Bag of swag still a great vehicle for higher-end product sampling

Posted on Mon Sep 28 2009


Giving out free samples is one of the best ways to promote your brand. Sampling of higher-end products, however, is no longer exclusive to Hollywood red-carpet events, award shows and big trade shows. It's come to serve a dual purpose of attracting attendants to any event and at the same time giving a brand exposure even if it's already well known in elite circles. Such was the case at last week's screening of the film CoCo Before Chanel, sponsored by the fast-growing women's Web site Each attendant received a gift bag filled with free samples, including Darac Beauty's Expedition mascara, Repeat Possessions' Niki Biki tube top, and Barneys' Acqua di Parma fragrance. Moments later, several women were buzzing about the pleasant texture of the mascara brush and were curious to find out what exactly is Niki Biki—curious enough to visit the company's Web site, listed on the enclosed business card. While it's just a small example of what sampling can do for a brand, it's a good lesson for marketers who may want to look beyond major events to get consumers' attention.

—Posted by Elena Malykhina

Delta counts on Sesame Street song to pitch one-touch faucet

Posted on Thu Jul 23 2009

First we had Elmo teaching people how to wash their hands to avoid H1N1 flu. Now, a new spot for Delta’s Pilar Pull-Down touch-activated kitchen faucet features none other than Sesame Street’s the Count voicing the many things we can do with our hands if they weren’t so, er, grimy. For instance, “your hands can brush your teeth or comb your hair. Throw a ball into the air.” The Count, who never actually appears, sings in his usually, catchy Sesame Street style. Equally distracting, however, is the rapidly moving footage, which shows all the obstacles that prohibit our hands from doing great work: flour, paint, a frog (?!), melting ice cream, and a cracked open egg. Of course, the solution to all this is Delta’s one-touch on-off spout activation technology. Now, we’d like to see the Count count how many times this thing actually turns on and off. One hundred and one, one hundred and two...

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Hey, staggeringly rich people are really just like the rest of us!

Posted on Fri Feb 6 2009


Being rich is cool, but these days it's not so cool to be rich. The wealthiest Americans know damn well that the rest of us (especially the 598,000 of us who got pink-slipped last month) do not want to hear about the Luis Vuitton doodads they buy with those seven-figure incomes. So, here's some news: A new study says most rich people actually don't act all that rich, even when it comes to shopping.
  The Alpharetta, Ga.-based American Affluence Research Center recently asked a sample of America's Most Pecunious (average household net worth: $3.1 million) to name the highest price they'd pay for a variety of retail items. Their answers suggest that even the well heeled are, on balance, still likely to look out for a shoe sale. For instance, asked to name their maximum outlay for a refrigerator, an "everyday" watch and a bottle of wine, wealthy men responded with prices of $1,500, $130 and $40, respectively. Asked to reveal the most they'd drop on a pair of jeans, a bottle of perfume and a tube of lipstick, women responded with $75, $60 and $15. Let's take those blue jeans as a point of reference. Gucci's "Genius" jeans hold the Guinness record for the most expensive denims, at $3,134. But at JCPenney, a nice pair of ladies' stretch-fit bootcut Levi's 515s lists for $44. Hence, the rich ladies' bid of $75 is actually somewhat reasonable. (Never mind that Wal-Mart's got a pair of Norma Kamalis for $15.)
  AARC says these results were not due to the recession. Most rich people, the group claims, "pursue a somewhat middle-class lifestyle." Then again, what's "middle-class" these days? As one inventive blogger put it: You're middle-class if the poor think you're greedy and the rich think you're poor.

—Posted by Robert Klara

If Willy Wonka designed a hotel suite, it would look a lot like this

Posted on Tue Jan 27 2009

Chocky copy

A candelabra made of chocolate. Furniture made of chocolate. A chess set made of chocolate. This is all part of the Godiva Decadence Suite. And one lucky couple will get to stay there as part of the Godiva's 2009 Valentine's Day promotion. A suite at the Bryant Park Hotel in New York will be transformed into a chocolate oasis for one weekend only. The chocolate-crafted designs from renowned interior designer Jonathon Adler even include a chocolate headboard. A chocolate mint left on the pillowcase at night by the waitstaff just won't have the same effect in this place.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein



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