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Brand News: Apple, Disney, Folgers, General Motors, Google, J. Crew, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Paula Deen, Silk, Sonic, Tesco

on Sun, 08/25/2013 - 00:11

Sonic Restaurants has entered into deals with Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana universities to offer burgers with college football team logos steamed on the buns. USA Today 8/23/13

Disney (DIS) is shutting down their virtual world MMOG, “Toontown,” due to declining usage and will focus on its “Club Penguin” virtual world of about 200 million registered users. CNN 8/23/13

Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer has announced he’ll retire within the next 12 months and shares of the company rose nearly 7% on the news. CNN Money 8/23/13

The discrimination lawsuit that toppled the Paula Deen empire has been dismissed, reportedly as a result of an out-of-court settlement. Huffington Post 8/23/13

General Motors (GM), “the nation’s third largest advertiser,” plans to advertise during the 2014 Super Bowl to support its launch of 12 new vehicles. Current ask for a 30-second spot is $4 million. Variety 8/23/13.

Facebook (FB) plans to end sales of physical gifts such as chocolates or stuffed animals, and will instead focus on promoting digital gift cards and its Facebook Gift Card. Techcrunch 8/23/13

Google (GOOG) is reportedly developing a self-driving car called Robo Taxi. Business Insider 8/23/13

Gap Inc. (GPS) has announced that second quarter profits rose 25%, buoyed by sales of newly styled jeans. Business Insider 8/23/13

Folgers is the favorite brand in the U.S. with an average 15.6 percent share of the market, despite an increasing number of coffee brands competing for supermarket shelf space. Bloomberg Businessweek 8/23/13

Apple Inc. (APPL)is rumored to release its next iPhone in a new gold color that would reinforce it as a symbol of power and wealth in countries such as China and India. CNN 8/22/13

Apple Inc. (AAPL)has purchased navigation-software company Embark Inc.as part of an effort to improve the performance of its mapping system after a bungled debut last year.” Bloomberg News 8/22/13

Google Ventures, the venture capital arm of Google (GOOG), has invested $258 million in Uber, an app that connects riders to drivers of luxury vehicles for hire. Techcrunch 8/22/13, Wikipedia

Coca-Cola,PepsiCo and Hershey's are ranked highest in a recent CoreBrand survey of top brands according to business decision makers and high-level consumers,”while H&R Block,Delta and Philip Morris ranked lowest among the 500 companies tracked. The Kansas City Star 8/22/13

Mega UK grocery and home goods retailer,Tesco, plans to offer its own tablet computer, Hudl, in time for Christmas, to compete with Apple, Google and Amazon tablet devices. The Guardian 8/21/13

J. Crew has posted its Fall line on its Pinterest page, a move that provides the company with an advance look at best-selling items, as well as creating social buzz. Bloomberg Businessweek 8/21/13

Sales of WhiteWave Foods (WWAV) Silk brand almond milk products grew by more than 50 percent last quarter, as interest in milk alternatives continues to grow and consumers explore non-soy alternatives. Bloomberg Businessweek 8/21/13

LinkedIn (LNKD) plans to open its website to students, 13 years and older, and has also launched University Pages to provide “a new way for schools, students, and alumni to connect, communicate, and explore unique insights about the full range of career possibilities.”LinkedIn 8/19/13

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Brand Research: Rituals Make Food and Beverages Taste Better, Restaurant Sales Dip, Ad Recall on Tablets, Mobile Apps and Teens

on Sun, 08/25/2013 - 00:05

A recent study published in the Journal of Psychological Science finds that “little rituals around eating and drinking make them more enjoyable.” USA Today 8/24/13

Bloomberg News reports that “Restaurant sales contracted in June and July, even as spending on other discretionary categories such as automobiles and homes grew, a sign some Americans remain budget conscious.” Bloomberg News 8/23/13

A recent study published in the journal of Psychological Science finds that “little rituals around eating and drinking make them more enjoyable.” USA Today 8/24/13

A study from IPG Media Laband YuMesays tablet users are more likely to watch an ad, resulting in higher recall than smartphone, computer or TV viewers. Variety 8/23/13

“58% of American teens have downloaded an app to a cell phone or tablet. More than half of teen apps users have avoided an app due to concerns about sharing their personal information---and girls are especially likely to take steps to protect their location data.” Download the full report here. Pew Research 8/22/13

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Brand Strategy: Building Engagement Through “Unexpected Writing”

on Sun, 08/25/2013 - 00:02

With a little imagination, the fine print, such as terms and conditions, provide opportunities to surprise and delight customers.

The Guardian 8/22/13

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Video: Can This Alex Bogusky Social Experiment Create a Million American Jobs?

on Sat, 08/24/2013 - 14:12

In this video for the Million American Jobs Project, Alex Bogusky, former creative director/partner and co-chair of advertising agency, Crispin, Porter + Bogusky,  says a million new jobs will be created if everyone who sees this video shares it with two friends and buys just 5% more US made products.

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Video: New Kia Spot Debuts Hipster Hamsters

on Sat, 08/24/2013 - 10:29

This new spot from Kia debuts the "Totally Transformed" 2014 Kia Soul and Kia hamsters to the tune of Lady Gaga's "Applause."

