branded entertainment

Branded Entertainment Watch: Play-Doh, Pepsi, Downy and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on December 19, 2014 12:36 PM

The Project: "A Year in Play-Doh Moments” for Hasbro

The Plot: Everyone's favorite play clay celebrates the major milestones and moments of 2014 with 8 stills featuring sculptures of the year's biggest trends. See the whole set here.

The Verdict: Wacky good fun.Continue reading...

tech style

Norton, Samsung Predict Smart Garments Will Clothe Quantified Self Movement

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 19, 2014 11:45 AM

Wearable tech is reframing the conversation about individuals’ control over their privacy and their health as the quantified self movement takes hold.

Security software company Norton, is betting on smart garments to stop identity theft. Partnering with San Francisco-based crowdfunding clothing design company Betabrand, they’re making jeans and a blazer with radio frequency identification (RFID)-blocking fabrics in the pockets. 

"Both articles of clothing promise to keep identify thieves from swiping identifying information from things like passports and contactless credit cards," The Verge reports. "The pants include two such protected pockets, one in front and one in the back where your wallet typically goes, while the blazer includes just one."

The items are set to go on sale in February as other RFID-blocked products like wallets, cell phone cases and pouches hit the emergent market.Continue reading...

retail

IKEA Hires First Children's Illustrator in Residence to Engage Kids

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 19, 2014 10:34 AM

IKEA has a charming idea to enchant kids with the idea of the family meal—hire a kids' book illustrator to spark their imaginations.

The Swedish furniture retailer's UK team tapped artist Sarah Horne as "illustrator-in-residence" in a first for the brand.

Its Wembley store in London invited her in to collaborate with kids on ways to bring fun back to the dinner table—part of the brand's commitment to make every meal a special occasion and enhance the quality of life at home. 

See what happened below.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Apple, Nike, Bumble Bee and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 19, 2014 09:09 AM

TOP STORIES

Apple under fire again following BBC investigation into conditions at Chinese factories.

Nike's latest quarterly report shows revenues up (and luxury path) as shares drop on soft orders and designers lawsuit revealed.

Bumble Bee tuna brand sold to Thai Union Frozen (TUF) Products for $1.5 billion.

Unilever withdraws Just Mayo lawsuit as Hampton Creek agrees to relabel products.

Sony seen as likely to eventually release The Interview as George Clooney emerges as Sony defender.Continue reading...

automotive

CES 2015: BMW Demos Sensor-Filled i3 That Self-Parks Via Smartwatch

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 18, 2014 05:44 PM

BMW parking assistant watch

Trouble parking? BMW can help with that. The brand plans to display its sensor-filled BMW i3 at CES 2015 this January, and will demo the model's driverless parking system that's operated by a smartwatch known as the Remote Valet Parking Assistant. 

The BMW i3 can navigate multi-level parking garages as it “combines information from the laser scanners with the digital site plan of a building," according to the automaker's description. “The system will steer the vehicle independently through the levels, while the driver has already got out of the car. Once the BMW i3 has arrived at the parking space, the vehicle locks itself."

Once the driver is ready to leave, they can call up the car through voice command, at which point the app "calculates the exact time until the driver arrives at the car park and starts up the BMW i3 so that it arrives at the car park exit at exactly the right time.”

Also to be demoed at CES: BMW’s new 360-degree collision avoidance platform. “If the vehicle approaches a wall or a column too quickly, the system brakes automatically to prevent the threat of collision,” the company said in a press release.Continue reading...

media brands

As Serial Podcast Wraps, Marketers Rediscover Sound of Engagement

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 18, 2014 04:04 PM

Serial podcast logo

Americans once gathered around their radios each evening to hear weekly installments of crime dramas, soap operas and other shows, but it's been decades since a program has captivated audiences in the same way. Enter "Serial," a podcast put together by the producers of American public radio's award-winning "This American Life" series hosted by Ira Glass.

Already renewed for season two, the groundbreaking podcast, which chronicled journalist Sarah Koenig's reopening of a closed 1999 murder case in real time, finished its first season today. Over the course of the past 13 weeks, it renewed interest in the format among listeners and marketers, breaking records for podcast downloads and generating interest from intrigued brand marketers along the way.Continue reading...

tech innovation

CES 2015: Hospitality Brands Take Guests on Personalized Tech Journey

Posted by Corey Lewis on December 18, 2014 03:03 PM

The macro-shift toward the consumer is nothing new for the hospitality industry. Trained to anticipate guests' every needs with the reply-and-philosophy of "at your service,” they’ve been perfecting the art of customer-centricity for years. Arguably, they may have even invented it. But, unlike the upstarts and the startups with their nimble teams and their native know-how, some hospitality companies have stumbled to adopt the service mantra for the modern age. 

But not all. In fact, the broader trends that are taking hold of the industry indicate that hospitality brands are still at the forefront, innovating and improving in the built-in consumer focus labs that are their rooms, restaurants, and service spaces. There’s plenty to learn from these leaders, truths that have been R&Ded and are ripe to apply and reinterpret outside the category. 

Let’s take a look at five top trends for today and 2015, the impact of technology—and who’s doing it right:Continue reading...

brand roadmaps

Pressed for Growth, Campbell Wants to Be 'More Than Just Soup'

Posted by Dale Buss on December 18, 2014 02:05 PM

Campbell's Soup Mmm Mmm Good hashtag

Campbell's Soup has come a long way from the simple days when its iconic slogan "M'm M'm Good!" meant that sales were as healthy as a steaming bowl of tomato soup. Today's internal catchphrase for the company is "Real Food That Matters for Life's Moments." And therein lies a new tale.

Under CEO Denise Morrison, who is now entering her fourth year, Campbell has tried mightily to resurrect sales of its staple product: Mainstream soups. The company has tried taking salt out and then putting it back in. It has tried riotous new flavors and uncommon packaging to attract millennials who haven't grown up on soup. It has called the stuff "Go Soup!" and come up with recipe apps for soup. Campbell also has tried various pricing and other promotional gambits.

But even the occasional wins in the soup category have turned out to be chimeras. For example, for the quarter that ended Nov. 2, Campbell's U.S. soup sales were up by 6 percent—just the second time that has happened in 15 months. But the gain was a false one, BuzzFeed reported, in that it occurred mainly because big retailers including Walmart made holiday orders earlier than usual.Continue reading...

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