Apple CEO Steve Jobs is taking leave of absence from the company for the second time in two years, because of a medical condition. CNN 1/17/11
Love Justin Bieber? Chances are you’ll love these brands endorsed by the Bieber: JustBeats headphones & ear buds, Proactive acne cream, One Less Lonely Girl nail polish, My World scented dog tags and wristbands, and coming soon, Justin Bieber Snack Pack Pudding. Brandweek 1/16/11
Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) will add the Trenta, a 31 oz. size, to their cold beverage line-up in all U.S. coffee shops by May 3. Reuters 1/16/11 via HuffingtonPost.
Borders Group Inc. reportedly hopes $500 million in fresh capital can provide a bridge for the company over the next six to 12 months while it rearranges its business, enabling them to avoid bankruptcy. WSJ.com 1/15/11
Walt Disney Co will add at least 25 new and remodeled locations in North America and Europe in 2011 in the new, interactive format that first premiered in New York. The company plans to convert all 200 North American stores, 40+ locations in Japan and more than 100 outlets in Europe to the new format as part of a 5-year plan. Reuters 1/11/11
Safeway has signed Olympic figure skating champion Kristi Yamaguchi as a spokesperson for its “Lunchbox Winners” produce program. This program offers parents ideas for school lunches and snacks and supports the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters program. PromoMagazine 1/11/11
Nielsen HoldingsBV, which tracks consumer behavior ranging from what people watch on television to what they buy in stores, is aiming to raise as much as $1.7 billion in an initial public offering of common stock. The company will be listed under the symbol NLSN on the New York Stock Exchange. WSJ.com 1/10/11
Playboy Enterprises entered a definitive agreement with founder Hugh Hefner to take the company private. Heftner said the deal would give Icon Acquisition Holdings, a limited partnership Hefner controls, “the resources and flexibility to return Playboy to its unique position and to further expand our business around the world.” Adweek 1/10/11
Starbucks has dropped its name and "coffee" from its logo – the green and white female siren symbol is all that remains. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says "We've allowed (the siren) to come out of the circle in a way that I think gives us the freedom and flexibility to think beyond coffee. Namedevelopment.com 1/6/11
ConAgra Foods’ frozen meals brand Marie Callender’s is presenting mealtime as a respite from the day's worries in a campaign themed "Time to Savor" that portrays the brand's products as comfort food. Adweek 8/29/10
Asian models have been added to represent the brands of Estee Lauder and Maybelline to appeal to the fastest-growing market in the world. SifyNews 8/28/10
A study of YouTube videos for tobacco brands including Marlboro, Benson and Hedges and Winston, says most had pro-tobacco content, using themes like celebrities and movies, sports, music or archival footage (such as an ad using the Flintstones smoking Winston cigarettes), and noted that some videos seemed to be professionally made. A World Health Organization treaty requires participating countries to ban all forms of tobacco advertisements and sponsorships but YouTube is a user-generated site that is not regulated for content control. Pagingdrgupta.com 8/27/10
Federal regulators are looking at Google Inc.'s plans to buy travel technology company ITA Software Inc., which could position Google to compete with travel brands Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz. Huffingtonpost.com 8/27/10
Two teenagers are suing Facebook, claiming their names and images were sold to advertisers without parental permission as part of a Facebook feature that allows members to ‘like’ a service or product. Facebook broadcasts likes to the user's friends. Huffingtonpost.com 8/27/10
Apple has set the date of its next "big announcement" for Sept. 1. Speculation is that the company will unveil a cloud-based music service. Brandweek 8/27/10
Nissan's Infiniti luxury brand plans to launch its first performance sub-brand in December, a version of its G coupe, to compete with BMW's M-series, Cadillac's V-series and Mercedes-Benz's AMG. Detroit Free Press 8/26/10
