brand news

In the News: Amazon, Dell, Twitter and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 30, 2013 09:22 AM

In the News

Amazon rolls out Kindle MatchBook program that bundles print books with discounted e-books. 

Dell is officially private.

Twitter rolls out richer feed with videos, images. 

AT&T puts Halloween twist on "It's not complicated" campaign with cute kids.

Barnes & Noble turns out new, lighter Nook Simple Touch GlowLight. 

BlackBerry met with Facebook on potential bid.

British American Tobacco apoligizes for advertising e-cigarette brand in kids' app. 

CBS said to be developing streaming news channel.

Chevrolet faces "B Strong" backlash.

Chrysler profits are boosted by pickups and SUVs.

Comcast's rebranded Xfinity TV Go app will stream like TV from anywhere.  

Facebook reportedly offered $1 billion to buy Snapchat.Continue reading...

brand aspiration

Prime Directive: Bezos Pushes Original Content, From Amazon Studios to Amazon Studio

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 28, 2013 01:20 PM

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (as the story goes) chose a company name starting with "A" so it appeared early in search results, and Amazon, as the world's largest river, fit his vision of creating the biggest store in the world. 

Staying true to that founding DNA as it expands from the world’s first online bookseller to include everything from original programming to fashion, Bezos has tapped Clark Johnson (Homicide: Life on the Street, The Wire) to produce his next project, Alpha House, for the Amazon Studios unit. The GOP comedy, created by Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau and starring John Goodman, debuted its pilot episode on Amazon in April, using the preview as a focus group to tweak the show before its exclusive debut to Amazon Prime members next month.

The $79-a-year Prime subscription service is key in Amazon’s plan to snare viewers. “It’s about making delight for Prime members,” commented Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to the Seattle Times. “What can we do that would make somebody be a happy Prime member? If we can make great television for them, that’s going to be an element of that. And they pay us an annual fee for that.” Those members are Amazon's VIPs, big spenders who typically shell out three times more than non-Prime Amazon shoppers across Amazon's channels.Continue reading...

tweet deal

Twitter Teams with NBCU, Comcast to Stream Live TV Through Tweets

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 10, 2013 03:13 PM

Twitter's Amplify service allows programmers and advertisers to push real-time videos to Twitter users as they engage with on-air content, but now the microblogger is taking it one step further, striking a deal with NBCUniversal to allow subscribers to stream and record full shows directly from a tweet. 

The new "See It" feature, which will debut in November, will be available to the more than 24 million Comcast customers in the US, while a handful of other cable providers and even non-subscribers will also get access to abbreviated content, according to Mashable.

The deal also includes a more traditional Amplify partnership that will see real-time NBCU content as well as ad content inserted into tweets, much like other programmers including CBS, the NFL and Viacom are doing.

The See It feature that was designed by Comcast engineers will allow Twitter users to tune in immediately, according to a press release. NBC Sports Network will be the first to utilize the Amplify partnership, tweeting short clips of Premier League highlights that will be sponsored by General Electric. Beyond the NBCU partnership, the See It feature will allow users to set their DVRS and buy theater tickets through Fandango.Continue reading...

social media watch

New Nielsen TV Ratings System for Twitter May Be Just What Skeptics are Looking For

Posted by Dale Buss on October 8, 2013 02:56 PM

Just in time to help promote its IPO, Twitter is welcoming a new ratings tool by Nielsen that purports to measure the synergies among viewership of a TV show and the conversations it generates on Twitter.

The new Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings will consider the number of people who read TV-related tweets, not just their authors. And while Twitter said in a filing about its upcoming IPO that the partnership with Nielsen to generate this data won't "directly generate revenue," it "will enhance [Twitter's] attractiveness to users and advertisers."

The system also should prove to be good news for those who are able to create "second-screen" cultural sensations that cross from TV to social media and vice versa. Miley Cyrus, for example, placed No. 2 and No. 3 in Nielsen's first Twitter TV Ratings list released this week, with her Miley: The Movement special on MTV and her hosting of NBC's Saturday Night Live over the weekend. ABC's season premier of Scandal placed No. 1.Continue reading...

super bowl

Subway's Hesitation May Point to Big Turnover in Super Bowl Ad Spots

Posted by Dale Buss on October 7, 2013 06:15 PM

Overall, demand for TV ad spots during the next Super Bowl telecast reportedly is strong even though Fox will be charging around $4 million for a mere 30 seconds of air time.

But the rarefied financial air has been prompting more brands, even big ones, to decide to sit out Super Bowl XLVIII though it'll be staged on February 2 at MetLife Stadium in metro New York City, the media and marketing capital of the world. Subway is the latest brand to openly express reservations.

"I'm not sure there are going to be spots at the table with the kind of pricing that makes sense for us," Subway CMO Tony Pace told Advertising Age. The huge chain was able to get a "smart" cost last year, he said, but the situation for this Big Game gets more tenuous as ad-spot demand rises.Continue reading...

social media watch

Facebook Looks to Cut Itself a Piece of TV Pie with 'Digital Water Cooler' Pitch

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 1, 2013 03:54 PM

The gloves are coming off in the battle over social TV. Following Twitter's big—and successfulpush of its Amplify product, Facebook now is courting TV advertisers with big data through weekly 'TV reports.' 

“Facebook and Twitter are in a heated fight to own the Web’s town square, because becoming the go-to hub for real-time events like television shows could draw more user activity and more advertising dollars," the Wall Street Journal points out.

To entice broadcasters and advertisers, Twitter has teamed up with Nielsen to launch its TV Ratings report, but Facebook's weekly run-down, which will be sent to major players including ABC, NBC, Fox and CBS, plans to show that Facebook is just as good, if not better, of a partner to TV programming. But the two data streams are already showing a clash of cultures.Continue reading...

ad watch

Twitter Scores Another Win for Amplify with NFL Video Deal

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 26, 2013 01:56 PM

As more and more brands realize that Twitter and TV go hand-in-hand, major marketers are jumping at the opportunity to create high-visibility video campaigns using the microblogger's Amplify TV product, and the latest to take the bait is the NFL. 

The innovative ad product will allow video replays of NFL content in real-time on Twitter feeds of users that are tweeting about the games and league. The service already claims Viacom, Conde Nast,, BBC America, FOX, ESPN, The Weather Channel, and CBS as clients. 

With ad revenue projected to hit nearly $1 billion in 2014, Amplify is proving to be the missing link for Twitter's growing ad business, sharing revenues with programmers.Continue reading...

media brands

Time Warner Submits to CBS Demands, Ending Blackout Just in Time for NFL

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 3, 2013 11:51 AM

CBS and Time Warner Cable have been engaged in a long-running spat over transmission costs, resulting in a month-long CBS blackout in three major cable markets, New York, Los Angeles and Dallas. Finally, and just in time for the start of the NFL season, the broadcaster and cable company have reached a deal, and it looks as if CBS is the victor. 

According to Bloomberg, TWC will pay “a significant increase for the right to transmit CBS signals, though still below $2 per subscriber per month.”

"CBS is the winner,” said cable and telecommunications analyst Craig Moffett of Moffett Research, according to Reuters. “Content owners always win these negotiations, it's just a matter of how much they won. They have all the leverage. Consumers don't get mad and trade in their channel when these fights drag on. They go looking for a different satellite or telephone company." CBS was coming from a particular position of power since it is currently the top-rated network on TV.Continue reading...

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