Daina’s Blog

…the thoughts of a modern day marketing student

Marketing During the Holidays! December 22, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 9:12 pm
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Advertising during this time of the year either gets under your skin or gets you in the holiday spirit. Several companies utilize the holiday season to push new products through creative promotions. I spoke about Nivea in a previous post, and just discovered a New Year’s Eve promotion called “3,2,1…Kiss!” that they are planning to execute in Times Square this year. Apparently, the company will be handing out samples of lip products along with a laminated card that gives instructions on how to score the perfect NYE kiss! I think it’s a cute idea that will get great responses – do you think the company is taking it a little too far by basing their promotion around kissing? You can view the promo here: “3,2,1…Kiss!

 

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I *heart* Amazon.com December 20, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 4:42 am
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I’ll admit that when I get bored, I tend to procrastinate… a lot. There’s just so many hours inamazon a day one can spend on Facebook, so one of the other sites I turn to is Amazon.com. I absolutely love to read, and this site offers literally any piece of literature you can think of. Many of the books have online excerpts available for browsing, and this is a great way to pass the time while actually becoming smarter (depending on what one reads, of course).

This is more of a tribute post, I suppose, as I’m in ‘love’ with Amazon.com. After analyzing several Web sites for content and design for class, I have to say that this one passed all of the ‘tests’ with flying colors.

I chose to explore this site because it integrates many forms of marketing without being overwhelming. The site design is excellent, and products are easy to search for. Links are listed on the left and a prominent search bar is displayed across the top of the site. I also like the recommendations that are personalized according to what one purchases. Very clever!

Among the many books I’ve purchased through this site, I’ll admit I’ve also bought other items such as shoes and food – imagine buying food at Amazon.com! This Web site is literally a one stop shopping Mecca and it’s amazing. As a marketing professional, I have to say that Amazon.com is an all-inclusive site that appeals to all demographic segments. If you need to buy something, you’re more than likely to find it there. 

 

Ads that Rock… Literally

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 4:29 am
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Nivea lip and facial products teamed up with Duffy to promote their product lines, and aduffy-nivea-2 partnership such as this is beneficial for all of the parties that are involved. The television spots mirror the print ads, and feature songs by the band. One of my favorites, called “A Secret Kiss”, utilizes the song lyrics to promote a feeling of the exhilarating first kiss. By integrating ads for both the band and the product, the audience is being inundated with several products at once.

This is a great tactic for marketing; take a look at the attached ad that features Duffy’s lead singer – the ad also promotes her album in the copy. By mirroring the print ads with the television commercials, the marketing tactics are integrated and are able to reach a wider scope of targets.

Using songs in ads also allows the audience to make a correlation between a product and a sound. A study was completed regarding this notion; “The ability of music to create differentiating effects on subjects’ impressions of product endorsers and brands of an advertisement were examined based on the theory of ‘musical fit’. Depending on musical style, music can lead to significantly different impressions of the endorser as well as the brand without affecting general evaluations of the product” (Zander n.d.). When it boils down to the psychology of advertising, music fits right in the mix as songs can promote emotions. In the case of Duffy, her music is sensual and moving, which goes hand-in-hand with the promotion of lip products… and kisses.

Nowadays, it is not uncommon for major rock stars to ‘sell out’ and use their songs in commercials. Back when rock and roll was about a revolution, it was looked down upon to commit the cardinal sin of selling out, but nowadays, advertising is like an art form unto itself. Songs can sell everything – think about car commercials that are plastered all over the TV – dirty rock songs sell big trucks; sexy jazz tunes sell classy Jaguars… all forms of multimedia can sell nearly anything – even emotions.

http://pom.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/34/4/465

http://www.economist.com/business/displaystory.cfm?story_id=1570553

 

 

Infiltrating Advertising into Schools

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 3:45 am
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Advertisements penetrate nearly every minute of our lives, and sometimes I wonder just howmdconalds-baby much children should be exposed to commercialization. McDonald’s has been advertising on report cards, offering the incentive of a free happy meal to those children who succeed in the areas of their grades, behavior and attendance.

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, which really goes against the advertising world as a whole, came down hard on this method of advertising simply because of the association with good grades and bad food. “This promotion takes in-school marketing to a new low… it bypasses parents and targets children directly with the message that doing well in school should be rewarded by a Happy Meal” (Susan Linn 2007). Parents should be able to control what affects their children’s lives, and this type of advertising overlooks that choice.

Children are very susceptible to advertising tactics, and this is a market that IMC professionals need to be very careful with. Schools are supposed to be safe havens for children, and I don’t believe it is appropriate to plaster report cards with ads no matter where the money goes.

“Research shows that children under the age of eight are unable to critically comprehend televised advertising messages and are prone to accept advertiser messages as truthful, accurate and unbiased. This can lead to unhealthy eating habits as evidenced by today’s youth obesity epidemic” (APA 2004). Ethics come into play once again, and rather than marketing for monetary purposes only, IMC professionals should think about the consequences of ads that appeal to younger generations.

http://commercialfreechildhood.org/pressreleases/reportcard.htm

http://www.apa.org/releases/childrenads.html  

 

There’s a Rainbow of Choice Out There December 17, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 8:37 pm
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Nowadays, graphic design and Web design go hand-in-hand; you would be102706_fallcolors2 hard pressed to find a print designer who has not at least dabbled in Internet workings. With so many color choices out there, how do you determine which will work best for your product? In my opinion, the colors chosen should reflect what is being promoted; if you’re selling a Gibson to grungy rockers, go for the dark red and black scheme with a metal edge. If you’re selling wheatgrass seeds to raw foodies, go green! Colors can certainly help promote a product and give a Web site the feel you want.

