Porkocalypse – A Bacon Shortage in 2012?

Written by: Kara Monson, Senior Account Executive

This week news reports included a story about a 2012 bacon shortage, according to Britain’s National Pig Association. What? A bacon shortage…how can this be? It’s in everything now from the expected breakfast side dish to the unexpected infused cocktail. As a society we love our bacon. Or at least I do.

Let’s try to be rational for a moment. After this news story spread there’s been several attempts to debunk this shortage.  Slate broke it down by explaining how the British classify bacon differently than Americans. Theirs is from the back of the pig – “back bacon” while Americans eat pork belly.

Second, could this supply or even the bacon “politics” just affect the UK and not the US?  Third, could this be an ultimate marketing ploy? News reports actually advised people stock up now on pork products as the prices will likely rise later. Clearly if there’s a shortage of pigs, not only would there theoretically be less bacon, but pork chops, ribs and of course – ham.

Granted it’s been a hot summer and grains that feed our animals have been more expensive, so I’m prepared grocery store costs will rise. My prediction: it’s a matter of time until the bacon producers develop a new marketing campaign about bacon. Coupons galore. Strike while the pan is hot, so to speak.

Will 2012 really be the porkocalypse? Fear not. We’re not running out of supply…it’s just going to cost more.

Too Much of Good Thing?

Written by Account Executive, Kim Chapman

A debate in the email-marketing world has been going on for over a decade: how often to send out emails.

When brushing up on my research, I found advice/factoids concerning this topic from the early 2000s all the way up to this past month. Here are some tidbits:

  • At a minimum, communicate with your customers once a month. If not, you are not staying top of mind.
  • Send e-blasts a maximum of once per week; click-thrus and opens both drop dramatically once you get more frequent than weekly.
  • Declining open rates could signify an increase of indifference towards your brand, possibly caused by over-mailing.
  • If you’re considering an email campaign more frequent than once per week, you have to ask yourself whether the information is really that time sensitive.
  • At a minimum, you should send weekly if you are selling a product or service.

While some of this information is helpful, it seems a bit contradictory. So what’s a marketer to do?

Read more

If it’s Not Broken, Don’t Fix it!

Written by: Julie Determann, Account Supervisor

EVERYONE knows about the Bed Bath & Beyond 20% OFF coupons. We selectively pick them out from our mailbox clutter, saving and stock piling them until needed…And, unfortunately for our wallet, that time comes along more often than expected. Every time a Bridal Shower, Graduation or Housewarming Party Invite arrives, we dig into our stack and head to the retail store, determined to purchase a perfect “cost-efficient” household gift.

Bed Bath & Beyond has successfully developed a well-known and coveted direct mail identity. These fun jumbo postcards have been arriving in our mailboxes for years. They are simplistic in terms of design and copy. No fancy product or store pictures, just big, blue and always 20% OFF.

Best part, these coupons we’ve grown to love never expire. Cashiers do not even check the expiration date because the coupons are always valid. They are also always for the same set amount 20% OFF a single item. Occasionally we might even get a surprise, “20% OFF an entire purchase”. As an added bonus, we have the ability to use “up to 5 coupons” per shopping transaction. Why would anyone choose to shop elsewhere? At Bed Bath & Beyond, you are guaranteed an automatic savings as long as you surrender your coupons.

Read more

Multimedia Campaign Review: Will 2Min2x day work?

By Kara Monson, Senior Account Executive

In reading some of the latest news articles, I was very interested in a New York Times piece this week discussing the Advertising Council’s new multimedia campaign targeted to improve oral health for children.  While I’m not a parent myself, this really got me thinking. Here’s a snapshot:

Target Audience: Parents and caregivers particularly in lower income families, in English and Spanish.

Objective: Encourage children to take 2 minutes, 2 times a day to brush their teeth.

Media: The campaign includes radio, print ads, and a website with video links to 2 minute videos. The idea is that the parent can play the videos to entice children to watch a cartoon on a mobile device while brushing their teeth. On the website 2min2x.org there’s also information about brushing, flossing and other dental care.

Read more

What Would Don Draper Do?

Written by Kim Chapman - Account Executive

Thanks to the hit TV show "Mad Men", when I tell people that I work at an advertising agency, I wonder if they picture me sitting around all day drinking whiskey on the rocks, coming up with an uber-creative idea for the next big brand, and asking myself, "What would Don Draper do?"
While some of that is partly true (definitely not the whiskey part), the reality of work at a direct marketing agency involves a whole other side.  The left side... of the brain.
Direct marketing is a different animal from general advertising.  It’s a scientific animal, in which you can use a clear call-to-action, track response and ROI, and then over time improve these measures by finding out what works, and what doesn’t.  (Aka, testing, testing, and … more testing.)
General advertising can be potentially effective at building someone’s emotional awareness or engagement with a brand. But if you want proof of impact on your bottom line, direct marketing is the way to go. This is always a good thing, especially for those with tight budgets.
A good direct marketing campaign will make sure not to use too much unbridled creativity, and a good amount of science (left brain) to ensure that your campaign is successful.