Posted by Dale Buss on December 2, 2013 12:46 PM
American commercial sponsors of US Olympics teams have long helped the home-country effort in lots of ways beyond buying ads on TV telecasts, ranging from employing olympians while they're training to broad efforts to boost American hopes such as that launched for the 2012 Summer Olympics by Procter & Gamble.
And with US medal hopes suffering a number of blows in the weeks before the games begin in February in Sochi, Russia, it may be all the more important for brands to do their parts to be helpful to American olympians.
One example of that assistance will come from Blue Diamond Almond Growers, which is an official sponsor of the US Ski, Snowboarding and Freeskiing teams heading into olympics season. Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 2, 2013 11:22 AM
Elon Musk is going on a rocket ride this evening, and it has nothing to do with the price of Tesla's stock. The serial entrepreneur will be watching as his other high-profile startup, SpaceX, is scheduled to make a critical commercial-satellite launch at 5:41 p.m. ET from Cape Canaveral.
It'll mark entry by SpaceX into the commercial-satellite market with its Falcon 9 rocket after a series of test flights and launches for NASA and the Canadian Space Agency. It will be the second of three flights the upgraded Falcon 9 must make before it can qualify for US military-launch business. The launch also will mark a crucial update on the progress of a company that plans to put rank-and-file passengers into space sometime in 2014.
And, of course, the launch will mark another testament to the engineering and entrepreneurial skills of the much-lauded Musk. He's been busy lately with Tesla, the electric-vehicle startup that has rocketed to the national and investor forefront over the last several months.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 2, 2013 09:33 AM
American holiday shoppers produced gloomy numbers for retailing's big weekend.
Saab rolls out first sedan under new owners.
Zappos taps former Vogue editor, Andre Leon Tulley, to be artistic director for its couture section.
Amazon floats idea of delivery drones.
Apple's iPhone 5S outsold the 5C three to one in the UK.
Bank of America to pay Freddie Mac $404 million.
BMW and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen will review small-engine alliance.
Burger King imitates Big Mac with Big King.
Chrysler boosts test-drive marketing.
Cracker Barrel sees new healthful menu drive sales.
Esprit plans to launch new fashion brand.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 29, 2013 06:12 PM
Now in its 12th year, the Electrolux Design Lab charges design-oriented entrants to create sustainable solutions for the home and beyond.
This year's competition, which opens March 1, focuses on creating healthy homes and offers a six-month paid internship and a 5,000 euro prize for winning design.
“Homes become more important as the challenges in the urban environment grow and as a result we want our homes to be the center of relaxation and peace of mind,” said Stefano Marzano, Chief Design Officer, Electrolux. “Design Lab is one way for Electrolux to build an innovation culture. In 2014 we are looking forward to receiving creative ideas on the theme Creating Healthy Homes, to help shape the future of people’s everyday lives into a positive direction and present propositions that envision healthy and sustainable lifestyles.”Continue reading...
Posted by Adeline Chong on November 29, 2013 05:21 PM
Ask a few people on the streets of New York, Los Angeles, London, Sydney or Singapore to name Japan's most famous export and you are likely to get the answer "Toyota" or "Sony." What you are unlikely to hear are washoku (Japanese cuisine) or the brand Undercover (a coveted Japanese streetwear clothing label).
The Japanese government is hoping to change all that with the launch of the Cool Japan Fund this week. The Fund is aimed at promoting Japanese products such as food and beverage, clothing labels, crafts, and content such as anime and manga, that may have achieved popularity overseas but have not seen that popularity translate to profit, often due to the lack of a good business model, or lack of funding and foreign headquarters.
Any concerns about "Cool Japan" being just a marketing slogan ("Cool Britannia" comes to mind), can be put aside. Close to $1 billion has been committed to the fund—which aims to also help under-the-radar companies with great potential that would not have been able to flourish without the cash injection—to expand abroad. The funds will come mainly from public coffers, with a portion from private companies such as ANA Airlines and advertising giant Dentsu Inc., which are already on board.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 29, 2013 04:37 PM
Wonderful Brands has transformed pomegranate juice and pistachios from commodities to high-margin produce brands, almost single-handedly creating new CPG segments and then going on to dominate them with Pom Wonderful juice and Wonderful Pistachios, respectively. Any reason to think the company can't do the same with mandarin oranges?
The company couldn't think of any, either. So Paramount Farms, the parent of Wonderful brands, is ditching its old partnership with Sun Pacific that marketed the Cuties brand of little oranges and created its own new brand of mandarins, Wonderful Halos. Wonderful plans to devote a hefty $100 million in marketing expenditures over the next five years to establish the brand, starting today with a national advertising campaign on TV and online, including an interactive mobile app.
"We felt we could launch a new brand and wanted to do it on our own," Marc Seguin, Wonderful's CMO, told brandchannel. "We generated all the excitement around the [Cuties] brand, so we were confident we could launch a new brand that would be even more exciting. And we wanted to have the destiny of the brand completely within our control."Continue reading...
week in review
Posted by Johnny Trinh on November 29, 2013 03:32 PM
Our most-read blog posts of the week:
#1 Are Kmart Execs 'Shipping' Their Pants Over Reaction to 'Show Your Joe' Ad?
#2 Target Sees Headaches in Canada, Creates Headaches with New Website
#3 Green Mountain Touts Keurig 2.0 System to Vanquish K-Cup Copycats
#4 Unilever Looks to Shine Goodwill On All with New Sustainability Campaign
#5 Patagonia's Anti-Shopping Sentiment Intact for Off-Beat Black Friday Promo
#6 Air New Zealand Takes Passengers on an Epic Journey to Middle-Earth
#7 Walgreens Hits Net-Zero at New, Sustainable Store in Chicago
#8 Goldie Blox Builds Dream Scenario with Viral Video, Shot At Super Bowl
#9 All the News You Can Drink: NBA, Diageo Link Up, Amazon Liquor, Bacardi Celebrates the Struggle and more
#10 Twitter Has an Identity Crisis, and It Could Undermine Its Future Success
Posted by Abe Sauer on November 29, 2013 03:03 PM
With seven million fewer people than last year expected to shop this holiday weekend, Black Friday promised to offer even greater, more desperate discounts and the subsequent sad, human spectacle those discounts guarantee. A tragic situation for retailers; a feast for the unsympathetic, bloodthirsty spectators of Rome America.
Still, the mad rush so far seems to have been worth it. Early reports are indicating solid consumer turnouts for Thanksgiving day/night sales, while e-commerce is already up 7 percent this year compared to last, according to IBM's Benchmark data. Mobile has appeared to be a strong player this year, accounting for 37 percent of all online shopping traffic and nearly 22 percent of sales as of noon, eastern-time, today.
With sales starting as early as the afternoon of Thanksgiving itself, shoppers and spectators alike still well lubricated with wine, those looking for the melees of Black Friday found it early this year. Walmart seemed to be the epicenter of the chaos but other stores got mentions as well. So here's a Twitter round-up of some of the more notable incidents, plus one development that proves it isn't only Black Friday that's moving to Thursday.Continue reading...