Archive for February, 2012

What Makes Baltimore Great?

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Hey Hon! We at Observation Baltimore wanted to take a moment to recognize our favorite city…Baltimore, Maryland! We have already told you why Baltimore is the perfect test market. Now, we want to focus on why we love Baltimore.

The Baltimore Orioles

On September 28, 1953, baseball’s owners unanimously agreed upon the move of the St. Louis Browns to Baltimore.  And the Baltimore Orioles were born!

The Orioles glory years were from 1966-1985. During this time, the club had an impressive eighteen consecutive winning seasons (1968–1985), and won the World Series three times (1966, 1970, and 1983).

Unfortunately, the Orioles have been lackluster recently. And in 2011, the Birds completed their 14th straight losing season. Still, loyal Baltimoreans flock out to Camden Yards to root for their hometown team year after year (we still have hope!).

The Baltimore Ravens

In 1996, Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell decided to pack his bags and move the team to Baltimore, a city that had been without football since the Colts snuck out of town in 1984 (but that’s another story). The Browns were renamed, becoming our beloved Baltimore Ravens!

While their first couple years in Baltimore were rough, with losing records from 1996-1998, things turned around for the Ravens in 2000. In that year, the team completed its first winning season and eventually went on to win Super Bowl XXXV, while setting numerous defense records.

Since that time, the Ravens have been amongst the elite teams in the NFL. And Baltimoreans could not be happier!

The Maryland Blue Crab

Since the 1970’s, conservationists have been working hard to clean up the polluted Chesapeake Bay watershed and save the declining Maryland Blue Crab population. And all of that hard work is paying off! In fact, the Chesapeake Bay’s blue crab population (mentioned above) is at its second highest level since 1997. This is also the first time since the early 90s that the Bay has seen three consecutive years where the adult population was above the target (200 million crabs) and the combined commercial and recreational harvest was below the target of 46 percent.

So what does this all mean?

More of those delicious Maryland steamed crabs!

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If you have questions, contact the market research specialists at Observation Baltimore by calling 410-332-0400 or click here today!

Observation Baltimore has been serving the market research industry for two decades, consistently rated “One of the World’s Best,” by Impulse Survey. Our experienced recruiting is the foundation of our mission, as well as courteous and proactive hospitality and client services.

We understand market research!

Follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn!

Sources:

Fish Facts – Blue Crab

Orioles Timeline

Baltimore Orioles

Going Green: The Ins and Outs of LEED Certification

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Developed in 2000 by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – better known as LEED – provides building owners and operators with an outline for green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. LEED-certified buildings are designed to:

  • Lower operating costs and increase asset value
  • Reduce waste sent to landfills
  • Conserve energy and water
  • Be healthier and safer for occupants
  • Reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions
  • Qualify for tax rebates, zoning allowances and other incentives in hundreds of cities

LEED is transforming the way built environments are designed, constructed, and operated.

As you may know, Observation Baltimore recently expanded our facilities and services! Toward creating a pleasurable research environment, Observation Baltimore is located in a brand new GREEN building. Our space was constructed using LEED-certified, renewable and sustainable products, and we are significantly reducing our environmental footprint:

  • Breathe cleaner air: Finishes, flooring, and ceiling are constructed of low-impact, renewable materials, and cleaned with non-toxic products. Further, cleaner air surrounds us with LEED certified air handlers;
  • Water coolers and health-infused water dispensers are encouraged over plastic water bottles (available upon request);
  • Recycle ALL non-biodegradable materials, with recycling receptacles in every room;
  • Printing and copying on 2-sides unless otherwise requested;
  • Low mercury lighting reduces harmful exposure and is better for the environment;
  • Our building’s energy systems meet the requirements of Energy Performance and Fundamental Refrigerant Management which minimizes energy use and increases energy efficiency.

If you have questions, contact the market research specialists at Observation Baltimore by calling 410-332-0400 or click here today!

Observation Baltimore has been serving the market research industry for two decades, consistently rated “One of the World’s Best,” by Impulse Survey. Our experienced recruiting is the foundation of our mission, as well as courteous and proactive hospitality and client services.

We understand market research!

Follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn!

