Trendspotting #18

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The Independent Online
TOP OF THE ALCOPOPS LABELS

Never forget that packaging is part of the marketing and media mix. In a recent survey for Marketing Week NOP found that alcopops drinkers were more likely to choose their poison because of the labels - 30 per cent said they choose the brand because of the packaging, which illustrates how much trial of new products is going on. Lots of trial also means the consumers are new to the market - ie young. Strange then the NOP survey only mentions drinkers of alcopops who are over 18 in a week when Alcohol Concern is meeting the Home Office to discuss ways of pre-vetting alcopops' packaging design to stop it appealing to the under-aged.

SKY OVER SCOTLAND

As a career in media there are probably sexier ones, but Sky's subscriber management centres in Scotland support the theory that Scots are more numerous than other Brits in the media. There are now 2,700 telephone operators working for Sky in Scotland, up from around 1,000 four years ago. The call centres handled a quarter of a million calls a day in the run-up to the Tyson-Bruno pay per view fight. If Sky gets its way, calls and PPV will fund much of the TV of the future.

ANOTHER LABOUR VICTORY

It all seems a long time ago now, but it turns out the Labour Party won the battle of election broadcasts. Labour's five election broadcasts were watched by 20.24 million people compared to the Conservative Party's 20.08 million viewers. But the crucial number is those who stayed viewing. The figures, which have been revealed by Campaign, seem to give Labour's agency BMP DDB a boost by showing that more people stayed tuned to their broadcasts than to those by M&C Saatchi. But before they lambast M&C Saatchi, the Conservatives ought to remember that people won't watch ads for products they actively dislike.

ONLY HALF AS STUPID

There are certain quiz questions on radio and television that any child of five could answer. These are the "quick" or "fun" quizzes invariably attached to a premium-rate telephone number. The premium-rate telephone number, of course, is the whole point of the exercise. But a study this week shows that 54 per cent of the population can now identify a premium- rate prefix - even if its charge rate appears on screen in a kind of nano- typeface no one can read.

Paul McCann

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