Archive for the ‘Advertising’ Category

Public Relations vs. Advertising

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Public Relations and Advertising: What’s the difference?

by Tiffany Engleman

I’ve noticed that the practices of Public Relations and Advertising can become muddled. Indeed there are some similarities between the two fields. However, there are four unique differences that distinguish the two from one another.

  1. Public Relations incorporates a number of communication tools in their daily interactions with colleagues and clients; social media brochures, special events, speeches, news releases, and feature stories are just a few. Advertising operates almost solely through mass media outlets and for the most part does not utilize near as many channels as does Public Relations.
  2. Advertising directs messages to external audiences (predominantly consumers of goods and services).  Public Relations focuses on a specific external audience such as stockholders, vendors, community leaders, environmental groups, as well as internal audiences (employees).
  3. Advertising is primarily identified as a specialized communication function. Public Relations is much broader in scope. PR integrates policies and performances of entire organizations, from the interactions between employees to the procedure of answering phone calls.
  4. The primary goal of Public Relations is to become a liaison between a company and their customers. Public Relations creates and protects a positive image for organizations through any situation that can affect a company’s image, including but not limited to: economic, social, and political factors. The primary function of Advertising is to assist in promoting the sale of goods and services.

Although Public Relations and Advertising share some similar traits in the broad scheme of things, there are many aspects that do differentiate the two. At the end of the day, Advertising is selling a company’s goods or services and Public Relations is ensuring that a company has the ability to positively market goods and services to the public or a targeted audience.

Works Cited: Wilcox, Dennis L., Cameron, Glen T., Reber, Bryan H., & Shin, Jae-Hwa. (2011). Think Public Relations. Boston, Massachusetts: Pearson Education.

Innovation in Alcohol Marketing

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Heineken demonstrates unparalleled alcohol marketing strategies

By Andrea Donaldson

I don’t always praise beer companies for their alcohol marketing strategies. But when I do it’s Heineken.

Heineken, now the world’s third largest brewer, has spent the last decade innovating their way to the top of the beer industry. The company is now the world’s first and only truly global beer brand. Their extensive portfolio includes huge import brands Newcastle, Amstel, and Dos Equis. But, even more impressive is their brand availability in more than 178 countries. Although the company has made major business moves by acquiring brands and joint partnering with big names like Kingfisher, it is their alcohol marketing strategies that have had the most impact on customers. Their top three have increased Heineken revenues the world over.

1. Guerilla Marketing: Heineken has always been a company that thinks out of the box. In 2011, at a music festival in Poland, Heineken established a sponsored tent that allowed festival attendees to make their own QR codes. Attendees wrote a sentence about themselves and Heineken printed a sticker that other festival participants could scan with their smart phones to access the personalized statement written by

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the wearer. The campaign was an instant hit as it served as an ice breaker to meet other music lovers.

2. Packaging: Heineken’s traditional green bottle has become iconic. However, that doesn’t stop the company from constantly gussying up their bottles. Heineken has experimented with a square bottle design that was introduced to save space in coolers and refrigerators. They have also released bottles that have hidden designs that can only be seen under black light. But, my personal favorite was showcased this week at the Milan Design show. Heineken’s newest bottle innovation, “Ignite,” features LED lights that brighten up social drinking. Experience a flash of light through

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the bottle whenever you take a sip or cheer a friend. The LED lights can also be programmed by a DJ to light up to the beat of a song.

3. Social Media: Heineken has utilized social media to stay current and on the minds of their customers. The company constantly updates in order to drive conversation; the most popular social media conversation for the company being The Most Interesting Man in the World posts. Unless you have been living under a pile of rocks, you have seen the Dos Equis advertisement featuring “The Most Interesting Man in the World” living adventurously and enjoying a Dos Equis. The slogan, “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis” has even sparked an internet meme that features individual’s customized slogans, like my very own featured above.

Although Heineken has been criticized for constantly switching alcohol marketing firms, it is clear they are doing something right. Heineken has experienced 14 percent growth and Dos Equis is up an astounding 33 percent in sales this past year.

So, what’s next for the unstoppable beer giant? Heineken international released intentions to take on the senior market. But, that’s an article for a different day.

Beer Future: Coming to a Bar Near You

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Technologically advanced beer walls allow customers to be their own bartender

By Andrea Donaldson

Has anyone else experienced the exhausting battle of trying to get a drink in a crowded bar? Initially, the fight is with the crowd. You must deal with the jerks who will push, shoulder, and argue their way to the closest bar opening. And once you’ve finally secured the coveted empty bar location, round two begins. Getting the attention of the bartender. Of course we all have our tricks, whether it be holding out cash to show that we’re ready or desperately trying to force eye-contact. But, aren’t we all just tired of the hassle?!