Sources:

What LEED Is U.S. Green Building Council

USGBC Release Updated LEED Statistics

Random Building Statistics

How Bad Weather Affects Productivity

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Do you ever feel less productive on gloomy days? Well, according to several studies conducted on the affects of weather on office productivity, you are not alone.

How Does the Weather Affect Productivity?

  • Thirty-two percent (32%) of workers say they tend to be happier when it’s sunny or warm. (CareerBuilder.com survey)
  • When exposed to darkness, your body produces more melatonin, which makes you increasingly sleepier. (Productivity: Effects of Weather and Climate Beyond Seasonal Disorders)
  • People are most productive at an office temperature of around about 72° F. Once temperatures hit 86°F, productivity fell almost 10%. (Effect of Temperature on Task Performance in Office Environment)
  • At 77 degrees Fahrenheit, the workers studied were keyboarding 100 percent of the time with a 10 percent error rate, but at 68 degrees, their keying rate went down to 54 percent of the time with a 25 percent error rate. (Which Temperature is Best for Your Productivity?)
  • Twenty-one percent (21%) of workers claim that weather negatively impacts their demeanor. (CareerBuilder.com survey)
  • Ten percent (10%) of workers say they tend to be less productive on gloomy days. (CareerBuilder.com survey)
  • When asked which weather attribute most affects their mood or productivity negatively, workers pointed to: Rain (21%), Cold (14%), Hot (13%), Dark (9%), and Snow (9%). (CareerBuilder.com survey)
  • Twenty-one percent (21%) of workers admit to calling in sick because of not wanting to travel to work in bad weather. (CareerBuilder.com survey)
  • According to CareerBuilder.com, women are more likely to report feeling less motivated when the weather is gloomy and more likely to call in sick due to bad weather conditions than men.
  • Twelve percent (12%) of workers tend to be sadder or angrier on gloomy days. (CareerBuilder.com survey)

This could all be the sign of a more serious medical condition, known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

SAD refers to episodes of actual depression that occur at a certain time of the year, usually during winter. Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder are usually the same as with any case of depression:

•      Increased appetite with weight gain

•      Increased sleep and daytime sleepiness

•      Less energy and ability to concentrate in the afternoon

•      Loss of interest in work or other activities

•      Slow, sluggish, lethargic movement

•      Social withdrawal

•      Unhappiness and irritability

If you feel you may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, consult your health care provider. As with other types of depression, SAD is most typically treated using antidepressant medications and talk therapy.

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If you have questions, contact the market research specialists at Observation Baltimore by calling 410-332-0400 or click here today!

Observation Baltimore has been serving the market research industry for two decades, consistently rated “One of the World’s Best,” by Impulse Survey. Our experienced recruiting is the foundation of our mission, as well as courteous and proactive hospitality and client services.

We understand market research!

Follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn!

Sources:

Gloomy Weather Affects Productivity

EFFECT OF TEMPERATURE ON TASK PERFORMANCE IN OFFFICE ENVIRONMENT

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Productivity: Effects of Weather and Climate Beyond Seasonal Disorders

Which Temperature is Best for Your Productivity?

Transition of Saint Valentine

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Many theories exist as to the origin of Valentine’s Day. The story supported by a majority of historians goes like this…

In ancient Rome during the reign of Claudius II (aka Claudius the Cruel), the emperor engaged his army in numerous bloody conflicts. As time passed, Claudius found it increasingly difficult to convince men to join his dwindling army. His belief was that Roman men did not want to leave their families and so Claudius’ solution was to make marriage illegal! Single men would then have no emotional ties to prevent them from fighting for Rome.

In response, Saint Valentine began to perform secret marriages in direct defiance of the emperor, Claudius II. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, he was immediately put to death, martyred on February 14th, around 270 AD. Pope Gelasius I later declared this day Valentine’s Day in 496 AD.

