Posted by Abe Sauer on May 17, 2013 01:46 PM
China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.
This week: VW gets nostalgic... Luxury brands suffer... Starbucks canbalizes itself... Apple "ruins" family life... Translating cat app... Tencent profits... BYD... Let Li... Dutch infant formula... What Taobao can tell you about breast size... McDonald's McCafe absurdity... Face toothpaste... What a poorly made $30 hamburger reveals about China's middle class... and more.Continue reading...
sports in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 29, 2013 03:36 PM
Starting last Thursday, bigwigs from the NFL’s 32 teams gathered at New York’s Radio City Music Hall to select young players in the hopes that they would become the next John Elway, Gale Sayers, or O.J. Simpson. (Well, OK, maybe not O.J.)
Since 1980, the Draft has been televised and it audience has grown exponentially, with an expected viewership of 50 million for this past weekend's broadcast, Ad Age reports. With that kind of captive audience, sponsorships and advertisers have grown as well. There were 19 official sponsors of the event this year, up from 16 last year. The list included Anheuser-Busch, Nike, Verizon, Pepsi, GMC, Visa, EA Sports, Under Armour, Gatorade and Castrol. It's no doubt that the big names spent more than the $15 million spent across ESPN and the NFL Network last year and the $11.9 million spent the year before.
"To the credit of the NFL, it's the most robust league," Ernest Lupinacci, founder of branding consultancy Ernest Industries, told Ad Age. "They announced the [2013 regular season] schedule and people went crazy. It was as if they let us know they were bringing the McRib sandwich back."Continue reading...
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on March 21, 2013 09:22 AM
Adobe confirms its CTO Kevin Lynch has left the company for a job at Apple.
Chipotle is risking its brand by venturing into the public debate about gay rights, LGBT community says #ThanksChipotle.
NBC to NYT: Jimmy Fallon is expected to succeed Jay Leno on the "Tonight Show" by fall 2014 as NBC struggles with weak ratings.
Aeropostale targets millenials with new in-store #tech.
Aldi and Whole Foods to boycott genetically modified salmon.
Apple's plan for augmented reality amidst another lawsuit on patent infringement.
Barclays announces massive bonuses on UK budget day.
BlackBerry denies report that BB10 failed UK government security test.
Global airline profits are flying high.
Harvard researchers have linked sugary drinks to 180,000 deaths a year worldwide.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 20, 2013 05:33 PM
Retailers are trying to cope with the challenge of an increasingly mobile consumer who conducts life digitally. This means meeting consumers' expectations on a whole new playing field: the mobile device.
According to Interbrand's just-released Best Retail Brands 2013 report, "retailers are mobilizing to address the larger issues around digital: Where and how does it fit into the organization? How can development teams be reorganized and silos lowered to accommodate a multichannel approach? How will the brand's culture change in response?"
While mobile sales are insignificant now, they are growing rapidly. In-store mobile payments almost quadrupled last year, and PayPal alone processed around $14 billion in mobile payments in 2012, according to Business Insider. That means mobile payments need to be a key part of future retail strategy. Just last week, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a report, "Paper, Plastic... or Mobile?" The FTC cites a KPMG survey that found that 83 percent of executives in retail, financial services, technology and telecommunications believe mobile payments will see widespread consumer adoption by 2015.
Another recent study, by JPMorgan, divides the current state of the mobile commerce market: mobile acceptance (any mobile-based payment solution), mobile wallets (applications that enable consumers to use mobile devices for payment instead of credit or debit cards) and mobile commerce (e-commerce via any mobile device).Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 6, 2013 04:13 PM
It may seem counter-intuitive, but MasterCard and Visa are in the midst of a technology war that may some day eliminate plastic credit cards.
At the recent Mobile World Congress, MasterCard introduced a mobile payments system called MasterPass, while Visa announced mobile payment partnerships with Samsung and Roam, a maker of point-of-sale systems. Both MasterCard and Visa, as well as others including Square, PayPal and Affirm, newly launched by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, are going after the same golden ring: the emerging mobile payments market.
MasterCard's MasterPass is a good example of where mobile payments technology is headed. According to Ed McLaughlin, chief emerging payments officer for MasterCard, "MasterPass brings together all of the ways we pay for things, from traditional plastic cards to digital wallets, and gives consumers the ability to make a payment from wherever they are and with one simple experience." MasterPass will offer checkout services that support anything from tags, mobile devices and QR codes used at point-of-sale to a simplified checkout process for online retailers. It will also provide "digital wallets" that banks, merchants and partners can adapt for their own use, featuring an open system that even MasterCard competitors can use. Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 30, 2013 06:31 PM
Just four days before the game, only a few Super Bowl advertisers have kept the creative content of their commercials entirely under wraps — and even fewer are yet to come forward reveal their participation.
One of the last hand-raisers came clean today: Speed Stick, which will air its first-ever Super Bowl commercial. The spot will represent the latest execution of "Handle It," a campaign that "celebrates moments when guys are sweating on the inside but step up and Handle It on the outside," according to a release.
In the spot, "Laundry," which was crowdsourced by the Tongal video community, a man demonstrates that he knows how to "handle it" in a laundromat when a woman finds him accidentally handling a pair of her panties. With the ad, Speed Stick and parent Colgate joinma men's personal-care battle-within-a-battle during the Super Bowl, competing against Unilever's Axe (which is sending contest winners to space).
Calvin Klein is also making its Super Bowl debut, and it's also about men and underwear:Continue reading...
follow the money
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 9, 2013 10:07 AM
Banks are always crowing about how they aren’t going to have fees for this or that, but somehow, over time, the monthly bank statement comes and there are a load of fees on there. And most of them are worded in such a way that the consumer has absolutely no idea what they are for.
Australian Josh Reich has certainly felt the bewilderment. “Banks make money by keeping customers confused,” Reich told the New York Times. “There’s no incentives to make the experience better.”
So what did Reich do? He partnered with a pal, Shamir Karkal, and started an online bank, Simple, a “worry-free alternative to traditional banking” that doesn't charge any fees.
Formerly known as BankSimple, the Portland, Ore.-based startup which has now processed more than $200 million in transactions, offers its 20,000 customers data-rich analysis of expenditures as well.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 15, 2012 12:06 PM
Back in January 2011, Starbucks became the first national retailer to offer its own mobile payment technology combined with a loyalty program. It led to more than 100 million mobile transactions occurring in its U.S. stores since the launch.
Now, in a move to push mobile commerce even further, Starbucks is accepting payments in some 7,000 retail locations via Square, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey's mobile payment app for iOS and Android smartphones. In addition to laying out cash for that latte, users of Square Wallet can browse menu information and store hours, gain access to their transaction history, and even explore nearby businesses. Since Square Wallet is linked to a debit or credit card, there's never a need to reload a balance, and a digital receipt appears instantly.
It's not only been a huge boost for the Square brand (as Dorsey tweeted, "Immensely proud of the teams at Square and Starbucks: 7,000 stores launched 3 months TO THE DAY after signing the deal. #nailedit"). The announcement by Starbucks seems to come at a time of increased activity that could make 2013 the year of mass adoption of mobile payment technology. Indeed, Dorsey this week announced that "Square is now facilitating over $10 billion of commerce annually for small businesses across the US. Up $2 billion in just 2 months."Continue reading...