2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

tech in the spotlight

Chromecast Set to Debut New Streaming Partners as Interest Grows

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 30, 2013 01:35 PM

Chromecast, Google's latest TV-streaming product, is officially a runaway hit among consumers and media brands. Now, Vimeo, Verizon and Redbox Instant are joining the current lineup of Netflix, YouTube, Pandora and Google Play on the $35 dongle device, with more in the works. 

Gigaom reports that hackers have uncovered code that indicates the platform may be gearing up to host HBO Go as well. Alluding to a coming partnership, Vimeo VP of mobile, Nick Alt, told GigaOm, "We’re excited about the emerging opportunities bridging mobile to Connected TV and we look forward to offering Chromecast support in our products."Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Google Shutters Netflix Promo as Chromecast Sells Out in Less Than a Day

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 26, 2013 10:42 AM

Google's just-released Chromecast device, priced at $35, sold out on Amazon.com and BestBuy.com by Thursday morning, just hours after it was announced on Wednesday. 

Dubbed a low-cost challenger to internet streaming devices like Apple TV and Roku, Chromecast also came packaged with a free, three-month subscription to content partner Netflix. However, after demand surged for the device, Google announced late Thursday that the free subscription was no longer available.Continue reading...

follow the money

PayPal Gaffe Makes Pennsylvania Man World's Richest—for a Brief Moment

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 18, 2013 06:10 PM

Bill Gates may be the world’s wealthiest person (at least today) with a net worth of $73.7 billion, but Pennsylvania resident Chris Reynolds briefly topped the Microsoft founder—thanks to an unusually large deposit from PayPal.  

The 56-year-old opened up his monthly PayPal account notice last week and discovered that he had been credited with $92 quadrillion ($92,233,720,368,547,800), making him the world’s first quadrilionaire and one thousand times richer than the entire planet's combined GDP.

The wealth was brief, however. By the time he logged in, the account balance was back down to a more paltry sum: zero. "I was skeptical,” Reynolds told the LA Times. "And my skepticism was validated within two minutes."Continue reading...

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e-commerce

Square Takes Mobile Commerce Online with New Market

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 26, 2013 06:50 PM

In a classic bait and switch, Square, the mobile payments company known for its quarter-sized credit-card reader, is taking its business online in a direct challenge to PayPal, which is moving more of its services offline into brick-and-mortar retailers. 

After dominating the mobile card reader market, including a hefty deal with Starbucks locations, Square is turning its attention to e-commerce with its new Square Market, which enables merchants to list their products on a website where Square will handle payment processing and deliver cheaper point-of-sale credit card payments (2.75 percent per transaction) by replacing equipment with a smartphone or tablet computer.

"There's a blurring of the lines between offline and online commerce," Square's chief executive, Jack Dorsey, told the Wall Street Journal. "This is the next obvious step for us,” he said, while PayPal's VP lobal product Hill Ferguson commented, "We feel good about our position. When you're successful at something, others try to follow you.”Continue reading...

mobile commerce

Groupon Plays for Mobile E-Commerce but is Haunted by Past Underperformance

Posted by Dale Buss on June 10, 2013 12:56 PM

Groupon keeps pivoting to a new mobile-based e-commerce business model, but there are a lot of obstacles to morphing into a top competitor in a space that is attracting many other significant brands.

The Chicago-based company, of course, was the pioneer in the business of offering online deals at local merchants, and founder Andrew Mason built Groupon into the giant of that industry and a $20-a-share IPO nearly two years ago. Then Groupon got competition in that space and merchants began grousing that the architecture of the Groupon deals was far better for consumers than for them. Mason was sacked in February and now board members are looking for a permanent CEO.

In the meantime, investors and employees alike have been heartened that Groupon not only has shored up its local-deals business but also is in hard pursuit of a big chunk of the mobile-shopping business, hoping to become the first big e-commerce player to get the majority of its revenue from mobile.Continue reading...

retail watch

eBay Debuts Shoppable Touchscreen Windows in Latest Retail Expansion

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 5, 2013 03:17 PM

eBay is diving deeper into mobile-enabled, real-time shopping with the launch of "shoppable windows," which will bolster the site's partnership with physical retailers while capitalizing on the greater shift to on-the-go shopping. 

The once online auction-only behemoth continues to expand its role as a middleman between consumers and retailers, following earlier pop-up shops and virtual storefronts. Last year saw the introduction of the mobile, same-day delivery shopping service eBay Now (which is relaunching on mobile) as well as partnerships with major retailers such as Macy's on mobile payments, and wooing major retailers like Target.

The first four windows will be open from June 8 through July 7 in New York City, each offering 30 items from the new Kate Spade Saturday collection, which was recently launched by Fifth & Pacific. The screens, which measure 9 feet across and 2 feet high, are placed on the front windows of closed stores, allowing shoppers to touch and order products, which are delivered within an hour via courier. Payment will be accepted by couriers through PayPal Here, eBay’s mobile payment service.Continue reading...

e-commerce

Amazon Takeover Seems Imminent as Reports Say Grocery Service Set to Expand

Posted by Barry Silverstein on June 5, 2013 12:24 PM

Amazon, the $60 billion e-commerce giant that sells just about everything online, is ready to make a play for the biggest plum of them all: the online grocery business. 

The company, which has used its home base of Seattle to test its "AmazonFresh" grocery delivery service for years, could begin rolling out the service to other cities this year, first Los Angeles and then San Francisco, according to Reuters. If all goes according to plan, AmazonFresh could show up in as many as 20 other cities, even some outside the United States, next year.

In a remarkable progression, Amazon has grown from an online bookseller to the world's largest e-commerce retailer. Along the way, it has expanded into virtually every product category, if not on its own, by acquiring companies like Zappos, the online shoe seller. Amazon already sells a wide range of consumer goods, such as health, beauty and cleaning products, but delivering perishable items brings a whole new level of complexity to its expansion. That's why Amazon is said to be adding refrigeration equipment to distribution centers outside the Seattle area.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Zynga, Lululemon, Monsanto and more

Posted by Dale Buss on June 4, 2013 09:20 AM

In the News

Zynga cuts staff to pre-IPO level.

Lululemon brings back yoga pants.

Monsanto plans to quit lobbying on GMO issues in Europe.

Apple is accused by prosecutors of helping drive up e-book prices.

Birchbox rebrands its beauty and lifestyle subscription service. 

Cadillac posts biggest sales surge since 1976.

Chipotle expands ShopHouse Asian concept.

Dunkin' Donuts to roll out glazed-doughnut sandwich nationwide.

eBay forms partnership with India's Snapdeal.

FedEx parks jets sooner to cut costs as economy slows.Continue reading...

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