tech innovation

How Moonshot Thinking Informs Everything Google Does

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 4, 2015 08:02 PM

While Google has a part of our daily lives, it never stops dreaming big.

From its futuristic new headquarters concept (all curved glass) to its Google X lab "moonshot" R&D projects including contact lenses that monitor glucose levels, Google Glass wearable tech, balloon-based Wi-Fi (Project Loon), drone delivery (Project Wing) and self-driving cars, there are few areas its engineers, developers and dreamers won't explore.

Some of those transformative innovations are becoming reality. As revealed at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, its Project Loon Wi-Fi is getting close to launching (and could make billions), while it could launch driverless cars this year. Continue reading...

bc q&a

Precision Matters: 5 Questions with GMC Brand Vice President Duncan Aldred

Posted by Dale Buss on March 4, 2015 05:45 PM

GMC has a lot to smile about these days. And now that GMC's North American truck sales are through the roof, General Motors is getting serious about promoting its premium brand.

The GM-owned brand is launching its biggest national TV ad campaign, "Precision Matters," in 15 years, with plans to boost ad spending this year by about 50 percent over last year.

The new commercials focus on "Precision" as the unifying theme and are being promoted with the hashtag #professionalgrade.

The spots remind SUV and truck buyers that GMC is a premium brand known for quality designs and well-executed details. GMC's top-of-the-line Denali versions, for example, include such details as an iconic chrome grille, wood-grain accents, lighted sill plates and more.Continue reading...

mobile marketing

Mobile World Congress: Johnnie Walker Smart Bottle Can Chat Up Your Phone

Posted by Shirley Brady on March 4, 2015 04:04 PM

Diageo Johnnie Walker smart bottle mobile world congress

Of all the unexpected companies and brands jostling at the 2015 Mobile World Congress this week, Diageo is likely not one of them.

The leading global drinks-maker is in Barcelona with a prototype for a JOHNNIE WALKER BLUE LABEL “smart bottle” that can communicate with users through NFC-embedded labels, a technology it developed in collaboration with Thinfilm. Not only will it send messages to your phone, it knows if the bottle hasn't been opened yet.

"Mobile technology is changing the way we live, and as a consumer brands company we want to embrace its power to deliver amazing new consumer experiences in the future," commented Helen Michels, Global Innovation Director, Futures Team at Diageo.Continue reading...


OpenTable Has No Reservations About Rebranding

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 4, 2015 03:04 PM

OpenTable has tied itself to restaurants pretty firmly, particularly with its tagline, “Make restaurant reservations the easy way.”

But the company, which services over 32,000 restaurants in six countries, wants the world to know that it’s about more than making reservations.

This week it rebranded with a new logo, motto and brand voice—the first time the 17-year old company has refreshed its branding in over a decade. Continue reading...


Target's $2 Billion Layoffs Savings Goal: Mobile, Hispanic and Smaller Stores

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 4, 2015 01:39 PM

Following a few rough years—think data breach and failed expansion into Canada—Target is aiming atputting itself back on track, but it will be at the expense of more than a few employees.

To help cut $2 billion from its costs in the next two years, Target CEO Brian Cornell told analysts on Tuesday that the retailer is going to send thousands of its employees packing, Reuters reports.

Those cuts will mostly come from the retailer’s US headquarters in Minneapolis and offshore, in India. In addition, the company will continue to try to find ways to bring more Millennials and Hispanics into its stores and online sales channels, including through targeted marketing, a greater focus on design and investments in mobile.Continue reading...

brand collaborators

Volkswagen and Björk Break the Sound Barrier at MoMA

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 4, 2015 12:10 PM

While musician/artist Bjork is no stranger to combining technology with music, her new retrospective exhibition (which opens at New York's Museum of Modern Art on Saturday) is a groundbreaking collaboration and showcase for Volkswagen's audio tech.

And luckily for all museum-goers, early previews indicate that the crossover of sound technology, culture and curation successfully meld to create a new, more personalized and interactive museum experience.Continue reading...

bc q&a

Getting Fresh: 5 Questions with Bolthouse Farms CMO Suzanne Ginestro

Posted by Dale Buss on March 4, 2015 10:06 AM

Bolthouse Farms, acquired by Campbell Soup in 2012, has matured as a marketer and become a regular part of the healthy food marketing conversation.

For example, Bolthouse is a major player in the new initiative launched by Michelle Obama's Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) to rebrand fruits and vegetables as "FNV."

And just this week, it created buzz with its #urwhatupost social media "food porn" campaign depicting unhealthy food choices shared on social media, whether mentions or images.

On average, Bolthouse’s "food porn index" calculates that only 37 percent of the 1.7 million food hashtags posted each day feature fruits or vegetables.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Apple, Target, Toyota and More

Posted by Dale Buss on March 4, 2015 09:02 AM


Apple Pay struggles with fraud as Apple Watch wins major design award and appears on Chinese fashion magazine.

Citigroup deal to sell its subprime lending business shrinks the bank's umbrella.

Uber makes first acquisition with deCarta mapping deal.

Toyota shores up management team, elevating foreigners (and first woman) to top posts.

Target cuts several thousand jobs in reorganization towards digital as it launches Hispanic ad campaign.Continue reading...

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