Friday, September 09, 2005

RSS, Blogs, Podcasts - test your knowledge of current communication technology terms

The Information Age may well be turning into the Communication Age as new technologies for communicating with each other abound. With each new communication technology comes potential new ways for organisations to communicate with their employees, partners, analysts, shareholders, media, and customers. Are you up to date with the latest communication technologies and buzzwords?

See the glossary below for definitions to the following terms:
Blog
Bulletin board / message board / forum
Feeds / RSS feeds
K-log
Podcast
RSS
RSS aggregator / reader
Thread
Web conference
Webcast
Wiki

Blog
‘Blog’ is short for ‘web log’. It describes a web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often images and links to other sites. Most are updated daily and include searchable archives of past entries, lists of other blogs favoured by the author, and a facility for reader input.

Characterised by a conversational writing style, subjective viewpoints, and a sense of egalitarianism and empowering the voice of the individual, blogs facilitate communication and connections between like-minded people.

Bulletin board / message board / forum
These are located on a web or intranet site where people can interact with each other by posting written messages. Since the contributions are in written form, there is no inherent time limit for discussions, and individual discussions or ‘threads’ can go on for hours, days or longer. Posts to message boards can be censored or uncensored.

Feeds / RSS feeds
RSS (see below for definition) content from a publisher, as viewed in an RSS reader, is often called a ‘feed’.

K-log
‘K-logs’ or knowledge-logs are blogs that are used specifically for the purposes of sharing/documenting knowledge and/or sharing the process of knowledge-making. These may be public websites on the Internet, or private websites housed on organisational intranets that are used as an internal communications device to share information amongst individual teams or the whole organisation.

Podcast
Podcasts are audio files such as radio-style shows that are delivered over the Internet to your computer that can be downloaded to digital music or multimedia players, such as the iPod. Unlike streaming audio, which requires you to listen in real time, podcasting lets you control how and when you hear your favourite shows.

Content producers are increasingly turning to podcasting as an inexpensive and user-friendly new distribution channel that has the potential to reach a large audience. Not surprisingly, musicians and bloggers are prevalent among the early adopters, but mainstream media, including the ABC’s Radio National, Triple J, and Computerworld magazine, have begun to offer podcasts on their websites as well.

Some companies are also beginning to experiment with corporate podcasts: General Motors, Pepsico and IBM have corporate podcasts on their US websites.

RSS
RSS stands for Really Simply Syndication, and is a standard description format that enables broad distribution of web content including news, articles, web page updates, blogs and podcasts. When content publishers register the RSS document with RSS aggregators/RSS readers, it facilitates the instant distribution of content updates to consumers and other audiences who have signed up to receive it.

RSS readers enable web users to choose the ‘feeds’ they would like to receive and monitor them all in one place (as the content bypasses cluttered inboxes and appears directly in the RSS reader). This enables them to view a large quantity of web site content in a very short time. RSS is experiencing rapid interest particularly from users of iPods and other MP3 players; as well as many journalists who use RSS readers to keep them up to date on breaking news.

RSS aggregators / RSS readers
RSS aggregators (also called RSS readers) are programs that collect ‘feeds’ from various websites (according to preferences set) and deliver them in a simple interface so you can view them. Unlike search engines, where you proactively search for content, once configured, RSS readers automatically deliver the content directly to your PC.

Thread
A thread is a sequence of responses to an initial message posting. This enables you to follow or join an individual discussion in a newsgroup from among the many that may be there. A thread is usually shown graphically as an initial message and successive messages ‘hung off’ the original message.

Web conference
Not to be confused with a video conference, a web conference is a group meeting or live presentation which is conducted over the Internet. Web conferencing software enables all participants to see the same computer screen content (e.g. PowerPoint presentations, Excel, Word, or PDF documents, computer programs, or Internet or Intranet pages) and audio is provided via dial-in phone lines or also over the Internet.

Webcast
A webcast is a live or delayed sound or video broadcast over the Internet. Viewing Webcasts requires having an appropriate video viewing application such as Windows Real Media Player or Macromedia Flash Player streaming video players; these can usually be downloaded from any site offering a webcast.

