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mobile commerce

Mobile Payment Brands Go On Offensive in Fear of Apple Pay Domination

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 17, 2014 04:12 PM

With the first reviews of Apple's new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus making their rounds, the discussions around what many have deemed the most lack-luster announcement—Apple Pay—are only getting louder.

While PayPal, Amazon and Google are all making hay of Apple's payment platform, other mobile wallet brands aren't sitting on their hands. Softcard, formerly known as Isis and backed by Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T in the US, just struck a major deal with Subway restaurants to launch NFC payments across the US. Consumers at any of Subway's 26,000 US locations can now tap their phone to pay for their order. 

That won't be the case for consumers using Apple Pay, though, as Apple is restricting its NFC-enabled chip to only be compatible with the iPhone 6 iterations and Apple Watch. The company has also closed off access to its NFC technology to app developers, unlike Samsung's range of NFC-enabled devices that can make use of several NFC apps. 

But while Apple Pay may be a bit restrictive, the upcoming platform is making competitors nervous about a potential Apple domination of the mobile wallet space.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Yes or No, Scotland's Vote for Independence Will Affect Brands

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 12, 2014 03:21 PM

Great Britain may get a little less great on Sept. 18 if the citizens of Scotland vote to secede in the Scottish Independence Referendum that day, setting the stage to bid farewell to England, Wales and Northern Ireland and exit the United Kingdom. A vote for separation will certainly bring massive changes for the Scots, and it will also mean big changes for the businesses and brands that operate within Scotland's borders.

While Scotland's “Yes” campaign, the independence movement sponsored by a handful of the country's political parties, has been gaining steam—especially among younger voters, thanks to savvy #indyref social marketing—there have been more than a few brands that have expressed concern over the potential secession should the referendum result in divorce.

Those behind the “no” vote have been criticized for “Better Together,” a campaign that, despite its name, is perceived by some as fear-mongering, Ad Age reports. The commercial below was mocked as the "patronising BT Lady" when it was released in late August in a bid to sway undecided women voters.Continue reading...

bc q&a

Marketing is Such Sweet Sorrow: 5 Questions with Thai Life's Heartbreaker

Posted by Abe Sauer on September 9, 2014 07:32 PM

Its ads are maybe the most unique in the world at the moment, with its latest short film racking up over almost 6 million views in a month, still far short of the over 21 million views its previous longform commercial received. What's more, the ads have no special effects, no star actors and no gags or punchlines.

Thai Life, a life insurance company based in (you guessed it) Thailand, has gained worldwide attention by making people anywhere feel it RIGHT HERE [jabs finger into heart].

But what most of the millions of viewers of Thai Life's recent viral videos don't know is that the brand has been producing award-winning branded entertainment like these heartbreaking videos for a decade, only gaining an international audience recently when it started adding English subtitles.

Ogilvy & Mather Thailand's Thanawat Chongmahakul, the creative director behind the brand's recent tearjerking videos, talked to brandchannel's Abe Sauer about how sorrowful themes can be a positive message for a brand, and how global fame helps its local reputation.Continue reading...

brand revival

Arthur Andersen Brand is Reborn Over a Decade After Enron Scandal

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 2, 2014 11:04 AM

In 2002, tax auditing firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstructing justice after it was discovered that it had shredded thousands of Enron-related documents. Despite the charges, the since-defunct brand has retained its reputation through the years—a surprising conclusion of a financial industry poll conducted by Prime Group for WTAS LLC, a San Francisco-based firm that is reviving the brand, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

Time may heal all wounds, but it doesn’t restock the billions of dollars in bank accounts that shareholders lost in the wake of Enron’s shutdown and certainly doesn’t make life easier for the 85,000 employees of the company that lost their jobs. But WTAS, which bought the rights to the name so it could rebrand to Andersen Tax, looks to change that.

“Our issues with Enron were the mistake of a few,” WTAS CEO Mark Vorsatz told Businessweek. “Irrespective of Enron, we thought we were the benchmark in the industry.”Continue reading...

bc q&a

Money Tree: 5 Questions with CMO Sean O'Reilly on Peachtree Financial Solutions

Posted by Shirley Brady on August 22, 2014 11:12 AM

For consumers that suddenly come into a cash windfall, it can be a confusing time. That's where Peachtree Financial Solutions comes in. The brand, a sister company of J.G. Wentworth under parent JGWPT Holdings, recently refreshed its brand identity with a renewed focus on customer service. 

The refreshed brand, which debuted earlier this month, is centered around "The Peachtree Promise," six core attributes of the brand that define the way Peachtree representatives handle customer care. With an improved customer experience woven throughout the new website and into the brand's core offerings, there's no doubt that Peachtree is eager to share its refreshed brand with consumers across the US. 

brandchannel Editor-in-Chief Shirley Brady chatted with Sean O'Reilly, SVP and CMO of JGWPT Holdings, about the brand's new look—and outlook.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

TD Bank Turns ATMs Into Automated Thanking Machines

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 29, 2014 06:44 PM

TD Bank showed its gratitude to its LGBT customers and employees by sponsoring WorldPride 2014. Now it's showing its gratitude to all its Canadian customers with its #TDThanksYou (or #TDVousDitMerci in French) campaign, in which ATM machines and the bank's employees thank customers for choosing TD.

In a move that recalls Coca-Cola’s Open Happiness machine giveaways, TD’s ATM machines are shown dispensing gifts ranging from a flight so a mother can visit her sick daughter in Trinidad to a meeting with a Toronto Blue Jay to free tickets to Disneyland. (The campaign also recalls WestJet's emotional holiday campaign in Canada.)

Watch what happens below, in a video that now has almost 1.4 million views on YouTube.Continue reading...

mobile commerce

Visa Taps Morgan Freeman to Help Rebrand V.me as Visa Checkout

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 17, 2014 03:04 PM

Visa has now got its own Innovation Center. It was opened in San Francisco Wednesday to try to bring the company’s software developers, clients, and other tech folks “to jointly develop the next generation of commerce applications," according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The first product coming out of the Innovation Center is the Visa Checkout mobile payment system, which hopes to give PayPal, Isis and Google Wallet a run for the money, and replaces Visa's V.me brand that was introduced in the US in 2012.

"It's a recognition of the fact that the credit card is becoming a digital card, and innovations are occurring through digital means," said Jim McCarthy, the brand's senior vice president of innovation and strategic partnerships, to the Chronicle. "Basically, we're opening up our network to software developers to use our capabilities and assets, and to help consumers to take advantage of them."Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Forever Proud: TD Bank Walks Its Talk With WorldPride 2014 Sponsorship

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 7, 2014 06:05 PM

The recent WorldPride event in Toronto marked the first time the event had been held in North America—and served as a testament to platinum sponsor TD Bank Group's acceptance of diversity.

The most valuable brand on Interbrand's Best Canadian Brands report, TD Bank not only sponsored WorldPride 2014, which ran from June 20 to 29 and attracted an estimated two million people across the Greater Toronto Area, but helped the host committee land the event by sponsoring their bid and accompanying them to make their case to InterPride, the event's organizer, in a first for a corporate sponsor.

It also wasn't a one-off commitment. TD is supporting 42 Pride events across North America this year, including signing a multi-year partnership with Boston Pride, all part of its bigger committment to equality and creating an inclusive workplace. "This is our tenth year of supporting Pride events," notes Scott Mullin, the bank's Vice President of Community Relations. "Ten years ago it was seen as pretty edgy for a financial institution."Continue reading...

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