Experience Augmented Reality

Imagine wearing a contact lens that displays information beamed from your cell phone. Sounds insane, right? Well the reality is that visual technology seen in movies like Iron Man and Minority Report is not so far away ' it's here. A team at the University of Washington is working on developing contact lenses that project graphics that float 50 centimeters to 1 mile away from the eye. It's crazy, but if this technology becomes accepted by consumers, imagine the possibilities! Price tags, product information, directions, and phone numbers could all be viewed right in front of your face! This could change the way people watch movies or even play video games. Technology is developing so rapidly these days, who knows what's coming next. For the full article, click here: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18146-contact-lenses-to-get-builtin-virtual-graphics.html

What are Market Researchers Doing in Vegas?

I just spent the week in Las Vegas. I know'?¦you're probably expecting to hear a crazy story, but remember, 'What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,'? so I'm just going to share a few things I learned at The Market Research Event. (Maybe you can convince me to tell you about cocktail hour or the speaker who fell off the stage another time.) Over the course of three days, I listened to many inspirational speakers. Mega brands like Coca Cola, Toyota, and Procter & Gamble had interesting case studies to share, but my key takeaways came from a combination of sessions I attended. Here's some advice I collected for you marketing people: Inspire brands: We as market researchers often like to play it safe, but it's okay to take risks and go where no man has gone before! Consumer insights should never state the obvious ' brands want new perspectives. We should all work together to inspire change and not just follow it. Innovate by thinking through consumers' needs: Ideas and insights are usually very simple. For example, a few years ago, Coppertone was looking to come out with the next big thing in sun care. Consumers continuously complained that 'sunscreen is messy.'? So what happened? The brand took a look at insect repellants, hair care, and other skin care products and BAM! Consumers can now spray on their sunscreen without ever rubbing it in. Less is more. Brand logos don't always need to be present: Martin Lindstrom, author of 'Buyology'? blew my mind with his presentation about Neuromarketing. Brands are finding ways to stimulate consumer's minds without ever revealing who they are. Consumers can identify brands through scents, sounds, and other visual cues. Studies have proved that if you show images of rugged cowboys or even camels to cigarette smokers, the 'craving'? part of the brain gets stimulated and consumers don't even know it. Know your consumer AND your shopper: Dr Pepper Snapple Group pointed out that clients are often way too focused on the target consumer. Sure, the consumer is important, but he or she is not always the one shopping for our client's products. For example, take Mott's apple juice. Moms are the ones buying it, but their kids are the ones consuming it. When conducting research, it's important to know how Mott's can appeal to kids, but it's just as important to understand how to get mom's attention on store shelves. Test concepts and messages - overexposure to a brand does not necessarily drive purchase: If an offer is not compelling, multiple exposures to that message won't influence a call to action. It is extremely important to test messages with consumers before spending thousands of dollars on an advertising campaign. A good ad motivates consumers to do something the first time around. The next time you're drafting a survey, writing a creative brief, brainstorming, or figuring out how to market a product, keep these things in mind. To be the best, sometimes, we just need to stick to the basics.

What's Your Favorite Play-Doh Recipe?

Just about every mom and kid is familiar with Play-Doh's memorable scent and soft and squishy texture. It's a classic molding compound that has encouraged fun and hands-on creative play with kids in homes and classrooms around the world for over 50 years. Bright yellow tubs that contain an assortment of colors have inspired kids to create whatever their minds imagine: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, ice cream cones with sprinkles, and now, tropical cakes, sushi, and pasta salads. AMP has buddied up with Play-Doh to inspire moms and kids across the country to create Play-Doh recipes that look good enough to eat! Check out the top ten finalists and vote for your favorite creation today! On November 1st, one lucky kid will receive a $5,000 Playroom Makeover and a $5,000 School Doh-nation. Vote here: http://hasbro.promotions.com/playdoh/votegallery.do

Mix It Up A Little

I always wanted to make a Vodka Soda my go-to drink, but unfortunately, I was never strong enough to drink a stiff cocktail. I often disguised the taste of hard alcohol with cranberry juice or a fruity soda, until one day, I was introduced to flavored vodka. It was then when discovered that I had options (all of them low calorie too)! I started experimenting with Stoli Vodka's ' Vanilla, Raspberry, Peach, and recently Blueberry. They all taste great with soda water and even Red Bull. They add a nice sweet kick to any mixture. Next, I tried Three Olives Cherry Vodka ' I also mixed this with soda water and to my delight, this concoction tastes just like a Cherry 7-Up. Now when I go out, I don't need a go-to drink. Experiencing new flavors makes the night much more interesting. Although a variety of flavors have always been around in the world of spirits, brands are now taking more risks ' they're expanding their flavor assets and are coming up with unique flavor creations that make consumers curious to try their products and push competitors to come up with something even more exotic or unheard of. Here are just a few examples: Bacon-Infused Vodka - Bacon is a popular ingredient in many recipes, but who would ever think of adding it to vodka? Turns out its meaty and peppery taste is great for Bloody Mary's. Three Olives Bubble Gum Vodka ' Bubble Gum is a flavor well known in the land of popsicles, lollipops, and cotton candy, but is brand new to the world of vodka. Anyone serving this liquor to friends can really look like a trendsetter. Absolut Boston ' People on Facebook and Twitter are chatting about Absolut flavors specifically created to represent cities around the country. Absolut Boston uses fresh ingredients such as black tea and elderflower to get consumer's taste buds tingling. Beyond these flavors, there are many to watch out for. Keep your eye out for floral and fruit combinations as well as sugar and spice mixtures. Before you know it, you may be enjoying a cocktail or even a sorbet or sports drink that tastes like Blueberry Lavender, Strawberry Passionflower, Orange Marigold, or even Chocolate Cinnamon and Rosemary Lime. Source: http://www.wildflavors.com/?page_id=B1C4B65F-CF1C-2465-1E302B5669E572D1

Careful With That Axe...

Retailers are drastically slashing prices to move more products out of stores. Just last year, brands such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Zale, and Gap were already offering discounts to dig deeper into consumers' pockets. Pottery Barn even offered discounts up to 75% and the slashing continues. While sales are appealing to consumers, especially in this economy, brands should be careful about their marketing initiatives. If you start giving away your products consistently at a discounted price, a brand can start to look cheap, and have a hard time overcoming price perception issues in the longer term. There are still ways to offer value without big price cuts. Source: D'Innocenzio, Anne. "Slashing Prices A Risk for Retailers." Ajc. 4 Sept. 2008. Associated Press. 18 June 2009.

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