Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ryanair: "Higher oil prices won't end low fare air travel"

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In my most recent European text, I used Ryanair as an example of successful targeting of a single big segment: price-sensitive travelers. This week, Ryanair's CEO pledged to keep fares low, despite sky-high fuel prices that have already driven some carriers out of business (and have hurt Ryanair's profits).

As this BBC news story indicates, some analysts and industry experts question the wisdom of waiting to raise prices. As a consumer, I value low fares. But I also value competition and decent service. Airlines need some profit to reinvest in equipment, personnel, and services. Ryanair, will artificially low air fares allow you to serve your customers properly in the long run?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Roshen Candy from Ukraine

clipped from roshen.com

In 2007 the production objects of ROSHEN Confectionary Corporation were certified in accordance with the requirements of the international food quality and safety standards ISO 22000:2005. And in the end of 2007 Kremenchug confectionary factory was certified in accordance with the requirements of IFS corporate standard. Also, in 2007 the social program on children's playground construction by ROSHEN had been successfully completed. Nowadays, 79 playgrounds are constructed and now functioning in different regions of Ukraine.

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When my niece Katie came back from a visit to Ukraine, she brought Roshen chocolates as gifts. I was lucky enough to get the Mont Blanc Cream Praline "exclusive chocolate" sweets. As part of its social responsibility program, Roshen also builds playgrounds in neighborhoods around Ukraine. The website is worth a peek.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Annie's Homegrown - Now a Classic

clipped from www.annies.com
clipped from www.annies.com
Bernie's motto is,"Be Hoppy!"
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Certain young relatives insist on only Annie's mac 'n cheese--no substitutes. About 10 years ago, I had the fun experience of interviewing Annie, who at the time lived on an organic farm in rural Connecticut and was enjoying the company of gentle house-bunnies related to the late, great Bernie (shown on the box and in the photo).

The brand has gone mainstream yet stayed true to its roots, and its marketing remains low-key. The company has always championed natural foods and environmental stewardship. Bernie even has his own Myspace page. My pantry always has a box of Annie's ready to cook up and enjoy with guests of all ages.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Eye-catching But How Relevant?

clipped from www.koreanair.com
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This is a pretty print ad for Korean Air but what's the point? Korean Air's tag line is "From departure to arrival, the world is a step closer with Korean Air." Given today's competitive environment, shouldn't the graphics and tag line focus on customer benefits?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Marketing Colonoscopies and More

The media and messages of public health issues don't fit into neat marketing boxes. Just yesterday, a long Newsday article reported that many public service announcements simply don't get their messages across effectively.

By "effectively," I mean they don't move mountains of people to proactively protect their health by getting a colonoscopy or having a mammogram or clicking that seat belt. Some people do get the message, but many let it wash over them without taking action. My friend Susan has decided that this is the week to take action--and I'm very glad!

I just visited the Ad Council web site to look at public health campaigns and there are some really good campaigns to review. Take a look, admire the marketing mechanics, and then take action for yourself.

In particular, I like the stroke awareness campaign because:
  • It's multimedia (which means people who are visually-oriented can absorb the message, people who prefer to get info by listening can get it, people who like to click can get info on the web, etc.).
  • It's got solid information to help me recognize the symptoms of a stroke and get help fast.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Suddenly, Greek Yogurts Are Here

16 oz
clipped from www.chobani.com
clipped from www.fageusa.com
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Once only available in Trader Joe's and specialty food stores, Greek yogurts are suddenly in mainstream supermarkets. Tangy like sour cream, with similar consistency, they're healthy and not calorific. Word-of-mouth prompted me to try Fage and now I've tried the other two, too. Definitely worth spooning over strawberries or on top of zucchini pancakes.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

TerraCycle - Worm Poop and More

clipped from www.terracycle.net
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If you haven't heard of TerraCycle, you will soon. Its signature product is plant food made from worm poop. In the ecopreneurial spirit, it now offers tote bags, backpacks, and other items made from recycled cookie wrappers, soda bottles, and juice pouches.

The big question is, how many consumers will buy tote bags or shower curtains that are clearly made from the discarded packaging of branded foods and beverages? Will these be the new mass status symbol for save-the-planet people or will they wind up as products in search of a market?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Firefox 3 - Ready for Prime Time

clipped from www.mozilla.com

Firefox 3

Can a browser really make the Web better?
Try Firefox and see for yourself. Learn more.

Community-powered effort nets more than 8 million downloads in one day.
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Fast, organized, intuitive--Firefox 3 is not only a great browser, it's free and comes with the advantage of many user-contributed add-ins that extend functionality. One of my favorites is Clipmarks, which I used to clip and show this info from the Firefox site. Also I like Adblock, which removes annoying ads. If I want to see ads, I can easily whitelist a page or site. No wonder this browser set a download record! Word-of-mouth marketing really works, as Firefox parent Mozilla is well aware.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Send your videos--feel that brand community!

clipped from www.applebees.com
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More and more companies are inviting customers to make and submit videos for posting on corporate websites. It's fun, it's inexpensive, and it gets people engaged with the brand. But I wonder how many people actually click to watch these videos? Anyway, it's a great way for Applebee's and others to learn about their customers.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Axe Detailer Shower Tool: Not Same Old, Same Old

clipped from www.youtube.com
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The print version of this fun ad says the "rough red side" of the shower tool is "for your tough guy parts" and the "soft black side" is "for your sensitive guy parts." Not your usual guy-clean-shower positioning. Take a peek!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Toilet Paper Caught on Ad Critic

PR iconSorbent Toilet Paper: Homecoming

A young beast-boy returns home to find comforts far from feral.

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How often do you see a commercial in which toilet paper moves someone to tears? This is it. Check out some of the other ads while you're on Ad Critic's site.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

New Grad: Beatrice of Beatrice's Goat

clipped from www.heifer.org

"The Luckiest Girl"
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof discusses the latest chapter in the story of Beatrice Biira, whose life was forever changed by the gift of a Heifer goat. Kristof believes small gifts can make a big difference. Read more. Learn more about Beatrice.

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The children's book Beatrice's Goat has become a classic about how a Heifer International donation of a goat helped a family in Uganda afford to send their daughter, Beatrice, to school.

Now Beatrice has graduated from Connecticut College and will go on for grad work in the U.S. Read all about it in The New York Times. A real-life story with a happy ending and a happy feeling for people who support Heifer and similar charities.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Flip License Agreement - Rights Grab? Not Necessarily

I love the Flip video recorder, but I don't love the license agreement that its maker, Pure Digital, wants to impose. If I don't click "I agree," I can't get the firmware upgrade. Take a look at the above section of the license agreement and you'll see that the company wants a non-exclusive, royalty-free license for all time to the rights to my content in some circumstances.

Late in June, I wrote Pure Digital and asked for clarification of this issue. I wrote again but received no answer until August 13th. Here's Flip's reply, which made me feel much better. Thank you, Flip.

Hello Marian,

Please know that this is a standard License Agreement and we will not be using any of your content without first obtaining your written permission. We hope this has addressed your concerns.

Please feel free to contact us with any more questions you may have about our products, services, and policies.

Thank you,
Flip Video Support