You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2009.

Our exclusive M2W E-ssentials Academy Awards Commercial Poll found that Diet Coke’s commercial with Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio was the brand that won with women during this year’s Oscars.  Why did it win?  Two of our 2009 M2W presenters give their thoughts. 

Gigi Carroll, SVP Group Creative Director, Concepting for Draftfcb says, “Like all good advertising with women, it seems based on reality.  It’s inclusive not exclusive showing that good taste is simple–therefore, anyone can have it. That’s inviting.  And memorable.”  Adds Aliza Freud, Founder and CEO of SheSpeaks, Inc., “This ad works because it appeals to the no frills, get back to basics trend. Women increasingly demand communications that are direct and authentic.  Diet Coke has presented women with a personality that cuts through the ‘bologna’ for them AND with them.  Women appreciate that.” 

Watch the spot and tell us what you think!  Thank you for voting and keep watching for more M2W E-ssentials polls!

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Recognized industry leaders in fabric care, Procter & Gamble’s Tide® and Downy® brands continue to blur the lines between fashion and laundry products by launching a new partnership with women’s apparel retailer, The Limited, an affiliate of Sun Capital. Beginning February 23rd, this partnership celebrates new Tide and Downy Total Care’s innovative product benefits and reminds women that “washable is fashionable.”  As part of a $60 million dollar marketing campaign to introduce the latest line of Fashion Care Products, Tide and Downy are building on the success of previous retail partnerships and reminding women that they can look fabulous and help keep clothes looking like new with Tide and Downy Total Care. Research has indicated a strong overlap between Tide and Downy’s consumers and The Limited’s stylish clientele, reinforcing the importance of clothing maintenance and “fashion care.”  “The Limited provides modern women with high-quality private-label apparel designed to help the modern woman succeed,” said Linda Heasley, CEO of The Limited. “Nearly 80% of The Limited’s products are machine washable, allowing clients to keep costs down as they continue to care for their clothes. This partnership with Tide and Downy will give our clients the opportunity to wash their favorite items with innovative Total Care technologies, helping to keep their clothes looking beautiful.”  The partnership will take place in over 200 Limited stores across the country. The in-store elements include hang tags, gift with purchase, tissue stickers, and customized signage. This partnership will also exist on both The Limited (www.TheLimited.com) and Total Care (www.TryTotalCare.com) websites offering product information and an online gift with purchase.  “Women have told us that, to them, value means great benefits at a reasonable price,” said Kash Shaikh, influencer marketing manager, P&G Fabric Care. “With Total Care, we’ve worked to deliver this by pairing unprecedented product benefits with strong retail partnerships so women get the most out of their wardrobes. The Limited offers quality, affordable and washable fashions to millions of women ever year, making them a perfect partner in this journey.”

eDiets.com, Inc., a leading provider of convenient at-home diet, fitness and healthy lifestyle solutions, has announced that it has completed the first phase of its marketing program to promote the company’s fresh meal delivery service at Lady of America Franchise Corporation’s (“LOAFC”) fitness centers.  This first phase included rolling out the meal delivery program to the entire LOAFC franchise system, providing training to many of the largest and most successful LOAFC fitness centers and working with the leaders of the franchise system to optimize the success of the program.  Phase 2 of the planned rollout is now underway. This phase consists of refining the sales process and working with individual clubs and trainers to better support their day to day activities, including meal sampling at all regional member events. Lady of America is the second largest chain of women’s fitness clubs, with clubs in the U.S. operating under the brands LOA Fitness for Women, Lady of America, Ladies Workout Express, Workout Express and Health Clubs of America.  “Our partnership with Lady of America is a great example of how health and fitness facilities are the ideal platform to help expand the distribution of our meal delivery program,” said Kevin McGrath, president and chief executive office of eDiets.com. “I am pleased with the progress we have made to-date; training almost two hundred franchise owners, sales reps and fitness trainers. Now the very important second phase begins: optimizing the program to accelerate sales to Lady of America clients and taking our lessons learned and applying them directly to the next franchise systems. Lady of America’s clubs provide a dynamic and supportive environment to thousands of women who want to work on their fitness and lifestyle goals and our fresh meal delivery program is a perfect complement to their mission. We were particularly impressed with their reputation for excellent customer service, which is essential to our mutual clients.”

