Halloween by the Numbers 2014

While these safety nerds probably WON'T get hit by a car, they WILL get hit by 8th-graders!
While these safety nerds probably WON’T get hit by a car, they WILL get hit by 8th-graders!

Our Halloween spending will be up slightly from last year’s average of $75.03.  According to a poll of 6,332 consumers:

More than two-thirds (67.4%) of celebrants will buy Halloween costumes for the holiday and spend $3 billion, the most in the survey’s 11-year history. Two billion dollars will be spent on decorations. The average person will spend $77.52 this Halloween, compared to $75.03 last year. Total spending on Halloween this year will reach $7.4 billion. National Retail Federation

So, slightly up, but still lower than before the Crash. Even so, while you pinch your pennies, don’t forget to invest in safety for your little goblins! In that vein, here’s a classic bit (as if) from years past, “Halloween Safety for Nerds and Other People.”

When I was a kid, Halloween safety consisted of my dad telling me not to accept any apples, because hippies were hiding their drug needles in them. “That’s it! Now go run in the night streets in your dark gray Batman costume!”

So, to pay it forward, I will share a few Halloween safety tips from the National Safety Council.

Motorists: BE COOL! Seriously, I don’t even have kids, but I spend half the night screaming at the idiots driving 45mph on my street!

Parents: Basically it’s your job to suck all the fun out of it. Make your kids tell you their precise route. Give them a curfew time. And make them wear bright or reflective clothing, even if it ruins their Zombie costume.

Kids: Use some common sense! Don’t go to dark houses. Don’t eat your stuff until mom inspects it and steals the Kit Kats. Carry dad’s best flashlight, which you will surely break. And stay out of the abandoned mill, even if they dare you!

OK, enough sarcasm. You should download the list. There are tons of great tips to keep Halloween safe. The alternative is a “Trunk or Treat” in the middle school parking lot…and nobody wants that!

Also, tons of Halloween statistics and charts HERE.

Happy Halloween, MindFielders!

(picture credit: springsgov.com)

MindField is App-tastic!

“SurveyCloud powered by MindField Online” has been around on the online portal for a while now, making your survey experience more fun and convenient. Now, the new SurveyCloud App is ready to rock your mobile devices!

Here’s what you can look forward to:

  1. Access to all available survey opportunities from any or all of your mobile devices
  2. Cashout from your mobile device
  3. Receive push notifications: We will remind you when you have reached cashout, about available survey opportunities, new sweepstakes and other prizes, etc.
  4. Access to the MindField support system directly from the App
  5. Update your personal information, in real time, to ensure being included in as many opportunities as possible.

And there’s more to come!

So, how do you join in on the fun? It depends on your device. Here are some links:

APPLE: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/mindfield-online/id472749455

ANDROID: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mcmillionresearch.surveycloud


MindField Online will hold a drawing to encourage SurveyCloud App users! On February 1, 2015 we will give away one (1) $500 prize,  two (2) $100 prizes and six (6) $50 prizes, to be chosen from everyone who downloads and uses the SurveyCloud App between now and February 1st.  The winners will receive their winnings prior to Valentine’s Day.

MindField Online will also hold our Annual Holiday Drawing! Same as above, it’s one (1) $500 prize, two (2) $100 prizes and six (6) $50 prizes, to be chosen from everyone who downloads and uses the SurveyCloud App between now and December 10th. These winnings will be available prior to 12/22.

New features, new convenience and big incentives – that’s MindField Online! Now, go download SurveyCloud mobile App!!!

Middle Class Blues?

ID-10027031An article appeared yesterday, entitled “7 Things the Middle Class Can’t Afford Anymore.” Now, you should probably take it with a grain of salt, because the person writing a piece like this gets to be the one who defines words like Middle Class, Afford, and Things. But it is a conversation starter. So let’s start it!

We’ve ranked a list of things the middle class can no longer really afford. We’re not talking about lavish luxuries, like private jets and yachts. The items on this list are a bit more basic, and some of them are even necessities. The ranking of this list is based on affordability and necessity. Therefore, items that are necessity ranked higher, as did items that a larger percentage of people have trouble paying for.

And they assign an income to the middle class family: $54,000. So what are we doing without, according to the list?

  • Vacations
  • New vehicles
  • To pay off debt
  • Emergency savings
  • Retirement savings
  • Medical care
  • Dental work

Lots more detail in the original piece, of course. What do you think? Are you the “Middle Class” they are talking about? Are you doing without the things on this list? Are there things they forgot? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

The Toy Business Has Seen Better Days

ID-100238505Hey parents! What’s the deal with the toy business? Lego is going strong, (that movie certainly helped!) but almost everybody else in the toy business is hurting. Mattel’s sales are down, so is Barbie, and Toys ‘R Us is doing some…interesting things to ramp up business.

Case in point (according to Time magazine): selling Breaking Bad action figures. Trust me, Breaking Bad is truly one of the best TV shows in the history of TV (the full series is streaming on Netflix.) But, toys based on drug dealers, complete with wads of cash and fake crystal meth? Not so sure about that. The retailer explains that the BB stuff is in their adult section, away from your Hello Kitty and your Iron Man…which makes me ask: Toys ‘R Us has an adult section?