Today, the February 14th holiday is a worldwide commemoration of love and affection. Some interesting statistics:

Valentine’s Day Statistics

  • Valentine’s Day spending averages $13.19 billion annually;
  • The average US consumer spends $116.21 on Valentine’s Day;
  • Seventy percent (70% ) of those who celebrate give a card, 49% a telephone call, 48% a gift, 37% a special dinner, 33% give candy, 30% go to a restaurant for a meal, 19% give flowers;
  • One hundred eighty million ($108 million) Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine’s Day the second-most popular greeting-card-giving occasion behind Christmas.
  • Hallmark has over 1330 different cards specifically for Valentine’s Day.
  • Nearly 50% of all Valentine’s Day cards are purchased in the week prior to the holiday.
  • Teachers will receive the most Valentine’s Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, and then, sweethearts.
  • On average, 196 million roses are produced annually, just for Valentine’s Day.
  • Seventy-three percent (73%) of all flowers are bought by men on Valentine’s Day.
  • Fifteen percent (15%) of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day.
  • About 3% of pet owners will give Valentine’s Day gifts to their pets.

Cheers to a happy Valentine’s Day!

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If you have questions, contact the market research specialists at Observation Baltimore by calling 410-332-0400 or click here today!

Observation Baltimore has been serving the market research industry for two decades, consistently rated “One of the World’s Best,” by Impulse Survey. Our experienced recruiting is the foundation of our mission, as well as courteous and proactive hospitality and client services.

We understand market research!

Follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn!

Sources:

The History of Valentine’s Day History.com

Valentine’s Day Statistics Squidoo.com

Valentine’s Day Facts & Trivia Scribd.com

Valentine’s Day Statistics StaticBrain.com

Advertising’s Empire: Super Bowl

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

The Super Bowl is a monumental event that draws over 150 million U.S. viewers each year. This one event continues as THE television advertising juggernaut. Of the top 30 most viewed television programs of all time, the Super Bowl accounts for 24.  This is the reason advertisers flock to the event – the biggest day of the year for advertising – and why Super Bowl ad spending has reached $1.7 billion. After all, where else can advertisers be guaranteed to reach over 150 million U.S. viewers in one day?

In 2010, a 30-second advertising spot cost $2,700,000 – a 10% decrease from the 2009 rate of $3 million (even the Super Bowl isn’t completely immune to the recession). In 2011, the Fox Network set commercial rates between $2.8 to $3 million per 30-second spot and aired 46 minutes network ads. This year, a 30-second ad will cost approximately $3.5 million.

Does this incredible advertising investment pay off?

  • According to the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association (RAMA) 26% of people surveyed in 2011 believed commercials to be the reason they watched the Super Bowl.
  • In 2011, few viewers tuned away during the commercial breaks, with the spot-to-program retention index averaging 100 (Commercial Viewing Index).
  • From 1996-2010, Super Bowl advertisers topped the S&P 500 by an average of 1% in a two-week period surrounding the game.  Many of these companies that used those same ads year-round topped the market even longer.
  • Researchers forecasts that 60 percent of fans watching the Super Bowl this year will also be tied into a second screen, such as a smartphone or tablet.
  • Social media now provides advertisers with instant feedback and increased exposure. “The social media conversation has put more value on a Super Bowl ad, fans will discuss your ads on Twitter and Facebook and then go to YouTube to watch it on demand over and over again,” said Brad Adgate, senior vice president of research at Horizon Media.

The Super Bowl advertising phenomenon is usually credited to Anheuser-Busch, who, in 1989, introduced a promotion call the Bud Bowl – a series of commercials featuring tiny beer bottles playing football. The result: Budweiser sales soared by 17% the month following the commercial. That year, 1989, “the king of beers” crowned Super Bowl as the television advertisement empire, and it grows stronger every year.

If you have questions, contact the market research specialists at Observation Baltimore by calling 410-332-0400 or click here today!

Observation Baltimore has been serving the market research industry for two decades, consistently rated “One of the World’s Best,” by Impulse Survey. Our experienced recruiting is the foundation of our mission, as well as courteous and proactive hospitality and client services.

We understand market research!

Follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn!

Sources:
Super Bowl XLV Breaks Viewing Record, Averages 111 Million Viewers
Top 100 Rated TV Shows Of All Time
Super Bowl Ad Spend Totaled $1.84B over 20 Years, Rates Quadrupled
Super Bowl Advertising Statistics: An Overview
5 Super Bowl Side Effects
Super Bowl advertisers seek buzz on social media
2011 Super Bowl Consumer Survey Results: Shopping, Spending,
Commercial Viewing