Thursday, September 28, 2006


Red Bull, Rock Star, and Monster not giving you enough energy? Maybe it’s time to switch to Cocaine. Redux beverages have started a new brand in the beverage market called Cocaine energy drink. The brand received quite a buzz when The New York Post reviewed the product after being sent a sample. Redux got so many e-mails and hits on its website that the server was overwhelmed and had to be shut down. Cocaine was only available in Los Angeles and New York and sold out almost immediately. Redux is working to sell Cocaine from its website via Amazon. Branded as “the legal alternative” Cocaine does not actually have any cocaine in it. What separates it from other energy drinks is the amount of caffeine it contains, about 350% more than Red Bull, the market leader.

What’s contradicting about Cocaine is that it boasts about its insane caffeine content and its incredible rush, but it also trying to promote itself as natural alternative to other energy drinks. For example, on its website Cocaine explains that it does not use high fructose corn syrup like other energy drinks, because it is not good for you, and your body has a hard time converting this sugar. Another way Cocaine tries to separate itself is by saying that it does not give you a crash after drinking it like other energy drinks might; this is because they use a natural sugar called Dextrose. These may be good selling points but if people are drinking something called Cocaine for an energy rush it is hard to imagine they are concerned about the ingredients.

Other information referenced from MarketingBlurb.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Thought that might get your attention. But it’s no joke. The Jamaican Beer, Red Stripe is offering 100 bottles of free beer to people who will host a party with at least 30 people. The goal is to create a buzz, marketing buzz that is, by getting the target market to associate good times (the party) with beer. Sounds simple but Red Stripe takes the process a step further by having sales reps hand out questionnaires to people at bars, asking where they live. This was an attempt to find people in certain “hipper” areas of a town and make sure they are the ones throwing the party. It makes sense that Red Strip only wants trendsetters throwing the parties because the word of mouth will spread faster, as opposed to giving people beer that are not in the target market.

Even though this may sound like an effective marketing strategy, giving free beer to young adults raises some ethical concerns. Red Stripe promoting drinking parties in away is promoting people to make bad decisions. Even from a legal stand point it seems like a risky promotion because they might become liable by supplying the beer. Some might even consider advertising beer on TV unethical but it definitely gets more complicated when alcohol is promoted by giving people free beer to have a party. According to the Toronto Star, the promotion is completely legal because the marking firm has a license from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

Red Stripe Picture

Thursday, September 21, 2006

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a retail store shaped like a techno blimp.

Retailers are changing their environment and customer perceptions with some eye catching store designs. Selfridges, a department store in Birmingham, England (picture right) is covered with 15,000 reflective metal discs, and a Chanel in Tokyo (below) has 700,000 embedded LEDs that can light a message off of a 3,675 square feet canvas scrim into the night’s sky. These stores change the customer’s experience because they are walking into a retail store that does not look or feel like any other that they have been to. The new stores may also change a person’s perception of the brand. According to Retail Wonders of the World, the Selfridges in Birmingham was not known for being so bold with its style but the store brought customers back to the area with the unique design.

Some stores are even changing the way people shop like the REI (right) in Settle. Even though the store is ten years old, shoppers can test climbing gear on a 60 foot wall or hiking apparel in manmade ecosystems. Even if the new retail store’s design is not changing the way customers shop, it at least generates a some buzz or becomes a local landmark that people refer to.

From BusinessWeekonline
Check out the other seven Retail Wonders of the World

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Vote for your neighbor!

Verizon is creating a community buzz with its FiOS TV promotion. In Chester County, Pennsylvania (one county over from me) Verizon is posting on its website the auditions of people in the community trying out for a part in the film “FiOS Fanatics: The Film.” Anyone can vote online but it gives people in the area an opportunity to see neighbors and friends in a sense promoting the new fiber optic TV and internet service. Verizon’s site even invites people to send the auditions to a friend by e-mail.

This is a great way to get people to recognize that the new FiOS service is available in one specific community, because the service is not currently setup in all areas. The buzz will probably continue to grow as the promotion is being paired with traditional advertising and sponsoring local community events throughout Fall. The film starts shooting in Chester County during October and is set to be released in November.

Check some of them out, the kids are funny in their auditions.
More on this same topic from

Thursday, September 14, 2006

No extra credit for the buzz?

On the fifth year anniversary of September 11th most people thought about where they were or what they were doing when they heard about the terrorist attacks. Students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology remembered the historic day a little differently, they lifted a 25 feet fire engine on to the school's dome. The Latin word "meminimus" meaning we remember was painted on the side of the truck and inflatable Dalmatians were in the cab. No one knows how the students got the truck on the dome but as with school pranks in the past, instructions were left on how to remove or dismantle it.

Not only is this a cool way to honor and support all of the people that were directly affected that day, but the prank is also a great example of word of mouth marketing for MIT. Any school where the students can put a truck (probably weighing several tons) on a building without anyone noticing is a reflection on the intelligence of the student body. Even though the stunt is not approved of by the school, it pranks like these create or add to a brand image of MIT.

Images and full story from NBC;s=4;p=/news/;dm=ss;w=400

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Change is good

The world of marketing is changing as new technologies develop. TiVo, and podcasts give consumers control of the media they interact with, making it easier to fast-forward through commercials or skip them altogether. This makes traditional marketing techniques less effective and consumer’s attention divided more between different media. This change may sound troubling for marketers but it can also be viewed as an opportunity. Word of mouth marketing has more potential to reach a greater number of people because of the way technology makes communication easier. Internet blogs, online journals allow people who have never met communicate and exchange ideas. This provides marketers an opportunity to reach consumers and receive feedback on what is being said about their company. Over the next 10 weeks I hope to explore how word of mouth is changing, the different ways it is being used, and how it is evolving with technology.

Friday, September 08, 2006

First Blog

Test blog.