branded entertainment

Lexus Puts a Velvet Rope on its Twitter Account for VIP Film Screening

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 23, 2014 01:26 PM

Brands have found all sorts of ways to spread their messages via Twitter, but Lexus is breaking the mold with its latest campaign.

In a branded entertainment move, Toyota's luxury automotive brand is set to release two short films by indie filmmakers on October 27 that are being produced by the Weinstein Company and explore the theme “Life is Amazing.” 

The groundbreaking moment, though, happens one day earlier, when Lexus will become the first luxury brand to lock up its Twitter account to new followers, allowing those who are already following it to use a private link to watch the films before anyone else—and turning its Twitter fans into a VIP list for a private, virtual screening.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Lexus, Yahoo, Lumia and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 22, 2014 09:14 AM

TOP STORIES

Lexus launches a virtual experience app. 

Johnson & Johnson plans to begin testing Ebola vaccine in January, with 250K doses ready by May.

Yahoo's Marissa Mayer fires back at critics as company makes more money from search but still needs clearer strategy. 

Microsoft officially lays Nokia name to rest and embraces Lumia for Windows phones.

Target unifies holiday strategy including free online shipping and promotes Taylor Swift's new album (below) as Walmart CMO also talks up holiday plans. Continue reading...

tech innovation

With i.amPULS Smart Band, will.i.am Joins Wearable Tech Craze, Fashionably

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 16, 2014 12:02 PM

Black Eye Peas front man and serial entrepreneur will.i.am is developing his own car, advising Intel and Lexus on creative innovation, and partnered on an eco-friendly line for Coca-Cola. Now he's joining the wearables craze.

At the Salesforce.com Dreamforce 2014 sales conference in San Francisco last night, he unveiled his branded take on a smartband: i.amPULS or Puls, which he describes as a smart "cuff" or bracelet (not a watch) which doesn't require a smartphone as it uses a SIM card. It also sends "vibes" or pulses to communicate feelings between wearers.

"i.amPULS represents digital freedom, individuality, intelligence and the intersection where fashion and technical innovation meet," he stated. "I'm honored to share my vision for the PULS with this global audience."

Check out his "Think Different" like promo for Puls and find out more details below:Continue reading...

tech innovation

Marriott, Wells Fargo Test Oculus Rift for Virtual Brand Experiences

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 7, 2014 01:42 PM

The Facebook-owned Oculus Rift, by one account, “is the closest thing yet to a consumer-bound product that can deliver what virtual reality experts call presence.”

As Oculus VR chief scientist Michael Abrash told Engadget, “Presence is an incredibly powerful sensation, and it’s unique to VR; there’s no way to create it in any other medium. Most people find it to be kind of magical.”

How it works: The headset straps onto your face and plugs into a computer while an OLED display and twin lenses project images that trick your brain into perceiving a flat image as reality.

As a simulator experience, the technology offers a virtual bonanza to marketers looking to create immersive brand experiences, though it's still in its nascent stage. Still, that's not stopping some brands from testing the technology to create what might be the ultimate digital brand experience.Continue reading...

automotive

Toyota Reveals Bespoke will.i.am Lexus NX Ahead of Paris Auto Show

Posted by Dale Buss on September 26, 2014 11:10 AM

With fall comes the beginning of the global auto-industry show season, and the Paris auto show is the first major show on the docket, followed by Los Angeles in November. Brands will be rolling out a variety of new models, concepts and high-tech features as they try to goose a still-moribund European market and whet the interest of automotive journalists from around the world.

At an invitation-only preview Thursday night in Paris, Toyota unveiled the highly anticipated Lexus NX model designed with guest 'creative director' will.i.am. As the automaker noted in a press release,

Bearing his name, the special edition NX 200t F SPORT pairs the flair and creativity of will.i.am’s innovative personality with the eye-catching striking angles of the Lexus NX. With cutting-edge on-board technology, a sharply-styled exterior and an aggressive and sporty design, the NX is aimed at younger, urban and more design oriented customers.

Another VIP with big stakes in Paris is Olivier Francois, who is not only chief marketing officer of the Chrysler Group but also global head of the Fiat brand.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Bendgate, GM, Uber and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 25, 2014 09:12 AM

TOP STORIES

Apple pulls update to iOS 8 software as "bendgate" iPhone 6 complaints cause more headaches (and a Kit-Kat kwip) for Tim Cook.

GM CEO Mary Barry makes the cover of TIME as automaker appoints first cybersecurity czar and dispels MyLink claim.

Mondelez elevates Dana Anderson to CMO.

Twitter launches targeted ads for movies.

Uber opens debate with European regulators over ride-sharing rules.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Amazon loses streaming entertainment head.

Audi, Chevrolet and Lincoln plan to boost ad spending in 2015.

Best Buy taps designers for exclusive accessories.Continue reading...

automotive

GM Hopes Automated Driving Helps Leave Safety Woes Behind

Posted by Dale Buss on September 8, 2014 02:48 PM

GM CEO Mary Barra has been busy this week trying to put an end to the company's old safety problems while clearing the way for new safety technologies that could put it back at the forefront of the industry.

Barra on Sunday announced at an auto transportation-technology conference in Detroit that GM plans to launch by 2016 cars with a hands-free automated-driving system and WiFi-enabled vehicle-to-vehicle communications systems designed to help avoid collisions. In doing so, the company will attempt to jostle to the front of the pack in the highly-competitive automated-driving derby while also making progress in the "V2V" communications arena that is deemed very important by US regulatory authorities for reducing traffic accidents and related deaths.

GM was not announcing a "self-driving" car but only another of the industry's many incremental steps toward truly autonomous driving, a pursuit in which it's joined by Google and other Silicon Valley companies. Essentially, with its "Super Cruise" system in a new 2017 Cadillac model, motorists will be able to take their hands off the wheel at highway speeds for long stretches of time on freeways with proper lane markings, such as Interstates, and avoid crashes.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: GM, Gap, T-Mobile and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 22, 2014 09:33 AM

TOP STORIES

GM sees its lawyers come under scrutiny in fed probe of recalls and cuts output in Russia as market slump continues.

Gap plans to open in India.

Ice Bucket Challenge yields $41 million so far for ALS research.

Sears burns through cash and eyes balance-sheet help.

Sprint and T-Mobile go at it in price war.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Al Jazeera made Al Gore hesitant before sale of Current TV.

Chick-fil-A tests chicken-and-waffles breakfast.

Cinnabon readies Bon Bake Shop test.

Comcast bundles pay TV with campus housing.

Coors Light UK pays Jean Claude Van Damme to attack a block of ice in latest campaign.Continue reading...

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