SHOP.COM has announced an updated site design and the creation of new money-saving features, along with a new entertainment-focused category of Books, Music & Videos, as well as a suite of social networking tools to offer its customers an even more compelling shopping experience. Additionally, SHOP.COM’s refreshed tagline, “Shop Smart, Save Big”, underscores the brand’s renewed mission to offer consumers savvy ways to shop and to save money in the current economic environment.  “SHOP.COM visitors have come to rely on the site’s product and price comparison features, top deals, coupon aggregation page, free shipping, buying guides and informative editorial articles that were created to match the needs of today’s budget-conscious shoppers,” said Mondy Beller, SVP, marketing for SHOP.COM. “We’re very pleased to unveil the latest ways that SHOP.COM strives to continuously bolster customer engagement and meet the demands of online shoppers.”  Notable new features, tools and site redesign elements include streamlined category pages, price drop alerts, new books, music & video category and SHOP.COM social networking tools.  

EmpowHer has officially launched its new website, offering women a comprehensive multimedia library, access to leading medical experts and advocates, and a devoted community where women can ask, share and connect with one another in a safe and supportive environment. This follows a highly successful beta, during which EmpowHer reached over 200,000 women around the world.  Founder Michelle King Robson created EmpowHer after suffering from her own debilitating health issues and experiencing first hand how difficult it can be for women to get the help they need. “I was so ill and felt like I was all alone. Ultimately, it is my goal to give all women a voice when it comes to their health and wellbeing. EmpowHer will help stop the silent suffering of women around the world and lead the next major change in women’s healthcare,” Robson said.  The change in health care is already saving lives, such is the case with Gina Reo of Flanders, N.J., who found EmpowHer and watched a video of Robson’s health story. “About halfway through, I just started crying,” Reo said. “Her story was my story. It’s probably one of the most profound things that has ever happened to me.”  Like Gina, women are taking the first step toward improving their health by sharing their stories through posts and videos. Together, women are learning how to advocate for themselves and their loved ones. “Every woman, every person wants to be validated. They want to know that they aren’t alone,” Robson said. 

Shady Day Inc., the makers of innovative sun protection Wipes and Face Sticks, is partnering with the Aim at Melanoma Foundation to offer “Protect Your Pout,” an exclusive organic sun protection lip balm available on store shelves now. A portion of proceeds from sales of Protect Your Pout will go to support the Foundation’s ongoing melanoma research and education efforts, especially those targeting young women.  Earlier this year, new research released by the National Cancer Institute indicated a sharp rise in the incidents of melanoma among young women. Specifically the research indicated that melanoma rate among this population had doubled between 1973 and 1980, and increased by another 50 percent by 2004. Compounding this statistic, new research from the University of California at Los Angeles suggests that the use of lip gloss may actually increase the risk of skin cancer among women, by allowing more damaging ultraviolet light to penetrate the skin on and around the lips.   “The numbers surrounding melanoma among young women are frightening,” said Jennifer Odell, president of Shady Day Inc. “We hope this new product and our support of the Aim at Melanoma Foundation will help fight the melanoma battle on two fronts. The fact is that more young women are putting themselves at risk everyday by not using sunscreen. And even those young women who protect their faces and bodies need to be aware of the dangers of sun damage to their lips.”

