Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 21, 2012 10:17 AM
It hasn’t been easy for Air Canada in recent years with plenty of quarterly reports filled with losses. So what's an airline in the red to do? Launch a new sub-brand called "Rouge," of course.
Starting in July, Canadians can start using the new low-cost airline, which will initially fly out of Toronto and Montreal to such destinations as Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Costa Rica as well as Venice, Italy; Edinburgh, Scotland; and Athens. Consumers could start buying tickets Tuesday.
Later next year, Rouge plans to add more Canadian cities to fly out of as well as international destinations – and not just the ones that Air Canada flies to. "The creation of this carrier is to assist us in serving many destinations that our existing model does not work on a competitive basis," said Ben Smith, Air Canada's chief commercial officer, to the CBC.
According to Yahoo! Finance, Air Canada plans to hire 200 people for Rouge, but those employees shouldn’t expect to be rolling in dough. “Cost savings are expected to come from paying lower wages,” the report notes, “and putting more seats in planes in a so-called new ‘multi-tier seating’ structure.” And we’re not talking just a few more seats. The CBC hears it could be as much as 20 percent more. Prepare to not only fasten your seatbelts but suck in your gut, Canada.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on December 7, 2012 04:04 PM
The relaunching of Vitaminwater in the U.K. relies on the confluence of two big developments: the growth of the Vitaminwater brand in what has become an important new market, and the rise of stevia-based beverages in Europe.
Glaceau is introducing fresh and more nutritionally informative new packaging for Vitaminwater in the U.K. and a new formula including stevia sweetener that cuts calories by 30 and reduces sugar levels by 30 percent. The company also is altering its nutrient blend in some varieties as well, boosting vitamins and minerals.
"Being able to keep the products tasting great, but with fewer calories and introducing" stevia and more nutrients "is a fantastic step," Philippa Classey, a marketing manager for Vitaminwater, said in a Glaceau press release.
Stevia — the super-sweet extract of a bush native to South America — has been slower to penetrate the European beverage market than the U.S. in part because European regulators were slower to approve the low-calorie ingredient. But major beverage makers also including PepsiCo lately have been ramping up their use of the natural sweetener there.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 7, 2012 10:11 AM
Target recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, but don’t think this retailer is getting old and stuck in its ways. Chief Marketing Officer Jeffrey Jones, who joined the organization earlier this year, is planning to put a good deal of energy into digital content rather than simply in pushing out marketing campaign after campaign.
“In the past, marketers would make campaigns, they would put them in the world, and they would wait to see what happened,” Jones said in a video released on the brand's A Bullseye View website and YouTube channel. “In today’s world, it happens hourly. It happens daily. And this is a brand that has such enriched deep content that our guests want to hear from us on. So if we can create content and share content and allow our guests to speak on our behalf, that’s really beneficial for them to deepen their engagement and it helps us amplify our message as well.”Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on December 5, 2012 04:19 PM
Pizza Hut Canada thrilled its Facebook fans by whipping up a batch of limited-edition perfume and sending it to the first 100 to raise their wrists — with a new batch on its way — while sending one lucky follower an original cartoon on the inside lid of a pizza box (check 'em both out, below).
Now the brand's Canadian marketers are rolling out (no joke) a hotdog-stuffed pizza crust, previously tested in the UK, from Dec. 4 to Jan. 7. Only in Canada, eh? Pity.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 5, 2012 02:01 PM
Starbucks is certainly feeling bullish these days. Just a few years after scaling back its US retail footprint in a rocky economy, the coffee giant is now eyeing "accelerated global growth" with plans to open thousands of new locations. It's even offering a luxe "superpremium" gift card that'll cost $450 to put in a Christmas stocking.
In a presentation at the company's biennial investor conference today, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz glowed with the news that he plans to boost the number of Starbucks cafes in the Americas by more than 20 percent — opening more than 3,000 new shops over the next five years, including 1,500 in the United States, still its biggest market.Continue reading...
games people play
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 27, 2012 04:17 PM
Conventional wisdom in recent months has had it that the video-game-console business is a dying one. Even though it still brings in big bucks, the culture is changing and people are playing games in different ways thanks to the proliferation of mobile devices and smartphones.
As noted by the New York Times, Nintendo — one of the game-console industry’s biggest names — really needs the new Wii U, a combo of a more audacious Wii and a tabletish gamepad that allows for multiscreen gaming adventures, to be a mega-hit. And it is looking like the company's launch campaign is paying off. Video game retailer GameStop opened 3,000 of its stores Friday at midnight to kick off Black Friday and promptly sold out of all of its Wii U consoles, the Times reports.
Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America subsequently told the NYT that the new console is selling in the U.S. as well as the original Wii did when it launched. More than 400,000 units flew out of stores in its first week on the market, which ended Saturday. The original Wii had sold 475,000 in that same time. “We are essentially sold out at retail,” Fils-Aime said. “As soon as we replenish product to retailers, it sells out immediately.”Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 21, 2012 11:13 AM
What's the best way for a well-known retailer to introduce its brand to a new country? Come bearing gifts. That, apparently, is Target's strategy. In advance of its spring 2013 launch in Canada, the retail chain is laying the groundwork with PR-positive initiatives, including a push to support Canadian charities, sustainable stores, and a focus on Canadian fashion designers.
Target has pledged to give $1 million to six local Canadian charities in food, active play, education, and the arts. Visitors to Target's Canadian Facebook page through December 9 can select any of the six charities and Target will make a $100 donation and add the donor's photo to its "Gallery of Giving." Facebook visitors can also specify the province where they would like the money to go. The "Give with Target" campaign just launched on November 20 and has already raised over $250,000.
Will using corporate citizenship as a calling card convince Canadians to forgo Walmart and homegrown faves such as The Bay, Sears (which just refreshed its branding ahead of Target's arrival) and Canadian Tire?Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 20, 2012 02:12 PM
The Canadian Tourism Commission must be sick of selling the same old images — charming as they are — of the cobblestone streets of Quebec City, Toronto’s CN Tower, Montreal’s cathedrals, Vancouver’s Lookout, people playing hockey or skiing, Mounties on horseback, and random creatures (moose! geese!) in the wild.
The CTC knew there was a lot more out there to sell but they didn’t have the resources to dig them all up and sift through every last thing so they got with the times and crowdsourced their efforts. And when Canada crowdsources, it doesn’t go halfway.
The CTC’s 35 Million Directors project last summer asked all of its residents to take pictures and video of the things they love about where they live and send them in. A wealth of new material, more than 8,000 entries, poured into the CTC’s offices and now the organization has debuted its first ad in the campaign, using material from its contributors.Continue reading...