New and Noteworthy Tools

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

MAKING A SPLASH

With 75 percent of the earth covered by water, Edison, NJ-based Aquatising figures its brand of water-oriented marketing can’t miss. The agency has worked for years in Europe with such blue-chippers as Coca-Cola, Heineken, and Nestlé and is gearing up for a U.S. launch later in 2002. Clients can buy such ad vehicles as the Adqua Totter air mattress or the floating volleyball court. Or they can tap the agency to manage live events. Royal Caribbean hired Aquatising to create a miniature water park. More info: 732-910-7446 or www.aquatising.com.

THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS

Can’t stop misplacing your car keys? BoomerangIt, Inc., San Leandro, CA, has an Internet-based registration system that can help get lost items back to their owners. Items are labeled and tagged, allowing the finder to contact BoomerangIt online or via a toll-free number to receive a reward. (The company itself offers a $20 travel pack; clients have the option to add their own incentive.) BoomerangIt is offering the service to original equipment manufacturers as a product enhancement and is working with restaurants and hotel chains to establish a national lost-and-found network. Toshiba digital cameras, Palm hand-helds, Tasco binoculars, and London Fog luggage are among the products already carrying tags. More info: 800-226-6648 or www.boomerangit.com.

GREASING THE WHEELS

Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, has teamed with KPMG Consulting, McLean, VA, to offer a supply-chain solution dubbed PowerFactoRE. The service features predictive tools and analytical methods that can be applied to manufacturing operations and capital equipment projects. P&G has used the system internally for categories ranging from diapers to juice, and claims it has saved more than $1 billion company-wide and boosted productivity in its Atlanta fruit-drink bottling plant by 44 percent. More info: 703-747-5853 or www.kpmgconsulting.com.

FEATURE PRESENTATIONS

National Cinema Network, Kansas City, MO, is conducting a national rollout of its Digital Theatre Distribution System, which provides on-screen marketing content for national and local brands. Ad messages can also be delivered through in-theater digital video monitors, kiosks, or plasma screens. The service is currently available in New York City, Los Angeles, and Kansas City. More info: 703-931-6011 or www.ncninc.com.

ONLINE GRAB BAG

Startup Media Bakery, Carpinteria, CA, is positioning itself as a Web aggregator for royalty-free stock photos, software, and music tracks for use in promotional campaigns. The company is also offering The Baker’s Dozen, a monthly feature that recommends 13 new CD titles, single downloads, and software bundles. Flash animation and 3-D images will be available later this year. More info: 805-566-9262 or www.mediabakery.com.

REPORT CARD

Knowledge Networks, Menlo Park, CA, is offering marketers a way to measure the popularity of their brands with consumers through a new suite of services called Brand Resonance. The package includes a Brand Scorecard that ranks marketers within a database of more than 130 brands; a Brand Positioning Audit that assesses equity and identifies growth opportunities; and a Brand Resonance Tracker that evaluates performance over specified time periods. More info: 646-742-5311 or www.knowledgenetworks.com.

PICTURE PERFECTION

Montreal-based LogoSystem is offering single-use LogoCameras for marketers to pass out at promotional events. Client logos are added not only to the cameras but also the film, so that each print is an ad. Clients include Pepsi-Cola, Citigroup, and EMC. LogoCameras have also been used at the PGA Invensys Classic in Las Vegas and by beer maker Molson at auto races in Toronto. More info: 514-861-7040 or www.logocameras.com.

WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD

College marketing agency Cap & Compass, Branford, CT, is coming to the rescue of financially impaired grads with Life After School Explained, a book offering helpful hints on car buying, 401K management, and other fiscal matters. The book is being distributed through college alumni groups, which either purchase copies outright or find an outside sponsor to cover the costs. Marketers can put their logos on the front cover or feature taglines and promotional offers on the inside. More info: 203-483-7005 or www.capandcompass.com.

NEW AND NOTEWORTHY TOOLS

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The Time Is Now

You say you want instant online gratification? Try New York City-based NowMarketing’s new NowCode service: Advertisers add a #NOW logo to print or TV ads (or a mention within radio spots), consumers immediately dial #669 (that’s right, #NOW) on the phone and mention the ad in question to instantly receive coupons, product information, or other promotional incentives via e-mail. NBC, New York City, incorporated the service into a current sweepstakes for its Winter Olympics coverage. More info: 212-547-6058 or nowmarketing.com.

Oldies But Goodies

Marketing Direct, Inc., San Diego, and Hayes Promotions, St. Louis, have formed a new sampling program called 50Plus Golden Advantage that targets seniors in independent-living retirement communities. The program will deliver products and coupons from participating brands to about 11,000 community administrators in the U.S. The program will run Feb. 25, July 25, and Oct. 25. More info: 314-835-9775 or 50plusllc.com.

Back-seat Drivers

NuBoard Media, Atlanta, is attaching promotional bags called NuBoards to seat backs in sports arenas. The bags function as mini-billboards, but can also hold coupons and/or samples for an audience that will be captive for two hours or more. NuBoard has a network of more than 350 sporting and entertainment events available throughout the year at such venues as Madison Square Garden, SafeCo Field, Camden Yards, and Disney’s Wide World of Sports theme parks. Current clients include PriceBusters Stores, NuLife Environmental, and Intercoastal Financial. More info: 866-682-6273 or nuboardmedia.com.

Cracking the Books

Multicultural Marketing Resources, Inc., New York City, unveiled a Reference Library/Knowledge Center and Museum to educate marketers conducting ethnic or cultural research. Marketers who sign up for the service receive a directory of more than 700 articles including statistical data, census and other demographic information, reference books, and studies on consumer buying habits. The company will also conduct customized research projects. Rising membership levels have annual fees ranging from $300 for the basic model to $1,500 for advanced users. The “museum” portion is a retrospective exhibit of 30-plus years of multicultural marketing at MMR headquarters and online. More info: 212-242-3351 or multiculturalresources.com.

Sails Force

OnSail Advertising, Los Angeles, is preparing for summer by offering ad space on the sails of boats that cruise and dock near high-traffic beaches in Los Angeles and other Orange County cities. Almost any logo can be placed on an 800-square-foot sail at a cost of $5,000 per day. OnSail provides the sailboats and captains, as well as the necessary licenses and liability insurance. More info: 406-651-5167 or onsail.info.

