campaign tactics

GE and Big Data: Connecting the Dots Around Super Bowl Spots

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 10, 2012 10:18 AM

During this year's Super Bowl game GE aired two ads — Building Something Big and Power and Beer — as part of the company's ongoing “GE Works” campaign. But the company's Game Day strategy wasn't just about what it ran on-air.

GE integrated data visualization, a.k.a. Big Data, to augment the social and digital elements of its Super Bowl campaign, turning to an emerging engagement tool to augment content marketing and messaging with the brand's vast stores of data.Continue reading...

brand launch

Tide Pods Hit Walmart as P&G Faces Bigger Challenges

Posted by Dale Buss on February 9, 2012 04:56 PM

Procter & Gamble finally has begun rolling out to Walmart stores one of its biggest product introductions in recent history: Tide Pods. But delays in getting this innovation to market, along with headwinds from the general economy, have caught the CPG giant in the twin pincers of cost pressures and greater competition.

P&G CEO Bob McDonald recently explained the company's predicament to investors. "It was later than we hoped, but Pods is a game-changing innovation and with it came manufacturing challenges that set us back but have been overcome," he said. "To our knowledge, there will be nothing on store shelves that looks or performs like Pods, and if the demand we are seeing right now is any indication of success, we are confident that Pods will delive ron its promise to change the way people think about laundry."Continue reading...

brand strategy

As Layoffs Mount, Ted Williams May Have Most Job Security in America

Posted by Dale Buss on January 18, 2012 03:08 PM

Jobs, jobs, jobs — they remain a topic utmost on Americans' minds as the slowly dropping unemployment rate largely belies the reality of a U.S. labor market that is only slowly picking up momentum. Brand executives know this, and more of them have taken to wielding job creation as a branding device, like Subway.

But corporate strategy sometimes dictates a different turn even when eliminating jobs is the last thing a brand wants to do. Among the big brands announcing layoffs in recent days: Novartis, which is restructuring its U.S. business and cutting 1,960 positions; Goldman Sachs, which laid off 2,400 employees last year with more to come; Citigroup, which is shedding about 5,000 jobs globally; Kraft, which announced that it will cut 1,600 North American jobs as it prepares to split into two companies. All eyes are on Kodak, too, as the company prepares to restructure.

Kraft — which made headlines with one high-profile hire in the past year: golden-voiced homeless-to-Hollywood phenom Ted Williams, at top — is now shedding ballast in order to survive a difficult future, where its strategy is to split into a global snack company and a North American grocery operation later this year.Continue reading...

news you can booze

Occupy Spritzer, Anyone? Wine Group Trademarks 'Wine For The 99%'

Posted by Abe Sauer on November 30, 2011 07:14 PM

When Jay-Z's Rocawear brand yanked its "Occupy Wall Street" shirts over criticism about profiting off a social movement (with no plans to donate anything back to Occupy Wall Street), the lesson was clear: Those capitalizing on OWS must tread lightly or risk major PR blowback.

With this in mind, the future of one trademark application (filed Nov. 19th) is very intriguing. The mark, "Wine for the 99%," was requested by massive wine conglomerate The Wine Group LLC.Continue reading...

black friday

Black Friday Turns Ugly as Shoppers Vie for Extreme Deals

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 25, 2011 12:28 PM

Retailers are seeing bigger crowds at America's malls and stores in the wake of chains like Macy's and Target opening their doors at midnight. Toys R Us and a few other stores that opened on Thanksgiving Day are still overflowing with shoppers, reports AP.

Depending how today's retail rally goes, sales at U.S. brick-and-mortar stores may rise 2.8 percent — compared with 5.2 percent last year — to $465.6 billion this holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation estimates. Online revenue, fueled by Cyber Monday, could advance 15 percent to $37.6 billion, according to ComScore.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday isn't just an American phenom, with Canadian retailers getting into the spirit, and brands like Apple offering worldwide sales today. The down side: reports of violence in at least five states, primarily at Walmart stores, including two shootings and a pepper-spraying incident.

auto motive

With $1.7 Billion Jeep Investment, Chrysler Turns Tables on Fiat

Posted by Dale Buss on November 18, 2011 02:19 PM

When Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne announced this week that Chrysler will invest $500 million to upgrade and expand its Jeep assembly operations in Toledo, Ohio, as part of a bigger $1.7 billion investment that will create 1,100 jobs to work on its next-generation Jeep SUV, the disclosure marked just the latest remarkable example of one of the most spectacular corporate turnarounds of the last several years.

And we're not talking about how Fiat helped Chrysler come back from the scrap heap of automotive history by taking the crumpled automaker off the hands of the U.S. government more than two years ago. Instead, this turnaround is addressing how poorly Fiat itself has been faring lately.

The European car market was a cauldron of competition when a reasonably healthy Fiat rescued Chrysler with the aim of shaping a truly competitive global player in the industry. But things have only gotten worse since then, as European debt woes began to suck in even major economies, such as Italy's. Italian car sales are expected to fall this year to the level of 15 years ago, while Fiat posted nearly $300 million in losses from July through September.Continue reading...

chew on this

USDA Fights Food Stamps at KFC and Taco Bell

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 18, 2011 12:01 PM

Pretty much everybody is hurting for cash these days. And that has led to the U.S. government’s food-stamp program having a fresh influx of members. 

In August, a new record was set of participants when it reached 45.8 million Americans, an increase of 8.1 percent form 2010. Way to go, America! In 2010, the program “distributed a record $64.4 billion,” according to Bloomberg. So there are plenty who’d like a piece of that pie.

The United States Department of Agriculture runs the food-stamp program and folks there were apparently none too pleased when they heard the news that Yum! Brands Inc. was planning to let its KFC and Taco Bell franchises accept food stamps. Now, the USDA “is encouraging states not to give Yum a green light," Bloomberg reports.Continue reading...

holidaze

AmEx Sees Cautious Consumer Spending This Holiday Season

Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 16, 2011 09:55 AM

Retailers always approach the holiday shopping season with a mixture of cautious optimism and trepidation. While this year will be no different, at least one market survey suggests American retailers may be able to breathe a small sigh of relief.

That's because American consumers will spend, on average, 17 percent more money than last year. Americans will spend an average of $831 on gifts this holiday season, $121 more than last year, according to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker report.

But consumers will also be shopping smarter, taking advantage of strategies that will save them money. Pre-holiday shopping is expected to increase by 37 percent over last year. That's one reason Walmart is aggressively promoting its layaway program and pitching a "Christmas Price Guarantee."Continue reading...

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