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P&G To Extend Gain Brand to Dishwashing, Expects 3-5% Organic Growth This Year

June 22, 2010: 11:32 PM EST
Procter & Gamble Co. is extending its Gain brand to the dishwashing category with a new Gain liquid product slated for launch within a year. The move comes as P&G’s revenue starts to recover from the recession, partly because of the company’s strategy of lowering prices of its most popular brands and products. Gain is one of P&G’s 22 billion-dollar brands. Other planned product launches include a major rollout of Gillette’s premium-priced ProGlide shavers, which have already debuted in the US. P&G expects organic sales growth of 3-5 percent for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.
DAN SEWELL, "P&G takes Gain into the kitchen, affirms outlook", Business Week, June 22, 2010, via Associated Press, © The Associated Press
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Consumers Find Companies That Tweet Are More Trustworthy

June 22, 2010: 12:51 AM EST
Use of Twitter and other microblogging sites apparently builds consumer trust in brands, because they deliver real-time responses, a study by a public relations firm Fleishman-Hillard has found. Three-fourths of consumers surveyed felt that companies that often send short messages (Tweets) or post status updates on Facebook are more trustworthy. The results should be interesting to all companies, but especially to companies facing crises of various kinds, such as BP and Toyota. A key lesson is that companies should not overreact to crises, but should "react with factual information …in minute-to-minute monitoring.” The survey also found that nearly 90 percent of responders used the Internet to compare purchase options for packaged goods and electronics or to make travel arrangements.
Michele Gershberg, "Consumers say: "In tweets we trust" -study", Reuters, June 22, 2010, © Thomson Reuters
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How-To Video Company Localizes Nestlé Middle East Media Offerings For Arab Audience

June 22, 2010: 01:05 AM EST
Nestlé Middle East said it has partnered with instructional video company Howcast Media to provide localized how-to lifestyle videos relevant to the health and lifestyle needs of Arabic speaking consumers in the region. Nestlé also plans to integrate the content into its regional site, Nestlé Family. Howcast has already translated more than 70 Nestlé how-to videos into Arabic, including titles such as “How To Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries” and “How To Use an Exercise Ball.” "Nestlé recognizes that every company is now becoming a media company, providing information to consumers and constituents throughout a variety of channels," said a Howcast Media executive.
Howcast, "Nestlé Middle East Partners With Howcast to Provide Arabic Language Lifestyle Content to Regional Consumers ", Marketwire, June 22, 2010, © Marketwire, Incorporated
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Kids Food Choices Strongly Influenced By Packages Showing Cartoon Characters

June 21, 2010: 02:48 AM EST
A study involving 40 children aged 4-6 years old found that kids thought snacks tasted better if pictures of familiar cartoon characters adorned the packages. The children were presented with two packages of snacks, each containing graham crackers, gummy fruit and carrots. One package showed a popular cartoon character, the other didn’t. The researchers not only found that the kids overwhelmingly chose the snack with the character (Scooby-Doo, Dora the Explorer or Shrek), 50-55 percent of them said the snacks with a cartoon character tasted better. “Branding food packages with licensed characters substantially influences young children’s taste preferences and snack selection and does so most strongly for energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods,” the researchers concluded, adding that “the use of licensed characters to advertise junk food to children should be restricted.”
Christina A. Roberto, MS, Jenny Baik, BA, Jennifer L. Harris, MBA, PhD, Kelly D. Brownell, PhD, "Influence of Licensed Characters on Children's Taste and Snack Preferences", Pediatrics, June 21, 2010, © he American Academy of Pediatrics
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Unilever Unveils Cheaper Detergent To Target Low-End Thai Market

