Posted by Dale Buss on February 27, 2014 03:37 PM
Get ready for the mother of all site-location battles as four Southwestern states attempt to lure the highly anticipated, multibillion-dollar new "gigafactory" that is supposed to be churning out state-of-the-art batteries for Tesla cars and other purposes within three years.
The competition and attention likely will rival that garnered by General Motors' Saturn project in the Eighties. After an unprecedented bidding and lobbying war by states across the country, Saturn landed in Tennessee and did a good bit to change GM and the auto industry before the company knocked the brand out of its orbit five years ago as part of the federal bailout.
Tesla already said it had narrowed its choice to Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas for a plant that would cover 10 million square-feet and employ 6,500 people. But considering that the plant is one of the biggest economic-development prizes in recent American history, the hoopla will be endless.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on February 27, 2014 02:04 PM
Welcome to brandchannel's annual Brandcameo Product Placement Awards.
For more than a decade, Brandcameo has tracked product placement and brand appearances in every No. 1 film in Hollywood. Since 2004, the Brandcameo Awards have been honoring the good, the bad, and the ugly (and the most) product placement in tandem with the annual Oscars buzz.
If one thing is evident in the product placement industry, it's that brand cameos in films are on a steady decline. 2013's average of 9.1 product placements per No. 1 film is the lowest since 2001, when we first started tracking this space. With directors looking to de-clutter their work, producers looking to wrangle more marketing tie-ins off-screen and new film technology proving challenging for brand placements, the big screen is becoming less and less of a billboard for brands.
This year, Brandcameo hands out awards for the best and worst product placement, the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Forrest Gump Award for Achievement in Reverse Product Placement, as well as awards in 14 other categories.
But there's no spoilers here. Check out the big winners (and losers) of the 2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards, covering films released in 2013, after the jump.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 27, 2014 12:56 PM
The controversy over its big recall of old cars is not good for "The New" General Motors.
On the heels of the launch of a new advertising campaign for its biggest brand, Chevrolet, that touts its vehicles as vanguards of "The New" in several ways, the largest US-based automaker unfortunately is suffering from a huge dose of "The Old" GM.
Not only has it recalled more than 1.6 million vehicles from mid-last decade to fix the cars' ignition switches, but accidents stemming from the defect have led to at least 13 front-seat fatalities in the United States—by the automaker's admission. Now the company is being investigated by the US traffic safety agency and may be subject to a record fine by the federal government of up to $35 million under new rules that allow bigger assessments against safety-recall offenders.
But here's the part with the worst implications for GM and the new image that it has been fashioning in the wake of the federal bailout in 2009 and its successful efforts to re-establish its product and brand: GM dragged its feet in informing regulators and dealing with the consequences of this significant safety problem.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 27, 2014 11:51 AM
Unilever is using this weekend's Oscars broadcast, aka the “Super Bowl for Women,” to break its new "unified" campaign for its Lipton hot and iced tea brand with a 60-second ad featuring the Muppets and the brand's new slogan, "Be More Tea."
The 86th Academy Awards telecast will air this Sunday, and it’s no surprise that all ad inventory was sold-out months ago as the usual brand suspects step up to a price tag of $1.7 million to $1.8 million for a 30-second spot. On board are JCPenney, Johnson & Johnson, American Express, General Motors, Coldwell Banker, McDonald's, AARP, Mars, Pepsi, Samsung, Sprint and Unilever—which bought two spots, one for Dove and another for Lipton.
Teasing their Oscar campaign Super Bowl-style, Unilever published a 90-second spot on Wednesday to introduce consumers to the campaign.Continue reading...
sports in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 27, 2014 10:42 AM
With the Super Bowl done and over with, Americans and baseball fans the world over are looking forward to the start of the MLB season, with this year's Opening Day set for March 31. But this year, Budweiser and a Hall of Famer are hoping to turn the first day of America's favorite pastime into an actual holiday.
Bud and Hall of Fame player Ozzie Smith have launched a 30-day roadshow to convince fans to sign a petition that aims to get President Obama to declare Opening Day a national holiday. In order to make that happen, Smith will need at least 100,000 signatures from fans 21 and older in order for the US government to even consider responding to the movement. Other major brands including Fox Sports, Louisville Slugger and the MLB itself has backed Bud's campaign.
"There are 22 million people who have, some point in time, played hooky from work or school, so it's already an unofficial holiday," Smith told MLB.com. "We're just trying to make it an official holiday by getting those 100,000 signatures so I can march them up to the front of the White House."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 27, 2014 09:28 AM
Boeing designs self-destructing "Mission Impossible" smartphone.
Volkswagen cuts European worker bonuses on slump in demand and recalls almost 600,000 vans.
Adidas to stop selling sexually-suggestive World Cup T-shirts after outcry.
Barnes & Noble swings to profit on cost-cutting.
Best Buy posts sales decline but returns to profit with cost cuts.
Bitcoin falls in crosshairs of nations' regulators.
eBay leads $133.7 million investment in Indian shopping site Snapdeal.
European Union bans e-cigarette ads.
Ford gets Mustang tie-up to Need for Speed and improves convertible top to take on German rivals.
GM now faces federal investigation of its handling of recall.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 26, 2014 07:25 PM
AT&T and T-Mobile are like a bunch of snippy teenagers. T-Mobile recently introduced free international texting and waved $450 in front of consumers to try and get them to switch from AT&T. Predictably, AT&T has responded with its own free international texting plan and "penny per minute" calling plan. And so the mobile saga continues.
Following a headline-making tussle at CES in January, where outspoken T-Mobile CEO John Legere was tossed out of AT&T's party before skewering the brand on stage during the conference, the battle for mobile dominance (or survival) has only grown between AT&T and T-Mobile, both secondary players in the mobile carrier marketplace.
“We are always looking for ways to keep our customers happy,” AT&T Mobility Chief Executive Officer Ralph De La Vega said at Mobile World Congress, Bloomberg reports. “The offer we have is better than T-Mobile’s, because on ours it isn’t just landlines, it includes mobile as well.” De La Vega and T-Mobile USA chief John Legere would no doubt score a viral hit with “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 26, 2014 06:42 PM
Could it be that JCPenney finally has bottomed out after nearly a year of reversing course and going back to the future? The brand said it expects same-store sales to increase about 3 to 5 percent during the current quarter as it also today posted a narrower-than-expected loss for the fiscal fourth quarter.
Early readings on the recovering retailer's performance during the fourth quarter were colored with worry that CEO Myron Ullman wasn't reaping enough benefits, quickly enough, from his deconstruction of the radical changes that had been made to the traditional middle-market brand by predecessor Ron Johnson in 2012.
But today Ullman was able to say—with real numbers to back him up—that JCPenney might just have turned the corner. One number alone might have been enough to cheer investors and JCPenney employees alike: The chain actually reported a profit for the fourth quarter, of $35 million, after year-earlier losses of $552 million, and after experiencing two years in which CEOs were slashing jobs and expectations as the brand at times seemed to be in free fall.Continue reading...