Thursday, February 28, 2008

Twitter Appears on CSI

I was surprised to see Twitter featured in as a product placement on last nights episode of CSI (Crime Scene Investigation), titled "Goodbye and Good Luck."

You can find out more about the show by visiting its

McSkillet Buzz Rises Due to National Sample Giveaway

Advertising Age posted an article about McDonald's giving away breakfast burritos February 26, 2008. McDonald's is planning to give away more than 2 million McSkillet burritos the today (February 28, 2008) and tomorrow as part of a national sampling event.

I was not aware, but apparently McDonalds took a similar approach offering "Free Coffee Mondays" to get consumers to taste its coffee in the past. Therefore, I wouldn't be surprised to see McDonald's take this approach moving forward. It is definitely "out of the box" thinking.

"Sampling is critical to any marketplace," said McDonald's spokeswoman Shanelle Armstrong, who said the McSkillet burrito, which launched last November, has "performed well" and that the giveaway isn't a reflection on its performance. "Ultimately we want to get our product in our customer's hands, and we're committed to doing that like never before."

In a study the chain commissioned from Kelton Research, McDonald's reports that about 48% of Americans grab breakfast on the go at least once a week. This particular finding is very interesting and I would have to say that I am probably one of those the 48% of Americans who eat breakfast on the go at least once a week. Therefore, it does make sense that McDonald's would give away McSkillet burritos, especially if it wants to increase traffic to its restaurants in the mornings.

I went and got a large French Vanilla coffee and "free" McSkillet burrito this morning. Overall, I was very pleased with the McSkillet burrito. However, I would recommend that McDonald's should introduce some alternative meat selections. Unfortunately, I'm not a huge fan of sausage. I'm much more of a bacon person myself. Nonetheless, I finished my McSkillet burrito. All I can say is, "Watch out Taco Bell!" I was very pleased with the spiciness and flavor of the burrito. Additionally, I'm glad McDonald's didn't go cheap using only green bell peppers. There were plenty of red bell pepper chunks in my McSkillet burrito.

We'll, I'm recommending everyone I know to at least give the McSkillet burrito a try. It may not be for everyone, but overall I think it is pretty good. I'd give it an "A.

Below is trend chart showing buzz for the McSkillet. As you can see, online discussion on blogs about the McSkillet burrito is really taking off as a result of being given away for free. Buzz in this chart does not include posts on message boards or Usenet groups.

Let me know if you have any questions about my experiences trying the McSkillet burrito or questions about my brief data analysis.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

LifeLock Part Deux

I came across some interesting information about a lawsuit against LifeLock at Advertising Age. It caught my attention for several reasons. First, I am a LifeLock customer. Second, I wrote about a positive experience that I had with LifeLock at the end of January, 2008.

Overall, the lawsuit really comes down to Experian complaining about the integrity of LifeLock's fraud-alert system. An Experian spokesperson, Donald Girard, said, "They [fraud alerts] are intended to be used when [consumers] are fearful of becoming a victim of fraud, not as part of a service that puts your file in a perpetual state of alert. That's not the way fraud alerts were intended." Additionally, Girard says "Telling consumers that fraud alerts will make them immune from identity fraud is not only incorrect, but misleading."

Unfortunately, I disagree with several of Girard's comments. First, as a consumer, I feel much safer knowing my credit account has a block on it. I have worked for several credit card agencies and I can tell you that it is a nightmare to have to fix a problem on a credit report once it is on there. Second, I don't remember LifeLock ever saying that its fraud alerts make consumers immune from identity fraud. If that was the case, then why would LifeLock offer a $1 million service guarantee.

I am very much aware that LifeLock doesn't make me immune from identity fraud. However, it is more convenient. It's better than the alternative. I guess Experian wants me to go through its horrendous VRU (Voice Response Unit) every 90 days on my own to place a block on my credit report. Additionally, I'll have to call Trans Union and Equifax. However, that would be very absurd and time consuming in my opinion. Personally, I feel Experian has some alternative motives for bringing this lawsuit to fruition.

On another note though, I sent nice email to LifeLock's marketing department ( on January 29, 2008. The email read:
To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Ronald Coyle. My wife and I recently signed up for LifeLock and we are glad we did. In fact, I wrote about LifeLock on my marketing blog, You may read it by simply clicking on the link. Additionally, I provide some useful data regarding identity theft buzz trends and LifeLock discussion within the blogosphere. You may find the datat useful.

Feel free to send a return email or call me at 513-293-5963 if you have any questions or concerns about anything written on my blog or my experiences with LifeLock.

Ronald Coyle
Unfortunately, I am sad to say that I haven't heard back from LifeLock. I was expectting some type of acknowledgement that my email was received. However, this wasn't the case. I called one of their representatives on February 27, 2008. And I must say that he was very professional. I gave him the URL to my blog along with some contact information. Hopefully, I will hear from LifeLock in the near future.

I think one thing that really irritates consumers online is companies that fail to respond. And by this, I mean companies failing to respond by communicating or failing to provide products and services which meet the needs of consumers. I thought that I offered a few valid suggestions in my previous post and I look forward to seeing how LifeLock feels about some of them.

Does anyone feel that I am out of context by wanting to get a response from LifeLock? Feel free to leave a comment about this. I am eager to see what everyone has to say.

The graph below highlights identity fraud trends in the Blogosphere. However, it does not show the amount of discussion on discussion forums or Usenet Groups.

Thanks for reading my blog!

Coca-Cola Backing Green Marketing Push

Advertising Age reports Coca-Cola's intent to latch onto sustainability marketing. And I think Coca-Cola's new format of promotion is a great idea. However, I wonder how effective Coca-Cola will utilize its new platform. It's one thing to make promises about backing sustainability efforts and another actually support them.

Overall, I think Coca-Cola will really have to beef up its corporate communication processes. Coca-Cola could do this in several ways. It could set up a corporate blog highlighting its efforts, utilize online video by showing action in local communities or reach out to influencers talking about the environment. There are thousands of environmentally conscious consumers blogging about the environment. For instance, Gristmill is an excellent blog to read if you want to learn more about the environment. And Coca-Cola should make it a priority to reach out to influential bloggers. Additionally, I think Coca-Cola could really benefit by using a grassroots approach to generate positive WOM (Word of Mouth). For example, Coca-Cola should do more to promote recycling at a local level. I'm always reading about great things that companies do, however, rarely am I able to partake in such a initiatives.

I would like to see for myself what Coca-Cola has planned and not just read about it.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Gap's Many Sounds

Clothing retailer Gap is partnering with partnering with San Francisco creative development and production company, Rehab, to create a series of songs based on specific colors. The partnership is the result of Gap's intention to launch its new spring campaign, "Color Redefined." You may find more information about Gap's new prgram

Overall, I think this should be really successful. However, I wonder if Gap will role out something similar for Old Navy. It seems like Gap Inc. could do something similar as both Gap and Old Navy have somewhat similar demographics in terms of people who visit their websites. This is according to

Gap Website Demographics

Old Navy Website Demographics

Both brands over-index on females, ages 25-34, visiting their websites. However, appears to be frequented more often by Asians, while Old is visited more by African Americans and Hispanics. Therefore, it may be important for Gap Inc. to make sure its music selection is appropriate for its targeted online consumers.

Source: Advertising Age.

Monday, February 04, 2008

FedEx Pigeons Fall Short According to Yahoo ranks Audi - "The Godfather" as the number Super Bowl commercial.

And while I liked Audi - "The Godfather," I feel that feel FedEx's Pigeon commercial was even better.