Collective Individuality

October 1, 2005
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Collective Individuality
Elizabeth Fuhrman
Managing Editor
In putting together the gender-specific marketing article this month (page 36), I found the data on whether brands are moving toward a more gender-neutral positing or not from London-based Business Insights’ Gender Marketing Survey to be the most informative.
In February 2005, Business Insights surveyed industry executives in food and drinks across Europe, Asia and North America. The number of executives, who felt brands were moving to a more gender-neutral position compared to gender-specific, were very similar – about 54 percent to 48 percent, respectively. Executives were clear, however, that gender marketing was less important for targeting consumers than age, lifestyle and socio-economic status.
This information fits together nicely with one of London-based Datamonitor’s mega-trends from its Global Consumer Trends Report: Gender Complexity – the feminization of society and men. The increasing economic wealth of women; men taking on a more active role in parenting; “mextrosexuality” among men – i.e. it’s OK to come off more feminine – and the fact that younger generations are far more likely to possess egalitarian values regarding women’s roles than their parents all factor into this trend.
But hey, sometimes society’s evolution brings counter-revolution trends as in Datamonitor’s counter-trend: gender as identity. This is where some consumers are embracing aspects of their traditional gender roles more so than before.
This research shows that while populations can be lumped into large groups – as in this most basic example, male or female – consumers’ gender, possibly sub-consciously or intentionally, may factor into their beverage purchases, but other factors are definitely weighing in to create their individuality.
Arena football sponsorship
Amino Vital, New York, has signed on as the Official Sports Supplement of the Chicago Rush for the 2006 Arena Football season. The agreement makes it the second time that Amino Vital has partnered with an AFL team, having reached a sponsorship agreement with the Las Vegas Gladiators earlier this year.
Hard Rockin’ Country
This fall, Hard Rock International featured its newest rock ‘n’ roll beverage experience, “Hard Rockin’ Country,” at 46 Hard Rock Cafe locations across the United States. Customers had the chance to win Brad Paisley’s “Time Well Wasted” sampler CD and enjoy featured beverages such as Hard Rock’s signature “Time Well Wasted” South Beach Cooler. Paisley also performed for a packed lunch crowd at the Hard Rock Cafe Los Angeles.
Gift vodka
Castle Brand’s Boru Vodka has been named the Official Vodka of the Country Music Association Awards Celebrity Gift Suites at the 39th Annual CMA Awards on Nov. 15. Boru, a premium vodka from Ireland, will be the exclusive vodka of the CMA celebrity gift suites. Every CMA guest will be escorted to the Boru Vodka area where they will have a photo opportunity, sample cocktails and have a chance to ask question about Boru Vodka. Guests also will receive Boru Vodka delivered directly to their homes.
Back on their feet
The Gipson family of East New Orleans is now on their way to independence once again following Hurricane Katrina, thanks to SleeveCo Inc., Dawnsonville, Ga. The company offered the family complete support for the next four months. This includes housing, employment and all of the necessities of life. Employees of SleeveCo have assisted by helping the family with various processes involved in starting anew, such as collecting furniture, moving in, school registrations, healthcare, applications for replacement, babysitting and much-needed TLC. The family with children ages ranging from 9 to 3 has settled into their new home. The children have begun school, and Terrance Gipson, the father, began his job with SleeveCo in September, with his wife, Angel, beginning her new job at a local retailer as well.
Kentucky legend
Jim Beam Brands unveiled a life-size bronze statue of the late Booker Noe, Jim Beam Brands master distiller. Celebrating more than 50 years of service to the bourbon industry, the statue honors the sixth-generation Beam family distiller. The statue of Noe and his favorite canine, Dot, will sit on the Clermont, Ky., distillery grounds.
Winner’s circle
With a victory at Richmond International Speedway in Norwalk, Conn., Crown Royal, sponsor of Kurt Busch and No. 97 Roush Racing Ford Taurus, became the first spirit brand to win a NASCAR Nextel Cup race since the sport announced that spirits companies would be allowed to participate as team sponsors. Crown Royal’s motorsports marketing plan includes primary sponsorship of the No. 97 car at seven races during the 2005 season, including the Allstate 4000 at the Brickyard. When Crown Royal is not a primary sponsor, the brand supports Busch as an associate sponsor of the No. 97 car throughout the season.

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