The winners are in!

December 1, 2008

Thanks to all who participated in the “Most Memorable” Post Contest! We also want to extend a big thank you to our judges, Bob Collins, Julia Roy and Steve Hall, who all took time out of their very busy schedules to support and judge this contest!

Without further ado, here are the winners:

The Most Memorable Technology Tweet goes to DylanOKNEMYLK:
most-memorable-tech-tweet

The Most Memorable Social Media Tweet goes to MaThuRRell:
most-memorable-sm-tweet

The Most Memorable Tweet about K-Y Couples Lubricant goes to DylanOKNEMYLK:
most-memorable-ky-tweet

The Most Memorable Blog Post goes to Megan Goullet: It’s a Goullet Kind of World


Most Memorable New Product Top 10 Countdown

November 18, 2008

Traditional Press Release

Social Media Release


2008 Most Memorable New Product Launch Press Release

November 18, 2008

Recession “crunches” new product recall to all-time low

Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey finds Wii Fit most remembered by Americans; other new technology products and twists on familiar brands also recognized

Chicago (November 18, 2008)—Advertisers and brand managers have new challenges to face as Americans are less aware of new product launches than ever before. That’s the key finding from the seventh annual Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey (MMNPL), conducted by Schneider Associates, Mintel International and IRI.

When asked about new products from 2008, 69% of survey respondents could not remember a single new product launched during the year. Even the most memorable new product of 2008—the Wii Fit—was recalled by only 22% of respondents in aided recall*. Rising food and gas prices, fear of economic recession and attention-grabbing political campaigns are all to blame:

“2008 was a year of distractions, with the average American’s attention pulled in many different directions simultaneously,” comments Lynn Dornblaser, Director of Trend Insight at Mintel. “The fervent presidential campaigns and election genuinely excited many voters. But even more, we saw people deeply impacted by the financial crisis. From higher food prices to unemployment to housing scares, economic struggles seriously affected the way many people lived this year.”

Char Partelow, Senior Vice President, Panel Consulting Group at IRI noted that Americans have cut back on spending, making them inherently less aware of new products. “Because many people can only afford the basics, they’re sticking to what they know, products and services that bring them comfort. We found that ‘a trusted brand name’ ranked as the number one quality respondents looked for when buying new products. Many Americans are simply less interested in ‘risking it’ on a new product.”

“Sticking to what they know” explains the prevalence of familiar food and drink brands on the MMNPL survey winners list. Of the products most frequently remembered in aided recall*, five were new twists on familiar food and drink: Bud Light Lime, McDonald’s Southern Style Chicken Biscuit & Sandwich, Kraft Mac & Cheese Crackers, Gatorade G2 and Yoplait Fiber One. “Consumers recalled new product launches from brands they know and love. McDonald’s, Kraft and Bud Light are trusted brands that gave people a new variation on something familiar,” comments Julie Hall, Vice President, Schneider Associates.

For the second year in a row, technology products featured prominently on the MMNPL winners list. The Wii Fit and iPod Touch were numbers one and two, respectively, and MacBook Air and Rock Band were represented in the top 10 memorable launches.

The Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey was conducted online among 1,000 respondents aged 18 and over during September 2008. Given a list of 50 new product launches from 2008, people most commonly remembered the following:

1. Nintendo Wii Fit (recalled by 22% of respondents in aided recall*)
2. iPod Touch (16%)
3. Bud Light Lime (15%)
4. McDonald’s Southern Style Chicken Biscuit & Sandwich (14%)
5. Kraft Mac & Cheese Crackers (13%)
6. KY Yours + Mine Couples Lubricant (12%)
7. Gatorade G2, Yoplait Fiber One (11%, two-way tie)
8. MacBook Air, Rock Band, Burger King Apple Fries, Neosporin Neo To Go!, Kraft Bagel-fuls (8%, five-way tie)

For more information on the survey or to learn more about the results, visit www.mmnpl.com.

*For aided recall, Mintel gave survey participants a list of 50 new grocery, personal and beauty care, technology and toy products from 2008. This list was selected in advance by Mintel, IRI and Schneider Associates.

About Mintel International
Mintel International is a leading global supplier of consumer, product and media intelligence. For more than 35 years, Mintel has provided insight into key worldwide trends, offering unique data that directly impacts client success. www.mintel.com

About Schneider Associates
Schneider Associates is a full-service marketing communications agency that launches products, services, companies and communities. www.schneiderpr.com and www.launchpr.com

About IRI
Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) is a global leader in providing consumer, shopper, and retail market intelligence and insights supporting 95 percent of the FORTUNE Global 500 consumer packaged goods (CPG), retail and healthcare companies. www.infores.com

Contact:
Patrick Richardson
Schneider Associates
(617) 536-3300
prichardson@schneiderpr.com

Click here for a PDF version of the 2008 MMNPL Press Release.


