Mobile Grocery Coupons – Huge Opportunity

There are plenty of people who are using scanners, QR codes and various apps to price shop at different retailers.  They go to a store, find the price and then the app or website will give them competitors rate all over town.  Food and medicine are two categories that have seen the least amount of smartphone usage (researching) for coupons and discounts.

But these categories won’t be left alone for long.  In fact, “Catalina, the company that powers loyalty programs for 30,000 stores nationwide (including those coupons at checkout), acquired mobile commerce company Modiv Mobile.”  Modiv, now Catalina Mobile’s app will work like this:  “A shopper walks into the store, opens the store-branded app and receives offers based on their shopping history. To skip the line at checkout, shoppers can scan barcodes of items they put into the cart to buy the haul right on the phone. Catalina says the app will be available in 200 more Stop & Shops this summer.”  The company knows that people are not going to scan a box of Cheerios and run across town if it’s a few cents or a dollar cheaper elsewhere, what people will do though is redeem food coupons through the app and either print them at home, or sync and load them onto their supermarket loyalty cards.

Additionally, a new app that has hit the market is SnipSnap.  This app simplifies the couponing process by allowing users to snap pictures of all of your coupons, save them to your iPhone and redeem them from your device, without having to carry around all those bits of paper.  The app also provides you with in-store reminders for when to use your coupons, expiration date alerts, uses for your “any” coupons and the ability to share with friends.

For more information on both products, check out the articles, here and here

Punchcard: Mobile Loyalty Card

Punchcard is a digital version of paper loyalty cards, which have been less popular over the years due to the easy ability for people to take advantage of the cards.  The Punchcard app allows customers to take photos of their receipts in order to get their loyalty “points,” which then equates to cash payouts or other rewards directly from the merchants.  Though this app is not the only one on the market, their marketing is a bit different.  They’ve “turned on” loyalty programs for millions of locations across the US, even if the merchant hasn’t requested it.  The company believes that this seeding technique will build their business faster than their competitors (Facebook just acquired loyalty play Tagtile, Google acquired PunchdPerka and Perkville).

Currently the app works at 15 million locations in the US.  As users snap photos of their receipts and input them into the Punchcard system, they earn cash, freebies and rewards (usually on the 10th purchase).  The company currently offers two tiers of service “(one for $29/month, another for $99/month), which provides businesses with access to an analytics view into who their customers are, and an automated re-marketing program that pushes offers back to customers to incent them to buy again. The solution works best for retailers, restaurants, grocery stores, coffee shops, and other local businesses that want to increase the frequency of their customers’ purchases.”  The company boasts “huge conversion rates” from the app download to usage and repeat usage.

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Unusual Ad Placement: Creative or Intrusive?

There are very few places that are “off limits” to marketers these days.  It’s no secret that consumers are overloaded with brand messaging everywhere they turn, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t new, creative ways to get people’s attention.  Here are a few new and unusual ad placements from around the world, our question is creative or intrusive?Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download?

  • Bowling Balls – A horror-themed TV channel in Germany, placed photos of decapitated heads on bowling balls in public bowling alleys.
  • Metro Ceiling – Panorama Hair is making those with thinning hair a bit more conscious of that fact with their branded mirrors on the metro’s ceiling.  Embarrassed enough to go try their product?
  • Bike Wheels – Flashy LED bicycle spokes helped promote the superhero movie Green Lantern in Brazil.
  • Your House – An agency in California will help you pay your mortgage by putting billboards on your house.  While this might not be an option for those of us who live in a place with HOAs, it’s a new idea that I’m not sure your neighbors will be extremely happy with.
  • Your Thigh – Don’t you hate those chairs that leave an imprint in the back of your legs? Well, a New Zealand agency has found a way to make these imprints work for their customers, by enabling marketers to put their logo or message in the wiring, which will then make its way onto the customers body.

For more about these ideas, as well as the agencies who came up with them, visit:

Lessons From Chipotle: Remaining Loyal To Low Marketing Budget

Chipotle is somewhat of an enigma.  How does a now household restaurant chain name with more than 1,200 stores, 1.7 million social media fans create so much buzz without an onslaught of traditional marketing?

