Duane Reade launches ‘Show Us Your Party Legs’ photo contest on Facebook
NEW YORK — Duane Reade at midnight on Friday launched their “Show Us Your Party Legs” holiday photo contest on Facebook. The contest is a three week, omnichannel social media marketing campaign to raise awareness of Duane Reade-brand hosiery products that will run through Jan. 4.
Aspects of the integrated, multi-platform contest will allow customers to incorporate holiday legwear shopping while connecting with the brand on strategic, digital, social media and in-store platforms. Customers also will get a chance to win one of three grand prize packages — a $500 Broadway.com gift card; a $500 Mr. Chows gift card; a $250 Duane Reade gift card and a limousine ride.
“The ‘Show Us Your Party Legs’ Facebook photo contest is such an exciting way for our customers to incorporate holiday season shopping and their ultimate holiday party experience”, said Calvin Peters, Duane Reade’s online PR manager. “We’re thrilled to be working with Doris International and their versatile products in a way [that] lets consumers connect with Duane Reade on strategic digital, social media and in-store platforms," he said. "By promoting the affordability and quality of Duane Reade hosiery and the ubiquitous nature of Duane Reade stores across New York City via photo intensive CGM generation, we help our busy patrons find convenient legwear options through content they trust.”
The company’s store-brand hosiery is produced by Doris International, which manufactures the same products for Victoria’s Secret and Michael Kors.
The previous social amplification campaign for Halloween 2013 dubbed “Boo-ti-ful Legs #DRLegCandy” was a prime example of tangible social return on investment. The campaign was executed from Oct. 13 to Nov. 3.
The #DRLegCandy campaign generated 5,246 pieces of content, including mentions on blogs, Facebook, Twitter and news sites. That campaign also generated 157.4 million impressions.
Survey: Retailers may have cause for holiday cheer after all
NEW YORK — More Americans now say they are loosening the purse strings in advance of the holiday season, and fewer say they are tightening their belts, according to a recent Citi national survey released Monday. Only 35% said they would be spending less than last year, reflecting the lowest level of holiday budget cutbacks since the financial crisis. As many as 63% of Americans plan to spend more (11%) or the same (52%) on holiday shopping this year.
Consumers’ approximated holiday budgets have reached a high in comparison to recent years. Approximately 29% of Americans estimate they will be spending more than $1,000 this holiday season, up from 22% in 2011. Amongst those planning on shopping for the holidays, Americans will spend an average of $968, up $60 from 2011.
“It’s reassuring to see spending on the rise, since the increase in Americans’ holiday budgets may indicate a more optimistic outlook towards making financial progress in 2014,” stated Linda Descano, head of content and social, North America Marketing at Citi, and pPresident and CEO of Women & Co., Citi’s personal finance resource for women.
In June 2013, the Citibank Economic Pulse entered positive territory for the first time since its inception in 2009. The sustained rise from -17 in the summer of 2011 to +1 in the summer of 2013 represented a strong sign that the American economy was recovering and consumers were regaining confidence. The Citibank Economic Pulse decreased from +1 to 0 this quarter, reflecting that discomfort with debt and savings levels weighs on consumers’ minds and tempers their positivity.
When asked to reflect on their local economic conditions and personal financial standing, more Americans have a positive outlook. Some 37% of Americans rate the condition of the economy in their area to be good or excellent, reflecting the highest levels of positivity since the Citibank Economic Pulse began in 2009. And 27% of consumers feel that they are better off now than a year ago, up from 20% in August 2012. As the countdown to 2014 draws nearer, 69% of Americans are optimistic that their personal financial situation will get better in the year ahead.
Nonetheless, for 37% of Americans, up from 30% in August 2012, discomfort with their current level of debt weighs on their overall economic sentiment. Another 48% of Americans reported discomfort with their current level of savings for college, retirement, or a rainy day, further depressing an otherwise brighter economic perspective.
Lower income Americans’ sentiment declined this quarter, but remains far more upbeat than in recent years. The Citi Economic Pulse is -18 among those earning under $30,000, 2 points lower than in June 2013, but substantially better than when it sunk to -29 at the depths of the downturn in August 2011. For families earning $30,000 to $50,000, the Pulse dropped to -5, down 8 points from June 2013, but substantially higher than -24 in August 2011.
Debt and savings levels similarly weigh heavily on the minds of lower income families. Only 33% of families earning under $30,000 reported they are somewhat or very comfortable with their level of savings (down from 40% in June), while 43% of families earning $30,000 to $50,000 say they are comfortable (down from 55% in June). Similarly, just 51% of families with incomes under $30,000 report feeling comfortable with their current levels of debt (down from 55% in June), while comfort with debt among those earning $30,000 to $50,000 has dropped to 57% (down from 67% in June).
While consumers are eager to save, they are not taking full advantage of all of the opportunities to stretch their budget this holiday season, Citi noted. To manage holiday expenses, only one in five are comparing prices online and only 16% shopped early to get better deals. Social media listening, a key way to learn about good deals, is only currently being used by 8% of Americans. Credit cards with a price-back guarantee are only being used by 6% of consumers and only 5% are using their credit card reward points to purchase gifts.
American consumers have become financially savvy, already taking many steps to move their financial lives forward. To get their financial lives under control, 74% of consumers say they are paying their credit card bills on time and 68% are avoiding overdrawing their checking accounts.
With New Year’s Eve on the horizon, Americans are also resolving to improve their personal finances in 2014. While only 33% say they have already reached a savings goal, another 42% resolve to reach theirs in the year ahead. Just 39% say they were able to save and invest today, while another 41% resolve to save and invest more in 2014.
FDA seeks stronger regulations on antibacterial soaps, body washes
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration may require makers of antibacterial soaps to perform clinical trials to show their products are better at preventing infections and disease than ordinary soaps, part of a larger effort by the agency to ensure the safety and efficacy of antibacterial products and slow down the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
The FDA announced the proposed rule Monday, saying it would not affect hand sanitizers, wipes or antibacterial products used in healthcare settings. Almost all soaps labeled "antibacterial" or "antimicrobial" and marketed to consumers contain ingredients such as triclosan and triclocarban, and millions of Americans use soaps and body washes that include them. But the agency said there was currently no evidence to show such products are more effective in preventing illness than plain soap and water, and some data suggest long-term exposure to those ingredients could cause bacterial resistance or hormonal effects.
"Antibacterial soaps and body washes are used widely and frequently by consumers in everyday home, work, school and public settings, where the risk of infection is very low," FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research director Janet Woodcock said. "Due to consumers’ extensive exposure to the ingredients in antibacterial soaps, we believe there should be a clearly demonstrated benefit from using antibacterial soap to balance any risk."
The FDA said it was prompted by scientific data and concerns from healthcare and consumer groups, but that people should still wash their hands on a regular basis with soap and water or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.