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brand inspiration

Barclays and Channel 4 Back a Friendlier 'Dragons Den' for Kids

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 18, 2011 04:11 PM

A little bit Kickstarter and Pepsi Refresh Project but with a layer of ‘savvy mentors’ and backing by Britain's Barclays Bank (with media help by Channel 4), The Stake is a competition with a £100,000 reward for ideas that get the most support from the public. It's open to youths living in the U.K. (age 16-21) who have a fantastic idea and a smart plan for how to spend that £100,000.

The ideas could be "anything, from the heart warming to the hilarious, whether it’s a streetwear start-up, a new school skate ramp or a major charitable donation." Applicants can apply at TheStake.co.uk or on Facebook, where users can pitch or back their ideas. What makes it fun and engaging: by completing challenges along the way, they can increase the number of voting stakes out of a possible total of six.

According to Channel 4's press release, the peer-to-peer game with the big jackpot "aims to show the UK's young people that business and social enterprise can be creative, fun, challenging and that good ideas and passion can be rewarded."Continue reading...

mom's the word

Babble On: Disney Acquires Babble.com, its Blogging Parents and Critics

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 15, 2011 01:05 PM

Disney is acquiring Babble Media, whose New York-based parenting website Babble.com and vocal community features web savvy, hipster-leaning and well-connected parents not unlike its co-founders.

Babble was launched by Nerve Media in 2006, which made a splash with Nerve.com, a website focused on sex, relationships and culture by husband-and-wife team Rufus Griscom and Alisa Volkman. They even spun a book out of the site's content with The Big Bang: Nerve's Guide to the New Sexual Universe, Sex Etiquette, and Full Frontal Fiction

Babble.com was named by TIME as one of the 50 Best Websites of 2010 and by Forbes as one of the Top 100 Websites for Women. A stable of 200-plus mom bloggers contribute fare in the usual range of parenting topics including pregnancy, child care, health, food and family activities, as well as lifestyle topics including home, fashion and family products. Which is all well and good, but will they live happily ever after in Disney's world?Continue reading...

social marketing

Communispace Builds Fan Camps for Brands

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 7, 2011 11:31 AM

TRESemmé gives a "Fresh Start" when an unexpected date arrives (above) and Alberto Culver’s dry shampoo is now number one in the category with Q4 2010 retail sales topping $7.7 million.

Alberto Culver is more than a global beauty-care company, it’s an online savvy brand that launched its first private online community, My Beauty Café, in 2007. When research showed that women wanted hair rejuvenation on days when they didn’t shampoo, the brand had turned to Communispace, a leader in online consumer insights communities founded in 1999.

The Omnicom-owned firm has created more than 400 communities for major brands including Kraft, Hewlett-Packard, Charles Schwab, Hallmark, Unilever and GlaxoSmithKline. Communispace also recently won the Forrester Groundswell Award in the “Business to Consumer, North America” Embracing category for their work with Alberto Culver.Continue reading...

response mechanism

Starwood, Bravely, Posts Hotel Guests' Reviews Online

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 21, 2011 03:05 PM

Got something to say about a hotel owned by Starwood? Well, they want to hear about it. 

Starwood Hotels and Resorts is the first U.S. global hotel owner to provide an online-review function on its own website so that visitors to Sheraton, Westin, W and other Starwood brands can share how they feel, according to USA Today.

Of course, opening up their hotels' websites to surface the opinions of guests and providing ways to share them via Facebook or Twitter isn’t necessarily a good thing, particularly if one of the thousands of people who stay in a Starwood brand each night has a bad experience.Continue reading...

doing good

Starbucks' Howard Schultz for President?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 4, 2011 12:06 PM

Forget New Jersey governor Chris Christie — we're waiting for Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to officially declare he's running for president.

The man who changed the way the world drinks coffee now seems hellbent on changing the world, period. Last month Schultz held a town hall to encourage Americans and their political representatives to put aside partisan politics and try to work together to improve our communities. He's also been lobbying his fellow CEOs to boycott donating to political campaigns until Washington (in his view) gets its priorities straight.

Presumably dissatisfied at the rate of change that politicking sparked, he's now taking matters into his (and his brand's) hands.

On Monday, Starbucks announced that it's getting into the job creation business. It's partnering with the Opportunity Finance Network to set up the Create Jobs for USA project. And today comes news that Starbucks is testing a profit-sharing retail concept in Los Angeles and New York, as a way to give back to the communities it serves.Continue reading...

social media watch

Lady Gaga's Gift to Fans: The LittleMonsters.com Social Network

Posted by Shirley Brady on September 6, 2011 04:21 PM

Back in June we noted that Lady Gaga had bought a 20% stake in The Backplane, joining Google chairman Eric Schmidt in supporting the nascent developer of social networking tools for groups ranging from "Girl Scout troops to celebrity fanclubs."

Naturally, Gaga's legions of fans (known as Little Monsters) would be the first to get their own social network powered by The Backplane — called, of course, LittleMonsters.com (which is now accepting pre-launch registrations).

It's getting closer to launch, with The Backplane last week tweeting a photo of the performer meeting with Backplane staffers (and posting it on Facebook), showing the site's logo in the background — the universal "paws up" monster claw used by her legions of fans.Continue reading...

culture club

Guggenheim and BMW’s Pop-Up Lab

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 25, 2011 09:58 AM

The recently opened BMW Guggenheim Lab gives new meaning to pop-up art, as seen in the above video. Reclaiming a rat-and-rubble infested 2,000 square foot East Village lot between Houston and East First Street, the Lab is a social experiment in urban living.

“When people say we’re taking it to the streets, we literally are. Hopefully this will be a petri dish of ideas for the decision makers of tomorrow,” said Richard Armstrong, director of the Guggenheim Foundation.

BMW unveiled the six-year project with the Guggenheim Museum in May, described as a traveling cultural project for cultivating 21st century design and urban living ideas, while including the public with free programs and spaces. Running through October 16 in NYC, more than 100 events are planned centered on the theme “Confronting Comfort” – how to make urban life more livable.Continue reading...

mom's the word

Listen In on McDonald's First Ever Listening Tour

Posted by Shirley Brady on August 16, 2011 10:00 AM

McDonald's USA President Jan Fields has kicked off the brand's first ever "listening tour," at the BlogHer conference in San Diego.

The Hillary Clinton-style move to engage parents (particularly moms — ideally, those who blog with vast Twitter and Facebook networks) was promised as part of its new nutrition commitment that was announced on July 25th. That's when the company announced its menu overhaul a "series of town hall style meetings (that) will connect us directly with parents and nutrition experts for important dialogue about how McDonald’s can continue to play a role in children’s well being."

McDonald's executives also talked up its new Family Arches online community, signing up members of the private community at a boot at the conference. Above, listen to Fields field questions — and, well, listen.

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