The Promise of Tomorrow is Here !

November 19, 2008

tivo_pizza2TiVo and Domino’s have announced a partnership that allows a TiVo user to order a pizza directly from their digital video recorder. By clicking “I Want It” with their TiVo remote, viewers can order a pizza that will show up at their home within 30 minutes.

Pizza sales on line already account for “a double-digit percentage of … sales” for the Domino’s pizza chain, which pushed Domino’s to reach for a bigger solution to boosts sales.  Papa John’s already accepts orders through cell phone text messages and Pizza Hut, a leader in on line ordering, allows users to to order directly from their Facebook page. Purveyors of pizza are struggling to maintain sales in this challenging environment as higher ingredient costs and a consumer slowdown have made pizza a more expensive option than fast-food.

Time will tell whether set-top boxes provide the convenience that push consumers to purchase pizza, or whether audiences are looking for more meaningful connections between their living rooms and their wallets.

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You’re An Animal

November 12, 2008

Yesterday was a school (and pre-school) holiday, and like a lot of parents in the city, I took my boys to the Zoo.  We ran across a number of posters that allowed people to pose in front of  backgrounds that highlighted various Zoo residents.

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What was interesting about the program was that it was sponsored by Fisher-Price, and that photographers could upload their photos to a web site that featured not only snapshots from the Zoo, but also from posters located around San Francisco (in front of bus shelters, outdoor boards, etc.).

I like how this awareness campaign allowed viewers to participate without purchase (actually visiting the Zoo).  The creative process and site submission provide the experience, and communicate the message that “the Zoo is fun for everyone”.

The project reminded me of Tibor Kalman’s “1,000 On 42nd Street” which captured pedestrians passing through Times Square as it was being “revitalized.”


House Party !!

November 5, 2008

houseparty21An interesting side column in the Nov. 3 issue of Advertising Age that outlines the sponsorship of in-home gatherings by brands like Saturn Tupperware, and Fisher-Price.

Given the current economic woes, and concerns with managing personal spending, these seem like a great way for a brand to become part of trusted informal conversations that provide avenues for sampling and incentives for purchase.

House Party, a company that arranges simultaneous parties for a brand, is reporting a sharp increase in the number of sign-ups to host brand parties.  Recently, more than 22,000 consumers signed up to host one of 1,000 Fisher-Price parties that focused on new kids’ toys.


Will vote for food!

November 3, 2008

Its not just celebrities who are encouraging people to get out and vote. Many food service chains are offering freebies to anyone who hits the polls on election day.  National brands like Starbucks, Krispy Kreme, and Ben & Jerry’s are all particpating, with many local chains getting in on the action as well. We can’t know if these restaurants are truly motivated by the political process or simply excited by the free PR the offers generate. Personally I don’t think it matters, as long as it encourages more people to vote.