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media brands

Apple TV Slims Down for HBO Now (and Game of Thrones) Arrival

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 5, 2015 05:37 PM

It's been a long time since HBO's iconic tagline—"It's Not TV. It's HBO"—applied, given the availability of the premium network on the web, smartphones and tables via the HBO Go service.

The only catch is that HBO Go is (ahem, technically) exclusive to cable, satellite and telco TV subscribers with HBO in their pay TV packages. It's also on Xbox, Amazon Prime and available to Comcast customers with Roku devices.

HBO Go also launches today on PlayStation 4—but Comcast is none too pleased and reportedly (reportedly) blocking access to it, just as it did with HBO Go on PS3.

And next month, Comcast and its competitors will have even more to worry about. Continue reading...


McDonald's New CEO Vows to Not Chicken Out on Healthier Food

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 5, 2015 03:07 PM

McDonald’s has suffered the biggest sales decline in its 75-year history, as consumers choose healthier rival chains like Chipotle, Shake Shack and Panera Bread, which only sell antibiotic-free products.

So the world’s largest fast-food restaurant chain has announced it will stop serving chickens fed and injected with antibiotics at its 14,000 US restaurants.

In addition, McDonald’s US restaurants will soon offer customers milk jugs of low-fat white milk and fat-free chocolate milk from cows that are not treated with rbST, an artificial growth hormone.Continue reading...

cola wars

Coca-Cola Adopts One-Brand Strategy in the UK Under Choose Happiness Banner

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 5, 2015 01:15 PM

The Coca-Cola Company spends a lot of time, energy and money marketing its many different brands.

The company, however, has decided to take a different tack in the UK and put all of its Coca-Cola products—Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero and Coke Life—into a unified brand architecture to clean up any confusion in the marketplace—especially around its beverage brands with reduced sugar and calories.

Its research shows that UK consumers do not fully understand the difference between the four brands. So by putting them all under the Coca-Cola name, the global beverage giant hopes to differentiate them on the actual packaging.Continue reading...


Keurig Pressured on Sustainability as Coca-Cola, Dr Pepper Develop Pods

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 5, 2015 11:55 AM

Almost one in three American homes has a pod-based coffee machine. Last year alone, K-Cups, king of the single-serve, brought in $4.7 billion for its maker, Keurig Green Mountain.

Another eye-popping stat: John Sylvan, father of the K-Cup, estimates that Keurig single-cup brewing machines produce 10 times more solid waste than a single-cup serving made in a drip machine.

That dilemma—consumers love them, explosive growth and the cost to the environment—is putting massive pressure on Keurig, especially as it's opening its doors to other brands including Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper Snapple brands, and making a move in the coming year into the at-home pod system market. Continue reading...


Auto Brands to Apple and Google: We'll Win the Self-Driving Future

Posted by Dale Buss on March 5, 2015 11:01 AM

One hundred and seventy-eight billion dollars. As the size of Apple's pile of cash, it's enough to send fear into the hearts of any potential target. That includes the auto industry, which is trying to process the recent news that Apple has at least 200 people working on the possibility of applying a big hunk of that cash to making an iCar of sorts.

But at the Geneva Auto Show this week and other industry get-togethers, car titans are going out of their way to reassure their shareholders, employees—and themselves—that they can rise to the challenge of meeting Apple and Google and other tech giants on the playing field that the auto industry knows best: making cars. That includes cars that are self-driven, network-connected or race cars.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: McDonald's, AbbVie, Etsy and More

Posted by Dale Buss on March 5, 2015 09:29 AM


Apple delays delays bigger iPad for enterprise clients ahead of next week's Apple Watch launch, reportedly clinches deal with HBO for streaming via Apple TV.

AbbVie swoops in and buys Pharmacyclis for $21 billion, outmaneuvering J&J.

Etsy files for IPO with desired stock ticker of $ETSY.

McDonald's US revamps food-sourcing to limit hormones and antibiotics in chicken.

Peeps flavored milk has arrived while the brand brings back Easter diorama contests to drive creativity. Continue reading...

tech innovation

How Moonshot Thinking Informs Everything Google Does

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 4, 2015 08:02 PM

While Google has a part of our daily lives, it never stops dreaming big.

From its futuristic new headquarters concept (all curved glass) to its Google X lab "moonshot" R&D projects including contact lenses that monitor glucose levels, Google Glass wearable tech, balloon-based Wi-Fi (Project Loon), drone delivery (Project Wing) and self-driving cars, there are few areas its engineers, developers and dreamers won't explore.

Some of those transformative innovations are becoming reality. As revealed at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, its Project Loon Wi-Fi is getting close to launching (and could make billions), while it could launch driverless cars this year. Continue reading...

bc q&a

Precision Matters: 5 Questions with GMC Brand Vice President Duncan Aldred

Posted by Dale Buss on March 4, 2015 05:45 PM

GMC has a lot to smile about these days. And now that GMC's North American truck sales are through the roof, General Motors is getting serious about promoting its premium brand.

The GM-owned brand is launching its biggest national TV ad campaign, "Precision Matters," in 15 years, with plans to boost ad spending this year by about 50 percent over last year.

The new commercials focus on "Precision" as the unifying theme and are being promoted with the hashtag #professionalgrade.

The spots remind SUV and truck buyers that GMC is a premium brand known for quality designs and well-executed details. GMC's top-of-the-line Denali versions, for example, include such details as an iconic chrome grille, wood-grain accents, lighted sill plates and more.Continue reading...

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