Bright Spots

Opportunities for the Marketing and Media Industries in an Otherwise Bleak Year

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Spring Brings in Rosier Marketing Picture

With Consumer Spending Across Categories Back on the Rise, Ad-Spending Forecasts Are Also Up

BATAVIA, Ohio ( -- Despite lingering reasons for gloom, several signs in recent weeks are pointing to springtime in America for consumers, and, by extension, marketers.

ING Banks on Luring Consumers Fed Up With Paying Big Overdraft Fees

Sees Regulation as Opportunity, While Industry Clings to $38.5B in Income

YORK, Pa. ( -- ING Direct has positioned itself as the Southwest Airlines of the banking industry. It's got low fees, dynamic employees who tweet often, thousands of devoted fans on Facebook and cool places to hang out.

Quit Complaining About More Credit-Card Offers

Increase in Mailers Means Issuers Are Willing to Lend Again but Are Consumers Ready to Start Borrowing?

YORK, Pa. ( -- Here's one sign the recessionary clouds are parting: Credit card offers are up.

With Competitors Vacated, Retailers Eyeing Real Estate

National, Smaller Chains Betting Consumers Will Boost Spending This Year

NEW YORK ( -- Even in recession, there's an upside opportunity. And there might be billions of retail dollars up for grabs for smart marketers able to expand their footprint by taking advantage of cheaper leases.

David Norton

Why Harrah's Loyalty Effort Is Industry's Gold Standard

Casino Owner Rewarded With $6.4 Billion In Revenue; Program Set to Go Mobile

Harrah's Total Rewards, which was rolled out as Total Gold in 1997 and renamed Total Rewards a year later, is heralded by many as the gold standard of customer-relationship programs.


Where the Hot Spots Are as Eating Moves Back Home

Baking, Coffee Make a Comeback; Frozen Pizza Still Going Strong

NEW YORK ( -- It turns out there's no recession in eating, though consumers keep looking for more bang for their buck by attempting to produce restaurant-quality results at home.

Mall Advertising Still Pays Off as Traffic Goes Back Up

Shopping Centers Can Be Inexpensive Medium for Reaching Mass Audience

NEW YORK ( -- Malls are an increasingly popular advertising vehicle for a range of categories, from CPG to cable TV. And, as a medium, they are holding up fairly well in what has become the toughest media climate in decades.

Some Newspapers Booking Local Ads Online Thanks to Yahoo

Consortium Has Sold Nearly $50 Million So Far

NEW YORK ( -- There are fronts where newspapers are holding their ground or even advancing a bit, such as the push to wring more money out of print readers. Now newspapers are reporting success with another intriguing industry effort, chasing local advertising with technology and ad inventory from Yahoo.

K-Y Intense

Is Recession Sex Even Better Than Makeup Sex?

Or Could Analytics, Marketing Be Behind Rising Sales of Personal Lubricant, 'Sexual-Enhancement Devices'?

BATAVIA, Ohio ( -- The recession hasn't taken any edge off the sexual-accessories trade and may well have helped: Data show that such things as his-and-hers lubricants and mass-market sexual-enhancement devices are producing fireworks in supermarket and drug-store aisles.

Redneck Bank Debit Card

Rednecks and Tightwads Try to Shake up Bank Marketing

But Most Name Changes Will Stick to Sober Side

YORK, Pa. ( -- Finally: a bank just for the Jeff Foxworthy set. Redneck Bank claims that "bankin's funner" when consumers open a "flat out free checkin.'" That Southern-fried marketing schtick has garnered the online arm of Bank of the Wichitas quite a bit of attention. It's also tweaking the long-held belief that bank marketing is serious business deserving of serious messaging.

Food Network Magazine

While Others Pare, Food Network Magazine Doubles Circ

Plans to Increase Rate Base to 1.1M by Next Summer

NEW YORK ( -- Hearst Magazines is hiking paid circulation at Food Network Magazine from 400,000 now to 900,000 this fall and then 1.1 million next summer, a surge of 175%.


Gun Makers and Retailers Post Strong Sales Increases

Sour Economy, Potential for Tightened Regulations Drive Buyers to Firearms

NEW YORK ( -- The economy might be tanking, but firearm sales are going great guns.

Rolling Pin

Who's Getting a Boost From Downturn: Do-it-Yourselfers

DIY Spirit Pervading Numerous Categories Could Last for Years

BATAVIA, Ohio ( -- Consumers with less money in their pockets and more time on their hands because of the recession seem to present a big opportunity for do-it-yourself propositions of all kinds.


Antidepressant, Sleeping-Pill Sales Get No Rest in Recession

Prescriptions Rise as Economy Keeps People Up at Night, Even Though Marketing Spend Is Down

NEW YORK ( -- You snooze, you lose? Not for some pharmaceutical companies seeing big sales jumps for sleep aids and antidepressants, despite lower marketing spending in both categories.

Dating Sites Still Attracting Users

Paid Subscriptions Up, but OK Cupid, Other Free Options Growing Rapidly

NEW YORK ( -- Despite all the job losses and mounting debt, love -- or the quest for it -- is as alive as ever, particularly when it comes to online dating.


Casseroles Make Comeback as Easy, Quick Meals for the Cash-Strapped

Campbell, Kraft Is Helping Nudge the One-Dish Wonder's Appeal With Consumers

CHICAGO ( -- Guess what's making a comeback: that ultimate comfort food, the casserole.

Food Network Seeing Huge Growth From Web Offerings

Revamped Content Offerings, Portal-Like Presence Is Luring Marketer Dollars

NEW YORK ( -- What's the secret ingredient to finding double-digit revenue increases in an almost universally brutal first quarter for media companies? In the case of Food Network, guacamole.


Redbox Rakes in Green in Tough Times

Cheap DVD Rentals in Convenient Spots Are Big Hit With Belt-Tighteners

YORK, Pa. ( -- Those wallet-friendly $1 DVDs dispensed by big, red boxes at McDonald's, Walmart and other retailers have catapulted to the top impulse buys in the front of the store. And all those singles are adding up to a big chunk of change for Redbox parent Coinstar.

Where to Find the Bright Spots in 2009

From Online Video to Pet Care and Analytics, There Are Opportunities

NEW YORK ( -- You've read the bad news, and no one's denying that it's grim, but surely there are some bright spots out there somewhere? Ad Age decided to go digging for some areas that might provide opportunities for the marketing and media industries to not only survive, but even thrive in 2009.

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