Dot’s Entertainment

Amsterdam, Netherlands-based TV Miles is bringing its DOT technology to the U.S. DOTs are cardboard disks that can be affixed to a TV (or computer). Ads direct consumers to retail locations or a toll-free number to obtain the devices, which can be activated during specific programming to let viewers answer questions or play games on-screen. At the end of the promotion, participants mail back the DOTs along with some personal information to earn prizes. The system has been used by British Petroleum in Australia and McDonald’s in Germany. More info: 818-382-2233 (for p.r. firm Pryor & Associates) or tvmiles.com.

Shortcut to E-Mail Leads

Experian, Orange, CA, has teamed with New York City-based 24/7 Media on eList, a service that provides marketers with millions of opt-in e-mail addresses. The addresses can be mined using Spectra Marketing’s segmentation system (which can pull data on target audiences) or Experian’s own lifestyle, lifestage, or interest breakouts. More info: 847-995-7850 or experian.com.

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Smart Dialing

Harcom Corp., San Clemente, CA, has a new 800-number voice-mail service called System Managed Automated Remote Telephone (S.M.A.R.T) Office that comes complete with an Internet marketing tool called Voice Blaster. The service enables users to record messages that can be accessed through a Web interface or delivered in e-mails (for free). It can also deliver messages to as many as 100 telephone numbers simultaneously. More info: 800-350-5008 or getsmartoffice.com.

Share the Moments

Kodak Themed Entertainment, Los Angeles, introduced iConnect, a free Web service that lets consumers send family and friends the souvenir photos they purchased at participating theme parks. (You know, that wacky shot of you taking the final plunge on the Jurassic Park ride at Universal Orlando?) Photo buyers get an ID number and passcode they enter online to access their photo. Kodak currently snaps shots at such venues as Disney and Universal theme parks, Sea World Australia, the Kennedy Space Center, and U.S. national parks. It also partners with Clear Channel Communications, New York City, to take them at concerts, and plans on extending the service to marketing events later this year. More info: 310-204-7110 or kodak.com/go/themed.

Persona Grata

American Express Incentive Services, Fenton, MO, unveiled its first employee motivational rewards program. The AmEx Persona Award System offers an incentive packet containing a gift card and a directory listing of thousands of participating merchants. The service also includes My Persona, a bimonthly magazine featuring special merchant offers; postcards with tips on ways to spend the rewards; and an Intranet site users can access to track their point totals. More info: 636-226-2078 or aeis.com.

High-Tech Crosswords

Wireless Jumble, a variation of the popular crossword puzzle, is now available to 1.5 million Nextel Online Internet Wireless Web subscribers. Developed by wireless media company Mobliss, Inc., Seattle, the game offers several marketing opportunities including interstitial ads, and prize sponsorships. More info: 610-642-8253 or mobliss.com.

Pay-Per-Preview

RFM Broadcasting, New Rochelle, NY, launched BestPreviews, a free CD-ROM service for delivering music videos, movie trailers, or software to the masses. The premiere edition featured product from Arista Records, Atlantic Records, Warner Bros., and Columbia Pictures. Users go online, then launch the disc to watch broadcast-quality video. Recipients who register will receive regular CD-ROMs. Heart & Soul, a magazine catering to African-American women, recently polybagged customized versions with 50,000 issues. More info: 914-633-0725 or rfmitv.com.

Ever Resourceful

Forced to solider on without data from Wal-Mart (July PROMO), Chicago-based Information Resources, Inc. created InfoScan Reviews Advantage, a syndicated retail-sales tracker that combines scanner data from other chains with Wal-Mart info culled from panels. IRI boosted its consumer panel to 65,000 households, including a representative sample of Wal-Mart shoppers with an emphasis on rural households. More info: 312-726-1221 or infores.com.

Playing Down

Universal Music Group, Santa Monica, CA, is taking it to the Web with The Viewing Lounge, an ad-supported broadband entertainment program delivering customizable music videos targeting fans aged 15 to 30. Advertisers have four options: main screen media and video interstitials, direct-response ads, Web site links, and genre-based sponsorships. Pepsi-Cola Co., Purchase, NY, has been using it to tout Pepsistuff.com. Universal is advertising the program with TV spots in the top 10 broadband markets and through the college campus-based Burly Bear Network. More info: 818-777-2833 or universalmusicgroup.com.

NEW AND NOTEWORTHY TOOLS

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Sampling the Hits

Real Broadcast Network, Seattle, is turning up the volume on Internet sampling with Track Promo Service, which lets clients send time-sensitive samples to encourage purchase. Wind-Up Records, the label for multi-platinum rock group Creed, used the service to deliver a preview single from the band’s new release exclusively to Internet users. Fans could download the single from www.creed.com, as well as several radio station sites. When the CD was released, the single’s playback ability was automatically disabled. More info: 206-674-2700 or rbn.com.

Cool Change

CoolSavings.com, Chicago, is shifting away from its original strategy as an Internet destination to providing back-end support for marketers that want to offer their own coupons. Company officials say the change was due to overwhelming requests from clients to offer coupons from their own sites. The CoolSavings network boasts 15 million members and serves companies such as Unilever, JC Penney, and American Greetings. More info: 312-224-5000 or coolsavings.com.

Teen Solving

Having trouble keeping up with fickle teens? Direct marketer Alloy, Inc., New York City, unveiled AlloY-Access, research reports culled from a database of more than 7.6 million teens and young adults. The reports are designed to give marketers a handle on what’s hot and what’s not with Gen Y. The first release, The Style File, offers qualitative data on teen-girl fashion and buying habits. Future reports include The Brand Filter, which gauges the “coolness factor” of teen brands; Marketing 911, which offers case studies of teen promotions; and Ad Flash, which monitors brand campaigns that strike a chord with Gen Y. More info: 212-244-4307 or alloy.com.

Do It Yourself

GotMarketing, Campbell, CA, offers Campaigner 3.0, a new software suite that enables any marketer to create and send permission-based e-mail campaigns without having to write HTML code, download software, or seek technical support. Subscribers log into a secure account, choose a template, and add their own pictures, logos, and text. The software also automates the back-end for list building and management, message personalization, distribution, response tracking, and real-time reporting. More info: 613-727-7588 or cgardner@gotmarketing.com.

