• Gay Group Blasts BMW Over Benefits Issue
    Not long ago Ford Motor Co. was criticized and threatened with a boycott by a conservative religious organization for advertising in gay publications. Now a Ford competitor--BMW of North America--faces a similar problem, only with a major twist. BMW's adversary is a gay organization. The advocacy group Gaywheels.com, an automotive Web site, says the German-owned carmaker is hypocritical because while it advertises in magazines that target gays and lesbians, the company does not offer domestic-partner benefits to its own employees. "Gay and lesbian consumers want to spend their money with gay-friendly companies," Joe LaMuraglia, publisher of Gaywheels.com, said. "A lot ...
  • Brewer Launches Ads By Spike Lee To Promote Category
    Beer marketing giant Anheuser Busch has hired iconoclastic filmmaker Spike Lee to direct a series of new commercials, but not for any of the brewer's brands. Instead, the campaign is designed to promote beer in general and is called, fittingly, "Here's to Beer." A-B is hoping the ads will help convince consumers to turn to beer as their drink of choice rather than wine, spirits and trendy cocktails, whose popularity in recent years has led to sagging beer sales. In the ads, some of which feature Lee himself, the following question is posed: with whom would you most like to ...
  • Cadillac Hopes To Maintain Momentum With New Products
    General Motors Corp.'s Cadillac division is launching a series of new products that it hopes will help it maintain the momentum it has achieved over the past five years. Much of the activity and much of the credit for the division's success revolve around the Escalade, which recently launched a new luxury SUV and which will introduce two new high-performance V-series editions this summer. Cadillac was in a downward spiral during the 1990s, but GM took a bold risk and invested billions in new product development. The bet paid off, and from 2001 the brand's U.S. sales rose steadily from ...
  • Carmex Begins Advertising, Launches New Products
    Carmex lip balm, with its familiar yellow-capped tiny jar, has served its customers loyally for almost 70 years with virtually no fanfare and no advertising or any real marketing effort to speak of. But all that's about to change. The venerable brand has decided it needs to establish a brand identity among chapped-lip consumers and has hired a new sales manager--a former employee of rival Blistex--to oversee the company's sales and growth. The company also has started advertising, is launching new lines, and will even add flavors such as cherry and strawberry in the fall. Paul Woelbing, parent company Carmax ...
  • New McDonald's Campaign Focuses on Breakfast
    McDonald's is introducing a new, multi-tiered integrated marketing effort designed to increase its breakfast business. The effort is also multilingual, targeting both English and Spanish-speaking consumers. Media elements include bilingual outdoor ads, point-of-purchase materials and Internet banner ads, radio, a Web site (www.mcmornings.com) and street-team activations with samples of the chain's Premium Roast Coffee. The campaign's hook is to provide people with an excuse for coming in late to work so they can stop at McDonald's for breakfast. For example, the Web site contains a device called "Excuse Generator 3000" that will create a letter to the user's boss explaining ...
  • Video Monitors on Store Shelves Target Shoppers in 'Last Three Feet'
    Fed up with trying to reach consumers through traditional advertising venues like TV and print, marketers may soon have the chance to target potential customers in what is known as the last three feet of the marketing plan--the store shelf. A company called Vestcom, which makes price labels for store shelves nationwide, is developing video monitors that attach to store shelves and would allow marketers to broadcast a commercial for their products, locate only inches away from the screen. "You're in the store. You're making a decision, and they have the last chance to try to influence you to buy ...
  • New ED Ads Take Different, Less Sexy Approach
    Television spots for erectile dysfunction drugs are back on the air, but they're not quite as suggestive or sexy as they were when the medication was first introduced. That's because of a backlash against the ads from critics who claimed the old ads presented drugs like Cialis, Levitra, and Viagra as a risqué lifestyle choice rather than treatment for health problem. As a result, pharmaceutical marketers bent to the pressure and stopped running the ads; TV spots for branded ED drugs have not run for almost a year. But the market is still a huge one with big potential for ...
  • U.K. Regulators Propose Banning Food And Drink Ads To Kids
    A British regulatory group has proposed new rules for fighting childhood obesity that include prohibiting TV spots for food and drinks targeted to kids. The group, known as Ofcom, presented three proposals aimed at addressing obesity in kids, which has increased from 9.6 percent of children aged 2 to 10 in 1995 to 15.5 percent in 2002, according to the Health Survey for England. One rule would ban food and drinks ads during TV shows made specifically for children, or that appeal to children of nine years old and under. It would cover a broad range of programming such as ...
  • Consumers Taking Charge in DM Universe
    A new catchphrase has been introduced to the advertising lexicon: consumer-requested marketing. "We really see it as the way things are moving," Matt Moog, CEO of Q Interactive, told a group of direct marketers attending a conference organized by the Chicago Association of Direct Marketing. His message was that in a rapidly changing media environment where marketers are ceding control to buyers, direct marketers must know their customer and serve their needs. He said the keys to consumer-requested marketing are relevancy, permission and privacy. Segmentation of a database to target appropriate offers to the right consumer at the right life ...
  • Marketers Should Target Boomers, Not Youth
    Marketers spending billions of dollars targeting the 18-to-34 demographic group are spending their money in the wrong place. That was the message from well-known demographer Ken Dychtwald, who told a gathering of advertisers and media buyers in Manhattan this week that they should instead be targeting older consumers found in the 40-60 year old bracket. "As an outsider, I see a situation where the boundaries and lines of demarcation don't effectively line up with the new market opportunities and lead people to mistakenly believe it's a snapshot of the marketplace," he said. If marketers turned their focus to audiences in ...
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