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For when I need more than 140 characters to finish a thought on marketing, media or message.


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Target-Neiman tie-in: Does it hit the spot?

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UPDATE 12-09-2012: A visit to a Fairfax, Va., Target yesterday shows Weinswig may be correct about Target’s poor in-store execution. I went into the store with the Target-Neiman collection in mind but not as part of my primary objective. (“Get kitty litter!) Even so, I saw only a single stand-alone piece of in-store signage related to the collection. My visit was lengthy and covered much of the store’s perimeter, but I never encountered the collection. Even worse: I didn’t see any signage that would have directed me to the collection.

BEGIN ORIGINAL POST: Target-Neiman The Wall Street Journal reports the Target-Neiman Marcus holiday tie-in (#Holiday24) is a disappointment, citing slower sales despite high-powered prime-time advertising and the muscle of social media. (Indeed, this writer learned about the partnership via Foursquare and Twitter before seeing any of the ads on television.) The article then goes on to compare the 50-gift cross-collection with the Missoni Madness of 2011.

But are the analysts comparing apples and oranges?

Reps for both retailers say so, noting their partnership was to created for the duration of the holiday season — not just a one-day sale. And to avoid the resells on eBay and other auction sites — a problem with last year’s Missoni promotion — customers are limited to five of each item.

A report by Deborah Weinswig, the Citibank analyst cited in the WSJ report, was quoted in the Dallas Morning News, laying blame on the disappointing sales on poor in-store execution. Weinswig surmised that based on Twitter chatter, all of the first day’s action was online, and the brick-and-mortars’ inventory could certainly be sold online. Reps for Target told the WSJ the placement of the collection in the back of the store was on purpose, designed with the hopes to increase traffic in other areas of the stores.
 

 
Whether the collection is red-hot online or in-store, the fact is: It’s cute, it’s affordable, and the partners can celebrate the brand awareness the promotion has created for their brands and the designers.

Check out how Target and Neiman promote the collection on their respective websites. No matter the framework, the collection still works, transcending the retailers’ consumer bases.

(Screencaps by J. Barrineau. Sources: Foursquare, Target.com and NeimanMarcus.com. 2012)


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Toyota Venza girl does an ad for McRib


ED’S NOTE:
This post reflects my interest in advertising as a marketing student. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.
 

UPDATE 8-12-12:Toyota Venza girl is angry about Triscuits.

 

UPDATE 11-03-2011: Like the ad?
 
Show Allyn Rachel the love on her Facebook page.

 

* * * * * * * *

 
I think I’m going to change the name of this blog to the Allyn Rachel & Other Stuff Blog. She’s all you people want to read about this year!

J’s Pages commenter Sarahbelle tipped me off that the “Toyota Venza girl” is also featured in the new commercial for the McRib, another bewildering food marketing success.

The McRib ad is a clever bid for mobile users, much like the new eBay ads. In the McRib spot, newlyweds Rachel and a Steve Zahn lookalike are about to embark on their honeymoon when he gets a text that the McRib is back! (“I’m gonna miss it!”)
 

 
 

I married a 14-year-old!

 

~ Allyn Rachel,
as McRib Bride

 
The ad does a great job of showing that all the characters have obeyed McDonald’s call-to-action for mobile users: “Get the word out: McRib is back!”

And it’s worth noting the spot fails to answer the question: What the hell is a McRib?

At the time of this writing, this HD version had 379 views, the SD version 2,546. There were 8 likes, 1 dislikes and 7 comments.

* * * * * * * *

 
See more of Allyn Rachel’s work on YouTube, Twitter, this blog and other Web 2.0 outlets.
 

UPDATE 10-27-2011: Allyn Rachel on Twitter

 

EARLIER:Toyota Venza Girl on MSN

 

EARLIER: Toyota Venza Girl on Yahoo!

 

EARLIER: More on the girl in Toyota Venza commercial

 

EVEN EARLIER: Toyota Venza: ‘That’s not a real puppy’

 


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Amazon’s new Fire heats up tablet race

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) unveiled the Kindle Fire on Wednesday, a 7-inch tablet that The Wall Street Journal says could be Apple’s “biggest” challenger to the almighty iPad.  Kindle, Kindle Touch 3G and Kindle Fire; courtesy of Amazon Press RoomMuch like iPad’s Android competitors, the Kindle Fire’s price is sure to compel consumers to give it a second look: It’s priced at an attractive $199; the cheapest iPad2 is $499.

