Category: Achieve Written by Roz Edward, National Content Director
(April 23, 2013) The advertising industry is often criticized for excluding black women in the creation of messaging for clients, but perhaps two new major campaigns may be evidence that the tide is turning.
McDonald's announced that it has hired Gabby Douglas, the 17-year-old Olympic gold medal gymnast, to help promote its newest menu addition -- the egg-white breakfast sandwich. Douglas won't be featured in ads, but rather will be used to hype the new breakfast item at the restaurant chain's events.
McDonald's, a popular target for critics of fast food and the targeting of kids, hope Douglas will assist in its on-going effort to clean up its image by offering healthier menu options.
Though McDonald's hasn't announced an African-American targeted ad campaign involving Douglas or ad agency Burrell, spending by black consumers may change the chain's plans. According to the latest edition of The Buying Power of Black America, of the $22.4 billion all black households spent eating out in 2011, more than 11% ($2.6 billion) was spent on breakfast meals. And that number is trending upward. It increased by 9% between 2010 and 2011.
Click to continue with black women spokespersons.
In the home furnishings business, Simmons Bedding Company announced that it has hired Dr. Mae Jemison (pictured), the first African-American female astronaut and an accomplished physician, to be part of a major forth coming ad campaign.
The campaign will mark the first national television advertising endeavor for Comforpedic line from Beautyrest. Expected to deliver nearly 700 million impressions alone, the spots aim to position Comforpedic "The Better Memory Foam" as the "expert brand" for those "in the know."
This campaign will mark the first national television advertising endeavor for Comforpedic from Beautyrest. Expected to deliver nearly 700 million impressions alone, the spots aim to position Comforpedic "The Better Memory Foam" as the "expert brand" for those "in the know." In addition to Dr. Jemison, the campaign will feature leading experts in a variety of fields, including Animal Planet correspondent and grandson of Jacques Cousteau and Maria Chudnovsky, renowned graph theorist and mathematician.
"Though the original Beautyrest spots tested well comparatively within the bedding industry, we knew we could go bigger -- better. We're competing for our audience's attention against all advertisers, not just our industry," says Jeff Willard, Executive Vice President of Marketing for Simmons.
In addition to network television, the ads will run on a broad spectrum of cable networks, including Lifetime, HGTV, Bravo, TLC, Food Network, Travel Channel, A&E, ESPN, History Channel, TBS, TNT, USA, CNN, MSN NBC, FoxNews, among others.
Black consumers seem especially well disposed to respond to the mattress makers messages. Of the $4.6 billion that black households spent on furniture in 2011, $846 million went to mattresses and box springs, according to the latest Buying Power of Black America report based on government reported data. That represented a 48% increase from 2010.
Furniture and furnishings expenditures by black consumers overall reached $15.2 billion, with furniture sales increasing 19% in 2011.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 April 2013 17:45
Category: Achieve Written by Cheryl Pearson-McNeil
Are you a Zero-TV household? No, I don’t mean restricting the kids’ TV viewing to the weekends or until after they’ve completed homework. I mean – do you watch TV the traditional way or on any of the growing techy options available to us? So many of us are watching video content on our phones, computers, or tablets, that Nielsen designates this group of consumers: Zero-TV Households. This consumer segment is so significant; it will soon be included in our measured samples.
For those of us who are hard-core holdouts or just plain tech-challenged, don’t worry. Ninety-five percent of Americans still get entertainment and information the old-fashion way – via traditional TV. In fact, according to Nielsen’s latest Cross-Platform report, American TV viewing time was up in late 2012 over the same period the previous year, averaging more than 41 hours a week. That makes sense. There were a few notable, life-altering events towards the end of 2012 which kept our eyes on the continued coverage. Several states along the East Coast suffered the catastrophic Hurricane Sandy. The Newtown, Conn. tragedy touched all of our hearts, and the highly anticipated 2012 Presidential Election was also noteworthy. Since you and I have been together in this space for a while now, you know that the Black community tends to log more TV viewing hours a week than other demographic groups. The latest numbers show that African-Americans average 55 hours a week in front of the telly.
