retail

Whole Foods to Wall Street: We're Back—And Feeling Our Oats

Posted by Dale Buss on March 3, 2015 11:01 AM

Whole Foods Market has come a long way since its humble beginnings in Austin, Texas, in 1980, to more than 400 stores in the US, UK and Canada today.

In the wake of positive response to its first ad campaign, "Values Matter," which debuted in the fall with the goal of highlighting its purpose, values and mission, Whole Foods is touting its renewed momentum—and explaining how it aims to make sure that 2014's letdown never happens again while tripling its store footprint to 1,200 locations.

With that in mind, Co-CEOs John Mackey and Walter Robb, joined by new CMO Jeannine D'Addario, welcomed investors and analysts to the 2015 investors' day at company HQ in Austin on Friday to explain how Whole Foods is on the rebound, and how it plans to continue the momentum going foward. Continue reading...

that's entertainment

All Hail the King: Elvis Returns, in Style, to Las Vegas

Posted by Paula Pou on March 2, 2015 03:17 PM

Elvis is back in the building!

For the first time in 40 years, the King of Rock & Roll will return to Las Vegas with “Graceland Presents ELVIS: The Exhibition—The Show—The Experience.”

Slated to open on April 23 at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, the first-ever permanent Graceland exhibition outside of Memphis will feature hundreds of artifacts as well as live entertainment that celebrates Elvis Presley’s life and legacy.Continue reading...

campaigns

As I'm Lovin' It Reboots, McDonald’s Learns that Lovin’ Ain’t Cheap

Posted by Justin Dean on February 23, 2015 02:16 PM

Fast on the heels of its efforts to refresh its brand in the eyes and social feeds of Millennials, McDonald’s has expanded its “I’m Lovin’ It” refresh strategy with its Pay With Lovin' campaign, which launched during the Super Bowl. 

The promotion saw random guests of the restaurant selected at point-of-purchase to pay with loving gestures of their choice, which could range from calling their moms and hugs to fist-bumps and doing a little dance.

Beyond the bouts of public embarrassment and pleasant surprises, early research reveals only a slight uptick in the brand’s word-of-mouth and purchase consideration, and a minimal—possibly even decreased—impact on buzz.Continue reading...

in the spotlight

Cat Cafés Offer Cuddling, Experiential Marketing to Feline-Loving Consumers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 16, 2014 11:11 AM

The latest in adorable obsessions (and experiential marketing)? Cat cafés are spreading like wildfire.

The "paws marketing" concept began in Asia in the '90s as an antidote to small apartments with no-pet restrictions: Cafés that let customers interact with cats without making the long-term commitment of getting their own. Currently, the model has extended beyond Japan, South Korea and China to Europe, the Middle East and the U.S. The country's first permanent (vs. pop-up) cat cafés opened in New York City and the San Francisco, CA, area this fall.

At the just-opened Meow Parlour in New York's Lower East Side, cat lovers can schedule visits (advanced booking is required) in half-hour increments starting at $4. “You can rent time to access to our space, where we have adoptable free roaming cats. You can come for as little as half an hour so you can just pet the cats or stay for up to five hours where you can use our free wi-fi while a cat naps next to you,” the website says.

Co-founded by Christina Ha and Emilie Legrand, the café's cats are from KittyKind, an all-volunteer, no kill rescue group located in NYC. Human food can be purchased next door at Meow Parlour Patisserie.Continue reading...

branding together

Cup of Joey: Eight O'Clock Coffee and Warner Bros. Celebrate 20 Years of Friends

Posted by Elisabeth Dick Oak on September 23, 2014 12:34 PM

Before you even walk into the new Central Perk pop-up at the corner of Lafayette and Broome Streets in New York City, the first thing you notice is the line stretching around the block. On opening day, nearly 1,500 curious New Yorkers and fans from Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Germany and the Philippines queued up to get their Friends fix and gulped 1,060 free cups of Eight O'Clock Coffee. 

Once inside, you feel as if you've entered a mini-museum. The walls are plastered with photos. Mannequins model costumes from the show. Glass cases display memorabilia such as Ross's "Science Boy" comic book, Monica's engagement ring and Joey's Soap Opera Digest cover issue.

While the pop-up is not an exact replica of the show's Central Perk coffee shop, guests are invited to get their pic snapped on the original pumpkin-colored couch (was it really that orange?) and even meet actor James Michael Tyler, who played barista Gunther on the show.Continue reading...

branded entertainment

Johnnie Walker Aims for Luxury Status with Five-Star Exclusive Theater

Posted by Shirley Brady on September 8, 2014 04:04 PM

Johnnie Walker is upping the stakes in experiential, content marketing to promote its latest exclusive whisky blend and transform into a luxury brand.

Following on its growing stable of Johnnie Walker House local retail experiences in Shanghai and beyond and its global campaign that included a short film starring Jude Law, JOHNNIE WALKER® BLUE LABEL™ next week will stage a one-of-a-kind brand experience in London: Symphony in Blue, billed as "the world’s first theatrical, experiential, musical and artistic journey."

Three performances (two evening and one matinee) will take place on Sept. 16/17 in a multi-sensory cultural event designed to turn elite influencers into brand advocates. The event is being "exquisitely crafted by a star-studded team" that produced the memorable London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony.

Beyond participating in a bespoke branded experience, Symphony in Blue guests will be among the first to enjoy the latest launch from the John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2015: a limited-edition Blue Label Reserve premium whisky blend.Continue reading...

brand essence

Vans Goes Underground in London for Latest Brand Experience

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 12, 2014 01:14 PM

Skateboarding culture is sometimes characterized as being underground, but Vans is taking the word a bit literally. The brand has just opened a skatepark beneath London's Waterloo Station in a spot known locally as the Old Vic Tunnels. The space, called House of Vans London, will also host house parties with a schedule of music performances, art and film screenings—and it’s all free of charge. What slacker isn’t going to love that?

“The House of Vans London is the physical manifestation of the cultures and creativity at the heart of the Vans brand. London is the perfect city to expand this original concept first established in Brooklyn and it’s an honor to take over this iconic venue from the Old Vic,” said Vans VP of marketing Jeremy de Maillard. “We’re looking forward to building on this legacy, working closely with the local communities and key stakeholders involved in the project.”

According to The Guardian, Vans beat out Apple and Nike for rights to the space and create a brand experience that's designed to "engage and inspire youth culture," one that's fortuitously close to London's infamous legal graffiti wall and the South Bank skatepark on the Thames.Continue reading...

start your engines

Harley-Davidson Promises New Electric Bike Won't Disappoint

Posted by Dale Buss on June 19, 2014 05:10 PM

It emits a metallic purr rather than a throaty roar, but Harley-Davidson’s first-ever electric motorcycle is expected to make a big statement for how the brand is transitioning to an era that is increasingly friendly to EVs and more suspect of old-fashioned power supplied by internal combustion of hydrocarbons.

Dubbed Project LiveWire, the brand is taking the new EV prototype across the US to give fans a chance to try out the new technology. The tour will kick off with a journey along Route 66, the fabled US highway in the western part of the country, visiting more than 30 Harley dealerships this year. Riders will be able to ride the Project LiveWire prototype and non-motorcyclists will be able to enjoy a simulation. The tour will extend to other parts of the United States, Canada and Europe next year, the company said.Continue reading...

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