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brands under fire

Sea of Hurt: SeaWorld Stock Plunges as Blackfish, Activism Takes Its Toll UPDATE

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 14, 2014 04:27 PM

It's been a rough year for SeaWorld, the ocean-themed amusement park/zoo known for its sea animal performaces, especially its orcas.

But the very star of the park's programming is also responsible for its decline, as activists and consumers become increasingly outspoken about animal rights following the release of the documentary "Blackfish," which told the story of Tilikum, a giant SeaWorld orca that killed a trainer in 2010, the most recent of 3 deadly incidents with the same whale. 

Now, a year after the film aired on CNN to 21 million viewers, the effect is impossible to deny: SeaWorld's second-quarter revenue came in a $405 million, far below the expected $445 million, causing the brand's stock to plunge 33 percent and S&P to cut the company's credit rating

“Until today’s report we were willing to . . . take SeaWorld’s word that there was no discernible impact,” Tim Nollen, of investment firm Macquarie, told The Guardian. “This report was notably worse than previous reports.”

Company executives acknowledged that the decline was in part because of negative media attention and proposed legislation in California that calls for a federal study on the impact of captivity on large marine animals.Continue reading...

media brands

Time Inc. Sets Out On Its Own as Time Warner Eyes a Slice of VICE

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 9, 2014 04:17 PM

As the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange rang this morning, 91-year-old publishing juggernaut Time Inc. officially made its public debut after a contentious and lengthy spin-off process from corporate parent, Time Warner Inc., which may be looking to get younger and hipper by buying a piece of a younger media empire: VICE.

In what will be a very public test of the print industry in a world overtaken by digital players like Vox and BuzzFeed, Time Inc. is now the only publicly-traded company in the US with just magazines in its portfolio, adding pressure to the digitally-challenged publisher who will now rely solely on its media brands including TIME, Sports Illustrated and People for its future fortunes.

The media company, renowned for an impressive empire that includes more than 70 overseas and 23 domestic magazines, has for the last decade seen revenues fall by 34 percent and cut its operating profit by 59 percent. Overall magazine circulation has dropped 1.4 percent in the second half of 2013 compared to the second half of 2012, according to Audited Media, with paid subscriptions, which account for 90 percent of total circulation, falling flat in the same period.Continue reading...

World Cup Daily

Nike Leads Brand Marketers Kicking Up World Cup Fever on the Web

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 4, 2014 02:44 PM

The vast majority of football fans around the globe will be watching World Cup games on TV, whether that's in a pub, in a city square with thousands of others, or alone at home where no one else can see you worry through each excruciating minute. However, all those fans will also be heading online to search for highlights, commentary, and a place to share their extremely knowledgeable opinions. Marketers are placing their bets that this World Cup will shape up to be a major online event.

After all, Google reports that "searches related to the tournament over the past four years have outnumbered those for the Olympics, the Super Bowl, and the Tour de France combined," according to Bloomberg. That kind of data has led every brand and its brother to launch World Cup-related online content. Sports Illustrated is hosting a standalone Planet Futbol site to cover the Cup and draw as many eyeballs as possible, as Adweek notes.

One of Nike's World Cup ads, the "Winner Stays" spot (above) featuring top footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, had 78 million views online (on YouTube and beyond) in April before it even debuted four days later on TV, partially due to Ronaldo, the world's most popular athlete on Twitter, tweeting it out to his ardent followers, Bloomberg adds. Still, Nike didn't feel compelled to release it on different platforms concurrently. Online ruled the day.Continue reading...

World Cup Daily

Latinos Stay Top of Mind for World Cup Marketers

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 27, 2014 01:17 PM

With the World Cup kicking off in Brazil in a little more than two weeks, the world's marketers are ramping up their efforts on social media, mobile, and to the Latino community to better reach diehard—and fair-weather—soccer fans. 

According to MediaPost, US cities with high Hispanic populations are topping Google's World Cup search list. Populations in Portland, Ore., Miami, New York and Los Angeles are among the nearly 50 percent of American Hispanics that are anxiously awaiting the start of the tournament.