Online Gaming

Virtual Giveaway, San Francisco, launched an online “advergame network” designed to meet the needs of marketers underwhelmed by traditional banner ads. Games can be hosted on the advertiser’s own Web site or run as a paid ad on a third-party site. Marketers can customize the games and make changes on the fly. Consumers are required to register to play the games, giving marketers the chance to build a database. Virtual Giveaway claims consumers spend an average of seven minutes on each game. Participating brands include BBC America and Samsung Electronics. More info: 415-563-9449 or virtualgiveaway.com.

Please Tread on Me

Flexcon, Spencer, MA, unveiled a new Outdoor Floor Graphics System that makes placing signage on previously challenging outdoor walking surfaces (such as asphalt and concrete sidewalks) a walk in the park. The system uses a special coating and removable adhesives that ensure the graphic will remain intact for the duration of a promotion — and be completely removable when it’s over. The overlaminate protects the graphics while providing a non-slip surface. More info: 508-885-8370 or flexcon.com.

Watch While You Wait

Talk about a captive audience. Gardena, CA-based Antex Electronics has teamed with LNI Signs, Los Angeles, to build a prototype bus shelter with a video screen that can deliver both full-motion video and audio content. The high-tech bus stop is currently being considered by Eller Transit, a division of Clear Channel Entertainment, New York City. More info: 310-532-3092 or antex.com.

Pay As You Play

TruePoints, Chicago, introduced TruePricing, a three-tiered program for Internet promotions that can be up and running within 35 days and offers interactive games, instant-win promotions, and reward-based research. The $7,500 Campaign Fee tier offers campaign development and execution for a 90- to 120-day effort; the $15,000 Annual Licensing Fee tier covers campaigns on an annual basis; and the Pay for Performance model has lower fees for specific activity. More info: 312-655-1718 or truepoints.com.

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Not Just Skin Deep

Jinny Beauty Supply Co., Chicago, is helping marketers get a handle on the ethnic beauty care market with the OTC Ethnic Beauty Supply Review. The report tracks more than 11,000 SKUs and can be used to plan retail departments ranging from four-foot displays in a food chain to 32-foot sections in a mass merchandiser. Reports are generated quarterly and are available on CD-ROM or in hard copy. More info: 800-936-8733 or jinny.com.

Driving Down

MarketsOnDemand, Chicago, a specialist in Internet-derived, permission-based direct marketing tools, released Core Insight, a data-gathering system for generating customer profiles and prospecting lists. The system specializes in hard-to-get information such as product usage, brand preference, and buying habits. Core Insight goes beyond online surveys and questionnaires to generate client-specific e-mail campaigns. MarketsOnDemand is wooing potential clients in such industries as automotive, packaged goods, financial services, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, entertainment, and travel. More info: 866-966-4646 or sales@marketsondemand.net.

It’s All About the Sale

Palo Alto, CA-based NetFlip is a rewards-based marketing network that uses the NetFlip TransACT Technology Platform to drive conversion rates for clients. While many online marketing technologies optimize based on impressions and clicks, the NetFlip platform optimizes on completed transactions. NetFlip claims it generates conversion rates five to 10 times higher than the industry average. Clients include AOL Time Warner, AT&T, and Dell. More info: 650-812-3260 or netflipnetwork.com.

Coke Is Him

Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Charlotte, NC, is taking national an in-store effort featuring life-sized animatronic robots produced by AVG In-Store Interactive, Chatsworth, CA. The robots, dubbed RICK (for Retailtainment Interactive Coca-Cola Kiosk), are making “personal appearances” at Wal-Mart stores around the country, and will also host Coke hospitality centers at NASCAR races, professional football, basketball, and hockey games, theme parks, schools, fairs, and festivals. The robots boast 22 animation movements including audio capabilities and are re-programmable. More info: 818-998-0100 or a-v-g.com.

At Your Fingertips

24/7 Media, Inc., New York City, unveiled a Mail Business Alliance database containing 1.3 million e-mail addresses of business professionals throughout North America. The full permission-based list lets marketers reach decision-makers at small to medium-sized companies based on various criteria including company size, Standard Industrial Classification, or ZIP codes. The company’s current roster of business-to-business list offerings include those of Tiger Direct and Bigfoot.com. More info: 877-247-2477 or 247media.com.

Power Pages

The American Marketing Association, Chicago, recently relaunched its Web site (formerly ama.org) as Marketingpower.com, a community that offers free access to a variety of “Best Practices” white papers, business articles, and news categorized in 20 sub-topics. The site also offers presentation resources, marketing templates, industry reports, and a marketing career center. It will be run by MarketingPower, Inc., a new AMA subsidiary. More info: 800-AMA-1150 or marketingpower.com.

Multi-Channeling

Austin, TX-based direct marketer eCustomers, Inc. introduced Enterprise Campaign Server, a system that facilitates one-to-one marketing initiatives across multiple channels. The system’s MAP Merchandising Studio application allows marketers to personalize messages to customers reached through a Web site, telemarketing campaigns, and e-mail. More info: 888-412-7026 or ecustomers.com.

E-Mail with Personality

Talkie, Inc., Venice, CA, offers a line of audio-capable Talkie Specialist Products featuring animated characters that can “converse” in real-time with prospects. The company recently broke a campaign that put vp-sales Mark Laing into an HTML e-mail window to deliver the sales pitch. More info: 310-664-9600 or talkie.com.

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Jumping Off the Shelf

E Ink Corp., Cambridge, MA, introduced Ink-In-Motion, an electronic component that can be added to point-of-purchase displays and other signage. The product consists of paper-thin sheets that display flashing images and animation, and is powered by two AA batteries that will keep it running continuously for as long as a year. The sheets can be customized in sizes up to nine inches by 22 inches. The process is available in the U.S. through P-O-P distributors Consumer Promotions International, Frank Nayer and Associates, Gage Marketing Group, New Dimensions Research Corp., Prism Group, and Rand Display, and should begin appearing in stores early next year. More info: 617-234-8100 or eink.com.

Number Crunching

IRM, Carrollton, TX, released an upgraded version of its Sales Discovery System analysis tool. The product is a Windows-based, “point-and-click” front-end tool used by foodservice and CPG sellers and brokers to compare sales results. The upgrade’s enhancements include increased speed, advanced filter saving and editing, batch printing, easier integration of flat files, new variance columns, and enhanced margin-analysis capabilities. Clients pay a one-time set-up fee, then a monthly per-user charge. More info: 800-533-2312 or irm-net.com.