June 11, 2010: 03:16 AM EST
Unilever Thai Trading Co. has introduced a new detergent to penetrate Thailand's low-end market and compete with low-priced brands. The new All brand is Unilever Thailand’s first new detergent for 20 years and will be15-20% cheaper than Breeze and Omo, its mid-price labels. In recent months All was launched in Vietnam and Thailand where the response was reported to be positive. In Thailand All will contend with Lion Corporation’s Sue Sat and Saha Group’s 108 Shop as well as house-brand products. Consumer research suggests that apart from efficiency, price and fragrance of hand-wash detergents top consumers’ concerns. Thailand’s estimated 16-billion baht detergent market is dominated by Unilever, which controls over 50% of the market.
"Unilever offers new detergent", Bangkok Post, June 11, 2010, © The Post Publishing Public Company Limited
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New White House Program Pairs Chefs With Schools To Improve Student Nutrition

June 4, 2010: 09:47 PM EST
First Lady Michelle Obama has launched the “Chefs Move to Schools” program, a nationwide initiative to involve chefs in improving the nutrition of school lunch menus. The program, led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, pairs chefs with participating schools in their communities to create healthy meals that meet dietary guidelines and budgets. Another goal is to teach young people about nutrition and making balanced, healthy choices. ConAgra Foods sous chef Evan Brockman joined other chefs at the White House to inaugurate the program. "By helping schools create healthier menus and programs that give children the tools they need for lifelong healthy habits, I believe chefs like me can make a real difference," Brockman said.
"ConAgra Foods Chef Volunteers for the First Lady's "Chefs Move to Schools" Initiative ", ConAgra, June 04, 2010, © ConAgra Foods, Inc
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Three Key Consumer-Driven Trends Offer Opportunities For Retailers

June 4, 2010: 10:10 PM EST
Retailers in the natural food industry need to be aware of three consumer-driven trends that present unique opportunities to engage shoppers, boost loyalty and increase sales. First among these is the emergence and growth of private label products, which consumers turned to during the recession but have stuck with because they have been accepted as “real brands.” A Nielsen report predicts further growth by store brands, perhaps a gain of a 1.5 percent share. Maintaining health and wellness is a major concern of the aging boomer generation, and boomers are proactive about their health. Eating healthy is considered an effective preventative measure. Lastly, the growth of digital connectivity has made possible innovations like mobile price checking, product research and mobile purchasing, all novel ways to connect with consumers.
Jeff Weidauer , "Promoting Store Brands Via Technology", Natural Products Marketplace, June 04, 2010, © Virgo Publishing, LLC
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Wal-Mart Seeks To Lead On Price; Plans Price Rollback And Targets 500,000 New Jobs

June 5, 2010: 03:59 AM EST
Wal-Mart reaffirmed its commitment to lead on price. The company says price rollbacks have encouraged some consumers to spend despite their tight budgets but others, who have more stable jobs, are turning to Wal-Mart’s rival Target Corp. to purchase optional items like clothing and home decors. Wal-Mart also faces pressure from discount dollar stores that are adding food offerings to lure consumers. CEO Mike Duke believes further price cuts will help boost weak US sales. Wal-Mart, which has 4,110 stores outside the US, said it was eyeing to enter Russia to further improve overseas sales. It plans to create over 500,000 jobs in the next five years as it expands globally.
Brad Dorfman, "Wal-Mart sets $15 bln buyback, to boost jobs 23 pct", Reuters, June 05, 2010, © Thomson Reuters
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Americans Not Yet Convinced “Obesity Tax” Is The Solution To The Problem

June 2, 2010: 08:33 PM EST
The childhood obesity issue has gained more publicity lately as First Lady Michelle Obama has championed efforts by government, schools, food companies, and others to battle the problem. Local and state governments are pondering taxes on soft drinks and fast food as a deterrent, but American consumers apparently aren’t convinced it’s the right way to go. In fact, more than half – 56 percent – are opposed to an “obesity tax,” a Harris Interactive survey of 2,140 U.S. adults has found. About 42 percent said they are strongly opposed to the tax, and three in ten supported such a measure. The survey results varied by location and age, Harris said, noting that Easterners and Westerners were more likely to favor the tax, while Southerners and Midwesterners were more likely to oppose it.
"Over Half of Americans Opposed to Taxing Soft Drinks and Fast Food", Harris Interactive, June 02, 2010, © Harris Interactive Inc.
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Foods Advertised On TV Provide A Grossly Unbalanced Diet - Study

