Best Global Green Brands 2014

video killed the _____ star

Netflix Embraces More Debt to Spread Its Wings Abroad

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 5, 2014 06:27 PM

During the first half of the Super Bowl this past Sunday, Netflix saw an expected drop in usage. The decrease was as much as 20 percent, Variety reports. But once Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers had done their thing at halftime and the Seahawks added on a quick seven points to start the second half, plenty of Americans ditched the game and headed back to Netflix.

The video-streaming company is hoping that it can be the distraction of choice around the globe. It has announced that it plans to raise $400 million to expand internationally. Most of the investment will be focused on its European expansion, but it will also reserve funds for investments, acquisitions and more original content that the company is becoming increasingly known for.

Last year, Netflix made news for winning its first Emmy with House of Cards while also collecting an Oscar nomination for its documentary, The Square. House of Cards will debut its second season on Valentine’s Day and has already been signed on for a third to be produced, according to the New York Times. Netflix has also seen plenty of critic and fan love for its newest series, Orange is the New Black. As a result, its fourth-quarter numbers were better than expected and added 2.3 million new domestic subscribers, bringing the total number to 33.4 million domestically.Continue reading...

sporting brands

NHL Hopes to Emulate NFL in Coverage, But Not Lawsuits

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 27, 2013 02:36 PM

The NHL has long been in the shadow of pro football, baseball, and basketball in the American psyche, but Commissioner Gary Bettman has been plugging away to try and gain ground. 

The league’s latest effort takes a page directly from the National Football League's playbook by creating a new television series that gives fans a view into the behind-the-scenes world of professional hockey, Ad Age reports. The seven episodes of NHL Revealed: A Series Like No Other will debut on the NBC Sports Network, another brand that is battling to better compete against market leader ESPN. The NFL found an interested audience for the two behind-the-scenes shows it has been a part of: HBO’s Hard Knocks and Showtime’s Inside the NFL.

The plan is to follow pro players at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, as well as at the pro games being played outdoors this season, one of the league’s biggest successes in recent years. The games debuted in 2008 and have grown each year since, though it was not played in 2013 due to the disagreement between owners and players that shortened the season. There will be six outdoor games played this season, and only one of them will not be part of the NBC series—but that's only because it will be the focus of an HBO special.Continue reading...

campaigns

Roku Goes Big on Self-Gifting for Holiday Campaign

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 12, 2013 05:58 PM

So much for the season of giving. According to the US National Retail Federation, more than half of "holiday shoppers plan to spend an average of nearly $140 on 'self gifts,'" and brands like Roku are hoping that streaming services will be at the top of their list. 

Set-top box maker Roku is upping the ante with a $12 million “Now This is TV” holiday ad campaign to keep pace with competitors like Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu, Xbox One, Google's Chromecast and Apple TV. The effort eclipses Roku's entire 2012 marketing budget, but with Netflix and Amazon pushing out original series on top of offering expansive video libraries, Roku hopes the ad effort will bring attention back to its broad content library as a "key differentiator," Ad Age reports.  

As popular as Roku's set-top boxes are, there is plenty of competition. Apple has reportedly sold more of its set-top boxes than Roku, and Google's Chromecast offers a pared-down, more affordable version of Roku's services, but it seems consumers still prefer the little black box. In a report from Parks Associates, 37 percent of respondents who had streaming video said they primarily used Roku while only 24 percent said Apple TV was their first choice.Continue reading...

brand aspiration

Prime Directive: Bezos Pushes Original Content, From Amazon Studios to Amazon Studio

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 28, 2013 01:20 PM

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (as the story goes) chose a company name starting with "A" so it appeared early in search results, and Amazon, as the world's largest river, fit his vision of creating the biggest store in the world. 

Staying true to that founding DNA as it expands from the world’s first online bookseller to include everything from original programming to fashion, Bezos has tapped Clark Johnson (Homicide: Life on the Street, The Wire) to produce his next project, Alpha House, for the Amazon Studios unit. The GOP comedy, created by Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau and starring John Goodman, debuted its pilot episode on Amazon in April, using the preview as a focus group to tweak the show before its exclusive debut to Amazon Prime members next month.