YouTube is feeling the power of the World Cup as well. In April and May, soccer was the most-watched sport on the site with around 1.6 billion views of soccer content being consumed between April 13 and March 13. Viewership of soccer video this year has already far exceeded the amount seen during the last World Cup. 

Mobile searches are also seeing an uptick, MediaPost notes. In the 2010 World Cup final, mobile searches on Google "saw about 18 percent of searches for games, players and teams," but during this spring's UEFA Champions League championship, which pitted the best European club teams against each other, similar searches made up 63 percent of Google searches. 

All this traffic, of course, means a big payday for the TV networks broadcasting the event in their markets. Campaign Live hears that the UK's ITV is expecting a 13 percent increase in ad revenue during its second quarter, all thanks to the Cup.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Adobe, Google Glass, Sony and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 14, 2014 09:15 AM

TOP 5 STORIES

Brands to Watch

Adobe’s marketing cloud goes real-time with app store and celebrates 25th anniversary of Illustrator.

Amazon tops America’s Most Reputable Companies list.

Google Glass is now available to anyone in the U.S. (with $1500) as Samsung reportedly readies Galaxy Gear glasses.

Sony reports $1.3 billion quarterly loss amid restructuring costs.

Yahoo buys Snapchat rival Blink with plans to shut it down.

ALSO IN THE NEWS:

ABC brings programmatic video to U.S. upfront media buyers as TV ad dollars follow younger viewers online.

Adventr, backed by John Legend, enables build-your-own-adventure games.

Airbnb takes on hotels with last-minute bookings and wins New York legal battle.

Apple bows to pressure with splitscreen app move.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Apple, GM, Publicis/Omnicom and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 9, 2014 09:33 AM

TOP 5 STORIES

Brands to Watch

Apple is in talks to buy Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion, report says.

GM recalls 8,500 new vehicles and hires its former PR head to help with recall crisis.

Publicis and Omnicom call off agency mega-merger.

Alibaba starts a clock for CEO Marissa Mayer at Yahoo.

Fiat Chrysler plans to move headquarters to London.

 

MORE BRAND NEWS:

Airbnb releases first global campaign.

Audi mulls largest SUV.

Barclays reins in ambitions with massive job cuts.

Beverly Hills Hotel becomes cause celebre over Sultan of Brunei's ownership.

CNN ratings rise with smarter data strategy.

Google sends moving Mother's Day message via Glass.

Kellogg agrees to change "all-natural" labeling on Kashi and Bear Naked lines.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Target, Coca-Cola, Apple, Fiat Chrysler and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 5, 2014 09:36 AM

TOP 5 STORIES

Brands to Watch

Target chairman and CEO resigns in wake of data breach.

Coca-Cola shakes up marketing ranks, and drops controversial ingredient from Powerade.

Apple faces legal challenge by Swatch over iWatch name.

Fiat Chrysler's Sergio Marchionne readies five-year plan.

P&G takes legal action in drive to protect Crest Whitestrips.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Amazon launches #AmazonCart so users can shop via Twitter.

AOL revives Moviefone brand with new tech features and marketing push.Continue reading...

media brands

TIME Goes Mobile, Brief in Web Overhaul

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 6, 2014 04:44 PM

Mobile is at the heart of consumer consumption, and media brands have been listening hard. That's why news organizations like CNN and the New York Times have launched recent site redesigns optimized for mobile devices including smartphones and tablets, and now it's TIME's turn. 

In the same week that Newsweek returned (controversially) to print after going digital-only in 2012, TIME has launched an extensive overhaul of its website to optimize its content for mobile—and its ads, including hosting more videos and native ads.

“Our data suggest that nearly half of you are currently reading this on a smartphone or tablet,” TIME wrote in a blog post describing the changes. “TIME invented the news brief; the original magazine included 100 stories, none longer than 400 words. Fittingly, the centerpiece of our new home page is The Brief, a fast take on the 12 stories you need to know about right now.”Continue reading...

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