Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 10, 2013 12:11 PM
Coca-Cola rolled out a new soda this past summer in Argentina called Coca-Cola Life and the word on the street is that it is coming to America in 2014.
With about half the calories of regular Coke and sweetened with sugar and stevia in partnership with Cargill, Life “would be the first time the natural sweetener would be used in (Coke’s) flagship brand in the US,” according to DNAIndia.com. As of now, Coke uses stevia in America “in some non-carbonated drinks and in its Fanta brand.”
As Ad Age points out, both Coke and Pepsi have significant investment in the sugar-substitute market. Coke has been experimenting with stevia while Pepsi’s scientists “in collaboration with San Diego-based biotech firm Senomyx, is in the late stages of developing a ‘taste modifier’ that would essentially fool taste buds into thinking they are getting more sugar than delivered.” That modifier goes by the very catchy name of S617. Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 10, 2013 11:08 AM
Google has just launched +Post Ads, rich-media marketing real estate for the age of social, enabling brands to turn their content into ads distributed to millions of sites via the Google Display Network.
“Amplify your content and create conversations across the web,” says the search giant. The new format, an alternative to traditional banner ads, delivers content as display ads when users hover over or tap a banner ad, and adds the ability to comment, share and interact without leaving their current webpage.
Brands can now leverage photos, videos and Hangouts into interactive ads with a call-to-action “Click to Expand” to a full-screen lightbox.
“Digital display was once dominated by rich-media advertising; that’s how marketers got ‘engagement.’ But social media is rapidly becoming Google’s rich-media product,” said Ian Schafer
, CEO of Deep Focus. “This is a way for Google to recapture some of those ad dollars that once were spent on its rich-media products.”
While the format is similar to sponsored posts on Facebook or Twitter, Google’s units can live on any site on the Internet. “This lets brands think of the entire Web as their social stream,” wrote Eran Arkin
, ads product manager at Google. Continue reading...
ready for takeoff
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 10, 2013 10:03 AM
For years, Airbus and Boeing have had the commercial airline business locked up, but that hasn't stopped Canada's Bombardier from attempting a risky entry into the air space.
Bombardier's CSeries is supposed to finally take flight in September 2014, but air carriers haven't been quick to buy in. So far, the company has 182 orders, including five from Iraqi Airways, and is planning to have 300 by launch date, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
As the Wall Street Journal points out, those are some pretty low numbers. “Boeing and Airbus … have more than 4,000 combined firm orders for upgraded versions of equivalent and slightly larger single-aisle jets,” the paper notes. As it is now, the Bombardier has invested nine years and $3.9 billion in development of the CSeries, the CBC reports.
The slow sales was likely one reason for the ouster of sales chief Chet Fuller, formerly of GE Aviation, whose responsibilites now fall into the hands of Raymond Jones, a certified commercial pilot and Royal Air Force veteran, according to the Globe and Mail. Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 10, 2013 09:15 AM
Abercrombie & Fitch renews contract with CEO.
Boeing holds tax-breaks "bake-off" between states.
Chobani enters Super Bowl for first time.
Dr Pepper Snapple smells trouble with sewage in Houston.
GM names Mary Barra, industry's first female CEO, to succeed Dan Akerson, report says, while US loses $10.5 in bailout, which a study calls a financial success; meanwhile, company vacillates over ending Australia operations.
Jeep partners with NBCUniversal for Cherokee.
Kawasaki plants marketing seeds for '14.
Kia launches new Red Zone sub-brand for tuners.
Lululemon names new CEO as founder steps down as chairman. Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 9, 2013 07:02 PM
While some strides were made in gender stereotypes in media this year, there’s still a long way to go.
A Time.com article, "How Far We Haven’t Come: All of the Terrible Ways the Media Treated Women in 2013 in One Video," marks how decades of progress in branding still fall far short of satisfactory:
When it comes to the portrayal and treatment of women in the media, we’ve come a long way since the Mad Men era... And yet, in 2013, it’s still not unusual to hear messages like "I’m not saying she deserved to be raped, but…" or "Women just aren’t as good at math as men" crop up on the web or on TV.
The Representation Project, focused on challenging gender stereotypes in media, created the supercut above to show how pervasive sexism persists. BuzzFeed’s list of “Casual Sexism In Advertising” includes Platinum Blonde Beer at #1, followed by Tampax, Jesus Jeans and Toyota. Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 9, 2013 06:30 PM
General Motors is opening a new customer-service center in the heart of its engineering and product-development operations in suburban Detroit to underscore its commitment to making its customers experiences stand out from the industry’s typical subpar performance. In the process, it’s drawing lessons from iconic handholding brands ranging from Amazon to Apple to Nordstrom to Zappos.
GM’s call-center operation on the campus of its sprawling GM Technical Center will employ about 300 “advisors” and 35 managers by year’s end. The company also has doubled the number of its own and dealers’ employees, to about 50, that are being deployed at dealers to help explain the latest in-vehicle technology and infotainment features to customers.
Both measures are part of a broader attempt by the company to follow up on recently improved valuations of product quality and customer perceptions, and to turn that area into a relative strength for Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC instead of a traditional vulnerability. Dropping the ball in that area certainly has hurt cross-town rival Ford lately. Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 9, 2013 05:02 PM
Chick-fil-A COO Dan Cathy has made it clear that he isn’t a fan of same-sex marriage (or the LGBT community in general), but one thing he is apparently interested in is his restaurant selling healthy food.
The word from Nation’s Restaurant News is that the 46-year-old chain is “removing artificial dyes, high-fructose corn syrup and some preservatives from its menu in an ongoing effort to improve food quality” without bothering to promote the change with the belief that consumers wouldn’t notice.
While conventional wisdom would point to the changes happening because of the negative attention food blogger Vani Hari has brought the chain of 1,600 restaurants in the past two years on her blog, FoodBabe.com, Chick-fil-A claims that it has been making such changes for many years. Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 9, 2013 04:03 PM
“The corporate website is dead and 'press release PR' is on its way out,” proclaimed Coca-Cola last month, as they unleashed their story-driven new website, Coca-Cola Unbottled, that mirrors “a modern election campaign…Every day you have a choice of what to read and what to drink. Every day is election day, and our team will be here - working hard to get your vote.”
As content once again surfaces as king in the battle for audience and ad dollars in the digital cornucopia of Facebook, Google+, Twitter or Flipboard, brands are jockeying for position and advantage with increased social across the Internet landscape – and corporate websites are the new calling card.
Story + search + syndication is the latest Holy Grail as brands strive to deliver currency, entertainment and connection and the best websites are evolving to ersatz publishing models more akin to The New York Times, USA Today or the Huffington Post than traditional push, PR engines. Continue reading...