June 1, 2010: 08:49 AM EST
If people ate a diet that consisted only of foods advertised on primetime and Saturday morning television, they would consume 2,560 percent of the recommended daily serving of sugar, 2,080 percent of the recommended serving of fat, and only 40 percent of the recommended serving of vegetables, according to a study that analyzed food ads shown during 84 hours of TV in 2004. The researchers said the hugely unbalanced diet would “substantially oversupply” protein, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium, while undersupplying carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins A, E, and D, pantothenic acid, iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, copper, and potassium. “Overall, the food choices endorsed on television fail to meet nutrition guidelines and encourage nutritional imbalance,” the researchers concluded.
Michael Mink, PhD, Alexandra Evans, PhD, et al., "Nutritional Imbalance Endorsed by Televised Food Advertisements", Journal of the American Dietetic Association, June 01, 2010, © American Dietetic Association. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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Skincare Ingredients Suppliers Busy As Consumers Focus On Protection, Rejuvenation

June 1, 2010: 03:38 AM EST
Though overall facial treatment sales, and premium product sales in particular, have declined in recent years, sales of anti-aging cosmetics are picking up as consumers seek to rejuvenate skin and smooth wrinkles and facial lines. Industry experts say a key reason for the staying power of anti-aging products is rising consumer awareness of the need to defend the skin from the negative effects of environmental stress, such as sunlight, pollution and smoking. Sunscreen is not enough to do the job, which is why active ingredient suppliers are focusing on oral and topical products containing antioxidants, d-alpha-tocopherol, ascorbic acid, retinoids and peptides. Suppliers are also offering new anti-aging actives that target men’s skin, as well as cellulite, wrinkling, and hair problems.
Tom Branna, Editorial Director, "All Things Active", Happi.com, June 01, 2010, © Rodman Publishing / HAPPI.
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Close Attention To Consumer Buying Patterns Could Boost Grocery HBC Sales

June 1, 2010: 04:04 AM EST
The sluggish economy has had a negative impact on grocery store health and beauty care (HBC) sales, as consumers demand more at lower prices. Grocery chains have reacted by cutting back on the variety of HBC products they offer in an effort to boost sales volume in other areas. But experts say stores can lure back shoppers who have turned to retail outlets for HBC products by focusing on consumer-centric marketing: taking a close look at shopper purchase patterns to determine which merchandise and services have the greatest appeal. One such pattern, for example, is the upsurge in private label HBC products. Another is natural HBC. Companies are seeing significant sales growth in natural cough, cold and allergy lines, as well as skincare and feminine hygiene products.
Deena M. Amato-McCoy, " Time to shine", Grocery Headquarters, June 01, 2010, © Grocery Headquarters
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Maintaining Customer Trust Is Crucial As Mineral Make-Up Products Proliferate

May 27, 2010: 03:21 AM EST
As more and more mineral make-up products arrive in the marketplace – there were 150 product launched in the U.S. alone in 2009 – cosmetics firms need to be sure they are not diluting public trust with inferior products. Datamonitor says, for example, that new products with low mineral content could end up being harming the credibility of the market category. With big companies like L’Oreal and Estée Lauder entering the market, competition is growing intense. Companies need to maintain customer trust by being completely up front about product ingredients and their benefits. Companies successful at building and maintaining customer trust have used tactics like selling mineral make-up products through the QVC shopping channel and infomercials, and by creating a presence on social media sites like Facebook.
Katie Nichol, "Consumer trust vital for mineral make-up brands in competitive market", Cosmetics Design, May 27, 2010, © Decision News Media SAS
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Modern Breed Of Vending Machine Inhabits Space Between Retail And Web

