Posted by Dale Buss on November 21, 2011 08:54 AM
Alleghany to buy Transatlantic.
American Apparel acting president quits.
Apple leapfrogs Argos to become 2nd biggest online retailer in the U.K., as textbooks and photography tops its new product priorities and Grand Central NYC store prepares to open and iPhone 4S heads to China.
Berkshire Hathaway to invite Wall Street analysts to annual meeting for once as Warren Buffett, excited about Japan, says company could spend $10 billion on its next acquisition.
Best Buy sees shoppers in Florida camping out since last week for Black Friday.
Chevron accepts responsibility for oil spill off Brazil.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 15, 2011 04:04 PM
When 1985’s Back to the Future blew the doors off of the box office (eventually pulling in $303.87 billion), two sequels were automatically set into motion and released in 1989 and 1990. And somewhere in there, someone got fully turned onto the joy of product placement.
Back to the Future II was particularly chockfull of brand names, including Pepsi, Texaco, Mattel, Pizza Hut, Black and Decker, The Weather Channel, 7-Eleven, and AT&T, among others. But fans salivated most over the special shoe that Nike designer Tinker Hatfield created for the film, the Nike MAG shoe, with its glowing LED panel and an electroluminescent “Nike” for Michael J. Fox to wear as the film’s hero, Marty McFly.
Sneaker aficionados had been begging the company for years to release the same shoe to the mainstream. So in a highly-publicized eBay auction in September, Nike made only 1,500 to auction off on eBay to raise cash for Michael J. Fox’s Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The result was $4.7 million from consumers, which a matching initiative doubled to $9.4 million.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 14, 2011 06:06 PM
Amazon is ready to lose a whole lot of dough — potentially, millions of dollars — on its Prime loyalty service in order to beat the likes of Apple and Walmart in the same marketplace, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The short-term loss for long-gain strategy appears to be the plan, as the Journal reports Amazon will be adding more titles and features to the service that costs $79 annually to the consumer.
As it battles Apples iTunes and app stores, Prime now offers on-demand movies and a lending library for Kindle owners in addition to the shipping discounts it started with, the Journal notes.Continue reading...
Posted by Michael Waltzer on November 14, 2011 04:30 PM
In the world of Altoids, you can't be curious enough. Which is why, with the help of Energy BBDO, the brand is inviting fans to explore the Altoids Hall of Curiosity. The site includes a back story on how "Once upon a time a there were Altoids.
A mint so strong, it changed the course of history forever (and ever and ever.)" Historical relics from Altoids' "curiously strong" past are on display and also available on eBay for auction to the highest bidders.Continue reading...
brands with balls
Posted by Dale Buss on November 11, 2011 01:14 PM
Only in America, as they say. Or in this case, on an American ship -- a big one, the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, to be exact.
The ultimate in cross-promotional sports events will unfold this evening as the NCAA takes a cue from the NFL and makes a much bigger deal out of its "opening day" than has been its previous custom. In a 7 p.m. game on ESPN that will pit Michigan State versus No. 1-ranked North Carolina on the custom-made court, there also will be lots of other key tilts and branding opportunities: Former Spartan Magic Johnson vs. former Tar Heel James Worthy. Coaches Izzo vs. Williams. Sponsors Coke Zero vs. Miller High Life. Obama vs. Osama. And Brooklyn Decker vs. -- well, there might not be a match.
The NCAA is really good at ginning up Americans' enthusiasm for basketball in the spring, with March Madness and all. But this represents the college game's biggest attempt yet to turn up the marketing booster rockets beneath a part of the hoops season that typically is pretty limp.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 7, 2011 12:44 PM
Heading into the holidays, eBay today launched a new section (eBay.com/Celebrity) to promote auctions raising funds and awareness for celebrities' personal causes.
"Only eBay has the innovative technology and large portfolio of tools to combine celebrity, charity and commerce to engage consumers with the causes they care about most," said Richelle Parham, Chief Marketing Officer for eBay North America, in a statement. "We couldn't think of a better time then during the holiday season to unveil eBay Celebrity, when giving back to a good cause is always a top consideration."
The first round of charity auction items available on eBay Celebrity includes a chance to attend Brad Pitt's "A Night to Make It Right" gala at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans on March 10. Other celebs on board include Christina Aguilera, Jeff Bridges, Sienna Miller, Hayden Panettiere, Katy Perry, and Troy Polamalu. More details on the initiative in eBay's Q&A with senior manager of public relations Amanda Miller, who speareheaded the project, in the video above.
Posted by Dale Buss on November 2, 2011 01:57 PM
Self-scanning checkouts in grocery stores have proved only a mixed success, so it's only natural that some supermarket chains now want to create even more "opportunity" for customers to handle the tedious checkout chore themselves.
Kroger, Stop and Shop and Giant grocery chains in the US are in various stages of testing or rolling out handheld wands that you wave at bar codes as you take stuff off the shelves and then bag things yourself in the cart. It keeps a running tally, and — presto! Because most of those nasty traditional functions of the checkout process already have been taken care of, exiting the store becomes almost as quick as swiping your credit or debit card at the cashier.
At least that's the idea, Kroger executives told WCPO in Cincinnati. Not surprisingly, other retailers are testing how to use smartphones to do the scanning, to eliminate the cost and complication of the wands.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 14, 2011 04:06 PM
The stagnant world economy continues to be a drag on consumer demand, even as the 2011 holiday season approaches. The growth rate for the upcoming holiday season will be 2.8 percent in total retail sales -- half of last year's 5.6 percent actual growth -- according to London-based Kantar Retail, a division of Kantar Group, the insight and consulting arm of WPP, the world's largest communications group.
The breakdown of where sales will come from is a true sign of the times -- and a warning to traditional retailers. Kantar predicts that U.S. online sales from October through December will rise 13.5 percent, to $60.4 billion from $53.2 billion last year. While this is lower than the percentage increase from 2009 to 2010, it speaks to the continuing growth in market share of online shopping. Continue reading...