Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 23, 2013 11:37 AM
Jennifer Lopez may be the most powerful Hispanic in the entertainment business. Selling more than 75 million records and appearing in films that have grossed more than $2 billion can do that for a person. Recently, J.Lo has been taking her star power over to the business world.
Her latest title is as the majority owner of a new chain of 15 cell phone stores aimed directly at Latinos, Variety reports. Viva Movil will sell Verizon phones and services, with the first retail outpost opening in New York on June 15. Other cities with large Latino populations will follow after that. This isn't just another brand ambassador gig for Lopez; she’s the majority owner and chief creative officer. (This means she’ll be very busy since she also signed on this past fall as chief creative officer of Nuvo TV, an English language TV network targeted at Latinos.)
"It was a no-brainer to finally cater to an overlooked segment of the population that has emerged, to actually do something that caters specifically to them," Lopez told the L.A. Times.Continue reading...
games people play
Posted by Beya Likhari on May 21, 2013 07:56 PM
After 8 years, Microsoft's Xbox announced it’s newest gaming console—Xbox One. The new console has taken the initiative to bring gaming back to the living room—a feat that faces some steep challenges in the name of smartphones and tablets.
However, the most significant reveal ties into a top-of-mind trend that is impacting television broadcasters and mobile carriers across the board: second-screen. At the reveal, General Manager, Phil Spencer stated, “We believe that the television screen remains the most relevant screen in the home.” Microsoft understands that users are sitting in front of the television with tablets and mobile phones and has used this fact to bring back the focus to the television screen, allowing users to seamlessly toggle between surfing the web, watching television and playing a game in a feature called 'instant switching' on the Xbox One.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 21, 2013 02:46 PM
It turns out the smartphone heir apparent is Samsung, as the global leading smartphone maker received quite the blessing from Consumer Reports:
“The Samsung Galaxy S 4, one of the most advanced Android smart phones ever, is our new top-rated smart phone. The S4 delivered top-notch performance in the most critical areas of our tests, including the camera. It dethrones the LG Optimus G, which occupied the top spot in our Ratings for several months.”
The Optimus G is now ranked No. 2, followed by the HTC One, the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Apple iPhone 5. The ranking is yet another blow to Apple's diminishing confidence and a boost to Samsung, as the two smartphone providers have been at each other's throats for a while. Samsung's latest ad was only the most recent in a long line of mud-slinging spots targeting the once dominant company.Continue reading...
let's make a deal
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 10, 2013 12:45 PM
Shares of Barnes & Noble soared 24 percent after it was reported Thursday that Microsoft is considering a bid for the retailer’s Nook e-book business.
Microsoft is reportedly offering $1 billion for the Nook brand and the digital assets of Nook Media on top of their $300 million investment last year to develop Nook content for Windows 8 tablets. "Our complementary assets will accelerate e-reading innovation across a broad range of Windows devices, enabling people to not just read stories, but to be part of them,” said Microsoft president Andy Lees at the time. "We're on the cusp of a revolution in reading."
But the revolution stalled as the Android-based Nook has been a money-loser for B&N, not helping America's biggest bookseller compete against Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 8, 2013 06:26 PM
Target Corp’s Cartwheel, released in public beta today, combines social networking and discounts in the retailer’s latest move to lure traffic to its physical stores and away from online rivals.
As brick and mortar retailers struggle for relevance, fighting the growing trend of “showrooming,” they’re turning to social media to attact consumers with unique deals. Target worked with Facebook for about a year on Cartwheel, whose tagline reads, "A whole new spin on saving," where shoppers can choose from hundreds of deal items such as Target's own Threshold home goods as well as brand goodies like M&Ms candy and Coca-Cola soft drinks.
The Cartwheel launch includes 700 new offers, and claiming any one generates automatic News Feed posts on Facebook unless the user turns them off.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 6, 2013 02:39 PM
Amazon launched its Android app store in China over the weekend, becoming the first Western technology company to offer paid-for Android apps in China. (Google’s Chinese store offers only free apps.) The update effectively launches a new version of Amazon's app store built in Chinese in the form of an Android app, along with a Chinese-language site for developers.
It’s a promising alternative to Google Play for Chinese developers like Tencent and Sina. TechCrunch notes that Amazon's app store provides easier access for developers, who previously had to sell through third-party stores, a global customer base and an "attractive revenue sharing model."
Currently, there are home-grown services that offer paid apps to the Chinese market, the worlds largest in mobile, but many local versions are pirated or have malicious software issues. The Amazon store promises "quality and safety testing" and may very well be the prelude to the launch of its Kindle e-readers in China.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 1, 2013 03:50 PM
For decades, the eponymous mascot of Chuck E. Cheese has appeared to the general public as an extremely sizeable mouse that’s eaten a little too much of the famed restaurant’s pizza. For a time, the guy even carried a cigar around with him. But in a world that has heard a steady drumbeat against child obesity, it hasn’t exactly looked good to have a mascot who looked like he could lose a few pounds.
On Tuesday, Chuck E. Cheese execs and shareholders at the CEC Entertainment’s annual meeting in Texas met a slimmed-down version of Mr. Cheese, whose transformation began last year when his illustrated form changed shape in advertising and signage to become a lot more rock star than his past version.
With the change came the disappearance of the man who was his longtime voice, Duncan Brannan, and the introduction of Jaret Reddick as the new voice of Cheese, according to the Christian Science Monitor. Reddick, of course, is the lead singer of pop-punk band Bowling for Soup, which has a few albums Cheese execs probably wouldn’t want their mascot singing on, such as “Drunk Enough to Dance” and “A Hangover You Don’t Deserve.”
Changing the mascot may be the simplest thing CEC does this year. The 36-year-old company announced in February that its profits fell 20.7 percent to $43.6 million in fiscal year 2012. That’s a little surprising for a brand that was just named the No. 1 kid-friendly restaurant by Technomic's Consumer Restaurants Brand Metrics, based on customer surveys over the last two years.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 17, 2013 07:35 PM
Mondelez International's first-of-its-kind Mobile Futures Network is teaming brands with top entrepreneurial minds to bring pilots to market in as little as 90 days.
"The Mobile Futures program has been an extraordinary experience for all of us at Mondelez International,” said Bonin Bough, vice president of global media and consumer engagement. “It has given us the opportunity to work with and learn from leading mobile innovators to enhance how we engage with our consumers.”
The pilots, focused on mobile-at-retail, social TV and SoLoMo (social/ location/ mobile) technology to enhance consumer experiences and drive impulse purchases have launched across multiple brands under the Mondelez umbrella. The global company hopes that the service-y and social tie-ins will help build brand relevance beyond obvious user engagements for brands like Chips Ahoy! and Stride Gum.Continue reading...