The Amazon Kindle: Change is Coming

November 1, 2008

By Tim Hrycyshyn
Schneider Associates

Amazon’s Kindle reader might just be the future of book reading as we know it. For those unfamiliar with the product: think iPod meets your local newsstand. It’s a convenient, portable reading device with the ability to wirelessly download books, blogs, magazines, and newspapers. It brands itself as a completely mobile and simple device for all to use—so fear not, non-techies.

Priced at $359, Amazon hopes to attract all of its usual book buyers onto this new format of literature digestion. With the Amazon bookstore connected directly to the device, users can purchase and download new titles or subscriptions in moments, and usually for cheaper prices than a bookstore. The Kindle also makes morning news consumption easier than ever by allowing users to subscribe to their publications of choice, and the content is delivered and downloaded in the wee hours of the morning while most are still in bed.

The online reviews and videos alone are enough to spark serious interest. The device appears effortless and fun to use, and consumers who have already purchased one have fallen in love. To capitalize on the product’s earnest and widespread satisfaction rates, Amazon has taken their consumer product reviews – something the company has championed early on – a step further.

The PR and marketing managers at Amazon have designed a method for prospective Kindle owners to view the product first hand. The appropriately titled “See a Kindle in your City” initiative allows Kindle owners/enthusiasts to volunteer for an informal meeting and demonstration of the device. An Amazon message board allows these prospective customers to connect with Kindle users all over the country, to setup meetings at local coffee shops, public parks, or anywhere at all.

The unique connections Amazon is creating allows the company to generate serious word of mouth buzz, including brand recognition and consumer satisfaction. But is there a catch to all the hype? In our opinion, no. Like Apple, Amazon highlights simplicity as the product’s #1 selling point. And lucky for Amazon, one of those early adopters who loves its simplicity is Oprah.

On Winfrey’s afternoon television talk show Friday October 24th she announced the Kindle is her favorite new gadget and even went as far to say it was her “new favorite thing in the world.” Amazon founder Jeff Bezos made an appearance on the show but had little time to get a word in under Oprah’s singing praises. She applauded the new technology and even delivered one to each member of the studio audience.

Having Oprah’s stamp of approval equates to large sales figures and success for Amazon. Her book club is the largest in the nation and her opinion resonates with millions across America. How big is Oprah’s endorsement? According to a study from the University of Maryland, when Winfrey announced her support of Governor Barack Obama during his campaign, an estimated 1 million votes were added to the Democratic nominee’s tally.

So what does all this love for Kindle mean to you? Is the device unique enough to overcome its hefty price tag? With Oprah’s recent endorsement, will the Kindle be the hottest new gadget on the market this holiday season?

For more information, please contact: launch@schneiderpr.com

www.schneiderpr.com

www.launchpr.com


Rock Band Rocks the Competition

October 29, 2008

By Tim Hrycyshyn
Schneider Associates

The launch of Rock Band – developed by Harmonix Music Systems, published by MTV Games, and distributed by Electronic Arts (EA) – has been revolutionary to the gaming industry. Although similar games existed in the mid to late 90s, Rock Band opens up a new and uncontested market space by incorporating instrument controllers for each member of the band—guitarist, vocalist, bassist, and drummer. This augmented repertoire truly differentiates Rock Band from its main competitor, Guitar Hero.

MTV and its sister station, VH1, promoted Rock Band heavily in the months leading up to the game’s release. Rock Band was set up in the The Real World house, and it was featured on Total Request Live for a “battle of the bands” contest. Additionally, VH1 produced a brief spoof documentary in the style of Behind the Music titled “Rock Band Cometh: The Rock Band Band Story,” documenting a fictional band of gamers. In all, MTV invested an estimated $30 million in promotions for the video game.

Coming off the cusp of the Guitar Hero craze only a short while earlier, success for Rock Band was almost inevitable. But the launch exceeded all expectations with its bundle pack selling over 3.5 million units to date, and conquering the 2007 holiday season in the process. According to a January article of USA Today, Rock Band’s success is also raking in revenue for the music industry.

“Hopefully it helps evolve music to not just a linear art form but a more interactive art form,” says Van Toffler of MTV Networks. “You look at a lot of 20-year-olds who are reticent to plop down $20 for a CD, yet they don’t mind paying $25 for a DVD or $50 for a video game. We’re seeing the audience really embrace hearing new music for the first time or engaging with classic rock songs in a new way.”

Not only is Rock Band cleaning up in sales, the game play itself has been well-received by the critics. According to gamerankings.com, a Web site that tracks game reviews from other popular sites and combines them to present an average rating for each game, Rock Band has a 92% average rating based on 63 media outlet reviews. Its wild success resulted in a loyal fan base, and ultimately a spot on the MMNPL Survey.

