Monday, December 31, 2007

The state of the Wii - 24c3

I found an interesting video on YouTube regarding the Nintendo Wii. It posted on December 28, 2007 and currently has more than 163,000 views. Additionally, the video has clearly impacted overall buzz for the Nintendo Wii.

(Double Click to Enlarge Video Game Console Buzz Trend)

I do not think Nintendo released this video. Simply looking at video tags reveals words such as Wii, hacking, hack, hacked and exploit. This leads me to believe that someone is trying to crack into the code of the Nintendo Wii. Additionally, the guest speaker is somewhat negative toward the Wii at the beginning. The author feels Nintendo made some smart decisions by improving the processor and adding bluetooth, but says the Wii is just an improved GameCube. Additionally, the speaker criticizes the fact that the Nintendo Wii lacks an encrypted memory scheme.

Unfortunately, I'm not too familiar with game programming code, therefore, I am asking others get me up to speed on this topic. However, it is definitely impacting Nintendo Wii buzz positively and negatively, especially as it relates to the Wii lacking encrypted memory.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

NFL Network Works Out Deal to Broadcast Historic Game

I came across a posting at Advertising Age about NFL simulcasting the potentially historic game. "The NFL said yesterday that it had reached a deal for CBS and NBC affiliates to carry the NFL Network's broadcast of Saturday night's game between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants. Should the 15-0 Patriots prevail over the 10-5 Giants, they'll become the first NFL team since the 1972 Miami Dolphins to finish the regular season undefeated," says Jeremy Mullman at Advertising Age.

You can read more about it by linking to the actual article.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Kmart Creates Ads to Target Specific Audiences

I came across a post at regarding Kmart tailoring TV ads for different audiences. Now I agree with Kmart's strategy, but I'm not sure why they didn't get around to this sooner. Creating ads targeting different audiences is something that every brand should strive to do.

Monday, December 17, 2007

How Does the Mitchell Report Affects Marketers?

U.S. Senator George Mitchell released the Mitchell Report December 13, 2007 which covers the history of illegal drug use in Major League Baseball (MLB).

The release of the Mitchell Report led me to do some research about its implications on sports marketers. However, I feel the impact will be minimal. Short of Roger Clemens, I don't think any of the star players listed where any surprise. Miguel Tejada, maybe? Barry Bonds, no surprise here. Additionally, anyone who has followed baseball over the past 2-3 years is very much aware of the steroid allegations toward many of baseballs superstars.

Baseball has survived scandal before (i.e. 1919 World Series). However, each blow becomes worse and worse. I hope MLB works to get things right and I think it will. I love going to a baseball game, drinking a cold beer and seeing the different ways in which brands reach out to sports fans.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Social Networking...No Longer Just for Teens

I came across an interesting article at about skepticism regarding the popular social networking site, Facebook. Venture capitalists have found out that it's not easy advertising to the social networking crowd.

This week, eMarketer published a study that forecasts that social networking advertising is expected to reach $4 billion by 2011 (on a global basis). Something else: eMarketer thinks that about half of all online adults will be on social networks by 2011. The author, Tim Taulli, disagrees. While he feels teens will remain avid on social networking sites, he goes on to say, "But, adults have other things to do besides social networking (such as making a living, taking care of kids, and so on). In other words, if eMarketer is counting on adults for social networking riches, it might want to think again."

Personally, I agree with Tim. Also, even if adults have an account with a social networking site, how often will they visit the page and update it or look around. I had a Facebook account, but canceled it since I never visited the page. Also, I have a MySpace, but I'm lucky to update it once a month. Unfortunately, I have more important things to do than focus on MySpace, like updating my marketing blog.

I do feel that social networks sites such as Facebook will continue to grow, but I do not feel half of all online adults will be on social networks by 2011. And even if they are on a social networking sites, marketers must still find out how active adults are before committing millions of dollars to reaching someone who may only be there part-time.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Top Consumer Credit Cards

I came across an interesting article regarding the top consumer credit cards by Jennifer Waters at MarketWatch. She notes that Capital One's Card Lab was ranked No. 1 according to

Capital One's Card Lab allows consumers to pick and choose their own features such as interest rates and rewards or introductory rates on new purchases or balance transfers. This seems somewhat similar to the Chase Freedom "Dynamic" rewards card. The Chase Freedom Card got a fresh rewards program this year that helped put it in the top three. The program automatically gives cardholders higher rebates for their three top monthly purchases, which tend to be gas, groceries and dining out.

Consumers like cash rewards, but not every bank can offer 5% cash back on every purchase. Personally, I feel flexible rewards cards may be the wave of the future when it comes to credit card rewards. Consumers will be able to receive higher cash back percentages from businesses and services they frequent more often versus other businesses. I see this as a win-win for both banks and consumers. Banks can still offer reasonable cash back rewards while consumers receives high cash back rewards on things they purchase most often.