Wiki
A ‘wiki’ is a type of collaborative software that enables users to collaborate in forming the content of a Web site. With a wiki, any user can edit the site content, including other users' contributions, from their own computer using a regular Web browser. The term comes from the word ‘wikiwiki’, which means ‘fast’ in the Hawaiian language.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

B2B and IT: Need for a different approach to marketing, PR and communication

From PR Influences...

Recent public relations and marketing graduates who have started working for an IT or B2B company may find the reality of their job a little different from what they were taught at university. This is because most university courses deal more with addressing consumer markets than business markets – and there are some significant differences.

Some of these are:

  1. They’re not buying – you’re selling- Most consumer products are bought by people who visit a store or order by phone, fax or email. - Most B2B sales are effected in quite the opposite way with the vendor visiting the customer.
  2. You’re selling to individuals – not a demographic- In consumer marketing the customer is often just a number – just one of many in a demographic. - In B2B, customers are real organisations/people who can be individually identified and profiled.
  3. The decision-making process of your customer is different- With the exception of large items for the family, most consumer sales involve just one decision-maker. - B2B sales can have a myriad of decision makers, especially in IT where you may need to address the IT Manager, the CIO, the CFO and/or the CEO.
  4. You probably have a limited marketing budget- In consumer marketing it’s likely you will have a reasonably sized budget, an advertising agency and the freedom to pursue some major marketing and communication initiatives. - Mostly in B2B you are likely to have a limited marketing budget, with the majority of it already committed to collateral materials and what you might regard as sales support rather than textbook marketing.
  5. The corporate message is more relevant - Mostly in consumer, the emphasis is on marketing the benefits of a brand or product with the corporate name often irrelevant, or even deliberately omitted. - In B2B, corporate and brand/product need to be carefully balanced. For many B2B or IT marketers you are selling the company first and the product or service second
  6. Marketing is often not understood or appreciated- In companies with a consumer focus marketing is normally a recognised function, with a Marketing Director and clearly defined brand and product responsibilities. - With B2B companies, marketing is often perceived as merely an extension of the sales function and it can be difficult to get marketing properly understood and appreciated by senior management.

So what does this mean about how you are going to have to plan and execute your various communication activities? Principally, it means that you should be:

Building relationships as a leverage tool
If your own resources and/or budgets are limited your key strategy should be to leverage what you have by building relationships with those who have the power to reach and influence your target market.

Principally, this covers two key audiences:

  • Media. B2B and IT customers are heavy readers of magazines and online media.

You need to understand:

  • which media are most relevant to your key audiences
  • how you can encourage the media to cover your company and its products

  • Analysts. Especially in IT the influence of analysts on buyer behaviour can be substantial.

You need to understand:

  • which analysts are the most relevant to your marketplace
  • how to introduce a local perspective to what is often an internationally driven agenda

Using information to gain share of voice
In B2B and IT the key to communicating is information and education. If you can’t buy share of voice through advertising (and even if you can it’s often not the best tool to use) your best alternative is to try and achieve significant editorial coverage in the trade and technical media that your existing and potential customers are reading.


Many consumer brands keep in the news by continually launching new products or product variants. Most B2B brands don’t have this luxury. This means that PR needs to be carefully planned so that coverage can still be gained on a regular basis – even though the product may not have altered significantly in the last six to 12 months.

Tactics here include:

  • Becoming an available spokesperson to comment on industry trends and developments
  • Writing opinion piece for media
  • Releasing customer win stories
  • Writing, and placing, case studies that show your products in action
  • Preparing white papers

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Marketing & PR: Challenges of marketing to women exposed

From PR Influences...

Women have long been identified as a distinct group for marketers to target. But now research in the US shows the pressures the key women’s buying group – aged 25-54 – faces, emphasising how difficult they can be to reach through traditional marketing activities.

A survey in the US undertaken by public relations agency Ketchum and research firm Synovate shows women 25-54:
  • trust experts (27 per cent), family and friends (26 per cent) and media reports (23 per cent) most in deciding about purchases,
  • consider direct mail (3 per cent) and advertising (2 per cent) as the least credible sources of information.

The research paints women 25-54 as having so many things on their mind, and so many tasks to undertake that they have little time for commercial messages.

