executive decision

Apple CEO Issues Appology for iOS 6 Maps Mishaps

Posted by Shirley Brady on September 28, 2012 11:21 AM

Apple CEO Tim Cook has apologized for the iOS 6 Maps kerfuffle, following the brand's eviction of Google Maps and proprietary (but glitchy) maps function — one of the key features consumers demand from their smartphones. Google, meanwhile, just upgraded its maps app with high-resolution aerial views.

A contrite Apple posted the apology online (read the full text below) in a mea culpa that the Financial Times calls "a rare moment of contrition from the world's most valuable company," and — unexpectedly — suggested installing rivals' map apps "while we're improving Maps." Cook's personal apology for "mapgate" also raised comparisons to how Steve Jobs handled the iPhone 4 "antennagate," for which the company — but not Jobs personally — apologized.Continue reading...

brand launch

Is Apple's Brand Lost? Yes, If It's Using iOS 6

Posted by Abe Sauer on September 21, 2012 10:14 AM

Everyone wants to tear down the guy at the top. But in a matter of a month, Apple has made that work a lot easier. And for once, it has nothing to do with China. Well, not Foxconn anyway.

First, Apple's court win over Samsung for patent infringements met with "rounded corner" derision with the brand seen as an anti-innovation patent bully (a German court ruling today puts the patent wars ball back in Samsung's court). Then, there is the ongoing iOS 6 Google Mapsgate. And now, Apple has been accused of jobbing its fans to promote the iPhone 5 release.

But really, it's all about the maps. The stupid, stupid maps.Continue reading...

brand launch

Apple’s iPhone 5 Already Shaking Things Up

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 19, 2012 05:15 PM

As iPhone 5 fever is upon us, it's hard not to think of The Jetsons. The series debuted in 1962, but its creators vision of video phones (as well as tanning beds and robot vacuums) seemed pretty far down the line. After all, the series was set in the year 2062, but who knew the video phone would be so ingrained in our lives 50 years ahead of that schedule.

Apple is having a banner week as fans await the release of the phone that has been getting rave reviews for its larger screen, lighter body, improved camera and speakers, and faster downloads. And its iOS 6 software powering the new phone is winning accolades, if irking some for dropping Google Maps.Continue reading...

brand and bottle

Air: Come for Carbonated Alcohol Inspired Fun, Stay for the Vice Party

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 10, 2012 06:04 PM

It's water. It's booze "Alcohol-Inspired Refresher" with a dash of berry or a citrus twist. But you can call it Air. 

That's the brand name for the cutting edge of the alcoholic beverage market: carbonated water infused with alcohol and refreshing bubbles, named after the stuff that dares to defy the Helvetica fatigue.

It's a "refreshingly" simple branding in a market where "blackout drinks" carbonated alcoholic beverages once ruled.

But selling Air in a can — seriously?Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Microsoft's Surface Tablet Takes Aim at More than the iPad

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 19, 2012 02:02 PM

The images may make it look like a notebook, but Microsoft's new Surface line is all about tablets. As the center of the computing industry continues to shift from PC to mobile, Microsoft, maker of keyboards and mice for three decades, is directly challenging Apple’s iPhone and iPad dominance with the Surface sub-brand.

"Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen made a big bet — a bet on software — but it was always clear that we had to push hardware in ways that sometimes manufacturers hadn't envisioned," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at Monday's unveiling. "We believe that any intersection between human and machine can be made better when all aspects, hardware and software, are working together."Continue reading...

brand and bottle

Marc Mondavi Dons Water Witch Hat to Launch New Brand

Posted by Barry Silverstein on June 8, 2012 04:55 PM

The Mondavi family name is synonymous with fine wine from California's Napa Valley. Interestingly enough, however, a family feud resulted in the odd fact that, today, there are two Mondavi wineries (Robert Mondavi and CK Mondavi, which is owned by the Peter Mondavi family) in existence.

Robert had a falling out with brother Peter and ended up starting Robert Mondavi in 1966, breaking away from the original Mondavi winery founded in 1943, when Cesare and Rosa Mondavi purchased the Charles Krug Winery (hense "CK" Mondavi). (For more on the Mondavi family's reach in the wine world, check out the award-winning Mondovino documentary.)

It is CK Mondavi, though, that has apparently been struck by divine inspiration. The winery just announced its first new brand in over half a century, a collection of super premium wines called "Marc Mondavi's The Divining Rod," accompanied by the unusual tagline, "More than natural, supernatural."Continue reading...

chew on this

Taco Bell Swings for the Fences with Beefy Nacho Burrito

Posted by Dale Buss on May 24, 2012 10:57 AM

Just when you thought there was not another possible way for Taco Bell to combine cheese, ground beef, beans and corn chips, the renascent chain has introduced the Beefy Nacho Burrito. Not only that, but they're doing it for 99 cents — and with a marketing tie-in with Major League Baseball.

Taco Bell is now rolling out its latest menu item nationwide, featuring "seasoned beef, warm nacho cheese, cool sour cream and [new] queso strips, all wrapped in a warm flour tortilla." For those of you who have lost count over the years of the many different ways in which Taco Bell can combine such basic ingredients, the innovation here, the company said in a release, is that the company "has found a way to put nachos into a burrito."Continue reading...

social marketing

NBA’s Brooklyn Nets Woo Fans to Barclays Center with Socialcam

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 22, 2012 10:07 AM

The social video sharing app Socialcam, just scored the NBA’s (and Jay-Z's) Brooklyn Nets, formerly known as the New Jersey Nets.

Their “Hello Brooklyn” campaign (watch below) is a pitch to the team’s community of fans, 35 million and growing, and takes users on a subway ride to their new home for the 2012-13 NBA season at the new Barclays Center.

The mobile app for shooting, editing, and sharing videos via smartphone is jousting for position in an increasingly competitive arena fueled by Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of Instagram.Continue reading...

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