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Business, World Leaders Urged to Walk Their Talk at UN Climate Summit

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 23, 2014 06:15 PM

During the kick-off to the United Nations Climate Summit on Tuesday, business leaders and political leaders vowed to action plans on behalf of their companies or countries. Commitments made to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the General Assembly included, on the corporate side:

IKEA announced it's expanding the availability of residential solar panels from the UK to the Netherlands and Switzerland and six additional countries and also unveiled "a new commitment for all plastic material used in its home furnishing products to be 100% renewable and/or recycled by 2020."

Mondelez International Chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld "joined world leaders at the UN Climate Summit to announce the first global timeline to slow and then end forest loss. The New York Declaration on Forests strives to cut forest loss in half by 2020, and end it by 2030—and also calls for restoring at least 350 million hectares of degraded forest lands by 2030, an area greater than the size of India." She also pledged "new support for the UNDP Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil Platform."

• In all, 39 major companies (incuding Walmart, Unilever and McDonald's) and 32 countries (but not, alarmingly, Brazil) signed the Declaration on Forests, including Asia Pulp and Paper, whose longtime foe Greenpeace welcomed the Declaration but also urged that voluntary action not replace government action.Continue reading...


Sustainability is Becoming a Key Part of Decision Making for Brands, Consumers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 25, 2014 05:33 PM

As consumer demand for greater transparency by brands increases, companies are stepping up their commitment to sustainability. 

Procter & Gamble is partnering with the Malaysia Institute for Supply Chain Innovation to help small farmers improve their palm oil and palm kernel oil production as part of its zero deforestation goals set in April after the consumer packaged-goods company was targeted by Greenpeace.

“We already work with larger suppliers to trace the origin of our supply chain, but small farmers—in places like Malaysia and Indonesia—account for 35 to 45 percent of palm oil production,” said Len Sauers, VP P&G Sustainability. 

But brands aren't the only ones having to make decisions with sustainability in mind. New tools and online tracking technologies aim to help better understand consumer behavior with respect to sustainability such as supercookies, browser fingerprinting, location-based identifiers and behavioral tracking.Continue reading...

branded entertainment

Branded Content Watch: Hate On Spirit, Gillette Shaves, BMW Sails and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 11, 2014 04:55 PM

DI-Cry: Chilean home improvement brand Sodimac punches you in the heart with its emotional ad about a dad and his daughter. But if after 10 seconds you feel your cold, cynical heart taking over again, we've got something perfect for you below.

Haterz 'Gonna Advertise: Give Spirit Air some credit for carrying around their brand's cajones in a dump truck. The airline's new campaign—found at hatethousandmiles.com—encourages exasperated travelers to "unleash the hate" on social media about Spirit Airlines. (The sub-text: "Or maybe you’re one of our fans—feel free to share some love, too.")Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Newcastle DDs, Whiskey Search Engine, Efes' New Look and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 13, 2013 07:10 PM

Newcastle Drives Drinkers Home

Newcastle introduced a new brew, Newcastle Cabbie Black Ale, and it wants consumers to enjoy it without worrying about how they'll make it home. So Newcastle offered a handful of imbibers a ride in a traditional English taxi at no charge, but there was of course a catch. Riders had to tell everyone what they felt about the new beer via a massive megaphone strapped onto the top of the cab. 

Even though that hilarious chapter has closed (after 67 noise complaints), Newcastle is extending the program by offering $5 taxi discounts to people in 60 cities if they book their ride home through the Taxi Magic app, Drinks Business Review reports. More than a million dollars has been set aside to fund the effort through the holidays.Continue reading...

mobile commerce

McDonald's Tests Mobile Coupon App in Hopes of Attracting Younger Consumers

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 13, 2013 12:48 PM

Back in October, McDonald's named Amazon's Atif Rafiq its first chief digital officer as the space has become critical to the struggling burger chain's success. And now the latest effort—a mobile app—is being tested at select locations across the US.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the simplistic app—which already has a live version in the UK—offers up coupons to consumers that specify what they want to eat. New deals pop up every six weeks, and it also includes a restaurant locator and menu listing

McDonald's is playing catch-up with competitors like Five Guys and Chipotle, which already attract a younger crowd than McDonald's does and already have apps available that allow for mobile odering—something the McD app doesn't have. "It's premature to speculate on the future of the McD App," Lisa McComb, a company spokeswoman, said in an email to the Tribune.Continue reading...

app watch

Uber Gets in the Holiday Spirit with Christmas Tree Deliveries

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 5, 2013 06:10 PM

International on-demand car-service app Uber has found another unique way to market its services. The company recently partnered with Home Depot to deliver Christmas trees to residents in 10 US cities. Consumers could click on the UberTree button in the app to have a tree, tree stand and Uber-branded scarf delivered to their doorstep for $135, according to Adweek

Home Depot and Uber are geo-targeting Facebook, Twitter and radio ads to promote the initiative, while utilizing their social media presence as well,” Adweek noted about the promotion, which took place today. 

The stunt likely isn't Uber’s only holiday-related marketing effort planned for December. Seattleites can use the Santa on Demand button on their apps and have St. Nick delivered to them. Uber will also have an UberSleigh effort later in December that will see its drivers delivering toys to kids.Continue reading...

app watch

WhatsApp Overtakes Facebook as the World's No. 1 Mobile Messaging App

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 2, 2013 07:36 PM

WhatsApp, the free Internet-based messaging service is now the most popular mobile messaging platform, according to a survey of more than 4,000 smartphone owners in the US, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia and China.

Leapfrogging Facebook, 44 percent surveyed use WhatsApp at least once a week, compared to 35 percent for Facebook messenger. The study also found that mobile messaging apps in general, such as WhatsApp, WeChat and even BBM are more popular than calls and texts: 60 percent of respondents used emails; 75 percent SMS text; 73 percent voice calls; and 86 percent said they used social messaging apps daily. 

WhatsApp has a stronger following abroad than in the US, but reportedly has more users than Twitter and carries 25 billion messages a day. Most popular among teens, school friends and extended families who create groups for shared texting, photos and status updates, WhatsApp allows free communication without the threat of divulging personal details—an increasing concern for competitors like Facebook and Google.Continue reading...

app watch

Macy's Adds Scan-and-Shop App to Holiday Season Arsenal

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 7, 2013 11:53 AM

The omniscience of mobile devices has Macy’s adding visual recognition technology to its already robust mobile initiatives to help customers find and buy merchandise more easily and quickly.

“Retail has become a blur. And the blurring is 100 percent driven by technology,” commented Tige Savage, a partner at VC firm Revolution. “Are you at the store? Or is the store at you? And then there’s mobile, the store is in your pocket. The game is to satisfy demand wherever and whenever it is.”  

Cutting through the e-tail clutter and focused on the next iteration of ‘gifting on the go,’ Macy’s Star Gifts app lets consumers scan a catalog, magazine ad or outdoor billboard for product information, tips and instant purchasing power.

"Visual recognition technology is the next evolution of our mobile strategy,” said Martine Reardon, Macy's CMO. "This new application of technology will assist us in delivering helpful and relevant content to mobile shoppers while at the same time providing them with the opportunity to get their holiday shopping done with ease."Continue reading...

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