sports in the spotlight
Posted by Dale Buss on April 26, 2012 05:04 PM
Are you ready for some football? Tonight the NFL draft begins, on ESPN, seasonally ushering in the source of America's most popular TV programming — and one of its biggest branding vehicles —back into the cultural discourse.
As we noted earlier, Nike is running with its "Fast is Faster" campaign touting its new NFL uniforms during the 2012 draft. PepsiCo's Quaker Oats brand also kicked off its new status as the "Official Hot Cereal Sponsor" of the NFL yesterday with a Play 60 Youth Football Festival that starred Andrew Luck, the fortuitously-named Stanford University quarterback who is the presumptive No. 1 choice in tonight's draft.
And Google, not missing a chance to promote its social networking platform, is inviting fans to join the top two draft picks (Luck and Robert Griffin III) virtually via Google+ hangouts. Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 12, 2012 04:08 PM
Google+ is getting a facelift, and as seen in the above video, it promises every user the "World in Front of Me" (from the album Stairwells, Kina Grannis.) According to Google, the redesign will make the social network "more functional and flexible."
Common sense says the apps are coming.
Cosmetics aside, changes include: a new navigation interface with a customizable "ribbon" of applications (left side), replacing statice top-of-page icons, that enables dragging of apps to a customized order, and the ability to hover over apps for quick actions, as illustrated here.
"We've also built the ribbon with the future in mind, giving us an obvious (and clutter-free) space for The Next Big Feature, and The Feature After That. So stay tuned,” writes Google's Vic Gundotra.
A public signal that Google+ is planning to open its platform to third-party apps? Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on March 28, 2012 12:02 PM
American Express has tapped comedian and uber-tweeter Aziz Ansari for brand's first Twitter Sync TV campaign, which breaks tonight. Check out the :15 version of the commercial below, along with other headlines this hour.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 21, 2012 09:04 AM
Adobe gets more social.
Amazon wrings profit from fulfillment.
AmLactin taps Olympic swimmer Dara Torres as brand ambassador.
Angry Birds to launch retail partnership
Apple iPad users find high video use can crunch data plans as Consumer Reports finds that the new version runs hotter than the old one.
Arby's readies brand relaunch.
Boeing gains 787 Dreamliner clearance by U.S. regulators.Continue reading...
search and destroy
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 19, 2012 03:16 PM
When Matt Cutts speaks, people listen. So when Google’s software engineer and webspam guru recently posted (on his Google+ page, of course) that ICANN's looming dotbrands — the generic (vanity, customized, branded) top level domains or TLDs that are fast approaching — won't boost search engine results, the SEO and domain name worlds sat upright.
Cutts was responding to ARI Registry Services CEO Adrian Kinderis, who penned an op-ed column that argued: “Will a new TLD web address automatically be favoured by Google over a .com equivalent? Quite simply, yes it will,” wrote Kinderis, basing his argument on Google’s ranking algorithms that search for domain name keywords thus enabling business and brands to create commanding "clean name spaces."Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 16, 2012 10:57 AM
Google+ may inspire such fits of creativity as the chocolate Google+ page that Cadbury UK created (above) to thank its 500,000 G+ followers, but it isn't inspiring all Googlers, past or present.
While disgruntled Goldman Sachs exec Greg Smith became a media sensation after he published his resignation letter in the New York Times this week, a former Googler named James Whittaker, who quit in February to return to Microsoft (from whence he came), blasted Google for letting Google+ take over its business focus (and sanity, he argues).
In a personal blog post entitled "Why I left Google," Whittaker wrote that “The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate. The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus" — for which he blames the company's obsession with Google+.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 15, 2012 10:57 AM
Google is continuing its campaign to increase transparency around its targeted advertising and privacy practices.
The latest volley: "How we make ads better," a video that highlights its staffers policing scam advertisers (which didn't help avert the recent Valentine's Day florist AdWords fiasco). The pitch: "Did you know that hundreds of Googlers work around the clock to make sure the ads you see on Google are safe? David Baker, Engineering Director at Google, explains more about our fight against scam ads and our process for keeping you safe."
Google's past around display ad scammers and consumer privacy is a thorny one, to be sure.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 8, 2012 07:04 PM
Ford and NBC have gotten together to launch an unprecedented bit of product placement: a prime-time reality series on network television that is built entirely around a particular product supplied by the brand, in a co-produced show by both parties.
Escape Routes is a six-week show that will air on Saturday nights on NBC and on mun2, NBCUniversal's bicultural network for young Latino-Americans, beginning March 31, with repeats on nbc.com and mun2.com the next day. The mini-series will focus on the adventures of six two-person teams involved in a unique road-trip competition in their 2013 Ford Escape SUVs. Prizes along the way include the red-hot Nike FuelBand. The grand prize: $100,000 plus two all-new Ford Escapes for the winning team.
While acknowledging how P&G and Walmart have collaborated on a made-for-TV family-friendly movies, some of which have run on NBC, Crystal Worthem, Ford's brand content and alliances manager, maintained that Escape Routes is "absolutely groundbreaking." She told brandchannel that "the creative piece of this is centrally launching a product and a brand new, compelling reality show at the same time."Continue reading...