Sunday, October 29, 2006

Natural Dog Food

Years ago I sold Recipe dog food, it was owned by Campbell's Soup at the time, and we were told to push the burger and cheese flavor in the summer and turkey in November because people like to feed the dog what they are eating. I honestly thought that this was a gimmick and that a 3 for $1 sold more product. Now that I own a dog I can see the idea as being plausible.

Purina with the same logic therefore created "natural" dog food because the pet's diet is closely linked to the owners or so the theory goes. The only reason that the package was purchased is that there was a high value coupon associated with the product is in my house at introduction to create awareness and trial. My dog gets premium dry dog food as a supplement to the home made mixture that happens to be on the stove now.

The use of a canister for this is interesting as the traditional dry pet food containers are a box for smaller and a bag for larger sizes. While the canister allows for air tight storage the choice, most likely has to do with promoting a premium image.

Excuse men now I need finish my dog food cooking.
Chopped spinach----check
Tomato puree----check

Saturday, October 21, 2006

How Culture Changes

The culture is constantly changing and standards of acceptable behavior are only reflections upon the society. In the early 1960's middle America would have been shocked by the discussion of sex on television. The Playtex Living bra of the 1960's featured a modest model with the bra over a body suit and Barbara Eden's navel could not be visible in I Dream Of Jeannie. It was forbidden to say pregnant on television (I Love Lucy for example) let alone the sexual banter common in many prime time shows today.

Before you feel superior these were perfectly acceptable in the past:

Example 1

Example 2

Example 3 (Note the laugh track and applause)

Interestingly enough we Americans of the 21st century would be equally disturbed by some of the content form the early 60's. Cigarette ads were not only permitted on television but cartoon superstars the likes of Fred Flinstone and his pal Barney Rubble were the pitchmen for Winston cigarettes. Imagine if you would that Homer Simpson and Apo at the Quickie Mart discussing the virtues of Winstons. That is just as shocking to our sensibilities as having June Cleaver showing cleavage and discussing Wards bedroom shortcomings with Eddie Haskell.

These are extreme examples of the culture changing overtime and say more about the larger society than specifically about marketing but demonstrates that how we sell a product of the environment.

The important question here is; who would be better in the Victoria's Secret cartoon ad Betty Rubble or Marge Simpson?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Another Bonus Pack

Another Bonus Pack
Fructis Shampoo

Like the Arm & Hammer Detergent, Fructise is giving product away. However the differences are important to note. The no-brainer is simply that they are attempting to sell more product but instead of merely being an attempt to get the short term extra sales but to build trial for the new 2 in 1 variety by banding on a travel size. This move is more expensive as you need to marry the two packages together and then shrink wrap the duo but, given that fatter margins in shampoo and the objective of getting the consumer to add yet another bottle in the shower.

Looking at the collection of shampoo in my shower I counted three different shampoos and two more bottles of conditioner. In the hall closet are a replacement bottle, a Suave dandruff shampoo that is in the on deck, and a bottle of Clairol that my college age son might want (or not). Is there really that much of a difference? Does my wife think that her hair will look like the model on TV? I will admit to anxiety about danduff flakes.

And for the travel size will I look better with Fructis 2 in 1 than with the complimentary sample in even the cheap hotels?

As the grocery shopper in my household this was one of the rare triple play of being on sale, having a coupon and a bonus pack--how could I resist.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Packaging Part 1

"Arm & Hammer Detergent Bonus Pack"

Packaging of a product can play many roles within marketing even taking center stage in the promotional department. One of the cheaper items in the products you buy is the actual content inside the bottle, box, or bag therefore the giving away of 20% more free is a rather inexpensive way to grab the consumers attention. The consumer looking at the wall of detergent jugs has a multitude of choices and you need a gimmick (or better gimmicks) to grab the shopper attention.

A closer examination of the jug (future link) shows a marvel of marketing. Okay marvel may be a bit too much, but this is kind of interesting none the same.

  1. Look at the cap it serves as a handy measuring and dipensing tool while communicating to the consumer the added feature of containing the color safe bleach formula. Looking at this Wisk container (future link)and note the use of the white cap on the color safe bleach formula or this A&H Detergent with a blue cap for the added feature of fabric softener.

  2. Now notice the use of the Arm & Hammer brand line visuals especally the familar symbol and the color.

  3. The package also claims "Powerfully Clean Naturally Fresh," which begs the question, "Does anyone actually read this?" This could be for the new user but speaking from experince long time users may very well never look at this text.

  4. Finally there is the information about added feature of color safer bleach which confirms the information communicated by the cap.

The industry has mostly settled on some standard sizes
Other Detergent Company Links