bc q&a

The Interactive Explorer: 5 Questions With Blippar VP/GM Lisa Hu

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 22, 2014 01:31 PM

Augmented reality (AR) is a burgeoning playground for brands as smart tech takes on the bridging of all things physical with virtual applications to engage consumers. 

AR isn’t new, but the rise of wearable technology such as smart watches and glasses, along with GPS tracking, sensors and camera technology on mobile devices, has pushed it over the tipping point. Case in point: AR start-up Magic Leap just raised $542 million in a funding round led by Google and Qualcomm.

A major player in this sphere is Blippar, which harnesses AR and image-recognition technology for smartphones, tablets and wearables. Using the Blippar app, users hold their phones over blippable content to trigger a digital experience known as “blipping.” 

Brands can render any content, logos, products, magazine advertisements, billboards instantly interactive from any mobile device. Jaguar, for example, this month launched a global campaign that integrated Conde Nast print ads for Google Glass wearers, starring British actor Nicholas Hoult. Primark just launched a holiday campaign in the U.K. using its technology.

“The marketing industry is increasingly shying away from impressions and warming up to true, meaningful interactions, as these are more valuable metrics,” Blippar GM USA, Lisa Hu tells brandchannel. “This is where Blippar can truly excel from the CMO's perspective.” Continue reading...

e-commerce

Japan's Rakuten E-Commerce Giant Launches in America With Fashion Site

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 22, 2014 11:29 AM

Amazon, Google, and American consumers, take note: If you haven’t yet heard of Rakuten, you will soon.

The Japanese electronic commerce and Internet company is the world’s third-largest online marketplace behind Amazon and eBay. In its homeland, Rakuten Ichiba is the largest e-commerce site in the country, earning $4.9 billion in revenue last year to make it the Amazon and Alibaba of Japan.

Founded in 1997 by CEO Hiroshi Mikitani, the Tokyo-based Rakuten now has more than 10,000 employees worldwide and is ready to take on the big dog of e-commerce—Amazon—with the launch of its first website in the U.S. this week: Rakuten Fashion, which delivers the same level of tech savvy and device acumen that has helped the company grow exponentially over the years. Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Lexus, Yahoo, Lumia and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 22, 2014 09:14 AM

TOP STORIES

Lexus launches a virtual experience app. 

Johnson & Johnson plans to begin testing Ebola vaccine in January, with 250K doses ready by May.

Yahoo's Marissa Mayer fires back at critics as company makes more money from search but still needs clearer strategy. 

Microsoft officially lays Nokia name to rest and embraces Lumia for Windows phones.

Target unifies holiday strategy including free online shipping and promotes Taylor Swift's new album (below) as Walmart CMO also talks up holiday plans. Continue reading...

chew on this

McDonald's Is Running Out of Loyal Customers, Brand Mojo—And Excuses

Posted by Dale Buss on October 21, 2014 05:38 PM

In its earnings report on Tuesday, McDonald's turned in its biggest drop in quarterly profits in seven years, and CEO Don Thompson acknowledged the calamity and the dire need for change.  

Arguably, McDonald's faced some significant short-term and extraneous factors in posting a worse-than-expected 30 percent drop in quarterly profit and 5-percent decline in revenues. In China, a meat-supplier scandal still ripples; in Europe, the economy is tanking again, and Russian authorities meddled with McDonald's operations there in the last quarter.

But McDonald's biggest problem is that many American and global consumers no longer perceive clear reasons for favoring McDonald's over any other place to eat. They don't believe the food provides a satisfactory combination of good enough, fast enough, inexpensive enough and nutritious enough for them to go to McDonald's anymore. The golden arches may have reached a seminal negative moment in its history.Continue reading...

sip on this

That Sinking Feeling: Coca-Cola Aims to Get More Entrepreneurial to Spark Sales

Posted by Dale Buss on October 21, 2014 04:59 PM

If only Coca-Cola could find a way to extend its "Share a Coke" program for a long time to come. Besides that short-term spark to soda sales, the company didn't have much good news to share—or optimism for the future—along with its quarterly earnings report today.

The beverage giant's revenue actually declined during the third quarter, to less than $12 billion. Its profit fell 14 percent as global soda volume remained flat, reflecting the long-term struggle faced by Coca-Cola and its soft-drink rivals in a pronounced lack of interest in their primary products by more and more health-conscious consumers.

CEO Muhtar Kent also noted that the company is struggling, along with other beverage and consumer packaged goods companies, with currency headwinds and deterioriating economic conditions not only in emerging markets but also in Europe. "This is placing strong pressure on the short-term performance of our business," he said on the company's earnings conference call. He also lowered short- and long-term financial expectations.

But Coca-Cola must keep paddling, so Kent announced a series of initiatives both of the belt-tightening and innovation variety designed to spur growth—somehow. Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Viral Video Watch: Jeremy Lin Heads to Taiwan to Work (Undercover) for adidas

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 21, 2014 03:24 PM

For a short period back in 2012, the world could not escape Jeremy Lin. His brand equity, near the bottom of the heap when the year started, shot up within a few short games as one of the New York Knicks to be equal with Kobe Bryant’s. His mere existence (and the public’s insistence on seeing him) was enough to help settle a massive contract dispute between Time Warner Cable and MSG Network, and there was only one word to describe what has happening: Linsanity.

But that kind of nuttiness couldn’t be maintained. The Harvard grad knew that even then. Now the 26-year-old California native is on the same squad with Bryant and aiming to help the Los Angeles Lakers rise to power again by bringing a steady, workmanlike presence to the team.

That attitude spills over into his new ad for adidas China, “Employee of the Year,” in which he plays a modest, unassuming store employee. Continue reading...

outdoor advertising

Out of Home But Not Out of Sight, CBS Outdoor Rebrands as Outfront Media

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 21, 2014 02:42 PM

CBS Outdoor, one of the largest lessors of advertising space on out-of-home advertising structures and sites across the U.S., is rebranding as Outfront Media, marking yet another step in its larger-scale corporate transformation. This new identity supports efforts to position the company at the forefront of the growing out-of-home advertising sector.  

"Outfront captures exactly who we are as a completely reenergized company and where we'll be with innovative technology and creativity for our advertising clients," said Jeremy Male, CEO. "Our bold new identity—deployed nationwide from Times Square to the Sunset Strip—also represents the unmatched audience that our prime assets will deliver as we elevate our business and industry to new heights."

The rebrand follows a successful year, including an IPO in March, separation from CBS Corporation in June, conversion to a REIT in July, and the acquisition of outdoor assets from Van Wagner in October. It also follows the recent rebranding of outdoor advertising rival Clear Channel to iHeartMedia. Continue reading...

retail therapy

Whole Foods Values Matter: A New Campaign Tells A Familiar Story

Posted by Darcy Newell on October 21, 2014 01:12 PM

This week, Whole Foods Market debuted its first national advertising campaign across the U.S. Though the company has been around since 1980 and has grown to 381 stores nationwide, it has previously focused on communicating at the local and regional levels, touting specific or seasonal offerings, rather than sharing a unified, high-level message.

Since its beginning, Whole Foods has held on to its share of a market it essentially defined. After all, before Whole Foods’ launch three and a half decades ago, consumers didn’t have a resource for healthy, organic and ethically-sourced food, and for a long time, Whole Foods stores were the only place to find it. 

Today, however, new options—like grocery stores, Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) groups and organic food delivery services—continue to emerge to challenge Whole Foods’ market dominance. Many of these players tout an evolved proposition—giving the healthy and environmentally-inclined consumer delicious fare that satisfies his or her appetite, conscience, and—this is new—wallet.Continue reading...

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