Archives for August, 2011

18 Posts

Fear Mongering In Advertising: Trends, Uses, Cases Studies

“What do you do when a competing fast food chain gives coffee away free to attract new customers? If you’re Dunkin’ Donuts, you equate trying that coffee to suffering a painful and violent death at the hands of a sociopath. Duh.” – Business Week

In 2006, McDonald’s pulled off a huge campaign to promote its new McCafe drink by giving a free coffee away with every meal during the month of October. In a classic, yet tongue-in-cheek example of fear mongering, Dunkin’ Donuts launched a response campaign that portrayed consumers taking advantage of free “flying” lessons. In the commercials, consumers called to ask about a flyer for the free lesson. A voice instructs them to travel to an abandoned airstrip, where they would sign a waiver, and then were tied to the hood of a car that careens forward and stops abruptly, leaving the poor adult “flying” to his mangled doom.   The commercial ends with the line, “Just because something is free doesn’t mean it’s worth trying…We’ve been using same fresh-brewed coffee blend for 50 years.”

The Wings: Jenna

Jenna recently joined Conversation as the new head of Operations and earns  the wings this week for kicking *ss on the job so quickly. What learning curve?


Fear Mongering in Advertising: Overview


It is no mystery that over the years, marketers have tuned into Consumers’ fears and insecurities.

These insecurities have taken the form of fears over the economy, security, confidence, even fears of fitting in at school!

Marketers tune into these consumer sentiments, because it is these emotions that make consumers take action.

The Effect of Recession on Advertising

As marketers in times of economic unrest, we are unfortunately faced with the likelihood of reduced advertising spending.  While this seems like a logical principle, the following data suggests that when times are tough, the tough should continue to advertise.

A History of Positive Effects on Advertising during a Recession:

The Wings: Alex

Alex takes the wings and viking hat this week. With a million projects on his plate, Alex brings enthusiasm and great thinking to each and every one, continually demonstrating his value as a true team member.


How Women Influence The Products Men Use: Trends, Uses, Case Studies

As the saying goes, men are from Mars, women are from Venus: For years, marketing executives have sought to refine their target markets through advertising angles. Beer commercials aimed at males show scantily clad women; whereas chocolate commercials aimed at women highlight indulgence and pleasure. Fundamental gender differences affect how we are attracted to products, and as women become more dominant in decision making, the number of commercials aimed towards females increases as well.

When it comes to emotion vs. function, we know that women make decisions based on emotion. Women are looking for an emotional, tactile experience when they invest in a brand. Men aren’t looking for words like “touch” or “smile” in ad copy, but women find this approach thoughtful. Think about Tiger Woods’ Nike commercial which aired on ESPN and the Golf Channel just one day before the Masters began in April 2010. In the stark, black-and-white ad, a solemn Woods looked directly into the camera without speaking while a recording of his late father played. “Did you learn anything?” Earl Woods says. Woods was returning to golf after a leave that followed revelations of infidelities and a stint in rehab. As you’ll notice, the two female reporters discuss at length how effective the commercial was – clearly, they are sold, and more likely than not they will urge their husbands to buy Nike products.

Winston’s Latest Obsession

Winston’s newest obsession: SHOES. Specifically, Director of Business Operations, Mimi Lin’s …

How Women Influence The Products Men Use: Overview


Father Knows Best? Not in 2011.

When I was a little girl, one of my aunts had a potholder hanging over her stove, with a passage embroidered on it. “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” The sentiment was lost on my 5 year old self, but as marketers in 2011, we would be silly to ignore the power that “mama” wields as a consumer.

The 20th Century witnessed a huge climate change with regards to gender perceptions and roles. Women were once thought to be solely nurturers, incapable of understanding complex issues like household budgets and how to decide which vehicle to purchase. This perception was reinforced by popular culture, where the mothers on television shows like “Leave it to Beaver” and “Father Knows Best” were portrayed as submissive and naïve. However, as World War II drove women into the workplace, attitudes toward women slowly began to shift. As contributing members of households (albeit, at a reduced rate), women were no longer just incubators. The 60s and 70s saw women burning their bras and refusing to submit to the confines of a society ruled by “the man.”

The Wings: Grayson


This week, the Wings and Viking Hat went to Grayson (though it could be anyone from this picture!). Grayson received the honor from Kellye for making Kellye’s job as a developer MUCH easier overall :) Congrats!

Forecasting Holiday Marketing Trends: Analysis, Research, Facts


As the global economy struggles to correct itself, and digital marketing becomes a strategic imperative, businesses and marketers have exciting opportunities to expand in various directions this year.

The need for trust, value and brand transparency, among other trends from last year, are just as important this year, however, the resilient shift to geo-targeting, mobile marketing, social media, eCRM, and e-commerce require businesses and marketers to continuously modify their approaches to surpass competitors.

Let’s first take a quick peek at last year’s numbers: