Trend trackers and setters

Last month I attended the Future Trends Conference (an annual conference sponsored by the International Institute of Research) catching up on what’s tomorrow. I heard fascinating insights from many speakers, including Janet Gallent, VP, Consumer Insights & Innovation Creation over at NBC Universal, who razed the myth that “nobody with a DVR watches commercials.” Guess what? According to NBC research, 43% of commercials are actually played back by DVR viewers. So DVRs are not the… read more »

H&M clearly on ‘Target’

Have you been following the H&M groupies? Better question, how could you have missed the crowds as they were lined outside the H&M store in Herald Square last week (and other various parts of the world) for the release of the Comme des Garçons collection? Perhaps you thought it was just another Apple launch. It had that kind of fervor, after all. The groupsters were gathering up armloads of affordable couture and even though the… read more »

Bail out or not, it’s a good time to be in marketing

Say it outloud with me: “We are in a recession.” (And now’s the time for brand building, you better believe it.) New York City—A place never thought to be vulnerable to earthquakes, but recently, with Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, J.P. Morgan’s rescue of Washington Mutual, the Fed’s stunning $85 billion bolstering of AIG, and now the battle in Congress over to bail-out or not… BG feels even more shakes coming, especially with rampant inflation affecting… read more »

What’s your policy?

Taking on advertising responsibility–and doing it right. Imagine yourself being outspent 5 to 1 by your competitors and realizing your customers’ perception of your brand is simply wrong, name recognition zilch, and then to boot, you’re in a category that’s hardly considered sexy. Buying insurance is not a top-of-mind issue for many (although it should be more than ever these days). However, one insurance company was able to build a unique campaign that turned all… read more »

Virgin and Entourage – a match made from up above?

The boys are back–and navigating uncharted territory. Ok. It comes as no surprise to “Entourage” fans that Medellin gets passed over at Cannes, which sends our hero Vince (Adrien Grenier) into seclusion—in true Hollywood form—on a remote island to repair his fallen ego with booze and babes… but getting to watch it all happen while on a romp from JFK to Las Vegas? How much fun can a girl (or boy) take? For the launch… read more »

Did you see Vogue’s big branding faux pas?

A $1000 Fendi bib on Suri Cruise might have worked… but putting it on a child whose parents might hope to make $1.50 per day? Apparently the August edition of Vogue India featured such a pic among 16-pages of fashion editorial, which according to its editor, Priya Tanna, “sought to illustrate the power of fashion” as a strategy to reach a niche, the growingly affluent demographic in (the “new”) India. The iconic magazine received lashings… read more »

Don’t fear the screwtop!

Or the wine in the box? About two years ago, I went to a Dave Matthew’s concert at the Hollywood Bowl. Bottles were verboten, wine or otherwise, but they did have some vino on offer for purchase. It was typical—my usual splurge was going for $88. So to be economical, I went red, opting for the Frei Brothers Pinot Noir at $46. Then, adding insult to injury, I watched them uncork that baby and dump… read more »

Aren’t we over Apple’s apologies?

Nope, not yet… I woke up the other morning to an email Apple sent out to its universe of users, gifting MobileMe subscribers with a free 60 days of service to make up for recent outages and poor performance. I quote: “We know that MobileMe’s launch has not been our finest hour, and we truly appreciate your patience as we turn this around.” As they’ve shown time and again, apologies work and Apple’s brand keeps… read more »

Dell means business–and not business as usual

Ad Age: A new A&E reality series is bringing the makeover to the boardroom. On “We Mean Business,” a technology expert, an interior designer and “Apprentice” winner Bill Rancic try to give flagging companies a new lease on life. Computer manufacturer Dell has signed on for an eight-episode integration that includes product placement and branded content on A&E’s web site as well as a Dell microsite. Branding today’s business no longer means static anything –… read more »

OMG! Gossip Girls… “Nasty”

Surprise, surprise. CW gets slapped for hitting below the belt with its “nasty” advertising. Again. “It really reeks of desperation,” said Melissa Henson, director of communications and public education for the group. The network’s decision to “position the show in opposition to the Parents Television Council speaks both to the trouble they’ve had attracting a decent-sized audience for the program and the fact that they have had to sort of cling to an image of… read more »