Minding the Store: Apple Watch is Upgrading the Brand's Retail Experience

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 24, 2015 07:07 PM

Fans of Apple have been anxiously awaiting the debut of Apple Watch since the wearable device was announced in September and quickly became one of TIME's best inventions of the year before it even launched.

Their dreams are finally about to become a reality in April, and the world's most valuable brand is getting ready for the expected onslaught of consumers—and the fulfillment of Steve Jobs's love affair with watches, dating back to Breitling's brushed steel influence on the brand's early design.

And if you thought Apple's retail locations already embody the ne plus ultra in cool minimalist design, just wait to see what's in store to showcase the more premium, luxury offering that Apple Watch will bring to its product lineup.Continue reading...

follow the money

Bitcoin Watch: NYC <3 BTC?

Posted by James Mueller on February 17, 2015 05:05 PM

New York State is already poised to be the first state to establish Bitcoin-specific financial regulations, but will its largest city further legitimize the controversial cryptocurrency by joining the ranks of those that accept it as payment? New York City councilman Mark Levine is proposing just that, citing as motivators the potential savings on credit card fees, and the hope of attracting tech talent.

New York is not alone in its curiosity. Many companies have experimented with Bitcoin in the last year, including Microsoft, Dell, and Newegg. Almost all of these, however, don't ever touch Bitcoin directly, instead using a payment processor, Bitpay or Coinbase, to immediately transform a customer's Bitcoin payment into dollars., meanwile, not only accepts BTC in partnership with Coinbase, but also allows its employees to be paid in it.

Many skeptics are wary of Bitcoin, however, and not without reason: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau lists hacker vulnerability, lack of protections, high cost, and fraud risk as dangers to be aware of.Continue reading...

now hear this

Mind the Gap (and Your Manners): New York's Winking MTA Courtesy Campaign

Posted by Darcy Newell on February 11, 2015 07:50 PM

Riding the subway is a uniquely New York experience—and subway advertisements are a unique way for brands to connect with and build relationships with the city’s residents. 

Brands like Seamless and Manhattan Mini Storage are old hands at this tact, keying into the New York experience with empathy and wit, while newer brands like Oscar Healthcare and Snapple are eager to show that they, too, understand the passions and plight of Big Apple citizens.  

The latest brand to take this approach? The MTA itself.Continue reading...


Is Old Spice Lost in the Woods With #NatureFacts Fresher Campaign?

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 5, 2015 12:39 PM

Old Spice Nature Facts

Old Spice has released its latest batch of wacky ads—tagline: "Smell as great as nature is" / hashtag: #naturefacts—as you can watch below.

The ads are promoting the new Fresher collection, which bears back-to-nature names such as Nest, Log, Roar, Woods and (evoking a more tropical forest) Coconut.

Old Spice brand director John Sebastian describes the desired effect on the Old Spice customer in a press release: Continue reading...

in the spotlight

Cat Cafés Offer Cuddling, Experiential Marketing to Feline-Loving Consumers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 16, 2014 11:11 AM

The latest in adorable obsessions (and experiential marketing)? Cat cafés are spreading like wildfire.

The "paws marketing" concept began in Asia in the '90s as an antidote to small apartments with no-pet restrictions: Cafés that let customers interact with cats without making the long-term commitment of getting their own. Currently, the model has extended beyond Japan, South Korea and China to Europe, the Middle East and the U.S. The country's first permanent (vs. pop-up) cat cafés opened in New York City and the San Francisco, CA, area this fall.

At the just-opened Meow Parlour in New York's Lower East Side, cat lovers can schedule visits (advanced booking is required) in half-hour increments starting at $4. “You can rent time to access to our space, where we have adoptable free roaming cats. You can come for as little as half an hour so you can just pet the cats or stay for up to five hours where you can use our free wi-fi while a cat naps next to you,” the website says.

Co-founded by Christina Ha and Emilie Legrand, the café's cats are from KittyKind, an all-volunteer, no kill rescue group located in NYC. Human food can be purchased next door at Meow Parlour Patisserie.Continue reading...

doors of perception

Little Caesars Bakes Up Plans for New Headquarters In Detroit

Posted by Dale Buss on December 11, 2014 03:06 PM

On the day that the city of Detroit climbed out of bankruptcy, one of the city's biggest backers gave Motown yet another vote of confidence. On Dec. 10, Little Caesars founder and CEO Mike Ilitch announced that his company, one of America's major pizza brands, would be building a brand-new, 205,000-square-foot, eight-story world headquarters on iconic Woodward Avenue in the entertainment district of downtown Detroit.

In fact, the new Little Caesars Global Resource Center will become Detroit's first newly constructed corporate headquarters building in more than a decade—and only the seventh since 1950.

The announcement was a welcome bit of news for Detroiters who have been gnashing their teeth in recent weeks over the news that Cadillac is leaving town to set up a new administrative and marketing headquarters in New York City. Cadillac also broke up with its Detroit-based ad agency, Lowe Campbell Ewald, whose offices are in the Ford Field complex and within hailing distance from where Little Caesars new headquarters will be.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Watch: Kevin Bacon Will Pitch Your Brand Thanks to Shop for Good

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 11, 2014 11:25 AM

If you haven't yet designed your own commercial with Kevin Bacon, give it a whirl—it's brought to you (and small business owners) by Shop for Good, in the spirit of supporting independent retailers this holiday season.

As FastCo Create notes, "Shop for Good facilitates stores sending a portion of customer purchases to a charity of their choosing, and in order to convince businesses to sign up" partnered with the actor (who's also pitching NYC's Food Bank) in a fun holiday campaign—because who doesn't love Bacon?

More details (and outtakes) below.Continue reading...


Cadillac CMO Takes On Detroit Critics In Charting New York Path for Brand

Posted by Dale Buss on December 10, 2014 11:01 AM

Cadillac grill logo

Coming up on his first anniversary as chief marketing officer for Cadillac, Uwe Ellinghaus has faced some big challenges in his first year.

The latest is that self-described Cadillac purists and defenders of Detroit are taking offense at some of his comments about the brand, its future direction and the reasons Cadillac's brain trust is departing Motown for New York City's tony Soho neighborhood.

Ellinghaus fought through a lot to get even to this point. While sales for the make were sliding this year, GM management was distracted by its recall scandal, and Cadillac was essentially without an overall chief until the company poached Johan de Nysschen from Infiniti last summer.Continue reading...

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