Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 20, 2012 09:58 AM
All you people drinking coffee in India should keep track of your cups. Drink enough of the stuff and you might earn yourself a free flight.
Indian Express reports that the country's top airline, Jet Airways, and #1 coffee chain, Barista Lavazza, have partnered up on a new loyalty program, JetPrivilege, that allows members to earn air miles from coffee purchase. For every 100 rupees spent, members earn five miles.
"Opportunities to engage with premium brands are of huge value to us,” said Jet chief commercial officer Sudheer Raghavan. “It means we can go above and beyond guest expectations, providing them with a number of value-added services. Given Jet's extensive route network and the high propensity of its guests to travel, it is a natural partner for a brand like Barista."
Barista has more than 160 cafes in India and also has locations in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. "Partnering with Jet is part of the larger strategy that Barista wishes to follow with an aim to ensuring customer delight," Barista Lavazza chief operating officer Nilanjan Bhattacharya added. Now bring on the caffeine and start racking up miles!
in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 12, 2012 02:31 PM
Dow Chemical isn’t backing out as a sponsor of the Olympics this summer in London and its name will be plastered (after all) over the stadium that will host the Opening Ceremonies. This, of course, has not been sitting right with folks in India, where the disastrous gas leak of 1984 by Union Carbide, which has since become a subsidiary of Dow, killed more than 20,000 people, according to the Indian government.
The Indian Olympic Association has hinted that it may pull out of London 2012 because of Dow’s involvement, even though Dow continues to point out that it did not own Union Carbide at the time of the disaster.
Protests notwithstanding, British Prime Minister David Cameron told CNN-IBN on Sunday that "it would be a very sad day" if India decided to boycott the Games.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 12, 2012 09:01 AM
American Apparel may have a knight in shining armor: George Soros.
American Express sees millions of Twitter Sync coupons redeemed within first five days.
Ann Taylor tweaks brand lineup.
Apple finds iPhone falling behind Samsung in China.
BBC America bets on New Yorkers as tastemakers for new cooking show.
Barnes & Noble tests Penguin publishing boutiques in its stores.
CNN reportedly in talks to acquire Mashable.
Chevrolet shows off networked car at SXSW.
Chevron plays catch-up in shale gas.
Chipotle gets a big bang for the little buck.Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 21, 2012 02:09 PM
Typically mentioned as the international competitor to Facebook, Orkut, Google’s “also-ran social networking site,” just launched a Google+ badge for users with both accounts – its first integration. “No, it’s not a big deal in terms of the feature itself (oooh, a badge), but it’s an indication of Orkut’s current status in Google’s eyes,” writes TechCrunch.
With 66 million users in Brazil and India, Orkut is alive and (sort of) well, but trailing Facebook substantially and may have missed the moment to level the playing field. In its recent IPO, Facebook said its active user base in Brazil had nearly tripled in 2011, placing it ahead of Google’s Orkut service as the leading social network in the country.
"I can't think of an example where Facebook has grown so quickly," commented Andrew Lipsman, VP of industry analysis at comScore, to Reuters. "It really just skyrocketed." So does that leave Orkut, which introduced many Brazilians to social networking, ditched at the dance?Continue reading...
sports in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 17, 2012 06:06 PM
At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, the India Olympic Committee sent 56 athletes to compete and came home with its best performance in history: one gold (men’s 10m air rifle shooting) and two bronze (wrestling and boxing).
It remains unclear if any Indian athletes will be showing up at the London 2012 Summer Games due to the massive presence of Olympic sponsor Dow Chemicals, which is “sponsoring a $11.4-million decorative wrap that will be installed around London's Olympic Stadium,” according to the Associated Press.
The problem stems from Dow’s ownership of Union Carbide, which it bought in 2000, 16 years after Union’s plant in Bhopal had a gas leak that “killed an estimated 15,000 people and injured half a million,” the AP notes. While Dow didn’t own Union when the incident happened, critics say the company is “responsible for lingering groundwater contamination and other issues,” the AP notes.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on February 15, 2012 04:29 PM
With all the pontificating about the performance of traditional PepsiCo beverage brands such as Pepsi, it's easy to lose sight of a bright spot shining forth from the company's voluminous beverage portfolio, and one emanating from its controversial stable of better-for-you products as well: Trop50.
The low-calorie juice brand, sweetened with stevia and marketed in a campaign featuring 30 Rock's Jane Krakowski that originated in Canada, is headed to $300 million a year in sales after only three years on the market — a pittance, revenue-wise, compared with conventional orange juice, where PepsiCo's Tropicana brand is one of the leaders. But it's been an impressive ramp-up for a new product in a mature segment where all sorts of things have been tried before.
"We went after a segment who love the goodness of juice without also limiting calorie consumption," Kate Keller, Trop50's director of marketing, told brandchannel. "And they don't want to sacrifice the great taste of juice. They're getting the goodness of juice and taste and sugar at half the sugar and calories — it's pretty simple for them."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 13, 2012 03:58 PM
Nearly two decades ago, Coca-Cola bought a lime drink in India called Citra from Ramesh Chauhan but then discontinued it and pushed its own Sprite instead. Now, the soda maker is testing out how Citra sells in some Indian cities and is planning a national rollout, according to the Economic Times.
The Economic Times hears that the drink “will be priced about 20% cheaper than existing lime-lemon drinks” such as Coke’s own Sprite and Limca as well as local soft drink brands owned by PepsiCo, Mountain Dew and 7Up. That will help Coke “target a wider audience and take on smaller brands” in the world’s second-most-populated country.
Industry observers are a little surprised by Coke’s plan, since Sprite is already India’s second-most-popular soda behind a drink even Roger Ebert would love, Thums Up, which is now manufactured by Coke. Sprite also leads the field in the “lime-lemon drinks segment, which is the fastest-growing soft drink category in India's 13,000-crore fizzy drinks market,” the paper notes.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 10, 2012 04:01 PM
Big-time press conferences across the globe may need to make room for two more microphones soon. Disney is reportedly in talks to launch a 24-hour Spanish-language all-news channel later this spring with Univision, in a bid to create a cable news channel for English-speaking Latinos.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the Spanish TV giant and the Walt Disney Co., which owns ABC and a host of other cable networks including ESPN, are developing a 24-hour, all-news, English-language channel. Univision “could use the channel to reach more acculturated viewers that advertisers prefer: Latinos who predominately speak English,” the Times reports.
The move would bolster Disney's ABC News division, which has “struggled to be more competitive and has shed hundreds of staff members from its ABC News division because the network produces only a few newscasts.” It would also give a direct line to America's booming Latino population, with roughly 50 million Americans ticking the Hispanic or Latino census box in 2010, a 43% jump up from the 2000 Census.
Disney is also looking for multicultural growth outside the U.S. Residents of India, prepare to encounter Aladdin at 3 a.m. on your TV.Continue reading...