Underscoring how little time they have in an average day for media, the survey disclosed that:

  • 74% of them spend more time thinking about other’s needs than their own, which is a higher percentage than other groups,
  • 70% are more likely to report feeling pulled in different directions than are men,
  • 62% say they have little time for commercial messages, with nearly two in five acknowledging they have to read or hear something more than once because they’re often distracted or interrupted. That’s much higher than the total public including their male counterparts,
  • 59% “rarely” or “never” read a newspaper from beginning to end, compared to 52% for the total public and 51% for men ages 25 to 54,
  • 58% have “much more” on their minds now than five years ago. That percentage is a startling 18% higher than that of the total public, 20% higher than men ages 25 to 54, and 35% higher than men in general,
  • 56% rarely or never read a magazine from cover to cover, a percentage that, surprisingly, is nearly similar to their male counterparts (57%),
  • 51% “frequently” watch a television program from start to finish, compared to 60% of men and 55% of the total public,
  • 47% frequently listen to the radio for more than 30 minutes straight versus 62% of their male counterparts.

“What the survey makes very clear is that women aged 25 to 54 are ‘multi-minding’ today – they’re constantly physically and mentally juggling those multiple facets of their complex lives,” maintains Kelley Skoloda, Director of Ketchum’s Global Brand Marketing Practice. “The previous term used to describe these women – ‘multitasking’ – is passé because it doesn’t capture the myriad dimensions of their lives.”

Ketchum’s Skoloda says the survey findings hold important implications for marketers:

  • Though women 25 to 54 respect the media (i.e. news and editorial) as a credible source of information, they don’t have a lot of time to absorb the information. So offering shorter chunks of information for women to digest will likely cut through the clutter,
  • Since this demographic group trust experts the most for information, tapping into experts will lend credibility to media reports, campaigns and messages,
  • While women ages 25 to 54 may not realise they’re indeed multi-minding, they have less information on how to deal with all of the thoughts and concerns they juggle,
  • Because these women spend a significant amount of time thinking of others, marketers likely can tap into women 25 to 54 by showing them how their products and services can help them take even better care of others, and themselves.

As a result of this survey, and other work Ketchum has done with marketing to women, the PR agency has developed a new suite of services and strategies under the banner ‘Women 25to54’. A first-of-its-kind, the four-phase communications program offers to identify create and deliver credible messaging that helps reach and connect these multi-minding female consumers.

Disclosure: Network PR, the publishers of PR Influences, is the Australian affiliate of Ketchum which is ranked among the leading international PR agencies.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Coca-Cola and Ms Mary

Mary Minnick Ruffles Feathers in All Directions

Mary Minnick, Coca-Cola’s designated change agent, is sending chills down the spines of the genteel Atlanta company’s marketing ranks, challenging long-held convention and sending back to the drawing board agency work designed to revive the brand’s iconic status.

Her no-nonsense, risk-taking approach is already winning over investors. “Feathers need to be ruffled at Coca-Cola,” said Bonnie Herzog, beverage analyst for Citigroup’s Smith Barney. “It has desperately needed shakeup for a very long time.”

'Scary Mary' And shakeup is what the beverage giant is getting -- albeit it’s not always popular with insiders. In fact, Ms. Minnick’s tough-as-nails manner and willingness to unapologetically change gears have inspired nicknames like “Scary Mary” and “Minnick the Cynic.”

Indeed, Ms. Minnick has told Coca-Cola’s ad agencies her loyalties are not with them but “with brand Coke,” said an executive close to the marketer. Her take-charge influence can be seen in reworked creative for Coca-Cola Zero that broke Aug. 29 with stronger brand attributes than the original “Chilltop” ad created by Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami. Executives close to Coca-Cola said the new spot wasn’t created by Crispin but assigned to a team from Fitzgerland & Co., Atlanta.

Steve Heyer Described as time-sensitive, results-oriented and opinionated, Ms. Minnick has little patience for pretense or politics, inviting comparisons with Coke’s former president and chief operating officer, Steve Heyer. But while she shares his hard-bitten style, she has an advantage he didn’t: the pedigree of an insider and support of the board. “The culture rejected Steve because he was Steve,” said one executive close to Coke who requested anonymity. Ms. Minnick, on the other hand, a 22-year Coke veteran, knows how to game the system.

