chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on February 25, 2014 05:49 PM
For fast-food fans, the best part of waking up has become more options for breakfast. Taco Bell plans to roll out breakfast across the country by the end of next month, while McDonald's is acceding to popular demands from America to Spain to extend its breakfast hours.
Taco Bell began testing "First Meal" two years ago, its centerpiece being the Waffle Taco that is filled with either bacon or sausage, and scrambled eggs and cheese, served with syrup in a portable package. And there's the A.M. Crunchwrap, Taco Bell's version of a breakfast sandwich, which includes scrambled eggs, hash brown, melted cheese, and bacon, sausage or steak in a griddled tortilla. There's also a tie-in with Cinnabon for tiny Cinnabon Delights.
The complexity of such items and the fact that Taco Bell is rolling out breakfast nationwide in March, to about 5,500 participating units, underscore the seriousness with which the chain is approaching the day part, as it and all QSR competitors face all sorts of competitive squeezes these days.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 25, 2014 04:02 PM
Consumer Reports' closely watched rankings of auto brands and top vehicles are out for 2014. And while Japanese brands remain on top, the annual evaluations once again are providing an illustration of major automakers increasingly clustering together in how their vehicles are regarded by consumers.
Japanese automakers captured 7 of the top 10 ranked brands overall for reliability and road-test performance in the tests conducted by the magazine. And the top-ranked Detroit brands, Buick and GMC, could do no better than tie to rank 12th.
Yet in the magazine's separate list of Top Picks in each vehicle segment, Japanese brands took only five of the top 18 spots, the fewest in the 18-year history of the publication's picks. Japanese brands had taken more than 70 percent of those spots since 1997.Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 25, 2014 02:53 PM
Working to keep its finger on the pulse of social media, Amtrak has fashioned a real-life initiative out of a virtual interaction.
The travel brand is working to develop an application process for "Amtrak Residencies," a program that was spurred by a comment in an interview with author Alexander Chee, who in December said that trains were his favorite place to write.
The idea was spun off on Twitter by writer Jessica Gross, who liked Chee's idea and on a whim asked Amtrak what would need to be done to make this actually happen. Amtrak replied, and the Amtrak Residency program took off.
Gross was the program's first resident, as she rode from New York City to Chicago and back on Amtrak's dime on the promise that she'd write about the experience—an all-new kind of branded content.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 25, 2014 01:57 PM
There may finally be a silver lining to Target's continuing woes with its huge data breach late last year: The problems have managed to divert attention from another huge challenge to the chain as its massive invasion of the Canadian market is faltering.
Instead of reaching profitability by the end of last year, as Target had predicted, its multibillion-dollar expansion into Canada via 124 stores and growing produced a loss of $800 million to $900 million for 2013, noted the New York Times.
"The data breach seems to have come at a good time for them as they would have been answering questions" about the failure to get traction in Canada, Rob Wilson, a retail analyst at Tiburon Research Group, told the newspaper. "I've never seen a set of expectations that are so shockingly missed on a rollout."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 25, 2014 12:33 PM
After a broad presentation at January's Consumer Electronics Show, debuting consumer facing products like a charging bowl, and some more in line with Intel's usual business in computing, the chip company has set out to make a global impression on the mobile market at Mobile World Congress.
Intel is using the MWC 2014 stage to outline its product roadmap and broader strategy to gain a bigger piece of the mobile industry market in 2014, including the launch of a 64-bit Atom processor, previously code-named Merrifield, and a 64-bit mobile Atom processor, code-named Moorefield, both of which are key ingredients in next-generation smartphones and tablets.
Matt Dunford, global Chief Benchmarking Manager at Intel, said these improvements maximize overall performance above that of Apple's A7 chip in the iPhone 5S, and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800, and the battery life is superior to both as well.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 25, 2014 11:04 AM
Dr Pepper is relying on new campaigns running on TV properties including The Bachelor and the Telemundo network to boost its appeal among US Latinos.
The brand owned by Dr Pepper Snapple Group is teaming with Telemundo Media for "Los Unicos," a seven-month, multiplatform partnership involving three Telemundo performers who range across the network's shows and platforms. The effort revolves around the dedicated Los Unicos custom digital hub and will feature each of the three stars in their own six-part web series.
There's even a 2014 Dr Pepper and Telemundo co-branded calendar featuring 12 Telemundo superstars that the brand will distribute as a gift with purchase of Dr Pepper; it'll be supported by local appearances from Telemundo talent in key markets.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 25, 2014 09:23 AM
LinkedIn launches China site despite risk of censorship.
Taco Bell rolls out breakfast nationwide.
Facebook drops unpopular email service.
Avaya hopes payoff from Olympics is just beginning.
Bitcoin plunges as major exchange goes dark.
BlackBerry launches sub-$200 phone aimed at Asia that is manufactured by Foxconn.
Conde Nast's Self magazine launches frozen foods line.
Einstein Noah sees CEO resign.
Ford readies smaller Focus engine in fuel-efficiency drive.
JCPenney plans to break new marketing campaign during Oscars.
JPMorgan Chase cuts thousands more jobs.
Jack Daniel's enlists Frank Sinatra.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 24, 2014 07:42 PM
With the Sochi Winter Olympics over, many brands are wiping sweat from their brow, just glad to have made it through the controversial games unscathed by the growing human rights protest around Russia's anti-gay laws.
But while Chobani may have gotten the most bang for its Team USA sponsorship buck, other brands that spent millions on official Olympic sponsorships weren't necessarily the ones that ended up on the medal stand when it comes to leaving a lasting impression on the minds—and wallets—of consumers.
For one, P&G saw the repeated success of its "Thank You" campaign, whose viral "Thank You Mom" TV ads and intimate videos won over consumers with heartfelt messages of support and triumph. With over 18.5 million views on YouTube, P&G plans to carry its momentum into its accompanying sponsorship of the Paralympics with its new spot—the first made specifically for the Paralympic Games—"Tough Love," which has already garned over 2 million views.
Despite not shelling out any official sponsor fees, Nike saw a good amount of spotlight in Sochi thanks to its brand being on the back of many competing athletes and its hard-fought ambush marketing skills.Continue reading...