This is how we do it!

27 03 2008

Oh, I couldn’t resist with my title today. Today, there was an article in the NYT called Finding Political News Online, the Young Pass It On. I love it! Granted, I am studying political management, and I work online, so maybe I am a little bias. But ok, here goes. This article talks about how young voters get the news. Online. Not only do we get our news online, but we pass it along online. I (sample of one, yes, I know) watch local news in the morning before I go to work, mostly for weather and traffic updates, but I pick up a few pieces of national news. Then, during the day, I read the NYTimes, the Washington Post, and I peruse Perez Hilton (which is a guilty pleasure). If If I have time during lunch or something, I will check out the Ft. Worth Star Telegram to see what is going on where my family lives, and once a week I try to read The Stranger. Most of my blog postings come from something in one of these publications. Anyway, the point is, these are the places I get my news. That and from friends. I probably get at least 10 urls from friends via instant messenger or email a day. That doesn’t even count blog postings that I read along the way. According to the article, there was a study done by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press with a “broad look at how media was consumed for this campaign cycle.” Not surprisingly, the results were that more than 50% of the respondents over the age of 50 reported watching local news regularly for campaign news. 39% of 30 to 49 year olds report watching local news for campaign news, but less than 25% of people under the age of 30 report that they do. 66% of web users under the age of 30 report that they use social networking sites, and less than 20% of older users do. 40% of young people have watched a candidate speech, interview, commercial, or debate online. Presidential candidates Barack Obama, Hillary R. Clinton, and John McCain all have profiles on Facebook where they have numerous friends, friends who translate into young supporters. It isn’t even a new concept if you think about it. It goes back to the old school idea of “word-of-mouth” marketing, or buzz marketing. When we see something interesting online, we share it. In the online world, we call that “going viral.” I am glad that someone is figuring out that online is the place to go to reach young voters. I think we are going to see a big(ger) turnout of young voters in November, and it is because the use of the net for campaigning has expanded immensely in the past few years. I can go to Youtube right now and find a video of Chelsea Clinton’s appearance at Butler University if I wanted to. And share it with a few friends. I’m glad to see young people getting excited about it. Let’s just hope that translates into votes.

The TiVo Giant…

24 03 2008

I have a DVR in my house. Not TiVo, but a DVR from Comcast. As a result, I never watch live television anymore. Well, I rarely do. Although, with my busy life right now, I barely watch anything. I am so spoiled to being able to “zoom” through commercials, that I get irritated when I have to watch them. I usually catch the beginning of the first commercial, and the tail end of the last commercial. I have been wondering for a while now how the advent of TiVo and DVR are going to affect companies that advertise with commercials on television. Actually, I have peppered one of my professors with so many questions about it, that when he found an article regarding the subject, he forwarded it to me. The article, published today in Advertising Age, answers, or tries to, some of the questions I’ve had regarding the effect of TiVo. The study which was conducted over three years, found that new product purchasing in DVR households was about 5% lower than in non-DVR households. This is not a significant enough number to be distasterous for any major brands. Brands that spend 20% of more of there media budget outside television saw no difference. So, are we going to see any changes to the way brands are marketed in the media? I’m willing to bet yes. A 5% decrease in sales in households that have DVRs is not threatening right now. But eventually, DVRs are going to penetrate more and more households. That 5% starts to look “bigger and badder” as DVRs become more popular. I predict more product placement. It doesn’t have the same effect as a commercial, but given the choice of the product being seen, or not…what do advertisers choose? I also think that we are going to see a restructing of how media buys are conducted. I think it will get as detailed as which place your commercial will hold in the 5 minute slot in the second commercial break of CSI Miami. The first commercial and the last commercial should be more expensive, because (as I said) those are the commercials that are more likely to be seen in a DVR situation. How about online advertising? Are we going to see more online advertisements? I think so. People don’t think about online advertising as much right now, but let me state one glaring fact. People are more engaged when working on the computer than they are when they are staring at a television screen. Think of it as leaning back in a recliner, versus sitting at a desk. Even if I am just playing a lame computer game I am more engaged when I am on the computer than when I have the television on. I guess we will just have to wait and see in the months (years) to come.
You can read the rest of the article by Jack Neff here.

Starbucks vs. Dunkin’ Donuts

26 02 2008

Coffee chains batter-ing it out? Has this fight been brewing for a while? It was announced that coffee chain Starbucks is closing its stores nationwide today from 5:30-8:30pm for espresso training. And rival Dunkin’ Donuts is foaming at the mouth just to get an additional shot of Starbucks’ regulars. Today, from 1pm to 10pm, Dunkin’ Donuts is offering a small latte for $.99. When opportunity came a’knockin’, Dunkin’ Donuts opened the door and said, “Have some coffee!” This is one of the best examples I have ever seen of taking advantage of environmental opportunities when they arise. I may live in the online marketing world most of the time (guess I’m just wired that way), but I always appreciate seeing examples of the marketing techniques I was taught in school. This caffeine-charged campaign may sprinkle Dunkin’ Donuts with a new crop of coffee drinkers. And a robusta market share is just what the barista ordered for this breakfast bakery. In the past year or so, the company has already changed its image by adding a new face, Rachael Ray, as spokesperson, and also by expanding its menu. Look out, Starbucks. Dunkin’ Donuts isn’t just playing for beans anymore!