Posted by Dale Buss on January 10, 2013 02:24 PM
McDonald's spent a good portion of last year in the U.K. promoting exercise for kids with tie-ins to the 2012 London Olympics. It also introduced a fruit-juice-based drink called Fruitizz as part of its Happy Meal revamp.
Now, McDonald's U.K. is pivoting to feed kids' minds as well. It has launched a new campaign called Happy Readers to put millions of kids' books into the hands of families and to help make reading fun.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 4, 2013 03:06 PM
Public apologies by high-profile experts are rare, making this week's anti-GMO reversal — call it a GMea Culpa — by British environmentalist, author and Oxford University visiting research associate Mark Lynas particularly stunning.
Lynas spurred the anti-GMO movement in the mid-‘90s, continuing to argue as recently as 2008 that corporate greed was threatening Mother Earth and her inhabitants; but at this week's Oxford Farming Conference, he recanted his position in a very public way.
“I want to start with some apologies," he stated. "For the record, here and upfront, I apologise for having spent several years ripping up GM crops. I am also sorry that I helped to start the anti-GM movement back in the mid 1990s, and that I thereby assisted in demonising an important technological option which can be used to benefit the environment.”
“As an environmentalist, and someone who believes that everyone in this world has a right to a healthy and nutritious diet of their choosing, I could not have chosen a more counter-productive path. I now regret it completely. So I guess you’ll be wondering—what happened between 1995 and now that made me not only change my mind but come here and admit it?"Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on January 4, 2013 12:12 PM
Selfridges has revealed its first batch of unbranded products as part of its month-long "No Noise" quiet shopping promotion.
Ahead of Monday's official launch of the event, the British retailer's Oxford Street flagship in London has unveiled its first collection of de-logofied products in partnership with brands in its food hall a trio of bare labels created by Heinz for its iconic ketchup bottle, baked beans tin and Marmite jar. (Warning: It's a "very limited" collection by Heinz, tweeted Selfridges food and restaurants manager David Jarvis.)
Selfridges grocery section of its food hall is now offering on-the-spot juicing by Juice Club UK, healthy snacks (and a food prescription consultation) from WinNaturally and other "food for thought" as part of the promotion inspired by the store's namesake founder — whose story is coming to British TV on Sunday night, with Jeremy Piven starring as "Mr. Selfridge" in ITV's new period drama series.
Other "No Noise" elements shoppers can check out include free meditation sessions and motion sensor window displays from Headspace, cellphone- and shoe-free shopping, art and (quiet) music performances and other moves to turn down the visual and auditory volume as a minimalist kick-off to the new year.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on January 2, 2013 01:47 PM
Here's a retail concept that "No Logo" champion Naomi Klein might approve of — maybe. Britain's fabled Selfridges department store is ushering in the new year with a vow of silence. The "Best Department Store in the World" (according to last year's Global Department Store Summit in Paris) is rolling out a "No-Noise" concept to its flagship stores including London starting January 7th and running through the end of February. As part of the promotion, they're even convincing brands to strip their logos in an attempt to reduce visual noise for shoppers. Some of the "de-branded" items on offer include Levi's 501 jeans and the pricey Crème De La Mer face cream line.
According to Selfridges' blog post, "Some of the world’s most recognisable brands have taken the admirable step of removing their logos in our exclusive collection of de-branded products, available in the Quiet Shop." And it's not just about logo-free shopping (or shhopping, as the case may be), as there will be art and meditation, along with food and music, to clear the mind.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 20, 2012 04:59 PM
When you're a lifestyle brand and not just the logo on some commodity product, you've got to meet and ideally exceed customer expectations. In three arenas around the world, Starbucks is confronting both the challenges and the opportunities in having customer bases that expect more out of it than they do other brands.
In its home turf of Seattle, in addition to Washington, D.C., Orange County, CA and a handful of other locations around the United States, Starbucks finally is addressing customer expressions of a desire for the chain to offer a broader menu than mainly coffee, tea and pastries — and that entails Starbucks creating an evening ambience to match its achievements with other day parts.
A potential answer is Starbucks Evenings, a test concept that has been quietly piloted over the past year. After 4pm daily in these locations, the store flips to a menu offering a selection of wines, beers, various small plates (such as truffle mac and cheese), salads (baby arugula with fresh basil and pickled beets, anyone?), sandwiches (such as fire grilled chicken with goat cheese) and even desserts.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 18, 2012 03:45 PM
British animator Nick Park brought his Academy Award-winning Wallace and Gromit to Bristol studio Aardman Animation, and forever changed the world of animation and commercial production. Now Google+ is tapping the stop motion animated duo for a holiday campaign to promote the social network’s Hangouts social video interactive platform.
“We are thrilled to see Wallace and Gromit use a Google+ Hangout to join the rest of the Aardman family for the very first time,” commented Cristian Cussen, Head of Marketing, Google+, Europe, Middle East & Africa. “We would love for families and friends everywhere to easily connect over the holidays. For those who can’t make it home this year, they can still spend the holidays together through Google+ Hangouts.”Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 17, 2012 12:03 PM
All PR is good PR, right? Getting your brand name in front of as many eyeballs as possible can’t hurt, especially if the eyeballs are attached to bodies that are participating in a fun, engaging activity and so moved to purchase? Well, no.
The eyeballs of Britain have been staring down hard at Starbucks after it surfaced that that the coffee giant has paid only £8.5m ($13.8 million) in tax in the UK since entering the country 14 years ago despite having £3bn ($4.8 billion) in sales in that same time. In the last three years, the company paid exactly nothing in corporate tax in the UK. Some financial wizards at the company (or that the company consulted) figured out a way to make this a legal possibility. It involves the UK division of the company buying its coffee from the Swiss division in order to circumvent the tax charges.
Starbucks has agreed to voluntarily cough up £20m ($32.4 million) over the next two years to help make amends, but the dust-up hasn't settled yet. It's sponsoring an ice skating rink at London’s Natural History Museum, where Jessica Alba took her daughter for a spin. A big screen is pulling in Twitter messages with the hashtag of #spreadthecheer — and some wags took the opportunity to #spreadthesneer.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on December 13, 2012 03:59 PM
Muhammad Shahid Nazir, a fish-seller at Queen's Market in East London's Upton Park, soared to fame when his "Come on, ladies" song to lure buyers to his "one pound fish" stall when it was captured on video and posted on YouTube in April, and now has more than 4.5 million views.
On Dec. 10th he got his own music video — "£1 Fish Man - One Pound Fish - O-Fish-Al Video" — chalking up more than one million views in two days and more than 1.6 million views so far. There's even a Speakerbox remix and a Trap remix (buy them on iTunes), and he has been profiled beyond the UK including on CBS in the US and in Australia. Follow him on Facebook for more.