1. Baseball is back, and so is the classy behaviour of fans: The Blue Jays home opener this week featured crowds brawling in the stands and booing their own team. The drunk and disorderly spectators, however, are the perfect target market for an educational campaign on designated driving. As most alcoholic beverage makers do, Budweiser promotes a corporate message of responsible drinking. This week its Good Sport program encourages fans at the Rogers Centre in Toronto to sign a pledge that they will not drink during the game. Labatt Breweries of Canada gives those fans a coupon for a soft drink and the chance to win a prize at Jays home games.
2. Want to make an impact with a billboard ad? You have about three seconds. Astral Media Inc. estimates out-of-home ads have to grab the attention of passersby in three to five seconds, and has created a "visual optimization" service to let advertisers measure whether their design has got its hooks in. Using software developed by 3M and based on studies that track eye movement, the service predicts which visual elements (including the logo and slogan) onlookers will react to first, and what the eye is most likely to travel in scanning the sign. Astral says the software is 93 per cent accurate in predicting how people's eyes will view an ad.
3. Montreal agency Sid Lee is going to the Gulf. In preparation for Boeing Co. 's new 787's Middle East launch on Qatar Airways this summer, the agency's audiovisual production arm, Jimmy Lee, has won the account to produce promotional videos for the airline. "Qatar Airways is proud to invest in Quebec's creative talent that will promote the in-flight experience on Qatar Airways' Boeing family of aircraft," Akbar Al Baker, the airline's CEO, said in a statement Thursday. The videos will promote the in-flight experience on the airline's 787 and flagship 777 aircraft. They will appear mostly as an online campaign, as well as at trade shows and on the planes.
4. Are advertising dollars flowing in the same direction as consumers' trust? Not always. The two most trusted forms of advertising, according to a new global study by Nielsen, are "earned media" such as word of mouth, which 92 per cent of consumers say they trust, and online reviews, trusted by 70 per cent. The online survey of more than 28,000 respondents found that trust in those types of advertising has grown 18 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively, since 2007. While online ad spending is growing all over the world, the 7.3-per-cent global increase in ad spend in 2011 was driven largely by gains in TV advertising, which still attracts the largest chunk of spending. And that's where trust is falling – it has declined 24 per cent since 2009.