Posted by Dale Buss on November 6, 2013 07:27 PM
An under-appreciated aspect of the car business these days is the continued boom in customizing. Between the strong recovery of "stock" car sales in the US market and hand-wringing about Millennials taking the zing out of car ownership, it's possible to lose track of the fact that, for many Americans, customizing—or "tuning"—their rides remains a driving passion.
That fact is being restored this week at the 47th annual Specialty Equipment Market Association show and convention in Las Vegas, which show organizers have said promises to be their biggest ever. It's only open to people in the auto business, not the public—but if the customizing crowd and original-equipment auto brands didn't know there was a still-growing crowd of enthusiasts to buy the wares they're displaying, they wouldn't bother.
So Ford, for instance, is crowing about seeing its Mustang and F-Series named "Hottest Car" and "Hottest Truck" of the show. More Mustangs and F-Series are on display on the show floor than any other car or truck, the company said, leading to the award—and testifying to the popularity and appeal of each vehicle. And indeed, F-Series trucks remain America's most popular vehicle, and Ford is expected to launch a new 50th-anniversary version of the iconic Mustang sports car next year.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 30, 2013 09:22 AM
Apple named world's most valuable brand, passing Coca-Cola, on Interbrand's Best Global Brands 2013 report.
JetBlue launches premium brand, Mint.
IKEA starts UK solar push.
AOL to start advertising on TV again.
BlackBerry starts selling unlocked phones direct to US buyers.
DirecTV plans to help finance indie films.
Ford sends the checks to soothe C-Max owners on fuel economy as company is said to retain CEO Alan Mulally's "absolute focus" despite reports about Microsoft job, while Ford prepares heir apparent.
GM can't keep up with demand for V-8 pickups.
Home Depot scales up Redbeacon service for small contracting jobs.
Intel invests in wearable device maker Recon.
JCPenney remains on the brink.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 24, 2013 05:39 PM
When fans think of sports team mascots, most envision furry, feathery or friendly figures hell-bent on making game-goers smile, laugh, or stare in amazement at their silly stunts. From Kansas City Chiefs’ K.C. Wolf to Atlanta’s Freddie Falcon, mascots are supposed to be lovable, huggable figures... right?
But the latest plush fan to enter the fray might actually scare fans—and that's saying something when it comes to the black-and-silver clad Oakland Raider fanatics.
The NFL team known for its costume wearing fans and gang-related jerseys is debuting a new mascot, Raider Rusher, meant to draw in a more youthful fanbase, but the big-headed, cartoonish figure might send mini Raider fans running. The new mascot may look familiar though, as it stems from a Nickelodeon TV show, NFL Rush Zone, that is co-produced by the NFL and the TV network to gain the attention of young fans.Continue reading...
media and politics
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 19, 2013 07:46 PM
Michelle Obama is shamelessly using the power of her pulpit in the best tradition of Dolley Madison, Eleanor Roosevelt and Hilary Clinton, among others.
The First Lady convened a White House summit that focused on food marketing to kids—a move in line with her ongoing Let's Move initiative and support of healthy food consumption. Members of the media and entertainment executives, food industry representatives and public interest group leaders gathered to discuss curbing junk food ads and restricting iconic kids' TV characters from appearing in spots for unhealthy products.
“I’m here today with one simple request and that is to do even more and move even faster to market responsibly to our kids,” and to “empower parents instead of undermining them," Obama said in an address to attendeesContinue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 28, 2013 06:06 PM
When the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers first hit American TV screens with “Day of the Dumpster” 20 years ago today, no one would have expected over 4 million faithful viewers to be tuned-in by the end of its first season—a number that ballooned to 6.9 million by the end of season two.
But fans loved it. The mash-up of Japanese-inspired action and US-produced drama—not to mention brightly-colored spandex—created a pop-culture phenomenon, one that many major networks at the time chose to turn away from. In fact, Fox was the only network that took a chance on the new series, which has arguably had its share of ups and downs over the nearly 800 episodes that have aired.
Still, the kids series created merchandise heaven for retailers, amounting to nearly $1 billion by 1995. The brand was eventually bought up by Disney, where it languished, cycling through themes that included Power Rangers as space cadets, ninjas and race car drivers—all of which ate away at the original brand's success. In 2010, the original owner, Saban Brands, bought it back from Disney with a mission to revive the characters and series.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 6, 2013 04:26 PM
In an effort to skirt the effects of the waxing and waning film industry, the studio behind one of Hollywood's most lucrative film franchises and endearing characters like Shrek and Buzz Lightyear is making a strong play for small-screen audiences.
However, DreamWorks Animation is outright skipping Cable TV and going straight to popular streaming services like Netflix. Through a multi-year deal signed in June, the studio will create 1,200 hours of original programming for Netflix and German broadcaster Super RTL featuring characters from popular franchises like The Croods and Turbo, along with long-standing characters like Casper, Lassie, Mr. Magoo and more from Classic Media's archives, and seasonal specials like Frosty the Snowman.
The deal will fill a gaping hole left on Netflix by Nickelodeon after the service failed to renew its contract with Viacom.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Dale Buss on June 19, 2013 05:08 PM
Nickelodeon is drawing a line in the sand that likely never would be sanctioned by the network's amiable cartoon hero, SpongeBob SquarePants: It is going to refuse to give in to public pressure to ban ads for non-nutritious foods despite all the concerns about childhood obesity.
"As an entertainment company, Nickelodeon's primary mission is to make the highest quality entertainment content in the world for kids," the company wrote in response to four Democratic US senators' pleas to the network, according to the New York Times. "That is our expertise. We believe strongly that we must leave the science of nutrition to the experts."
The Viacom-owned network has no plans anytime soon to mimic Walt Disney Co., which a year ago unveiled a strict set of nutritional standards and said it would ban ads for noncompliant foods from its child-focused cable channels by 2015.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 19, 2013 09:24 AM
Facebook hits 1 million active advertisers and Zuckerberg talks partnerships with Samsung.
Tesla recalls some Model S cars for seat-mount defect.
Dish Network drops pursuit of Sprint Nextel, clearing way for SoftBank.
Alcatel-Lucent plans to streamline.
Amazon rolls out Facebook social gift card.
Chevrolet returns to Oscars with user-generated ad.
Dell sees Carl Icahn raise stake in company.
Johnny Rockets is acquired.
Lifestyle Lift changes national marketing practices after probe.Continue reading...