Posted by Dale Buss on June 25, 2013 06:33 PM
The year-old split between Kraft Foods and Mondelez International is working out about as financial and marketing engineers had promised, with the latter attacking emerging global snack markets with zest and Kraft trying to squeeze everything it can out of more mature North American markets.
The latest evidence that the split strategy is taking hold as planned: Kraft Foods is boosting US marketing spending significantly and has retained traction as one of the biggest advertisers in the American market, while Mondelez's spending on US advertising has dwindled—even though Mondelez retains domestic control of iconic brands such as Oreo.
Kraft Foods plans to pump more than $100 million into brand-building in the second half of this year as it aims to differentiate its classic brands in commodity categories such as cheese from private-label players, while also launching new US products such as Fresh Take, a meal kit that combines fresh cheeses, spices and breadcrumbs, according to Advertising Age.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 18, 2013 06:10 PM
Amazon pounced on the opportunity to add Viacom programming to its Prime streaming lineup last month after the broadcast giant couldn’t work out an extension deal with Netflix. That loss is likely costing Netflix big-time as it saw the exit of popular kids shows like Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants and Blue's Clues, the very type of content that parents desire when they need to use the electronic babysitter.
However, Netflix battled back this week by signing a deal with DreamWorks Animation, in turn setting itself up to stream a whole host of new kid-friendly content based off of the studio's popular big-screen hits. In another move that seems orchestrated to remind folks, particularly parents, that Netflix still has scads of family programming, it has launched a new site, Netflix Families, that highlights “information on the best ways to stream and videos on how families use Netflix,” as well as feeds of curated content perfect for kids, the company said in a new release.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 13, 2013 06:33 PM
Disney’s ESPN launched a 3D channel three years ago that let viewers witness golf balls arcing toward them at The Masters and college football players practically bursting through the screen. Unfortunately for ESPN, there just haven’t been enough viewers who wanted to feel like they were right in the action and the channel will be shuttered by year’s end, according to Reuters.
USA Today's ForTheWin.com calls ESPN 3D “one of the biggest busts in recent sports television,” along with Fox’s NHL glow puck, Dennis Miller and Tony Kornheiser providing commentary on Monday Night Football (another Disney product), and virtual ads, among others, since not one of the sports junkies employed at the site (nor anyone they knew) had ever actually watched anything on the channel.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 11, 2013 02:42 PM
Vonage is counting on a wild-haired man in its new ad campaign to get across a key message as the online-phone brand keeps evolving with the industry.
Vonage is the generous phone company—or "Crazy Generous," as is the theme of the first TV-advertising effort by Vonage's new agency, JWT. In the initial spot, the new Vonage mascot, its "Chief Generosity Officer"—who, the thought occurs, could be a distant cousin to GEICO's Cave Man—calls for a different kind of phone company that "connects us with generosity."
Which raises the question: generous in what way? "It's really about value and what you can get with a company that's committed to ongoing innovation," Barbara Goodstein, Vonage's CMO, told brandchannel. "We've had a lot of innovations in just the last few years, and we think this campaign provides an umbrella for all our different products to fit under that makes sense—low costs, flexibility, simplicity and quality."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 5, 2013 02:21 PM
The opening of the first Whole Foods Market in Detroit today may be great for the city. But will it end up diluting the hard-won Whole Foods brand, especially considering the chain's planned emphasis on making the Motown store budget-friendly?
Those are among the issues attending the ceremonial opening of the Whole Foods in Detroit's Midtown district, which featured Mayor Dave Bing and even US Sen. Debbie Stabenow as well as Whole Foods executives. It's viewed as an important step forward for the retail market in a city that has become a poster child for "produce deserts" and "food insecurity" as well as all sorts of other maladies.
It "is a game-changer for our city," Bing said in a statement. "Not only does it offer central-city residents more choices and more convenience for grocery shopping, it also proves that Detroit is an attractive destination for national retailers."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 5, 2013 01:18 PM
Plenty of airline passengers that flew United last summer don’t have kind things to say. When United combined its passenger reservation system with Continental after the merger, things went totally awry and employees of the airline apparently didn’t always handle the whole thing so well.
But this year? This year is going to be different. That’s the promise from Jeff Smisek, the chairman, president and CEO of United’s parent company, United Continental Holdings, Inc. He spoke to about 1,000 people who were attending the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce’s annual membership meeting, the Chicago Tribune reports.
"We’re a service business. We need to get you where you want to go, on time, with your underwear,” he said, the Tribune reports. He noted that United’s on-time performance was the best it has been in a decade in the first quarter and customer-satisfaction scores "have gone up by a factor of five from where they were a year ago."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 3, 2013 02:46 PM
Marriott is making another bid for Millennial travelers as it announces plans to import its European-based hotel chain, AC, to America. Earlier this year, Marriott introduced a partnership with IKEA for a new hotel brand called Moxy, which will cater to Millennials across Europe.
AC Hotels, which is based in Madrid, was bought by Marriott back in 2010 and rechristened AC Hotels by Marriott, HotelChatter.com reports. The hope was that it would help Marriott expand its footprint across that continent, USA Today reports. That’s resulted in 79 AC Hotels by Marriott across Spain, Portugal, France and Italy. Now it’s looking to do the same in the States with a plan for 200 more in the next 10 years.
"It's the right time to bring it to the US," says Brian King, global brand officer for Marriott Endorsed Brands, according to USA Today. "You import wine and you import cars. We're going to import a hotel brand."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 30, 2013 10:39 AM
Campbell has joined the organic-foods derby with its acquisition of Plum Organics, but the CPG titan plans to take best advantage of its new purchase by letting Plum continue to be Plum.
Co-founder Neil Grimmer will stay on for Campbell to run the brand, a Silicon Valley-based company that has become one of America's biggest players in the fast-growing natural and organic market with its purees, savory items and other foods and snacks for babies and toddlers, adding up to about $93 million in annual sales.
If Campbell's move to snap up this burgeoning better-for-you player seems familiar, that's because it should. Campbell's deal, announced last week, follows in quick order the acquisition of most of Happy Family Brands, a major Plum competitor in the baby-and-toddler space, by Groupe Danone (parent of Dannon USA) of Paris; the recent acquisition of BluePrint and Ella's Kitchen by Hain Celestial; and Post Holdings' acquisitions of Attune Foods and Hearthside Food Solutions.Continue reading...