Lowdown: Are Marketers Overworked?

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The Lowdown is Ad Age's weekly look at news nuggets from across the world of marketing, including trends, campaign tidbits, executive comings and goings and more.

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Marketers are a hardworking bunch, averaging 45.9 hours a week on the job, compared with only 45.1 for their non-marketing counterparts. More than half -- 54% -- take less than 30 minutes a day for lunch, with 30% taking only 15 minutes or less. These data come from project management software company Workfront based on an online survey conducted this summer by Regina Corso Consulting among 606 U.S. adults ages 18 and older employed full or part time at companies with 500 or more employees. The report states that "demands on marketers have only increased in the last year. While the vast majority of marketers express an optimistic view of their work life, troubling trends in the number of hours spent at work and the prevalence of inter-team conflict have arisen." Indeed, 98% of respondents reported experiencing conflict with other teams. Not surprisingly, 29% say blocks of uninterrupted time would help them be more productive. All the more reason to just skip that lunch completely.

Here's a well-earned customer reward: In just the latest evidence almost anything can happen at Walmart, shopper Cecilia Rivas made national headlines earlier this month when she gave birth in the checkout line at a Payson, Utah, store. She insisted on paying for her merchandise before the blessed event. Less widely noted, the store invited her back a little over a week later for a surprise baby shower, with gifts that included a stroller, a Graco Pack 'n Play pen, and plenty of diapers and wipes. A Walmart employee who interpreted for Ms. Rivas with Salt Lake City's Fox 13 described her as "surprised but happy."

Last month MillerCoors told distributors it would launch a low-cal beer called Goldwing in an apparent attempt to take on hot-selling Michelob Ultra. But Goldwing's wings are being clipped before it even has a chance to fly onto shelves in planned test markets in Texas and Louisiana. In a note to distributors this week, MillerCoors said it was putting the test on hold. "We heard a range of feedback on Goldwing. But one point that came through loud and clear is that what we're doing with Coors Light and Miller Lite is working, so now is not the time to shift focus," stated Chief Marketing Officer David Kroll. "So while Goldwing tested very well with drinkers, we're going to hold off and redirect that planned investment behind Coors Light and Miller Lite." Beer Business Daily gave the move a positive review. "It's a Herculean effort in self-restraint, and I think it will serve them well in the long-term," stated editor Harry Schuhmacher.

From beer to water: Pur has launched an online and integrated marketing campaign from Arnold Worldwide showing a "Water Bar" featuring tap water from locales nationwide served up to customers. As each is informed about the contaminants -- all at perfectly legal limits -- in the water, such as mercury, chloroform, and lead, they get turned off and leave. The message from the Helen of Troy brand is that "water that meets safe drinking standards may not meet yours." The idea is to steer people to KnowYourWater.com to find out what lurks in their local supply, and get across the point that Pur removes lead and 70 other contaminants.

You want content? Here's some content. Procter & Gamble Co. Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard has declared something of a war on "crap content" in recent speeches. And that's something this "cleaning dance" video from Pittsburgh Steelers star Antonio Brown for P&G and Rite Aid -- linked to a contest giving away a free trip to Super Bowl LI to a lucky shopper -- clearly is not. The 30-second video can be found on Mr. Brown's Facebook page as well as YouTube. "Dancing while cleaning has long been a universal human behavior," said P&G Brand Manager Eric Rose in a statement. "So we thought it would be fun to reward our most creative shoppers that tackle cleaning in style." The agency behind the effort is Integer, with plans for local TV promotion.

Taco Bell's 'Taco Heros'
Taco Bell's 'Taco Heros' Credit: Taco Bell

As Chicago Cubs fans try to forget Tuesday night's 0-6 loss to the Cleveland Indians, Taco Bell gave fans half a reason to celebrate. The Yum Brands chain will give away Doritos Locos tacos after Francisco Lindor of the Indians stole second base during in game one of the World Series. Mr. Lindor is the fifth player to steal a base during the chain's "Steal a Base, Steal a Taco" promotion, which first ran in 2007. He joins Jacoby Ellsbury, Jason Bartlett, Ángel Pagán and Lorenzo Cain in being applauded by the chain as a "Taco Hero." The free tacos, one per person, will be available at participating restaurants from 2-6 p.m. local time on Nov. 2. The offer was mentioned on air during the game on Fox and was promoted by both Taco Bell and Major League Baseball on social media.

Blue Bunny is a hit with Cleveland fans.
Blue Bunny is a hit with Cleveland fans. Credit: Courtesy of Blue Bunny

Meanwhile, ice cream brand Blue Bunny got in on the giveaway game in its own way Tuesday. With the World Series starting in Cleveland right near the Cleveland Cavaliers making their season debut and commemorating last season's championship, there was plenty for sports fans to celebrate. LeBron James joked days earlier that having an ice cream truck outside of the two arenas would make the night even better. So Blue Bunny sent a truck of ice cream to Cleveland and handed out treats to fans in the area between Progressive Field and the Quicken Loans Arena. Olson Engage was the agency on the project.

Contributing: Jack Neff, Jessica Wohl, E.J. Schultz

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