The new kids in town, the Zero-TV households, do own televisions – about 75% of those in this category have at least one in the house, but they prefer to watch, or consume content, on other devices. The data shows that 36% of viewers feel cost and 31% of viewers say a lack of interest are reasons for their preferred choice. Right now, about five percent or five million American households fall into this Zero-TV category. African-American consumers make up almost 10% of that number. Nielsen’s latest African-American consumer report looks at our alternate traditional TV viewing numbers more closely. We enjoy our multiple-screen options. Thirty-one percent of us watch video online. I have to admit it took me a minute to get there, but I’ve learned to appreciate the charms (and convenience) of other screens. (I know, I know. In some instances, size does make a difference and only a nice, large, flat screen will do). And, these are our favorite video sites:
- YouTube (48%),
- Other (31%)
- Netflix (10%)
- Hulu (8%)
- VEVO (3%)
- Yahoo! (1%)
Our technological world is spinning so rapidly, and the way we respond as consumers is having such a tremendous impact. Another adjustment could ultimately be made in the way TV ratings are measured. As much as we love to watch TV, we also love to let our fingers do some of the talking, too. A new Nielsen/SocialGuide study shows that 32 million people in the U.S. tweeted about whatever they were watching in 2012. You know what I’m talking about. Some 68% of African-Americans own smartphones and we tweet on those phones 30% more than other groups. So, chances are, when you’re nearly hyper-ventilating over the antics of your favorite Real Housewife or blown away by a performance on your favorite talent competition show or the score during some championship sporting event, you’re talking about it with the rest of the world by tweeting. Fun, isn’t it? The data confirms what most of us already know – as consumers, we are master multi-taskers. At least several times a month, 80% of U.S. tablet and smartphone owners use those fancy gadgets to visit a social network while watching TV.
Research shows that the decision-makers in the TV industry would be smart to take notice of the numbers attached to all that tweeting that’s going on while live television is being watched, whether traditionally or through multi-screen viewing because tweeting affects the numbers. And, it’s interesting how the Twitter numbers correlate with ratings depends on the age group. For younger people, 18-34, an eight and a half percent increase in Twitter activity equals a percent ratings point increase. But, it takes a 14% increase in Twitter volume to see an extra ratings boost of a percent among 35-49-year-olds. (I can’t help but wonder where that leaves those of us who have outgrown that demo, but watch TV and tweet, too). Once again, our behavior, our choices as consumers have the power to influence industries. What you watch and how you watch it, matters. So, choose wisely.
Cheryl Pearson-McNeil is senior vice president of Public Affairs and Government Relations for Nielsen. For more information and studies go to www.nielsenwire.com
Last Updated on Monday, 15 April 2013 16:32
Category: Achieve Written by Elev8
With only weeks before oral arguments in a potentially precedent-setting human rights case, Home School Legal Defense Association, the world’s largest homeschool association, has launched a petition on the White House website insisting that the Obama Administration grant permanent legal status to the Romeikes, a family persecuted for homeschooling in Germany.
The White House petition has garnered nearly 20,000 signatures, but needs a total of 100,000 by April 18 to get an official response from the Administration.
While whitehouse.gov has seen petitions ranging from serious to comical — including creating a “Death Star” and requesting Congressmen to wear sponsorships like NASCAR drivers — HSLDA believes that the Romeike petition is of utmost importance because a family’s human rights are at stake.
HSLDA Chairman and founder Michael Farris, JD, LLM, argues the case at the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on April 23 and explains why this case is so important to Americans.
“When the United States government says that homeschooling is a mutable choice, it is saying that a government can legitimately coerce you to change this choice,” Farris said. “In other words, you have no protected right to choose what type of education your children will receive. We should understand that in these arguments, something very concerning is being said about the liberties of all Americans.”
The case has captured national and international media attention with reporting by the Associated Press, Fox News, Al Jazeera, Glenn Beck, and Mike Huckabee.
“I’m glad Obama wasn’t in charge in 1620,” Farris said in an appearance on Fox and Friends. “The government’s arguments in this case confuse equal persecution with equal protection and demonstrate a serious disregard for individual religious liberty. I really wonder what would’ve happened to the Pilgrims under this administration.”
