Daina’s Blog

…the thoughts of a modern day marketing student

Marketing to Minorities is a Major Deal December 16, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 2:17 am
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Marketing to minorities is an essential element that every prmenthol02ofessional needs to consider; at a glance, “America’s Hispanic population is poised to become the single largest minority in the nation; there are 41.3 million Hispanics in the United States – or one in every seven people” (Hass 2007). Being bilingual is nearly a necessity in certain areas of the country, and as a marketing professional, it is ideal if all tactics appealed to a wide range of audiences. However, sometimes it is just as important to focus on one group in order to get the best possible message across.

After pondering how companies best market to minorities, the issue of ethics once again crossed my mind. It must be my conscience coming forth, but as I think about companies – tobacco companies, specifically – and how they push their products onto certain groups, it concerns me that sometimes marketing professionals go just a bit too far. According to an article posted on the American Heart Association Web site, the tobacco industry has upped their campaigns targeted to minorities during the last decade. I know that there are many rules and regulations regarding the advertisement of tobacco, and it is rare to come across an ad nowadays, but I suppose once people are hooked on the product, the need to push the drug decreases. Check this out – “according to the Centers for Disease Control, in 1996 smoking rates among African-American males had doubled within four years” (American Heart Association n.d.). Scary, no? These are young children and teens we are talking about here – the study was done with children as young as 14 to high school kids up to 18 years of age. “Former District of Columbia Health Commissioner Reed Tuckson defined the tobacco industry’s marketing practices as ‘the subjugation of people of color through disease’” (American Heart Association n.d.).  Honestly, I don’t know how marketers who dabble in tobacco advertising sleep at night.

On the other side of the fence, there are many campaigns directed towards minorities that have a much more positive light – take, for example, Walt Disney World. A classmate of mine wrote about this company in greater detail, and I found it interesting that the company offers a sister Web site that is completely in the Spanish language. This is extremely accommodating and will make first time travelers feel welcome. Said classmate also spoke of ethics in her post – here we go again – but it is a fine line we walk as marketing professionals, making sure all advertising tactics are honest an unoffending. Disney, to me, has always been ethical in a marketing sense… don’t get me started on the princesses though.

Hass, Werner. (2007). “Marketing to Minorities: The Hispanic Market”. Referenced December 15, 2008. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/197023/marketing_to_minorities.html

http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=11226

http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/wdwi/es/index?bhcp=1

 

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Mr. Griffin… I see you in my sleep! December 3, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 4:15 am
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family-guy-peter-griffin-2160x1440We are swimming in marketing – it’s all around us, even within us. If you think about it, pretty much everything we see or do or own contains some level of advertising – it is what makes the world go ‘round. Marketing is certainly prevalent in television shows, and there are several examples that can be used to prove it.

I’m a huge fan of Family Guy, and one episode has been ingrained in my mind and fits any marketing situation perfectly – it’s called “Mr. Griffin Goes to Washington”. A short synopsis: Peter becomes president of a company that creates toys, which promote underage smoking. Throughout the episode, marketing message after marketing message are thrown in for good fun and after a while, it gets downright ridiculous.

And check out Futurama – they dedicated an entire episode to “while-you-sleep advertising”! Basically, advertising is pumped into your brain while you sleep so you dream of different products. Scary though – could this be possible in the future? One word: neuromarketing. Check this out: “Corporations are going to enormous lengths to probe the minds of consumers – literally tapping into their brains” (mindpowernews.com). Basically, a lab scans people’s brains with MRI’s to determine subconscious thoughts and create better advertising campaigns based on the information that is found. Apparently, there are biological triggers that stimulate purchases.

“Imagine a world where advertisers figure out the exact colors, tastes, smells and images that speak to the core appetites of humanity and surpass the rational mind” (neurmarketing.blogs.com). I can’t fathom how selling an item would be SO important as to literally probe the mind of a human being – and I’m saying this as a marketing professional. However, larger corporations that can afford such luxurious studies are utilizing neuromarketing. I suppose we shall see what the future has in store for us…

Salon.com. “Joyce Millman On Television: That 31st century show”. Referenced December 2, 2008. http://www.salon.com/ent/tv/mill/1999/03/cov_26mill.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Griffin_Goes_to_Washington

http://neuromarketing.blogs.com/

http://www.mindpowernews.com/SubliminalAds.htm

 

Films as art… films as marketing tools December 2, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 6:00 pm
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There are short films out there that walk a fine line between being pure art and pure promotion; I’ve beenkidmansifting through a handful of the films from our weekly school discussion board and some of them inspire but others are rather futile. The film I chose to decipher, that of Chanel No5 and Nicole Kidman, was a rather artsy piece that was filled with beautiful flowing images and emotional highs. Kidman is the link that ties passion with the fragrance, and the short film is selling the product with subliminal messages.

Short films may be a strong outlet for small businesses with lower budgets, as these pictures can be broadcasted for free on Web sites such as YouTube and MySpace. All that is needed is a camera, basic editing tools and a creative imagination. A friend of mine was recently talking about putting together a commercial for his company by using random clips from the Internet that correspond with the business. Great idea – cost effective, limitless opportunities – the only thing one has to worry about is copyright issues if using others material.