What makes these games so popular? Will interest in these virtual music games spike interest in actual musical arts? Is this trend more beneficial for the music industry or the gaming industry?

For more information, please contact: launch@schneiderpr.com
www.schneiderpr.com
www.launchpr.com


Calories count— even for dogs

October 24, 2008

By Matt Flight
Schneider Associates

According to a 2006 study, 30 percent of American adults are overweight. And so are most of their dogs. Statistics from a recent veterinary report show that man’s best friend is also tipping the scales a little too far, with 25 percent of all American dogs classified as overweight.

Since Americans and their pets are both battling weight problems, it’s not surprising the diet markets for these two groups are similar. To capture this market of consumers with overindulging dogs, Del Monte Pet Products introduced Pup-Peroni 50 Calorie Packs, the first portion controlled snacks for canines.

Calorie conscious snackers have turned 100 calorie packs into a $200 million annual goldmine. According to a February USA Today article, 82 single serving products touting 100 or fewer calories were released in 2007. In 2004, there were only seven. This trend is snowballing among health conscious Americans, and Del Monte is pioneering the movement in the pet food market.

“They’re a guilt-free snack,” says Matthew Park, Del Monte’s marketing vice president. “Just as 100-calorie packs help people 50-calorie packs help dogs cut calories and live healthier.”

Does this trend have the legs to create a whole new market for calorie conscious dog owners? Are the Pup-Peroni 50 Calorie Snack Pouches memorable enough to become the first ever pet food to crack the top 10 Most Memorable New Product Launch List? Will they soon have Weight Watchers for dogs?

For more information, please contact: mflight@schneiderpr.com
schneiderpr.com
LaunchPR


KFC: A New Flavor to Savor

October 23, 2008

By Jenny Fichera
Schneider Associates

It’s been over 65 years since Colonel Harland Sanders introduced his Original Recipe® in 1940. This year, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) added Smokey Chipotle Crispy Fried Chicken to its menu. The new flavor, containing a secret blend of 11 herbs and spices, is the second new recipe to debut on KFC’s menu since the Colonel’s original creation.

KFC has gone above and beyond to publicize their latest “secret” recipe. According to the Associated Press, the recipe is so top secret that only two company executives have access to it at any time. For added security, the secret recipe was moved to a new location. The ingredients were placed in a lock box and handcuffed to a security guard who rode in an armored car with a police escort.

“We’ve worked tirelessly to develop this new flavor,” said KFC’s chief marketing officer, James O’Reilly. “We don’t take fried chicken flavor introductions lightly at KFC, and we took our time to painstakingly perfect this new recipe.”

KFC launched a TV advertising campaign featuring 15 and 30 second spots that introduce the new Smokey Chipotle Fried Chicken. The commercials’ voiceover describes the new recipe as “flavor with a kick,” and it ends with the slogan, “Life tastes better with KFC.”

KFC has no plans to include an Internet ad campaign, but that’s not to say that they are ignoring the online medium. On their Web site, KFC created a game, “Quest for the Golden Chipotle,” which was created to educate consumers about the origin of the chipotle pepper while still being fun and interactive.

Will the addition of a rare new menu flavor be enough to catapult KFC into the top 10 Most Memorable New Products list?


Two Sides to Every… Shower?

October 6, 2008

 

By Ryan Stredney

P.R Specialist – Data & Insights

 

Information Resources, Inc.

 

We’ve all seen the soap industry evolve and flourish over time… from the messy bars of old, leaving their residue all over bathtub ledges between uses to today’s convenient body washes in their snap top tubes and ever-expanding variety of aromas.  But what about the means for applying these modern shower gels to one’s body?  Wash cloths just aren’t cutting it anymore for guys and girls alike… too long to lather up and you’re left with a skimpy wash surface that just doesn’t have enough exfoliating power to refresh anyone’s skin from the rugged grime of the daily grind.

 

As alternatives were developed to appeal to the fairer gender, they weren’t really doing all that much to sell themselves to men in the marketplace.  We’re talking about the loofahs, sponges and poofs you find hanging on the ladies’ side of the shower, detailed with feminine designs, colors and floral scents… truly made for the smoother, gentler, more luxurious skin that women possess.  Granted they’re a step in the right direction, providing a textured surface for a deeper scrub and more lather generating layers to give everybody’s body a once over, but the modern man is always on the lookout for something stronger and stacked with more machismo.

 

Now AXE has taken that concept even further and come out with a solution developed specifically for guys… The new AXE Detailer Shower Tool.  A deep scrub side to clean your rough and tough spots, forced to hybrid with a gentle mesh side to clean even your most sensitive areas.  Fused all together with circular, rubber grips that conjure up the image of auto rims, the dual-sided shower tool is ideal for a man’s needs and designed to encourage an overall more efficient shower experience.

