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brand strategy

Verizon Makes Bid to Buyback Stake from Vodafone

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 29, 2013 03:55 PM

Verizon Wireless and British telecom giant Vodafone are in talks that could lead to a multi-billion buyout of Vodafone's Verizon Wireless stocks—a move that would help support Verizon's planned expansion of its high-speed data network, while Vodafone turns its focus back to its home market.

The deal, according to The New York Times, could be worth upwards of $125 billion, making it one of the largest global deals in the last decade. The 45 percent stake sell-off will likely involve a cash-and-stock option that would see Vodafone receiving a 30 percent stake in Verizon, as the parent company looks to take full control over its wireless division, which is the largest cell service provider in the US. 

Vodafone remains the a top operator in eight of its nine Western European markets, but with rising competition from cable companies like Liberty Global, could use the monies to augment fourth-generation wireless networks and pursue acquisitions.Continue reading...

video killed the _____ star

Tesco's Blinkbox Threatens to Unseat Netflix, Amazon in the UK

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 20, 2013 05:10 PM

Tesco, the UK's biggest retailer has moved far beyond its grocery roots. The company has upped its already substantial investment in BlinkBox, a digital download service that streams thousands of movies and TV series to computers, tblets, TVs and Sony's PlayStation 3. Now, its rumored that e-books and music are on the horizon. 

Tesco joins the ranks of fellow streaming service operators including Netflix, Amazon, and Lovefilm, all of which contribute to an industry that is projected to hit $20 billion by 2018, with a 17 percent yearly growth. However, if Tesco finds a way to marry together all of its businesses, it could potentially have a leg-up on major competitors like Netlix. 

“If you can watch a film and get money off your groceries, petrol or extra Clubcard points, then Blinkbox may begin to look more appealing” than Netflix, Amazon, Lovefilm, and even Apple iTunes, Michael Perry, an analyst at Verdict Research told Bloomberg. “Blinkbox definitely poses a threat.”Continue reading...

social media watch

Twitter Latest Social Site to Come Under Fire for Abusive Content, Screening Policy

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 29, 2013 06:26 PM

Twitter is the latest social media site to be scrutinized over harmful content, and the community policies surrounding it. 

Caroline Cried-Perez was recently deluged with rape threats on Twitter after leading a successful campaign to bring greater female representation to UK banknotes, resulting in the announcement that Jane Austen’s image would appear on £10 notes. 

Criado-Perez revealed she received “about 50 abusive tweets an hour for about 12 hours,” after the news hit the social media airwaves. Twitter's current "Report Tweet" button is available on its iOS and web apps, however users tweeting from other platforms must visit an offensive tweeter's profile page in order to report abuse and file several forms.Continue reading...

social media watch

It's a Boy! A Social Media Superstar is Born

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 23, 2013 03:12 PM

It’s a safe bet that the future monarch born to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, has already redefined what it means to be a royal in today's socially-attuned world. 

While the royal couple had kept to tradition as the birth approached, with the events taking place in St. Mary's Hospital's private Lindo Wing, where Princess Diana gave birth to William, the plan took an updated detour when it came to announcing the baby's birth on Monday. According to tradition, birth and death announcements are made by signed notice via an ornate easel set up in front of Buckingham Palace. However, before the notice was posted at the palace, news of the baby boy was released via an electronic press release and on the British Monarchy's social channels, including Facebook and Twitter.

"Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 4.24pm. The baby weighs 8lbs 6oz. The Duke of Cambridge was present for the birth. The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families have been informed and are delighted with the news. The baby is third in the line of succession after His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge. He is styled His Royal Highness Prince [name] of Cambridge."Continue reading...

extreme branding

Game of Thrones Stunt on British Beach Attracts Gargantuan Attention

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 19, 2013 06:12 PM

In the US, HBO’s Game of Thrones sword-and-sorcery series pulled in 16 Emmy nominations Thursday morning, second only to the 17 that FX’s American Horror Story: Asylum garnered. But that wasn’t the only “big” news for fans of Thrones.

The show’s third season is about to kick off in the UK and, to celebrate, British streaming service Blinkbox pulled off a major promotional coup: placing a massive dragon skull on a beach in an area known for its anthropological finds.Continue reading...

sip on this

Coke Slims Down and Spotify's Up to Appeal to UK Youth

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 9, 2013 03:52 PM

Responding to increased awareness of health concerns and economic hardship, Coca-Cola is launching a slimline 250ml can in the UK and co-branding with Spotify, inviting consumers to engage with its Coke Placelists, which encourage consumers to tag where they are listening to music while imbibing on their Coke beverage.

The slimmer cans are rolling out across the company’s MyCoke portfolio which includes Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero, and are the latest in the soft-drink giant’s innovative marketing initiatives ranging from personalized bottles to twist-apart shareable cans.  

"Through the small can we are really trying hard to find the right connection," said Jon Woods, GM Coca-Cola for the UK and Ireland told The Telegraph, noting that with families' weekly disposable income down 5 percent in recent years, the new can is "our most affordable pack ever."Continue reading...

brand innovation

Microsoft Unites Rugby Fans with Skype-Enabled 'Hole in the World' Activation

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 28, 2013 02:36 PM

Sports rivalries can get pretty intense when fans take to the streets, but Microsoft has found a way to make a series of rugby matches between Australia and Wales into not just a peaceful exchange between rivals, but one of the coolest fan interactions ever.

To celebrate a series of matches between the Australian and UK rugby sides, the Seattle-based tech brand is using its Skype technology to enable a virtual "Hole in the World" that allows supporters from both countries to look into an eight-foot-wide “hole” and see fans from the other side, in real-time, thus creating an opportunity for exchanges between the two groups.Continue reading...

chew on this

Shake Shack, Five Guys Ready to Take Premium Burger Battle to UK

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 24, 2013 06:19 PM

While Americans are celebrating America’s birthday on the Fourth of July, some Londoners will be taking part in the opening salvo of a new burger war between two big American brands.

Shake Shack and Five Guys are both set to hold celebratory kickoff shindigs in their new Covent Gardens locations on July 4, just five minutes’ walk from each other. The pair will be vying for the same clientele and likely the same real estate as each brand looks to expand further into the UK, according to Bloomberg.

“We’ve set up a British company and we would never have decided to come here if we didn’t believe that if we do our job, the market could support a minimum of three,” Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer told Bloomberg. His brand has locations in six states in the US and international locations in the Middle East and Turkey. Five Guys is fittingly planning to open five locations in London before expanding further into the UK.Continue reading...

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