Thursday, August 28, 2003

Vodka, Cars, Water, and Towels
Grey Goose won't back down - "At issue are ads for the French vodka Grey Goose. In the ads, Grey Goose calls itself the world's best-tasting vodka, based on the results of a 1998 taste test by the Beverage Testing Institute. The ads tout Grey Goose's winning score of 96 and list the scores of 31 competing vodkas. Among the brands that scored worse than Grey Goose is Belvedere, the Polish vodka that pioneered the luxury category in 1996.
Since that 1998 taste test, Belvedere has performed significantly better in two other taste tests by the same organization, posting scores of 90 and 91. Given those higher scores, Belvedere argues, it's not fair for Grey Goose to keep printing the results of its poor showing in 1998.
Belvedere took its case to an industry arbitrator, the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of the Better Business Bureaus. That group agreed that Grey Goose should stop running its ads. So did the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), another industry referee.
But Grey Goose this week said it won't abide by the nonbinding decisions of those agencies. Grey Goose, imported by Sidney Frank Importing Co. of New Rochelle, N.Y., plans to continue running its ads. That stance has angered Belvedere.
'I think it's a shame that Sidney Frank insists on continuing their game of deception,' said Steve Gill, president of Millennium Import. 'Two responsible organizations have found their Grey Goose ads to be false and deceptive. Grey Goose has been deceiving consumers who have believed these fraudulent and misleading ads. Whether they buy our vodka or not is not the issue. The issue is honesty and fairness and integrity.'
William Presti, chief legal counsel for Sidney Frank, said Grey Goose is within its rights to use the 1998 taste test results. 'We're pretty much sticking by our advertising statement,' he said. 'We're just proud that we're the highest-rated vodka of all time by the Beverage Testing Institute.'"
Um Hello??? Why are they using information from 1998? During the five years, hasn't a new study be done? One would think so. It seems sort of odd to cling to a result from testing done so long ago. Personally though, I don't really like Grey Goose.

New Chevy branding is on the way. Brent Dewar, general manager of Chevrolet, is pushing his marketing staff and advertising agency to create a single theme linking cars and trucks. The effort is part of General Motors' drive to push Chevrolet to 3 million sales in the United States by 2005.
Chevrolet sells its highly successful trucks with the tag line "Like a rock" and its less-successful cars with "We'll be there." "I've asked them to think different - not cars and trucks but Chevrolet," Dewar said.

Will your next brief include creating an ad for the divider sticks at the checkout counters? Floridian Ed Klopfer has started "Get-On-The- Stick" which sells ad space on blinking divider sticks that have penlight batteries and a circuit board inside, including four little light bulbs, a programmable chip and a motion sensor that turns the lights on.
"If a customer walks up to a register, it lights up," Klopfer said. "That brings attention to the advertisers. The sticks aren't unique. The lights aren't unique. But together they are a unique product."

Bottled Water Hype- "According to Co-op America, "as much as 40 percent of bottled water is actually bottled tap water, sometimes with additional treatment, sometimes not." So-called purified water can be drawn from any source as long as it is subsequently treated, which leaves some to wonder how that differs from good old tap water.
The number one (Aquafina) and two (Dasani) top-selling brands of bottled water in the U.S. both fall in the category of purified water. Dasani is sold by Coca-Cola, while Aquafina is a Pepsi product. As U.S. News & World Report explains, "Aquafina is municipal water from spots like Wichita, Kansas." The newsmagazine continues, "Coke's Dasani (with minerals added) is taken from the taps of Queens, New York, Jacksonville, Florida, and elsewhere." Everest bottled water originates from southern Texas, while Yosemite brand is drawn from the Los Angeles suburbs."
So I guess marketing and advertising *do* work to sell products. ;-)

Today is National Towel Amnesty Day. Holiday Inn is making use of the fact that many hotel guests take a token or two after their stay. They have decided to view the disappearance of its towels over the years as "affinity for a beloved brand" rather than petty theft. "Borrowed" towels from Holiday Inn hold a special place for our guests. The trademark script has shown up everywhere from bathroom floors to beach parties. However you got one and whatever reason... "About the towels, we forgive you." They are looking for people to sumbit stories of how they got their towels on their site here.

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