My company is phasing into using TV as a promotional outlet; we are planning on filming interviews and how-to segments that will entice our audience to pick up the paper more often. Advertisers have already jumped on the bandwagon and are interested in sponsoring banner ads on the company Web site. How would short films fit into this idea? Perhaps we can film a day at the dock or a trip out on the water and include advertising messages throughout. There are definitely opportunities to get creative with filming in the fishing industry.

So – going back to using short films as an art form versus advertising – I think that the most successful piece will be an equal combination of both. Even feature length films include marketing tactics, whether it is that can of Coke in the background to the mention of a designer brand name – advertising messages surround us all, sometimes without us even realizing it! If you think about it, virtually everything out there contains some sort of advertisement that is ingrained into our brains day in and day out. More to come on that thought in the next post…

Oh, and while you’re at it, check out this gem of a short film that I came across: Jim Morrison: College Dork. (I’m sure that wasn’t the original name of the film). Yes, it features the Lizard King himself in a promotional piece for Florida State University as a student who gets turned down by the school due to lack of space and funding. Heart wrenching, no? 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTO4FHf8MBs

http://www.spike.com/video/jim-morrison-college/2665896

 

Music makes the world go ‘round

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 4:10 am
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musicMobile marketing is one of the best ways to promote new music, as it is affordable, accessible and modern. There are factors that marketing professionals do have to face when it comes to this style of promotion, as music fans can be finicky once in a while. “The most pressing question facing mobile carriers, music labels and music service providers is how consumer behavior will evolve as mobile music transitions from a phase dominated by early-adopter, active music fans to one more influenced by mainstream, casual music fans” (Gauntt 2006).  Marketing professionals will have to delve deeper into the world of music to understand what makes the audience tick. Since music is an art form, it needs to be addressed as so – people are sensitive when it comes to their favorite sounds and the marketing campaigns should mirror these feelings.

The different mobile devices available also allow for a wide range of marketing techniques – sending out downloads via text message is a great way to get new sounds out to a plethora of consumers. Having a personalized ring tone is a ‘must’ for the modern generations, and if these tones are pieces of new songs from popular artists, a great promotion happens. Apple is more often than not on top of things in the marketing world, and the mobile scene is no different. The iPhone is able to handle sophisticated applications – music included. “Internet radio pioneer Pandora released an app that works seamlessly on the smartphone. Founder Tim Westergren attests that it ‘has doubled our new registered listener growth’” (Gauntt 2006). Rock and roll.

There are so many things that can be done through a cellular phone – from broadcasting live TV to sending virtually anything through a text message. Speaking of TV – see my previous blog – record labels could purchase their own channels to promote new music videos from their artists. Cellular users would be able to subscribe to specific channels geared toward the genre of music they enjoy, and new artists will be promoted this way. The possibilities are endless…

Gauntt, John. iMediaConnection.com. (2006). “Marketing Mobile Music”. Referenced December 1, 2008. http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/9747.asp

Weinstein, Jerry. Huffington Post. (2008). “Apple iPhone Ignites Mobile Marketing with Music, Gaming and Virtual World Apps”. Referenced December 1, 2008. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jerry-weinstein/apple-iphone-ignites-mobi_b_114479.html

http://www.mobilemarketingwatch.com/category/mobile-music/ Referenced December 1, 2008. 

 

Mobile Marketing: Angels on your phone? December 1, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 4:05 am
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sex up your cell phone...

sex up your cell phone...

Mobile marketing is making its presence known everywhere and anywhere; campaigns of all shapes and sizes are coming to your cell phone and will be here to stay. Whether it is wallpaper downloads, ring tones or other promotional items, mobile marketing is taking on the advertising world by storm.

With the annual Victoria’s Secret fashion show coming soon, the Angels have been in the media more often than not. This month, Victoria’s Secret now has its own branded mobile TV channel (Butcher 2008). Subscribers of Flo TV, a live television service that can be viewed through a mobile phone device, can watch a channel specifically dedicated to the fashion show. Advertising on Flo TV is similar to that of regular TV. “In some cases, it’s a blend of promotions and product advertising, and in other cases it’s a flow-through of the advertising just as it would exist on broadcast or cable,” (Butcher 2008).

This is an interesting concept, and it is the first I’ve really heard of it. It does make one wonder though – how much time do people actually spend on their cell phones where they would watch actual TV on them? Yes, this could be a welcome distraction during a long day at work, but to actually sit there and watch TV on your phone – that’s a bit of a stretch to imagine. However, Flo TV seems to be catching on and it’s definitely a convenient way for advertisers to send out their messages to cell phone users. Obviously, the people choose whether or not they want to watch, so messages will be received well – unlike traditional telemarketing.