Sampler Tracking

Mass Connections, Cerritos, CA, introduced the MC Card to provide accountability for personnel conducting in-store sampling programs. Field staffers use an activated MC Card to check into the store and pay for sampled merchandise; when scanned, the card immediately transmits date, location, and amount of product purchased to Mass Connections, which matches the information to the assignment. Activity can be viewed in real-time on the Internet. More info: 562-365-0200 or massconnections.com.

Boardroom Pizzazz

Avantic, San Francisco, is offering Promotionals, a new suite of promotional tools that tap into corporate messaging. The suite is comprised of three components: Corporate Showcase, which transforms messages into a rich audio and visual presentation for employees, customers, shareholders, or media; Product DataShow, a next-generation data sheet; and Event ShowSpinners, moving billboards designed to capture eyeballs at live events. More info: 415-596-9300 or avanticcorp.com.

Good from the First Drop

VSI Targeting Systems, Westport, CT, unveiled Coupon Value Assessment, a system that provides FSI coupon value recommendations at the market level. By examining past redemption history and market characteristics, optimal values are chosen to maximize volume and minimize spending. Savings can then be reinvested to move more volume or help the bottom line. The system’s costs typically pay out in one FSI drop, the company says. More info: 203-222-8808 or vsitargeting.com.

Lights On

Display Technologies, College Point, NY, is offering SunSpots, new custom light boxes that are part of the company’s line of TechStoc retail merchandisers. Oak Brook, IL-based McDonald’s is using a McFlurry SunSpot to boost awareness and impulse sales for its ice cream menu; hundreds of units are in use at restaurants around the country. SunSpots can be used as window signs because they do not fade in direct sunlight. They can also be mounted to a ceiling, wall, or desk. They weigh less than five pounds and use standard 110 electrical currents. Advertising copy can be formed in PowerPegs, screened messages, or both. More info: 800-424-4220 or display-technologies.com.

Skate Break

Santa Fe Springs, CA-based apparel maker Vans is giving visitors to its eight branded skate parks a chance to surf as well, with Internet kiosks supplied by Kiosk Information Systems, Broomfield, CO. Located in lounge areas at the parks (as well as in some Vans stores), the kiosks let users hit the Web for details on the parks, Vans products, retail locations, and other stuff. KIS also recently signed a contract to provide kiosks to the University of Pittsburgh. More info: 303-466-5471 or kis-kiosk.com.

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Literal Targeting

Web Dart, an online service from SportSource, Inc., Fort Washington, PA, enables marketing clients to lure customers online by giving them suction-cup darts they can use at web-dart.com. Recipients play by throwing the dart at the monitor to earn points redeemable for merchandise; marketers can offer additional points by requiring them to review product information, fill out surveys, or subscribe to newsletters. Points can be redeemed for brand-name merchandise or the marketer’s own products. Marketers can also feature Web Dart at their own sites (but are then responsible for tracking traffic themselves). More info: 800-290-6120 or web-dart.com.

Bottoms Up

BevRage Media, Denver, introduced DrinkAds, glassware for airports that can carry corporate logos. The company intends to distribute the glasses to more than 70 U.S. airports, and has signed on Santa Clara, CA-based Yahoo to test the product in New York City’s three main airports. BevRage is positioning DrinkAds as a complement to billboard advertising. More info: 202-753-1155 or bevrage.com.

Fill ‘Er Up

Video Venue, Sarasota, FL, introduced an advertising network that will rotate full-motion, TV-style commercials on 10.4-inch screens mounted on gas pumps. Video Venue is currently installed at two Casey’s Convenience Stores in Des Moines, IA, but should roll out to 300 locations later this year. Participating advertisers include General Motors, Gatorade, Toyota, M&M/Mars, and Anheuser-Busch. More info: 941-923-9966 or video-venue.net.

In the Fast Lane

Admobility Marketing, Bloomfield, NJ, imported a fleet of Reliant Robbins (three-wheeled British autos) to convert into mobile displays. The cars are available in any body color and sport customized signage on the roof. Wilsonville, OR-based Green Pharmaceuticals tapped them for sampling at 42 retail stores in New York City; the effort scored two major orders from local distributors. More info: 973-429-3100 or admobilitymarketing.com.

Convincing Equation

SpreeRide, Salt Lake City, claims it can help marketers acquire customers and boost sales through a new service called Maximum Customer Conversion (MC2). Using targeted samples and other offers as the lure, MC2 asks consumers to complete a profile on personal preferences and physical characteristics. Marketers use the info to open communication. SpreeRide is currently targeting the HBC and CPG industries. More info: 801-397-0800 or spreeride.com.

Industry Standards

ACNielsen U.S., Schaumburg, IL, launched Category Business Partner, an information tool for the CPG industry designed to provide product sales information based on specific retailer category definitions. The company worked with manufacturer and retailer advisory boards to determine the individual definitions. More info: 847-605-5000 or acnielsen.com/cbp.

Be True

True Points, Inc., Chicago, unveiled a suite of new services to bolster customer retention that includes Real Games, Instant Win, Loyalty, and Tell Us, the last a customized promotion tool that asks customers to share their views. True Points delivers the tools (and results) through its patent-pending PromoBox interface. More info: 312-655-1718 or truepoints.com.

With Attachments

Mobular, Huntsville, AL, has a technology that combines searchable databases with e-mail, allowing clients to send product catalogs (or any other database) in a single, compact message. Pilot clients include BMG Entertainment and Lockheed Martin. More info: 256-882-9011 or mobular.com.

Profiting from Hello

Online startup Greet-N-Win, New York City, is offering users the chance to win up to $1 million by using its electronic greeting service. The more e-cards and e-mails a user opens and exchanges, the better his odds of winning. The company is hosting hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly drawings leading up to a $1 million giveaway on May 3, 2002. More info: 212-896-5600 or greetnwin.com.

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Meet Your Match

Gold Media Group, Wichita, KS, introduced Hook Me Up, an electronic device designed to serve as an ice breaker for promotional parties hosted by liquor distributors or other marketers. The hand-held tablet offers a five-question personality profile, then dispenses responses on a bar-coded sticker players wear on their shirts. Field staffers stroll through the crowd with scanners to match compatible partygoers. Both Smirnoff and Bacardi have used the game at events. Cost runs about $1,900 for a 30-day lease. More info: 800-747-8740 or www.goldmediagroup.com.