HSLDA learned of the Romeikes’ plight shortly before they fled to the United States. The German authorities had levied thousands of dollars in fines against them and planned to put a lien on their home. Homeschooling is not tolerated in Germany and Uwe Romeike indicated that they might have to leave the country. HSLDA is encouraging as many people as possible to show their support by signing the White House petition for the Romeikes by April 1.
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 March 2013 11:29
Category: Achieve Written by Elev8
How much exposure to death do we let our children see? The children who were just babies are now coming home and asking, “Who is Osama bin Laden?” “What do we care about Qadafi?”“What was 9/11?” “Why did he need to die?” This raises several questions.
How much should we protect our children from the nativities and realities they will face out in the world? Did schools have the responsibility of teaching current events or to discuss bin Laden? And how can Christian parents explain why the man had to die, when the Bible appears to condemn murder and tells us to love our enemies?
Learning about horrific world events: School, home or church responsibility? After Bin Laden’s death, The Associated Press syndicated a story about how schools across the country were taking time to explain September 11-related topics to the youngest students who would have no recollection. What about slightly older students? Parents with children in public school may or may not know that in the late 1990s, “Outcome Based Education” and “Goals 2000” were established by the U.S. Department of Education as a part of national curriculum. Within the 50 states, various aspects of these guidelines are being employed.
Two main aspects of the program are “feeling based” learning and what’s become known as “social conditioning” in the classroom. Sometimes, it even takes precedent over subject-based learning. Simply put, its premise is that children will be better citizens if they learn how to navigate and react in a global society. But ironically, this very thing can prevent them from learning enough about terrorist attacks.
Valuing diversity and being non-judgmental is now a huge part of classroom curriculum. It is sprinkled throughout lessons on other topics, along with the “everyone gets a trophy” theory and the reluctance of schools to give students failing grades on the grounds that it can wound students’ egos. U.S. students have fallen behind those in other countries in major subjects, partly due to classroom time spent on aspects of political correctness; and partly due to federal testing guidelines that force teachers to drill memorization instead of knowledge, so that schools can look good after tests like the FCATs.
Subjects not getting enough attention include math, history, science and American civics, the latter tying into why students may not know much about what happened on 9/11. I am always stunned into silence by my student’s lack of basic education in school. When speaking to high school and college students as to how uninformed they are about world events, and their lack of critical thinking on them. They’re quite informed about cultural events (movies, cell phones, etc.) but not when it comes to important world events.
I grew up in a family where the news was watched and discussed. I don’t believe this is common anymore. Americans have become increasingly absorbed in their own lives and don’t see the importance of paying attention and developing a Christian worldview on the news. The government educational system – the politically correct, non-objective way of teaching – either ignores ‘potentially offensive’ subjects like this or raises more questions than answers by making sure students see the validity of the ‘other side’s perspective.”
Here are some fast facts:
In September 2010, the National Center for Education Statistics put out their 2006-2007 results. Out of 36 countries, U.S. students were behind 12 countries, including some we consider third-world or tyrannically governed.
The Intercollegiate Studies Institute did a two-year study in 2006 and 2007, “Americans Fail a Basic Test on Their History and Institutions.” ISI interviewed approximately 14,000 students at a variety of U.S schools with 60 questions on American heritage. The average individual score both years was 51.7 to 54.2 percent correct answers.
If these tests were done prior to the practice of not giving anyone a failing grade, these students would have received an “F” in school and would not have passed a basic American history course. In those days, a grade of 60-65 was considered barely passing (“D”).
With schools failing to educate students on history and how world events can impact them, Christian parents and church leaders may want to take on the responsibility to teach their children, especially when such events as the killing of bin Laden raise moral and theological questions.
Was bin Laden’s death murder? Was it wrong?
One of the Ten Commandments listed in Exodus 20 is “thou shalt not murder.” In the Hebrew language, “murder” has a different translation than “kill.” Murder means to spill innocent blood. Christian parents may want to teach this difference to children and teens, while also discussing the need to love all people, show understanding, display the fruit of the Spirit as stated in Galatians 5:22, and learn that vengeance is the Lord’s. We have a fine line to walk.
What do you think?
Last Updated on Monday, 18 March 2013 19:21
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