bc q&a

5 Questions: Leslie Gaines-Ross on the Price of Brand Incivility

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 30, 2014 02:44 PM

The fifth annual Civility in America study from Weber Shandwick finds that America has a decorum deficit—and there are implications for brands.

Millennials (born post-1980) and Gen X (born between 1965 and 1980) blame the Internet and social media for worsening attitudes and increasingly negative interactions, while Boomers (1945-65) and the Silent Generation (pre-1945) mostly blame politicians and politics. 

This year's study, conducted with Powell Tate and KRC Research, has flagged findings for brands pursuing engagement with millennials, seen by many marketers as the most influential and financially important segment that is empowered and poised to make good on their beliefs.

As the study reveals, millennials are the most likely to stop buying from a company that treats them uncivilly, and will advise others to do the same. Professional and college sports are losing fans, as 24% of millennials have stopped attending sporting events because of uncivil behavior on the field or in the crowd. 

brandchannel spoke with Leslie Gaines-Ross, chief reputation strategist at Weber Shandwick, about the report's insights into the opportunity for brands to engage millennials in a more civil, authentic manner. Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

LeBron James Homecoming is a Slam Dunkin' Donuts for Brand Partners

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 29, 2014 05:21 PM

The return of LeBron James to Cleveland is being trumpeted as "the biggest sports homecoming of this generation" and "the hottest ticket" in the NBA—and has been heralded by the plethora of brands he endorses, including Beats by Dre and Sprite, too.

While some find the story of the two-time NBA champ returning to northern Ohio to bring some victories to his home state uplifting (a new baby girl just sweetening the saga), some critics think the narrative has been driven home one too many times. Fans, however, seem to be on the uplifting end of that spectrum—along with his brand partners.

According to new research from social analytics firm 4C, King James' Ohio comeback has resulted in “huge increases in social engagement between LeBron, the brands he endorses and the Cleveland Cavaliers.”

Led by Dunkin' Donuts, brands have seen the pay-off for signing endorsement deals, with big spikes in social engagement since the superstar made his announcement he's returning to Ohio in July.Continue reading...

sustainability

Brands Find Sustainability Moving to the Top of Major CSR Initiatives

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 27, 2014 12:34 PM

Maximizing shareholder value has a new handmaiden: sustainability. And corporate social responsibility is her mirror.

“Social responsibility should be viewed through the lens of maximizing shareholder value,” commented The Wall Street Journal’s Bruce Nolop. “It’s no longer a 'nice to have.' It’s a strategic imperative."

No matter the industry, it’s increasingly clear that sustainability can drive profit, as Chris Humme, CMO of Schneider Electric, notes. He cites Intercontinental as a prime example of how green practices can lower costs—the hotelier has reportedly saved $30,000 a month at just two San Francisco hotels by micro-managing peak power.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Millennials and Citizenship: It’s a Brand New Day for Marketers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 14, 2014 11:02 AM

Millennials already number nearly 2 billion worldwide, or nearly 30% of the world’s population, and they will comprise 75% of the workforce by 2025, according to Deloitte.

In addition, the earning and spending power of Millennials will exceed their Boomer parents by 2018, which is why brand marketers are stretching to meet these digital natives who come equipped with conscience, confidence and competence.

A recent survey of 8,000 Millennials in 17 countries on active citizenship by MSLGROUP and Research Now, "The Future of Business Citizenship," identifies key insights about the rising cohort and what they expect from business and advertising.

brandchannel asked Scott Beaudoin, Global Practice Director, Corporate & Brand Citizenship, MSLGROUP, commented on what the global study indicates that brand marketers must to resonate with Millennials.Continue reading...

privacy alert

What Price Privacy? A Penny for Your Thoughts and a Cookie for Your Data?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 3, 2014 03:44 PM

In the height of irony, cookies, the real kind, not the ones on the Internet that track consumer’s behavior, were the centerpiece of a recent experiment in New York where 380 people divulged sensitive, personal information in return for a tasty treat.