May 25, 2010: 03:48 AM EST
Modern vending machines are high-tech, interactive and being used to sell new and surprising products, including gold, strawberries and underwear. Tech savvy consumers are comfortable with touch-screen interfaces and a high-degree of self-service. Vendors can tap less economic niches and locations – vending machines can cost less than an employee, are open 24/7 and can have high sales per square foot: while a mall might generate about $330 a square foot/year, vending machines can generate $3,000-$10,000. Studies suggest the traditional vending machine business for soda and cigarettes is in decline, but modern machines are bridging a gap between online shopping and bricks-and-mortar retail.
Stephanie Rosenbloom, "The New Touch-Face of Vending Machines", New York Times, May 25, 2010, © The New York Times Company
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US Data Shows New Food Product Introductions Declined In 2009, Private Label Gains

May 24, 2010: 03:29 AM EST
After a 23% increase in new product introductions for the US between 2006 and 2008, Mintel International Group reported a 20% drop in 2009. The decline in brand new products is driven by SKU reductions on the part of retailers and a decline in new product launches from smaller manufacturers. Notably, while private label launches also fell last year, they did so at a slower rate than those for brands. Mintel highlighted PL’s increasing share of new food products, which has jumped from 16.6% in 2006 to 24.7% in 2009. Lynn Dornblaser, director, CPG Trend Insight, Mintel International Group, points to PL’s growing power: “There's less loyalty to brands, because benefit loyalty is replacing brand loyalty. Consumers want their needs met. If PL can respond, consumers are less likely to go back to brands.”
DAVID ORGEL Editor-in-Chief david.orgel@penton.com , "How Private Label Gains in New Products Contest", Supermarket News, May 24, 2010, © Penton Media, Inc.
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Rite Aid Launches Wellness-Focused Membership Discount Program

May 24, 2010: 01:00 AM EST
Rite Aid has launched what it calls the “Wellness+” customer loyalty program combining members-only discounts with health and wellness-related benefits. Rival CVS has had a similar program in place for nine years, claiming a membership of 64 million. Customers who register for the program in stores, online or over the phone receive a discount coupon and wallet or key chain cards to swipe at checkout. Customers are rewarded for purchases with both member-only shopping discounts and health and wellness benefits that increase the more they shop or fill prescriptions. Benefits include 24-hour, toll-free access to pharmacists, discounts off private-label products, and accrued points on pharmacy and non-prescription and prescription purchases. The company tested the program in four markets over the last six months.
Tim Binder, "Rite Aid Field Report (May 24, 2010)", In-Store Marketing Institute, May 24, 2010, © In-Store Marketing Institute
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Wal-Mart Eyes Larger Chinese Market

May 23, 2010: 03:34 AM EST

Retail giant Wal-Mart will build new stores in China within the year to further strengthen its hold in the local market. Wal-Mart Asia Chief Executive Officer Scott Price, who was attending the Global Summit of Women 2010 in Beijing, was quoted as saying that the company is planning to add 10 million square feet to its existing store space in China. Calling it a “huge expansion," Price said the American retailer currently operates around 200 stores in 87 Chinese cities. The company also said it plans to cut energy and resource consumption by 40 percent in 2010 from 2005.

"Retailing giant Wal-Mart to expand business in China ", Xinhua News , May 23, 2010, © Xinhua News Agency
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Metro To Join Ranks of Global Retailers in China

May 21, 2010: 03:25 AM EST

German retailer Metro is joining the ranks of global retailers in China as it announced the opening this year of the first Media Markt consumer electronics store in Shanghai and the expansion of the Cash & Carry chain. Eckhard Cordes, Metro chief executive, said Metro would be increasing its presence in China this year after lying low on its investments last year. Frans Muller, head of Metro Cash & Carry for Asia and new markets, said Media Markt would open its flagship store on Huai Hai road this year. There are plans to open 10 stores in Shanghai by 2010 and at least 100 more if everything goes well. Cash & Carry, on the other hand, hopes to increase its stores from 44 to 50 by the end of the year and then build smaller stores in central Shanghai.

