Posted by Shirley Brady on April 1, 2012 12:01 PM
In a bid to outdo last year's April Fool's Day jokes, a few April Foolin' Around branded fake gags today include:
• Richard Branson's next adventure, Virgin Volcanic, will take the intrepid billionaire to the center of the earth with Tom Hanks;
• in addition to really advanced search and Google TV Click, perennial prankster Google brings its self-driving car to NASCAR racing (above) and, below, announces Morse Code-based Gmail Tap (double your typing speed!) with LL Cool J, plus 8-bit Google Maps for the neglected Nintendo Entertainment System, and more:Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 6, 2012 08:58 AM
BMW faces snafu in Europe marketing a Mini cold front.
Boeing checks 787 Dreamliners for possible delamination.
Eli Manning's star rises with second Super Bowl win, edging personal brands of brother Peyton and rival Tom Brady.
Facebook is challenged by monetizing mobile.
Ford says majority of big-market dealers are on board for investments in Lincoln brand.
GM aims for $10 billion in annual profit.
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein emerges as corporate spokesman for same-sex marriage.
HP nods toward activist investors.
Honda pulls forward major changes to struggling Civic this fall.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 19, 2012 03:58 PM
Small cars are facing big problems these days.
Mini this week announced a global recall that impacts 89,000 of its cars in the United States, including its Mini Cooper line, and 235,000 worldwide because of faulty water pumps that can malfunction and have caused some engine-compartment fires. Mini parent BMW is trying to reassure consumers that the move is preventative. Indeed, Mini's documented problem — five of the fires reportedly destroyed cars actually being used by their owners — far eclipses the fire problem in the Chevrolet Volt that has so weighed down that brand lately.
Beyond that speed bump, Mini these days is achieving exactly what the BMW-owned brand has wanted to achieve in the American market: reigning as the undisputed champion of the tiny-car segment, holding off the likes of Smart, Scion and even Fiat.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 17, 2012 08:50 AM
Adidas taps Katy Perry for new campaign.
AFL-CIO launches image campaign.
Airbus posts record sales.
American Airlines stops flying to India, sacks 150 workers.
AOL leads companies testing crowdsourcing.
Apple expands iTunes Match, reportedly preps interactive textbooks for the iPad, while pre-earnings valuations vary.
BASF halts its genetically modified products in Europe, including its Amflora potato.
Beats Electronics breaks up with Monster.
Beyonce accused of skin-lightening in album promotion, gives first post-baby interview.
BlackBerry-maker RIM criticized by analysts for PlayBook incompatability.
BMW recalls 89,000 Mini vehicles.
Burberry quarterly profits jump 22%.
Carnival faces heat in wake of Italy shipwreck, its worst accident in 40 years, as environmental fears mount and cruise industry is rocked.
M&M's will introduce a sixth candy character — Ms. Brown — in its Super Bowl commercial, while Kia plans 60-second commercial with Adriana Lima and Motley Crue, in keeping with trend to longer Super Bowl spots.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 13, 2012 11:04 AM
If there is one thing that has characterized the renaissance of Chrysler over the last three years, it is an insistence by the company's leadership to ignore the doubters and forge ahead, following their vision.
That's why Fiat accepted the carcass of Chrysler from the U.S. government three years ago in the first place, why CEO Sergio Marchionne figured he could cobble together a competitive global automotive company from the two, and why he and his lieutenants make interesting — and sometimes daring — product and marketing bets in America.
Sometimes they work out uproariously, like the Chrysler 200 and the Eminem "Imported from Detroit" commercial that debuted during last year's Super Bowl. Other times they have worked out poorly, such as the 2011 debut of the Fiat 500 in the U.S. market, which led to criticism for the Jennifer Lopez music-video-style commercial for the car, and the subsequent ouster of former Fiat U.S. brand chief Laura Soave.
Chrysler and Fiat's CMO, Olivier Francois, says he has learned from these mistakes.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on January 5, 2012 06:01 PM
Google TV adds LG to the fold with Samsung, Sony and Vizio ahead of CES, and 2012 global rollout.
Louis Vuitton finally expands brand into perfume.
Apple pays $5M to settle patent lawsuit.
Barnes & Noble eyes Nook spin-off with eye to global markets.
BMW brings MINI to India.
Deloitte finds 9M U.S. cable homes have cut the cord.
Discovery urges investors to be patient with Oprah Winfrey's network.Continue reading...
start your engines
Posted by Dale Buss on December 1, 2011 06:02 PM
With many markers of the health of the U.S. auto industry improving these days, J.D. Power & Associates brings us another one: Americans are more satisfied with the new-vehicle sales process than they were a year ago. Among the luxury brands that lead in this score, Lexus still ranks highest in the researcher's new Sales Satisfaction Index, although Cadillac is sneaking up, and Mini heads up mass-market brands.
The notion that financially strained Americans actually would be happier about the auto-dealership experience is contra-intuitive, given that this experience used to rank right above getting teeth pulled on many consumers' bucket lists. There's also the fact that there have been about four million fewer people in the U.S. new-vehicle market even this year, three years into an industry recovery, than during the market's heyday several years ago.Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 16, 2011 06:15 PM
On the social web, “Brand perception changes at the speed of a mouse click,” as Eileen Brown, CEO of Amastra, puts it. Like it or not, mice are clicking and perceptions evolving as the leviathans of search and social joust for position.
Google+, still in its infancy, has already weathered its first crisis with a business-created page: a now-removed fake Google Plus page for Bank of America replete with mocking photos of former BofA CEO Kenneth Lewis, and incendiary messages such as: “Starting tomorrow, all Occupy Wall Street protestors with Bank of America accounts around the country will have their assets seized as part of BofA’s new Counter-Financial-Terrorism policy.” (The bank's official page is here.)
To avoid such future brandjacking, Google has partnered with six social media management firms — Buddy Media, Context Optional, Hearsay Social, Hootsuite, Involver, and Vitrue — to use their products to help brands better manage the Google+ platform. Its official Google+ page now features a check mark logo to show it's been verified by Google.
"I'm not surprised they're taking this step. We recommended as much to them during the pilot phase when Ford was allowed to have an account before other brands," commented Scott Monty, Ford Motor Company's global digital communications manager, in an email to ClickZ.
"Ultimately, a brand or business needs to be where its customers are," Buddy Media noted in a blog post. "Google+ has experienced tremendous growth since opening its doors to the general public. In just a few short months over 40 million people have created Google+ profiles and use the service to connect with each other and share content."Continue reading...