The Kindle Fire was just part of Amazon’s growing Kindle family: Also announced were a lighter, cheaper Kindle ($79), the Kindle Touch ($99) and the Kindle Touch 3G ($149). Read the full news release about the Kindle family here.

The Amazon Kindle Fire at a glance:

  • Weight: 14.6 ounces (413 grams)
  • Size: 7.5″ x 4.7″ x 0.45″ (190 mm x 120 mm x 11.4 mm)
  • 1024 x 600P resolution at 169PPI
  • 8GB on-board memory
  • Battery Life: Up to 8 hours of reading or 7.5 hours of video playback, with wireless off.
  • Full charge in approx. 4 hours
  • Free cloud storage for all Amazon content
  • Audio: 3.5 mm stereo audio jack, top-mounted stereo speakers
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, or 802.1X standard
  • USB 2.0 port (micro-B connector)
  • Warranty and service: 1 year limited
  • Supported formats: Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8

EARLIER: Acer Iconia A500: A honey-sweet alternative to iPad? ~J’s Pages, May 26

EARLIER: A honey-sweet alternative to the Xoom? ~ J’s Pages, April 9


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eBay polishes its new act in ‘Salon’ commercial

ED’S NOTE: The commentary here reflects my interest in advertising as a marketing student. No products, services or agencies are endorsed. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.

Not long after I wrote about the Toyota Venza Girl in the eBay “Blue Jeans” commercial, I caught another ad from the “When it’s on your mind, it’s on eBay” campaign. Even after I write about an advertising strategy, I like to find commercials “in the wild.” I have a very short attention span, and if a TV ad catches my attention as I’m studying/doing laundry/cleaning/blogging while half-watching a show I recorded, that tells me other people are likely to be noticing, too.
 
(Post continues after video.)
 

 

She was here once. She had toes like a sloth.

 

~ Snarky pedicurist on tabloid celebrity in eBay commercial

 
This time, we the consumer get to eavesdrop on 20somethings as they get their weekly mani/pedis in “Salon,” a 30-second spot with an ADHD-inspired script that shows how quickly we can fall in love with those “amazing shoes” we see in US Weekly or Talentless Bimbos Daily or whatever rag we’re force-fed while strapped to a chair at a salon. Our heroine — the targeted “shopping enthusiast” — uses her eBay app to find “this heel” that is “so fabulous!” (“Mine! Look at that!”) She was fast with the swipe, and no sooner had we found out Maui’s mom built a yacht lake house for her pug, our mobile shopper had purchased what was on her mind: the amazing shoes she saw just seconds ago in the tabloid.

For readers who didn’t catch the last post, the “When it’s on your mind, it’s on eBay” campaign” is designed to expand the ecommerce giant’s footprint in mobile commerce, a daunting task for a company seen primarily as an auction marketplace. With the “Buy It New. Buy It Now” call to action, eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) urges shoppers to take advantage of the 62% of 200 million live listings that are “fixed price,” and the 70% of those products that are new. (Like the new jeans that actress Allyn Rachel orders in the “Blue Jeans” commercial.)

According to the press release announcing the campaign, eBay is targeting the “shopping enthusiasts,” the category of shopper who are most likely to shop using mobile devices. The first step in reaching those shoppers is through legacy media: Six 30-second TV commercials began airing Sept. 14 on national cable network shows including Top GearSportsCenter,Tosh.0The Daily Show with Jon StewartTop Chef and The Rachel Zoe Project — about the time Googlers started hitting this site looking for more information about the actress in the “Blue Jeans” ad.

At the time of this writing, this “Salon” clip (uploaded Sept. 13, 2011, on YouTube) had 12,336 views, 39 likes and 36 dislikes. A fan’s comments tipped me off to the name of the woman playing the “shopping enthusiast.” She is Kestrin Pantera, an actress, producer and voice-over artist who has a band and studies at the Groundlings. You can read more about her on IMDB.

About the eBay YouTube Channel
(As of Sept. 26, 2011)

  • Channel Views: 185,968
  • Total Upload Views: 1,724,434
  • Joined: Oct. 30, 2005
  • Subscribers: 1,272

 
AGENCY: Venables Bell & Partners, the folks who convinced us that Slim Jims are “mantastic!”
 

