Lincoln Launches in China With Moody, Artistic Advertising Campaign

Posted by Dale Buss on October 28, 2014 03:31 PM

When Ford committed to revive its flagging Lincoln luxury franchise a couple of years ago, it wasn't publicly understood that then-CEO Alan Mulally actually wasn't wild about the idea. That partially explains why Ford has been so slow to actually reinvent Lincoln—as contrasted with just talking about it—and why current CEO Mark Fields still seems to have so far to go to make Lincoln a truly relevant and strong player in the luxury market again.

But that's not stopping Ford from moving ahead in its key market of China, where Lincoln this week officially launched a new line of vehicles specifically tailored for mainland tastes. Lincoln is promoting its mid-sized sedan, MKZ, in China, along with a smaller MKC utility vehicle, another new version of which is going on sale in the United States.

"We believe Lincoln's highly competitive products, coupled with its innovative and personalized ownership experience, will provide our customers with a totally differentiated offering on today's competitive luxury auto market in China," stated John Lawler, chairman and CEO of Ford China, in a press release.

Well aware that the Lincoln brand is virtually unknown in the market, a quartet of ads featuring Chinese artists is now rolling out to highlight the artistry and luxury of the marque.Continue reading...


The North Face: This Land is Your Land, America, So Explore and Preserve It

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 28, 2014 02:34 PM

The North Face just launched its largest campaign ever, challenging Americans to reimagine exploration and encouraging the next generation of land stewardship.

In partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior, the VF-owned apparel brand is supporting the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC), an initiative to protect, preserve and celebrate public lands.

The company has donated $250,000 to 21CSC and the campaign, which features a new recording of Woody Guthrie’s iconic anthem This Land is Your Land by two-time Grammy nominee My Morning Jacket.Continue reading...

bc q&a

Backstage Manager: 5 Questions with Yahoo SVP Lisa Licht on the Art of Partnering

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 28, 2014 01:02 PM

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is continuing her media-focused expansion that includes digital channels (or vertical magazines) celebrating food, movies, tech, beauty, style, travel, DIY and parenting.

Now Yahoo has joined forces with Citi Private Pass and Live Nation Entertainment for Backstage with Citi, an original web series that offers behind-the-scenes interviews tied to Live Nation's streaming concerts every day for a year to enrich the Yahoo Music channel. The move builds on ten years of the Citi Private Pass program by adding a real-time, always-on component on that will launch content 48 hours before it posts on Yahoo. Yahoo News Global Anchor Katie Couric will interview select artists.

The co-branded partnership expands on a commitment to music that saw Citi offer cardmembers tickets to more than 5,000 music events last year. The series kicked off on Oct. 23 with Grammy Award-winning country trio Lady Antebellum, and the next episode of the web series (in early November) will feature O.A.R.Continue reading...

mobile commerce

Apple Chides Retailers Blocking Apple Pay and Flocking to CurrentC

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 28, 2014 11:44 AM

When Rite Aid and CVS announced that they were going to disable Apple's mobile payments platform from use in their respective stores, it came as a surprise to the tech titan—an unpleasant one, to be sure.

Apple Pay only launched a week ago and had more than a million credit cards registered within its first 72 hours of existence, according to Reuters, while major retailers including Walmart and Starbucks declined to participate.

MasterCard has even integrated Pay into its new World Series-themed commercial (watch below) featuring Baseball Hall of Famer George Brett, the man who apparently inspired the hit song “Royals” by Lorde. Continue reading...


Tesla, Zara Join China Shopping Spree as 11.11 Singles Day Sale Goes Global

Posted by Abe Sauer on October 28, 2014 10:32 AM

November 11 is why Alibaba's recent IPO set a $25 billion record-breaking debut. Last year, on China's Nov. 11 "Singles Day" holiday ("光棍节" or "双11"), Alibaba's Taobao ( and others recorded 35 billion yuan or RMB (US$5.75 billion) in sales.

It was a world record for single day online sales—one that Taobao intends to break this "11.11" with an estimated 26,000 vendors set to participate in the world's biggest shopping event for a project $8 billion payday.

This year, Tesla and Zara are in the mix with new Tmall stores, while the e-commerce portal's success has many other brands and e-tailers in China and beyond looking to skim some of the cream off the top. Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Lowe's Robot, Alibaba-Apple, Twitter and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 28, 2014 09:10 AM


Alibaba eyes payments tie-up with Apple (and rebrands travel unit) as Apple sees 1 million+ Apple Pay accounts activated in first 72 hours, and sees Mac sales gains.

Lowe's tests retail-ready, $50K multilingual robot at Orchard Supply Hardware store.

Tesla unveils lease discount amid softness.

Twitter sees user engagement slow down.

YouTube considers paid subscription, ad-free business model as music service looms.Continue reading...

trademark wars

The Cronut Contenders: Dunkin' Donuts, Crumbs Bake Shop and #NotaCronut

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 27, 2014 07:02 PM

Just as New York-based pastry chef Dominique Ansel is launching his new book—called, fittingly, The Secret Recipes—comes news that Dunkin' Donuts is launching a Croissant Donut, which sounds an awful lot like Ansel's now-trademarked Cronut.

Only, as the Associated Press reports, Dunkin' doesn't want anyone calling it a cronut.

As John Costell, Dunkin's president of global marketing and innovation, told AP's Candice Choi

"that bakers around the country have been mixing doughnuts and croissants for at least 20 years. He said Dunkin' is constantly tracking consumer and bakery trends and has been looking at pastry 'combinations' for several years now.  'Are we copying a specific bakery in New York? The answer is no,' Costello (told AP)."

According to Choi, the Not-a-Cronut will be available in November for a limited time at $2.49 each (vs. Ansel's $5.00 Cronuts), and follows the brand's test of "a croissant-doughnut in South Korea it dubbed a New York Pie Donut" last year.Continue reading...

gut instinct

Viral Marketing: Some E-Marketers Cannot Resist Lure of Ebola

Posted by Abe Sauer on October 27, 2014 05:14 PM

Ebola, it's what's for dinner. Ebola: I'm lovin' it. Got Ebola?

Ebola is on the mind of consumers everywhere and savvy (some might say cynical) entrepreneurs are moving to capitalize on the Ebola media storm. From website domains to sexy Ebola Nurse Halloween costumes to "antibacterial and antiviral sprays and wipes for eliminating bacteria."

Consider the obvious The website was snapped up by Blue String Ventures in 2008 and sold this month for $50,000, according to TIME. Stranger still, was sold to a Russian medicinal marijuana company in Nevada.Continue reading...

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