Greeting Cards Contest – Art Students

If you are a weekend artist or you have always wanted to work for Hallmark or Martha Stewart this might be for you. When I was a kid I did a lot of drawing, I don’t anymore but it is still something a lot of people go to school to learn and keep active with throughout their lives. I ran across a contest and wanted to blog about it because it offers a $10,000.00 prize for the winner and you get your design published on a greeting or on corporate christmas cards as well. It is a great stepping stone into that profession of graphic design for cards and paper products that a lot of people want to get into. Here are some of the rules to enter the greeting cards scholarship contest:

You have to be over the age of 14

You must be a student enrolled in high school or college

You must be a legal US resident

Only one application entry is allowed per person

The submitted artwork or photos must be your own original work 

The contest ends January 15, 2008

If you submit it they own it and can use it as they like even if you don’t win which could still be a stepping stone fr your career even if you aren’t the big winner.

Baby Boomer Marketing

Everyone in the business world is a buzz about marketing their products to U.S. Baby Boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964 after WWII and in that big baby boom that happened post war in peacetime) They are a hot target for companies these days for the following reasons:

1. There are far more of them than in coming younger generations.

2. They have money. They have been ardent savers for their retirement and now need somewhere to spend it.

3. They are mostly in better health than past retired generations because of advances in medicine and will live longer too.

4. They still have energy and are interested in new fun things, provided it’s not too out there.

 So, how do you find out if your product or service is a good fit for the Baby Boomer generation? Well a new survey report is out today that has some answers to what Boomers like and dislike and how different they are in these categories from other generations. From the center for Meida research; See below:

BoomerView Snapshot Percent of Baby Boomers who…
% of Boomers % More/Less Likely than All Adults
Personally carry any medical, hospital or accident insurance

76.8%

+6%

Voted in a federal, state or local election in the last 12 months

55.0

+22%

Have a regular (2+ times weekly) exercise program

42.4

+2%

Played the Lottery in the last 12 months

41.0

+18%

Say “Preserving the Environment” is a very important guiding principle in their lives

40.7

+11%

Believe they will be better off financially in the next 12 months than they are now

39.1

-5%

Live in a household that owns or leases at least 3 vehicles

35.6

+31%

Did home remodeling in last 12 months

30.8

+21%

Signed a petition in the last 12 months

21.7

+21%

Own a Giant Screen TV (>42″)

13.9

+10%

Source: MRI’s Spring ’07 Survey of the American Consumer

Additionally, the summary notes that:

  • Almost four in 10 Boomers believe that they and their household will be better off financially one year from now. And, close to 90% believe they will be either financially “better off” or “the same” one year from now.
  • A fairly large portion of Boomers are potentially unprotected financially should they face serious medical issues. Almost one-quarter (23.3%) report that they have no personal medical, hospital or accident insurance.

Advertising and Economic Growth Dissertation

advertising-and-economic-growth.pdf

Ok, back to the serious stuff again… (ugh) I have been reading this study on advertising on economics, while I am on the train. (it keeps the crazy people away) Advertising and Economic Growth by Maximilien Nayaradou and prepared by the World federation of Advertisers. (I guess there is a federation for everything) It is very interesting, and as always I am looking for clues and insight into my own market and analysis category by way of these theories and research. I am only 1/2 way through it but 2 things have struck me thus far.

advertising economics correlation

1. The consumption trend for the US is crazy high compared with the rest of the world. The people here are really living on thin ice financially. There is very little saftey net if you spend 70% of your income (considered consumption in the chart). The formula is More Advertising $ Spent = More Consumer Consumption. But notice the law of diminishing returns, and how high the spending had to get just to move the needle that little bit between the UK and the US which are already at the highest end.

2. The correlation they talk about between higher advertising rates and higher economic growth rates are not really true in my opinion. I do not think extra advertising raises growth rates, I think it speeds up and condenses a product life cycle in a shorter time. The result is that things get old faster, out of fashion faster and people want new stuff faster. Therefore excessive and mass advertising would condense a product’s lifecycle from 5 years to maybe 2 at best. You train people to want something new every 2 months and your product won’t sell at all in 3. It all leads to a faster churn of companies growing booming and later failing and going under. That’s not new growth, that’s growth that would have happened anyway, you just made it faster, and it will drop off just as fast when people get tired of it and stop buying. No one talks about the downward slide on the other end, or how this creates a turblulent economy where people get laid off from jobs every 2 years and companies have to get bailed out all the time.

Don’t get me wrong, I like advertising in general. I have always been fascinated by it and love it’s news like ability to reach consumers and inform them about new priducts, information and entertainment when it is relevant and benificial. But I HATE over-advertising spammy companies that think that with enough money spent plastering their name on everything that moves, they will be able to keep that upwards growth trend going. You have to realize that people are over sensitized and will block it out after a certain point, and if they have a bad experience with the product they are not going to be very willing to give it another chance. Unless they aren’t that smart, but then as a country we have even bigger problems.