Direct Mail Still Works Say USPS

We may be living in the digital age, but the U.S. Postal Service would like to remind you that direct mail campaigns still work. In order to prove their point, they created the Marketing Achievement in Innovation and Leadership (MAIL) Award, solicited nominees through Deliver magazine and chose a winner.

That winner was branding agency Mlicki, and they won for their Blue Octo campaign which had a 10% response rate.

The Blue Octo is a line of waste-water pumps and these guys managed to make it look cool and exciting. Their mailer looked like a classified dossier with reports and photos about sightings of a mysterious Blue Octo creature.

Mlicki creative director John Randle told Deliver;

The Yellow Pages Jumps on the Deal Bandwagon

See the girl in that picture there. She’s happy because she’s getting deals so early in the morning, she’s still in her pajamas! Of course, it could be that she’s unemployed and has no reason to get dressed. And she has no furniture, so she has to use her laptop on the floor. . . .

But no. She’s happy. She’s happy because that old, stodgy bastion of advertising, The Yellow Pages, is now new and hip. The Yellow Pages is now a deal site. Yes. It’s true-ish.

It’s actually yellowpages.com, which is owned by AT&T, and honestly, I have no idea if it’s related to those paperweights that get dropped on your doorstep when you’re not looking. But like I said yesterday, it’s not what’s true, it’s what people believe and people will association yellowpages.com with the Yellow Pages books and that’s good and bad.

Can You Guess Which Company Has the Best Public Reputation?

It’s time for the results of the 12th Annual Harris Interactive U.S. Reputation Quotient (RQ) Survey and the winner is (insert drum roll) . . . . Google!

Google got an 84.05, just squeaking past Johnson & Johnson and 3M.

Technology in general did very well on the reputation charts with an overall 75% positive rating. Apple, Intel, Amazon and Sony all made the top half of the chart. Facebook landed 31st on the list with an RQ score of 74.12.

Who got the bottom spots?

51.) Delta Airlines; 52) JP Morgan Chase; 53) Exxon Mobil; 54) General Motors; 55) Bank of America; 56) Chrysler; 57) Citigroup; 58) Goldman Sachs; 59) BP; 60) AIG.

Facebook Feed Change Hurts Marketers Most

Have you noticed a change in your Facebook news feed? It’s actually been happening for several months now but most people are just beginning to notice. The first sign is when you suddenly realize that you haven’t seen an update from a favorite brand in a while. Then you notice another missing person and another after that.

Those people haven’t stopped posting, but Facebook has decided you’re not interested enough in them, so they’ve been removed from your feed. The culprit is a drop down that branches off the “Most Recent” link which is now set to “Friends and Pages you interact with most.” In order to override this, you must go to Edit Options and choose “All of your friends and pages.”

It’s Going to be a Happy Mother’s Day for Retailers

Smile mom, according to National Retail Federation, the average person buying for Mother’s Day is expected to spend $140.73 on gifts, up from $126.90 last year, with total spending expected to reach $16.3 billion. That’s a lot of flowers and cards.

BIGresearch conducted the NRF’s 2011 Mother’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey and they found that mom will be getting more electronics this year (13.3% up from 9%), including smartphones, cameras and tablets. (Lucky moms)

Look, a chart!

Mothers Day 2011 - Average Spending_small.

FTC Tells Cap ‘N Crunch and Friends to Set Sail

Unless Cap ‘N Crunch can start hawking carrot sticks, this popular advertising icon may have to sail off into the sunset in the near future. The FTC is proposing a new set of guidelines for food advertising aimed at children and there’s no tolerance for anything sugary, fatty or fun.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is quoted as saying,

“Children are strongly influenced by the foods they see advertised on television and elsewhere. Creating a food marketing environment that supports, rather than undermines, the efforts of parents to encourage healthy eating among children will have a significant impact on reducing the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic.  These new Principles will help food and beverage companies use their creativity and resources to strengthen parents’ efforts to encourage their children to make healthy choices.”

Where 2.0: Context is Everything

Last week, folks who work in the area of geo-location gathered in Santa Clarita to talk about the future of the biz. When they were done, they left behind a long list of video and slide presentations that you can access simply by visiting the Where 2.0 website.

Since location-based marketing is such a big trend right now, I wanted to introduce you to Genevieve Bell from Intel. She’s a cultural anthropologist and her specialty is human interaction. The speech she gave at Where 2.0 was called “Context is Everything” and it’s all about the concept of “where” and how it differs depending on who you’re talking to.