Patti Waldmeir, "Metro set to accelerate investment in China", Financial Times , May 21, 2010, © The Financial Times Limited
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Survey Finds Keen Interest In Functional Foods Among Organic Devotees

May 18, 2010: 09:11 AM EST
Eight in 10 natural and organic consumers routinely examine food ingredient labels for health and nutrition content and are interested in purchasing functional foods that offer added health, nutrition and dietary benefits, according to a survey conducted by Mambo Sprouts Marketing. Four in ten indicated they were very interested in functional foods. Not surprisingly, natural and organic consumers expressed the most desire for foods with organic ingredients (65 percent) and low sodium grocery items (47 percent) followed by low fat/cholesterol (39 percent) and vegetarian items (31 percent). They also indicated a preference for functional foods with added calcium (44 percent), omega 3 (44 percent), antioxidants (43 percent), probiotics/prebiotics (38 percent), and vitamin D (30 percent).
"Mambo Sprouts Marketing Survey Reveals Organic Consumers Seek Functional Foods", News release, May 18, 2010, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Nestle To Probe Environmental Destruction Claims Against Palm Oil Suppliers

May 17, 2010: 09:05 PM EST
Nestle is to investigate allegations that its palm oil suppliers are involved in environmentally damaging practices. The Swiss-based firm said it will work with the non-profit organization, The Forest Trust, to look for evidence of rainforest and wildlife destruction by its palm oil providers, as Greenpeace alleges. The Forest Trust helps curb illegal logging by tracing consumer products to their source. Nestle, which plans to tap only environment-friendly palm oil sources from 2015, suspended palm oil purchases from Indonesia's Sinar Mas following Greenpeace claims of unsustainable practices. The company buys 320,000 tons of palm oil annually, about 0.7 percent of world production.
"FACTBOX-Nestle, "eco-friendly" palm oil and Kit Kat", Reuters, May 17, 2010, © Thomson Reuters
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Dismal Growth Prospects May Force Change At Campbell Soup

May 17, 2010: 06:53 PM EST
Facing pressure from price sensitive consumers and falling commodity costs, Campbell Soup, in common with other food companies, has struggled to raise prices in recent years. Analysts anticipate Campbell Soup will increase its sales by just 2% for fiscal 2010 and 3% by 2011, far below its 6% average growth rate in the past four years. Of critical concern are declines in its domestic soup business. The company looks to be making aggressive moves to boost sales and cut costs but valuation gaps with its peers may force the Campbell family, which still owns about 50% of the stock, to look at strategic options.
JOHN JANNARONE, "Change Stirring at Campbell Soup", Wall Street Journal, May 17, 2010, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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“Green Blushing”: Companies Think Twice About Publicizing Sustainability Initiatives

May 17, 2010: 03:56 AM EST
Growing environmental concern is causing many companies to embark on green initiatives but many are reluctant to publicize their sustainability projects, an unwillingness media has labeled “green blushing” (the opposite of “green washing”). Michael Dunn, director of OgilvyEarth at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide says that these companies prefer to talk about their environmental initiatives once the details are in place, reducing the chance that they will be criticized by green groups. Joe Baladi, CEO of BrandAsian, believes that a company’s sustainability efforts are not closely coordinated with their communications group, hence the failure to publicize worthwhile causes. The key to publicizing these projects, he says, is to make sure that the right message reaches the public in a coordinated manner.
Asiya Bakht , "What are the benefits of hiding environmental initiatives aka ‘green blushing’?", Media.asia, May 17, 2010, © Haymarket Media Limited
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Chocolate Is Firmly On The Minds Of British Women

