Thursday, March 3, 2011

Marcom this week: From A to zinc – 3/4/11 edition

Although Charlie Sheen’s rants made more than enough headlines this week, marketers managed to squeeze in a few of their own. From the announcement of Apple’s iPad 2 to the latest research on what consumers want from brands online, here is a look at what happened this week in the integrated marketing communications industry.

iPad 2 raises the bar for marketers
In case you missed it, Apple announced its next-generation iPad on Wednesday. The lighter, thinner, faster tablet arrives March 11 with a price tag of $499 for the 18GB Wi-Fi version. More important than its new software and front- and rear-facing cameras is the fact that the iPad 2 is driving the post-PC conversation forward at full speed. Just a day after Apple’s announcement, Gartner lowered its growth forecast for worldwide PC shipments in 2011. Looks like the iPad is well on its way to bridging the gap between laptops and tablets, which means it’s time for marketers – who haven’t done much to test the tablet waters – to take notice. Faster browsing means a host of new apps are probably already in development. However, if PC alternatives are the future, then how do marketers get on board in a meaningful way?

For brands, it’s all about being "liked"
Take note marketers: consumers want to hear from you when online – if you’re offering discounts. This is the latest finding of a new Ad Age/Ipsos Observer survey of digital-media habits. Facebook was a clear winner, with 41 percent of respondents preferring to receive communication from marketers via this platform. The runner up was Twitter, which received 18 percent of the vote. Coupons are the most sought-after item, with 65 percent of respondents hunting for online discounts. In fact, for most respondents, this was the reason why they “liked” a brand on Facebook. Not surprisingly, only 22 percent of respondents cared about customer news, a reminder that pushing self-promoting content won’t win a brand many friends.

Taco Bell: Where’s the beef?
This week, Taco Bell debuted a series of commercials in response to a lawsuit claiming its beef isn’t beefy enough. According to the ads, Taco Bell’s beef is comprised of 88 percent premium ground beef and 12 percent signature recipe. Viewers are encouraged to visit the fast-food chain’s website to view the entire ingredients list. Overall, the ads aren’t very interesting. We probably would’ve dismissed them with a shrug had it not been for the commercial’s inopportune airing on Sunday evening during a repeat of Fox’s new animated series, "Bob’s Burgers." Titled “Human Flesh,” the episode is about a misunderstanding surrounding the beef content of Bob’s Burgers signature hamburgers. (Sound familiar?) The first ad to air during the commercial break? Taco Bell, of course. Bad timing for the brand, and a big “oops” for Fox.

Marcom This Week: From A to Zinc is compiled by the Vitamin IMC editorial team. They can be reached at Miss your vitamins last week? Visit the “Marcom this Week” archive.


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