It’s something that Chipotle prides itself on, keeping loyal to its simple goal of “changing the way people think about their food,” while not spending millions on traditional advertising and channeling their energy and resources into grassroots initiatives.  Here is a sneak peek into Chipotle’s social media efforts, with a few highlights from Mashable’s interview with Chipotle’s New Media Manager, Joe Stupp:

  1. One-on-One Conversation – Chipotle is very loyal to its one-on-one engagement model for its social media platforms, in fact the company responds to 83% of its Facebook posts and about 90% of its Twitter activity.  The 3-person response team makes it a point to get to know their customers, by having genuine conversations with them and not simply chasing metrics.
  2. Creative Content – The company does not like producing boring content, so if you are looking for dry press releases, you may be out of luck.  The company made a bit of a splash during the Grammy Awards when they launched their first (and only) tv ad, an animated film called “Back to the Start,” which reinforces the company’s core philosophy of getting people to think about where their food comes from.  Additionally, the company launched a YouTube video “Abandoned,” in which they “spotlight on the impact of industrialization on family farms and, again, initiated public conversation on a relevant issue.”  Keeping content creative is a key to engaging with their community.
  3. Community-Driven Initiatives – Chipotle is very passionate about creating tangible online and offline promotions that “reinforce its commitment to supporting family farmers and educating people about food.”  This is done through their Halloween “Boo-rito” contest and subsequently the newest dress up as a family farm animal and you can buy a burrito for $2, where the $2 actually goes towards FarmAid.  Also through the new Chipotle Cultivate Music Festival in Chicago, where food, farmers, chefs and musicians are all together to feature responsibly-grown dishes and educational opportunities about sustainable farming and treatment of animals.  Lastly, the company recently launched “Farm Team,” which is an online initiative that rewards people for exploring the website, watching videos, taking polls and sharing their farming practice knowledge with others in their social network.  Participants are rewarded with food, t-shirts and other prizes.

So, what’s next for the company? Honestly, Stupp says more of the same.  The focus on individual conversations and community education initiatives are core to the company and will not waiver as the brand grows.

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Ethnic Insights Now Standard in Ads

Ethnic insights are going mainstream as they increasingly become an integral part of general marketing work.  The days have past where you need a separate multicultural agency to do your ethnic work.  All marketers are now preparing for the shift in the US demographic, which includes a more diverse “general” market.

One of the main reasons for the shift in thinking is generational.  Younger generations are definitely blending faster than their older ethnic counterparts.  State Farm and McDonald’s are two of the big companies that have already started to blend ethnic and traditional advertising to create their new overall message.  Both of these companies understand that the younger generations understand messages from all races and are less likely to prefer specific demographic marketing than the older generations would.  For example, State Farm using LeBron James and his likeness to speak to the younger generation as a whole, not just the African American youth.  McDonald’s knows that 40% of its US business is done with ethnic minorities, with 50% of the business 13 and younger, so they conduct focus groups with all ethnicities present to see what is most appealing, whether it one ethnicity represented or all represented equally.

With the shift from ethnic marketing into a more general “all ethnicity” approach, marketers must be aware enough not to focus or play on stereotypes and risk offending the very people they are trying to reach.  In order to be successful at the new norm in marketing, agencies must find imagery that is appealing to the “white” and “ethnic” markets, without making either one feel as those they are being singled out or left full movie Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List online

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Forget Black Friday, Check Out Cyber Monday is a website that was introduced by 3 years ago.  More than 700 companies will come together on this  site this year to showcase their Cyber Monday deals.  The website will feature hundreds of promotions (discounts, free shipping, etc.), some that are exclusive to and others that circle back to the retailer’s site.  The site will also feature a “Deal of the Hour” on both Black Friday (new this year) and Cyber Monday.

Research is showing that over 87% of retailers plan to offer a special promotion for Cyber Monday, up from 83.7% in 2008 and 72.2% in 2007.  The eHoliday Survey also shows that 53.5% of workers, or 68.8 million people, will shop for holiday gifts via their work computer.  In addition, retailers are also saying they will ramp up their online marketing of Black Friday deals.  The study found that 74.3% of retailers will market their sales via email, 62.9% via home page advertising and 54.3% through search ads.

