Marketing 50: Page Two

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Photo: Tony Pettinato
Forget for a moment that, uh, unpleasant side effect known as "anal leakage" associated with taking the over-the-counter weight-control medication Alli.

Then again, never mind. VP-Marketing Services Susan Edwards and her staff at GlaxoSmithKline have done an admirable job of using the accident in some portions of Alli's marketing (urging consumers to bring an extra pair of pants to work, for instance). In other spots, well, Alli is doing fine on its own.

Analysts predicted sales would be between $200 million and $500 million for the year when Alli launched June 14. In its first five weeks on store shelves, GSK sold $155 million worth of Alli. Need a better indicator of its success? In the four months Alli has been on the market, shares of diet-food company NutriSystem have slid from $69 to $28 as of Nov. 2.
-- Rich Thomaselli
It was a big risk for 7-Eleven Senior Marketing Director Rita Bargerhuff to change the names of some of the chain's convenience stores to Kwik-E-Mart for a month. But the move paid off as the chain reaped the equivalent of more than $9 million in media hits for its over-the-top "Simpsons Movie" tie-in, deeply resonating with its 18-to-34 male customers.

The "Simpsons" promotion in July turned 11 stores into Kwik-E-Marts, the name of the fictitious stores in the film and TV show, and filled the entire national chain with "Simpsons"-themed products such as Buzz Cola and Krusty O's. It was all part of a slew of integrated efforts aimed at young men this year.

"We received hundreds of calls from customers telling us how much they enjoyed the 'Simpsons' experience in our stores and how, for some, it reconnected them with our brand," Ms. Bargerhuff says. "Plus, the 2 million Sprinklicious doughnuts that were sold and enjoyed helped generate awareness of our bakery and sandwich products."

One exec says visits to and have tripled over the past year.
-- Stephanie Thompson
First it was Mr. Mucus, making himself comfortable in your lungs. Then he tied the knot. Then he and Mrs. Mucus had their first little phlegm ball, Junior Mucus. Senior VP-Marketing M'lou Arnett says there was "an art to making sure what was done was done in a tasteful way."

It still might sound yucky, but Adams Respiratory is riding the nasty little computer-animated critters all the way to the bank. Sales of the adult Mucinex franchise grew 7% in the first half of 2007, to $254.7 million, led by growth in Mucinex DM, which generated sales of $94.6 million, an increase of 60% over the first half of 2006.

Sales of the children's version of the product are also contributing, helped by Ms. Arnett's partnership with DC Comics to create a comic book for "The Adventures of Mr. Mucus and Family."
-- Rich Thomaselli
Facebook, like its neighbor Google just a few miles down Highway 101, has for the most part marketed itself. Working outside the marketing box, Facebook has grown to 45 million active users who spend an average of 22 minutes on the site.

Facebook's growth really started to accelerate in May, when 23-year-old CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he would allow third-party developers to create applications for the site.

Mr. Zuckerberg saw the importance of providing valuable communication and entertainment services to Facebook's users. He gave developers the incentive to make money off their creations, and innovation -- and services for Facebook users -- exploded, making the social network a much more valuable place.

Today, not only is Facebook a booming consumer service, it is the center of a major development ecosystem. Microsoft acquired a 1.6% stake in the site in October for a reported $240 million.
-- Abbey Klaassen
'HALO 3'
Even though "Halo 3" just made its debut in September, its first-day, chart-topping $170 million and first-week tally of $300 million assure its No. 1 status through the holiday season. While the third and final installment was expected to be a big hit, the marketing coordination sealed the deal.

Jeff Bell, 39, corporate VP-global marketing, Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business, and his team at Microsoft Corp. built buzz online with free beta tests for players beginning in the spring, as well as live-action videos and documentaries about its making.

One partnership created a "Halo 3" Mountain Dew Game Fuel soda; there were similar deals with Burger King, Pontiac, 7-Eleven, Nascar, Samsung, GameStop and Comcast. McCann-Erickson, San Francisco, and its TAG arm, did their part with a haunting one-time TV ad followed by a "Believe" launch campaign that went beyond traditional video-game advertising in style and concept. Both earned kudos from critics and consumers.
-- Beth Snyder Bulik
Photo: Tony Pettinato
Coke Zero was born when research showed younger men wanted the taste of Coke without the calories but didn't like the word "diet."