May 14, 2010: 08:49 PM EST
A significant percentage of women in the U.K. are obsessed with chocolate, according to new research from Kellogg. Fully a fifth of British women surveyed by the cereal maker prefer chocolate to sex, while 25 percent would pass up wine or expensive perfume to keep their chocolate bonbons. Women often turn to chocolate for solace after a rough day at work or after a spat with a loved one, or because of hormonal discomfort. About 2.3 million women admitted eating chocolate more than three times a day. But 70 percent of those admitted feeling guilty afterwards for health or weight reasons. Others said they used chocolate as a reward for healthy eating or exercise. But 40 percent admitted that chocolate is the only thing that cheers them up.
"Kellogg’s reveal what women want - chocolate", WebWire, May 14, 2010, © WebWire
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Survey Finds Food Shoppers Surfing The Web For Nutritional Data, Bargains

May 12, 2010: 08:19 PM EST
A survey by Deloitte has found that more consumers are searching the Internet with their computers and mobile devices to find nutritional and price information about food. The survey also found that consumers are better informed and more confident about food safety. Thirty-six percent of consumers surveyed said they searched food company Web sites for recipes in 2010, a slight increase from 2008. Seven percent of food shoppers use a mobile device in the store to get information about prices (53 percent), get or redeem coupons or discounts (44 percent), find nutritional information (28 percent) and read product reviews (22 percent). Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of consumers were more concerned about food safety than five years ago, but this percentage dropped from 2008, when 76 percent voiced greater concern.
"Consumers Use Web, Mobile Devices for Food Info", Retailer Daily, May 12, 2010, © Watershed Publishing
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Individual Oral Health Needs Not Being Addressed By Families

May 4, 2010: 01:12 AM EST
A national online survey sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline polled more than a thousand mothers about the use of oral health care products in their households, finding that 69 percent believe that meeting the unique oral health care needs of each family member is very important. But almost half said they apply a “one size fits all” approach when buying oral care products. Not a good idea, says GlaxoSmithKline, because addressing individual oral health needs is very important. The company says it is launching an online resource for people looking for oral health education and personalized oral care plans. Visitors to WealthOfOralHealth.com who complete a survey will receive a customized plan for each family member that covers bad breath, cavities, acid erosion, and sensitive teeth.
"New survey shows families may not be addressing their oral health care needs", GlaxoSmithKline, May 04, 2010, © GlaxoSmithKline
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Companies Need To Make A Healthy Society A Business Priority

April 13, 2010: 08:12 PM EST
Businesses should be paying close attention to the fact that health has emerged as a critical socioeconomic and personal issue that rivals concern for the environment. A recent study of 15,000 people in 11 countries found that protecting the public's health was as important as protecting the environment among nearly three-fourths of respondents. Scientific and technological breakthroughs have made it easier to protect and improve the nation’s health, but threats – aging, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, poor management of chronic diseases, bad behavioral choices – continue to reduce the quality of life, endanger economic development and put pressure on the sustainability of the planet. Some companies like General Electric have already begun to make health part of a “holistic strategy” that joins business outcomes with the common good.
Nancy Turett, "Health Is The Next Green For Business", Forbes.com, April 13, 2010, © Forbes.com LLC™
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Neurology Expert Offers “Sound” Advice To Advertisers

March 10, 2010: 11:57 PM EST
According to neurology authority Martin Lindstrom, advertisers who ignore the powerful impact of familiar sounds – laughing babies, sizzling steaks, vibrating cell phones – on the human mind are missing a big opportunity. Lindstrom, author of the bestseller Buyology, found significant resonance among volunteers whose responses to those everyday sounds were carefully measured. The volunteers also responded to sounds associated with popular brands, including Intel, McDonald's and Home Depot. Lindstrom wrote in Fast Company that the sounds push a button in consumers’ minds, activating responses such as joy or hunger. A practical application? Playing recognizable sounds like percolating coffee, for example, in a grocery store breakfast food aisle. Once marketers become aware of “the power of sound,” Lindstrom wrote, “it will be used to increase brand recognition in increasingly sophisticated ways."
Tom Ryan , "The Power of Everyday Sounds", Retailwire, March 10, 2010, © RetailWire LLC
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Consumer Goods Companies and Online Ad Networks Target Green Moms

