Students don’t read marketers’ emails—maybe because they’re boring (the emails, not the students)

Here is an interesting report that highlights the fact that only 16% of college and high school students read marketing email. At Attention Shoppers!,  we don’t find that fact surprising at all.  Kids today grew up using email and IM. And, ignoring marketing messages online is really easy.

So will these kids grow into adults who also ignore email? If marketers don’t change the way the write and design email, most certainly. The great, iconoclastic ad man, Howard Gossage, put it very well when he said, “People don’t read advertising, they read things that interest them. Some happen to be ads.” So if you want people to read your ads, or your emails, make them interesting—valuable in some way—to the intended reader. Now that sounds simple and just common sense. But very, very few marketers understand it. Which is why email marketing is not nearly as effective as it might be.

Leroy Merlin Makes Home Improvement Beautiful

picture-4You have probably seen the fantastic online work done for Swedish home furnishings giant, Ikea (if not, here’s an example of their latest mind-bending masterpiece). Now French home improvement and gardening retailer Leroy Merlin shows us that they, too, can make online retail work beautiful. Check out the animation and user interface on this site. Oh, it sells hard. But you want to spend time with it—you want to explore and discover. Fantastique!

Visit M&M’s Street in France, But Leave the Kids at Home


Take gander at this interesting, well-produced site for some of the world’s favorite candies. There’s lots to see and do on M&Ms Street, and the experience is a great combination of sound design, video and flash animation.

picture-21However, it’s one of those executions that probably won’t see the light of day on the US M&Ms site anytime soon. That’s because one of the “activities” that you can partake in on M&Ms Street happens to be in “Sexy Sweet”, a….umm.. “dance” club.

There, your favorite M&Ms do a striptease to show off their chocolate goodness. Both male and female M&Ms get into the act. It’s all quite humorous, and obviously they are going after an older, French crowd with this. But given the fact that it’s on the Web, where anyone, anywhere can see it, we’re a bit surprised that the Mars company would want that kind of an association with their brand.  

Consumer Generated Content? In Japan, Acecook Opts for Consumer Generated Products




As you know, at Attention Shoppers! we spare no expense or effort as we scour the world for interesting examples of how marketers are using the internet to reach customers in new, more powerful ways. Today, our search takes us to Japan, where Acecook, fine purvayors of ramen noodles, is using social networking to help their chefs/chemists come up with new product flavors.


Mixi is the Facebook of Japan

Mixi is the Facebook of Japan




They have joined forces with Mixi—the leading social networking site in Japan—to create a community where members can suggest new product ideas, vote on the ones that sound the best and even suggest new ad slogans. You can read more about the effort here.

All this talk about ramen noodles has made us nostalgic for our college years, when, thanks to advanced pasta technology, we could eat for weeks with a five dollar bill and a hot plate. 

Heinz conducts ketchup research that involves talking to plants. In Sweden.


It is Thanksgiving Eve, when all thoughts turn to eating (and giving thanks, but that may be just an excuse for massive eating in some quarters). We at Attention Shoppers are no different, which is why today we are highlighting this relatively odd execution from the fine country of Sweden (where, of course, they will not be celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow).

Done on behalf of Heinz ketchup, this site is actually a scientific experiment! The Swedish scientists/ketchup marketers have placed two plants in identical environments. EXCEPT, one plant is exposed to messages from a human voice. Actually, it’s a digitized voice which is necessary because visitors to the site are allowed to type in their messages which will be read to the plant by the digitized voice. 

How is all this supposed to sell Heinz ketchup? Perhaps it proves that Heinz will do anything to get great tomatoes to make great ketchup. Will people care? Or will they think it is about as exciting as watching grass grow?  

Merry Makeover: Sephora Wants to Decorate You for the Holidays


An "Attention Shoppers!" staffer selects a look

An "Attention Shoppers!" staffer checks out looks

With the holidays fast approaching, Sephora has decided to do its bit to ensure that you look your best for those all-important social and familial events. This online experience asks you to upload your photo and then choose a festively fabulous look. You’re madeover mug is then placed on a paper-dollish body and turned into a holiday card that you can send to friends and loved ones.  You also get a special deal on Sephora lipstick and eye shadow.



Red may not be his best color after all

Red may not be his best color after all

The whole thing is kind of an “Elf Yourself” without the elves, which is not all that surprising, since the folks who created this site, EVB, also did the production work on the original “Elf Yourself.”

We are certainly not the target for this execution, but wonder if masses of women will actually want to send their madeover selves to bunches of people. And we are wondering if the upload your photo and put your head on a cartoon body thing may just have run its course. One additional nit: you can’t see which Sephora products were used on your makeover until you send it to a friend. Some people may simply want to find out how to get the look, without giving the look.

“Elf Yourself” is back—its creators (Toy and EVB) are not


picture-4Attention Shoppers! discussed Office Max’s “Elf Yourself” viral campaign a number of times last year. While one may or may not agree that it was an incredibly successful viral campaign, it was without a doubt among the most popular online campaigns of all time. Millions and millions of people elfed themselves last year.

Well, a new and improved version of the site is back for 2008. But Toy (the agency that created it) and EVB (the agency that executed it) are not back at all. This year, Office Max gave the job to Jib Jab. It was probably a pretty easy decision, since Jib Jab offered to do the job for free. That probably explains the VERY heavy Jib Jab presence on the experience.  All and all, doesn’t seem quite fair that the folks who were responsible for coming up with the idea and bringing it to life are no longer involved. But advertising (like life) is unfair. Here’s more info from BrandWeek.

This year, instead of just a single take, straight-on angle of yourself elfed, you come to life in a music video with lots of cuts and action. You can choose several different styles of music and dances.


And you can even buy merchandise—coffee mugs, mousepads, etc–of yourself as an elf.  Perhaps that will quiet those who said the original campaign did nothing to drive Office Max business.