in the spotlight

Advertising Week New York: All About Change—and Changing the Channel

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 29, 2014 12:13 PM

Advertising Week 2014 kicks off today in New York, and (once again) the focus will be all about the shifting tides of marketing budgets from traditional TV advertising to all things digital—particularly all things mobile. From programmatic buying to Facebook's new Atlas ad platform to the rising power of YouTube stars and where brands fit in all this craziness, digital and social change are the new norm. So what to do?

That's what will be chewed over in close to 300 events over four days, expected to draw 100,00 brand marketers and ad professionals for sessions ranging from “Are We There Yet? The Journey From TV to Total Video” to “The Great Debate: Linear TV, ‘Tried and True’ or ‘So Over You’?” and “The New Generation of TV Advertising Is Streamed,” “Advertising’s Gold Rush: Online Video,” “Digital Video: Disrupting Cross-Media Measurement” and “Programmatic TV: Advertising’s Next Great Frontier.” [Click here for Day One highlights.]

With YouTube’s revenue from video advertising predicted by eMarketer to rise 39 percent this year from last year, increases in digital ad spend, the result of consumer video consumption, are seemingly causing a significant decline in spend for traditional TV time.Continue reading...

in the spotlight

Philips Sheds Light on Future Vision by Splitting in Two

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 23, 2014 11:57 AM

Philips, long known for its lighting—from tradtional bulbs to the innovative app-controlled Hue line—and consumer electronics products ranging from electric shavers to toothbrushes, has been working hard this year to try and get consumers and investors to see it in a new light. As its Instagram bio notes, "Philips is a health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation."

With innovation often comes disruption, which is why the Dutch company that was founded in 1891 announced Tuesday that it will split into two entities to sharpen its strategic focus: one that will focus on lighting and the other (called HealthTech) centered on healthcare and technology, particularly in fast-growing Asian markets.Continue reading...

in the spotlight

+Pool Makes a Splash with Branding-First Concept

Posted by Katie Conneally on September 17, 2014 02:59 PM

It seems like everyday there’s a new tech startup in the news, a new cool project to back on Kickstarter or a new worthy cause to donate to. But with this abundance of new ideas, it’s easy for the average consumer, investor or donor to become overwhelmed. To combat this new idea fatigue, some startups and projects are getting smart about branding their ideas to stand out—sometimes even before they have a physical product or prototype to tout.

+Pool, a concept for a swimming pool that floats in New York’s East River, is an example of how early branding can play a role in future success. From its debut on Kickstarter in 2011, the +Pool idea ("the world's first water-filtering, floating pool") quickly gained traction and supporting, raising $41,000 to explore filtration materials. Another Kickstarter campaign in 2013 netted over $250,000 to build a test pool to bring the concept, called Float Lab, to life.Continue reading...

in the spotlight

Beats by Apple: The Impact of Announcing a Not-So-Secret Buyout

Posted by Tom Shanahan on May 9, 2014 05:14 PM

The rumor that Apple was considering a $3.2 billion bid for Dr. Dre’s Beats Audio was big news when it broke on Thursday. But in today’s world of acquisitions, buyouts, and mergers, this type of speculation should always be read with a skeptical eye. All it takes is a whisper to create chatter that leads to a theory that sometimes devolves into nothing more than the whisper that started it. 

Except, of course, when one of the parties in question announces it to the world via YouTube and Facebook.

Tyrese Gibson’s not-so-subtle and NSFW YouTube video, uploaded on his Facebook page late Thursday night, proclaimed to his almost 14 million Facebook followers that Forbes should update its renowned Forbes 400 list of America’s wealthiest people—implying that with the buyout, Dr. Dre would now make the cut and must be included in the list. Dre chimed in, proclaiming that he’s now “the first billionaire in hip-hop.” So much for speculation.Continue reading...

in the spotlight

Pope Francis, Time's New "Person Of The Year," Is Rebranding Catholicism

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 11, 2013 12:02 PM

The Catholic Church has gone through a rough period since the 2005 death of beloved Pope John Paul II, defending itself against revelations of massive sexual-abuse cover-up and financial mismanagement. For everyday Catholics, it was difficult to see their own religion disparaged and find themselves so detached from what had become of it.

Then came along Pope Francis, who has just been named Time’s Person of the Year. Francis was elected in March following Pope Benedict's surprise resignation, and immediately started shaking things up by choosing not to move into the opulent apartment set aside for popes, the Apostolic Palace, and instead stay in the Vatican’s guest house. He’s the first pope to not live in the papal apartments since Pope Pius X, who reigned from 1903-1914. That was just the start for Francis. Continue reading...

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LAPD Confidential: Dorner Case Evokes Hollywood's Perpetual Police Dramas

Posted by Abe Sauer on February 13, 2013 02:12 PM

Just as infamous murder suspect and police officer Chris Doran was scribbling his now famous manifesto against the Los Angeles Police Department, Hollywood was releasing Gangster Squad. About the LAPD's battle against crime boss Mickey Cohen, the film is just the latest in La-LA land's collection that put a sheen on the efficacy of the department's iconic corruption.

Ironically enough, the real life "gangster squad" that the film was based on was formed by the LAPD in 1946 to preserve Los Angeles' image as, in Gangster Squad author Paul Liberman's own words, "a sun-washed Garden of Eden." Unfortunately, it's the exact same LAPD that has been—more than any other American city's authorities—a scourge to the image of its home. A locked-in vicious cycle of LAPD mythologizing was maybe best captured in yesterday's image of the LA Times homepage announcing the Dorner shootout alongside numerous banner ads for the "raw" LAPD TV drama Southland.

"No city's image is more closely bound to its police department than Los Angeles to the LAPD," John Buntin, author of L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City, told brandchannelBuntin's book chronicles the LAPD of the Mickey Cohen "Gangster Squad" years and its transition to its Dragnet era and eventually the disaster of the Watts riots.Continue reading...

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Tide Pods, Plans for China Buoy Optimism at Procter & Gamble

Posted by Dale Buss on January 25, 2013 10:59 AM

After spending the first couple years of his tenure falling short of expectations, Procter & Gamble CEO Bob McDonald now sees a big ray of sunshine — in the form of P&G's second fiscal quarter earnings report. Earnings and sales were well ahead of forecast thanks to the chief's recent aggressive actions to boost brand performance and cut costs.

Consumer and retailer response to new products such as Tide Pods and a high-price version of Pantene shampoo has been promising. P&G said it held or grew market share in businesses representing nearly 50 percent of sales in the October-December quarter. In the U.S. market, it met that pattern in businesses representing nearly 60 percent of sales.

The case of Tide Pods, an important new product, is an example of what P&G is aiming for. Marketing has been able to persuade some customers, even cost-conscious ones, that the premium-priced innovation, which is coming up on its first anniversary, is worth the higher outlay.Continue reading...

in the spotlight

No Waze Out for Apple

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 4, 2013 03:43 PM

In the wake of Apple's mapping woes and Google Mapsgate, the social web blew up at reports this week that Apple was looking to buy Waze, an Israeli start up's mobile app that helps drivers plot better routes via real-time traffic reports. Those talks, however, ended over the failure to agree on a price, as The Next Web has confirmed. Over to you, Google?

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