Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 20, 2013 01:33 PM
BBC Worldwide has only been the sole owner of the Lonely Planet brand since 2011 after buying 75 percent of it in 2007, but it's been ready for some time to let it go.
For $42 million less than it had purchased it for—and after years of partnering with Melbourne, Australia-based founders Tony and Maureen Wheeler to build the business into a strong global brand—BBC Worldwide this week sold the world's biggest travel publisher for $77.7 million. The buyer is NC2 Media, which vaguely describes itself as “primarily engaged in the creation, acquisition and distribution of quality digital content and the development of the technologies to make that possible.”
The media company is run by a billionaire Kentucky recluse who supposedly doesn’t use email, made a good chunk of money from selling low-cost cigarettes before selling them off and renouncing tobacco, and is one of the top five landowners in the U.S. with 1.7 million acres to his name, Brad Kelley.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 20, 2013 12:47 PM
Emblematic of the slow but steady rise in health and wellness awareness, the gold-standard of ‘conscious capitalism,’ natural grocer Whole Foods is taking its brand and business acumen into the health resort sector.
"We have the perfect vehicle for this," Whole Foods Market co-CEO John Mackey told USA Today. "Think of it as a center where people would go for a day, a weekend or a week for healthy lifestyle education."
Call it a spa, resort or "healthy lifestyle education center," it's planned to open in the brand's Austin, Texas, hometown within three years—a pilot project that could catapult the company into the lucrative market pioneered by Canyon Ranch or Pritikin, or it could be another failure along the lines of the five education-focused Wellness Clubs that Whole Foods tested in 2006, including a location in Dallas.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 19, 2013 11:02 AM
Describing something that is oversized may soon involve a lawyer. The terms “titanic” and “gigantic” are both being considered for trademarking.
The man behind the plan, Clive Palmer, is an Australian billionaire who is having the Titanic completely re-created by a Chinese shipyard so it can set sail from England for North America in 2016. Palmer’s Blue Star Line, named after White Star Line, the company that owned the original Titanic, has filed a trademark request for a number of terms, including "Titanic," "Titanic II," "Titanic III," "Blue Star Line," and "Gigantic", although he's already promoting "Titanic II" on his website.
Palmer, a mining tycoon, believes that White Star Line had thought about naming one of its ships Gigantic, but never got around to it after its Titanic liner famously slammed into an iceberg near Newfoundland and sank, taking more than 1,500 lives along with it. “I think [the trademark application] will be OK,” Palmer said, according to Australia’s Boorowa News. “We'll just see how we go. I think there is a report back on it already, saying it is OK for a ship.”
However, there is some debate as to what he'll be able to trademark.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 15, 2013 04:06 PM
News of the Carnival Triumph’s ‘cruise from hell’ was nearly exhausted as the limping, stinking ship arrived by tug boat in Mobile, Alabama, thanks to wall-to-wall social media coverage and CNN’s helicopter suspended overhead.
All that remains now is a report card on how Carnival is handling the crisis, and what the impact will be on the industry. "You have 3,100 people on that ship telling their family and friends they're never going on a cruise again, you have tweets and photos coming out now, and you have a freakin' CNN helicopter overhead. You think that's not going to resonate?" commented travel expert Jason Clampet, co-founder of travel website Skift.com.
Stranded at sea for five days following a fire in the ship's engine room, Carnival launched a dedicated news page on its website, continually updated its Facebook page (with two million likes) and used two Twitter feeds (@CarnivalCruise and @CarnivalPR) with tweets such as: "We've taken more than 7,000 calls from family & friends & have been in regular contact with our guests' designated on-shore contacts."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 19, 2012 01:07 PM
There’s one in Denmark, and there’s one in England. And now there will be one in Carlsbad, California: a Legoland Hotel. Don’t worry, the place won’t be built out of Legos – at least not the whole thing.
The hotel – complete with a dragon-guarded entrance -- is slated to open in early April of next year right outside the Legoland theme park and will feature “interactive Lego features, themed play areas, family pool and kid's entertainment,” according to Lego's website. The 250 rooms at California's Legoland Hotel will all have a theme: Pirate, Kingdom, or Adventure.
Since the hotel is aimed at housing families who are in town to visit the Legoland theme park (and not to those harboring pirate fantasies of one sort or another), each room has two sleeping areas, one with a queen-sized bed and the other with sleeping spaces for up to three kids. After all, it's hard to beat a brand extension you can sleep in.
No wonder Lego is rolling in dough right now.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on November 29, 2012 12:14 PM
Looking to boost its profile globally, one city deep in China's interior turned to its most famous resident: The Panda.
Earlier this year, the “Pambassador” campaign was born, a project aimed at reinventing Chengdu as an economically sustainable, friendly city open to the world. Pambassador stunts have managed to spoof the royal family (upsetting a few Brits in the process), dance Gangnam in London, and "go wild" in Hong Kong while racking up over 404,000 fans on Facebook, hundreds of thousands of YouTube views and 60,000 commitments worldwide from people looking to live in Chengdu.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 20, 2012 02:12 PM
The Canadian Tourism Commission must be sick of selling the same old images — charming as they are — of the cobblestone streets of Quebec City, Toronto’s CN Tower, Montreal’s cathedrals, Vancouver’s Lookout, people playing hockey or skiing, Mounties on horseback, and random creatures (moose! geese!) in the wild.
The CTC knew there was a lot more out there to sell but they didn’t have the resources to dig them all up and sift through every last thing so they got with the times and crowdsourced their efforts. And when Canada crowdsources, it doesn’t go halfway.
The CTC’s 35 Million Directors project last summer asked all of its residents to take pictures and video of the things they love about where they live and send them in. A wealth of new material, more than 8,000 entries, poured into the CTC’s offices and now the organization has debuted its first ad in the campaign, using material from its contributors.Continue reading...
games people play
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 19, 2012 12:04 PM
Who needs in-flight entertainment when passengers can entertain each other? American Airlines' iPad app has been upgraded to add "Know It All," a free trivia game that pits fliers on Wi Fi-equipped flights against each other, in addition to passengers on other flights and players on the ground. The app is also updated for iPhone and iPod touch.
According to AA's press release, "From Nov. 19 to Dec. 31, 2012, fans who have "liked" American's Facebook page can register for a chance to win a weekly drawing for 100,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles. In addition, registrants who have downloaded the iPad app and played Know It All will be featured on a Facebook leaderboard. Each week, the Know It All player with the top score will receive an extra entry for the 100,000 bonus miles."
Download the app here.