Best Global Green Brands 2014

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...

brand news

In the News: Nielsen, HBO, Juicy Couture and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 8, 2013 09:21 AM

In the News

Nielsen formally unviels plans to track TV-related conversations on Twitter

HBO brings a la carte programming to Google Play

Juicy Couture brand is sold for $195 million. 

ACE bandage brand partners with LL Cool J for promotion. 

Alcatel-Lucent sheds 10,000 jobs.

Amazon defeats IBM in CIA cloud dispute.

Burt's Bees tweaks literary classics in Vine, Instagram campaign.

Dollar General opens 11,000th store.

Dunkin' Donuts adds SoCal units.

Google puts support behind program to create affordable internet. 

JCPenney sees bottoming-out.Continue reading...

tech innovation

New York's Major Media Players Seek Startups Through SwitchPitch Event

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 2, 2013 04:45 PM

Goliaths aren’t generally looking for help from Davids, but the New York Daily News, HBO, Time Inc., TiVo, Meredith, and nine other major media companies turned things upside down Tuesday when they asked more than 200 startups for help. 

The SwitchPitch event, which specializes in pairing startups with in-need companies, allows such companies to pitch funded innovation projects to startups looking for partners. After a bidding process, the selected startups will begin working with their supporting companies.

In this case, the Daily News will provide its startup of choice with a six-month stay in the paper's offices and a large testing ground for their concepts on NYDailyNews.com and the rest of the paper’s digital properties, which reach 17 million people monthly.Continue reading...

the revolution will be televised

Netflix, with Emmy in Hand, Takes One Giant Leap for Digital Entertainment

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 23, 2013 02:41 PM

There was an air of change lingering over the 65th Emmy Awards last night, an annual celebration of television that host Neil Patrick Harris pointed out, "For our younger audience, that's the thing you watch on your phones."

Netflix took home its first Emmy award last night for David Fincher’s directing of highly-acclaimed drama series House of Cards. Although it only took home one of the 14 primetime Emmy’s that it was nominated for, Netflix still makes history as the first online-only distribution platform to win a big one.

The win is just the latest indication that streaming and original content has the ability to become the new pay-TV, as the company has previously said that its "goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us."Continue reading...

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