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brand news

Brand News: Grumpy Cat is Lovin' It for McDonald's, CES 2015 and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 5, 2015 09:03 AM

McDonald's Grumpy Cat


McDonald's refreshes "I'm Lovin' It" tagline with TV commercial featuring Grumpy Cat, SpongeBob SquarePants and other characters.

CES 2015 gets rolling in Las Vegas with emphasis on Internet of Things—among many, many other things.

AirAsia crash may have been caused by icing, Indonesian report says.

Xiaomi doubled 2014 sales to $12.2 billion, leading some to wonder: too fast, too soon?

Dannon, official yogurt of the NFL, bows out of Super Bowl advertising as it swaps John Stamos for NFL quarterback Cam Newton.Continue reading...


OnStar Keeps GM Ahead, but Could It Also Boost Safety?

Posted by Dale Buss on July 7, 2014 03:03 PM

OnStar long has been something of a sub-optimized brand. General Motors is trying to change that these days with 4G LTE connectivity for the infotainment system it markets across all brands.

But now comes the suggestion that GM also could be using not the OnStar brand but its massive information troves for an as-yet-untapped purpose that could really help the tattered corporate reputation of America’s largest auto company: as a provider of “big data” that could help GM spot emerging safety problems more quickly— and help avoid problems.

At the heart of the OnStar system, explained the New York Times, is a link to the vehicle’s computerized brain, which collects more than 1,000 separate measurements on virtually every aspect of the vehicle’s health and also provides continuous location information.Continue reading...


Chevrolet Wishes America a Happy 4G of July and Summer of Road Trips

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 4, 2014 12:24 PM

The campaign: Chevrolet is saying "Happy 4G of July" with a series of spots promoting its new line-up of 4G LTE and Wi-Fi enabled vehicles. According to GM's press release, the Chevrolet brand is rolling out the largest deployment of vehicles with built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi in the US this summer, kicking off this Fourth of July weekend. The Connected by OnStar 4G platform, which includes a vehicle health monitor app, debuted at CES in January and will eventually bring LTE connectivity powered by AT&T to all Chevy vehicles.

The pitch: How wireless technology enhances car road trips (in Chevrolet vehicles, in this case, although GM is promoting Wi-Fi across its auto brands) with sharing, knowledge on the go, connectivity and good times: "Bring your friends along for the ride. Chevrolet, the first and only car company to bring 4G LTE Wi-Fi to cars, trucks and crossovers." The hashtag, #TheNewIndependence, extends on the automaker's broader "The New" campaign.

The launch: Timed to Fourth of July festivities across America, where Chevy is sponsoring free wireless web access at Philadelphia's fireworks event, the spots will also run on TV, in cinemas and in GoGo Wi-Fi enabled flights. In addition to spots targeting Hispanic and African American consumers, Chevrolet also will leverage the Guinness International Champions Cup match between Manchester United and Real Madrid on August 2 at Michigan Stadium.

Watch the spots below.Continue reading...


Proximity Marketing Spreads as Safeway, Duane Reade Test iBeacon Tech

Posted by Dale Buss on May 30, 2014 11:02 AM

Long past are the days when privacy advocates merely worried that GM’s pioneering OnStar service could track your car wherever you traveled using GPS technology. Now, an increasing number of retailers and other brands are using new “beacon” technology to track consumers to within several inches of their locations in stores in order to push promotions and encourage spending. 

There are lots of other potentially disruptive uses to come from Apple’s iBeacon and similar technologies though as brand transparency and consumer privacy become top of mind.

Already, for instance, Safeway has been testing an iBeacon installation that automatically offers discounts to shoppers who have downloaded the supermarket chain’s “just for U” loyalty app and walk into the store—at the exact moment when consumers are ready to shop.

