mobile commerce

Santa Goes Mobile: Walmart and Mattel Test Virtual Toy Store in Canada

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 5, 2012 07:31 PM

Tesco made headlines a year ago when its HomePlus retail subsidiary in South Korea tested a virtual store in a Seoul subway station, showcasing items that could be scanned and ordered by smartphone for home delivery, while Peapod is testing virtual grocery shopping in the U.S.

Now Walmart is testing a similar idea in Toronto in partnership with Mattel. The retail and toy giants are teaming up on what's described as Canada's first pop-up virtual toy store, enabling QR code-based shopping of Mattel brands — including hot toys from Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends brands — to holiday shoppers.

The pop-up is located in the city's massive PATH underground walkway, a retail concouse that connects downtown buildings and and an array of businesses to Toronto's Union Station rail commuter hub. It may find a ready pool of virtual shoppers, as it will run for four weeks in the same location where tested a QR-enabled store in April.Continue reading...

campaign tactics

Discounts Are Go: Tesco Woos British Boomers With Thunderbirds Campaign

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 23, 2012 11:01 AM

Tesco’s first television campaign from newly appointed agency Wieden + Kennedy, as shared on W+K London managing direct Neil Christie's YouTube channel, presents a clear shift in brand tactics ahead and a tease for a major pre-Christmas push announced by CEO Philip Clarke.

The 20-second spot isn't visually grabbing, but it's all about the audio. It features the theme music and countdown from Gerry Anderson's classic Thunderbirds series, which will be instantly recognizable to British boomers, and supports a current promotion offering customers a £5 voucher for every £40 spent, online and in-store, up until Thursday, October 25.

The commercial debuted during Channel 4’s Homeland on Sunday, and teases Tesco’s Christmas 2012 campaign. The proverbial coin countdown, “five, four, three, two, one…” positions the brand as a salvo for cash-strapped families, and repositions their tagline of two decades, “Every little helps,” replacing the word ‘little’ with a stack of coins.Continue reading...

response mechanism

Tesco CEO Seeks Transparency Through Blogging, Not Twitter

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 19, 2012 03:20 PM

Tesco CEO Philip Clarke told the World Retail Congress in London today that the "tectonic plates are shifting" in retail and residual from financial woes in the euro zone is requiring companies to adopt new technologies or lose their competitive edge.

"We are in the first downturn of the digital age," Clarke stated, adding "consumption is weakening" in China, Thailand and South Korea, regions previously earmarked for growth but reeling from economic turmoil in Europe. "[These economies] are vulnerable to the crisis in the euro zone, as well as inflation caused by high commodity prices.

"Digital technology gives us the opportunity for a warmer, more meaningful conversation with our customers, local communities, our colleagues and the suppliers we work with.” That's why Clarke, who started as Tesco CEO in March 2011, has just launched a corporate blog, Talking Shop, in an effort to build trust and, as he puts it, "explain what we are thinking and how we see the world."

He's not much of a tweeter, though he likes writing bylined op-ed pieces (such as this week's FT column). So why blog?Continue reading...

retail watch

From Emerging Markets to Emerging Technology, It's a Walmart World

Posted by Dale Buss on September 18, 2012 05:18 PM

From the swarming Indian metropolis of Mumbai to the windy streets of Chicago, a resurgent Walmart is flexing its muscles a bit more these days.

For a couple of years, during the Great Recession, Walmart was naturally preoccupied with its sagging sales and other troubles at home. But with U.S. same-store sales back in a solid growth mode now after Walmart executives about-faced and returned to their tried-and-true promotional and merchandising formula, the company has freed up cash flow to look at other potential growth areas.

One of the most beckoning is India. Some critics are still lashing the Indian government for its move last Friday finally to boost its economy by allowing greater foreign participation in retailing investment in the country, and other measures designed to kick-start an economy that is slowing even though India's population growth continues.Continue reading...

retail watch

eBooks Across the Pond, Tesco Saddles Up With Mobcast

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 5, 2012 01:02 PM

Supermarkets have become major players in the retail sale of books, movie and TV DVDs and music and are now buttressing their position in digital consumption through vendor acquisitions.

As Amazon and Barnes & Noble reach across the pond, preparing to launch more services and devices in the UK and Europe, Tesco is stepping up its own territorial imperative with the $7.2 million purchase of white-label digital bookseller Mobcast. "The acquisition further strengthens Tesco’s digital entertainment offer, following the purchase of movie and TV streaming service blinkbox in 2011 and personalised internet radio service WE7 in June 2012," the company commented in a press release.

According to Mobcast, e-Book sales via portable devices are projected to reach nearly $10 billion globally by 2016, three times expectations for 2012, with close to 30% of e-books purchased on tablets, 15% on smartphones and 55% on e-readers. And while Tesco accounted for 10.7% of UK entertainment sales this spring, Amazon gained a 21.1% share according to British trade journal The Bookseller.Continue reading...


The Week in China: Giant, Apple, Björn Borg, Scotland, Australia and Bentleys

Posted by Abe Sauer on August 31, 2012 12:19 PM

China is the second latest economy in the world, every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse!); but who's got the time?! A weekly potpourri of ten reads that will make you look like a keen China observer during any conversation about China.

Apple, Björn Borg, Scotland and Australia, Ford, Hermes, brand colors, Bentleys, deleted photos of China's leader riding a Taiwanese bicycle and more... Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

London 2012 Paralympics Medal in Ratings For Channel 4

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 31, 2012 10:06 AM

A peak audience of 11.2 million watched Channel 4's broadcast of the rousing opening ceremony for the London 2012 Paralympic Games, titled “Enlightenment.” An average 7.7 million tuned in to see the four-hour show on August 29th. (Not coincidentally, the Queen entered the stadium at 8:45pm, when viewing peaked.)

The British broadcaster reported that it was its largest audience in more than 10 years. "Last night's opening ceremony was a spectacular start to the London 2012 Paralympic Games," said Channel 4's Jay Hunt. "I'm delighted that so many viewers enjoyed it with us." 

The ceremony, inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest and following on from the "pandemonium" of the London 2012 Games Opening Ceremony, focused on the story of scientific discovery and education.

Sir Ian McKellen danced to a stirring version of "I Am What I Am," as the stadium was transformed into a representation of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland. Accompanied by narration from physicist Stephen Hawking, a new musical piece based on Newton’s Principia Mathematica underscored the theme of the Games: ability and achievement come in many forms.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

Channel 4 Ad Revenue Boosted By Biggest-Ever Paralympics

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 22, 2012 11:30 AM

The five Olympic rings are being replaced by the three Paralympic agitos as the London 2012 Games prepare for new venues, world records and athletes, including 1,800 wheelchair users, 22 assistance dogs, and 293 buses converted for extra wide access.

This will be the biggest Paralympics in history, with 4,200 Paralympians from 165 nations competing in sports ranging from wheelchair racing, athletics, and blind football to wheelchair rugby.

"We are seeing the nation really embracing the Paralympics, buying tickets and putting us on the way to being the first sold-out Paralympics and showing a huge amount of interest in Paralympics GB," said Paralympics GB's chief executive Tim Hollingsworth. 

Paralympics TV broadcaster Channel 4 is offering packages of eight-ten spots, including both daytime and prime. “We think that the Paralympics will perform strongly from a viewing standpoint, so it is a smart buy,” said Adrian English, head of media investment at agency Carat. Continue reading...

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