Friday, March 28, 2008

Short Takes: 3.28.08

Here are some interesting XM and online marketing news items and links for your perusal:
  • iMedia and Peanut Labs demonstrate a classic example of sampling bias with their Gen Y survey. Asked, "What one key media platform could you not live without?", 56% replied the Internet. Care to guess what medium was used to collect this data? You guessed it--they asked online surfers visiting social networking sites. I don't doubt the Internet is the number one medium for the under-30 set, but I wonder if they'd get different percentages if they asked kids hanging out in malls or reading newspapers (the media an astonishing 2% said they couldn't live without).

  • Speaking of survey bias, one problem inherent with every survey, no matter how scrupulously compiled, is that participants can only give answers based on what they think they know. Euro RSCG Worldwide turned to hypnotists to get past this bias to gather information for Volvo. Volvo was consciously associated with safety by every focus group, but when hypnotized, some deeper and less positive associations were uncovered: Many revealed that Volvo also equals being middle-aged, an idea that "for some people was suffocating." Read more about this fascinating data-gathering technique on BrandWeek.

  • Best Buy is entering the brandertainment business with "Making Your Kitchen Cook With Sara Moulton," featuring Gourmet magazine's executive chef. The series will be syndicated across StudioOne's 190 partner sites, including AOL and several local CBS and Fox TV station sites. While no costs were discussed in the press release, it seems likely Best Buy will reach highly-receptive consumers with interesting branded content for a fraction of the cost of a traditional ad and television media buy. Check out MediaWeek for more details.

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