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Two and a Half Cents

My Take on Current and Future Marketing Trends

Month

July 2013

When Politicking Isn’t Good For Business!

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Consumers do not seem to mind when a corporation supports environment and human rights issues but they draw the line when it comes to CEO’s openly supporting political views that conflict with their own.

In an article entitled, Papa John’s, Applebee’s And Others Pay Huge Price For Anti-Obamacare Politicking on Forbes.com, contributor Rick Ungar pointed out two major corporations, Applebees and Papa Johns, whose CEO chose to take a political stand in opposition of Obamacare. These companies have paid a costly price.

As covered—and criticized—in this column in great detail, Mr. Schnatter decided to mix his politics with his pepperoni when suggesting that he would be cutting the work hours for Papa John employees in order to bring them below the 30 hour per week threshold that would require Schnatter to provide his employees with healthcare benefits.

It turns out, the pizza eating public did not approve.

Indeed, so serious was the reaction that Schnatter was forced to publish an op-ed piece where he sought to convince us that he never really intended to cut back worker hours but had simply been speculating on what he might do in response to the legislation (Ungar, 2012).

When a corporation chooses to openly support an environmental or human rights issue, most consumers view the stance objectively and understand that at least the company is trying to give back to their community in some way.

Political issues, on the other hand, are not objective. Companies need to understand that they cater to a variety of politically diverse consumers who would prefer to get their pizza delivered to their door, in under 30 minutes and without a side of politics. It would be different if the pizza company marketed themselves as a right-wing or left-wing pizza company. Their consumer base would go into the business-consumer relationship knowing the corporate political views.

However, most companies realize that business and politics do not mix and prefer to keep their political position to themselves. By openly choosing a political side, you are taking the chance of eliminating at least half of your consumer base. Of course, you also have to consider the damage it does to the investor relations, as well.

Is one CEO’s openly political stance worth the cost?

Reference

Ungar, Rick. (2012, December 04). Forbes. Retrieved from Papa John’s, Applebee’s And Others Pay Huge Price For Anti-Obamacare Politicking: http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2012/12/04/papa-johns-applebees-and-others-pay-huge-price-for-anti-obamacare-politicking/

Global Strategy Group. (n.d.) [Infograph]. Retrieved from Business & Politics: Do They Mix?: http://globalstrategygroup.com/resources/businessandpoliticsdotheymix/

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Bone Conduction-The future of marketing?

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Both Daily Finance and Mashable ran recent articles regarding advertising agency, BBDO’s, bone conduction technology that allows vibrations from train windows to transmit advertisements directly into your brain.

“Confused? Well, allow us to explain: Ever notice how your voice sounds a little odd when you’re listening to it on a recording? That’s because when you talk normally, you’re not just hearing the sound of your voice coming in through your ears — you can also hear sound vibrating through your skull, which distorts the sound of your voice. By contrast, when you’re listening to a recording of your voice, you get none of that skull vibration distortion, so you hear what you really sound like to the rest of the world. Well, someone at BBDO apparently decided that if you can hear noises through your skull, then you should hear ads through your skull” (Brownell, 2013).

Check out The Talking Window YouTube video:

As a marketing professional, I am excited about the potential of the technology, and its use, on numerous levels. The technology could eventually be used in personal vehicles and other modes of transportation as a means of entertainment for long road trips. This bone conduction technology could be used in conjunction with vibrating headsets and placed about retail locations to provide information on products and services. The technology could also be implemented by music bands through speaker sound waves and used at concerts to help make the music clearer. The list goes on and on.

However, with all new technological discoveries, there are still many questions to be explored such as privacy issues, public acceptance, and the long term effects of the technology on brain function. “We can see why the concept might intrigue advertisers, but consumers seem skeptical. A YouTube video showcasing the technology already has more than a quarter-million views, but the reviews were overwhelmingly negative: 70 percent of voters gave the video a thumbs-down, and commenters are calling the system an invasion of privacy” (Brownell, 2013).

How does a marketer get past public skepticism? With Google Glass, of course!

ImageAccording to Wired, Google Glass has filed documents with the FCC that they plan to use bone conduction technology, in place of traditional speakers, to transmit sounds to the wearer (Warr, 2013).