“Mary has had a significant impact on the organization in the short amount of time that she’s been in her new job,” said an insider. “She has taken her keen understanding of the business, the company and system, both its strengths and weaknesses, and used this perspective and her very sharp business acumen to drive focus on an agenda for growth. She has not only purposed her team but has engaged and gotten commitment from both the executive committee and the board of directors.”

'Shortage of focus' “We don’t have a shortage of ideas,” the straight-shooting, 45-year-old president of marketing strategy and innovation told analysts after taking the job in May (she had been president of Coca-Cola Asia). “We have a shortage of focus, leading to a bit of an inability to prioritize and make hard choices,” she said. “I’m confident we can do a better job of embracing risk.”

“She’s fast, smart and brave,” said Ian Rowden, former vice president and worldwide director of advertising for Coke and now executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Wendy’s. “She’s done a great job in navigating the system.”

But that doesn’t mean she isn’t rankling the ranks. In a May meeting in Buenos Aires with 100 Coca-Cola executives to review long-awaited advertising work aimed at restoring Coke’s iconic status, she made a one-hour presentation about her expectations for the brand, and made it clear that the ads ordered up by Coke marketing executives Mark Mathieu and Esther Lee wouldn’t be aired, according to an attendee.

“Mary hated all of the iconic work and killed it,” said an executive close to Coca-Cola. “She didn’t like the iconic brief and didn’t think it had enough to do with why you wouldn’t substitute Pepsi for Coke. There’s a pressure [inside Coke] to be the most optimistic brand in the world, but Mary is looking for irreplaceability and finding things nobody else could substitute for.”

(Last month, the marketer confirmed it had “widened” its search for a big advertising idea but denied Ms. Minnick shot down the work at the May confab. Coca-Cola refused to make Ms. Minnick available to comment for this story.)

Bringing in former executives With time lost on failed efforts, tensions have been high between Ms. Minnick and Mr. Mathieu and Ms. Lee, said the executive, though Ms. Minnick views them both as bright and well-meaning. Ms. Minnick has also has brought on former executives that have had marketing success in the past, including Len Fink and Shelly Hochron, formerly of the in-house agency that later became Edge Creative, and Sergio Zyman, the former chief marketing officer who hired her and now heads the MDC Partners’ Zyman Group. Mr. Zyman refused to discuss his current relationship with Coke and Coke representatives have denied any knowledge of his involvement.

But he is willing to comment on Ms. Minnick. “Anytime you’re in a position of power, you’re going to polarize people,” said Mr. Zyman, whose own opinionated manner earned him the nickname “Aya-cola.” “This is not a Carly Fiorina, where she comes out of nowhere. She’s a really well-rounded and very intelligent person. She’s traveled the world and trained herself and has tremendous experience.”

Launching Fruitopia Mr. Zyman relayed a story about when Ms. Minnick presented her strategy for the launch of Fruitopia in the 1990s and a public-relations executive argued that the press would position the move as Coke’s response to Snapple. “But we are,” replied Ms. Minnick, according to Mr. Zyman. “Do you think we’re doing this because we have nothing to do? We’re doing this as a strategic entry.”

Ms. Minnick is a “360-degree executive,” said one observer, noting she has helped transform the fountain unit from operationally driven to sales driven; developed the noncarbonated-soft-drink strategy for the U.S. bottle and can unit; navigated complex bottler systems in Asia Pacific and created a strategy for noncarbonated drinks and coffee as president of the South Pacific division and later as president of Coca-Cola Japan.

Under Ms. Minnick’s watch, Coke’s Asian operation sold more than 3.5 billion unit cases, or 18% of the company’s total volume in 2004. Those sales drew $4.7 billion in revenue, about 21% of the company’s total. There, noncarbonated drinks were a third of the total volume, nearly twice worldwide average.

Her grand plan Her grand plan for the total company, she told analysts, includes kick-starting “quick wins” through products, packages and marketing ideas from around the world and expanding the benefits of existing brands to respond to consumer demands; setting priorities for the innovation pipeline; providing a fact-based business strategy and building a world-class marketing organization; and speeding up marketing success rates, particularly on brand Coke. She also wants to “refine” Coke’s iconic brand effort “further to create a more consistent and meaningful brand-communication strategy globally.”