The $79-a-year Prime subscription service is key in Amazon’s plan to snare viewers. “It’s about making delight for Prime members,” commented Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to the Seattle Times. “What can we do that would make somebody be a happy Prime member? If we can make great television for them, that’s going to be an element of that. And they pay us an annual fee for that.” Those members are Amazon's VIPs, big spenders who typically shell out three times more than non-Prime Amazon shoppers across Amazon's channels.Continue reading...

going mobile

Disney, MTV Test Mobile-First Premieres of New Shows

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 28, 2013 11:21 AM

Mobile is fast becoming the first screen for entertainment—at least for the younger, digitally-attuned set. And now two of the most popular TV brands targeting children and young adults are testing the waters by debuting new series on the smaller screen.

Disney Channel will premiere the first nine episodes of Sheriff Callie’s Wild West on its Watch Disney Junior mobile app and a related website on Nov. 24, followed by a traditional debut on the Disney Channel and Disney Junior in early 2014. “This is an entirely new approach for us,” Nancy Kanter, EVP/GM for Disney Junior Worldwide, told the New York Times. “We have been amazed at how quickly kids have embraced this new technology. We’re talking billions of minutes spent watching.”

MTV, skewing slightly older, is going mobile-first to debut its new series, Wait 'Til Next Year, a 12-episode docudrama about a losing football team, ahead of its on-ahir US TV debut on Nov. 1. "It will be fun to see if we can get them to come back and watch on television," commented Kristin Frank, MTV's EVP connected content, to AP.

Both moves comes as marketers will start receiving more data about mobile TV viewing, with Nielsen starting to get its arms around the effectiveness and reach of mobile video globally. With more than one billion Internet users worldwide, Nielsen projects "a $30 billion global advertising market" and estimates that 73 percent of U.S. adults already consumer online user-generated media.

If MTV and Disney Channel have their way, it won't all just be cat videos driving that mobile video adoption, particularly with more comprehensive measurement of mobile video consumption becoming mainstream.Continue reading...

video killed the _____ star

Netflix Surpasses HBO as Company Turns Into Stock Market Gold

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 22, 2013 12:42 PM

Netflix's chief content officer Ted Serandos is apparently a man of his word. Earlier this year, he said that his goal was to have the company “become HBO faster than HBO can become us," and the company announced Monday that it now has 29.9 million subscribers in the US, topping HBO's 28.7 million US subscribers, according to TechCrunch.

The news comes after Netflix announced its third-quarter results Monday, adding 1.3 million streaming subscribers domestically in that time. It's safe to assume that many of them signed up to screen the host of original (and award-winning) series from the brand, such as Orange is the New Black, Arrested Development, and the Emmy-winning House of Cards. Still, Netflix has some work to do to catch up to HBO on a global scale, which touts 114 million global members, $1.6 billion in annual revenue, and 27 Emmys it took home just this year alone. 

But Netflix has helped lead the new wave of TV viewing, and there are several more players in the space that plan to continue to steal away cord-cutting customers from traditional cable systems.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Netflix, Chipotle, Under Armour and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 21, 2013 09:27 AM

In the News

Netflix poised to pass HBO in paid US subscribers.

Chipotle raises menu prices for '14 due to higher costs, GMO shift as it moves East with tofu burrito.

Under Armour opens store in Shanghai and seeks the next big thing with inventor competition.

AT&T receives $4.9 billion in cell-tower deal.

Amazon bets on "betas" to turn web viewers into shoppers.

Apple adjusts tablet strategy to protect lead.

Art Van Furniture extends Michigan based into Chicago market.

Associated Press plans to enable sponsored content.

BlackBerry raises Canadian security concerns with potential deal abroad.

Bon Appetit is magazine of the year for Advertising Age.Continue reading...

car talk

Cadillac Hopes to Squeeze Sales—and Maybe a New Sub-Brand—Out of 2015 Escalade

Posted by Dale Buss on October 8, 2013 03:58 PM

It isn’t clear if Ludacris is lining up for a new 2015 Cadillac Escalade, but apparently Donald Trump is. And General Motors’ enthusiasm for the first major overhaul of its iconic chiseled and luxuriously appointed mammoth SUV in seven years even has executives considering ways to extend the Escalade franchise beyond a single vehicle, as good as it might be.

GM revealed the redesigned Escalade in New York at an appearance that included Trump’s endorsement as well as company marketers eager to highlight the sleeker exterior, interior wood trim, and quieter and larger inside of the new model. 

Prices of the current Escalade start at $63,475, and GM is looking for a 10 percent boost in sales of the new version beginning next year after Escalade sales have gradually declined over the last several years.Continue reading...

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