Chocolate Chili Fleur de Sel or Pink Pistachio Peppercorn cookies were the carrot and the reward in artist Risa Puno’s art event, "Please Enable Cookies," held at the recent Barter Town event at the Dumbo Arts Festival Brooklyn (next stop: the Brooklyn Museum on Oct. 25).

Each "purchase" is based on sliding scale of how much hackerlicious data each customer shares, filling out a checklist including home address, driver's license number, phone number and mother's maiden name. The more you share, the more homebaked cookies you earn.

The use of cookies was no accident. As Puno describes it, "Digitally, cookies are what websites use to get information about users. My installation, Please Enable Cookies, is intended to highlight the way we use information as currency (whether we know it or not) to acquire things that are simply for entertainment or amusement."Continue reading...

privacy alert

Hotspotty Training: Parents Sign Away Kids, Pets for Free Wi-Fi

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 30, 2014 12:09 PM

People will apparently do anything for free public Wi-Fi, it seems. European law enforcement agency Europol recently backed an experiment in London that saw consumers signing onto free public Wi-Fi unwittingly signing away their oldest child or a beloved pet.

When Londoners registered for a public hotspot in June, they were required to sign an agreement with a so-called “Herod clause” that had them agree to “assign their first born child to us for the duration of eternity,” the Guardian reports. Six people went right ahead and (unwittingly) signed away their first-born kids.

It was all part of a "Great Wi-Fi Experiment" (watch below) by IT security company F-Secure, which helped the Cyber Security Research Institute showcase “public unawareness of serious security issues concomitant with Wi-Fi usage,” the Guardian notes.Continue reading...

tech innovation

Amazon's Not-So-Secret R&D Lab Gets a Boost from Bezos

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 25, 2014 12:02 PM

Amazon's Silicon Valley research and development arm has been called "secretive" by Reuters and Bloomberg Businessweek. Others have called it "hush-hush" and "mysterious."

While it may keep its projects close to the vest, as any corporate R&D unit worth its salt is entitled to, Lab126 is by no means secret. After all, it's on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and has its own website.

In addition to developing the Amazon Fire phone and a host of other products, from the Kindle family of products to Amazon Fire TV to the Dash at-home ordering scanner, it's reportedly eyeing wearable devices and products for the connected home.

It's also, as Reuters reports, on a hiring spree to staff up its high-tech skunkworks by at least 27 percent over the next five years, in a drive by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to create Internet-of-things inspired home gadgets with a one-button device to order supplies.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

Yahoo Taps Big Data Startup to Serve Fantasy Football Content (and Humor)

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 24, 2014 04:08 PM

After each week of real-life NFL football games take place and the winning players and the fans that unrequitedly love them do a little celebratory trash talking to anyone who will listen, there is a shadow army of celebrants holed up with their screens and quietly giving themselves pats on the back for a week well-played.

Most fantasy football competitors, riding on the work of the real-life players, don’t get much attention (except on Wall Street, which loves fantasy sports), but Yahoo Sports has found a way to make these fans feel a little more important each week. Now each team matchup of every fantasy football team, whether with a completely ridiculous name or not, gets written up as if it were a real game on the portal's fantasy football channel—and Yahoo gets to make a few extra bucks from ad sales.

“Sports is about having fun and marrying that with your passion, and wanting to win. To us having that tone is an important part of the success,” said Ken Fuchs, VP and group lead of Yahoo Sports, to the Washington Post. “When I get my recap and it tells me unfortunately my game tape is not going to be broken down in any coaching clinics, it gives me a little smile and allows the guy who I lost to to shoot me a note quoting his recap and talking a little smack.”

The game recaps aren’t written by humans, however. Yahoo Sports has partnered with “a tech company in North Carolina to auto-generate personalized articles about the thousands of fantasy football teams in its leagues.”Continue reading...

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