Thursday, February 28, 2008

Will Hyundai's Genesis Generate Sales and Credibility?

Did you see Hyundai's two Super Bowl spots for Genesis, its new luxe sedan? Take a peek here. (Jeff Bridges is the voice-over talent.)

Genesis is getting good press at the starting line: Check out Motor Trend and Car and Driver, for instance. Still, their questions about Hyundai's ability to deliver top quality--equal to that of BMW or Mercedes or even Lexus--seem valid, though unanswerable at this writing.

So will Genesis be the start of something big for Hyundai? Not too long ago, VW had difficulty moving upscale from its affordability roots. Can Genesis help Hyundai do an upmarket stretch and increase U.S. profits? Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Reverse channels for recycling

In marketing-speak, reverse channels are channels that customers use to return things to manufacturers, retailers, or other organizations. More reverse channels are needed for recycling things we no longer need or want in as earth-friendly a way as possible.

Check out these recycling sites:
  • Eco-Cycle has tips for recycling and an exchange page where consumers can list things they'll give away for free (and browse for things they'd like to have).
  • Charitable Recycling and Wireless Fundraising accept donations of old cell phones, which are recycled responsibly.
  • My Green Electronics lets you search for recycling by zip and search for "green electronics" by type of product (define "green electronics" if you dare).

Friday, February 15, 2008

FOG (Friends of Gary)

When I picked up a container of Stonyfield Farm yogurt yesterday, I noticed that CEO Gary Hirshberg had written me a note on the lid, starting with the words: "Dear Friends." I'm officially a FOG! Actually he was writing to promote his new book, Stirring It Up, about how consumers and companies can encourage a healthy planet. Read all about it on the Stonyfield Farm site.

Once I opened the yogurt and licked peach off the underside of the lid, I read the promotion details: If I'm among the first 250 customers to send Gary 25 clean lids from Stonyfield Farm yogurt cups (or O'Soy or Oikos yogurts), I can get a free autographed copy. Now I only need 24 more yogurt lids. . .not an unreasonable number, and certainly one of the more intriguing and intelligent promotions I've seen on a supermarket product in some time. Eat yogurt, get a free autographed book, learn to save the planet. What's not to like?

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Future of Catalogs, Part 2

Is there a future for catalogs? My blog entry from last year commented on a BusinessWeek story about opting out of catalog mailings. In the March 2008 issue of SmartMoney, Anne Kadet's article "Mailbox Vigilantes"--great title!--notes that when marketers spend $1 on junk mail (including catalogs) they typically enjoy a return of $7 to $15. Sounds profitable even with all the wasted catalogs that get recycled or junked.

Kadet also mentions more sites for consumers who want to kill the catalog onslaught:

Monday, February 4, 2008

Super Ads? Nobody Agrees on Ad Winners

Well, the Giants won after all . . . but no commercial was a clear winner. If you, the viewer, were the intended target for an ad, it probably was more appealing than ads clearly not geared to your demographics, interests, or lifestyle. Guess that's why I liked the Coca-Cola ads better than the Pepsi Max ads.

Anyway, here's a non-scientific sample of ad commentary (click quick, some won't be up or free for long):

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Bowl Ads

Ninety minutes before kickoff and it's a good time to look at sites featuring Super Bowl ads! Advertisers must be thrilled with the coverage of their advertising plans. More exposure, more attention, more discussion, more bang for their ad bucks. Here are just a few of the sites I've checked:
  • Superbowl-Ads - Vote for favorites, see last year's winners, retrospective of earlier years' ads.
  • YouTube - More voting for favorite ads - "done YouTube style" according to the site.
  • CBS Sports 2007 Super Bowl Ads - Quarter by quarter and advertiser by advertiser, posted for posterity.
  • MSNBC ad showdown - Bracket-style, vote for ads and see which comes out the overall winner.
  • Adland's spoiler - Advance info (?) and archives about Super Bowl ads, spoilers and all.
Giants or Patriots? Heart says Giants, head says Patriots.