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digital moves

YouTube Looks to Homegrown Comedy Stars to Drum Up Original Content

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 20, 2013 02:42 PM

YouTube may very well be the king of user-generated video, but the site has recently been making a push to create more original content as it takes TV head-on. This week, YouTube launched its first-ever Comedy Week, an exclusive collection of comedy's biggest talents doing their thing nightly on the video network. 

Throughout the week, YouTube will air a series of live shows, new episodes from existing channels and curated playlists with the help of over 150 comedians and media channels including Sarah Silverman, The Onion and even Arnold Schwarzenegger. A third of YouTube’s top 100 sites are all comedy-related, according to YouTube marketing head Danielle Teidt, and the hope is that the series will show the viewing public that the site is a good place to find great content.Continue reading...

digital moves

Walmart Hopes 'Gamification' Can Engage Employees and Turn Things Around

Posted by Dale Buss on May 17, 2013 06:40 PM

There can be a lot of stress associated with working at Walmart these days: Financial results aren't improving, and there are a lot of haters, such as critics of the chain's strategy for improving working conditions at factories in Bangladesh that supply Walmart garments.

Good thing that Walmart employees have a new way to engage themselves more productively in their work: "gamification." In a move that echoes what other major employers are doing, the nation's largest retailer is working with a Boston-based marketing and consulting organization to improve more of its internal processes by lending them a digital-gaming aspect. In turn, greater "employee engagement" is supposed to lead to improving the experiences of Walmart customers.

Walmart executive Kurt Templeton, director of workforce planning, and executives of Inward Strategic Consulting were presenting their findings on the effectiveness of gamification at a Conference Board gathering this week in Chicago.Continue reading...

digital moves

Google Announces Music Streaming Service, Updates to Maps and Hangouts at I/O Conference

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 15, 2013 03:47 PM

Google confirmed speculation that it would launch a music service at its annual I/O developer conference Wednesday. The internet giant announced Google Play Music All Access, a subscription-based service that is a little bit of Spotify, Pandora and Twitter #Music all in one. Apparently, the internet behemoth's announcements went over well with Wall Street, as Google's shares closed at a record high of $900, putting the company's market cap over $300 billion. 

Unlike Google Music, its cloud music service that lets users upload up to 20,000 purchased songs to listen to on Android devices or on the web, the Google Play Music All Access subscription service launches it into direct competition with music streaming services like Spotify—which has 24 million active monthly users, 6 million paying subscribers and more than 20 million licensed songs in 28 countries—as well as Pandora. Though unlike either of the other services, Google's All Access won't have a free option. The service, which will be available across the web, mobile and tablets will cost $9.99 per month after a 30-day free trial. 

“It makes lots of sense for both YouTube and Play, which was built for Google’s Android devices, to sell music subscriptions,” notes AllThingsD. “YouTube is the world’s biggest free music service, which could make it a fantastic funnel for a Spotify-like paid offering, which can also help solve some problems with the music labels."Continue reading...

digital moves

Neflix is the Streaming King but Amazon, Hulu Aren't Doing Bad Either

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 14, 2013 05:40 PM

While Amazon, Hulu and grandfather HBO all crow about significant online growth, Netflix continues its lead, accounting for one third of all streaming into North American homes since 2010.

A new report from broadband tracker Sandvine finds that Netflix’s share of prime-time “downstream” traffic delivered over fixed networks is 32.3 percent, just a tad off its projected estimate of 33 percent last November. Amazon and HBO have held fairly steady, the former down from 1.75 percent to 1.31 percent, and the latter down from 0.5 percent to 0.34 percent, while Hulu actually gained, up from 1.1 percent to 2.41 percent. 

These percentages include what Sandvine calls “home roaming,” data transmitted from personal networks via WiFi to tablets and iPhones, up 9 percent from one year ago and accounts for 20 percent of 2013 traffic.

“2013 will be the year long-form video will make its move onto mobile networks,” said Dave Caputo, CEO, Sandvine. “The 'home roaming' phenomenon… combined with increased consumption of real-time entertainment on mobile networks globally, and the doubling of Netflix traffic on mobile networks in North America, suggests that users are getting comfortable with watching longer form videos on their handheld devices.”Continue reading...

digital moves

Live from New York: Yahoo Scores Deal to Stream SNL

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 25, 2013 03:34 PM

Yahoo just scored the rights to nearly four decades of Saturday Night Live episodes in a deal with Broadway Video Entertainment. Starting in September, the best clips since 1975 will be available on the web portal, exclusively, for one year.