Fortunately, the newest trend in beer dispensing has arrived. They call them beer walls. These state-of-the-art devices feature up to eight taps that patrons themselves use to pour their own beer. The dispensers have tablet screens that feature information on rotating taps, the ability to hold five full kegs, and computers that keep records of everything. Aside from the customer’s ability to save on tips, here are five reasons why these beer walls will prove to be a major success.

1. Record Keeping: Owners are provided with access to an online database that keeps up-to-date records of all beer wall transactions. Owners can use this information to track consumption habits and create promotions that are specifically tailored to their patrons.

2. Information: Ever wondered more about a beer on tap than the bartender could tell you? The beer wall features tablet screens that provide customers with extensive information on beer choices. The wall also prints the customer a receipt detailing all of the beers they tried. Customers can easily remember which beers they liked and continue to build a loyalty to particular brands.

3. Online features: In a world where everything is going viral, why shouldn’t your beer habits? The beer wall features a “buy a round” option online. This feature allows for patrons to purchase beer online for their friends at the bar. Another online feature alerts patrons when an exclusive brew has been added to the beer wall. Customers can select the “reserve my pint” feature and guarantee a pint of beer before the keg blows out.

4. Advertising: The beer wall opens up an entire new world for advertising beer. Companies will be able to utilize the interactive tablet screens to push new products. They will also be provided with demographic information about their customers. The wall sets up an account by checking a customer’s identification card. Breweries will be able to access information on exactly who is buying their product. The beer wall could potentially offer interactive surveys and other features that could be very beneficial to marketers.

5. No waiting: The beer wall features the ability to allow multiple people to pour beer at the same time. Also, if it is typical for customers to experience lengthy waits at your restaurant, a beer wall just might be the perfect distraction.

Although excitement and curiosity were my first responses to the new device, I received mixed concerns from customers at a local pub in Louisville, Ky. Some people questioned if this type of device would damage the service industry. Would customers tip less, because they are used to doing the work themselves at other bars? Others mentioned how uncomfortable they would be with a bars ability to access their personal information. They also showed concern over the price shock of finally receiving the bill at the end of the night and realizing each taste really added up.

It will be interesting to see how cities around the nation react to these new devices. I know I will be excited to play with the first one I come across.

Work Cited: Innovative Tap Solutions, (2013). Retrieved from

Shelf Space Monopolies

Monday, April 8th, 2013

The implications of how alcohol is presented on shelf space by retailers

By Andrea Donaldson

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Madness there is nothing quite like enjoying a cold brew and cheering on your favorite team in the playoffs. But, while you’re enjoying the dunks, steals, and runs, beer companies are involved in some fierce competition of their own: A competition for shelf space.

Shelf space is the total amount of area allocated for a specific product in a retail store. It is in the retailer’s best interest to put their highest grossing and selling products in the best locations. For beer, this means refrigerated aisles and up front placement. These locations have been reserved for beer giants like Budweiser, Coors, and Miller for decades.

However, Anheuser Busch known for Budweiser, and SABMiller, known for Coors and Miller, are facing new competition. The newest trend in the beer industry is craft brews. In 2012, The New Brewer, a journal published by the Brewers Association released the article, “A Banner Year for Craft,” by Paul Gatza. The article explores the impressive double digit volume growth for the craft beer industry. Distributors for these underdogs are hoping this spike in growth will translate to better placement in grocery and liquor stores. Retailers could stand to benefit from this transition as well; craft beer is more expensive and selling the product provides more revenue for the retailer.

However, Anheuser-Busch and SABMiller aren’t going to give up their shelf space without a fight. They have focused on brand extensions to occupy shelf space in order to prevent new companies from moving in. Brand extensions like Bud Light Platinum, which contains a higher alcohol content, and Black Crown are part of the strategy.

Retailers know that if they are not carrying the latest product extensions, their competition is. This is true in every industry. Ever wonder why popular shampoo companies have twenty-five plus scents? Retailers are forced to carry all popular extensions pushing the smaller companies toward the back or off the shelves completely.

Anheuser-Busch has also acquired brands like Rolling Rock, Land Shark Lager, and Blue Moon in order to fight the craft brew trend. Consumers cannot easily identify these brands as part of the Busch portfolio and often times consider them craft breweries themselves.

Craft breweries must continue to experience exponential growth to make a dent in overall beer sales and gain shelf space in major retail outlets. It is clear they will face heavy opposition from powerful companies as these huge brands try to maintain their prime real estate.

