Posted by Dale Buss on November 20, 2013 07:54 PM
It's the holiday shopping season, so everything in the world of retail is on heightened alert these days. That especially includes Walmart, which is getting assailed on all sides again with criticism of its human-resources policies. And its customers aren't proving very cooperative, either.
Walmart executives are busily prepping for an earlier-than-ever opening next week for Black Friday weekend, on Thanksgiving. It's proving to be a necessary step as Walmart and most other US retailers are coming to grips with the extreme stubbornness of American consumers this holiday season in freely opening their pocketbooks. Promotions of all sorts—including "early" openings for the biggest shopping day of the year—have been sprung en masse even earlier than usual.
But in addition to gearing up properly for the holidays, in an attempt to goose US same-store sales that have been stagnant lately, Walmart is having to mount some social-reputation fences against issues ranging from an adverse ruling by the US National Labor Relations Board to publicity over a charitable gesture at one of its stores that seems to underscore the notion that full-time Walmart employees can't afford to live on what they earn in the store.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on November 1, 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: Apple sales analysis… McDonald's minions rise and KFC's bucket demise… One Direction for Toyota.. e-commerce boost… infant formula vending machines… China's nuts for "土豪金" gold culture… Amazon wine… "China's Craigslist"… Ashton Kutcher… Taobao encourages showrooming… 53,000 square foot Disney Store... and more.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 30, 2013 06:35 PM
Actor Ashton Kutcher is as much known for his on-screen skills as his off-screen antics, most of which revolve around technology and his various entrepreneurial endeavors. In fact, along with his 15 million Twitter followers, Kutcher just wrapped up his role depicting Apple's Steve Jobs in a biopic.
The number of people interested in Kutcher's tech-driven activities did not go unnoticed by Lenovo, which struck a deal with Kutcher to serve as the computer maker's new brand ambassador and one-man focus group. On Tuesday night, the company livestreamed a press conference annoucing the relationship before shipping the actor to China to toy around with its new Yoga tablet and share his thoughts with product engineers.
"Ashton Kutcher is the ultimate super user," David Roman, Lenovo's chief marketing officer, told Ad Age. "The super user is helpful to us in defining products and experiences that consumers want. His sense of what technology can do through his own use and the technology he's seen through his other startups [helps us.] And his celebrity helps us in marketing."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 30, 2013 09:22 AM
Amazon rolls out Kindle MatchBook program that bundles print books with discounted e-books.
Dell is officially private.
Twitter rolls out richer feed with videos, images.
AT&T puts Halloween twist on "It's not complicated" campaign with cute kids.
Barnes & Noble turns out new, lighter Nook Simple Touch GlowLight.
BlackBerry met with Facebook on potential bid.
British American Tobacco apoligizes for advertising e-cigarette brand in kids' app.
CBS said to be developing streaming news channel.
Chevrolet faces "B Strong" backlash.
Chrysler profits are boosted by pickups and SUVs.
Comcast's rebranded Xfinity TV Go app will stream like TV from anywhere.
Facebook reportedly offered $1 billion to buy Snapchat.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 29, 2013 01:26 PM
Steve Jobs would likely be pleased that his forthcoming biopic is getting the royal social media treatment.
The film, which stars Ashton Kutcher, has released three Instagram trailers, one movie poster and now an official website fit for additional promotion and social reblogging.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 4, 2013 07:27 PM
Ashton Kutcher is happy to flog his own products. This is the Twitter-savvy guy, after all, who invested in tech startups and then gave them some promo space on his sitcom, Two and a Half Men. He did the same thing when he guest-edited the first "social issue" of Details a few years back.
Now he’s got his money invested in a T-shirt company, so consumers shouldn’t be surprised when Kutcher shows up everywhere they look wearing one of his own products—if you can identify the logo-less tees, that is. The online company, Pickwick and Weller, was founded with two other fellas and goes after the “luxury for less” market.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 8, 2013 03:24 PM
The list reads like a Who’s Who of A-list celebrities: Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Victoria Beckham, Swizz Beatz, will.i.am. But it's not a concert bill.
Instead, it's a list of stars who have recently agreed to serve as creative directors for brands — a trend that seems to blur the lines between star bling and business acumen.
Bud Light Platinum is the latest, announcing this week that it's inked deal with Justin Timberlake “to provide creative, musical and cultural curation for the brand.” The collaboration is to debut at Sunday’s 55th Grammy Awards via an ad, "Platinum Night," which features his latest single, "Suit & Tie." "Bud Light Platinum brings a refined, discerning aesthetic to beer that plays well with what I'm doing," Timberlake stated in a press release.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 28, 2013 08:01 PM
Whether Beyonce actually dared to lip-sync the National Anthem during President Obama's second inauguration, one thing is clear: The controversy has landed her back in the headlines, if not as disgraced as Lance Armstrong and Manti Te'o.
Beyonce stands a major chance at public redemption with her Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday, to be sponsored by Pepsi, and by the continued unfolding of her $50-million endorsement relationship with the soft-drink brand. There's also an upcoming HBO documentary about her life.Continue reading...