Cued In

NBC, New York City, just became the first TV network to use Dallas-based Digital Convergence’s CueTV, a free technology that lets viewers link up their computers and TVs through audio signals embedded in programming that launch related Web pages. Consumers can get CueTV activation kits free at any of RadioShack’s 7,000-plus retail stores. Digital Convergence offers similar services for print advertising (October 2000 PROMO). More info: 214-292-6200 or www.digitalconvergence.com.

Olympian Efforts

You may still be thinking about the beach, but San Diego-based Trykor Rolling Media is already pushing the fleet of branded vehicles it will be employing at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. The company’s program includes 50 wrappable taxicabs running 24 hours a day to blanket such areas as airports, hotels, restaurants, convention centers, and industrial parks. More info: 619-275-4464 or www.trykorrollingmedia.com.

Lifestyle Sampling

Arcade Marketing, New York City, has teamed with Max Racks, New York City (a distributor of free, ad-supported postcards to urban locations such as upscale bars and restaurants) on a new “Tokens” line of credit card-sized sampling systems for fragrance and cosmetic products. The test launch featured Englewood, NJ-based Parfums Lucien Lelong samples distributed through 37 Max Racks member locations in New York City including Crunch Fitness, Merc Bar, Time Café, and Candela. More info: 212-451-1004 or www.arcadeinc.com.

Try Before You Buy

CyBuy, New York City, introduced the CyBuy Testing Lab, a service that enables marketers to pre-test campaign variables such as headlines and promotional offers for online or offline efforts. Customers can test four different versions and get results within 48 hours. More info: 212-699-2740 or www.cybuy.com.

Quicker Picker-Uppers

Intervisual Communications, Inc., Santa Monica, CA, developed a unique insert for Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble’s new Bounty-in-a-Box paper towel dispenser last month. The ad, which debuted in the July issue of In Style and will run in other publications this fall, is a four-page spread that pops out into a replica of the dispenser with an actual towel attached. More info: 310-576-2006 or www.intervisual-comm.com.

Budgeting Made Easy

Minneapolis-based Colle+McVoy is helping advertisers track dollars and cents with a new financial-analysis tool called Proficomm. Based on a measurement model created by Don Schultz, professor of integrated marketing communications at Northwestern University, Proficomm lets marketers calculate the financial return on short-term and long-term promotions. More info: 952-852-7655 or www.collemcvoy.com.

Muzak Buster

Teknovation, Mario, IA, introduced the iHold Message-On-Hold System, which enables retail and wholesale businesses to create promotional messages for customers to hear while on hold. The system mixes music and voice messages recorded separately, providing the sound quality of a recording studio at a fraction of the cost. Current clients include sporting goods stores and florists. More info: 866-994-4653 or www.allaboutonhold.com.

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Spicing up Spam

Paramax, Red Bank, NJ, has a new suite of e-mail generators called SmartMail that enable video, voice, and animation to be embedded in promotional missives. Clients can let Paramax design the audio and visual amenities or do it themselves. The company hosts SmartMail on its own secure server, so clients don’t need to install additional software. The service generates reports on who opened the e-mails and why. More info: 732-224-1048 or www.pmx.com.

Big Brand on Campus

MarketSource Corp. Cranbury, NJ, and Follett Higher Education Group, Oak Brook, IL, have teamed up for Campus Clout, a program in which advertisers receive category exclusivity during one of six annual promotional periods: freshman orientation, back-to-school, parents’ weekend, homecoming, spring break, and graduation. The driving elements include P-O-P displays, handouts, and book bag inserts (advertisers can also get their brands on the bags). Follett will also run promotions through online bookstore efollett.com. More info: 609-860-5313.

Click onto Prime Time

Online services claiming to expedite the purchase of mass media advertising are not rare, but ones that have become success stories are. BOA Worldwide, Austin, TX, hopes to change that with the launch of Avail Me (www.availme.com), a Web site that lets media buyers bid for the best TV commercial time available. Avail Me combines Premium Avails with value-added services such as cross-platform buys. More info: 512-476-2548 or www.availme.com.

Going for Broker

IRM, Inc., Carrollton, TX, attempts to automate the delivery of food manufacturer sales information with Sales Discovery System for Brokers. The company contends the service will lower the administrative costs of producing printed sales reports while boosting broker efficiency. More info: 877-737-2700 or www.irm-net.com.

Electronic Redemption

Efficient Marketing Services, Deerfield, IL, seeks to facilitate redemption of retail promotions with Standard Offer Exchange, a P-O-P management platform that applies offers electronically at checkout. Customers can pull offers from a variety of media including Web sites, in-store kiosks, direct mail, smart cards, interactive TV, or cell phones. Redemptions are documented to create an audit trail that can speed up settlement between retailers and distributors. More info: 847-267-8162 or www.emsinfo.com.

Wish Upon a Spa

When a bobble-head doll or keychain simply won’t do, SpaWish.com, Cherry Hill, NJ, may be the alternative. Brand marketers can purchase gift certificates that can be redeemed at any of 700 day spas participating in the SpaWish Network nationally. Budget Rent a Car includes the gift certificates in its Perfect Drive rewards program, while fashion retailer Lerner New York uses them to reward employees. More info: 888-SPA-WISH or www.spawish.com.

Union Busting

The Direct Marketing Association, New York City, in May began offering its members a European Union Safe Harbor Enforcement Program to comply with data export regulations. The program lets members put a DMA Safe Harbor Mark on their Web sites, and includes dispute resolution for U.S. companies and European consumers. Non-DMA members can use the service for $7,000 per year.

Be True to Your Store

Entertainment Publications, Troy, MI, has partnered with Merchant Internet Group, Royal Oak, MI, to offer The Email Club by Entertainment, a program designed to help local retailers boost customer loyalty. When patronizing a shop or restaurant, consumers can sign up to receive e-mail alerts about upcoming events, monthly coupons, and birthday and anniversary rewards. More info: 248-458-5420 or www.entertainment.com.