Women 2.0 announces Pitch 2009, an event that provides startups in early-stage or alpha/beta phase to showcase their business idea in front of a panel of angel investors, women executives and noted venture capital partners like Mohr Davidow Ventures, Clearstone Ventures, CMEA Capital and First Round Capital. The Pitch 2009 contest winner also will be awarded an hour meeting with Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital, free office space, legal services, and marketing and PR support. “Women 2.0 gives female entrepreneurs a great opportunity to get an audience with a group of investors to whom they might not have access otherwise,” notes Lara Druyan a general partner at Allegis Capital. “The quality of the people is very good, and their energy and enthusiasm are off the charts.”  Additionally, many startups and female entrepreneurs have found opportunities, made connections and have gained value beyond their expectations at past Women 2.0 Pitch competitions. This year, Women 2.0’s third annual Pitch 2009 offers the same – and more. Entering startups, with at least one female founding member, are asked to record a 2-minute video pitch and send along a cocktail napkin with their business plan scribbled on it, and all will receive valuable feedback from the judging panel of investors and experienced startup executives. The deadline to apply is April 10 and five startups will pitch live on May 7th (http://pitch2009.eventbrite.com/). For full details and eligibility requirements for Pitch 2009, see http://www.women2.org/pitch2009/

With close to 80% of their community of Boomer women tuned into the Super Bowl, VibrantNation.com held a post-game review of Super Bowl XLIII ads by members of the Vibrant Nation community.  The ads met expectations in that the group was entertained, amused, grossed out and much more.  What they also were, ironically, was pretty much invisible.  For instance, celebrity spokespeople were featured in many of the ads.  Think Conan O’Brien, the Budweiser Clydesdales, and E-Trade’s talking baby, among many others. What do these all have in common?  Unless one of the Clydesdales is a ringer, they are all male.   Women did make cameo appearances.  But the only sign of a verifiable, honest-to-goodness midlife-aged female in a co-starring role who can truly trace her roots to the Boomer generation was Bridgestone’s Mrs. Potato Head (possible slight exaggeration).  There were a few exceptions of Boomer women who played some kind of role in the ads:

  • Jane Seymour showing off her “Open Hearts” designs for Kay Jewelers
  • Priceline.com recognizing travelers with money to spend spontaneously on travel as couples at midlife and beyond
  • Hyundai advertising its “Assurance” program showing an adult woman in the driver’s seat
  • A range of women telling how Avon gave them a new career
  • Carebuilder.com leading its display of dissatisfied employees with a midlife woman expressing her extreme distress driving to work

When it comes to truly positive and contemporary images of Boomer women, the group had to look past the ads for the most part, and onto the field itself.  Namely, they were riveted to the half-time show where Bruce Springsteen’s guitar-playing wife rocked out and had many of them get off the sofa and shake their booties.  The last word is this:  If you are a Boomer woman who noticed that the marketers forgot who made the guacamole and bought the beer, you are not alone.

Many young women enter the “real world” expecting that life will go according to plan, particularly when it comes to their careers, finances and relationships. Unfortunately, the reality is that the unexpected often happens — a looming problem especially in today’s challenging economic environment. A new website, www.WhatWillYourPlanBe.com, now offers women much-needed guidance, resources, and tips to help successfully navigate the ups and downs of the post-college years.  Developed and sponsored by Duramed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the makers of Plan B(R) (levonorgestrel tablets, 0.75 mg) emergency contraception, http://www.WhatWillYourPlanBe.com provides 20-somethings with a one-stop Internet resource offering expert advice to develop life “Plan B’s” so they’re prepared when their “Plan A’s” don’t go exactly as planned. This new website features answers to frequently asked questions, interactive quizzes, and worksheets that focus on job-, money- and sexual health-related issues. On the website, a team of dynamic young professional women provide expertise to empower this generation in critical life areas, such as:

  • Finance: Stacy Francis, CFP(R), CDFA(TM), president of Francis Financial, Inc. and founder of Savvy Ladies(TM) financial empowerment group;
  • Sexual health: Ashlesha Patel, MD, MPH, division director of Family Planning Services, John H. Stroger, Jr. Cook County Hospital;
  • Career management: Nicole Williams, founder of WORKS career management

“The post-college decade has always been a challenging time, but today’s young women face obstacles unlike any generation before them,” explains Andrea Porzio, group product manager of consumer marketing at Duramed. “When the unexpected happens — such as birth control failure or unprotected sex — Plan B(R) emergency contraception provides women with a back-up plan. This new website extends that support to other areas of a young woman’s life, providing a real ally that’s easily accessible anytime, anywhere when she needs it the most.”

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