Thursday, March 18, 2010

News Roundup

From last month's Chinese New Year celebration in Sydney. Via

  • Will selling your Vitamin company as 100% US and 0% China work? A company is trying just that.

  • The Drinkabilty campaign caused the first ever full-year sales decline in Budweiser history.

  • Zappos has a new ad campaign. Is it touting its shoes? No. Is it selling its new collection of Jeans? No. Try customer service.

  • Asics has a new womens sportswear line called AYAMi.
    Amsterdam Worldwide created the campaign which takes its name from the Japanese term for ‘feminine’, ‘colourful’, ‘design’ and ‘beauty’. ASICS conducted an in-depth study with women across four European countries* to investigate their running apparel needs. The research reveals that not only are more women taking up running, but they also want to look good and feel great during exercise. Amateur female runners were used for the campaign: Charli Croll, Sophia Teres and Kari Frette – who in turn were shot by world-renowned sports portrait photographer, Robert Wilson. AYAMi will launch in Germany, Austria, the UK and Benelux this spring, with a wider European rollout planned in autumn this year.

  • OK Go has a new song out and, therefore, another outstanding music video

  • Urban Outfitters is launching a new bridal brand while American Eagle is closing down Martin + Osa.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A beautiful PSA

This is a very beautifully shot and art directed public service ad campaign called Embrace This from England. Despite the techniques used to make it more aesthetically pleasing, viewer discretion is advised.

Via AdFreak

Friday, March 05, 2010

5 thoughts from David Armano

This is from David Armano's outstanding blog Logic+Emotion. David works as a Sr. Vice President at the Chicago office of Edelman Digital and is a popular speaker at SXSW.

We all live in glass houses

So when you throw that stone—and you will, don't be surprised when you are picking up the pieces of your own house as it shatters around you.

Build something

You'll be happier, healthier and wiser if at the end of the day, month or year if you've built something of value. If it helps others to be better—bonus.

Don't give up

Even when you really, really want to throw in the towel. Fight as if you're fighting for your life. Maybe in some ways, you really are.

Hit it hard

If you're going to do something, go at it with everything you've got.


Words such as these won't stop you from failing and falling short on a daily basis. If you aren't, then you're not really living.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Neuromarketing. the future of marketing?

The following is from The Wall Street Journal- February 17, 2010 edition.

The Emotional Quotient of Soup Shopping

Campbell Taps 'Neuromarketing' Techniques to Find Why Shelf Displays Left Some Customers Cold

By Ilan Brat

The bowls are getting bigger and steamier, but the soup spoons are going away.

Those are among the biggest changes Campbell Soup Co. is making in decades to the iconic labels and shelf displays of its condensed soups—the company's biggest single business, with more than $1 billion in sales.

The changes—to be announced Wednesday—will culminate a two-year effort by Campbell to figure out how to get consumers to buy more soup. Condensed soup has been a slow-growing category in which consumers have little tolerance for price increases.

The problem: It's not easy to know what prompts people to buy soup, except it's warm to eat on a frosty day. When asked why they eat more soup or not, people tend to "say they don't think of it," says Doug Conant, Campbell chief executive.

The company hopes the label and display changes will help shoppers connect on a deeper level to the products and boost its condensed soup sales by 2% over the next two years.

For two years, Campbell researchers studied microscopic changes in skin moisture, heart rate and other biometrics to see how consumers react to everything from pictures of bowls of soup to logo design.

This "neuromarketing" approach is a fresh attempt among companies to better understand how consumers respond to marketing and advertising.

Technological advances have made the research cheaper and faster, making it accessible to more companies. Scientists also better understand how near-instant brain and body responses relate to how people generate meaning from new information, says Robert Barocci, president of the Advertising Research Foundation.

For years, Campbell's researchers asked consumers whether they remembered an ad and whether it made them more likely to buy a product. But a 2005 Campbell analysis revealed that, overall, ads deemed more effective in surveys had little relation to changes in sales.

Robert Woodard, Campbell's vice president of global consumer and customer insights, says the traditional interview had limited usefulness because people's words didn't fully capture their unconscious responses. He says Campbell needed approaches that would help it understand the neurological and bodily responses to an ad rather than how people thought they'd reacted.

By 2008 Mr. Woodard settled on the biometric tools combined with a different type of deep interview to more accurately gauge which consumer communications worked better. Campbell then hired Innerscope Research Inc., a Boston company that measures bodily responses, and other firms to help conduct research.

To be sure, neuromarketing techniques have their doubters. And biometrics tell only if a person reacted to something, not whether they liked or disliked something, and sample sizes tend to be small.

Carl Marci, an Innerscope founder, says his tools can' t pinpoint what emotions a person feels. But if all the biological metrics move simultaneously in the same direction, the subject is likely to be emotionally engaging with something.

Campbell began dissecting its condensed-soup marketing that summer, around when executives had started considering how to refresh the product line.

Researchers interviewed about 40 people at their homes and later in grocery stores. The team also clipped small video cameras to the testers at eye level and had them later watch tape of themselves shopping for soup. Special vests captured skin-moisture levels, heart rate, depth and pace of breathing, and posture. Sensors tracked eye movements and pupil width.

Researchers found warmth and other positive attributes people associated with Campbell's soup at home evaporated when they faced store shelves.

Typically, consumers show simultaneous blips in most of their biological metrics when they decide to buy something. These indicate the emotional reward they feel for making a choice and may help drive future purchases, Mr. Marci says.

But the array of condensed soups so overwhelmed many participants that they would quickly scan the category and select soups while evidencing little biometric response. The people who spent more time exploring varieties showed more and bigger simultaneous spikes in biometrics—and tended to put more soup cans in their baskets.

The Campbell team figured it could boost sales by triggering more emotional responses in stores and prompting more people to focus on more soups.

Another round of research showed Campbell's large logo at the top of shelf displays draws more attention than necessary. At first glance, the logo's bright red background makes its many varieties of soups seem to blend together, the company learned.

In interviews, participants said the soup pictured on the can and shelf labels didn't look warm. And the big spoon holding a sample on each label provoked little emotional response.

Shoppers will begin seeing changes in supermarkets this fall. Among them: Condensed-soup varieties will be sectioned into four, color-coded categories such as "taste sensations" in orange and "classic favorites" in light brown. The company's logo will be smaller and moved lower so it's not as prominent.

Campbell's three biggest sellers—chicken noodle, tomato and cream of mushroom, the soup can labels immortalized by Andy Warhol—will remain the same. But on other labels, steam will rise from larger, more vibrant pictures of soup in more modern, white bowls. And those unemotional spoons will disappear.

Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page B6

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