• Heineken Light Beer Brands Fighting Each Other
    Beer marketer Heineken might have fought a battle of the brands following the launch of its new Heineken Premium Light this summer. While the new brew has exceeded the company's expectations, the success may have come at the expense of one of the company's other brands: Amstel Light. Heineken officials deny the connection, contending that the two beers have entirely different target markets. But sales of Amstel, which were already on the downswing, dropped about 11 percent this summer. Despite the denials, Heineken is preparing a new ad campaign designed to distinguish the two dueling brands. While Heineken Premium Light's ...
  • Worldwide, Advertisers Still Like TV
    New research shows that despite all the buzz and hoopla about emerging media, digital communications and the decline of the 30-second TV spot, advertisers in leading product categories have actually increased their worldwide spending on TV advertising over the past five years. The categories identified in the survey by media agency ZenithOptimedia include three of the top five global spenders--retailers, financial services, and telecom operators. All three spent proportionately more of their ad budgets on TV in 2005 than in 2001. On the two remaining sectors--autos and medicine--only the latter cut the share of its budgets invested in TV during ...
  • Marketers Embrace Social Sites Despite the Risks
    Marketers have discovered that one way to connect with young consumers is by creating Web pages with faux "profiles" of brand-related characters on social networking sites like MySpace.com and Facebook.com. Initially, marketers shied away from them because of their risky, potentially embarrassing content and the large amount of content control they offered users. Now they embrace the new medium and are learning the advantages of utilizing a communications phenomenon that offers tens of millions of potential customers as a marketing tool. Marketers currently in the MySpace.com lineup include Wendy's, Columbia Pictures, Volkswagen and cable channel FX. Wendy's entry consists of ...
  • Bic Lighters Up The Ante With Poker Deal
    Despite smoking's growing reputation as socially unacceptable, it is readily associated with a number of popular activities, where participants tend to adopt a more lenient attitude. One is poker--a pastime which has long been associated with green felt-covered tables covered with colorful chips under a thick cloud of tobacco smoke. That's why it's not surprising that Bic, which markets lighters as well as pens, has become the official lighter of the "World Series of Poker." The deal includes a marketing campaign with a poker microsite, www.flickyourbic.com. Visitors can enter a sweepstakes to win two player seats at the 2007 tournament's ...
  • Lexus Serves Aces At U.S. Open
    Attendees of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, now in progress in New York City, will be hard-pressed not to notice that carmaker Lexus is one of the event's major sponsors. That's because Lexus is maximizing its presence at the tournament and will be seen all over the National Tennis Center as well as on TV in a new, tennis-themed ad campaign. One high-tech aspect of the marketing effort is the Lexus Insider Alert, a cell phone application that alerts attendees to Lexus activities on-site and provides audio tours of Lexus vehicles in a tent at the center. Also, five on-site ...
  • In-Store Video Ads A Hit With Shoppers
    There's good news for marketers that advertise on in-store videos in grocery stores. New research shows that shoppers like watching the ads and are likely to be influenced by them. The study, conducted by Nielsen Media Research, examined in-store media developed and placed by Fairfield, Conn.-based SignStorey. Results revealed that 68 percent said in-store messages would sway their product purchasing decisions, while another 44 percent said they would swap a product they had intended to buy for one advertised on SignStorey. Overall, viewership was listed at close to 40 percent. That figure represents about 22 million shoppers, including consumers who ...
  • Sony Ericsson Returns To Tennis Sponsorship
    Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications will again sponsor a top tennis tournament. The electronics marketer has signed a four-year, $20 million deal to become the title sponsor of the Nasdaq-100 Open tennis tournament, formerly known as the Lipton International. Prior to its merger with Sony, Ericsson served as the tournament's title sponsor from 1999-2002, when Nasdaq assumed sponsorship. The first Sony Ericsson Open will be played in March 2007, and the agreement calls for the company to have on-court brand presence, global advertising and promotional rights. Sony Ericsson, which has been the global title sponsor of the Women's Tennis Association since ...
  • Top Clothing Marketers Squeezed By Big Retailers' Moves
    Consolidation in the department-store industry has led to a battle among high-end clothing marketers for space inside a diminishing number of large retail outlets. The battle of the brands has pitted successful companies like Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and Liz Claiborne against each other, following a retail-industry shakeup. In recent moves, Federated Department Stores bought May Department Stores last year, and on Sept. 9, former May stores across the country will become Macy's. Meanwhile, Saks has sold several of its non-Saks department stores to Belk and Bon-Ton. The mergers have left clothing brands looking for new outlets, opening their own ...
  • McDonald's Under Fire For Toy Hummer Promotion
    Fast-food marketer McDonald's has come under fire from an environmental watchdog group for offering toy Hummers in a promotion for the chain's Happy Meal menu offering. The Environmental Working Group says the Hummer, a General Motors vehicle, creates pollution that can cause children to develop asthma. "McDonald's is promoting Hummers, the least fuel efficient and probably most pollutant vehicle people can buy at a time when gas prices are at an all-time high," says Environmental Working Group spokesperson Lauren Sucher. For its part, McDonald's is standing its ground. The company says it's only offering toys, not the real car--and it ...
  • GM Uses Old Strategy To Move New Cars
    Troubled General Motors is turning to an old, tried-and-true marketing gimmick to get some of its cars off dealer's lots and into consumers' driveways. Until Sept. 5, the automaker says it will offer rebates of up to $1,500 on many 2006 and 2007 models, including large, truck-based vehicles like the Chevy Trailblazer, the Hummer H2 and the Buick Rendezvous. Those models get the full, $1,500 rebate, while buyers of popular sedans, like the Chevy Cobalt and Impala, Pontiac G6, and Hummer H3 and HHR, will receive $500 back. GM rep John McDonald says the hope is to lure in-market consumers ...
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