Additionally, the technology is being sold by Cynaps as a Bluetooth wireless hat headset transmitter that you wear whenever you desire hands free communication. Check out the Cynaps here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/cynaps-get-yours-now-at-www-maxvirtual-com

References:

BBDO. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.bbdo.com/#!&pageid=0&subsection=2&itemid=765

Brownell, M. (2013, July 9). Daily Finance. Retrieved from Vibrating Train Windows Can Now Transmit Ads Straight Into Your Skull: http://www.dailyfinance.com/on/vibrating-train-windows-transmit-ads-into-skull/

Indiegogo. (n.d.). [Photograph]. Retrieved from Cynaps: Get yours now at http://www.maxvirtual.com!:http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/cynaps-get-yours-now-at-www-maxvirtual-com

Noris100. (2013, June 20). YouTube. Retrieved from The Talking Window: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azwL5eoE5aI&feature=youtu.be

Ramachandran, V. (2013, July 5). Mashable. Retrieved from Vibrating Train Windows Transmit Ads Directly Into Your Head:http://mashable.com/2013/07/04/vibrating-train-window-ads/?

Warr, P. (2013, February 03). Mashable. Retrieved from Google Glass to use bone vibration instead of traditional headphones: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-02/04/google-glass-bone-vibration

Uniclo Free Wake Up App.

uniqlo-logo1

Another cutting edge marketing tool from Uniqlo!

Who would have thought that one could tune into their favorite clothing store to get a free wake-up call that provides the current time, date, current weather outside and all played to a dreamy song that changes with the weather?

The Uniqlo social Wake Up App for Android and iPhone does just this.

Uniqlo Wake Up

According to the Google Play store, “UNIQLO WAKE UP is an innovative new social alarm app that aims to make waking up every day an enjoyable experience. The alarm music, which is automatically created based on the weather, time, and day of the week, was co-written by 51st annual Grammy nominee Cornelius (Keigo Oyamada) and Yoko Kanno, who is active in songwriting across a wide range of genres including video games and anime (COWBOY BEBOP, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Macross). The app allows users to share a record of their awakening – specifically, the time, weather, and temperature at the moment they stopped the alarm – via social media (Facebook, Twitter, RenRen, Weibo). In addition, the “wake up records” shared by users around the world are displayed in a part of the app entitled WORLD WAKE UP” (Google Play).

According to Google Play, the Android App Features Include:
• Users can set an alarm.
• Users either select their location from a pull-down menu or allow the app to find their location using GPS. The app then displays the current weather and temperature.
• The alarm music changes according to the weather and reads out the time, day of the week, and the weather.
• The alarm music vocals are available in English and Mandarin Chinese.
• Users can share the time, weather, and temperature of when they wake up on Facebook, Twitter, RenRen, and Weibo.
• The information users share is displayed in the WORLD WAKE UP part of the app.
• The app background changes according to the day of the week. (Google Play).

Check out the free App here:

Google Play- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.uniqlo.wakeup

Apple iTunes- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/uniqlo-wake-up/id515839388?ls=1

While you’re at it, check out the other free apps by Uniqlo.

As a clothing retailer, Uniqlo seems to be on the cutting edge of social media marketing. This is just another shining example of the ingenuity and forward thinking the Uniqlo company has embraced as part of their over-all marketing strategy.

*I am, in no way, a paid endorser. The posts presented on my blog are strictly my own personal opinion and observations in regards to marketing media and its uses.

References:

Google Play. (n.d.) Retrieved on July 5, 2013 from: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.uniqlo.wakeup

iTunes. (n.d.). Retrieved on July 5, 2013 from: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/uniqlo-wake-up/id515839388?ls=1

Uniqlo. (n.d.) Retrieved on July 5, 2013 from: http://www.uniqlo.com/wakeup/en/pc/

Emerging Media: Social Media Inspired Products?

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We all know that social media has become a major tool when it comes to creating marketing strategies but what if social media could aid in the creation of products we market?

Wonder no more. Check out Time article about #Mashtag Beer. “It might sound like any other idiosyncratic craft brew: a 7.5% American brown ale loaded with New Zealand hops and aged with oak chips and hazelnuts, but no single brewmaster cooked up this recipe — thousands of people on social media networks did” (Peckham, 2013).

As a marketing professional, I am eager to see how successful a product is when it is created through social media and marketed there, as well.

For those interested in ordering this product, check out the BrewDog website:

Click on the picture to be taken to BrewDog's website.
Click on the picture to be taken to BrewDog’s website.
Reference:
BrewDog. (n.d.) BrewDog. Retrieved from #MashTag: http://www.brewdog.com/product/mashtag
Peckham, M. (2013, July 01). Time. Retrieved from Raise a Glass to #MashTag, the
      World’s First Twitter-Brewed Beer:

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