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Brand News: Coca-Cola, Facebook, Google, Kohl’s, McDonald’s, MillerCoors, Microsoft, Paula Deen, Taco Bell

on Sun, 08/18/2013 - 14:17

Microsoft (MSFT) has apologized for a three day outage with Outlook.com that prevented users from accessing email. Business Insider 8/18/13

Forty percent of internet traffic is based on Google (GOOG) say analysts, based on the drop in internet traffic on 8/16 when Google was down for a few minutes. Forbes 8/17/2013

The Coca-Cola Company (KO) has introduced a bottled herbal tea drink in Thailand called Habu. Separately, the company is running ads defending the safety of artificial sweeteners. Businessweek 8/16/13, Adweek 8/14/13

McDonald’s (MCD) is the latest global brand to open stores in Vietnam, joining Starbucks, KFC, Pizza Hut, Subway, and others attracted to the high percentage of people under 30 (60%) typically attracted to well-known brands. Voice of America 8/16/13

MillerCoors is launching Miller Fortune to compete with Anheuser-Busch Bud Light Platinum. Advertising Age 8/15/13

Saying that national brands encourage store traffic more that private or celebrity brands, the 1,155 department store chain Kohl’s (KSS) plans to emphasize national brands and expanded cosmetics sections to improve performance. Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel 8/15/13

A Pew Research national survey “did not indicate a decrease in the total number of Facebook-using teens, even though the focus group findings suggest that teens’ relationship with Facebook is complicated and may be evolving.” Pew Research 8/15/13

Taco Bell will launch the Fiery Doritos Locos Taco on August 22, the third flavor in the brand’s Doritos Locos Tacos series, the most successful product platform in Taco Bell’s  history. CNBC 8/14/13

A judge has dismissed the racial discrimination lawsuit filed by a former employee of Paula Deen, but other aspects of the lawsuit, including sexual harassment and abusive treatment are pending. CNN 8/13/13

 

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Brand Research: Brands Linked to Happiness, 97% of Top Brands Use Twitter

on Sun, 08/18/2013 - 14:16

The Guardian study of Britons’ moods says brands can fuel happiness when they behave responsibly and ethically, and that ethical business practices are becoming a more important characteristic of brands. The Guardian 8/16/13

Ninety-seven percent of the world’s largest brands used Twitter in 2013, tweeting on average 30 times per week, says a new study from social media monitoring company Brandwatch. Media Bistro 8/16/13

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Video: Jell-O Pudding - Antidote to Workday Grind

on Sun, 08/18/2013 - 13:27

Jell-O pudding soothes the "soul-crushing drudgery of working life" in this ad from Crispin Porter + Bogusky. AdWeek 8/14/13

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Brand News: Amazon, AOL, Dominos, Honest Tea, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Pollo Tropical, Twitter, Wal-Mart, WinCo

on Sun, 08/11/2013 - 14:38

AOL CEO fired the Patch creative director during a company-wide conference call for doing, obstensibly, what he always did: take photos of people talking during conference calls and posting them on Patch’s internal news site. Listen to the call on media business blog Romenesko. Business Insider 8/11/13

Amazon launched its Fine Art and Collectibles section this week, offering a wide range of original and affordable works for art from smaller galleries, to a $4.85 million Norman Rockwell painting. Business Insider 8/10/13

Twitter is partnering with Datalogix to “gauge the impact of tweets – both paid and organic – on sales for consumer packaged goods marketers.” AdAge Digital 8/8/13

Western grocery chainWinCo, with about 100 stores, is being touted as Wal-Mart’s worst nightmare, because of cheaper prices, limited brands, and better employee benefits.  Business Insider 8/8/13

 Qdoba Mexican Grill, which has closed 62 units so far this year, is “undergoing a comprehensive brand review to reset plans to move forward” for the remaining 592 locations. Nation’s Restaurant News 8/9/13

Fiesta Restaurant Group Inc. will debut a new prototype of its “primary expansion vehicle,” Pollo Tropical, in Dallas in early 2014. Nations’ Restaurant News 8/9/13

Wal-Mart (WMT)  is doubling the number of alcohol buyers, discounting beer brands, and making more room for beer displays in a bid to significantly boost beer sales. Bloomberg 8/8/13

Honest Tea co-founders Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff  have written Mission in a Bottle, a memoir in comic book form that provides a  “guide to building a mission driven business in a profit driven world,” a memoir in comic book form. Their book comes out September 3rd.  AdWeek, 9/7/13

A new campaign from Domino’s (DPZ) memorializes pizza’s role in fueling hard work, startups and innovation (“nobody’s coming up with a world changing idea over halibut” ), promotes entrepreneurialism with $500 “Pizzavestments”  for a lucky 30 startups, and Domino’s gift cards to successfully funded projects on Indiegogo.com. Advertising Age 8/5/13


 

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Brand Strategy: Fighting Free with Free, Budgeting for Innovation

on Sun, 08/11/2013 - 14:34

How Established Companies Can Block The Assault of Free Products

This article from Harvard Business Review suggests that established companies can fight the assault of a free product competitor is to respond in kind, while constructing a new business strategy.  Harvard Business Review 8/7/13

 

Competing Through Innovation

Forrester says that the only way to compete is to evolve and innovate; and to do that, marketing leaders must understand and rethink their company’s culture. Forrester 8/7/13

 

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