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Earn Interest While Shopping

Nuvisio Corp., New York City, has recruited 11 CPG companies for the launch of its NestEggz online coupon and advertising service. Rather than drive consumers to one location, NestEggz coupons are available on a network of Web sites including About.com, totalwoman.com, and epregnancy.com. Consumers print out the coupons for redemption at supermarkets, drug stores, or mass merchandisers. But rather than taking 70 cents, say, off the purchase, the savings is deposited in an online account that earns 20-percent interest annually. Users can let their savings grow or cash out at anytime. Participating marketers include Kellogg USA, Kimberly-Clark, Mott’s, Clairol, Fleischmann’s, Birds Eye, Reckitt Benckiser, GlaxoSmithKline, Georgia Pacific, and Borden Foods. Nuvisio claims users are downloading six NestEggz coupons per visit, and 50 percent of consumers who do so redeem within two weeks. The service is generating 40 million impressions per month. More info: 212-252-7363 or nuvisio.com.

Buddy, Can You Spare a Wand?

FreedomPay, Inc., Wayne, PA, has found a way to sidestep both cash and credit cards. Consumers set up an account online, via the telephone, or in-store at select merchant partners. They then wave a Radio Frequency Identification wand over a sensor at the point-of-sale to automatically deduct the purchase from their online account. McDonald’s is testing the system at restaurants in Boise, ID, and Compass Group North America’s Canteen Vending is deploying it in machines and cafeterias around the U.S. FreedomPay expects to announce partners in the convenience store and petroleum industries soon. More info: 888-495-0222 or freedompay.com.

Greasing Direct Marketing

USAData, New York City, an online specialist in streamlining marketing programs, signed Jiffy Lube International, Houston, as a client for its Direct Mail Portal. More than 2,100 Jiffy Lube service centers can now order, customize, and initiate a direct-mail campaign in minutes. USAData oversees customer list generation, printing, and mailing. The Jiffy Lube Direct Mail Portal will include on-screen proofs of mailers and USAData’s PureProspects suppression technology, which can filter lists in real time. More info: 212-679-1411 or usadata.com.

Take a Whiff

Internet marketing may be all the rage, but you can’t smell it. A new product called Virtual Aroma, Chantilly, VA, adds odors to the direct-mail equation. Marketers can send gift boxes to prospective clients that include a CD-ROM with an interactive presentation. The disc directs viewers to press a button on the box to release aromas designed to enhance the buying decision. Available scents include apple blossom, gingerbread, and valentine. Virtual Aroma has partnered with Wave Works Digital Media, Arlington, VA, to help clients develop interactive presentations. More info: 703-802-2320 or virtualaromas.com.

Names to Remember

The average Internet user has little patience — or memory — for complicated URLs filled with multiple back slashes and dot-whatevers. Since 1996, RealNames Corp. has given marketers such as American Express and Radisson Hotels & Resorts the ability to send surfers to their Web sites by simply typing the company’s name into a browser without further designation. Now, consumers can link to companies without even the full brand name, thanks to the RealNames U.S. Registrar, which customizes key word services including usage tracking and reporting, enabling consumers to search by key word. (For example, typing “Guardian” into the Web browser would send them directly to the Guardian Life Insurance Web site.) Unlike domain names, key words can be registered worldwide, and work in any character set and language across all Internet-enabled devices. RealNames is hoping Fortune 1000 companies will invest $1 million to purchase 200,000-plus key words. More info: 650-486-5686 or realnames.com.

Teen Scene

For those teens and tweens who are as reliant on cell phones and pagers as they are on oxygen, Bolt.com, New York City, has introduced “Friend Match” and “Honey Finder” search tools. Members of Bolt.com’s more than 120,000 clubs can identify potential pals (or paramours) based on their interests. And that will let marketers such as Procter & Gamble and America Online develop relationship programs based on those same interests. More info: 646-230-4731 or bolt.com.

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Beyond the Cash Register

Tired of emptying pockets of worthless receipts at the end of the day? Start-up ReceiptsToRiches.com offers the chance to convert worthless receipts into cash. The brainchild of Anthony Petrecca, a contractor by day and inventor by night, the site accepts the five-digit zip code, date, and time from computer-generated receipts as entries into daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly random drawings. Prizes start at $1,000 and are expected to grow to $50,000 as revenues from advertising increase. A $1 million payout is planned for year’s end. More info: receiptstoriches.com.

Dial an Artist

1-800-Art-Promo.com, Winston-Salem, NC, offers to cut turnaround time on commercial artwork from days and weeks to 24 hours or less by using the Internet as a personal, on-demand art studio. Clients can view advertising storyboards, concept boards, logos and letterhead, products, cartoons, maps, signs, and other illustrations through any Internet browser. Upon client approval, the order is printed, mounted for presentation, and received by 9 a.m. the following day. Electronic files are sent immediately. More Info: 1-800-ARTPRONTO or artpronto.com.

Putting on Airs

Arcade Marketing, New York City, has teamed with postcard ad maker Max Racks, New York City, to offer a trial program of cosmetic and fragrance product samples housed in “tokens,” credit card-sized sampling systems located in restaurants, bars, health clubs, music stores, coffee bars, and theaters in major markets. The devices target consumers who may not read the magazines or shop the stores through which such samples are usually distributed. More info: 212-451-1004 or arcadeinc.com.

Tune Street

BMG Special Products, New York City, introduced Premium Download, a program that offers digitally downloadable music tracks for use in promotional and incentive campaigns. The concept calls for consumers to receive codes via P-O-P like peel-off labels or scratch-off cards giving them access to corporate-branded Web sites, where they download a track from a selected group of songs along with a branded media player. Available downloads come from various genres including rock, rap, and country. More info: 212-930-4000.

Hanging On

The Transilwrap Co., Franklin Park, IL, is now offering ClingZ, a printable, self-adhering, repositionable material for producing creative event calendars, sports schedules, and other announcements. ClingZ sticks to any surface for up to one year without leaving any marks. Transilwrap is promoting the product to meeting planners and event promoters. More info: 847-233-4072 or transilwrap.com.

Shakin’ It

TubeWorks, Agoura Hills, CA, unveiled Mr. Little, a new addition to its lineup of SkyDancer animated inflatables. The products are mounted on small fans that shoot air up from the bottom of the figure to create attention-getting movements for storefronts, windows, trade show booths, or P-O-P displays. Mr. Little retails for $371. More info: 818-879-2386 or tubeworks.com.

Grab a Cold One

Decorating Technologies, Framingham, MA, a division of Avery Dennison, received a patent on a new acid etch process that gives bottles a frosted-but-still-translucent look. The process can be used with Avery Dennison’s Clear Advantage labels. More info: 1-800-DEC-TECH.

