chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on December 4, 2013 11:07 AM
The gourmet burger is king in fast-casual restaurants these days, but gourmet pizza may be threatening the throne.
Olive Garden is the latest chain to bow to the rise of gourmet burgers. In a move that doesn't at first glance seem to fit with its Italian menu, the Darden-owned brand has introduced its Italiano Burger nationwide as part of a broader menu overhaul. The burger is topped with crisp prosciutto, mozzarella cheese, arugula, tomatoes marinated in fresh basil, and garlic and Italian spices, according to NRN.com. And it's served with a garlic aioli spread and comes with parmesan-garlic fries.
But it's still a burger. And that's the point: To combat slower sales, Olive Garden is trying lots of new stuff. "The objective is to regain same-restaurant traffic momentum," CEO Clarence Otis said in September when discussing earnings, according to NRN.com.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 4, 2013 09:18 AM
Snapchat hires away Emily White, Instagram's ad exec, to be company COO.
Mercedes-Benz CLA comes through and cements US sales lead over BMW.
Newsweek plans return to print.
Applebee's rolls out tablets nationwide.
Benetton rises above Levi's to become India's top international fashion brand.
BJ's Wholesale Club owners express interest in buying Hess gas stations.
Boeing tantalizes states with 777x production.
China issues 4G mobile licenses to country's three main telecom companies.
Drake announces partnership with Nike's Jordan brand.
Greenpeace makes Christmas a downer with Santa reporting from melting Arctic.
JCPenney finally reports comp-sales increase.Continue reading...
long arm of the law
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 3, 2013 08:03 PM
When the sure-to-be-contentious races get fully underway for 33 Senate seats, 38 state and territorial governorships, and all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives later this year, political advertising will probably feel inescapable. Signs, T-shirts, and door knockers will be out in full force. Robocalls are sure to come early and often. Whatever creative way politicians can find to get their names into the brains of those who will head to the polls on Nov. 4 will be used.
However, there will be at least one safe zone on the media landscape that folks can hide from the onslaught: public television and radio. The US Court of Appeals in San Francisco has ruled that public radio and TV stations cannot run ads from political candidates and corporations.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 3, 2013 07:22 PM
Tina Brown, once the editor of venerable print brands like Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Talk, and Newsweek, doesn’t even read magazines anymore. “The habit has gone,” she told reporters in India last month.
The “habit” is apparently gone for a lot of other folks, too. Everywhere you turn, consumers are looking deeply into their screens rather than into the pages of a magazine or newspaper. Advertisers have noticed and are moving more of their dollars into the digital world. New York magazine’s ad pages are down 9.2 percent so far this year, according to Ad Age.
That’s part of the reason the title announced Monday that it would be printing half as many issues next year—ramping down from 42 issues to 29—printing every two weeks while its website, nymag.com, will start publishing more content. The move will save the company $3.5 million in manufacturing costs—savings that will be recycled back into the magazine and website to product better content.
The announcement came fittingly on Cyber Monday.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 3, 2013 06:39 PM
The biggest shopping day of the year—Black Friday—has birthed a handful of shopping spinoffs, including a less than welcome Grey Thursday, Small Business Saturday, and the wildly successful Cyber Monday—and now in its second year—Giving Tuesday.
Started last year as an antidote to the holiday weekend's retail madness by New York's 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, #GivingTuesday has now gone global with organizations in Australia, Canada, Mexico and Singapore participating. More than 8,000 organizations have signed up to participate from all 50 US states—a marked increase from last year’s inaugural event that attracted over 2,500 organizations.
Some efforts from major brands include:Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 3, 2013 05:02 PM
Social media has given new life to the news, with a constant, eye-witness, real-time stream of events happening around the world, and Facebook and Twitter are working hard to keep such content front and center in their feeds.
Facebook has updated its News Feed feature to highlight more news and "high quality content." The social network will start adding related links with news stories and as older stories generate new comments, they’ll be bumped back up near the top of News Feeds, leveraging the ever-evolving algorithm considered Facebook’s “secret sauce.”
"Starting soon, we'll be doing a better job of distinguishing between a high quality article on a website versus a meme photo hosted somewhere other than Facebook when people click on those stories on mobile," according to a press release.
The effort will put Facebook in more direct competition with Twitter, which publishes users' tweets in chronological order without the help (or hindrance) of a content algorithm like Facebook's.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 3, 2013 03:53 PM
Cyber Monday sales set a new one-day record for online shopping yesterday with an increase of 20 percent over 2012, while mobile sales increased 55 perent year-over-year and now account for more than 17 percent of total online sales for Cyber Monday.
Walmart, Amazon and eBay were the day's big winners, as Walmart.com quickly sold out of its entire stock of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, with CEO Joel Anderson proclaiming, "There's no way ... that it won't finish as our biggest Cyber Monday ever," according to USA Today. "I think 2013 will be remembered as the year online went mobile."
Amazon offered half-off Mattel and Fisher-Price products, 46 percent off a Canon digital camera and 65 percent off men and women’s cashmere, while eBay promoted more than 80 percent off diamond stud earrings.
Most consumers accessed the deals via tablets, while mobile phones were used most for browsing. Tablets accounted for 12 percent of purchases versus 5.5 percent from smartphones.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 3, 2013 02:38 PM
Dow Chemical wants to unleash the low-margin commodity-chemicals businesses that have always anchored the company in favor of a higher-margin, higher-IP future involving more specialized products, a bigger brand presence—and maybe even a name change.
CEO Andrew Liveris told journalists on Monday that Dow plans to shed about $5 billion in assets such as chlorine-production facilities, epoxy businesses and brine operations. Liveris said there likely would be a mix of asset sales and shutdowns, all aimed at streamlining the company and making it more like rival DuPont in simplifying the portfolio, boosting shareholder returns, and optimizing its IP.
The move "represents a continuation of the shift of our company toward downstream high-margin products and technologies that customers value, and generate consistently higher returns than cyclical commodity products," Liveris said in a statement. And indeed, as Dow CEO, Liveris has been on a course toward increasing specialization for most of a decade.Continue reading...