search and destroy

Robin Williams, World Cup Take Top Honors in Google's 2014 Search Recap

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 16, 2014 03:08 PM

In keeping with Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, Google has now released its annual summary of the most-searched topics of 2014. And while the World Cup in Brazil this past summer may have drawn a billion people to watch its final match, the event was apparently no match for the effect that Robin Williams' death would have on the Internet.

According to Google, Williams was the most-searched for subject worldwide this year, trumping the World Cup, Ebola, missing plane MH 370, ALS, Flappy Bird, Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst, ISIS, Frozen and Sochi, Russia, the home of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Google notes that, perhaps as a silver lining to Williams' death, searches for depression tests and mental health also went up after he died. In addition, people searched for clips to watch Williams in some of his classic roles, such as in Mork and MindyDead Poets Society and Aladdin.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Yahoo Eyes Snapchat, HP Splits, Domino's Siri and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 5, 2014 12:45 PM

TOP STORIES

Domino's pitches Dom voice-ordering app in US TV spot during NBC's Sunday Night Football, as Toyota breaks first multicultural marketing spot.

Apple will reportedly reveal new iPad on Oct. 16, while Irish HQ becomes European tax battleground.

HP will announce Monday it's breaking into two companies.

Tesla reportedly readies driverless model with Tesla D, and provides wireless to S-model owners in France with Orange.

Yahoo eyes $10 billion Snapchat stake, and reaches out to agencies for brand campaign help.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: CVS, Nationwide, Home Depot and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 3, 2014 09:09 AM

TOP STORIES

CVS Caremark rebrands to CVS Health and launches smoke-enders program as it quits tobacco a month early.

Nationwide unifies brand and debuts new logo in Peyton Manning campaign.

Home Depot investigates potential breach of customer data.

Apple denies iCloud breach in celebrity hack and reportedly signs Nordstrom to new payments platform.

Burger King downplays tax-inversion motive for Tim Hortons deal.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Audi sees strong sales growth despite slowdown in Russia and emerging markets.

BuyPartisan app lets shoppers suss out politics behind brands and products.

Chrysler sees August sales rise 20 percent, led by Jeep.

Coca-Cola partners with Keurig Green Mountain on Honest Tea K-Cup packs.

Darden Restaurants shakes up its board with concessions to Starboard.

Dior rolls out new campaign starring a golden Charlize Theron.Continue reading...

mobile commerce

Visa Taps Morgan Freeman to Help Rebrand V.me as Visa Checkout

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 17, 2014 03:04 PM

Visa has now got its own Innovation Center. It was opened in San Francisco Wednesday to try to bring the company’s software developers, clients, and other tech folks “to jointly develop the next generation of commerce applications," according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The first product coming out of the Innovation Center is the Visa Checkout mobile payment system, which hopes to give PayPal, Isis and Google Wallet a run for the money, and replaces Visa's V.me brand that was introduced in the US in 2012.

"It's a recognition of the fact that the credit card is becoming a digital card, and innovations are occurring through digital means," said Jim McCarthy, the brand's senior vice president of innovation and strategic partnerships, to the Chronicle. "Basically, we're opening up our network to software developers to use our capabilities and assets, and to help consumers to take advantage of them."Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: LEGO, Tesla, Walmart and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 8, 2014 09:09 AM

TOP STORIES

Crumbs Bake Shop closes its doors.

Greenpeace criticizes LEGO tie-in with Shell with LEGO-animated short film.

Samsung warns of slumping profits on weaker demand as it looks beyond hardware.

Tesla sued in China for trademark infringement.

Walmart embraces smaller store formats. 

IN OTHER NEWS:

ADM buys Wild Flavors.

Abuelo’s refreshes menu and look for 25th anniversary.

Air New Zealand pulls in-flight safety video featuring scantily clad models.

Herb Allen’s Sun Valley media mogul conference kicks off.

Alibaba sees red flags raised by deals by founder Jack Ma.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Cannes Day 3, Amazon Phone, GM Testifies and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 18, 2014 09:08 AM

TOP STORIES

Cannes Lions continues (above, Scott Ferris, Microsoft's GM of content advertising) with first round of Grand Prix winners announced.

Amazon phone reveal by "secretive" R&D lab today in Seattle sparks speculation, as BlackBerry joins Amazon's Appstore.

YouTube to launch paid music service.

GM's Barra is back on the hotseat today on Capitol Hill as automaker faces $10 billion recalls suit.

Beats headphones have been banned at the World Cup.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Activision expands Skylanders licensing.

Apple secures 31 new patents as stores get exclusive window on Beats products.

Dr. Oz grilled on weight loss claims.

eBay pulls Chinese "spyware phones."

Facebook's ephemeral Slingshot app annoys some users.Continue reading...

mobile commerce

Mobile Payment Market Heats Up with Addition of MasterPass

Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 6, 2013 04:13 PM

It may seem counter-intuitive, but MasterCard and Visa are in the midst of a technology war that may some day eliminate plastic credit cards.

At the recent Mobile World Congress, MasterCard introduced a mobile payments system called MasterPass, while Visa announced mobile payment partnerships with Samsung and Roam, a maker of point-of-sale systems. Both MasterCard and Visa, as well as others including Square, PayPal and Affirm, newly launched by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, are going after the same golden ring: the emerging mobile payments market.

MasterCard's MasterPass is a good example of where mobile payments technology is headed. According to Ed McLaughlin, chief emerging payments officer for MasterCard, "MasterPass brings together all of the ways we pay for things, from traditional plastic cards to digital wallets, and gives consumers the ability to make a payment from wherever they are and with one simple experience." MasterPass will offer checkout services that support anything from tags, mobile devices and QR codes used at point-of-sale to a simplified checkout process for online retailers. It will also provide "digital wallets" that banks, merchants and partners can adapt for their own use, featuring an open system that even MasterCard competitors can use. Continue reading...

mobile commerce

Has Square Already Won America's Mobile Payments Race?

Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 15, 2012 12:06 PM

Back in January 2011, Starbucks became the first national retailer to offer its own mobile payment technology combined with a loyalty program. It led to more than 100 million mobile transactions occurring in its U.S. stores since the launch. 

Now, in a move to push mobile commerce even further, Starbucks is accepting payments in some 7,000 retail locations via Square, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey's mobile payment app for iOS and Android smartphones. In addition to laying out cash for that latte, users of Square Wallet can browse menu information and store hours, gain access to their transaction history, and even explore nearby businesses. Since Square Wallet is linked to a debit or credit card, there's never a need to reload a balance, and a digital receipt appears instantly.

It's not only been a huge boost for the Square brand (as Dorsey tweeted, "Immensely proud of the teams at Square and Starbucks: 7,000 stores launched 3 months TO THE DAY after signing the deal. #nailedit"). The announcement by Starbucks seems to come at a time of increased activity that could make 2013 the year of mass adoption of mobile payment technology. Indeed, Dorsey this week announced that "Square is now facilitating over $10 billion of commerce annually for small businesses across the US. Up $2 billion in just 2 months."Continue reading...

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