mobile commerce

Apple Chides Retailers Blocking Apple Pay and Flocking to CurrentC

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 28, 2014 11:44 AM

When Rite Aid and CVS announced that they were going to disable Apple's mobile payments platform from use in their respective stores, it came as a surprise to the tech titan—an unpleasant one, to be sure.

Apple Pay only launched a week ago and had more than a million credit cards registered within its first 72 hours of existence, according to Reuters, while major retailers including Walmart and Starbucks declined to participate.

MasterCard has even integrated Pay into its new World Series-themed commercial (watch below) featuring Baseball Hall of Famer George Brett, the man who apparently inspired the hit song “Royals” by Lorde. Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Chanel, Costco, Time Warner and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 15, 2014 09:05 AM

TOP STORIES

Chanel releases Baz Luhrmann-directed short film starring Gisele Bundchen and Game of Thrones actor.

Toyota recalls 1.7 million vehicles worldwide as Chrysler recalls 184,000 SUVs and GM is sued for $10 billion.

Costco goes to China, at least online.

EMC and HP end merger talks as SAP turns to IBM to expand cloud reach.

Time Warner CEO touts independence as HBO Go plans and movie slate revealed at Investor Day.Continue reading...

traveling brands

Southwest Wears Its Heart On Its Sleeve with New Livery, Brand Experience

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 8, 2014 01:11 PM

Southwest Airlines, the largest domestic airline by passengers, revealed a new livery, logo and brand experience this morning at a press event held inside a hangar at its Dallas headquarters. The airline, which is completing its merger with AirTran, introduced a refreshed color scheme of blue, yellow and red, as well as a new heart logo that will adorn the belly of its planes.

The first visual update since 2011 also introduces the Southwest name to the plane's fuselage, while its web address will adorn the engines. Dubbed "Heart One," the new livery is said to be in honor of the brand's employees (and might remind some of JetBlue's heartfelt logo ode to New York by Milton Glaser).

“Our collective heartbeat is stronger and healthier than ever, and that’s because of the warmth, the compassion, and the smiles of our People,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and CEO said in a press release. “The Heart emblazoned on our aircraft, and within our new look, symbolizes our commitment that we’ll remain true to our core values as we set our sights on the future.”Continue reading...

brands under fire

Sea of Hurt: SeaWorld Stock Plunges as Blackfish, Activism Takes Its Toll UPDATE

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 14, 2014 04:27 PM

It's been a rough year for SeaWorld, the ocean-themed amusement park/zoo known for its sea animal performaces, especially its orcas.

But the very star of the park's programming is also responsible for its decline, as activists and consumers become increasingly outspoken about animal rights following the release of the documentary "Blackfish," which told the story of Tilikum, a giant SeaWorld orca that killed a trainer in 2010, the most recent of 3 deadly incidents with the same whale. 

Now, a year after the film aired on CNN to 21 million viewers, the effect is impossible to deny: SeaWorld's second-quarter revenue came in a $405 million, far below the expected $445 million, causing the brand's stock to plunge 33 percent and S&P to cut the company's credit rating

“Until today’s report we were willing to . . . take SeaWorld’s word that there was no discernible impact,” Tim Nollen, of investment firm Macquarie, told The Guardian. “This report was notably worse than previous reports.”

Company executives acknowledged that the decline was in part because of negative media attention and proposed legislation in California that calls for a federal study on the impact of captivity on large marine animals.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Red Lobster, Ford, Wendy's and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 29, 2014 09:12 AM

TOP STORIES

Darden CEO steps down as new Red Lobster owner takes brand upmarket.

Ford raises prices for new F-150 pickup with aluminum body as Ram battle intensifies.

Los Angeles Clippers are cleared for sale to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

McDonald’s Japan head apologizes for meat scandal as McDonald’s US deemed “joint employer” in NLRB ruling.

Facebook pushes mobile users to Messenger app as Instagram tests (name-challenged) Snapchat rival Bolt.

MORE BRAND NEWS

BMW unveils cheaper, suitcase-sized EV charger.

Cadillac brings wireless smartphone charging to some 2015 models.

CNET announces hybrid paywall model.

Dirt Devil and Hoover owner fires up marketing.

GM remains mired in dealership-closure issues in Canada, hurting sales.

Jimmy Dean looks #beyondbreakfast.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Southwest Caught in Tainted Water with SeaWorld Over Longtime Partnership

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 15, 2014 07:27 PM

Blackfish, shortlisted for an Academy Award Best Documentary nomination, chronicles the life of SeaWorld's largest killer whale, Tilikum, who killed his trainer, Dawn Brancheau, in February 2010, as well as two others in previous incidents. 

The controversial film includes behind the scenes footage of SeaWorld's orca shows, including shocking footage of the species' cruel treatment in captivity and the pressures of the multi-billion dollar sea-park industry to exploit the animals. 

SeaWorld called the film by Gabriela Cowperthwaite "shamefully dishonest, deliberately misleading, and scientifically inaccurate," as a surge of petitions and protests surfaced on social media.

But there's an unlikely brand caught in the crosshairs: Southwest Airlines.Continue reading...

traveling brands

The Year of Southwest Continues as Airliner Takes Brand Awareness Title

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 18, 2013 07:21 PM

Research firm YouGov BrandIndex has crowned Southwest Airlines the king of brand awareness among US airlines, according to a new survey. The announcement follows the largest US domestic carrier being designated as the airliner most easy to deal with worldwide. 

52 percent of respondents put Southwest on top for "Purchase Consideration" and 32 percent put the airline above all others for “Ad Awareness.” Purchase consideration measures which brand consumers are most likely to purchase from next while ad awareness asks which brand consumers have seen ads for in the past two months.

Southwest is head and shoulders above American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta, which had Ad Awareness between 18 to 21 percent. In Purchase Consideration, the other travel brands all ranked in the mid-thirties. Southwest, for one, is very engaged across different social media channels including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.Continue reading...

traveling brands

Virgin America Puts a Branson-Esque Spin on In-Flight Safety

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 30, 2013 01:52 PM

Virgin head Richard Branson has never been afraid to spice things up a bit. His companies, like Virgin America, also have a bit of a flair for the dramatic. Throwing inhibitions to the wind, the airline had debuted its new safety video—a humorous song-and-dance number that runs through the air travel rules that most passengers snooze through.

An update to its current animated video, the new version features everything from sultry flight attendants to dancing nuns—and is admittedly hard to take your eyes off of, and certainly pushes the in-flight safety dance trend further than, say, Cebu Pacific Air's dancing safety demonstrations.

But as Ad Age notes, Virgin's video may wear out its welcome a whole lot faster: It “initially charms but then quickly becomes kind of exhausting," it comments. That probably isn’t the reaction Virgin was going for, though those that fly Virgin often are likely to feel that way after having to sit through the Glee-like performace a few times.Continue reading...

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