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DECEMBER 2000 Habla Espanol? Orange, CA-based direct marketing company Experian introduced a new Spanish-speaking consumer database that lets brands target 4.5 million households in the top 10 Hispanic designated marketing areas. The new product goes beyond standard surname overlays to target Spanish-speaking consumers based on their language preferences. More information: 847-619-7268.

Group Rate.com Livonia, MI-based Valassis Communications rolled out The Most Wired Press, a program that allows dot-com clients to place print ad buys in multiple newspapers nationwide. Valassis set up a coalition of newspapers that agreed to pre-negotiate placement costs. Internet-based clients can cherry-pick ad buys in as many as 50 wired markets at a pop, leaving behind the time-consuming practice of setting up print ads with each paper. More info: 734-591-3000.

No Snow Days Allowed UV/FX Scenic Productions, Los Angeles, introduced an Outdoor Scenic System that allows custom-designed or painted scenic P-O-P of any size to be used outdoors – even during inclement weather conditions. The company is known for its innovative Day to Night offerings, which appear to show different images under daylight and streetlight. The new outdoor system recently debuted in New York City’s Chelsea district. More info: 310-392-6817 or uvfx.com.

Premium Extrava-ganza American Express Incentive Services, St. Louis, introduced a new Extrava reward card for use as a premium incentive. The stored-value cards are available in $25, $50, $75, and $100 denominations and are accepted by 100 merchants. AEIS is pitching the cards for use as one-time incentives like completing a test drive at a car dealership. The cards can be imprinted with brand logos or messages. More info: 212-687-3700

Tattoo You New York City-based Swarovski recently unveiled a new custom crystal tattoo teen-targeting brands might want to check out. Brands can go beyond traditional four-color tattoos and serve customers individual crystals arranged in customized patterns that are applied directly to skin. Crystals can be aligned to form company logos, icons, or words. Ten colors are available. Universal Studios and Nine West have already used the items – which are quickly becoming must-have fashion accessories at retail – in marketing efforts. More info: 212-421-9770.

Web Guide Meets Snail Mail Cox Target Media, Largo, FL, launched CyberValuz.com, a printed online shopping guide packed into mailings via the company’s Carol Wright direct-mail subsidiary. The site receives more than 2.5 million page views per month. The colorful guide features ads that direct shoppers through the Internet and reaches 11.5 million homes in the top 20 U.S. Internet markets. More info: 800-67-TARGET or cyber-valuz.com.

Let Your Fingers Do the Earning PhoneCard Services, Miami, borrowed a page from the airline industry with Rewards Minutes, a program that gives bulk purchasers of promotional phonecards free time based on the order size. An order of $1,000 in cards earns the buyer 100 minutes of talk time. Larger purchases up the ante – as much as 800 minutes can be earned. More Info: 305-933-5485.

Autowraps, Inc., San Francisco, is asking Floridians to serve as mobile auto billboards. The company is paying drivers in Florida $400 per month to cover their personal automobiles with advertisements, a’ la NASCAR vehicles. The company checks the condition of ads each month before making payment. Autowraps already offers the service in California, Oregon, and Washington. Ads match drivers according to demographic profiles. Consumers can’t pick which ads get stuck on their cars, but they can refuse certain themes such as sex or alcohol. Cost for client is $1,000 to $2,500 per car. More info: 415-558-8622 or autowraps.com.

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NOVEMBER 2000 Unfattening the Wallet So, you say you like phonecard promotions, but don’t like the costs of manufacture and distribution? Try the Virtual Phonecard from MHA Communications, Highland Park, IL. The concept is simple: The target receives an e-mail containing a toll-free number and a PIN number. Less-progressive types can even have the numbers sent on an HTML facsimile of a plastic phonecard – same size, but less bulk for the back pocket.

Future Engagements Engage Enabling Technologies, Raleigh, NC, and YellowBrix, Alexandria, VA, have teamed to offer real-time profiles of Web site visitors to target future content based on personal interests. The technology is designed to increase customer acquisition and retention. YellowBrix, which currently provides content, e-commerce, and personalization services to more than 200 Web sites, will utilize Engage ProfileServer to create visitor profiles based on stated interests as well as on-site behavior. That information can then be used to target future content, promotions, and advertising.

GPS (Global Promotion System) Promotions.com, New York City, introduced PromoWave wireless technology. The system enhances the company’s iDialog Database for marketers by adding wireless user subscription information that can be used to generate targeted sales leads. The technology delivers short (90- to 200-character) text messages to digital mobile phones or pagers, and can automatically register recipients for a promotion as soon as they receive the message.

Sticky Situation Try-Foods International, Orlando, has teamed with 3M on a new in-store shelf dispenser called Pop `n Sell. The device dispenses coupons, recipes, or other product information on Post-it Notes containing the entire promotional message. The dispensers are available in a variety of sizes, can be customized and delivered within 10 to 12 working days, and feature low minimum-order quantities.

Worth Siting Promotional Products Business, the monthly magazine from industry organization Promotional Products Association International, Irving, TX, has launched a Web site that provides access to the publication’s current and archived contents, advertising, and transcripts of recent online chats. The searchable site also includes a photo gallery of promotional products featured in the magazine, as well as access to media kits, prices for reprints, subscription information, a monthly e-newsletter, and interactive industry polls.

Fan Fare Rothchild Printing Group, an Elmhurst, NY-based promotional printer, is offering an innovative labeling system called Fan Folding that delivers labels on a continuous strip packed in corrugated cartons. Compared with conventional roll-supplied labels, the method is designed to hold up to 5,000 labels per box and requires less manpower in mechanical application processes by eliminating the need to change rolls.

A new high-speed, lower-cost method for producing custom holograms has been introduced by Chalfont, PA-based International Holographic Paper. iSCAN produces large-format holograms for use in printing, packaging, P-O-P displays, and publishing. The system is capable of turning around full-size hologram proofs in a single day.

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F your brand

Forget banner ads. You want click-through to your Web site? Get on the keyboard. ChannelCommerce.com, Santa Monica, CA, is selling access to the “F” function keys. The One Touch keyboards have pre-programmed function keys that send users directly to a sponsor’s Web site. Marketers buy a key from F1 to F12, and it’s hardwired to the marketers’ Web site. Users push the key and go directly to the site. ChannelCommerce.com will give away 250,000 keyboards at the COMDEX trade show this month, and hopes to give away up to 95 million keyboards worldwide by 2002. More information: ChannelCommerce.com, Rajan Gupta, vp-operations, 310-393-9299 or channelcommerce.com.