 

The gear-head-esque name is certainly more appealing to men right off the bat, but the Detailer lives up to its billing as well.  The rubber grip gives guys something substantial to hold onto, the traditional mesh area provides plenty of lathering potential, and the red scouring pad opposite is good for thick skin like heels, knees, palms and elbows. Backed by a strong television marketing campaign promoting attractive masculinity and rugged Americana, AXE is constantly looking for new ways to score points and grab market share in the hygiene industry, and with the first scrubber designed specifically with men in mind, they may just have a winner with the new Detailer Shower Tool.

 

Additional Information can be found at: http://www.theaxeeffect.com/flash.html

 

Contact: ryan.stredney@infores.com


This Bud’s Good for What Ale’s You…

September 23, 2008

By Ryan Stredney

PR Specialist – Data & Insights

Information Resources, Inc.

The time has arrived for Anheuser-Busch’s first foray into ale brewing, the straight-up American Amber style of Budweiser American Ale. Scheduled to be released this week on draught in select markets nationwide and in bottles at the end of the month, Bud American Ale was created by A-B brewmasters to deliver a rich, amber color and a hoppy, citrus-hinted aroma that’s full-bodied, but not too heavy or bitter. Remarked as a pleasant balance of robust flavor and well-rounded taste, Bud American Ale serves as an alternative offshoot to the flagship Budweiser signature lagers.

The American Ale was a beer concept A-B originally kicked around back in 1997 in response to the success of Sam Adams Boston Lager. Considering that crafts are once again gaining momentum as the traditional Bud juggernauts look for an fresh and innovative niche to propel them off the static domestic brew sales plateau, A-B is now poised to launch the ale mainstream, especially in response to the proposed Miller offerings of late, a trio of craft-style light beers that were selectively tested over the summer months before being pulled back after initial interest peaked and faded. Rolling out an “American Ale” would also seem to be a natural branding tie-in with A-B’s recent efforts to leverage the craftsmanship and national heritage of the Bud label.

“Budweiser American Ale has the full-bodied taste profile of the amber ale style, yet is remarkably smooth and balanced,” says Eric Beck, brewmaster for Budweiser American Ale. “It’s an ale that’s distinctly American in character, and the result is a beer both traditional lager and craft beer drinkers can enjoy.”

The gist of the last sentiment may be what makes or breaks this latest offering for A-B. With only a handful of reviews currently out on Bud American Ale posted by those privileged enough to have sampled it, the notes are pretty consistent: A pretty decent ale all around, pleasant aroma, tasty and does the trick.

The American Ale is definitely a bold step for the manufacturer to take with their iconic flagship label, and A-B’s enormous distribution efforts will surely lead to tremendous initial success. Its set be supported in the marketplace by a substantial targeted media plan consisting of television, print, outdoor and Internet, along with exclusive sampling events and on-premise merchandising. Will Budweiser’s claim that Bud American Ale is “more than a new taste… it’s a whole new tradition” hold up? Only time will tell…

Additional Information can be found at: www.budweiseramericanale.com

Contact: ryan.stredney@infores.com


Gourmet Chocolates that Toe the Party Lines

September 15, 2008

 

By Ryan Stredney

P.R Specialist – Data & Insights

 

Information Resources, Inc.

 

Looking for a unique way to support your presidential candidate down the stretch?  Limited edition handcrafted chocolate gift boxes from Burdick Chocolate can help you flaunt your political pride .  Available in unique assortments for both national parties, the chocolates come in either quarter or half-pound boxes, stamped with either a donkey or elephant wax seal and tied in a patriotic blue or red commemorative ribbon.

Burdick even went so far as to derive the unique flavors for each assortment from various facets of each candidate’s background. The box of “Obama Campaign Chocolates” includes Kenyan Coffee, Kansas Corn Crunch, Tennessee Sour Mash and Hawaiian Pineapple, representative of the state where Sen. Obama was born.  On the flipside, the gourmet McCain box features Hot Pepper Tequila, Peanut Butter, Kentucky Rye and Arizona Citrus, drawing its inspiration from the state Sen. McCain represents.

Additionally, Burdick is also displaying the sales “votes cast” for each assortment on their website.  Currently the Obama selection has been outselling its opponent by almost a 3 to 1 count, a result surely all democratic supporters would eagerly welcome come election time.  It’s not too late for the Republicans to make a stand, however, as the campaign themed chocolates will be available up through the November election. 

Yet another unique spin for the confection industry to boost sales by marketing themed candies to coincide with timely media events, similar to the movie-based editions of various sweets that are seemingly becoming more prevalent these days. Can’t help but wonder… if you’re particularly fond of certain flavors and curious to sample the variety in the opposing party’s assortment, who wins out in your personal run-off:  The support for your candidate or the urge of your sweet tooth?    

Additional Information can be found at: http://www.burdickchocolate.com/selection2008bios.asp

 

Contact: ryan.stredney@infores.com