Said an analyst on the call: “She said the right things.” Ms. Minnick “knows how to [move product quickly] better than anyone in the company and if she can affect that globally, that would be huge in terms of helping to turn the business around and possibly getting to the growth targets they’re talking about,” said Smith Barney’s Ms. Herzog.

Doing so will take some cage-rattling. “She absolutely is tough -- but I’d say she’s had to be to get us all moving in the same direction and toward a set of priorities that will make a difference,” said a second company insider. “She does not accept mediocrity, the lack of commitment or confidence or an unwillingness to take responsibility for one’s part in the mission.”

Not the next CEO Several observers close to the marketer, however, express doubt that Ms. Minnick will be elevated to the executive suite because those very qualities won’t cut it in the CEO post now occupied by Neville Isdell.

“She’s not going to become the next CEO,” said the executive close the company. “She’s considered to be very good at marketing and has good strategic insights, but those are not right set of tools to take the top job or be executive in waiting.”

Friday, September 02, 2005

SPRINT LAUNCHES MERGED COMPANY TODAY

New Logo, Marketing Message and Emphasis on Sports Entertainment

Sprint, now a stronger No. 3 telecommunications player following its acquisition of Nextel Communications, today relaunches and repositions itself as a sports-entertainment company as well as a telecommunications giant.

Nascar, NFL
In addition to Nextel's Nascar contract, Sprint last month signed a five-year, $600 million deal for exclusive cell phone content with the National Football League. It also earlier this year renewed its exclusive sponsorship of the U.S. Ski & Sports Association.

Sprint also has a contract with the National Hockey League. There are no deals in the works with the National Basketball Association or Major League Baseball, according to a spokesman.

40 million subscribers
The new Sprint, with 40 million subscribers, is also adopting a new marketing stance that boasts it "will challenge the rules, end limitations and stand against restriction." The company's new advertising tagline is: "Yes, you can." The Nextel "Done" tagline has been dropped.

In blending the two companies, the dominant advertising creative is centered on the Nextel look and feel, with bold yellow background and black type. A modified Sprint logo, represented by an abstract graphic of Sprint's long-running "Pin drop" campaign, will appear in print ads, and the campaign's "ping" sound will be heard on broadcast spots. Gone from the ads is the black-trench-coat-wearing government-agent type "Sprint guy,"played actor Brian Baker, who solved callers' problems with poor reception or unfair cell phone offers. Chief Marketing Officer Mark Schweitzer called that campaign part of Sprint's "history" and said it was dropped to ensure consumers would view the merged company in a new light.

New TV spots
TV spots launching the brand include "The Power of Two," celebrating the effect of great pairing throughout history. Another spot shows a man with many choices, such as a sink with faucets labeled hot, tepid, chilly and cold. To underscore Nextel's Nascar sponsorship, one spot focuses on great moments in Nascar history, concluding with the "great moment" of the Sprint Nextel merger. A name change for the Nascar cup is not likely for at least one year.
Although a number of executives estimated the new advertising campaign budget would be as large as $500 million, Mr. Schweitzer declined to give spending specifics but said the $500 million figure was high. Cingular Wireless, when it merged last year with AT&T Wireless, spent about $300 million to relaunch its brand.

Agency reassessment planned
Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York, formerly Nextel's agency, is the lead agency on creative for the national brand and consumer efforts, while Publicis Groupe's Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco, formerly Sprint's agency, handles business-to-business duties. Mr. Schweitzer said that while all agencies, including Hispanic, direct marketing and media shops, working on the accounts had adequate assignments to keep them busy, he indicated he would reassess agency resources in the first quarter of 2006.

On the retail front, some 1,600 Sprint and Nextel stores will be rebranded by Sept. 2.

Top four carriers
With the completion of the merger, the top four national carriers represent some 85% of total U.S. cell phone subscribers, according to a Standard & Poor's industry survey. The number of subscribers is expected to grow between 6% and 8% to around 190 million to 195 million in 2005, the report said. "With wireless penetration of the U.S. market above 60%, wireless carriers are strengthening their customer retention strategies," the report said.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

A Growing Passion for the Latino Market

From the pages of the NY Times...

A PUERTO RICAN agency is expanding to the mainland by opening a division based in New York that will specialize in producing campaigns for mainstream marketers seeking to reach Hispanic consumers.

