Posted by Dale Buss on February 21, 2014 09:12 AM
Russell Stover Candies up for sale, price may top $1 billion.
P&G announces major restructuring of marketing, including beauty-division makeover.
Nordstrom sees sales slide continue at its stores.
Amazon launches video ads with Geico, plans set-top box and woos high-profile retailers.
BJ's Restaurants launches mobile ordering and payment.
Banana Republic ads feature real-life unions including a gay couple.
Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich turns 50.
Chobani and other marketers escape LGBT-related backlash for Sochi advertising.
Coca-Cola has "mediocre Pepsi on its heels," Nelson Peltz says.
Darden Restaurants expands into airports.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 20, 2014 07:19 PM
Yoga apparel retailer Lululemon has stepped it in again, and this time even they're calling their bluff.
Numerous consumers said they were contacted by Lululemon representatives by phone after trying to sell used Lululemon clothes on eBay, with the embattled retailer going as far as to shut out some of those customers from their Lululemon e-commerce accounts.
And for some reason, it's not surprising as the company has had one PR debacle after another in what has been a roller-coaster year for the Canadian brand. It all seemed to go downhill after Lululemon recalled thousands of pairs of its most popular yoga pants for being too sheer last spring. The incident, which is reportedly still causing issues for some customers, opened up the floodgates to poor consumer relations, from excluding and offending plus-size consumers, bashing unrelated philanthropy efforts, nonsensical window displays and continual gaffes from eccentric founder Chip Wilson.
Lululemon issued an apology for the threat after inquiries from the media once again shined an unfavorable light on the brand.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 20, 2014 06:44 PM
Mobile World Congress, the largest annual event of its kind showcasing mobile innovations, will once again take place in Barcelona from Feb. 24-27. While Samsung was arguably the dominant player at last year's event and will surely be prominent again, old names like LG and Nokia, and newer ones like Huawei and Lenovo, are likely to steal some of the spotlight at this year's MWC. Wearables are also expected to play a leading role.
Samsung's big splash, via a promotion it has named "Unpacked 5," is expected to be the announcement of the Galaxy S5, which may well include the unveiling of the next iteration of Galaxy Gear, the wearable smartwatch that competitors are now trying to match. In fact, according to Bloomberg, HTC, the Taiwanese smartphone maker that has been battered by declining sales, is rumored to be demonstrating a smartwatch, "the first of three wearable devices," at MWC.
Not to be outdone, the Chinese company Huawei released a teaser video that offers glimpses of a few spiffy tablets and a smartphone with Siri-like intelligence. Rumored but unconfirmed is Huawei's introduction of a smartwatch as well. Smartphone manufacturer ZTE said last November it would launch a smartwatch in 2014 but was not expected to have one available at MWC.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 20, 2014 05:58 PM
Digital billboards in the UK are getting quite the workout lately. PepsiCo is just the latest brand to take advantage of the bright marketing mediums in a new campaign that projects Vine videos around the brand's Pepsi Max product.
The “Unbelievable" campaign invites British consumers to submit Vines of themselves doing something unbelievable, tagging their efforts with Pepsi's #LiveForNow hashtag. The campaign is a significant move for PepsiCo, a “media first” that signals a shift from campaigns led by television to digital as a driver.
The best Vines will be displayed across the Ocean Outdoor’s network of digital billboards in seven UK cities in the collaborative promotion from OMD, Talon Outdoor, AMV BBDO, Jaywing and Grand Visual. PepsiCo is also supporting the campaign with YouTube videos.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on February 20, 2014 04:49 PM
"Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time."
— Genesis 5:32-10:1; New International Version
The amounting drama around the modern story of Noah, a $130 million retelling of the Old Testament's builder of the ark from Paramount Pictures, goes back to Nov. 2013. Then, test audiences leaked descriptions of the film that worried Christian leaders due to its interpretative retelling of Noah's story, including themes of environmentalism.
And the cheers and jeers are only about to get louder as the US is about to see a flood of faith-themed films that is going to severely test some long-held beliefs about Hollywood, Godliness and who has the power to motivate, lucrative Christian audiences.
Jump ahead about 140 days and nights and a new survey of Christian consumers about Noah, due out March 28, produced troubling results for the film's success. The Faith Driven Consumer survey found that "98 percent of its supporters were not 'satisfied' with Hollywood’s take on religious stories such as Noah." The survey's exact question: “As a Faith Driven Consumer, are you satisfied with a biblically themed movie—designed to appeal to you—which replaces the Bible’s core message with one created by Hollywood?”
Paramount Pictures immediately hit back against the survey. The studio said its internal research countered the Faith Driven Consumer results.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 20, 2014 03:53 PM
It seems the proud days of Walmart are now behind the US brand that is looking increasingly lost in a quickly evolving global market.
The world's largest retailer on Thursday reported a meager net-sales increase of just 1.6 percent and a 3 percent drop in operating income for 2013 as Walmart coped with struggling consumers in America and elsewhere, a drop in US government support for many in its low-income customer base, and even the scourge of bad weather that has hit many US retailers over the last few months.
Worse yet, Walmart comp-store sales actually declined by 0.6 percent, an incredible blow to a brand that achieved the top of the mass-merchandising mountain by being able to create a powerful price-based loyalty among its customers that had survived every impediment before 2013.Continue reading...