The experts say that this is a sign of the times. The only toy-related things that sell anymore are video games (and Lego, of course). And Toys ‘R Us is partnering with Claire’s to sell earrings and nail polish to teen girls.

But I don’t have kids. So I’m asking… are toys dead? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!


UPDATE: Toys ‘R Us bails on Breaking Bad?

Money and a Happy Marriage

"OK, kids, scootch in a little closer to the dollar sign..."
“OK, kids, scootch in a little closer to the dollar sign…”

How intertwined are they? Well, researchers at Emory University took a look. According to The Atlantic, they…

…studied 3,000 married couples in the U.S. to determine the factors that predicted divorce. They analyzed income, religious attendance, how important attractiveness was to each partner, wedding attendance, and other metrics to determine the aspects associated with eventual marital dissolution.

When you add in those “other metrics”, the list looks like this…

  1. Time spent dating before engagement
  2. Household income
  3. Church attendance
  4. Attitude about wealth
  5. Attitude about physical appearance
  6. Number of people attending wedding
  7. Total wedding expenses
  8. Took honeymoon/size of honeymoon

So, of 8 categories, 5 are directly (or thereabouts) related to money. According to the study, couples that earn $125K+ are half as likely to divorce as those earning $25K.

When one partner cares deeply about the other’s wealth (usually the wife –the husband cares more about the wife’s looks) they are 20% more likely to divorce.

The cost of the wedding seems to be a big one. Using $5-10K as a reference point, they say that those significantly lower ($0-1K) are half as likely to split up, while those much higher ($20K and up) are twice as likely.

I don’t know what to think. I can point to real-life examples that do and don’t add up, and I am sure you can, too. As Homer Simpson once said “You can make statistics say anything you want them to. 34 per cent of people know that.”

What do YOU think? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

Source, source, source

McDonald’s Lifts the Curtain

mcd Qs“I think it’s disgusting… does McDonald’s even sell real food?” Actual McDonald’s customers in an actual McDonald’s commercial that premiered yesterday.

Well, that’s bound to get your attention – and that’s the point. McDonald’s has begun a charm offensive designed to convince us that their food isn’t “pink slime,” but rather, actual food with nutritional value.

They say the campaign, entitled “Our Food. Your Questions.” has nothing to do with current business performance, though times have definitely been better for the mega-chain. These days, the dining-out bus is being driven by Millennials and, increasingly, that bus doesn’t stop at McDonald’s!

So McD is hitting Millennials where they live – on Facebook and Twitter. They invite you to visit them and ask any question you can think of about their food. And they even hired former Mythbuster Grant Imahara to make their case!

So, what would you like to ask McDonald’s? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Source, source, source, source

Maybe Red Bull DOESN’T Give You Wings?

635484393718544707-d-out-energy-drink-30The news this week is about energy drink Red Bull, which has been sued for false advertising. No, someone didn’t believe that Red Bull actually “gives you wings,” but, according to the lawsuit, they do give the impression that Red Bull delivers “increased performance, concentration and reaction speed.”

“Even though there is a lack of genuine scientific support for a claim that Red Bull branded energy drinks provide any more benefit to a consumer than a cup of coffee, the Red Bull defendants persistently and pervasively market their product as a superior source of ‘energy’ worthy of a premium price over a cup of coffee or other sources of caffeine,” the suit says. The Consumerist

As for Red Bull, they said “whatever,” and have offered up $13 million to be shared by anyone in the class action lawsuit who can prove they bought a Red Bull in the past ten years. You’re eligible for ten dollars or two free Red Bulls.

Lawsuits: They Give You Wings!

Are YOU a Red Bull fan? Are you happy or unhappy about this news? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

Black Friday Predictions 2014

ID-100198089Black Friday conjures up widely differing images in people, from absolute dread to necessary evil to a whole lot of fun. (I never tire of hearing about my sister-in-law, who drags her mother and sisters along in the family camper and sleeps overnight in the Kohl’s parking lot!)

But it seems that too many people are giving up on the Black Friday tradition, despite the deals that can be had. So the retailers are responding in a number of ways. According to DealNews.com, retailers have a bag of 13 or so tricks to keep the madness fresh this year. Here are some highlights:

  • More Black Friday Ad Sneak Peeks
  • More Stores Will Offer Guaranteed Doorbusters
  • Stores Will Be Better Staffed
  • Credit Card Info Will be Guarded Like Never Before
  • More Stores Will Offer Discounted Shipping
  • Mainstream Laptops Will Pack Better Hardware at Lower Prices
  • To Compete With Amazon, More Retailers Will Price Match
  • You’ll See More Tablet Deals Than Ever Before
  • Black Friday Will See Excellent Toy Deals

Again, just some bullets. Lots more info at the original piece.

More powerful, cheaper laptops appeal to me, as I attempt to drag my wheezing machine across the finish line (which is 52 days away!!) What deals are you looking for on Black Friday? Do these changes sound good? Have any other ideas? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook Page!