As legislators and advocacy groups take steps to promote federal regulation of children's advertising, companies that manufacture sweetened cereals, candy and snack foods are looking for noncontroversial ways to get their advertising messages into the marketplace. Interstate Bakeries, which markets Twinkies and other snack pastries under the Hostess brand, increasingly is targeting its advertising at adults, who, research shows, comprise the majority of its customers.
"Sex and the City" star Kim Cattrall will serve as spokeswoman for Bacardi USA's print promotion for its Island Breeze beverage, a 36-proof, 68-calorie rum drink the distiller plans to market to women. A Bacardi Global Brands executive said the new line has "a functional benefit that is highly relevant to females."
As a bit of unscripted product placement, Tiger Woods' slow-rolling chip shot, prominently depicting the company's trademark swoosh, at the 16th hole of the two-man playoff round at the Masters was a hole-in-one for Nike. The question now for Nike is whether to incorporate the moment into its advertising, or just let the visual take its place in golf lore.
Speaking at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association's conference in San Francisco last week, News Corp. president Peter Chernin said the Fox network was combating DVR users' urge to fast-forward with "live sports, live news, live events." Chernin suggested that the price of advertising on live broadcasts and event programming is bound to go up in a DVR world.
With its discovery that today's teens are spending their pocket loot on mobile text-messaging services instead of candy, one European confectionary firm learned the hard way that competition often comes from unexpected sources. Marketers need to pay close attention to their retail customers to understand both what they want and where their money is going.