The expansion by the agency, Lopito, Ileana & Howie, is to be announced today by the principals in San Juan and New York. The formation of the division - named Azafrán, after the Spanish word for saffron - is among several fresh developments that underscore the intensifying ardor among agencies and advertisers in the booming Latino market. Here are some of the others:

Georgia-Pacific, the paper products giant, has hired its first agency of record for Hispanic advertising, La Agencia de Orcí & Asociados, based in Los Angeles. The company is to announce the decision today, to coincide with the start of its initial Spanish-language campaign in the form of television commercials for the Brawny brand of paper towels.

¶ With its Spanish-language programming, WXTV, the Univision Communications station in New York, drew more prime-time viewers this month in two pivotal demographic categories, ages 18 to 49 and 25 to 54, than any of the stations owned by the Big Three networks - ABC, CBS and NBC - did with English-language shows. (Yes, WXTV had original programming while many of the shows broadcast by WABC, WCBS and WNBC were reruns. Still, a station aimed at Hispanics had never before bested its mainstream competitors in the nation's No. 1 TV market.)

¶Sí TV, a cable network aimed at Latinos who speak English - owned by an alliance that includes EchoStar Communications and Time Warner - has signed sponsorship deals with marketers like Sirius Satellite Radio and the Universal Motown Records Group, part of the Universal Music Group division of Vivendi Universal.

¶The Magazine Publishers of America is planning its first conference devoted to Hispanic magazines, to be held Oct. 14 and 15 as a curtain-raiser for its 2005 annual conference, scheduled to start Oct. 16.

¶The Interstate Bakeries Corporation, the maker of that all-American snack, Twinkies, is introducing a line of cakes called Las Delicias de Hostess, in Dallas, Phoenix and San Diego.
Since 2001, when early data from the 2000 census showed that the Hispanic population in the United States was roughly on a par with the black population as the biggest minority, Madison Avenue has stepped up its efforts aimed at the Latino market. For example, Nielsen Monitor-Plus reported yesterday that the fastest-growing category of advertising spending in the first six months of 2005 was Spanish-language TV, up 15 percent from the period a year earlier.

Even so, revenue for all Spanish-language networks totaled $1.1 billion, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, part of the Nielsen Media Research unit of VNU, compared with almost $11.8 billion for broadcast networks and almost $11 billion for cable networks. And while Hispanics make up about 14.7 percent of the American population, advertising aimed at them accounts for only an estimated 3.5 percent of total ad spending each year.

"To me, there's two marketing challenges for advertisers: China and the Hispanic market in the U.S.," said Graham Hall, who recently joined the Bravo Group in New York, the Hispanic agency arm of Young & Rubicam Brands, in a senior new post with an offbeat title, chief insights officer.
"A new understanding of the Hispanic market still needs to come about," Mr. Hall said, despite the progress advertisers have made to date. Y.& R. Brands is part of the WPP Group.

For example, despite Georgia-Pacific's status as one of the nation's largest advertisers, only this week is the company making its initial foray into the Hispanic arena.

"We were trying to figure out how to do it right and how to get the resources allocated to do it properly," said Gino Biondi, brand marketing director for Brawny towels at Georgia-Pacific in Atlanta.

A reason for the delay, Mr. Biondi said, was that "we determined it was far more complex than just putting Spanish language on a package or dubbing Spanish onto the soundtrack of a commercial."

That was because of cultural differences among Hispanics, he added, based on whether they trace their ancestries to places like Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico or Puerto Rico. In addition, he said, there are differences between "acculturated Hispanics and nonacculturated Hispanics" - that is, those who adapt to life in the United States and those who do not.

La Agencia de Orcí, which will also create Spanish-language campaigns for a second Georgia-Pacific brand, Angel Soft bathroom tissue, is sharing with its new client its experience working with retailers in Latino neighborhoods as well as the results of studies of the market.

"There are little things we found" in the research, said Tony Stanol, client services director at La Agencia de Orcí, like the Hispanic habit of using paper towels to wrap sandwiches. So a scene showing that is part of the new spot.

And the personality of the Brawny Man brand character is being expressed somewhat differently than it is in mainstream campaigns, Mr. Stanol said, to reflect that Latino consumers want him to be "the guy who helps you do your housework, not necessarily the guy who does it for you." So the commercial ends with a slogan on screen calling the character "the strong guy who helps you with anything," which does not appear in mainstream spots.

