TV cooking personality Paula Deen recently found herself in a bit of hot water, after having admitting under oath to making racist remarks long ago. Her few flailing attempts at damage control indicate that Deen faces a difficult road back to public respectability -- if, indeed, that ever comes. The process looks to depend on how much Deen has actually revealed thus far and whether any unsavory surprises remain.
Midwest PR and marketing agency FleishmanHillard decided to find out the difference between what consumers expect from companies and what they actually experience. The resulting study, entitled “Mind the Gap”, looked at 20 different industry categories in the U.S., Germany and China. Do consumers care if a company comes across as authentic and genuine? Does sincerity always carry the day?
Celebrities—with their flush bank accounts, trails of homes around the world and constant adoration, yet die sooner than the rest of us common folk.
Are consumers chucking brand loyalty overboard in favor of getting the best deal possible on a product or service? Or are they simply responding to expanded product lines, increased promotional opportunities and economic realities – the same way people always have and always will? And does anyone need a marketing guru to explain it all?
Companies that use plastic in the packaging of their products have been experimenting with the use of a plant-based substance that seems to work just as well as its petroleum-based cousin. With corporate giants like Coca-Cola and Heinz using PlantBottle technology, is plant-based plastic the real thing? And just how recyclable is it?
Do new charity fundraising tactics by the likes of Madonna and Angelina Jolie signal a new trend in celebrity fundraising? Have people grown fatigued by merely writing checks or donating to a web site? Does giving them something tangible – whether a painting or pieces of jewelry – provide a necessary level of satisfaction? Or is it just a cheap trick to take a smudge or two off a celebrity’s checkered reputation?
It's not brand new information that colors easily stir up subconscious feelings, some troubling, others completely pleasant. Savvy retailers bank on this emotional correlation along the spectrum of Roy G. Biv to attract shoppers and encourage the opening of pockets and swiping of credit cards.
Are rule-breaking celebrities – like those defiantly under-clad women at the 2013 Grammys -- just drumming up publicity by upholding the entertainer’s privilege of behaving badly? Or is there a deeper motive at play, like hoping to influence a significant shift in ordinary Americans’ morés? If so, how will celebrities’ actions affect their overall standing with the public?
Currently, only four percent of art sales take place online, and countless ventures and start-ups have tried and failed to increase that percentage and to bring the art world to the digital world.