Did you know that the color orange tends to cheapen things? According to an article on Cyberindian.com, “Importance of Color in Web Design”, orange “tends to make more expensive products seem affordable and suitable for everyone, almost like a natural sales pitch” (Wilder n.d.) Think about all of the orange logos out there – one in particular, Home Depot, stands out – and I associate this company with good deals. Coincidence? I think not.

How about blue… this color, one of the most popular out there, supposedly increases trust. “Blue represents calm, stability, hope, wisdom and generosity. People inherently trust blue websites faster. Add blue text and people will retain more information from your site. Combine blue, purple and white and you have nobility” (Wilder n.d.). Red raises the heart rate; yellow is spiritual but tends to make babies cry and adults angry. So – where to start?

Think about your product and whom you are targeting. Colors can become associated with brands very easily… Barbie equals pink, McDonalds equals gold(en arches), Target equals red and white. Do you want your product to appear rich and elite or affordable for everyone? There are so many directions to consider it can almost be overwhelming. According to our week 8 lesson in class, Web sites are a “visual medium, and the ways in which words and images work together can greatly affect the messages being presented as well as the experience of the visitor” (Ramos 2008). Use a trial and error method to test many different color combinations in order to find what works best for your product, for you, and for your target audience.

Wilder, W.L. (n.d.). “Importance of Color in Web Design”. http://www.cyberindian.com/web-designing/importance-of-color-in-web-design.php

 

 

Let’s be Smart AND Sassy!

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 7:56 pm
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Besides design elements, writing strong content for Web sites is imperativenewspaper-internet in drawing in your audience and keeping them there… on your site, that is. Have you ever come across a Web site that is well done in terms of color scheme and layout, only to be severely disappointed in what you are reading? I know I have (I won’t name any names)… but as soon as I got somewhat deep into the content, I got frustrated and clicked off the site. Not good if you’re the business owner.

With the rising popularity of blogs, the way one writes has become increasingly important. Since blogs are often used as a form of promotion, the content needs to be direct, but still engaging. People prefer to read shorter pieces according to author Jakob Nielsen. “People tend to be ruthless in abandoning long-winded sites; they mainly want to skim highlights” (Nielsen 2007). The same goes for print newspapers; why do you think reporters and editors spend so much time perfecting headlines and leads? The majority of readers don’t even get past the first few paragraphs of a news story.

Content also needs to be unique; apparently, “the more original content on a page, the more highly it is regarded by search engines. If any portion of a website contains materials that are seen elsewhere, the owner can expect the subsequent penalty” (templatesfactory.net n.d.). I was unaware of this fact before coming across this article, but if your Web site is an original, it ranks higher in search returns. Very interesting!

Another article I came across regarding writing for the Web noted that everything on the Internet is linked (hence the name), and this is what makes writing for this type of advertising different than print. “Writing for print results in content that is disconnected. When we write for the Web we must think carefully about the links between content, about how we connect the dots. In a network such as the Web, the links can be as important as what is linked to” (McGovern 2004). Consider the BIG picture when writing smart and sassy content for the Web – if you were the audience, where would you like to go next? It’s nearly comparable to those books they used to publish with alternate endings – the ones where the reader is able to make several choices throughout the story for different outcomes. Consider all options, and make sure your writing is intelligent, and be clever and to the point!

http://www.useit.com/alertbox/content-strategy.html

http://www.templatesfactory.net/articles/importance-of-unique-content-for-a-website.html

http://www.gerrymcgovern.com/nt/2004/nt_2004_09_06_web_writing_links.htm

 

 

Is it Appropriate to Stereotype in Advertising? December 16, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 2:44 am
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I think we all do it – no matter what nationality, gender, whatever you are… stereotyping is so common in everyday life, we hardly notice we’re doing it. It’s unfortunate, but it is what it is. Since it happens daily, is it appropriate to use in advertising? Will stereotypes actually draw in the target audience through some sort of subliminal understanding?

An article posted on Media Awareness Network speaks of this issue: “Media stereotypes are inevitable, especially in the advertising, entertainment and news industries, which need as wide an audience as possible to quickly understand information. Stereotypes act like codes that give audiences a quick, common understanding of a person or group of people – usually relating to their class, ethnicity or race, gender, sexual orientation, social role or occupation” (Media Awareness Network n.d.). A very strong definition – but in what ways are stereotyping negative? The article goes on to note that stereotypes are very general – which is absolutely true – and it is not fair to generalize any group of people.

Consider ads done by companies such as McDonalds and KFC. A somewhat recent television spot promoting Kentucky Fried Chicken features a black family gathering around a kitchen table to enjoy their hot meal – minus a father. What is this trying to say… are single mothers common in this culture? I think that this commercial is extremely stereotypical and could be viewed as inappropriate; yes, I’m sure this case is true in many African American households…. JUST as it is true in white, Hispanic, Asian, etc. households.

Another article, “Who’s responsible for the racist stereotypes in advertising?”, posted on Racialicious.com (love the name), speaks of the images that relate to certain races. “The stereotypical images were not always stereotypical. In fact, the multicultural agencies invented most of them. When minority representation in the media was virtually non-existent, the multicultural shops unleashed relevant and authentic depictions of fill-in-the-minority life” (racialicious.com 2007). The article speaks of walking a fine line between being able to capture the targeted audience’s attention rather than just diving into the closed-minded stereotypes. This doesn’t necessarily just deal with race alone – it also relates to gender, age and virtually any other category that can be created. I suppose it’s a part of human nature to place people in such groups, but as a marketing professional, it is important to be able to take in the big picture – a well-rounded idea may have the best chance of capturing the attention of the targeted audience… and then some.

http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/issues/stereotyping/

http://www.racialicious.com/2007/10/03/whos-responsible-for-the-racist-stereotypes-in-advertising/