Additionally, the article reviews three "green" cards for environmentally focused consumers which include the Bank of America Brighter Planet Visa, the GE Money Earth Rewards Card and the GreenPay MasterCard. The cards offer rewards points that help fund environmental projects such as tree planting.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Pepsi Introduces New Bottle

Pepsi has partnered with the New York City-based packaging design firm 4sight inc. to come up with a new 20 oz. bottle for the US market. The new design incorporates structural elements meant to appeal to the all-important youth demographic.

The new packaging is part of a larger branding program called "Choreography," which Pepsi launched early in 2007 for all 14 US trademarked Pepsi and Diet Pepsi beverages. This is according to an article at

Personally, I like Pepsi's new design. At first glance, it seems like the colors are brighter than previous Pepsi labels. Additionally, I spoke to my wife about her opinions regarding Pepsi's new 20-oz. bottles. She feels the packaging makes the bottle appear taller than before, but is the only real difference she notices. Overall, she feels they look very much the same as previous 20 oz. bottles. However, she does like Pepsi's new design on its 12 oz. cans. She feels that it has a "retro" appeal comparable to bottles of the old days (i.e. pre-1960's). She does find the Pepsi cans more appealling than Pepsi bottles. Although, this may be due to the fact that we mostly buy 12 and 24-pack 12 oz. canned Pepsi products. Likewise, I do agree that Pepsi's new 12-oz. cans have sort of a "retro" feel. I hope this is an avenue Pepsi goes down in the future. You can find out more about Pepsi's new 12 oz. cans at Coke also launched its new contour "Grip" 20 oz. bottle in September 2007. There is some information available on it at

Neither my wife or I will stop buying Pepsi products simply because one of us questions the packaging. We have had several positive experiences with Pepsi's customer service and see no point in changing brands anytime soon.

I understand that packaging may not be the most interesting subject, but I'm really surprised that hardly no one else is really taking notice or blogging about Pepsi and Coke's newly designed 20 oz. bottles. Both brands really took a hit over the summer of 2007 regarding the environmental and health and safety aspects of plastic bottles. However, both companies are really trying to move in the right direction by reducing the amount of plastic used to make plastic bottles and making them 100% recyclable.

I have seen some discussion from online commentators complaining that beverage companies should stop using plastic altogether since its hurts the environment, but this does not make any sense. Perhaps we should all stop driving vehicles since release toxins into the atmosphere. Also, this begs the question, what next? Should bottle manufacturers revert to glass containers, why? Glass and plastic are both recyclable materials. Therefore, I do not see a huge benefit in switching to back to glass. Also, glass can only be recycled back into glass while plastic can be recycled into many other products according to Therefore, I am calling on all the influential environment bloggers out there to do some research and get behind companies and products supporting the environment. It is very hard for mankind to return to its old ways pre-modern society. However, we can do our part by following the 5R's - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Reject products that are overpackaged and React and supporting companies interested in following these 5R's as well.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

What Are The Most Influential Financial Sites?

Have you ever wondered where to find really good financial information online, specifically for purposes of banking and investing? Have you ever gone through a negative experience interacting with a bank, but did not know where to go or who to talk to in person or online? Well, I think I can help. I recently used a combination of metrics (i.e. inbound links, traffic rankings, etc...) to rank financial sites. In fact, I have been able to rank more than 80 financial sites using my methodology. Unfortunately, I will only list the top ten financial sites. However, feel free to contact me if you wish to see the "big list."

Top Ten Financial Sites:


Why do these sites matter to consumers? These sites are places where consumers meet to discuss financial products and services and investing. Consumers discuss a variety of issues including credit reporting tactics, credit card interest rates, rewards and provide information about which banks offer the highest yields on savings accounts. Additionally, some sites cover higher level topics such as the sub-prime meltdown.

Why do these sites matter to financial marketers? These sites should be on the radar of every financial company in the United States, if not the world. Consumers visting these sites often talk about which brands offer the best products and services. And it should be important for every marketer and customer service manager working for a financial institution to know what consumers are saying about their business.

Marketing executives and customer service managers should make a point to find out which people are moderating discussion and communicate with influential consumers posting on these sites. Additionally, marketing executives and customer service managers should make a point to reach help and help resolve issues deriving from consumers complaining about their business in leading financial forums and blogs, especially since consumers discussing negative experiences on these sites may be heard loud and clear by others.

I hope this brief list of leading financial sites helps. I'll try generate a few lists highlighting leading sites for other topics such as environmentalism, automotive and technology in the future. Also, feel free to leave a message letting me know if I left out a site that should be in the top ten for financial discussion. Unfortunately, I have limited resources so I apologize if I left out a major site which should be listed higher.