Thursday, October 4, 2012 | Edited by Daniel Moores
||Winners of 2012 Radio Mercury Awards Honored
JWT San Juan Wins Best of Show
Winners of the 2012 Radio Mercury Awards were announced last night during the 21st annual awards reception at the Highline Ballroom, as part of the 2012 Advertising Week Conference in New York.
This year's Best of Show Award was presented to JWT San Juan for their campaign, "The Most Popular Song," for client Banco Popular de Puerto Rico by JWT San Juan/Medianet, marking the first time a Spanish Language spot and/or campaign has won Best of Show.
"'The Most Popular Song,' by JWT San Juan was truly the most thought-provoking, creative and effective submission we heard," said Bill Ludwig, Chairman and CEO, Campbell Ewald, and Chief Judge for the 2012 Radio Mercury Awards. "This campaign helped reinvent the way clients use radio as an advertising medium, and most importantly found a unique way to directly connect with consumers."
"This was a stellar year for radio creative; the winning brands showcase the array of radio's advertisers," said Erica Farber, President and CEO, Radio Advertising Bureau. "This is a true testament to radio's ability to engage consumers, build awareness and influence culture."
This year's Marketer of the Year Award was presented to Martine Reardon, chief marketing officer, Macy's, on behalf of radio by Greg Glenday, president, Connections, Clear Channel Media + Entertainment. This award was presented to Macy's for its partnership with radio and truly understanding the value of the medium, and taking advantage of all that it has to offer by utilizing radio across multiple channels, from local connections to national outreach via broadcast, digital, social media, live events, personality and artist integration.
The lively ceremony, hosted by Clear Channel's Q104.3 Rock and Roll Morning show host, Jim Kerr, also featured appearances by many of Radio's leading brand ambassadors including: CBS Radio personalities Ty Bentli of NOW 92.3 and Wayne Cabot, WCBS 880; and Emmis Radio Hot 97 personalities Peter Rosenberg and Cipha Sounds. DJ Whutevva, from Clear Channel's Power 105 served as the guest DJ for the night.
Also in attendance were numerous leaders from the creative and advertising community including the aforementioned Bill Ludwig, Campbell Ewald, and Macy's chief marketing officer Martine Reardon; Heidi Fleischer Moltner, Coca-Cola Company; David McKillips, Six Flags; Aldo Quevedo, president and CCO, Dieste; Christian Carl and Israel Garber, executive creative directors, Havas Worldwide; as well as creative teams from BBDO NY, DDB NY, Fitzgerald+Co, JWT New York, JWT San Juan, and Saatchi & Saatchi. Student finalists in attendance included students from The Creative Circus, Miami Ad School and the Portfolio Center.
Below is a list of the winning spots. To listen to all of the work awarded at last night's ceremony, log on to www.radiomercuryawards.com.
2012 Radio Mercury Award Winners:
$50,000 Grand Prize Best of Show
The Most Popular Song
Banco Popular de Puerto Rico
JWT San Juan/Medianet
$5,000 Prize Agency/Production Winner
Publicis New York
$2,500 Prize Agency/Production Winner
HBO/Eastbound and Down
BBDO New York
$10,000 Integrated Radio Campaign Winner
The Most Popular Song
Banco Popular de Puerto Rico
JWT San Juan/Medianet
$5,000 Public Service/Awareness Winner
Mujeres Latinas en Accion
$5,000 Radio Campaign Winner
The Most Interesting Man
Heineken USA – Dos Equis
Havas Worldwide New York
$5,000 Radio Innovation Prize
Open Happiness Rollercoaster Record
The Coca-Cola Company
$5,000 Radio Station Produced Winner
Oak Park Natural Pet & Fish
WGN - Tribune
$5,000 Spanish Language Winner
$2,500 Student Produced Winner
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
The Creative Circus
||NRF Predicts a 4.1 Percent Rise in Holiday Sales
Americans are expected to spend more during what's traditionally the busiest shopping season of the year, but they're not exactly ready to shop 'til they drop like they have been in the past two years.
The National Retail Federation, the nation's largest retail trade group, said Tuesday that it expects sales during the winter holiday shopping period in November and December to rise 4.1 percent this year. That's more than a percentage point lower than the growth in each of the past two years, and the smallest increase since 2009 when sales were up just 0.3 percent.
The projections are an important indicator for retailers that depend on the last two months of the year for up to 40 percent of their annual sales. But the estimates also offer valuable insight for economists who closely watch consumer spending, which accounts for up to 70 percent of economic activity.
