Total Pageviews

September 14, 2014

My 500th posting - Strange and fascinating facts about marketing!

1) Why does a watch advertisement  always show 10:10. All of us have wondered many times why watches and clocks found in product photographs and advertisements mostly show the time 10:10? The main reason is aesthetics. There are a number of visual advantages of having the hands of the watch set at the 10:10 positions.

One is that the hands are kept from overlapping. Having them on both sides of the watch face ensures that the hands themselves are visible and can be appreciated. There is symmetry and beauty in the presentation. The position also allows the hands to look nice on the face of the timepiece.

Another reason is that key details on the face of the watch or clock usually remain visible at 10:10. The logo of the manufacturer is usually found under the 12, and sometimes next to the 3, 6-, and 9 o’- clock positions. Logos found under the 12 are nicely framed or centered by 10:10 hands.

The 10:10 hands look “happy” due to the fact that the hands look like a smile (or like a “V” as in “victory”). Timex once used to use the time 8:20 in their product photos but 8.20 was perceived as a frown, and Timex decided to turn that “frown” upside-down or go back to 10:10.

There are a number of other beliefs about the 10:10 time. Many of them attribute it to a historic event (e.g. Lincoln/JFK assassinations, the dropping of the atomic bombs) but most of the beliefs are unsubstantiated by facts.  

2)  Why a Baker’s Dozen, 13 Instead of 12. There are two main theories for why a baker’s dozen is 13 instead of 12, but most think it has its origins in the fact that many societies throughout history have had extremely strict laws concerning baker’s wares, due to the fact that it is fairly easy for bakers to cheat patrons and sell them less than what they think they are getting. In Babylon, if a baker was found to have sold a “light loaf” to someone, the baker would have his hand chopped off.

Why would the bakers give 13 and charge for 12? There are two theories. The first is that bakers would sell 13 loaves to vendors, while only charging them for 12 which allowed the vendor to then sell all 13 at full price; thus, they’d earn a 7.7% profit per loaf.  

Yet another theory is that it was simply a product of the way bakers bake bread.  Baking trays tend to have a 3:2 aspect ratio.  The most efficient two-dimensional arrangement then of loaves/biscuits/whatever on such a tray results in 13 items with a 4+5+4 hexagonal arrangement, which avoids corners.  

It was important to avoid the corners because the corners of a baking tray will heat up and cool off faster than the edges and the interior, which would result in not cooking anything on the corner evenly with the rest.  But this theory doesn’t explain why they’d sell them in batches 13 for the price of 12, but at least explains why they may have commonly made them in batches of 13.  

3) Video games maker EA hired people to accuse EA being the Anti-Christ for the video game Dante’s Inferno as a marketing scheme. Nothing makes news like a controversy to garner additional eyeballs.

4) Jell-O monitored the amount of smiley faces and frown faces used on Twitter. Whenever the national average of smiley faces was more than 51%, Jell-O released coupons to those who recently tweeted frown faces. Talk about targeted marketing!

5) Kraft Foods rotated their square Shreddies cereal 45 degrees, and re-marketed them  as the new “Diamond Shreddies”. The new product showed a large increase in sales and test groups even reported a difference in flavor. This shows us how it is all about how things are marketed to us.

6) Total War-Rome: Rather than use the marketing budget on advertisements for Total War-Rome, the game developers hired a group to create (entertaining) Youtube videos about the Punic Wars and Roman History. They suggested this group not mention or market the game, “Just teach history”.

7) LendUp: It is possible that loans  could be refused in USA if the person is unpopular on the Facebook. A San Francisco based start-up LendUp checks the Facebook and Twitter profiles of potential borrowers to see how many friends they have and how often they interact. The company views an active social media life as an indicator of stability.

8) web app: The web app now pulls data for people on social media sites. It crunches all of the information, highlights topics where people are most influential, and generates a score for everyone between 1 and 100. The higher the score, the more influential a person is. Marketers use these scores to target their advertisements to industry leaders.

9) Pepsi ran an advertisement promising a Harrier jet to anyone who collected 700,000,000 Pepsi Points, a gag that backfired when a participant attempted to take advantage of the ability to buy additional points for 10 cents each to claim a jet for $700,000.

10) Joanne Rowling, better known by her initials J K, does not have a middle name, according to her birth certificate. The use of the author’s initials instead of her full name was a marketing ploy designed to make her work acceptable to boys, who mostly choose not to read books by women.

No comments:

Post a Comment