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privacy alert

French Prosecutors: You May Not be Building That Ikea Furniture by Yourself

Posted by Dale Buss on November 22, 2013 03:36 PM

You can still make do-it-yourself furniture with IKEA. It's just that other people may be watching in secret.

Specifically, IKEA itself. Prosecutors have placed three senior IKEA executvies in France under investigation amid allegations that they authorized illegal spying on customers and employees, including collecting unflattering background information on shoppers who brought complaints or lawsuits, according to the New York Times.

In an alleged case of big data run amok, French prosecutors even said that IKEA France CEO Stefan Vanoverbeke was among those people being investigated for possible involvement in such a conspiracy. The executives were thought to be gathering a range of personal informatin including criminal records, automobile registrations and property records.Continue reading...

Microsoft Puts Its Own Spin On Holiday Gifting with 'Scroogled' Gear

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 21, 2013 01:45 PM

Microsoft is convinced that it's not the only one with an anti-Google streak. The tech giant's infamous 'Scroogled' campaign first began targeting the search behemoth in February, with hopes of converting Gmail users into Outlook users on the grounds of privacy concerns. 

There have been several other iterations since then, but the company's latest Google-smearing gambit intends to get consumers in on the act. Microsoft is offering a line of 'Scroogled' gear and apparel for sale in its Microsoft online store, including T-shirts, hats, hoodies, and coffee mugs.

A Microsoft rep told Ad Age that money isn't the motivator in this case, and that the company just wants to give consumers with an equal distaste for Google the chance to express themselves. "The Scroogled gear is a fun way for them to do that," he said.Continue reading...

social media watch

Snapchat Spurns Facebook Buyout—And Steals its Users Too

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 14, 2013 04:58 PM

Following the acquisitions of social media stars Instagram, Tumblr, and Vine, one hot commodity is holding out: Snapchat. 

The photo-social app that essentially destroys user photo snaps after a few seconds reportedly turned down a $3 billion offer from Facebook. Are they crazy? Or just crazy smart? 

Opinions are mixed, but 23-year-old founder Evan Spiegel and his team may actually be sitting on a social media egg that could shape the future of social sharing. For one thing, Snapchat leaves no messy, incriminating trail in the digital ethers unlike Facebook, Twitter and other platforms. And with teens looking to hide from their parents and adults hoping to hide less-than-ideal antics from employers and colleagues, Snapchat may be the prime destination for a generation of web-heads that are seeking more privacy and control.Continue reading...

big data

IBM Dives Deep Into Tweets to Identify Core Consumer Needs and Wants

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 12, 2013 07:28 PM

Using technology to better understand consumers' wants and needs has hit a new stride as brands compete to target promotions and deliver personalized customer service.

While most major retailers have used predictive analytics for years, new technologies have augmented the statistical game to nuances heretofore unknown. For instance, IBM has begun testing technology that essentially assigns core psychological traits by analyzing a consumer's tweets.

“We need to go below behavioral analysis like Amazon does,” said Michelle Zhou, lead of the User Systems and Experience Research Group at IBM’s Almaden Research Center where the software was created, according to Mashable. “We want to use social media to derive information about an individual—what is the overall affect of this person? How resilient is this person emotionally? People with different personalities want something different.”

The software builds a personality profile based on the most recent hundred or thousand Twitter updates, scoring them against the "big five" traits used in psychology: extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience. It also scores on “values” (hedonism and conservatism) and “needs” (curiosity and social harmony).Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Justin Bieber Worries Parents Everywhere, Backs Selfie-Sharing App for Teens

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 11, 2013 05:31 PM

Parents, brace yourselves: Justin Bieber has invested $1.1 million in Shots of Me, a mobile selfie-sharing network that's targeting his own fan base, teens and pre-teens. With almost 47 million Twitter followers—second only to Katy Perry—Bieber is a big catch as an investor and a pop-culture influencer of unprecedented power.

He joins investors Shervin Pishevar, Tom McInerney and boxer Floyd Mayweather, and John and Sam Shahidi, whose RockLive social startup is behind the new selfie-enabling app, which is exclusively available for download starting this week in the iTunes App Store.Continue reading...

ad watch

With Personalized Ad Moves, Yahoo and Google Compete for all the Clicks

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 11, 2013 11:01 AM

It’s a busy day for Starcom, Yahoo and Google as they shake up the status quo in ‘terms of service’ (TOS) and personalization.

A change in Google’s TOS, which went into effect on Monday, enables the online giant to post users’ images and recommendations in some advertisements, while Starcom and Yahoo are partnering to improve the digital video experience in general with greater ‘personalization and relevance.’

As the digital landscape wobbles under an escalating tonnage of content, the Publicis-owned Starcom media agency and Yahoo are joining forces to better leverage audience data to create and target video content across the web.Continue reading...

mobile marketing

Verizon Brings A-Game to Brand Marketers: Analytics

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 11, 2013 09:44 AM

Sports fans are subjected to every possible form of marketing each time they attend a game but it hasn’t always been exactly clear what messages have really resonated with folks and sent them directly to buy products and services when game time is over. Verizon is aiming to change that by bringing its A-game (analytics) to sports clubs and venues in order to showcase its Big Data capabilities.

The NBA’s Phoenix Suns teamed with Verizon’s year-old Precision Marketing Insights division to track if fans at the stadium who were subjected to messaging during games actually went to sponsor-promoted locations (bars and restaurants) after the game or in the days afterward, Ad Age reports. The tracking is being done with a very simple tool: a Verizon smartphone. 

Santa may see you when you’re sleeping and be aware of when you’re awake, but your smartphone knows pretty much where you are 24/7/365 and what you are interested in. Verizon tracks where fans are traveling and then analyzes the information for demographics. All of the info is “anonymized” and Verizon's website goes to pains to say it respects privacy.Continue reading...

Google Follows Mobile Users to the Store, Alarms Privacy Watchdogs

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 8, 2013 08:12 PM

Google reportedly makes around $100 million daily by selling Google Ads to online businesses. Now the site is reportedly beta-testing a program that could deliver the Holy Grail of mobile connectivity. Using location data to track when consumers visit stores, Google will connect those visits to searches on Google via smartphones and deliver analytic proof that its mobile ads do work.

According to Digiday, “If someone conducts a Google mobile search for 'screwdrivers,' for instance, a local hardware store could bid to have its store listing served to that user. By pairing that person’s location data with its database of store listings, Google can see if the person who saw that ad subsequently visited the store.”Continue reading...

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