Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 28, 2012 01:09 PM
There's good news and bad news when it comes to AIDS, and ONE wants to make sure the world's population is aware of both this December 1, the 24th annual World AIDS Day.
The ONE Campaign, the global advocacy organization co-founded by U2's Bono, just released a new report on the global fight against HIV/AIDS. The good news: Scientists now have the tools to "turn the tide" on AIDS, and the world should be heartened that the UN set targets for the "beginning of the end of AIDS" to be met in 2015. The bad news: Unless "sufficient funding, coordination and political will" are brought to bear in the fight against AIDS, it will be 2022 before the "beginning of the end of AIDS" can be reached.
With America mired in a heated national debate over how to fix the debt and the looming fiscal cliff, Bono has been personally lobbying U.S. lawmakers to urge them not to cut U.S. foreign assistance and aid funding. ONE is stoking up the urgency through a variety of actions in conjunction with World AIDS Day 2012.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 28, 2012 12:06 PM
In July 2011, President Obama warned House Majority Leader Eric Cantor that he would pressure Republicans to compromise and make a deal by "going to the American people" in order to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, and he's doing just that.
The White House (with more than 3 million Twitter followers) and Obama (with 23.9 million followers) created a trending topic on Twitter today by promoting the #My2K hashtag to rally support for the president's call for legislation before the year-end fiscal cliff deadline for former president George W. Bush's tax cuts package.
Obama is stepping up his effort to get Americans to lobby their elected representatives to pass the middle class tax cuts, personalizing the message with "My 2K" as a reference to the $2,000 (well, $2,200) that may be coming out of their pockets: "If Congress fails to act before the end of the year, every American family’s taxes will automatically go up. A typical middle-class family of four would see its taxes rise by $2,200 starting in 2013."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 21, 2012 01:08 PM
Americans are shopping en masse on mobile devices and increasingly in unusual places, including (ahem!) on the toilet, according to new research from CashStar, the digital gifting and incentives firm. And not because they're supporters of World Toilet Day.
Apparently, more than 38 million online adult Americans have shopped in the can — men, it seems, more prone to that kind of multitasking than women, in case you were wondering — while almost 17 million have shopped on their mobile device while standing in the retailer's physical store.
"Smartphones and tablets have enabled consumers to shop and gift on-the-go in more ways and places than ever before," said David Stone, co-founder and CEO of CashStar.
Other report findings include:
- More than four million have shopped online while driving a car.
- More than nine million admitted secretly shopping while in a business meeting.
- More than seven million have filled their grocery and online shopping carts at the same time.
"The retailers who have been paying attention and catering to where and how consumers want to shop by mobile-optimizing their e-commerce sites and offering mobile eGift Cards will reap the rewards this holiday season and have a jump on the competition going into 2013,” added Stone.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 21, 2012 12:02 PM
The annual holiday shopping hysteria is upon us, and this year's Thanksgiving madness promises to be more mobile than ever. In fact, a new survey indicates 28 percent of adult consumers who own smartphones or tablets will use them to shop on Thanksgiving day. That's nearly double last year's percentage.
As 20 percent of shoppers definitely plan to shop on Black Friday, they'll be enabled by QR codes (although almost 60 percent of shoppers don't know how to use them) as well as apps from websites and retailers catering to shoppers with smartphones and tablets. And beyond Black Friday throughout the holiday season, more so than ever this year.
"Apps will play a particularly strong role for driving commerce this holiday season," reports Mobile Commerce Daily. Nearly a third of smartphone owners will download a shopping app to use for holiday shopping, according to a Pricegrabber study and of those, over 80 percent will use their smartphones this holiday season in an effort to save money on purchases. eMarketer puts that figure at about 53%.
This year, retailers have resigned themselves to the fact that "showrooming" (checking out merchandise at stores and purchasing online) is the new competitive environment. "Consumers have been empowered by shopping apps," said Alexander Muse, founder of the Future Of Retail Alliance. "They've been armed with more product knowledge than clerks in most retail stores have. Retailers used to be threatened by this; now, they are finding ways to capitalize on it — such as through aggressive price-matching, as well as ship-to-store and other omnichannel strategies. That's the big difference between Black Friday 2011 and Black Friday 2012."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 20, 2012 06:03 PM
It's the holiday season already, but we're getting a late start on the whole peace and goodwill thing.
