Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 20, 2012 11:01 AM
Yelp, the user-generated review website, quietly launched seven years ago with a cartoon-like logo designed by YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley.
Now known for its distinctive 'burst' logo and spanning the globe, it plans to raise as much as $100 million in an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange on March 2nd.Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 17, 2012 01:01 PM
While Google+ is looking to boost brand connections with consumers, the upper hand still goes to Facebook — which has unveiled a range of features to better connect its users with brands.
That includes a just-announced line-up of media-branded apps coming to Timeline through the social network’s open graph including Buzzfeed, CBS Local (Los Angeles and New York versions), CMT, Jon Stewart's The Daily Show, GetGlue, Huffington Post, Mashable, MSNBC.com, MTV News, Pixable, Sporting News, and MSNBC.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 15, 2012 12:04 PM
Today is the final day of the Toy Industry Association's 109th annual Toy Fair, wrapping up in New York with a power surge of touchscreens, apps and other tech-based entertainment (or edutainment) items designed to engage young minds — and open their elders' wallets. At a time when toy sales have been stagnant for the past several years, major toymakers and upstarts alike were banking on the whiz bang of tablets, interactivity, and apps to lift the industry from its doldrums.
This year's Toy of the Year at the fair is symbolic of the direction the industry is taking: LeapFrog's LeapPad Explorer Tablet, a $99 kid's version of a computer tablet introduced last February that was so popular retailers couldn't keep it in stock during the 2011 holiday selling season. LeapPad also won "Educational Toy of the Year" and "Preschool Toy of the Year."
The two leading toymakers, Hasbro and Mattel, both debuted app-related products at the Toy Fair. Hasbro updated its clasic board game, "The Game of Life," by promoting a version ("The Game of Life zAPPed," which is available now for $25) that resides on an iPad — literally. Download the app, place your iPad on the middle of the board and it serves as the "spinner" as swell as adding interactive games and videos to the fun.
Mattel's big entry into app-land is "Apptivity," a whole new toy line that turns the iPad into a live board game, by integrating such popular toys as Barbie dolls and Hot Wheel cars with tablet-based games. A child can race one of the new Hot Wheel cars on the screen of an iPad, or use Apptivity to enhance Cut the Rope, Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds game play.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 13, 2012 05:07 PM
While Starbucks is updating its Cup Magic app for an augmented reality spin to Valentine's Day in the West, in China it's partnering with Jiepang, a social check-in service, for last-minute Valentine’s dates via a mobile app (see above) and in-store postcards.
Any check-in (in select parts of China) will earn a blue or pink Valentine’s badge which garners two free cups of coffee by purchasing a Starbuck’s reward card. A handful of lucky winners will be eligible for one of 520 Nokia N9 phones, while everybody gets a shot at a coffee date.
A whopping $17.6 billion in Valentine’s Day spending is projected for this year, with NRF’s 2012 Valentine’s Day survey by BIGinsight estimating that 62.2% of online shoppers plan to spend on loved ones (including pets) as follows:Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 13, 2012 02:02 PM
Zurich-based startup Kooaba is out to replace QR Codes with a mobile app called Shortcut, an updated of an app it formerly called Paperboy.
Why should marketers consider a shortcut to quick response codes? “We believe QR codes are belonging to an intermediate technology used for things it was never meant for," wrote Tom Desmet in a company blog post. "Despite the enormous media attention QR is getting, it still is not at a level where people are really using it.”Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 13, 2012 09:30 AM
In addition to promoting Google+ with a new TV spot ("New Dad," above), Google TV is getting more love with an improved YouTube app and navigation.
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 3, 2012 11:06 AM
True to form and reputation, Lexus has raced ahead to a Timeline-inspired application called Points of No Return.
The first brand to develop a Timeline-inspired app, and an early adopter of Facebook’s new Gestures platform, Lexus has surged ahead of its automotive social media competitors including Ford, Audi, and GM.
“We’re not waiting for the future. It’s all about innovating, including a ‘sneak peek’ of exciting things to come on Lexus’ Facebook page,” said Lexus VP of marketing Brian Smith about the Super Bowl-timed app. “We developed this application to empower Lexus fans to engage with the brand in a new way.”Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 1, 2012 12:23 PM
Are cereal boxes "platforms for content"? So argues Mark Addicks, the chief marketing officer for General Mills, who walks USA Today's Jefferson Graham through the addition of QR codes and augmented reality to the company's cereal brands. Betty Crocker, by the way, is another digital/social platform for the company. "There's never been a time like this," observes Addicks, a 23-year veteran of the company. "Because of the digital technology that resides in people's hands … we can now deliver content that engages and enhances the experience. Before, we had to rely on a 30-second TV ad."Continue reading...