Advertising: TAG HEUR IT!

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

By Vijay Krishna By the time the presidential election ends in November, we will have seen a new phenomenon in advertising; about $2 billion dollars spent on advertising. ‘Tis the season! On the brighter side, this bodes well for the advertising industry. Generally, when the economy is bad, many established companies, and some smaller ones with a clear foresight, tend to maintain advertising expenditure. It’s a great opportunity to showcase their wares and surge ahead of the competition in maintaining brand equity, and a virtual holy grail for product placement. The 24/7 media and the GAS BAGS at their helm are looking to slice and dice the minutest of verbal and non-verbal cues of the candidates. So isn’t this a

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great opportunity for brands to dress up the presidential candidates? Here’s one that was spotted recently: Obama and Romney sporting the high end TAG HEUR watches. Here are the granulars: OBAMA- Tag

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Heur-Aquaracer: $15,600 ROMNEY-Tag Heur-Link Automatic: $3,500 The candidates’ spouses are also noted for what they wear. For example, Janna Ryan recently wore $35 Kohl’s dress and Michelle Obama wore a $35 H&M dress. Michelle Obama is also known to wearing expensive dress upwards of $6,000 to $10,000 range. Perhaps, the candidates’ and spouse love for the brand is coincidental, but

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the exposure-gradient is immeasurable.

Mad Men

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Mad Men might be just that!

by Neil Kuvin

mad menAs anyone who’s ever watched an episode of Mad Men knows, ad copywriters have turned that kind of persuasion into both an art and a science. So what can Madison Avenue teach us about writing more effective news releases???

One secret that advertising copywriters have long known is that the benefits of a product or service are far more compelling to potential customers than its features.

Does a news release suffice as an ad for your client or your agency? Of course not. Any journalist will emphatically tell you, a news release is not ever to be considered an advertisement. An ad is a paid media message over which the buyer has essentially complete control. A news release is a suggestion for an article, TV news story or other media coverage.

However, from a business perspective, the two often have the same objective: to raise awareness about a product or service and persuade consumers to buy it.  Of course with your company logo on the release, your face and your legitimacy as a purveyor of legitimate “news” is hanging out for all to see.

What’s the difference between focusing on features or driving the copy with benefits?  Features describe the positive qualities of a product or service. Benefits describe the ways those qualities positively affect the consumer—usually by making his or her life better or easier.?? For example, a car’s features might include side airbags, a 250-horsepower engine and a 70-cubic-foot cargo area. But its benefits are that it’s safe, fun to drive and roomy enough to bring three kids, two dogs and a pumpkin pie to grandma’s house for Thanksgiving.

I recently saw an ad for a self-storage facility whose features included clean, well-lighted facilities, 24-hour security and a convenient location. But the ad’s headline—“Reclaim your Garage!”—focused on a single, compelling benefit.

As the “mad men” of Mad Men have shown time and again, the making of sausage is not what you want to see before you order breakfast.

Texting: Mobile Marketing Popularity

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Texting: The Most Popular of All Mobile Marketing Strategies TextingShort Message Service (SMS) mobile marketing, also known as texting, is an outstanding avenue for small business owners to reach their customers. Almost all cell phones have the capability to

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send and receive text messages and cell phone owners have the ability to opt-in and opt-out of receiving text messages. Customers can opt-in to receiving a company’s text messages by texting a keyword to a short code. A common short code (CSC) is a five or six digit phone number that can send and receive text messages. A CSC that is exclusive to a company can be quite expensive so most small businesses prefer to share a CSC. The keyword that the customer uses is what distinguishes one company from another. The keyword ensures that customers are connected with the correct company. All

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of the major wireless telephone carriers can support CSC. After a customer sends the keyword to a CSC, they will receive an auto-reply message. The auto-reply message confirms their participation in the text messaging campaign. Why would a customer choose to participate in a text messaging campaign? There are many incentives a company can employ to entice participation:

  • Mobile coupons
  • Discounts only available to customers on the texting list
  • Participation in contests
  • Advance notice of sales
  • Advance notice of new products
  • Ease of ordering a product or service
  • Priority in ordering a product or service

By using the text messaging marketing tool, a small business can contact their customers anytime and anywhere and rest assured that the people they are sending their messages to are people who want to receive them. And if a customer decides that they don’t want to participate in the campaign any longer? All it takes is a click on the opt-out link at the bottom of every message. Of course, it is the small business owner’s top priority to make the incentives so attractive that a customer never chooses to opt-out! By Peg Glover