tech innovation

Tim Cook's Sneak Peek at Apple Watch Promises No Privacy Sneakiness

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 28, 2015 12:15 PM

Apple CEO Tim Cook, in London this week, gave The Telegraph (and employees) an exclusive look at the Apple Watch—and also shared his (and the company's) unequivocal stance on privacy. In his bluntest remarks to date, he warned that personal information is being "trafficked around" and people "don’t fully understand what is going on."

He emphatically stated that Apple is a fierce protector of customers' private data—a concern as Apple Watch gets ready to launch in early April with health tracking and third-party apps.

"None of us should accept that the government or a company or anybody should have access to all of our private information," Cook said. "This is a basic human right. We all have a right to privacy. We shouldn't give it up. We shouldn't give in to scare-mongering or to people who fundamentally don’t understand the details."Continue reading...

social marketing

116 Brands That Didn't Zip It During #TheDress Frenzy

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 27, 2015 05:15 PM

#TheDress color debate inspired 11 million tweets at peak chatter on Twitter, and more than 30 million views for the Buzzfeed article that made it the hottest meme in a day that also saw a social media frenzy over two leggy llamas on the loose.

So which brands won the fray? Those that responded quickly, visually and with humor, of course. They all hoped for their Oreo moment; not even Oreo succeeded. The big winner here wasn't Roman Originals, which made the dress, but Buzzfeed, which blew the doors off its website and survived.

Check out 110 111 114 115 (we give up) brands tweeting about the mother-of-the-bride dress that tore up the Internet—for better or worse.Continue reading...


Gap Inc. Sees Customer Experience and Omnichannel as Growth Drivers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 27, 2015 04:05 PM

Gap Inc. is bridging the gap between physical and digital with a three-fold corporate focus, articulated on Thursday's quarterly earnings call by CEO Art Peck, his first since taking over that role on Feb. 1.

First up, product is “absolutely critical to us,” said Peck. He noted that product also includes responsive supply chain capabilities, seamless inventory capabilities, fabric platforming and design.

As part of the focus on product, Wendi Goldman (sorry, Kanye) will become the Gap brand's design leader with a new title, EVP of Product Design and Development, on March 16.Continue reading...


PepsiCo Brings Happiness Home in China With Celebs, Bros and a Boo Lookalike

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 27, 2015 01:41 PM

It's now the norm (alas) to see rooms full of people looking at their phones rather than talking to one another. This scene becomes even more disheartening when the room is filled with family and friends—and it's a global phenomenon.

PepsiCo intends to do something about this social media-fueled trend in its key market of Greater China. 

The beverage (and food) giant has partnered with China Women’s Development Foundation (CWDF), video-making and sharing app Meipai, and a handful of celebrities—including a dog who could be Boo's cousin, wearing a Pepsi logo bow on his collar.Continue reading...

bc q&a

Smarter, Bolder, Faster: 5 Questions with Century 21's Mike Callaghan

Posted by Dale Buss on February 27, 2015 12:32 PM

Century 21 just wrapped up its annual agent conference with the launch of a new marketing campaign, which continues its "Smarter, Bolder, Faster" messaging.

Two new TV ads position Century 21 agents as the best in the business. One, "The Chase," has an agent racing against the clock to deliver a message before his clients board their flight. The other, "Mom's Basement," features an agent tasked with finding the perfect bachelor pad for a man who would prefer to stay in his mom's basement just a little longer.

The campaign includes three major sponsorships with US Soccer, USA Bobsled & Skeleton national teams, and CFH Racing and IndyCar Series driver Josef Negarden.Continue reading...

media brands

Kicking Off TV Upfront Season, Nick Revives Noggin Brand as Kids App

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 27, 2015 11:01 AM

At its upfront event for TV and digital advertisers this week, Viacom's Nickelodeon, now 35 years old, announced the resurrection of its former Noggin TV brand as a mobile app for preschoolers—and the return of beloved characters Moose A. Moose and Zee D. Bird.

Noggin, the cable channel that was renamed Nick Jr. in 2009 and went off the air in Feb. 2012, is relaunching as a $5.99/month ad-free subscription video service with kid-friendly content.

Coming to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch on March 5, titles at launch will include: Allegra’s Window, Blue’s Clues, Blue’s Room, Franklin and Friends, Gullah Gullah Island, Little Bear, Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends, Ni Hao, Kai-lan, Oswald, Pocoyo, Robot and Monster and The Upside Down Show.

“We are reintroducing the Noggin name with this new mobile service because of its built-in equity with moms and as a signal of the high-quality preschool content that will be curated for it,” stated Cyma Zarghami, the recently-promoted president of the Viacom Kids and Family Group. Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: CNN, IBM, Netflix and More

Posted by Dale Buss on February 27, 2015 07:57 AM


CNN and other cable news outlets fuel frenzy over llamas on the loose, as the social web also goes wild over #thedress, whose maker (and wearer) reaps rewards. Meanwhile, another dress—Calvin Klein's pearl-encrusted Oscars gown for actress Lupita Nyong'o—is stolen.

IBM shifts $4 billion in spending to cloud and mobile.

Netflix finds room for product placement deals for AB InBev and Samsung.

Apple Watch will be unveiled on March 9.

Weight Watchers loses ground more quickly to fitness trackers.Continue reading...

in the spotlight

Brands React to FCC Net Neutrality Vote

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 26, 2015 04:57 PM

Verizon net neutrality morse code

In an historic victory for proponents of net neutrality, America's Federal Communications Commission has voted (as expected) to regulate the Internet under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act, currently applicable to telephone service. The ruling enables the FCC to prevent Internet service providers (ISPs) from manipulating the speed sites are transmitted on their networks.

Big ISPs like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon, along with the cable industry's National Cable and Telecommunications Association, are expected to sue the FCC in an effort to have the ruling thrown out.

In a surprisingly fresh reproach, Verizon issued its response on its public policy blog in Morse code (suggesting the archaic nature of the ruling) translated in part as, "The FCC today chose to change the way the commercial Internet has operated since its creation."Continue reading...

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