Encore, part one

Network Music, San Diego, rides the growing popularity of CD samplers with shaped CDs and a Music Awards program. Marketers specify any shape for die-cut CDs – a full-color slice of pizza or an electric guitar, say. Logos can be printed directly on the CDs. Cost is $3.47 to $9.52 per unit, depending on shape and quantity. Network also launched a gift certificate program this fall to supplement its catalog of music samplers. Consumers choose one CD or two cassettes from 500 titles. More information: Network Music, 800-854-2075 or privatelabelcd.com.

Bag this

Tsk, tsk. All that wasted space on the side gussets of shopping bags. The folks at Innovative Marketing Group, Playa del Ray, CA, have claimed that real estate for AdStrips coupons. Plastic inserts heat-sealed to the top and bottom of T-shirtstyle bags can carry ads, coupons, or other offers. IMG claims shoppers see each AdStrip four to six times whilebringing home the groceries – more than any other in-store medium. The company reports interest from 3,000 supermarkets, and projects AdStrips will be in 6,000 stores by yearend. McDonald’s franchisees in New York are considering AdStrips for upcoming account-specific promos with local grocers. Ads cost $5 per 1,000 for a one-third panel, $12 per 1,000 for the whole strip. Marketers can buy two- to eight-week runs. More information: Innovative Marketing Group, 800-755-1690.

Encore, part two

Custom CD samplers have become ubiquitous premiums. What if you could instead give consumers exactly the CD they want, and make money doing it? My MusicCard Co., St. Petersburg, FL, has introduced CD buying cards that can function as premiums or fundraising tools. The cards primarily serve as access to My MusicCard’s online catalog of discounted CDs. Shoppers buy a card for $10 to get future discounts. Cards come in three- or 20-CD units, letting cardholders order CDs for $11 or less from 250,000 titles at mymusiccard.com or via phone. Consumers can recharge cards for $10 to buy another 20 CDs. Marketers can give cards away as high-end premiums. Nonprofits can use the cards for fundraising, selling custom-logoed cards to consumers for $10 each; $5 goes to the charity, $5 to My MusicCard. The company tracks cardholder accounts including demographics and purchase history. More information: My MusicCard Co., 888-883-8744 or mymusiccard.com

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Spiegel is my co-pilotRetailers can piggyback on United Airlines’ Mileage Plus through a loyaltyprogram called Mileage Plus Shopping. It’s the first Momentum MileageProgram introduced by SHC Venture Momentum, Fort Lauderdale, FL. Shoppersget United miles – as many as 10 – for every dollar spent withparticipating retailers. Retailers get a loyalty halo without the expenseof setting up their own programs. Co-sponsors United and First Card, whichissues Mileage Plus Visa and MasterCard, get incremental business.

Participating retailers include Spiegel, Sharper Image, Lillian Vernon,Speedway, Hammacher Schlemmer, and Avis. SHC plans to add more retailers toUnited’s program, and tap other airlines’ miles clubs for similar overlays.More information: SHC Venture Momentum, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 954-267-8628.

A card they might keepMarketers like CD-ROMs for premiums and brochures, but don’t always liketheir size. Enter Avo-Card, a CD the size of a business card. Each diskholds up to 27 megabytes of content, plays on any mini-disc CD player, andcan put Web links in consumers’ back pockets. “The Web is essential tomarketing, but you can’t hang it on clothes, trade it, or hand it out atpromotions,” says Peter Zehnder, vp of AvoMedia USA, Newport Beach, CA.”Marketers have been searching for a convenient tool that is ‘real world’but packs multimedia punch and can drive Web traffic.”

There’s a recordable version, too, Avo-Card-R, good for customizedpresentations, personalized capabilities pitches, or just one-of-a-kindbusiness cards. The recordable card holds 12 megabytes of data.

AvoMedia sells postcard packaging to mail Avo-Cards as part of adirect-mail campaign. The 4-inch-by-6-inch card has a plastic panel on thefront to display the CD, and room for a note and address on the back.

Avo-Card was introduced in 1997 in Europe by Swiss tech company AvoMedia.Mercedes Benz, Philips Electronics, and Shell Oil use the cards overseas.The U.S. division unveiled it here in April. More information: AvoMediaUSA, Newport Beach, CA, 949-548-6313, or avomedia.com.

Brain scansWhat do supermarket shoppers want? Information Resources, Inc. says itknows. The Chicago-based research company is selling a CD-ROM with consumerdata arranged by retail chain. The Consumer Knowledge Suite combines datafrom IRI’s 55,000-household panel with census-based scanner data. Packagedgoods companies can use it to find opportunities to align brand andretailer demographic profiles, identify heavy shoppers and where else theyshop, and check out category dynamics on an account level. Moreinformation: Information Resources, Inc., Chicago, 312-726-1221, orinfores.com.

Track the very bestCall it a sugar buzz. Nestle USA and Rayovac Corp. tapped an Internet-baseddata relay system from Source Information Management Co., St. Louis, calledInteractive Communications Network. The candy and battery contracts areSource’s first outside the magazine industry, where 15 publishers use thesystem to give retailer sales and marketing data on 900 publications.Source says sending real-time data over its secure Internet platform suitsconfection and general-merchandise marketers, who haven’t had astandardized reporting system. Marketers can access retailers online viaICN’s retail directory, get detailed store lists, monitor checkout fixtureactivities, and track fixture counts at the store level. More information:Source Information Management Co., St. Louis, 314-995-9040, orsorc-info.com.

Good morning, food marketers: There’s a spot on the side of the milk cartonwaiting just for you. Promo Edge’s Promote-on-Milk program uses two-layerlabels to put cross-ruff coupons on milk jugs. Shoppers peel off the foodcoupon – or coupon booklet, for multiple brands – to reveal the milk labelunderneath. The best part is, Promo Edge coordinates with regional dairies,so it’s turn-key for marketers.Introduced in April, the program isavailable in about half the top markets nationally and is expanding. (Makesyou wonder whatever happened to those pictures of missing kids.) Moreinformation: Promo Edge, Neenah, WI, 414-751-1600, or promoedge.com.

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