February 25, 2010: 01:20 AM EST
Consumer goods advertisers and marketers are increasingly targeting “green moms”, a consumer segment that The Social Studies Group has further broken down in to a number of subcategories: “super greens”, “mainstream greens”, “simple lifestyle mamas”, and other subcategories. Brand loyalty remains to some extent, but moms are willing to give up their usual brands to make more eco-friendly purchases. This trend has been picked up by online ad networks, which are creating verticals dedicated to the green sub-market generally and green moms in particular, who are seen as particularly interested in green issues, partly because they want to maintain the health of their children but also because they care about social issues. They are also seen as market influencers. It seems likely that more manufacturers will use these green-focused online ad verticals to communicate the green nature of their products, just like Clorox has for its Green Works natural cleaning products and detergents. It is promoting a "30 Days to Natural" challenge on green moms sites.
Kate Kaye, "Marketers See Green in Growing 'Green Moms' Audience", ClickZ, February 25, 2010, © Incisive Interactive Marketing LLC
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Unilever To Leverage Social Media To Get Consumer Input On Brand Development, Innovation

February 24, 2010: 03:12 AM EST
Following a trial with Lynx Twist in the UK and the US, Unilever is planning to create a series of social networks across its brands to involve consumers in its product development process. The company hopes the sites will enable it to conduct market research, solicit and test development ideas with target groups. Unilever’s move highlights a broader shift by consumer goods companies to tap into social networks, both for marketing purposes, but increasingly to tap ideas and build bonds. David Cousino, a consumer marketing insights global category director at Unilever, said. “…the consumer has a voice as never before and brands need to listen more. Even if a brand doesn’t want to engage with consumers on that level, it will be forced to.”
Charlotte McEleny, "Unilever to use social media to aid product development", New Media Age, February 24, 2010, © Centaur Communications Ltd.
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BENEO-Orafti Claims Success in Latin America For Its Prebiotic Label Program

February 24, 2010: 11:14 AM EST
The BENEO Label Program, an initiative involving BENEO-Orafti of Belgium and food manufacturers, claims recent success in Latin America. The program aims to highlight the health benefits of Orafti’s prebiotic ingredients (inulin and oligofructose). Products showing the label contain a “sufficient amount of Orafti® inulin or oligofructose to support a scientifically proven health claim”. 380 products with the label have been launched in 33 countries since its introduction in Belgium some nine years ago. 30 new products bearing the label have been launched in Latin America since 2006. BENEO-Orafti has also updated its website to help further promote the program. It’s now available in 25 countries and in 15 different languages. The company is also using social networking sites to communicate the message and raise awareness of the program.
"BENEO™ Label Takes Latin America By Storm", Functional Ingredients, February 24, 2010, © Penton Media, Inc.
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Rejuvenated MySpace Tests Ad Placements In User Communications

February 23, 2010: 12:52 AM EST
The recently repositioned and rejuvenated MySpace Web site – now focused on sharing entertainment-related info with friends – is taking advantage of the fact that its user base has started growing again. According to the new co-president, the site’s 70 million passionate fans can spread the word about bands, shows, videos, etc. And, thanks to its experimental “In-Stream” ad format, advertisers can also share their product information. In-Stream ads are placed in a user’s personal “stream” of communications with friends and other entertainment fans and then distributed virally around the user base. The program debuted on February 10 with offers of free music downloads from Coke and free product samples from Procter & Gamble.
Mike Shields , "Coke, P&G Test MySpace 'In-Stream' Ads", Brandweek, February 23, 2010, © Brandweek
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