So… do you want the angels to grace your cell phone? It’s a great concept, and while I’m not planning on becoming a mobile TV subscriber, I’m sure that many will find the idea appealing. The channels included in the lineup are CBS, CBS College Sports, CBS News, CNBC, Comedy Central, ESPN, Fox, Fox News, Fox Sports, MSNBC, MTV, NBC 2Go, NBC, NBC Sports, NBC News, NickToons and Nickelodeon (Butcher 2008). Great variety to entice people of all ages. I can see this taking off in the very near future, and expanding to reach all mobile carriers.

Butcher, Dan. Mobile Marketer. (2008) “Victoria’s Secret Ramps Up Mobile Presence”. Referenced November 28, 2008. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/television/2166.html

http://www.flotv.com/index.php

 

Speaking of junk food… November 16, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 6:39 pm
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710cornsyrupOkay, I’m still ranting about the ethics of marketing junk food to youngsters. This practice truly bothers me, and I can honestly say that I would never work for a company and/or product that I do not believe in. That said, have you all seen the television spots regarding the “goodness” of high fructose corn syrup? They drive me insane.

Being a nutrition buff and a high-raw vegan, every little misconception about the health factor of high fructose corn syrup bugs me. According to the Web site, www.sweetsurprse.com, “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted high fructose corn syrup “Generally Recognized as Safe” status for use in food, and reaffirmed that ruling in 1996 after thorough review” (Sweetsurprise.com, n.d.). Does this sound convincing? Let’s take a look at the marketing tactics that are used in the campaign. First – the commercials. You can view the ads here: http://www.sweetsurprise.com/seeourads.php

Each of the ads feature a skeptical person that seems to assume that corn syrup is bad but cannot state why. The print ads mirror the television spots. All in all, I have to say that the marketing campaign is rather well thought out, and this upsets me even further. The marketing pros that worked on this campaign definitely knew how to resonate with the audience, as most people are not well educated when it comes to nutrition. They see and hear ads, and they believe them. According to the press kit on the Web site, this specific campaign is geared toward consumers aged 25 and older, particularly moms. As for the ethical side, the ads do urge moderation in consumption.

There’s an article on MSNBC from the Associated Press that I found to be interesting and informative regarding this marketing campaign and the falsities of it. “In 2006, the Sugar Association petitioned the FDA to clarify the definition of “natural,” complaining that its use in describing high-fructose corn syrup was misleading because corn’s original chemical state is altered significantly during processing into syrup” (2008). Unethical marketing tactics mislead consumers and in this case, it is a very dangerous practice because it deals directly with health. The healthcare industry will certainly benefit from this campaign paid for by corn farmers, but that’s about it.

To each his own, but don’t believe everything that you see or hear.

SweetSurpise.com (n.d.) Referenced November 16, 2008.

“Ads aimed at sweetening corn syrup’s image”. (2008). Referenced November 16, 2008. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26648177/

 

Ban the TV!

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 5:37 pm
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Marketing to children often walks a fine line as far as ethics are concerned, as youngsters are impressionable and their minds are easily molded. However, the market for children is expanding on a near daily basis, as the younger generations hold plenty of influence over the purchasing powers in the household. Television commercials are one of the main ways that marketing professionals connect to children; messages are seen over and over and eventually a child asks the parent to purchase an item that was seen on TV.

It’s important to children to keep up with their peers and today’s marketing tactics have added pressure to the younger generations to keep up with the times in order to appear ‘cool’. According to an article titled “Advertising to children: Is it ethical?” posted on the Monitor on Psychology Web site, the result of marketing to children “is not only an epidemic of materialistic values among children, but also something [psychologist Allen D. Kanner, PhD] calls ‘narcissistic wounding’ of children. Thanks to advertising, he says, children have become convinced that they’re inferior if they don’t have an endless array of new products” (Clay, 2000).

Since marketing professionals are partially responsible for the molding of children’s minds, how important is it for us to practice strong ethics? Promoting items like Bratz Dolls

Combining sex & junk food... dangerous?
Combining sex & junk food… dangerous?

 or the WWE to the younger generations makes one wonder just HOW much influence we, as marketing professionals, have over the upbringing of children and how they shape into adults. It depends on how the whole picture is portrayed; how the product is presented. The marketing professional needs to understand the consequences of introducing such items into a child’s life and needs to take responsibility for what the child learns and feels.

What about junk food? Isn’t it a contradiction marketing such products as sugary cereals and fast food to children but also reminding them to exercise? I am personally appalled by these practices and think such companies should understand that they are literally brainwashing children into eating such products and therefore, becoming addicted to the food. Yes, it is a parent’s responsibility to ultimately decide what their children should consume, but it’s nearly impossible to overcome the subliminal messages found in the media. Parents should NOT use fast food (or food of any type) as a reward for good behavior, because this teaches children to associate food with emotion. Back to the topic on hand, I believe that each of us should take responsibility for the morals we induce on the younger generations. It’s a no-win situation out there as we speak, but as individuals, we can make some changes for the better.

Clay, Rebecca. (2000). “Advertising to children: Is it ethical?” Retrieved November 15, 2008. http://www.apa.org/monitor/sep00/advertising.html