* * * * * * * * *

 

EARLIER: Toyota Venza Girl in eBay ‘Blue Jeans’ ad

 

EVEN EARLIER: Toyota Venza: ‘That’s not a real puppy’

 


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FLASHBACK: JUST IN: Toyota Venza girl does an ad for eBay

UPDATE 8-12-12: Allyn Rachel, aka the Toyota Venza girl, is angry about Triscuits.

 

UPDATE 11-03-2011: Like the ad? Show Allyn Rachel the love on her Facebook page.

 
Toyota Venza Interactive Ad on YahooED’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest in advertising as a marketing student. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.
 

* * * * * * * *

UPDATED with details 9-20-2011

Googlers have been hitting this site to see whether the “Toyota Venza girl” is also featured in the recent eBay commercial entitled “Blue Jeans.”

She is — as you can see here. I don’t have any information about this clip right now, but I’ll see what I can dig up. She plays Susie, the daughter with the super hip mobile device iPad.

(Post continues after video.)
 

 

This commercial is part of eBay’s “When it’s on your mind, it’s on eBay” campaign designed to expand the ecommerce giant’s footprint in mobile commerce, a daunting task for a company seen primarily as an auction marketplace. With the “Buy It New, Buy It Now” call to action, eBay urges shoppers to take advantage of the 62% of 200 million live listings that are “fixed price,” and the 70% of those products that are new. (Like the new jeans that actress Allyn Rachel orders in the commercial.)

According to the press release announcing the campaign, eBay is targeting the “shopping enthusiasts,” the category of shopper who are most likely to shop using mobile devices. The first step in reaching those shoppers is through legacy media: Six 30-second TV commercials began airing Sept. 14 on national cable network shows including Top Gear, SportsCenter, Tosh.0, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Top Chef and The Rachel Zoe Project — about the time Googlers started hitting this site looking for more information about the actress and the “Blue Jeans” ad.

At the time of this update writing, this YouTube video (posted Sept. 17) had 1,271 379 views, 3 1 likes and 0 dislikes.

AGENCY: Venables Bell & Partners, the folks who convinced us that Slim Jims are “mantastic!”

* * * * * * * *

See more of Allyn Rachel’s work on YouTube, Twitter, this blog and other Web 2.0 outlets.
 

UPDATE 10-27-2011: Ally Rachel on Twitter

 

EARLIER:Toyota Venza Girl on MSN

 

EARLIER: Toyota Venza Girl on Yahoo!

 

EARLIER: More on the girl in Toyota Venza commercial

 

EVEN EARLIER: Toyota Venza: ‘That’s not a real puppy’

 

RELATED: How Lady Gaga helped me get off Facebook

 


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What are you toting? Tablets vs. e-Readers

The percentage of U.S. adults with e-readers doubled between November and May, from 6% to 12%, according to a new study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Interestingly, tablet usage among adult users isn’t growing as fast.


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Checking in at Bon Chon Chicken

My better half has reviewed a place that he says “might — might — be the best fried chicken” he has ever tasted. It’s Bon Chon Chicken in Fairfax City, a popular South Korean restaurant chain that specializes in KFC — Korean fried chicken. If you want to know more about the food, check out his review, which will leave your mouth watering.

I have not experienced this chicken of all chickens, but — as the marketing student who never seems to sleep — I am interested in the store’s efforts at social media promotion.

Still fairly new in the neighborhood, Bon Chon’s Fairfax store is getting a little bit of play on foursquare (13 check-ins) and Gowalla (five check-ins). On Yelp, however, a 35 customers have offered comments, most of which are favorable. (The word “addictive” is used a lot.) The Fairfax store is also on Twitter (@bonchonfairfax) and Facebook. Curious to see what its Facebook fans have to say, I tried the FB page listed on the menu — facebook.com/BonChon-FFX — but I didn’t find it until I went to their Twitter feed and found it here. (The path listed on the menu doesn’t point to Facebook’s Pages.) Despite the confusion over the Facebook Page, I easily found their Facebook Places page, which has only four check-ins. That’s not to say there’s no “conversation” about Bon Chon, though: On my husband’s page, the mere mention quickly sparked seven comments and four “likes.”

Take that, Colonel Sanders.