games people play

Rumor Mill Churns Ahead of Sony PlayStation 2013 Announcement

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 19, 2013 02:07 PM

Since the end of January, more than 6.5 million people have watched a video from Sony on YouTube that is mysteriously titled "#PlayStation2013." The number of people astounds, mostly because the 44-second video pretty much says absolutely nothing, except to hint at a pending announcement by including a Twitter hashtag in its title.

Now, Sony is apparently ready to talk. The company has invited 1,200 people to a press announcement Wednesday afternoon and the expectation is that it will be to introduce the PlayStation 4, Forbes reports

For the millions who won’t be able to fit into the room, don’t worry. Sony will be live-streaming the event, which is fitting since one of the rumors is that aside from the new PlayStation 4 console, Sony will also announce Wednesday that those who purchase the console will be able to stream all existing PS games, the Wall Street Journal reports. All new games will be stored on optical disks.Continue reading...

chew on this

Hipster Branding: Taco Bell Woos Cool Kids to Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos

Posted by Dale Buss on February 13, 2013 05:02 PM

Murmurs were afoot early on the street and on the tweet, thanks to Taco Bell's Facebook hint that fans should head to a pop-up store at New York City's Ariston Flowers in the Chelsea neighborhood, setting the Twitterverse aflutter.

The product: new Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos. The password: ask for the blue bouquet.

But just when things began to heat up at the flower shop, Taco Bell also was letting the whole country know about what likely will be its biggest new-product announcement of 2013. The Yum! Brands chain is hoping to tap into the same fervor for Cool Ranch as it did a year ago for the original Nacho Cheese flavored Doritos Locos Tacos, which kicked off a frenzy new Doritos-based-shell franchise.

And if the blue nail polish on today's Facebook announcement wasn't hint enough, Taco Bell is wooing the cool kids to Cool Ranch by appealing to hipsters — judging by its Super Bowl commercial, as a mindset and not necessarily just millennials.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Can Adidas Boost Market Share and Make a Serious Run at Nike?

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 13, 2013 01:02 PM

After hyping its release for weeks, Adidas' new Boost running shoes finally made its debut Wednesday. The New York announcement was made in good company, with 100-meter world champ Yohan Blake of Jamaica and two-time 10,000-meter Olympic gold medalist Haile Gebrselassie of Nigeria standing close by. 

Since the release of Christopher McDougall’s excellent book "Born to Run" back in 2009, a book that made a well-researched case for running barefoot, the running world has had an ongoing debate of whether it is better to workout in “barefoot” shoes or to layer on the extra cushion.

With Boost, Adidas is going "all in" (as its global tagline goes) on the cushion, although the sportswear giant is happy to capitalize on that other market as well. The Boost shoes combine two new elements: the Boost cushioning, which is supposed to be so bouncy that it’ll keep runners going forward for extended periods and the ominous-sounding Spring Blade, which helps the shoe return to its proper shape while your foot flexes.Continue reading...

super bowl

Super Bowl Ad Watch: A Closer Look at BlackBerry's Game Day Strategy

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 4, 2013 09:29 AM

BlackBerry chief marketing officer Frank Boulben taped an intro, above, to the mobile brand's first Super Bowl spot (and U.S. TV campaign), which promoted the new BlackBerry 10 during Sunday night's game. Below, more on the rebranded RIM's strategy in a behind-the-scenes video released Sunday:Continue reading...

mobile brands

Farewell, RIM: BlackBerry Unveils BB10, Tagline and Creative Director Alicia Keys

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 30, 2013 04:28 PM

Any doubt that the BlackBerry 10 is central to the survival of Research In Motion was likely erased on Wednesday as the company not only unveiled its new operating system and phones, but changed its corporate name to "BlackBerry," too. "We have a fantastic brand, BlackBerry, and we are known as such all over the world, except in North America," CMO Frank Boulben commented in a video interview at the launch. "We wanted to take full advantage of that global, iconic brand."

"We have redefined ourselves inside and out," said CEO Thorsten Heins, speaking from New York to launch events held across the globe, including one held at the world's tallest building, Dubai's Burj Khalifa, in its $650-a-night Armani Hotel. "RIM becomes BlackBerry. It is one brand, it is one promise." He declined to specify the company's marketing spend for the corporate rebrand and a global launch of BlackBerry 10 that includes Sunday's Super Bowl ad buy, but characterized it as in the "hundreds of million dollars."

That was partially evident at the New York launch with the introduction of Grammy Award winning singer Alicia Keys as the company's "global creative director." It's a trend that follows Lady Gaga's arrangement with Polaroid, will.i.am with Intel, Victoria Beckham with Range Rover, and Keys' husband Swizz Beatz with Reebok — and no doubt annoys creative directors.Continue reading...

brand launch

RIM Finally Ready to Unveil BlackBerry 10 to the World

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 29, 2013 07:33 PM

The New York Times calls the new BlackBerry 10, which Research in Motion is revealing in a New York as part of a global event on Wednesday and during the Super Bowl on Sunday, "worth the wait."

It's a critical launch for RIM, which states on its blog, "We’ve re-designed, re-engineered and re-invented our products with BlackBerry 10 – and we can’t wait to share it all with you." Are you as excited as BlackBerry's brand stewards? Share your thoughts in the comments.

sporting brands

Air Jordan 11 Release Sparks Black Friday-Like Crush for Nike, Retailers

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 21, 2012 10:58 AM

You may have noticed "Jordans" trending on Twitter today. Inclement weather across much of the U.S. did not stop Jordan Brand fans from lining up in the cold to pick up the new $185-$225 Air Jordan 11 Retro "Bred" shoe from Nike, one of the most highly anticipated releases of 2012 for sneaker heads. One mob scene in Alabama saw local police using pepper spray to control the crowd, who were vying for one of 36 bands that would allow them to acquire the iconic kicks at a later date. Nike's stock rose 4% this morning, while its latest quarterly earnings report indicates the company intends to "focus resources on driving growth in the NIKE, Jordan, Converse and Hurley brands" going forward.

brand extensions

Air Canada Applies Rouge in Bid to Bolster Biz With Lower-Cost Airline

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 21, 2012 10:17 AM

It hasn’t been easy for Air Canada in recent years with plenty of quarterly reports filled with losses. So what's an airline in the red to do? Launch a new sub-brand called "Rouge," of course.

Starting in July, Canadians can start using the new low-cost airline, which will initially fly out of Toronto and Montreal to such destinations as Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Costa Rica as well as Venice, Italy; Edinburgh, Scotland; and Athens. Consumers could start buying tickets Tuesday. 

Later next year, Rouge plans to add more Canadian cities to fly out of as well as international destinations – and not just the ones that Air Canada flies to. "The creation of this carrier is to assist us in serving many destinations that our existing model does not work on a competitive basis," said Ben Smith, Air Canada's chief commercial officer, to the CBC.

According to Yahoo! Finance, Air Canada plans to hire 200 people for Rouge, but those employees shouldn’t expect to be rolling in dough. “Cost savings are expected to come from paying lower wages,” the report notes, “and putting more seats in planes in a so-called new ‘multi-tier seating’ structure.” And we’re not talking just a few more seats. The CBC hears it could be as much as 20 percent more. Prepare to not only fasten your seatbelts but suck in your gut, Canada.Continue reading...

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