An agency based in Puerto Rico like Lopito, Ileana, which opened in 1972, may have a unique vantage point for helping marketers understand the Hispanic landscape. After all, Puerto Ricans are often explaining to residents of the 50 states that they are Americans, too.

"We hope to bridge the gap by offering something that reflects our own experiences," said Jaime Fortuño, vice president and general manager at Lopito, Ileana. He is coming to New York as the managing partner at Azafrán, leading the new division with Alicia de Armas, account director at Lopito, Ileana, who is joining him in New York as account management director at Azafrán.

Azafrán is opening with one client, the Orlando Magic basketball team. Clients of Lopito, Ileana include Anheuser-Busch, Cingular Wireless, Hershey and J. C. Penney, for the Puerto Rican market, as well as, for the United States mainstream market, Puerto Rican tourism and the marketing organization known as Rums of Puerto Rico.

Asked if he was daunted by the considerable challenges ahead, Mr. Fortuño replied with a rhetorical question.

"If you have a surname with a tilde like mine and you live in the first decade of the 21st century, how can you not be involved in this?" he asked.

Correction:
The Advertising column in Business Day yesterday, about increased efforts by advertisers and agencies to reach Hispanic consumers, misidentified the satellite radio company with which Sí TV made a sponsorship deal. It was XM, not Sirius.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

NIELSEN REPORTS STARTLING PEOPLE-METER FINDINGS

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Nielsen Media Research is reporting that its controversial local-people-meter (LPM) system has found startling changes in TV viewership over the last year among 18- to 34-year-olds.

The company said data from the six local markets with LPMs show dramatic increases in the number of viewers 18-34 in July 2005 vs. July 2004. The increase occurred in all the markets and in most day parts. The meters track viewership of local broadcast and cable stations.

As high as 83%
In Washington, the 18-34 viewership increase was 83%; Philadelphia, 56%; San Francisco, 55%; New York, 24%; Chicago, 21%; and Los Angeles, 10%.

A Nielsen spokesman attributed the changes to the meters' ability to track overall local viewership more accurately.

Media buyers have long complained that Nielsen’s local ratings based on paper diaries the LPMs replaced undercounted 18- to 34-year-old viewers. The new results appear to confirm that.

'More right than wrong'
Kathy Crawford, president of local broadcast for WPP Group's MindShare, said she thinks the numbers represent measurement improvements, not real changes in viewing patterns. “This is more right, more right than wrong, but I can’t tell you if it's absolutely right," she said. "It more right than the metered diaries.”

"Overall, people are viewing more," the Nielsen spokesman said. He said the greatest overall increase was in the early morning (weekdays from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m.), overnight (weekdays from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.) and Saturday (from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.) with daytime programming showing increases in the number of men in that age group watching TV.

Overall prime-time viewership in the category was up, too, especially in Washington, San Francisco and Philadelphia.

In Philadelphia, the increase was most notable in the 18-to-24 part of the segment, but the LPMs showed more than twice as many people 18-34 watching early morning TV than had been reported a year ago when the paper diary system was in place. In New York, the numbers showed twice as many men 18 to 34 watching TV this July as was reported a year ago, with the number of men tuned in during the afternoon (noon to 4 p.m.) up 73% from a year ago.

National vs. local viewership
There are two separate people meter programs -- one measures national viewership and the other measures local viewership. Nielsen's latest report involves only local viewership.

Broadcast networks, cable networks and syndicators use national prime-time ratings created by a nationwide sample of people meters, which Nielsen introduced in 1987. Currently, the company has about 8,000 people meters deployed across the U.S., though it expects that number to rise to 10,000 by May 2006.

TV stations, rep firms and cable systems use local ratings. Nielsen has about 800 local-people-meter homes in each market where it offers the service. Where it doesn't offer LPMs, ratings are determined by paper diaries and set-meter boxes.

$17.3 billion spot market
Network TV, syndicated TV and cable TV ad spending together totaled $36.3 billion in 2004 and spot TV spending in local markets -- such as those being measured by the LPMs -- totaled $17.3 billion, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

~ ~ ~Abbey Klaassen contributed to this report.


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