Peace? Don't look for it in millions of American homes on Thanksgiving afternoon as household members square off on whether they'll start hitting Target and other chains that are going to open that evening, or forswear what many see as one new intrusion too many on family traditions. Few retailers are as gutsy as Gander Mountain, the outdoor-retailing chain that is going the whole bird on Thanksgiving Day — open in many locations from 9 a.m. to midnight. However, as more bricks-and-mortar retailers invade the once-sacred time-space of Thanksigiving itself, preferring not to leave shopping on that day to the internet realm alone, they also are sparking more protests and regrets from rank-and-file Americans.
Goodwill? There won't be much of that in evidence at some Walmarts around the US on Friday, which is offering price-matching and a one-hour in-stock guarantee to shoppers — and the possibility of being short-staffed to handle the rush. Now that the chain seems to have gotten physical threats to doorbusters under control by preventing them from trampling one another, a new threat looms large: potential walkouts by workers and disruptions at about 1,000 stores across the country, caused by labor agitators who are organizing protests by as many members of Walmart's non-union workforce as they can.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 16, 2012 12:02 PM
The retail stampede is on, as early bird shoppers are being wooed this year to become pre-bird shoppers.
Whether Black Friday actually starts on Thanksgiving Thursday at 5:23 p.m., which is when eBay says it starts, or 9 p.m., which is when Target is opening its doors, doesn't really matter anymore. The fact is that America's biggest shopping day is getting a jump on itself, and there's no going back. Neither will retailers trying to get a jump on Black Friday by pre-positioning themselves with shoppers weeks ahead of time as they set their Black Friday plans.
Walmart already has released its Black Friday promotions online — buy now! — telling USA Today that it has bought so "deep" that it will have enough of some of the hottest electronics items — including iPad 2s — to satisfy shoppers who are sure to swarm their stores on Thanksgiving night while the day's slate of NFL games on TV is still playing itself out. Of course, retail workers are outraged, with charges of "pure greed" being bandied about, while at least one Walmart (in Bergen County, NJ) is being forced to close for two hours on Thanksgiving to give staffers a chance to gobble down some turkey.
Walmart and other bricks-and-mortar chains have been shifting more of their deals for Black Friday to the web for some time now. Staples plans to begin on Thanksgiving Day with some special mobile offers. The National Retail Federation projects that fewer Americans will brave physical stores this year than last year — but thanks to the deals and ease of shopping online, they'll spend more.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 16, 2012 11:52 AM
As restaurant brand executives cut jobs and announced their intentions to raise prices in the wake of President Obama's re-election, no one can say they weren't forewarned.
Chains such as Papa John's are explicitly tying their actions to the costs of Obamacare, while other brands — including GE Healthcare and Virgin Airlines — also are announcing job cuts as a result of their expectations for a continuation of U.S. economic sluggishness in the wake of the voting results.
Papa John's CEO John Schnatter has been the most outspoken. The Mitt Romney backer has said that he'll raise the price of a pizza pie by 10 to 14 cents as well as slash employee hours — but it's not, he says, because of the two million pizzas he's giving away, but due to the cotss of Obamacare. He's not alone. A Denny's franchisee in Florida, John Metz, said that he plans to add a five-percent surcharge to his customers' bills and also to reduce his employees' hours.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 14, 2012 01:06 PM
Century 21 enjoyed its own Super Bowl performance in February so much that the nation's leading Realty brand has scheduled an encore. A TV commercial by the company will appear during the third quarter of the CBS telecast of Super Bowl XLVII on February 3 from New Orleans.
"It was a powerful play for 2012," Bev Thorne, CMO of Century 21, told brandchannel about the brand's Super Bowl debut with a commercial that starred Donald Trump, Apolo Anton Ohno and Deion Sanders. "It turned into lots and lots of leads for our Century 21 agents, then turned into appointments and closed transactions."
The second Super Bowl ad, which Thorne talked up at the recent NAR Realtors Conference (above), will resemble the first one thematically, once again touting Century 21's agents as "smarter, bolder, faster." But this time around the brand is placing its commercial earlier in the game, right after halftime. Why not the third quarter again? "The timing happened to be good" because it was a close and exciting game, she said, "but we know there's always a good viewing audience right after the halftime show."Continue reading...