the first quarter 33% drop is a sign that the netbook's rise to fame is on a down trend. In truth, that's not quite right. But the situation is complex.

Soap to Ploughshares

May 8, 2009

How to return Mother's Day to its original meaning.

Innovation Jubilation

May 2009 Trend Briefing
May 5, 2009

By now, virtually everyone has chimed in on how innovation is the only way out of the recession. So instead of adding more theory, let’s have a look at actual B2C innovations from recession-defying entrepreneurs and brands around the world.

How David Beats Goliath

Malcolm Gladwell
May 4, 2009

David’s victory over Goliath, in the Biblical account, is held to be an anomaly. It was not. Davids win all the time.

Websites Improve but Could Be Better

Apr 22, 2009

Amid the gloom, the internet still casts light: online retailers report bumper sales; and Twitter has become a staple for anyone looking for a jolly story. It makes sense: the internet has the huge advantage of being almost free for its consumers, and highly cost effective for its suppliers.

Seven Unthinkable Ideas From SXSW Interactive 2009

Mar 24, 2009

SXSW Interactive wrapped up last week, leaving the new-media mavens who attended a little more sober about the future despite the usual whirlwind of events and parties. Often dubbed the Sundance of new media, SXSWi is the bellwether for what lies ahead for digital culture. Here are seven unthinkable ideas from SXSWi 2009. Savvy marketers should consider these the tremors that lead to trends.

Contemplating the New Physicality of Cinema

C.S. Leigh
Mar 16, 2009

Mourning the death of the fetid, human way we used to interact with movies.

Consumers Cut Food Spending Sharply

Feb 13, 2009

The bad economy is hitting America right in the stomach. Consumers have cut back sharply on food spending, shunning restaurants, opting for generic products over brand names, trading in lattes for home-brewed coffee and shopping for bargains. That is hurting sales and profits at many food processors, grocery chains and restaurants.

Trendy Is As Trendy Does

Feb 12, 2009

Apparel retailer marketing is usually pretty nutty, and these businesses are on the bleeding edge of consumer spending trends.  So I'm fascinated that J. C. Penney will focus its spring advertising on bargain-priced items from trendy designers like Kimora Lee Simmons and Nicole Miller.

Meet TED, The Intellectual Mardi Gras

Feb 4, 2009

Imagine a gathering peppered with dozens of futurists, artists, CEOs, and scientists--plus a few more folks who defy categorization. They get all together for several days (February 3 to 7) to listen to mind-blowing talks about everything from population trends to sea creatures. It is an intellectual Mardi Gras. The presentations are filmed, and they're so compelling that they almost instantly go viral online.

Future Food Items Might Be a Challenge for Copywriters

Jan 26, 2009

What is healthful food? It could be a slice of white bread made from wheat genetically modified to slow the absorption of calories. Or it could be an organic carrot (possibly purple -- the color they were in the old days) yanked from a local farm by a local yokel. Such are the extremes of the food trends that will bring us delightful new tastes in clever new packaging, along with confusing, contradictory claims as to why we should eat them and not all the other stuff coming soon.

Prescription For Innovation 2009

Jan 21, 2009

With clouds continuing to darken over the economy, marketers are, not surprisingly, focused on the trends of the moment--value, downsizing, staying in. But to maintain the health of brands over the long haul, it's important not to become too distracted by the here and now. When it comes to innovation, it's critical to look beyond the abyss.

Web Design Trends For 2009

Jan 15, 2009

Over the last months, we’ve analyzed numerous Web designs, observing emerging trends and weighing the merits of numerous design decisions and coding solutions. In this post, we present Web design trends for 2009: recent developments, new design elements and new graphic approaches. We also discuss situations in which these trends can be used and present some beautiful examples.

8 Signs That Apple Customers Are No Longer Special

Dec 22, 2008

There was a time when a glowing Apple logo symbolized radical nonconformity. Being part of a miniature customer base was, to Mac users, like being a member of a holier-than-thou, secret society — a "Cult of Mac," if you will. But when Apple's ecosystem grew beyond notebooks and desktops to phones and internet services, that era came to an end.

Restaurants Focus On Kids, Local And Green

Dec 22, 2008

Restaurants have an overflowing plate of objectives for 2009. In addition to a core focus on delivering ever more value and convenience, they'll be expanding healthy kids' meals, locally sourced menu options and sustainability initiatives, according to National Restaurant Association survey findings included in the association's 2009 industry forecast.

IPG: Digital Will Impact 5 Key Areas Next Year

Dec 22, 2008

The digital interactive marketplace will continue to take shape and even make strides in 2009. IPG Emerging Media Labs identifies five trend areas to watch next year, related to browsers, conversation, transmission, retail and consumer tech.

The Year of the Simpler Gadget

Dec 21, 2008

Over the last year, consumers chose to buy two inexpensive and simple products, the Wii and the Flip, over competing gadgets bristling with more features.

Year In Ideas 2008

New York Times Magazine
Dec 14, 2008

Welcome back to the Year in Ideas issue. For the eighth year in a row, we have compiled an alphabetical digest of ideas, from A to Z  (almost), that helped make the previous 12 months, for better or worse, what they were.

The Way We'll Watch

Dec 8, 2008

Hollywood studios and tech companies are rolling out a host of innovations that will change the way we experience films at home and in theaters. They've already begun to serve up DVDs that let you chat with other people who are watching the same movie. They're also sprucing up theaters with crystal-clear screens and amenities like cozier seats and restaurant-quality food.


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