Posted: Friday, December 20, 2002

SINGING COMMUTERS: We've all seen them out on the highways and byways, the crooning commuters who make like Placido Domingo behind the wheel.

But what are they singing now? In an online poll of 4,187 people, Yahoo! Auto asked which were the best driving songs of the year.

Nelly came in at No. 1, with 20 percent calling his tune, ''Hot in Here'' the best driving song, followed closely by Eminem's ''Without Me,'' which was picked by 19 percent.

Others in the top 10 were ''Days Go By'' by Dirty Vegas, the song featured in those ultra-slick Mitsubishi commercials, and ''Soak up the Sun,'' by Sheryl Crow. Ten percent chose Crow's driving ditty, followed by 8 percent who selected ''The Middle'' by Jimmy Eat World and ''Complicated'' by Canadian teen rocker Avril Lavigne.


LOYAL CUSTOMERS: Move over, airlines, there's a new leader when it comes to customer-loyalty programs.

Credit card companies, armed with an array of member points and perks, have overtaken airlines and their frequent-flier programs for the number of participants, according to a survey this month.

Of 500 people polled, 27 percent said they belonged to a credit card issuer's loyalty program, followed by 19 percent loyal to an airline. Restaurants had 16 percent, followed by 12 percent who belonged to a hotel program.

When asked why, more than half (54 percent) said rewards for products and services were the main reason they joined, with 49 percent calling discounts the prime motivation to sign up.

''Loyalty programs have come of age,'' said Lee Smith, president of InsightExpress, an online market-research firm based in Stamford, Conn. ''People are much more willing to part with personal demographic information if the reward perceived is valuable.''


FUN, FUN, FUN!: What are guys looking for when they do their holiday shopping? Apparently, boys just wanna have fun.

When asked what will motivate them when purchasing a gift this season, 48 percent said they want to have a fun shopping experience.

A quarter said saving money was their primary motivation and 20 percent said a retail experience that would give them ''the traditional feeling of Christmas'' was paramount.

And who benefits from this shopping bounty?

Not surprisingly, wives and girlfriends will realize the most, with 35 percent of the men saying they'll spend the most on their partner. A third said they'd spend the most on their kids, and 9 percent said Mom. Dads fared the worst -- only 2 percent of guys said they'd spend the most on their father.

The results are from a survey of 300 men this month by The Integer Group, a Denver-based advertising and marketing agency.

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