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brand news

Brand News: Harley-Davidson Goes Electric, American Apparel Frees Dov and More

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 19, 2014 08:52 AM

TOP STORIES

Harley-Davidson unveils first electric motorcycle with Project LiveWire experience tour of America's fabled Route 66.

T-Mobile is offering free music streaming via Rhapsody, Spotify and Pandora, and loaner iPhones for a week to test its network.

Lego mixes bricks with clicks for Lego Fusion.

American Apparel ousts controversial CEO Dov Charney.

Yo one-word messaging app, designed in eight hours, raises $1 million in funding.

MORE BRAND NEWS

AMC’s The Walking Dead producer accuses Game of Thrones network HBO of promoting piracy.

Bridgestone signs on as top Olympic sponsor.

Feed the Children has a new logo.

Google touts search ads for lifting brand awareness.

Haggar bets on vintage fashion to revitalize brand.Continue reading...

media brands

Time Inc. Sets Out On Its Own as Time Warner Eyes a Slice of VICE

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 9, 2014 04:17 PM

As the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange rang this morning, 91-year-old publishing juggernaut Time Inc. officially made its public debut after a contentious and lengthy spin-off process from corporate parent, Time Warner Inc., which may be looking to get younger and hipper by buying a piece of a younger media empire: VICE.

In what will be a very public test of the print industry in a world overtaken by digital players like Vox and BuzzFeed, Time Inc. is now the only publicly-traded company in the US with just magazines in its portfolio, adding pressure to the digitally-challenged publisher who will now rely solely on its media brands including TIME, Sports Illustrated and People for its future fortunes.

The media company, renowned for an impressive empire that includes more than 70 overseas and 23 domestic magazines, has for the last decade seen revenues fall by 34 percent and cut its operating profit by 59 percent. Overall magazine circulation has dropped 1.4 percent in the second half of 2013 compared to the second half of 2012, according to Audited Media, with paid subscriptions, which account for 90 percent of total circulation, falling flat in the same period.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

Sponsors Pressure FIFA Over Qatar Bid Ahead of World Cup Kickoff

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 9, 2014 11:02 AM

The 2014 World Cup hasn't even gotten underway yet, but major sponsors of the event are already criticizing FIFA for its pick for the 2022 tournament host nation: Qatar. 

The selection of Qatar in December of 2010 immediately raised major concerns for a number of factors, including the punishing heat that the country suffers through during the traditional World Cup months of June and July; the country’s poor human-rights track record; the fact that Qatar doesn’t have much of a history with soccer; and that all of the stadiums for the event needed to be constructed (and will be white elephants after), among other issues that comedian John Oliver can explain for you.

Besides former US President Bill Clinton's total disappointment with the decision to skip the US and head to Qatar, investigators have now revealed that there were likely millions of dollars in bribes exchanged in order for Qatar to win the bid, The Guardian reports. The country has also come under fire for supposedly using "slaves" to help build the needed infrastructure for the event.

On top of everything else, the news of the illegal transactions now has official sponsors including adidas, Sony, Coca-Cola and Visa concerned about their association with the event. "Our expectation remains that all of our partners maintain strong ethical standards and operate with transparency,” Visa said, according to Associated Press.Continue reading...

campaigns

Campaign Watch: Castrol, Pepsi, Old Navy, Xbox One and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 5, 2014 01:01 PM

Castrol's new stunt video goes viral and racks up more than 5 million views.

Below, Australia's Creative Fuel conference spoofs creatives, creatively, and more:Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Sears, Time Inc., Unilever and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 22, 2014 09:03 AM

TOP 5 STORIES

Brands to Watch

Sears closes more US stores in wake of quarterly loss while Sears Canada tests YouTube shoppable videos.

Time Inc. opens ad space on magazine covers, breaking industry taboo.

Unilever unloads Ragu and Bertolli brands for $2.15 billion.

Best Buy hits sales slump in latest quarter.

Facebook adds fingerprinting tool to track users' TV and audio usage.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Airbnb will hand over host data to New York.

Amazon adds first batch of HBO content to Prime.

Beats co-founders face legal action as Spotify hits 10 million subs.

Fab slide continues with fourth round of layoffs.Continue reading...

video killed the _____ star

Amazon Forges Ahead with Streaming Initiatives as Retail Quietly Builds

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 21, 2014 05:33 PM

Netflix may be grabbing the headlines lately, but Amazon has been hard at work building up its streaming arsenal and now presents a bigger threat than ever to competing brands. 

To the joy of advertisers, Amazon has started to include preroll ads ahead of its original series pilots, starting with a campaign from Geico. 

“The move combines two of advertisers' biggest wishes—premium content and a measurable audience—on a service that venture capitalist Mark Suster once called 'the biggest threat to YouTube,'" Ad Age notes.  

Geico, the presenting sponsor for Amazon's pilot season is running banners on program landing pages as well as 15-second repurposed television spots at the start of non-kids series including The After. Amazon users can choose which pilots they'd like to see green-lighted for future Prime Instant Video. Geico's pilot sponsorship also includes placements on Amazon.com, the Kindle Fire "wake" screen and movie site IMDb.com.

"We're testing and learning,” said Lisa Utzschneider, Amazon VP-Global Ad Sales. “It's early days, and we're looking at all different video formats. We're focused on creating a great experience for our customers."Continue reading...

video killed the _____ star

Netflix's Biggest Foe isn't HBO, It's the Internet Providers that Move Its Content

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 19, 2014 07:32 PM

As the battle between Netflix and major internet service providers rages on, consumers are paying the price with degraded service.

The complicated plumbing required to deliver a Netflix video to a consumer’s computer or TV is near invisible to users, who are unaware of the bandwidth that companies have to put out in order to transmit such content. The actual data transfer occurs at global “interconnection” hubs, aka, “telecom carrier hotels” where companies like Time Warner Cable, Verizon and AT&T share space. Born in the days of high volume landline telephone traffic, the telcos shared amiably enough, but with the addition of high-bandwidth services like Netflix creating a drain, those relationships have broken down. And now broadband companies are increasingly charging "tolls" to third-party intermediate players like Level 3 and Cogent. 

“This is a scenario that open Internet advocates have been warning about for years," Time notes. “It’s no secret that the big telecom and cable companies resent the fact that they are obliged to deliver high bandwidth content like Netflix—which competes against their own video offerings—in addition to less bandwidth-intensive traffic like emails and chats.”Continue reading...

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...

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