Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 8, 2013 03:19 PM
Ron Howard has wanted to be in the marketing business for decades now, but his wife told him that if he had time to take away from his work as a famous director, producer, and actor, he better fork it over to his wife and kids.
Well, the kids are all grown up now and Howard must have gotten buy-in from his wife because the partnership of Howard and producer Brian Glazer – the duo behind such classic films and TV series as Splash, Apollo 13, 8 Mile, A Beautiful Mind, Friday Night Lights, 24, and Arrested Development – are bringing their storytelling savvy to the marketing world, according to Fortune.
The appeal of working with brands, Howard told Fortune, is that marketers are “wide open” about their how they deliver content, using "long form, short form, live events.” They're also eager for better quality storytelling, and eager to bring Hollywood-honed creativity to their brands. Down the road, Howard says, "We could bring in an Academy Award-winning screenwriter to work on a brand."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 9, 2012 04:55 PM
Now that Disney has agreed to spend big bucks to own Lucasfilm and all of its Star Wars goodies, the corporation is losing little time working the big brand into its plans.
DisneyParks released an amusing video on Halloween showing Darth Vader and a couple of his stormtroopers hanging out at Disneyland: riding a Dumbo ride, buying some popcorn, enjoying the fireworks. It has since racked up more than 3.2 million views on YouTube.
It is passion like that that Disney is hoping will make for excellent return on investment for its big purchase. Even without the Star Wars brand in its back pocket, Disney just reported a pretty good fiscal year, going up 3% to $42 billion in revenue while its profits went up 18% to almost $5.7 billion, Variety reports.
"We're entering a phase-out of investment mode and transitioning into more compelling growth mode," Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger told analysts. "We're seeing a ramping down of capital spending." He went on to say that the addition of Lucasfilm “will further fuel Disney's creative engine across our company to create additional value for our shareholders.” And attention holiday shoppes: Iger noted that Star Wars merchandise would be found soon in Disney stores and online. Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 31, 2012 04:43 PM
The Walt Disney Company's announcement that it's buying Lucasfilm — the production company owned by producer/director George Lucas — for $4.05 billion means every last bit of the Star Wars franchise is now part of the Mickey Mouse Empire. The deal shouldn't come as a huge surprise, given the success of Star Wars-themed weekends luring amateur Jedi warriors and Darth Vaders to Disney parks.
Even though series creator Lucas says that there is such “a large group of ideas and characters and books and all kinds of things” that new Star Wars movies could be coming out for the next 100 years, fans of the franchise are a little confused that their cinnamon-roll-haired Princess Leia is now on the same squad with such gals as Pocahontas, Snow White, Ariel, and Cinderella.
Fans won’t have to wait 100 years for the next film, however. The first one under new ownership, Star Wars VII, will hit screens in 2015. Some, though, are not happy about the news.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on October 16, 2012 05:31 PM
Pepsi announced on Twitter and Facebook that it is returning to Super Bowl advertising with a big pop.
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 15, 2012 11:14 AM
Microsoft’s Zune is no more, but that doesn’t mean the computer giant is shunning the music-buying public. It announced Monday that it is getting back into the music business by providing 30 million free tunes through its upcoming Windows 8 as well as on Xbox consoles starting Tuesday. (Apple’s iTunes “only” has about 26 million tunes, the BBC notes.)
The pitch for Xbox Music: "Enjoy your favorite music from a 30 million-song global catalog powered by the one service that integrates your music experiences across your tablet, PC, phone and TV. All the music you love, every way you want it."
“The service is part of a broad set of bets Microsoft is making this fall to help regain ground it has lost to competitors, especially Apple and Google,” the New York Times reports. Along with Windows 8, Microsoft is about to release a new Windows Phone operating system for mobiles as well as a tablet, the Surface. The bean counters in Redmond, Washington, are clearly hoping for a big fourth quarter holiday season, including ramping up maketing efforts and opening holiday pop-ups in key markets.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on October 9, 2012 01:15 PM
Continuing on our Skyfall theme today, Sony Pictures has released its latest trailer for its upcoming James Bond movie, for the first time featuring Adele's theme song.
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 11, 2012 05:10 PM
Andy Warhol helped establish Lou Reed's old band, Velvet Underground. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers used to be the house band at Warhol’s Factory happenings in NYC and laid down the tunes at the famed artist’s exquisitely named Exploding Plastic Inevitable events. Heck, Warhol managed the band in its early days.
Perhaps most famously of all, Warhol's painting of a banana graced the cover of the band’s 1967 debut, The Velvet Underground & Nico, inarguably one of the most influential rock albums of all time despite not selling many copies when it first came out. Brian Eno reportedly quipped that only 10,000 people bought the disc, but all of them went out and then formed bands.
So Warhol’s banana, which he never trademarked, became a symbol of that album and the rock revolution that marked the decade. So when the Underground’s lawyers got word that the Warhol Foundation had licensed the image for use on iPhone and iPad products, a suit was filed; it marked a moment of incongruity to a relationship that had long seemed harmonious.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 3, 2012 09:47 AM
As the grandfather of streaming video, Netflix has suffered the slings and arrows of being out front, exacerbated by hubris and internal missteps.
The video rental company's announcement of separate fees for DVD and streaming services a year ago was a disaster, one that was exacerbated by CEO Reed Hastings’ foot-in-mouth comment regarding subscriber outrage, "It's something we'll monitor, but Americans are somewhat self-absorbed."
“Despite shrinking margins, a weakening balance sheet and increased competition, the stock was bullet-proof. Netflix was the great Achilles that vanquished Blockbuster Video with a little assistance from Coinstar's Redbox. But like Achilles, Netflix was not invulnerable,” notes Seeking Alpha.
Enter Amazon and its move to free video streaming with Amazon Prime in February 2011, membership priced at $79/year, including free Super Saver Shipping, free book rentals via Kindle and the add-on to rent or buy digital movies and TV shows for an additional fee providing newer content overall than on Netflix.Continue reading...