I don’t know about you, but it’s only Wednesday and my email has been inundated with coupons, discount codes, etc.  I don’t know that I will be venturing out into the wild on Friday, but I will definitely be one of the 87% who will be shopping at work on Monday!Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

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Inside Coke’s Global Social Media Campaign

When you are a global giant like Coke, you have the budget to go big with not only your traditional media campaigns but also social campaigns.  Coca-Cola’s newest social media campaign is going to force global markets, who haven’t dabbled or been involved with digital media, to jump in head first.  The campaign, Expedition 206, was an internal collaboration between the communications, public relations and marketing teams at the company.  Expedition 206 will send 3 20-somethings into 206 countries and territories where Coke is going to be sold in 2010.  Starting on Jan. 1st, these 3 will take their laptops, video cameras, smartphones and plenty of other gadgetry, in order to document their adventure and search for their happiness, and will be dubbed “happiness ambassadors”.

There is a website set up for viewers to track their journey,, as well as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube pages.  These pages will not only allow viewers to see what is going on, but it will also allow viewers to weigh in and suggest things the trio should do at each destination.  Coke will be able to see the success and value of the campaign by how many Facebook and Twitter followers the campaign gains, as well as how many pages views gets.

By forcing some of the smaller countries and territories to participate in this social event, Coke will be able to use the “happiness ambassadors” idea to tie together and  promote their global sports sponsorships, including “the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, World Expo 2010 in Shanghai and even customer-focused events, like the 20th anniversary of McDonald’s in Russia.”

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Mickey Mouse Gets A Makeover

Disney is giving its corporate icon a makeover.  Mickey has been kept as the squeky clean character everyone loves for what seems like forever.  Disney corporate was fearful that even the tiniest change in the brand would disrupt his $5 billion plus in annual merchandise sales.  But now is the time and Mickey getting a makeover.

Mickey is being re-imagined for the future and is  going to become more edgy in the likes of films and video games.  In the new video game Epic Mickey, which is due out next fall, Mickey will transform into a cunning, yet heroic trickster.  Disney’s hope is that this re-imaging is needed to entice the younger generations.

In fact, in a separate but even larger effort, Disney is going even further by rethinking the character’s personality.  From the way Mickey talks and walks to the way he appears on the Disney Channel and the web, even what his house looks like at Disney World, everything is getting a makeover.

For all the details of this huge image overhaul, including the potential backlash, go to:


Family Friendly Shows, Better Environment for Advertisers

A new study reveals that programs which spur family viewing are better environments for advertisers with family friendly products.  The research done by ANA Alliance for Family Entertainment, suggests that the type of show in which a commercial airs can hinder or help the effectiveness of the advertising.  Advertisers need to be aware that if the tone of their ad, matches the tone of their show, it can boost their effectiveness by an average of more than 30%.

The study also shows that 10.7% of audiences changed their mind about purchasing a product based on the content in which they viewed the advertisement that promoted it.  This tangible data has been used by marketing executives to either support or challenge where their advertisements are going to be placed.  For example, Microsoft recently just pulled out of advertising on The Family Guy because the company did not agree with the tone or message of the show and they didn’t want viewers to align their brand messages with what the show supports.

This extremely interesting article, can be found at:


Volvo and Vampires

Volvo believes that vampires can sell cars.  Volvo’s product placement deal with Summit Entertainment for the new Twilight movie now also features a contest. allows consumers to enter to win a chance to attend the premiere of The Twilight Saga: New Moon, meet the cast and win their own Volvo XC60 (Edward’s car of choice in the movie).  The site features trailers, a variety of photo downloads and wallpapers.  Volvo is also running commercials promoting the contest and driving fans to the website.

Fans will have a chance to win the XC60 beginning Nov. 1st.  They will have to answer a series of questions, but are encouraged to exchange hints through Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.  The first one to solve the puzzle wins.

Interestingly enough, Volvo isn’t targeting the 16 or 17 year old drivers.  They are hoping that the Twilight tween girl following, will be picked up by the girls moms who will in turn purchase the vehicle.

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