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A duo of independently written articles seemed to pose and then suggest an answer to a question that’s been on a lot of peoples minds. First, in MediaPost’s Engage Boomers Blog, a June 22 post entitled Maybe Peter Pan Should Move to Madison Avenue, FiveO Creative Director Brent Bouchez noted that “by 2010, 50% of all consumer spending in America will be by people over the age of 50.” But he noted that marketing budgets are 90% allocated toward reaching the 18-34 demographic, today’s advertising “sweet spot.” There’s lots of other fun backup data here, but that’s the main point, and he notes that “the majority of consumers over 50 feels that advertising and marketing either portrays them negatively or ignores them altogether.” Point taken.

Curiously, the same day, Mark Dolliver of Adweek published an article entitled, Assessing the Power of Ads. He cited recent polling data which might help explain Bouchez’ point of view. While 45% of those 18-34 felt that “ads were at least somewhat influential in guiding their most recent big purchase,” on 29% of those 55+ responded similarly. Another noteworthy stat is that while 66% of 18-34 year olds found ads at least somewhat interesting, only 46% of those 55+ did.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? My point in this post is that it could well be that the reason Mr and Mrs 55+ feel ignored is that they are not worthy targets in the first place: they don’t find advertising interesting and it doesn’t move them to buy. But of course, one could legitimately point out that the advertising profession is dominated by those very same millenials and gen Y ‘ers who appreciate and respond best to advertising. We’re talking to our friends and neighbors and it’s no surprise they are listening. And buying.

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MediaPost reported in its Engage:Teens newsletter today that while teens show a genuine interest in the environment, “when it comes to brand involvement in green issues, however, they have a nuanced view.” The study reports that 67% of teens want to make a difference in this area. But teens 13-17 would choose a less expensive, non-green brand over one that costs more but is not as eco-friendly, while those 18-29 would “pay more for a product if they knew some of their investment was going towards an environmental cause.”

The article includes recommendations for capitalizing on the results of the research. Among them, brand marketers must educate teens on how to take action in their environments, turning their desire to support green causes into meaningful results. Also, adding green content to the brand Website and pushing eco-apps on social media sites are considered worthwhile ventures.

For more, visit www.mediapost.com.

Noah Brier, author of a very interesting and diverse blog, has created a very cool visualization tool at brandtags.net. If you’re into branding, you’ll be into this. Users can view a sort of “word cloud” containing dozens or hundreds of words submitted one at a time by other users in response to views of randomly displayed logos. The larger words in the cloud are those that were used more commonly.

Thus I type in “Crayola”, a brand we are currently working with, and see that the major concepts associated with the brand logo are:

  • Childhood
  • Colors
  • Fun
  • Happy
  • Kids
  • Crayons
  • Smile

All of these words fit nicely with the brand profile contained in the company’s background material to us. (Mysteriously, “Banana” is also ranked highly. Go figure.)

Goldforest has always said that a brand is not born upon product introduction, but rather when a shared experience and vision, including descriptive terms, begins to emerge. Clearly this Web site reflects the shared vision of thousands of visitors.

While brand managers like the folks at Crayola cannot be sure if brandtags visitors represent a meaningful cross section of  target customers, they can use a site like this to learn quickly the words and concepts people associate with their brand; just as importantly, they can also take note of words that aren’t listed.

This is not a substitute for formal research, but if your budget’s limited (and whose isn’t these days), it’s a great place to start!

Nice: http://bit.ly/y73NP