tourism, travel

Beyonce Blows 'Em Away; Travel Stories Rule

Beyonce and Vizio

There's no power like star power, as evidenced by the attention Marketing Daily readers paid to a story about superstar Beyoncé Knowles starring in a Super Bowl spot for Vizio.

Regardless of whether more Vizio TVs were sold as a result of the TV spot, the songstress could teach other celebrities a thing or two about self-promotion. In June, Forbes placed Knowles at No. 3 on its 2010 Celebrity Power List with $87 million in grosses, thanks to a 93-date world tour, deals with Nintendo and L'Oréal and her House of Deréon fashion line.

My regular beats are travel/tourism, pharma, financial services, and pets, but it was the Vizio story that was my most-read in 2010. The most popular Marketing Daily story in the travel category (at #3 of my top 10) focused on Virgin Atlantic improving its Web performance and tracking, a topic that is likely to stay on the lips of marketers in 2011.



Marketers across categories learned a valuable lesson in another travel story, where Royal Caribbean defended its decision not to alter its course on a cruise where a port-of-call included Labadee, Haiti (story #8). The cruise ship company was criticized by those who said the decision was insensitive to the turmoil and tragedy caused by the January earthquake.

They may not have been travel stories, but the rest of the top 10 stories I covered were all over the map.

#2 Eight O'Clock Coffee's N.Y. Promo Celebrates WOM The company gave commuters in New York City a chance to win prizes if they phoned a friend about the brand. The June 28 event offered more than 13,000 cups of the coffee to travelers passing through Grand Central Terminal, and those who phone a friend on the spot and tell them about the coffee's great taste had the opportunity to appear online for the venerable brand.

#4 Study: People Willingly Spend More For Green Green consumers (in varying shades) abound on the Internet, said Chuck Moran, chief marketing officer for Burlington, Mass.-based Burst Media, which conducted the study. "Advertisers who are marketing 'green' products online should recognize that the concept of 'green' cannot be communicated to consumers with a single concept, as it means very different things for different people," Moran told Marketing Daily.

#5 Weight Watchers Asks Members To 'Lose For Good' Philanthropic efforts continued to attract marketing dollars in 2010. In this initiative, Weight Watchers sought to fight hunger by increasing awareness of the issue and helping provide access to healthy food for those in need. As Weight Watchers members and online subscribers lost weight and participated in other activities, the company donated up to $1 million to two leading hunger-fighting organizations -- Share Our Strength and Action Against Hunger.

#6 Among Gen Y Affluents: Chanel, BMW Top BrandsMarketing Daily subscribers love their studies, as evidenced by the popularity of this one, which looked at the top prestige brands among affluent Gen Y consumers. Chanel and BMW were the tops in the first annual L2 Gen Y Prestige Brand Rankings measured the affinity for 105 iconic brands among the next generation of prestige consumers. L2, a think tank for prestige brands, surveyed 450 Gen Y high earners from 45 countries (83% are expected to make more than $100k+/year in the short term) and measured brands in six industry categories.

#7 Diesel Launches Social Media Campaign Diesel was one of the first brands to advertise online in the mid-'90s, but had been quiet digitally as of late until this effort in March, which included branded programs with Twitter, FourSquare and Facebook. The effort from the Italian fashion brand was an extension to its national "Be Stupid" campaign. In the campaign, "stupid" actually means "brave" -- lingo that is probably lost on the brand's non-target customers.

#9 Lay's Enlists Local Farmers For Mobile Tour The potato chip maker gave a new meaning to knowing where your food comes from when they offered up meet-and-greets with the farmers who grow their potatoes. The nationwide experiential tour from the PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division brand used a mobile greenhouse designed to bring a rural farm experience to city-based consumers. The six-city tour kicked off July 26 in New York City's Times Square and went on to Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas, attracting thousands of visitors and generating positive buzz for the brand.

#10 Study: Facebook Users Show "Herding Instinct" The psychology of marketing came to social media in 2010, where marketers began to stew about how to best reach consumers on Facebook in between their games of "Mafia Wars" and "Farmville."

The research, from Oxford University, shows that consumers have a herding instinct to "follow the crowd" once a clear winner is established. However, this instinct appears to switch off almost entirely if the product fails to achieve a certain popularity threshold. The findings have implications for the retail online world. Online book retailer Amazon and the online DVD rental service Netflix already allow their users to rate the products, and as a consequence, influence their future popularity.

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