KFC and The Power of Oprah!

kfc5
Oprah Winfrey is regarded as the most influential woman on U.S. television, driving popular opinion in areas such as books, pop culture and even politics through her support for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. KFC’s latest promotion is proof positive!

Some claim it was her support that catapulted Obama into the Whitehouse.
8367
The Oprah Winfrey-fueled free chicken give-away that caused pandemonium this week at Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants has been canceled due to what the fast-food chain called an “overwhelming response.”

I went of course and got a “rain check.”

Roger Eaton, president of KFC in the United States said restaurants would no longer accept the free coupons for its new grilled chicken meal after Oprah’s chat show promotion caused long lines around the nation.

“The lines of customers wanting to redeem their coupons have been out the door and around the block, so we’re unable to redeem customer coupons at this time.” Eaton said in a statement issued late Thursday.

KFC said millions of Americans had downloaded free coupons after the offer was featured on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and Web site on Tuesday, driving traffic to levels unseen in the brand’s 50-year history.

Eaton apologized to customers for the cancellation of the scheme and said those who already had a coupon could get a rain check form to enable them to use it at a later date.

AMC’s ‘Men’ Click With “Cross” Pens

AMC is teaming with the A.T. Cross Co. for an integrated marketing partnership involving its drama series “Mad Men.”
madmen cross
“Mad Men,” is AMC’s first original drama series and was created by Matthew Weiner, an Emmy winner for executive producing and writing “The Sopranos.” “Men” is set in New York in 1960 and revolves around the ruthlessly competitive men and women working on Madison Avenue.

The AMC partnership with A.T. Cross includes product integration and co-branded campaigns on-air, online and in more than 200 stores where Cross pens are sold. “This series offers a unique opportunity to showcase iconic brands like Cross in a compelling, entertainment environment,” AMC senior vp marketing Linda Schupack said. “The partnership with Cross provides AMC with the opportunity to build awareness for ‘Mad Men’ throughout their extensive network of stores.”

AMC said that as part of its marketing deal with A.T. Cross, the company’s pens were used on-set and will be placed in episodes throughout the series. AMC also will feature the Cross pen in a customized “Mad Men” vignette and online at amctv.com in a photo gallery section that features art from the show. A poster featuring a character from the series using a Cross pen with the tagline, “Our classic signature pen … A new signature series” will be displayed in more than 200 retail outlets nationwide where Cross pens are sold, AMC said.

Can Google’s G1 Smart Phone Be More Than an Apple Knockoff?

My friend Guy Tucker sent me part of an article about the new Gogle phone.
“Google sees mobile devices as being far more ubiquitous than computers, and the more consumers it can get to go online via their phones, the better, arguably, for companies who make money via online advertising. (Google CEO Eric Schmidt is so bullish on this he called mobile “the re-creation of the internet.”)”
G1 versus iPhone
151434-G1-vs-iPhone

Look Out iTunes, MySpace Music Launches

Sony Pictures, McDonald’s, State Farm and Toyota have signed on as platinum sponsors of MySpace Music.
21898-band
The e-commerce venue is slated to launch in the next few weeks. It will be integrated with MySpace proper for some functionality, but can also be used as a standalone resource by those who are not members of the News Corp.-owned social network.
myspace-music
I believe that MySpace Music will succeed because of the social filter on top of it, making the service more like an online community than simply a source for music.

Jeff Berman, president of sales and marketing drew a distinction between the site’s relationship with the music labels Sony BMG, Universal and Warner and the new sponsors. “We haven’t made just a commercial deal with the labels, but a joint venture, so they are invested in our success,”

Berman said. Platinum sponsor brands, on the other hand, will be integrated into various MySpace Music programs. For example, McDonald’s will sponsor free music downloads and have a presence among the customized tools on the MySpace Personal Music Player.

The site will accommodate ad-sponsored unlimited live streaming of content, but downloading material to another device would typically require a fee.

State Farm’s brand will be visible throughout the site, gracing the music player and various playlists. The insurer will probably integrate its MySpace Music affiliation with its own content offering, NowWhat.com.

Toyota plans to sponsor “Toyota Tuesdays,” supporting free music downloads and rotating its ads on the music player for the next year.

Sony Pictures is launching a campaign for the Oct. 3 release Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Whereas MySpace users can now only add a single song to their profiles for sharing, MySpace Music will allow them to create and post entire playlists. Sony will exploit that feature by skinning user lists with messages related to the movie. A MySpace Music homepage roadblock for the film is also planned.

MySpace Music will be marketed via the MySpace network of 76 million domestic and 122 million worldwide users and through some offline marketing as well.
News Corp

Content Marketing

An ad is a great way to encapsulate information into a tiny bite. Think of it as a appetizer. Done well it leaves the consumer wanting more. I think the main meal is content marketing: creating useful information for prospective buyers.

Content marketing is about providing something useful. A how to video on hanging up a picture sponsored by Black & Decker is content marketing. A blog post about five things we often forget when staying at a hotel sponsored by Priceline.com is content marketing.
ts
Snapshot 2008-09-15 06-08-31
People seem to be more interested if a brand can have a relationship with their brand and teaching the consumer helps build a trust and a bond with more credibility than just a 30 second spot.

Infomercials however aren’t always content marketing. They often are a little too far into the fake-smiles-and-bobbing-head department of gee whiz testimonials. I am talking about useful information presented in a way that makes the receiver of that information feel they have been given a value.

There are many ways to do it for free or cheap. Blogs, video sites, pod casts and social networks are great places to share information and build interest about a product. These can be a great way to measure sentiment, drive awareness, and encourage conversation. Tie this to a marketing funnel and you’ve got the opportunity to convert people who respond to the information into more qualified leads and of course activate sales.

Honda Clarity, ZERO Emissions

Honda unveiled the FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle in 2007 and plans to begin limited retail marketing of the vehicle this summer.
JLC1_by-car_lg
Jaimie Lee Curtis taking delivery of her new Clarity in LA

The FCX Clarity is a next-generation, zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle based on the entirely-new Honda V Flow fuel cell platform, and powered by the highly compact, efficient and powerful Honda V Flow fuel cell stack.

FCX Clarity marks the significant progress Honda continues to make in advancing the real-world performance and appeal of the hydrogen-powered fuel cell car.

“The FCX Clarity is a shining symbol of the progress we’ve made with fuel cell vehicles and of our belief in the promise of this technology,” said Tetsuo Iwamura, American Honda president and CEO. “Step by step, with continuous effort, commitment and focus, we are working to overcome obstacles to the mass-market potential of zero-emissions hydrogen fuel cell automobiles.”

How It Works

The FCX Clarity utilizes Honda’s V Flow stack in combination with a new compact and efficient lithium ion battery pack and a single hydrogen storage tank to power the vehicle’s electric drive motor. The fuel cell stack operates as the vehicle’s main power source. Hydrogen combines with atmospheric oxygen in the fuel cell stack, where chemical energy from the reaction is converted into electric power used to propel the vehicle. Additional energy captured through regenerative braking and deceleration is stored in the lithium ion battery pack, and used to supplement power from the fuel cell, when needed.
HydrogenFuelPump_550x445

The FCX Clarity’s only emission is water.

Based on its vision of, “Blue Skies for our Children”, Honda has worked for forty years at reducing the environmental impact of the automobile, including efforts to reduce emissions, boost fuel efficiency and, now, many industry-leading efforts to advance the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle – a technology and fuel that Honda believes may hold the ultimate promise for a clean and sustainable transportation future.

If this exists now why manufacture anything else? Forgot to mention it gets 270 miles per one charge and is quite powerful because of its drive train …it is no golf cart!