Studies, NASCAR Drivers Rise To The Top In 2013

Marketing Daily readers clearly covet statistics and studies, as evidenced by my top 10 most-read stories in 2013.

At the top of the list was an October story about CMOs Still Struggling With Big Data, Social. An IBM study showed that top marketers feel even less prepared to cope with Big Data than they did in 2011, and they have made little headway in coming to grips with the social media landscape, according to “The Customer-Activated Enterprise."

Also at the top of the most-read list was an August report from Concentric Marketing. In Subway, Target, Top Brands For Millennials, it was revealed that healthier food options such as Subway and Chick-Fil-A and brick-and-mortar shopping at Target and Walmart were some of the areas where Millennials defied the assumptions marketers make about them.



A non-survey story that was a real talker was about the clever stunt that Pepsi pulled when the brand enlisted Jeff Gordon in Pepsi Max, Jeff Gordon Video Goes Viral. The race car driver was made over in an elaborate disguise and then walked into a Chevrolet dealership for test drive of a Chevy Camaro.

The video, which instantly went viral, has received more than 40 million views on YouTube. It could have easily have been an advertisement for a Chevy Camaro as Pepsi Max.

It was back to studies for the fourth-ranked story, which was Social Media Usage Drives Brand Leadership. The study, from Blueocean Market Intelligence, showed that brands with positive scores across multiple social media dimensions have the greatest potential for market leadership and influence over customer experiences.

Companies in the top ten are: Honeywell International, American International Group, Metlife, Aetna, Chevron, Express Scripts Holding, Ingram Micro, General Electric, Oracle and Nationwide.

Race car drivers must have been hot in 2013 because the fifth-ranked story focused on Farmers Insurance and its partnership with NASCAR and race car driver Kasey Kahne in Farmers Insurance, NASCAR Partnership Pays Off.

Kahne shot a series of digital short spots in a series called “You gotta plan to perform.” The spots, created by RPA, target NASCAR and Kahne fans and showcase the race car driver’s human side. The videos are on YouTube and were promoted through Farmers Racing's online channels: Farmers Racing on Facebook and Twitter and

The sixth-most-read story was another study, this time from Young & Rubicam. Consumers are hiding their most important desires and motivations from marketers -- and maybe even from themselves, according to “Secrets & Lies,” explained in Y&R Study Reveals Consumers' Hidden Side, which ran in September.

The global study -- conducted in the U.S., Brazil and China -- finds that many consumers hold views that are the opposite of what they say. It also identifies a new consumer mainstream who are comfortable with their own contradictory attitudes.

A philanthropic effort was the focus of the next most-popular story, JetBlue Offers 'Wings For Autism' For Kids, Families, which ran in April. JetBlue was working with airports and local autism awareness groups on its “Wings for Autism” program, which aimed to provide a relaxed environment for families with special needs children to get comfortable with sights and sounds of our airports and planes.

The eighth-most-popular story was another study, this time in July from Packaged Facts. Pet Spending Passes $60 Billion focused on four-legged consumers and their people. According to U.S. Pet Market Outlook 2013-2014, consumer spending in the U.S. pet market will reach $62 billion in 2013, up 4.7% over 2012.

Part of the trend in the continuing momentum for natural pet food products was seen in the embrace of natural products by industry heavy hitters ranging from Purina to Hill’s Science Diet to Walmart, as well as in merger and acquisition activity such as Merrick’s acquisition of Castor & Pollux and Del Monte’s acquisition of Natural Balance.

At number nine was a story from August about the efforts of a health care company. Kaiser Permanente Launches Multimillion-Dollar Effort detailed a campaign that focuses its messaging around health care delivery and choice.

In 2013/14, the campaign will highlight KP’s quality of care and the ability to choose physicians and access in a personalized way, Alexandra Morehouse, VP, brand experience and advertising at Kaiser Permanente, told Marketing Daily.  

Finally, the number ten most-read story focused on the “Most Interesting Man in the World.” The story, Dos Equis 'Most Interesting Man' Returns, talked about the brands effort in April to bring back the iconic figure, with his legendary beard and smoking jacket. He was featured in new spots set to run nationally via television and online, which end with the familiar charge for fans to “stay thirsty, my friends.”
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