Japanese fast-fashion brand Uniqlo has named Charlize Theron and Orlando Bloom global brand ambassadors for its new “Made For All” philosophy. The company’s new tagline, emphasizes its commitment to provide clothing for everyone, regardless of nationality, age, occupation or gender People 8/26/10
Google has rolled out the “Call Phone” feature to all US Gmail users enabling them to call people directly on their phones. The service is free for calls in the US and Canada for the remainder of 2010. Gmailblog 8/26/10
RIM falls to 17-month low as India plans to ban BlackBerry messaging services Aug. 31 unless RIM resolves concerns the smart phones could be used for terrorist attacks or other illegal activities. Bloomberg 8/26/10
Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Co. are recalling 1.3 million 2005-2008 model vehicles because of engine stalling complaints. Autonews.com 8/26/10
Tiffany & Co. is launching a collection of handbags in a dozen U.S. stores on Sept. 1. The move will help Tiffany to drive sales through accessibly priced goods while maintaining the brand’s luxury image. WSJ.com 8/26/10
GM is launching the Chevrolet Cruze in September. As part of GM’s effort to achieve long term profitability the Cruze will be priced higher than previous compacts. WSJ 8/26/10
Four Points by Sheraton has reached a milestone of 150 properties in 24 countries.The Four Points’ brand positioning of “uncomplicated comfort” and value has helped the brand become one of the fastest growing brands within the Starwood portfolio. MarketWatch 8/25/10
American Eagle Outfitters Inc. plans store closings and layoffs in the wake of weaker margins, higher overhead and losses related to its failed Martin + Osa chain. The company points to inconsistent business trends and unpredictable consumer behavior as contributors to losses. WSJ 8/25/10
McDonald’s has named Steve Easterbrook evp, global chief brand officer, a new position at the fast-food giant. Reuters 8/24/10
Sweet ‘N Low is introducing a new campaign to relaunch the brand to consumers and differentiate it in an increasingly crowded category. NYTimes 8/23/10
Saturday Night Live, hosted by Betty White, and featuring musical guest Jay-Z, averaged an 8.8 household rating, 21 share in the metered markets, its highest rating since the November 2008 pre-election, according to in-home viewing figures from the 56 local markets metered by Nielsen Media Research.
Seth Meyers tweeted: “Betty White just got a standing O at after party. Never has one been more well-deserved.” Not bad for 88 and a half years old. White’s appearance was due, in part, to a campaign on Facebook promoting the idea. TVbytheNumbers.com 5/9/2010
Kraft (KFT) seeks to reinforce the ‘fun’ positioning of its Ritz brand to appeal to a younger audience with a new spot entitled “Tailgate,” to run prior to the Super Bowl. BrandWeek 1/9/09
Sony (SNE) produces "Make Dot Believe," a :90 cinema spot that positions the brand as having the ability to make anything you can imagine real. See spot at AdFreak 1/8/09
Imaging brand Polaroid has signed a “multi-year strategic partnership...[that] brings together one of the world's most iconic brands with today's fastest rising musical artist and cultural trendsetter." The company says they will be partnering with Lady Gaga to “bring new and exciting products to the next generation." AdWeek 1/7/09
Nestle Hot Pockets have signed a multi-year sponsorship and product integration deal with Professional videogame organization Major League Gaming. AdWeek 1/7/09
Despite opting out of the Super Bowl for a second year, FedEx (FDX) says that sports has “paid some significant dividends over the years.” The company participates in several sports via the Orange Bowl, NFL, the NBA, PGA Tour, FedExCup and Nascar. AdWeek 1/7/09
A new brand campaign for Procter & Gamble’s (PG) Tide detergent communicates how “Tide enables its loyal users to dress for success, to impress or just for fun.” The strategy attempts to differentiate Tide from lower-priced alternatives in a commoditized category. New York Times 1/7/09. It has been reported that P&G introduce 30% more new products this year than last to avoid price-cutting. Promotion of the company’s premium brands, including Olay skin cream, as well as Tide, is planned as a way to “smooth the way for new products.” Wall Street Journal 1/7/09 (requires subscription.)
