15 June 2009

Harris Poll & Advertising & Social Networking

Take a look:

HarrisInteractive Offline Social Word of Mouth Influence On Brand Decision-Making More Frequent and More Powerful Than Online Social Media

The most frequently identified methods of gathering information were:

  • Using a company website (36%),
  • Face-to-face with a salesperson or other company representative (22%), and
  • Face-to-face with a person not associated with the company (21%).

Other frequently mentioned methods or sources were:

  • Advertising in print media (19%),
  • Independent websites that have reviews (19%),
  • Phone call to the company (16%), and
  • Public or private social networking sites (4%).

Thirty-six percent use a company web site.  Four percent use social networking sites. 

I’ve been blogging about this for years

The real issue is that WOMMers have usurped the term word of mouth.  Word of mouth is what word of mouth marketing isn’t.  From my book:

When it all comes out in the wash, WOMM will be the best thing to happen to (silly retronym ahead) traditional advertising. Pretty soon, consumers won't believe anybody - even their best friends. They'll realize that they receive the most honest and straightforward information about a product or service from a TV commercial, print ad, or product web site. At least we don't lie about who we are and why we're saying what we're saying.

As far as all the claptrap about WOMM replacing advertising - people who are hawking that one have a slippery grip on history. Word-of-mouth marketing is nothing new. It's been around for a hundred years, since the beginning of modern advertising, always morphing into various forms. The latest morphs: online social networking and blogs.

There is plenty of marketing and advertising to be done on the Web, and who knows what forms they will take over the next ten years. We'll all be surprised. But word-of-mouth as the primary driving force of marketing? I think not.

Remember this: Advertising didn't die with the invention of the telephone.

Someone who understands history and makes you laugh:

The Revolution That Never Happened
ac Ten years ago, if you would have said that DVR viewing would represent only 5% of total viewing today, you would have been called a fool and a Luddite. – The Ad Contrarian

Download The HarrisInteractive® Report (PDF)

14 June 2009

A Few New Campaigns

Way back in 2006 I was part of a private marketing seminar for AstraZeneca’s Crestor:

az The day was productive and fun. The three ‘experts’ were Dr. Coughlin, John Page from Yankelovich, and you-know-who. The numbers-cruncher wore a very conservative, gray suit, the academic a dark pinstripe and loud bow tie, and the ad guy a mock turtleneck and over-the-top orangey sport coat.

We were straight from central casting.

The night before I had dinner with a gentleman from Commonhealth and the Brand Manager of Crestor®.  Of course, I’d done homework.  Three points I made:

  • Boomers want information.  I found out more about the active ingredient (Rosuvastatin) and how it works from Wikipedia than I did on the Crestor web site.

  • Feel-good advertising is fine, but make sure the commercial pushes you to the web site for more information – and the information is there.

  • You should produce a computer-animated ‘fly-through’ video of arteries showing how and why Crestor works. 

crestor The other night I saw a Crestor spot with a man in his fifties explaining a bit about the medication, and pushing viewers to the Crestor web site to view an animated video about how Crestor works. 

I can’t find the television spot on the web, but did find the animated video:


Take an interactive artery tour …


My colleagues, heroes, and brothers in troublemaking Brent Green and Dick Stroud have been all over a bunch of campaigns that use the perennial ‘time machine’ technique:

Some target 50+, one should but doesn’t, one (or maybe two) are age-neutral.  You decide:

Bacardi Rum Mojitos, Marketing Missteps, Boomers and Social Justice
bg Take another look at the commercial and now scrutinize for diversity. You’ll see Caucasians, Latinos and African Americans. You’ll certainly see a balance of gender, as you would expect for a nightclub evolving backward through the fourth dimension (of time). What you won’t see is anyone over the age of 40 (more likely 30) — neither in the present nor in the distant past where the thirsty customer finally gets his freshly mashed mojito.

dsThe more retro the better?
Retro advertising is back with a vengeance … I suspect you can have a bit too much of retro, even for the over-50s market.

The M&S spot is my favorite:

Probably because Twiggy is sexier and more fun now then way back when – and I chortled at the cheeky nod to a classic spot for Levi’s:

11 June 2009

Older Employees' Better Coping Skills Mean Better Engagement

mb Marti Barletta sent this to a handful of us boomer business folk:

The Herman Trend Alert
June 10, 2009
by Roger Herman and Joyce Gioia
Older Employees' Better Coping Skills Mean Better Engagement 
hgOur younger workers are most affected by the current economic crisis even as our older employees are able to handle the trials of this difficult economic time. These findings were recently reported in a study by Boston College's Sloan Center on Aging & Work.

It reminded me of some posts over the last five years:

Old Masters and Young Geniuses

What Kind of Genius Are You?

Baby boomers are smarter than you think

Trust Your Gut


People generally get better.

