Posted by Abe Sauer on January 22, 2013 11:58 AM
In PepsiCo's short film, Bring Happiness Home, a ragtag bunch of Chinese travelers trying to get home for Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) comes together thanks to Pepsi and Lay's. The film has logged more than 100 million views in its first week of release online, and is among many recently produced pieces that suggest 2013 could be an explosive year for branded content in China.
But it's not just potato chips and fizzy drinks that have found success in short film branded content in China recently. Cartier, Louis Vuitton and even the nation of Australia put together hits. And China's branded content business is just getting started.
The nation is a key market for product and marketing innovation for the company. Contributing to the success of Pepsi's Bring Happiness Home are established stars like Zhou Xun (周迅), Louis Koo (古天乐), Show Luo (罗志祥), Zhang Guo Li (张国立) and Angela Chang (张韶涵). In fact, star talent is often the common denominator in China's blooming branded content scene. Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 17, 2013 09:02 AM
Airbus sees orders fall as Boeing's 787 Dreamliner is grounded in U.S., Japan, Europe and India.
GM woos Facebook to return to paid ads, remains cautious on 2013, defends Opel restructuring and eyes cheaper Chevy Volt.
Blockbuster faces U.K. closure after no buyers emerge.
American Airlines swings to profit and sees “good trajectory” for this year.
Apple rattles Wall Street with sharp stock-price drop.
AT&T looks to Europe for mergers.
Audi aims for 200,000 U.S. sales “sooner” rather than “later.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 16, 2013 09:01 AM
Boeing's troubled 787 Dreamliner grounded in Japan.
JPMorgan cuts Jamie Dimon's pay, tops estimates with profit.
Dell falls from PC king to buyout fodder.
Apollo Group to offer course on innovation.
Audi bows out of sponsoring inaugural this time around.
Boeing sees Dreamliner make another emergency landing, in Japan.
Bristol-Myers Squibb plans to discuss settling Hepatitis C claims.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on November 8, 2012 04:14 PM
Apparently not content with creating a sales rebound, and testing Chipotle's hold on quality ingredients and McDonald's stranglehold on breakfast, Taco Bell now is venturing out with new products in another huge part of the quick-food business: snacks.
Taco Bell is introducing a new desserts menu that includes a churro, the "Mexican doughnut" that is dusted in cinnamon sugar and served warm, and triangle-shaped chocolate-chip-cookie and ice cream sandwiches, to go with its caramel apple empanada.
Also new on the menu: XXL Steak Nachos, which feature lots of steak, cheese and other predictable ingredients on restaurant-size nacho chips. Also upcoming are "loaded grillers," which are nachos, chicken or a loaded baked potato, all wrapped in a tortilla. And just for good measure, the Yum! Brands-owned chain is testing a double-steak quesadilla through its more upscale Cantina Bell menu as well as a smothered burrito.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on November 8, 2012 02:17 PM
Turns out that consumers around the world can't and don't just keep simply trading down in their eating habits as incomes and economies keep slowing or remain sluggish. Many just stop going out to eat altogether. Exhibit A: McDonald's just reported its first monthly decline in same-store sales from year-to-year, for October, since 2003, when the company in general was struggling.
This result — a 1.8-percent dip in global revenue at "same-store" restaurants open at least 13 months — reflects broadly on the state of the global economy, because if there's one thing that unites us as a species, it's eating cheap and fast food. Yet even though it's been promoting lower-priced menu items, McDonald's relevant revenues in October fell by 2.2 percent in both the United States and Europe, and by 2.4 percent in the region encompassing Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
It isn't clear how much of the bad number may reflect some kind of general slump in the fast-food proposition, in any market. But the European result isn't that surprising because the continent is sliding into recession again because of eurozone woes and consumers' loss of confidence that politicians and bankers can fix them. Cooling in China is one big reason for the drop in the Asian region.
So the U.S. results might raise the most eyebrows at McDonald's headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill. Three potential factors include McDonald's lack of recent "new product news" in the U.S., "an uptick in competition in the U.S.," and a drag from Hurricane Sandy, said Sterne Agee analyst Lynne Collier. Speaking of that competition, Wendy's reported higher revenues at "same" stores but lower profits mostly for accounting reasons. Its third-quarter increase of 2.7 percent in revenue at restaurants open at least 15 months — the sixth straight quarter of such growth — was welcome in view of the chain's concerted efforts to move a bit upscale with higher-quality ingredients and menu items.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on November 6, 2012 05:08 PM
For a while, the notion of regulating genetically modified organisms (better known as GMOs) included in food seemed like a good idea, and anti-Big Food advocates in California attracted a lot of support in a state where residents like to be on the cutting edge of just about everything. Calfornians have never minded serving as a bellwether on new regulatory initiatives that end up sweeping the rest of the country, such as automotive emissions.
But the closer today's vote on Proposition 37 loomed, the more that initial support of the idea waned. And this U.S. Election Day, even backers of the anti-GMO initiative seemed resigned to its defeat, although it's still being closely watched. (Update: Prop 37 was indeed defeated at the polling booth.)
What happened? Well, a combination of huge contributions by moneyed CPG brands battered Prop 37's drive to label GMOs in a massive advertising and PR blitz with a "No on 37" drive. And backers of the added regulation alleged dirty tricks by the competition as they sought to sway voters (despite scientific evidence to the contrary) that GMO-containing products are hardly the stuff of "Frankenfood" that really harms consumers.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on October 26, 2012 04:06 PM
Taco Bell has been trying to creep upward toward Chipotlesque levels of culinary esteem with its new Cantina Bell menu and more transparency in its food prep at some stores. And now it appears that Chipotle, concerned about its rival's upswing and its own slowing sales growth, may be prepared to creep downward, closer to the fast-food arena where Taco Bell thrives.
Even as the brand talks up its Boorito Halloween campaign for its Cultivate foundation, Chipotle's CEO Steve Ells conceded this week that the chain might have to make strategic changes and at long last experiment with things such as drive-throughs, a breakfast menu and traditional TV advertising, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Perched on his shoulder, he may feel the breath of hedge-fund manager David Einhorn, who has said Chipotle faces challenges from Taco Bell, which is owned by Yum! Brands.
If all of that sounds like Chipotle may feel the need to move downscale to counter sales sluggishness, that's exactly what some followers and aficionados are worried about.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 26, 2012 09:02 AM
Amazon swings to loss on aggressive spending on future growth, worries about Apple's iPad mini, while Apple disses Microsoft Surface tablet.
BBC sees dimensions of Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal grow.
Bank of America still dealing with fallout from collapse of Countrywide.
Chanel benefits from buzz created by Brad Pitt campaign.
Cheesecake Factory bucks casual-dining traffic decline.
Chipotle considers once-forbidden veer toward fast-food platform.
Citigroup CEO exit reportedly was planned for months.Continue reading...