CEO Marissa Mayer’s move is a video content coup for Yahoo, securing a foothold and media buzz for the brand looking to capture cultural zeitgeist and marketer mindshare. 

"As a fan, I couldn't be more excited," wrote Mayer in a blog post. "Blues Brothers, the Coneheads, Church Chat, Wayne’s World, Coffee Talk, Pat, the Hanukkah Song, the list of tremendous clips goes on and on. Saturday Night Live has pervaded and defined our culture for decades."Continue reading...

digital moves

Not Sure You Want an Infiniti? How About One of Its Restaurant Recommendations?

Posted by Dale Buss on April 23, 2013 08:02 PM

It was inevitable that, as infotainment has risen in importance as a consideration for auto purchase, the value of the "info" part of infotainment would rise as well.

Now, that evolution has reached a likely and logical next step: Infiniti is making the information core of its concierge "personal assistant" service available to you even if you choose not to buy or drive an Infiniti.

The Nissan-owned luxury make, newly under the global leadership of Johan de Nysschen, has been telling dealers to give out free access to the Infiniti Personal Assist service as a tool to stimulate floor traffic, according to Automotive News. Dealers have been authorized to sign up showroom visitors for free 60-day trial subscriptions to the feature even if they have no interest in buying an Infiniti.Continue reading...

digital moves

Aeropostale Banking on Tech to Reel In Millennials

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 21, 2013 06:11 PM

Aeropostale is going hard after the Millennial market by using digital technology to attract young consumers.

After redesigning its stores last fall, Aeropostale is now adding in-store iPad kiosks as well as a new mobile app in the hopes that the Touchscreen Generation will fill up both their online carts and in-store baskets with their goods.

"This is the future," said Jacob Hawkins, Aeropostale's vice president of e-commerce, according to Business Insider. "This is the way [teens are] going to interact with our brand."

While the three leaders of the teen retail market—Aeropostale, American Eagle, and Abercrombie & Fitch—along with quickly rising Forever 21 all have apps already, Aeropostale is the first to put iPads into its stores, Business Insider reports.

The company’s urge to find new ways to reach consumers was likely elevated after its sales went down 6 percent during the holiday shopping season while competitor American Eagle had a strong back-to-school effort last summer. Plus, mobile retail is growing rapidly. In-store mobile payments almost quadrupled last year.

Don’t think that Aeropostale doesn’t want to see its customers, though. That’s why it put the iPod kiosks in the actual stores and the app is more about providing a store locator and coupons to help draw teens into the actual brick-and-mortar locations. "If you create an experience that streamlines some of the things that people want to do, you'll increase the amount of time that they spend engaging (with) the brand," said Carin van Vuuren, CMO of Usablenet, the company responsible for Aeropostal’s new tech outreach, Business Insider reports. "For millennial customers, this is the only way."

Aeropostale, of course, isn’t the only company trying to reach those fickle Millennials that control about $65 billion in spending each year. (Ad Age predicts that number will go up to $200 billion starting in 2017.) Macy’s is going after them both online and in stores as well with 13 new brands, including one featuring Marilyn Monroe, a star who was long dead before the first Millennial was close to being a sparkle in a parent’s eye.

As Ad Age points out, however, it's worth doing the work to reach Millennials on whatever devices they are currently getting information from because 70% of them report that they return to brands they love. So dig deep, marketers, and keep finding new ways to engage.

digital moves

London Fashion Week: Burberry and Topshop Woo Tech-Savvy Fashionistas

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 18, 2013 03:52 PM

Burberry Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey promised back in September ahead of its global flagship store opening on London's Regent Street that Burberry would be stepping up its digital innovation lead even more. He wasn't kidding.

London Fashion Week kicked off Monday with Burberry's autumn/winter 2013 women's ready-to-wear show full of glossy trenchcoats, hearts, animal prints and polished metals. It's also taking a shine to latest in digital personalization: giving consumers the ability to order what they see on the catwalk straight from their mobile devices with a novel twist—customization using the brand's proprietary technology.

It's the latest example of how the Burberry brand is all in on tech, including its Art of the Trench and Burberry World digital platforms, pushing photos to Instagram, making contact with consumers across the social and mobile web. The fastest growing luxury brand on Interbrand's 2012 Best Global Brands list is now bridging social and mobile with its latest move: live streaming its fashion show on its website, on Facebook, on Twitter (a first, the brand believes, according to the New York Times) and in its digital-first flagship Regent Street store.Continue reading...

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