chew on this

Pizza Hut 'Subconscious Menu' Figures Out What's Topping of Mind

Posted by Dale Buss on November 28, 2014 06:10 PM

When it comes to ordering pizza, the question can only be: What will they think of next?

Pizza Hut has again demonstrated that as far as promoting its pies, some of the most interesting things these days have to do with how they're ordered, not even with the pizza itself.

The new "Subsconscious Menu" at Pizza Hut in the UK figures out what topping diners want on their pizza even if the customer isn't sure—using eye-tracking technology to figure out what's topping of mind, you might say.Continue reading...

week in review

Top 10 Stories of the Week: Black Friday Moves by Nike, Samsung and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 28, 2014 04:04 PM

Our most-read blog posts of the week:

Nike Opens First Store for Women as Lululemon Readies First Men's Store

Samsung Gears Up for Holidays with VR, Pop-Up Stores and Kristen and Dax

Even Amy Poehler Can't Save Old Navy From Thanksgiving Day Flap

Brands On Facebook and Twitter, Take Note—Your Reach is Waning

Amazon's Black Friday Blitz: Robots, Snapchat and Early Flash Sales  

How Budweiser Woos Craft Beer-Loving Millennials: Wooden Crates, Jay Z  

Coca-Cola Celebrates Santa Claus (and Milk, of Course) This Holiday Season  

Can Uber Reverse the Damage Before Driving its Brand Into a Ditch?  

3D Print the Holidays: MakerBot Launches in Staples, Amazon and Home Depot  

Neigh Worries: Budweiser Releases Clydesdales Ad Early to Squelch Fears 


AMEX's Small Business Saturday Turns 5 With Etsy, Shinola, Simon and Garfunkel

Posted by Dale Buss on November 28, 2014 03:05 PM

After five years of luring post-Black Friday shoppers to think small (and independent), Small Business Saturday is catching on.

But the annual U.S. shopping event to drive business to independent retailers, launched in 2009 by American Express, has a long way to go before it's on a par with Black Friday or even Cyber Monday.

AmEx has managed to attract a lot of partners to Small Business Saturday over the years, including other small-biz advocates such as the National Federation of Independent Businesses and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

This year, nearly 3,000 neighborhoods in every state and DC have signed on to host events and in-store promotions for shoppers. A handful of markets are featuring related events, such as Etsy Trunk Shows co-sponsored by American Express.

"It works because Small Business Saturday connects the small-business owner, the customer and the community, and each year that increases," Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, a spokeswoman for the event and owner of Denver-based, told brandchannel.Continue reading...


Black Friday Spurs Global Brawls, U.S. Protests and Mobile Shopping

Posted by Dale Buss on November 28, 2014 12:28 PM

The Black Friday bandwagon is creaking a little bit. Yes, it's a worldwide sales event, with Black Friday fever also overtaking the U.K., Canada and parts beyond today.

Back in its homeland, U.S. political protests are using today to gain attention for their particular causes by attaching them to America's post-turkey trot to the stores, online or in person. But the object of all that attention—the US shopper—may not be along for the ride.

Annual controversies about whether retail chains should open on Thanksgiving  and the ensuing retail melee have been obviated by the fact that many of them opened "early" for Black Friday at some point on Thursday, and shoppers, predictably, poured in—and fights ensued, earning the moniker (yet again) of Black Eye Friday.

Overall, however, economists say U.S. consumers still seem hestitant, even as hardcore bargain-lovers executed their own personal Black Friday plans.Continue reading...

bc q&a

Shomi the Money: 5 Questions for SVOD Content Wrangler Marni Shulman

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 28, 2014 11:14 AM

shomi, the Canadian streaming video-on-demand service that launched this month, aims to slow growth of Netflix Canada with binge-worthy hits such as House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black

To do so, shomi is programming and leveraging U.S. content like those hit shows—and other titles including The Blacklist, 2 Broke Girls, Two and a Half Men, DaVinci's Demons, American Horror Story, Sons of Anarchy, Wilfred, Modern Family and Sleepy Hollow—to attract and build a loyal audience.

The subscription video on demand (SVOD) brand's backers—Canadian cable giants Shaw Media and Rogers Media—are dipping into a $100 million war chest to license in-demand titles from Disney/ABC, CBS, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, Starz Digital Media and BBC Worldwide.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Black Friday Goes Global and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 28, 2014 09:43 AM


Walmart is in the spotlight, and on the hot seat, as mega-retailer talks up its U.S. Thanksgiving Day sales, U.S. workers strike and Ferguson protests morph into Black Friday boycott that also hits Target.

Apple and Beats also release Black Friday ads (including #SoloSelfie spot with Kendall and Kylie Jenner) as shoppers worldwide hunt (and fight) for Black Friday deals. 

Amazon is reportedly in talks to buy India's Jabong fashion portal for $1.2 billion.

Takata air bag crisis addressed by Japanese government.

Philosophy launches PSA promoting mental illness awareness.Continue reading...


Digital Pop-Ups Bring Black Friday Shopping Into the Subway

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 27, 2014 05:02 PM

As Black Friday continues going global, the quest to make shoppers embrace online/offline omnichannel shopping this holiday is moving underground.

British retailer Argos, the UK's biggest High Street retailer online, has opened its first Underground store at London's Cannon Street Tube station as a click-and-collect depot during the holiday season in partnership with Transport for London (TfL).

The underground Argos Collect store offers access to 20,000 products, pitching convenience to time-pressed commuters, who make an average of 4.2 million journeys on the London Underground every day, with the enticing prospect that all products ordered by 1pm can be picked up on the go within hours.Continue reading...


Explore Together: Durex Tests Bi-Media Ad for Mobile/TV Synchronized Viewing

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 27, 2014 03:45 PM

Last month Honda tested an interactive dual-narrative ad campaign to promote its "Type R" model at Halloween, inviting viewers to toggle between two versions of the same narrative with the click of a button.

Now Durex is ready to launch what it's calling the world’s first synchronized dual-screen ad, where users in the UK can experience another side to a TV commercial story by pointing the Durex Explore mobile app at the screen.

According to The Drum, the aim of the "Explore Together" campaign is to capture what the characters get up to in private, and direct viewers to the just-relaunched Durex website. Continue reading...

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