follow the money

Bitcoin Gets More Respect From Major Brands

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 18, 2014 12:02 PM

Bitcoin currency gold coins

Bitcoin has survived skepticism, economic volatility and outright hostility from entrenched financial institutions since it was created by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. But now, it's starting to seep into the global economy as more big brands are stepping out in support of the digital currency.

Time Inc. is the latest company to announce it’s accepting the virtual currency for subscriptions to many of its magazines, including Fortune, Health, This Old House and Travel and Leisure.

“For a major publisher like Time Inc. to embrace Bitcoin sends an important message to both its readers and to the broader media community,” said Brian Armstrong, CEO and co-founder of Coinbase (Time Inc.'s Bitcoin processor), according to the New York Times.Continue reading...

content strategy

GE Partners With Nas to Release First Documentary for Connected TVs

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 18, 2014 10:44 AM

GE is flexing its content muscles in a new direction, by releasing a documentary and video package aimed at youths, hip hop fans and science buffs.

The company is releasing its first feature film—a breakdancing documentary—for streaming platforms, connected TVs and mobile devices.

Shake the Dust, a documentary executive-produced by rapper Nasir "Nas" Jones, will debut on Christmas Eve in a partnership between GE and music video platform Vevo.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Sony Exits 'The Interview,' Carnival Crowdsources Super Bowl Ad

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 18, 2014 08:15 AM

TOP STORIES

Sony cancels The Interview movie release as U.S. officials now believe (others disagree) that North Korea was behind company's cyberhack (and 90 percent of companies vulnerable), while Snapchat CEO reportedly "devastated" by latest email leak.

Carnival signs on for Super Bowl ad, letting the public choose one of four options.

Gap Inc. expands China distribution in deal with Alibaba rival JD.com.

U.S. restores relations with Cuba as Russia faces economic collapse.

Burberry launches last-minute personalized gift service via Twitter.Continue reading...

mobile brands

BlackBerry Classic: Will Going Back to Basics—and QWERTY—Boost Brand?

Posted by Catherine Straut on December 17, 2014 05:02 PM

BlackBerry Classic 2014 reveal

Today, BlackBerry officially unveiled the new BlackBerry Classic at a press event in New York.

The release isn't intended to be a nostalgic pitch for the brand's early adopters, or just "a QWERTY throwback." Canada's once-leading mobile brand is seeking another hit by refreshing the phone that launched its brand worldwide.

According to the brand's official blog, the device responds to current customers' demand for a “familiar design” that merges the “security and speed” of the BlackBerry10 platform, which launched in early 2013.

"The conversation about BlackBerry has changed in the last year," CEO John Chen said as he launched the Classic at Manhattan's Cipriani restaurant. "We are here to stay, there is no question about that. Now we have to engineer our growth."Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Google Promotes Open Standards to Advance Internet of Things

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 17, 2014 04:04 PM

Google is reaching out to the academic community to submit proposals for an Internet of Things (IoT) open standards program to be called the 'Open Web of Things.'

The initiative’s goals are to further the development of open standards, facilitate ease of use and ensure that privacy and security are fundamental values in the evolution of the IoT.

"Imagine a world in which access to networked technology defies the constraints of desktops, laptops or smartphones," blogged Vint Cerf, Google's Chief Internet Evangelist, along with Roy Want and Max Senges of Google Research.

"A future where we work seamlessly with connected systems, services, devices and 'things' to support work practices, education, and daily interactions."Continue reading...

sip on this

The Cup Song Ends: Coca-Cola Calls Off 13-Year 'American Idol' Tie-In

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 17, 2014 02:07 PM

Coca-Cola’s branding has been all over Fox’s American Idol for 13 seasons, from the massive cups visible on the judges’ table to the dizzying background videos when host Ryan Seacrest sits down to have a tête-à-tête with contestants. 

But Coke has finally decided to disengage from the once all-powerful FOX TV show, Variety reports. The show has been losing ratings in recent years and announced this week that the results segments would be completely eliminated; performances and results will now all be in one episode, AmericanIdolnet.com reports.

Apparently, the audition portions are popular enough for the network to keep them around for two nights a week, so the next season will start off with two audition episodes followed by once-weekly showings after that.

All of it will now be without Coke, though the question remains how producers will handle the Coke-emblazoned cups that may have been in front of the judges last summer when they taped the auditions. (Digital product placement insertion, perhaps?)Continue reading...

bc q&a

The House of Content: 5 Questions With Coty Global Digital VP Kristen D'Arcy

Posted by Brittany Waterson on December 17, 2014 01:17 PM

Global beauty products manufacturer Coty boasts a large portfolio of brands and is responsible for some of the world’s strongest consumer franchises including OPI, Marc Jacobs, Philosophy and Rimmel. With over a century in the business, Coty has become a top name in beauty, housing over 47 brands across 40 countries. 

Earlier this month, Coty relaunched its public website and corporate intranet—now called ”The House”—with a fresh look highlighting the company’s creativity showcasing innovation, leadership and collaboration.

The new Coty.com reflects a heavy emphasis on editorial and imagery and aims to show visitors new and relevant content that better reflects the company culture and user interests.  

brandchannel contributor Brittany Waterson spoke with Kristen D’Arcy, Vice President of Global Digital for Coty (and one of Ad Age's top digital marketers of 2014), on the beauty conglomerate’s digital strategy, the internal and external web moves, and creating a seamless omnichannel brand experience.Continue reading...

brand targets

Sony Can't Exit "The Interview" Woes as Movie Release Cancelled [Update]

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 17, 2014 11:47 AM

The Interview poster Seth Rogen James Franco

Sony has gotten itself into a bit of a fine mess by producing a film that was supposed to make people laugh while bringing in a few bucks. 

The Interview, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, is a comedy about a TV crew sent to North Korea to assassinate the country’s leader. North Korea, not known for its sense of humor, was not a fan of the film’s concept and sent a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calling the film an “undisguised sponsoring of terrorism, as well as an act of war.”

While diplomacy with North Korea was not the goal of the film (otherwise Dennis Rodman would have been cast), its producers surely didn’t predict that the film would end up causing the mighty Sony’s knees to quake. Last month, a hacker group busted into Sony’s global IT network and now the same crew is threatening violence against movie theaters that show the film.

Update: Sony isn’t officially pulling has officially pulled the film, with no plans to release it in theaters, on DVD, on VOD or streaming, while U.S. intelligence officials now believe North Korea was behind the cyberattack.Continue reading...

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