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Rite Aid saluted for ‘Giving Care for Parents’ series

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Rite Aid recently was awarded Advertising Age’s Media Vanguard Award in the category “Best Use of Online Video for Customer Service” for its "Giving Care for Parents" original online video series.

Working with Fox Learning Systems, Rite Aid created a comprehensive library of online videos that offered advice and guidance on specific health issues, including dementia, diabetes, cancer and injuries due to falls, in similar tone and production quality to TV news show health segments, AdAge reported.

“There’s no brand hard-sell (at most, customers are offered coupon opportunities); instead, the videos underscore Rite Aid pharmacies as an authoritative source of information on caregiving and aging,” according to AdAge’s report on the award. “Remarkably, the 116-video series addresses a middle- to lower-income demographic that is typically neglected in digital marketing initiatives. … Rite Aid’s ‘Giving Care For Parents’ video series is sober, serious and utterly unflashy. Which makes it stand out all the more.”

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CPGs earn top spots in memorable product launch survey

BY Allison Cerra

BOSTON — A recent survey regarding memorable product launches in 2010 found that — not surprisingly — the Apple iPad ranked No. 1 among this year’s new innovations.

But while the iPad earned the top spot, consumer packaged goods also made their stake in this year’s Most Memorable New Product Launch survey, which was conducted online by Schneider Associates, Sentient Decision Science and SymphonyIRI Group during October.

Products that made the list this year included Pretzel M&Ms, Starbucks VIA instant coffee, Huggies jeans diapers and Kleenex hand towels, which earned the No. 3, 7, 9 and 10 spots, respectively.

“Every year, the Most Memorable New Product Launch survey teaches us about where our culture is headed,” said Julie Hall, Schneider Associates EVP.

This is the ninth consecutive year that the Most Memorable New Product Launch survey has been conducted.

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NRF revises holiday forecast

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — With just days left before the holiday shopping season draws to a close, the National Retail Federation has increased its forecast as the economic environment gives way to increased consumer spending.

November retail industry sales — which exclude automobiles, gas stations and restaurants — increased 0.8% seasonally adjusted over October, and 6.8% unadjusted over last year, NRF said. What’s more, there were solid retail gains across all sectors, including health and personal care stores, with sales increasing by 0.9% seasonally adjusted over last October, and 7.3% unadjusted over last year. For this holiday season, NRF said it adjusted its forecast to 3.3%, up 1% from its original outlook.

“The start to the holiday season has surpassed all expectations,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “While employment data is still a concern, we are starting to see improvement in other economic indicators that support an increase to our forecast. In order to sustain this momentum for retailers and the U.S. economy, there must be a renewed focus on jobs as we enter the new year.”

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