The holiday shopping season is one gauge of not only the shopping habits, but also the mindset of the average American during what has turned out to be a slow and uneven economic recovery. Right now, people are feeling better about rising home prices and a rebounding stock market, but job growth is still weak and prices for everything from food to gas are higher.
"In all the years, this is the most challenging year doing a forecast," said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation, based in Washington, D.C. "There are so many uncertainties."
No one's feeling those uncertainties more than U.S. shoppers. Darlene Johnson of Silver Spring, Md., says her outlook has improved in the last few months. The value of her 401(k) retirement plan has risen. Home sales where she lives are up again, and her neighbors are getting higher prices for their houses.
Still, Johnson, who's been grappling with higher food and gas prices, says the economy is still not stable enough for her to splurge during this holiday shopping season.
Last year, she overindulged and spent about $5,000. It took until this past May to pay down her credit card debt. As a result, this year, she plans to cut her holiday spending to $1,500.
"I felt too much pressure financially," said Johnson, who works for the National Institutes of Health, a government agency that's a conglomerate of research centers. "I am not going to do it to myself again."
It's Americans' worries about the economic uncertainty that led the National Retail Federation to predict slower growth during the winter holiday shopping season than the increase of 5.6 percent and 5.5 percent in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
Still, the forecast is higher than the average growth of 3.5 percent for November and December over the past 10 years. And it continues a growth trend that began after holiday sales fell 4.4 percent in 2008 during the middle of the recession. (The federation for the first time is counting online sales and sales from the auto parts and accessories business. It has revised every year's holiday figures from 2000 to reflect the change.)
The federation's forecast also is still more optimistic than the International Council of Shopping Centers, a mall trade group that last week said it predicts a 2.9 percent increase. It's also higher than the 3.3 percent growth estimated by ShopperTrak, a Chicago-based analyzer of retail foot traffic, last month.
The forecasts come as retailers wrap up what's expected to be a strong back-to-school shopping season. There have been no official numbers out on sales for that shopping period, which is typically the second biggest shopping season of the year and a barometer for what people are willing to spend during the winter holidays. But Ken Perkins, president of RetailMetrics LLC, said he expects revenue at stores opened at least a year to be up 5 percent for the combined August and September months.
But predicting holiday spending is never easy. Take last year's holiday period. Overall sales were strong, but sales don't tell the whole story: Retailers' profits were eroded because they had to do a lot of discounting to get shoppers to spend, particularly during the final weeks before Christmas.
And all the economic variables that will likely have an impact on this year's shopping season make predicting sales that much more difficult. Among them, the worry that the U.S. economy will fall into another recession next year. That's when tax increases and deep government spending cuts will take effect unless Congress reaches a budget deal.
Retailers and economists are hoping history doesn't repeat itself. The last time there was such a budget battle, in August 2011, it ended with the country losing its top credit rating, nervous investors fleeing the stock market, and shoppers taking a break from buying.
Still, Americans are more optimistic than they have been in a long time. Consumers' confidence rose to a seven-month high in September even as the unemployment rate has been stuck at around 8 percent, according to the Conference Board. Gallup Poll, which tracks consumer confidence daily, also registered a pickup in confidence last month to the highest level since May. The upcoming presidential election seems to be having an impact on how shoppers' view the economy, economists say.
Adding to that, Americans have seen their stock portfolios grow as The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index has surged more than 15 percent this year. And national home prices were up in July 1.2 percent compared to the same month last year, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case Shiller index released last week. That's the second straight year-over-year gain after two years without one.
Still, some economists question whether the higher level of confidence among Americans is sustainable. Confidence has been bouncing around since the recession and the current level is still well below what's considered healthy. Moreover, the spike in confidence has yet to translate into a surge in spending.
"You have to be confident to spend, but because you're confident doesn't necessarily mean you'll spend," said Dennis Jacobe, chief economist at Gallup Poll.
For their part, retailers already are being cautious. John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, says retailers are expected to increase holiday hiring by 6 percent to about 700,000 for the October through December period compared with a year ago, when that figure was 660,200. That's well above the 324,900 hired during the financial meltdown in 2008, but still below the 746,800 level in pre-recession 2006, and well under the nearly 850,000 seasonal workers hired during the height of the dot.com boom in 1999. NRF predicts merchants will hire between 585,000 and 625,000 seasonal workers for the holidays. That's in line with last year's 607,000, according to the trade group's measure.