Expedia (EXPE) is positioning its brand as the site that offers "more choices" and "more savings." A debut spot uses shows multi-dimensional building blocks being used to create the “perfect girl’s weekend.” BrandWeek 1/7/09
The Weatherproof Garment Company is running a controversial billboard showing President Obama wearing one of their coats on his visit to the Great Wall of China last November. The company also promoted “The Obama Jacket” on its website. New York Times 1/6/09. UPDATE: Billboard Featuring Obama is Coming Down
Apple (AAPL) has purchased Quattro Wireless, a mobile advertising company. Most analysts believe that Apple is less interested in profiting from ads than in providing a way for developers who build applications for the iPhone, or a future Apple tablet, make money. New York Times 1/5/09
The Saab and Saturn brands could be headed for oblivion; GM put them up for sale as part of its bankruptcy reorganization in early 2009, but has been unable to find buyers. MSNBC.com 12/30/09
For the first time in 23 years, Pepsi (PEP) ads won’t appear during the Super Bowl. The company plans to place more emphasis on online marketing. Associated Press 12/18/09
Google (GOOG) has launched Campaign Insights, a tool to help marketers determine the incremental change that is directly attributable to online display ad campaigns on brand awareness and user interest. Available for larger display ad campaigns Campaign Insights goes traditional measures of clicks and conversions to calculate the incremental lift in both online search activity and website visits that result from a display ad campaign. BtoBOnline 10/23/09, Google AdWords Blog, 10/19/09
Disney (DIS) is offering consumers who purchased Baby Einstein DVDs their Money back. The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood says the offer is the result of a complaint they filed with the FTC regarding Baby Einstein’s marketing claims. Baby Einstein says the offer is part of an upgrade package and has nothing to do with the CCFC FTC complaint. Brandweek 10/23/09
Fortune (FO) magazine is dropping from 25 issues a year to 18 in 2010, will undergo a redesign, and focus on more “long-form, deep-dive journalism, great narrative stories,” to gain cost savings and strategic advantage. New York Times 10/23/09
Through Lufthansa’s free MySkyStatus service, fliers on any airline can sign up to have their flight details posted automatically to their Facebook or Twitter profiles, including regular updates about their departure, altitude, location and arrival as they travel. Springwise 10/23/09
Beginning next Wednesday, New York-based daily newspaper, Newsday, will offer limited free content on Newsday.com. Only Newsday and Cablevision Optimum Online subscribers will still have full access; others will need to pay a $5 weekly subscription fee. Clickz 10/22/09
Financial services brands are less effective at building awareness and persuading consumers to become customers says researcher Dynamic Logic. The study says financial services online ads are too text-heavy and could benefit from adding images of people and including fewer details. Clickz 10/21/09
On Wednesday Google (GOOG) reportedly plans to announce a new service that will give users an easy way to learn more about and sample music after searching for information about bands, alsbums and songs. Facebook also plans to integrate music site Lala into its gift store. New York Times 10/21/09
ExitReality is a new social media platform that aims to improve your online experience with an enhanced 3D, multi-user, immersive messaging environment.
Features include the ability to create:
Photo albums that become virtual galleries where you can walk through, admire and even comment on the photos that decorate the wall.
Video clips that transform into 3D flat-screen TVs that you can enjoy watching with friends... hey, even fight over the remote.
Immersive Messaging where you are able to see and interact with all your friends while chatting with them at millions of locations online.
ExitReality works with leading global social media sites Facebook, MySpace, Fraudster, Hi5, Rout and Bebop and is currently taking beta applications. They plan to launch “soon.”
ExitReality, via Techcrunch
LiveUniverse is an online media and entertainment network. They operate several websites across three core verticals: Video, Social Networking & Music. They operate LiveVideo a social networking and video destination as well as a video network and widget network. (social network, online video, entertainment, widget, etc.) .
Garageband is a social music service and community dedicated to discovering the best independent music. Members can hear new artists before they become famous, download free MP3s, add favorities to your blog or MySPace and help pick hits and win prizes by reviewing music.
iLike is a social music discovery service and community born out of Garageband that lets consumers get personalized recommendations and follow what their friends are listening to.
Ask.com’s innovative search technologies deliver fast and relevant information for millions of people every day.
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AskCity combines Ask.com’s maps with local content (information, reviews, etc.) from CitySearch with search and map technology.
Key categories are Businesses and Services, Events, Movies, and Maps & Directions.
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