A 2005 launch in a crowded cola category fizzled. But then viral marketing, including videos posted on YouTube of a faux lawsuit alleging "taste infringement," got attention for low-calorie Coke Zero. Sampling plus aggressive network and cable TV, radio, and online ads via Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, invited guys to join the movement. Coke Zero is a regular part of ESPN fantasy-sports podcasts.

"We regrouped and put a laser focus to Coke Zero, giving it black packaging [vs. red for Coke and silver for Diet Coke] to differentiate it, and younger consumers understood this was their brand, created for them," says Caren Pasquale Seckler, Coke's group director for low-calorie sodas.

It worked. One of only six new soft drinks that surpassed and maintained a 1% share, Coke Zero is here to stay.
-- Kate Fitzgerald
Chief Marketing Officer Mike Boylson has a never-ending array of new surprises to snare shoppers these days. Following the introductions of Sephora mini-stores, a revamped lingerie line, two proprietary Liz Claiborne lines and exclusive Chip & Pepper denim, consumers are responding.

Second-quarter operating income was $329 million, a 17.5% increase from last year's $280 million; total sales increased 3.6%, and comparable-store sales increased 1.9 %. Next up, Mr. Boylson says, is the launch of Ralph Lauren's American Living. "If we can get them in store, they'll be surprised," he says. "It's not the same Penney's store you'd have seen even three years ago."

When it was rethinking its brand image in mid-2006, Mr. Boylson, 52, says all of his competitors were trying to "out-Target Target." But it was a much-applauded campaign from new agency Saatchi & Saatchi that got the revamp noticed. Thank you, Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts, for the primer in Lovemarks and retail.
-- Emily Bryson York
For 57 years, Ganz had been a leader in the stuffed-plush-toy industry. But recently the founder's grandson Howard Ganz, 52, noticed that kids were spending more and more time online and wondered how his company could better appeal to the kids who also still loved their stuffed animals.

The answer: Webkinz. The stuffed animals with coded tags that allow entry to the Webkinz virtual world swept through playgrounds up and down the East Coast.

"[We created a] concept that offered all of the best play factors of great toys with the internet experience," says Mr. Ganz, president of the company. By the end of the last holiday season, Webkinz had become a hit, reportedly selling more than 2 million and registering more than 1 million online. Ganz retailers advertised Webkinz parties and events, and even the simple sign "Webkinz sold here" became a marketing draw as the brand expanded into trading cards, charms, mouse pads—even lip gloss and body spray.
-- Beth Snyder Bulik
Photo: Tony Pettinato
Although Wisdom Natural Brands is not allowed by the Food and Drug Administration to call its SweetLeaf Stevia a sweetener, its new spokeswoman Mariel Hemingway is.

"We're not allowed to say the 's' word, so we need others to spread the word," says Michele Bene, marketing and communications director. And they have. As a result of raves by Ms. Hemingway and other celebs who have sampled it at awards shows and events, including in Starbucks coffee at this year's Sundance Film Festival, the herbal sweetener raised its consumer awareness more than 80% vs. last year. Ms. Bene, 37, says the company expects growth of at least 30% in '07. Stevia grew 14% to $1.3 million (excluding Wal-Mart) for the 52 weeks ended June 17, according to Information Resources Inc.
-- Stephanie Thompson
A 2006 federal law moved cold medicines that contain pseudophedrine into locked pharmacy cabinets. In response, major pharmaceutical marketers offered nonprescription cold pills with alternative ingredient phenylephrine in order to stay on store shelves. But Claritin-D stayed true to its roots, and Brent Saunders, senior VP-president of consumer health care at Schering-Plough Corp., educated consumers with a marketing campaign to promote the company's decision not to change the original formula of the medication. Using agency Euro RSCG Worldwide, S-P spent $52 million in measured media on Claritin-D in 2006; through the first half of 2007, it had already spent $47 million. Claritin-D now sells more units than when it was easier to access. Sales of Claritin and Claritin-D were up 9.7%, reaching $278.4 million for the 52 weeks ended July 15, according to Information Resources Inc.
-- Rich Thomaselli
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