Similarly, Duane Reade, the Walgreen-owned East Coast US pharmacy chain, has launched a program to fit its New York stores with iBeacons that delivery weekly ads and coupons to opted-in smartphones. “iBeacons help remove some of the obstacles of engagement and facilitate customer interaction,” Tim MacCauley, mobile commerce director for Walgreen, told Adweek.Continue reading...

digital moves

GM Hopes New OnStar 4G LTE Service Flies with WiFi-Crazy Car Buyers

Posted by Dale Buss on May 13, 2014 04:07 PM

General Motors is going further down the infotainment road first paved by its OnStar brand 18 years ago, fielding a new, hard-wired digital stream in its new cars through a partnership with AT&T to provide 4G LTE connectivity. Only this time, its critics say, by providing on-board internet service, GM is only offering a service that already is available to people in its vehicles in a number of other ways (like their smartphones). 

No doubt GM believes that its a la carte 4G LTE service, which it announced earlier this year at CES, will attract consumers when it is offered beginning next month in the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu and then, over the course of the year, in 30 other GM models. It'll begin marketing the service under OnStar and its vehicle brands in the coming weeks.

"There are a lot of learnings we have built up" through OnStar over the years, Phil Abram, GM's Chief Infotainment Officer, told brandchannel. "It's not as simple as bolting a modem into a car. It's much more sophisticated than that. And also to make sure you have the services to back it up. That's where GM has a broad advantage."Continue reading...


Ford Grasps for Infotainment Edge by Expanding Sync, Adding Veteran Exec

Posted by Dale Buss on January 6, 2014 06:41 PM

Amid the flurry of infotainment announcements at the Consumer Electronics Show this week, Ford is trying to maintain a lead in an area where it blazed trails by expanding and enhancing its Sync telematics platform and swiping a veteran executive with experience in General Motors' OnStar operation to help out.

Ford announced that it will expand availability of its Sync AppLink to 3.4 million more vehicles later this year with a free upgrade that enables current Ford owners to access and control smartphone apps via voice command.

The company ran into problems with consumers over the last couple of years as subsequent generations of Sync became more complicated to operate and owners pushed back via third-party ratings such as Consumer Reports. But Ford has worked hard to overcome those difficulties, and its latest moves with Sync represent an attempt to re-assert itself in the pole position of a telematics revolution that is vastly reconfiguring the very notion of a car and which is drawing in not only automakers but also a wide range of tech companies in what Ford futurist Sheryl Connelly has called a "quiet riot of innovation."Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Tech, Auto Brands Team Up to Transform Cars Into Rolling Internet Platforms at CES

Posted by Dale Buss on January 6, 2014 03:54 PM

Anyone concerned that automobiles soon will be reduced to self-driven, rolling video-game platforms should stay away from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. Tech companies from Nvidia to Google to Samsung, and auto brands from Audi to Hyundai to Chevrolet, are making it clear at CES that super-enhanced in-vehicle internet connectivity may be their most important technological priority these days.

Chevrolet announced that the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette, Impala, Malibu And Volt would be the first GM vehicles to come optionally equipped with OnStar 4G LTE, an industry first across multiple product lines, to be followed quickly by the majority of the 2015 Chevy lineup in the US and Canada. Among other things, the initiative will create a Wi-Fi hotspot in GM vehicles.

Busily, GM also was announcing its participation in the recently rumored huge new telematics initiative led by Google, called the Open Automotive Alliance, which also includes Audi, Honda, Hyundai and chip maker Nvidia in an effort to customize Google's Android platform for vehicles that will allow for things such as app access and remote vehicle diagnostics.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: CES 2014, Mercedes-Benz, Yahoo and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 6, 2014 09:07 AM

In the News

CES opens in Las Vegas.

Mercedes-Benz beats BMW in US luxury-car race.

Yahoo says some ads on its European sites spread malware last week.

Apple acquires Snappycam photo-app company.

Amazon's Jeff Bezos was lifted from a Galapagos Islands cruise after a kidney-stone attack.

Boeing sees workers narrowly approve major contract extension in economic win for region.

CNN plans to shake up its prime-time lineup this year.

Chrysler is scored by China over fires in imported Jeep Wrangler.

Curves lands Jillian Michaels for January workout push.

Dannon broadens target audience for Activia.

Fiat said likely to list new shares with Chrysler in New York.

Ford scored biggest US auto-market share gain in '13.Continue reading...

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