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Oreo Feeds the Beat During Day One of SXSW 2014

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 7, 2014 06:49 PM

SXSW 2014 kicked off today in Austin, Texas, with the festival's film portion expected to attract 30,000 people alone. 

The interactive festival, better known as the launching pad for Twitter and Foursquare, has become "a living, breathing manifestation of the Internet where you can get all kinds of different inputs and all kinds of different ways of information and put them all together and somehow come out slightly better at the end of the whole experience," Hugh Forrest, the festival's interactive director, told NPR. 

This year's festival is a cultural mélange with a line-up that includes Edward Snowden, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Julian Assange and feline Internet sensation Grumpy Cat, as well as musical acts including Lady Gaga. Speakers include Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and SVP Sundar Pichai, as well as Dell CEO Michael Dell.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Abercrombie & Fitch, Oreo, Bitcoin and more

Posted by Dale Buss on March 7, 2014 09:17 AM

In the News

Abercrombie & Fitch plans to remake Hollister brand in light of fast-fashion trend.

Oreo uses vending machine to print 3-D cookies at SXSW.

Bitcoin creator may have been identified by Newsweek... or not

Albertson's and Safeway will combine in $9 billion deal.

BMW considers expanding car-sharing program in US.

Boeing freezes pension plans.

Cargill boasts "game changer" in stevia market.

Chili's aims to become faster.

Corona Light goes after middle-aged beer drinkers with taste pitch.

Culver's looks to what's next as it expands across the US.

Dewey & LeBoeuf leaders indicted.Continue reading...

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SXSW '14 Preview: Snowden, Gaga and Nye, Oh My!

Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 6, 2014 06:20 PM

Each year, it seems SXSW (South By South West) gets more and more curious—and this year is no exception. Once dedicated to music, the 2014 SXSW festival, running from March 7 through 16 in Austin, Texas, now defines itself as "Music, Film, Interactive." Indeed, the festival has served as the launch pad for some of the market's most high-profile startups, including Foursquare. 

Beyond that, SXSW is a potpourri of personalities, popular trends and brands vying for attention. Indeed, last year's extravaganza was a "feeding ground for viral campaigns and unique marketing stunts." This year? Well, you can expect more of the same—just amped up a few notches.

In fact, SXSW 2014 may end up being known for notoriety. None other than the world's most infamous whistleblower, Edward Snowden, will speak on March 10 via teleconference. He'll be conversing with Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) "on the impact of the NSA's spying efforts on the technology community, and the ways in which technology can help to protect us from mass surveillance," according to the festival's site.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Perdue, RadioShack, Microsoft and more

Posted by Dale Buss on March 4, 2014 09:14 AM

In the News

Perdue launches first campaign for antibiotic-free products.

RadioShack closes 20 percent of stores.

Microsoft reboots its marketing brain trust as new CEO Nadella shakes up ranks.

Apple goes on hiring binge in Asia to speed product releases and leaves Pandora out of CarPlay.

BMW plans to hit sales target early.

BP suffers major blow over Gulf spill claims.

Boeing could face problems over Ukraine tensions as auto brands also face concerns.

Burger King adds Satisfries to kids' meals.

Chipotle cooks up program with Major League Soccer.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: PepsiCo, Dell, Newsweek and more

Posted by Dale Buss on March 3, 2014 09:14 AM

In the News

PepsiCo exec slams Nelson Peltz for financial criticism as Pepsi Max "Test Drive 2" pulls four million viewers in two hours.

Dell goes back to B2B roots with latest campaign.

Newsweek restarts printing presses. 

12 Years a Slave takes Best Picture at Oscars for Fox Searchlight.

AmEx focuses on busy-mom market with new rewards card pitched by Tina Fey. 

Audi risks wan presence at Geneva Motor Show as BMW recovers.

Boston Market reduces sodium in core items.

Cadillac makes a splash at the Geneva Motor Show.

Chrysler exceeds estimates with February sales increase.

Forbes is being eyed by foreign buyers.

Foursquare, GroupMe bow out of SXSW. 

GM braces for recall fallout.Continue reading...

Mini Keeps Fighting as More Competitors Climb into Small-Car Ring

Posted by Dale Buss on August 16, 2013 11:48 AM

When Mini was the only adorable little car around, it was easier to stand out. But Fiat, Smart and even Chevrolet lately have been taking their own runs at getting Americans interested in squeezing themselves into tiny automotive contraptions, and so it's time for Mini to step up its game.

The BMW-owned brand has responded with new executions of its "Not normal" marketing campaign and by teasing its fans and automotive cognoscenti with hints about what may be in store when Mini unveils a new version of its original and most important model, the Mini Cooper, this fall for 2014.

Americans are still in love with Minis. Sales of Mini Cooper rose by 15 percent to a record 66,000 units last year, after a 26 percent jump in 2011, and Mini has been able to fill out its lineup with a handful of other models including the bigger 4-door Countryman with all-wheel drive. Mini typically scores high in third-party evaluations of quality and customer satisfaction such as those by J.D. Power & Associates.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

At SXSW, #FEED Marries Art and Tech

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 27, 2013 02:26 PM

Art met industry at SXSW where the proverbial contenders: content versus technology and  art versus industry got bundled and branded by #FEED—to everyone’s benefit.

The #FEED, powered by Twitter, spanned five days as 16 top interactive media artists plied their wares telling the SXSW story in art installations curated by Learned Evolution and The Meta Agency. A nightly party, named @NIGHT brought DJs onto projection-mapped stages with interactive walls at the Austin Museum of Art at the Jones Center.Continue reading...

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package design

The Shape of Things to Come: Pepsi's New Bottle Design Reinvigorates Brand

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 24, 2013 09:03 PM

Pepsi is redesigning its 16 and 20-ounce bottles for the first time since 1977 — one in a series of recent moves (see: the recent Super Bowl halftime show sponsorship and related landmark partnership with superstar Beyonce) as PepsiCo attempts to revitalize its flagship brand after a few mis-steps that led to the brand losing market share to rival Coca-Cola's Diet Coke brand in 2011.

The new design features a swirled grip on the bottom portion of the bottle, a shorter label edged in a "cola-colored" border and an enlarged version of its current globe logo and applies to Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Max and Pepsi Next. 

"This new bottle is the next milestone in Pepsi's Live For Now marketing campaign," stated Angelique Krembs, VP of marketing for the Pepsi trademark. "Our single serve bottle is the most visible and tangible connection point we have with our consumers, and we love how the new bottle expresses our brand DNA."

"We started with single serve, because it is the package you're seen drinking and holding," Krembs told Ad Age. "The longer-term view is this new design system would eventually hit all touch points beyond packaging, to be honest, but certainly all other package types, as it applies."

According to PepsiCo's press release, "The new bottle's bold swirl and elevated profile reflect the brand's attributes and youthful spirit, capturing the excitement of now for Pepsi consumers. The etched, grip-able bottom allows consumers to have a more stimulating, tactile interaction with the bottle itself."Continue reading...

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