Calcified Advertising Agencies

Rance Crain Makes Perfect Sense Yet Again

Diversity = Productivity

Managing Age Diversity in the Advertising Industry

And an article I never got around to blogging about:

Why We Need Aging Workers
By Ray B. Williams
rbw The key to a company’s future success will be its adaptability – its capacity to deploy resources quickly to seize competitive opportunities and to draw from a labor pool that features a mix of multi-skilled, full-time workers, and specifically-skilled, contingent employees who contribute on a part-time or temporary basis.

And my book:


09 June 2009

Builders urged to pay attention …

Excerpts from a recent news article:

Builders urged to pay attention to what Boomers want
by Cecilia Chan - Jun. 6, 2009
The Arizona Republic
azc Developers of retirement communities will need to adapt to the changing lifestyles of Baby Boomers to continue to attract them in the future, an Arizona State University expert says.

… "One of the issues for the industry is if they keep building these humongous cities with amenities, is this what they want?" Waldron said. "Some researchers show Baby Boomers don't want to be segregated and they want to continue working."

…  In the report, local developers and experts note that retirement communities will have to change to draw a new kind of retiree. For example, the report points out that the number of 55-plus people working from home has increased sharply, more than doubling over six years to 13 percent in 2007.

Sounds familiar.  Excerpts from my book, originally published in March, 2005:

Advertising_To_Baby Boomers … Past generations tended to get excited about modern conveniences that would make their lives easier. They would walk into a planned housing unit and exclaim, ‘Look! It’s got this and this and this and this!’  The more features, the better. The more planned, the better. It was time to start a new life. They wanted to be rewarded for all their hard work, and relax.

Not so with Baby Boomers. We take most modern conveniences for granted. We don’t want to start new lives, but continue the lives we already have.

… Baby Boomers will be anticipating a seamless transition. Instead of ‘Look! It has this and this and this’, we’ll be sniffing around for friendly, useful spaces. You will want us to say, ‘Look! There’s a perfect place for my pottery wheel’ or ‘There are plenty of windows and sunlight. My house plants and indoor herb garden will do fine in here’ or ‘Good. I can put up big, deep shelves for my books and CDs’ or ‘Here’s the perfect room for our side business on eBay’ or ‘Here’s a place where I can soundproof a recording studio or have an entertainment center’ or ‘This oversized back door is great because I can get my bicycle in and out without squeezing and jerking it around, and the extra-wide hallway means there’s plenty of room so I can just lean it against the wall and we won’t bang into it every time we walk past it.’

… When developing or molding a community for Baby Boomers, start with the concept of neutral. Do not confuse this with sameness. For example, when designing an indoor community space, do not assume that it will be used mostly for Bingo. Fashion it with flexibility so that it may be used for almost anything.

advbbcover Read the complete chapter (PDF):

C H A P T E R  F O U R
Give Boomers Room for Choices

04 June 2009

Country Joe & The Fish, Dylan, Sixties Cinema … & Chuck

Disclaimer: This post has nothing to do with advertising.

AAC Amazon.com has upgraded (at least they think so) its author/publisher services.  I now have my own author’s page – with a slightly mangled RSS feed and a Chuck Nyren Forum (which I hope remains devoid of discussions).

advbbcover I’ve written one book, two versions.  However, while filling in all the do-dads there was a link to View and edit our list of your books. Being the curious sort, and wanting to know if I’d written any books I’d forgotten about, I clicked. Up popped over a dozen books.

GG The search engine found every mention of ‘Chuck Nyren’ in all Amazon.com books. I wrote a chapter for this one, wrote sections for this one and this one, blurbed this one, was quoted in this one and this one and this one.

There were surprises.  I have no idea what’s written by or about me in this one:

Contemporary Business
by Louis E. Boone , David L. Kurtz
CBOpening new doors of possibility can be difficult.  CONTEMPORARY BUSINESS 13e gives students the business language they need to feel confident in taking the first steps toward becoming successful business majors and successful businesspeople.

I’m in awe of myself, whatever’s in there.  Last I looked the book costs $126.94. 

But the oddest surprise was finding a quote in this one:

DC Direct Cinema: Observational Documentary and the Politics of the Sixties
by Dave Saunders
Direct Cinema … offers a meticulously researched study of a significant period in the history of North American documentary film.

A sentence from the book and the quote:

quote1  quote2 quote3

The author found an online article from 1997 (so don’t expect those embedded links to work):

roundersCountry Joe and The Fish
Author: Chuck Nyren
Published on: September 1, 1997
For CJ, Fish and the gang the enormous popularity of this Anti-Vietnam War Anthem proved to be somewhat of a mixed blessing, overshadowing the rest of their truly inventive and wondrous music.

Golly gee willikers (I mean, “Far out!”). I might have to reevaluate who I really am, reinvent myself, add this impressive credential to my professional persona: Sixties Political and Counterculture Pundit.

I like the sound of that.