And they're already starting to offer enticements to lure holiday shoppers. Kmart, a division of Sears Holdings Corp., Toys R Us and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced last month they're either lowering or waiving the upfront services fees for their interest-free pay-over-time program. All three said the moves were in response to complaints from shoppers.
(Source: The Associated Press, 10/03/12)
To download the National Retail Federation's 2012 Holiday Survival Kit, click here.
||Home Improvement Category Continues to Shine
As the housing market climbs out of the cellar, home improvement sales are going through the roof.
Online purchases of home-related goods took priority over back-to-school-spending for families this summer, according to a study released last week from IBM Smarter Commerce.
It's a trend that's also driving sales in brick-and-mortar home improvement stores from mom-and-pop hardware shops to Home Depot, which hammered out its highest quarterly earnings report last month in five years at $1.5 billion. The home improvement market was big enough in Uniontown, Ohio, for Wayne and Howard Miller to open what they call the largest independently owned hardware store, Hartville Hardware, in July, with a seven-acre retail space.
Outdoor furniture producer Lane Venture has seen its best sales in years, due to the growing popularity of "outdoor rooms," entertaining spaces furnished with patio recliners and swivel rockers, says President Gary McCray.
More people are buying items for their homes online. The IBM report showed sales were up 30% in July from last year and 25.5% in August for home-related items, a category which includes anything from house paint to appliances to furniture. The report analyzes online shopping trends from more than 500 leading retailers.
The home-related sales stand out in an otherwise underwhelming shopping season, says IBM global strategy program director Jay Henderson. He says consumers are "hunkering down" in the still-struggling housing market.
"People are choosing not to move into a new house, and instead re-invest in their homes," says Henderson.
For Jamie Saunders, 38, it wasn't a choice. She and her husband wanted to put their house in Alpharetta, Ga., on the market and take advantage of low mortgage interest rates, but found they didn't qualify for the loan they wanted.
"Despite having never missed a mortgage payment in 11 years, never having been out of employment since of working age, we would not qualify for a loan to upgrade our current living situation," she says. Instead, she opted to buy new siding and windows, as well as a washer and dryer, in the past year.
How some home improvement businesses are doing:
* Home Depot. Giles Bowman, Home Depot's senior vice president of merchandising, says sales are up in almost every area. Customers are changing, too, he says. Many people who used to be builders are now remodelers.
* Lane Venture. Some home furnishings are more popular than others. The sister company to cedar-chest producer Lane Furniture, it has overhauled its product assortment to predominantly offer patio furniture in the past few years. As a result, this year's sales have been "up significantly over recent years," McCray says. He attributes the success to the growing popularity of "outdoor rooms" furnished with patio recliners and swivel rockers for an entertaining space more like a den than a picnic area.
* Hartville Hardware. The nation's largest independent hardware store based in Uniontown, Ohio, opened doors to its new seven-acre retail space in July, says Wayne Miller, who owns the store with his brother Howard. The store is so big, there are two houses inside of it: a seven-room house made and furnished with American-made products; and an 1860 historic log cabin.
While home improvement may be hot for some consumers, others say the state of the economy still restricts their purchases. Dana Remaley, of New Stanton, Pa., says her husband was recently laid off from his job as a plumber, "Even if we wanted or even needed a new large-purchase item, we could not afford it."
(Source: USA Today, 09/26/12)
Daily Sales Tip: Investing in Yourself
Over the 20-plus years that I have been training salespeople, educating sales managers and working to transform sales organizations, I have stumbled upon an observation which bothers me every time I communicate it. It's this: Out of a group of any 20 salespeople, only one has invested $25 of their own money on their own development and improvement in the past 12 months.
The non-professional salespeople don't think it's their responsibility to improve themselves. They won't buy a book, or attend a seminar without their bosses paying for it and requiring it of them. To them, it's just a job.
The professionals invest in themselves. Since they see themselves as professionals, they understand that they must constantly and continually "sharpen the saw." They buy the books, get the newsletters, attend the conferences, listen to the podcasts, etc.
Can you imagine your CPA, as he delivers your tax return, mentioning that he hasn't spent any time updating himself in years? Or the doctor, as he goes into surgery to work on your spouse or child, off-handedly tossing out the fact that it's been years since he bothered to take a class or upgrade his skills.
These seem like silly examples. But most salespeople (95 percent) don't bother to take the initiative to upgrade their skills and develop their competencies. Only the professionals do.
Source: Veteran sales trainer and author Dave Kahle