sports in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 6, 2013 11:28 AM
Soccer fever is running high across the globe as FIFA officials gather in Brazil today to draw names from a series of pots to decide what teams will face eachother in the first round of next summer’s World Cup.
The 32 teams that have earned a berth will not only find out how skilled their opponents are but also discover the schedule and locations of their first-round games. As the New York Times points out, Brazil could fit the four countries that have hosted the last three World Cups—South Africa, Japan, South Korea, and Germany—inside its borders, which means that some teams are going to be traveling far distances between games and playing in very different environments while others will get the lucky draw of playing all their first-round games in a much smaller area. England coach Roy Hodgson predicts that the travel for some teams could be more difficult than the actual opponents on the field.
When the names start getting pulled out of the pots to decide the eight groups of four, expect all of the World Cup official partners—Adidas, Coca-Cola, Hyundai/Kia, Emirates Air, Sony, Visa—to be on high alert.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 14, 2013 11:57 AM
Visa is taking its #MyFootballFantasy campaign one step further by letting fans indulge in an NFL fantasy right on their mobile device.
The campaign, which previously saw San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh coach a little league practice, has continued to ask fans to tweet their football fantasies and has introduced a new commercial featuring New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. But now, with the help a dual-screen approach, fans can virtually play catch with Brees.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 12, 2013 07:28 PM
Using technology to better understand consumers' wants and needs has hit a new stride as brands compete to target promotions and deliver personalized customer service.
While most major retailers have used predictive analytics for years, new technologies have augmented the statistical game to nuances heretofore unknown. For instance, IBM has begun testing technology that essentially assigns core psychological traits by analyzing a consumer's tweets.
“We need to go below behavioral analysis like Amazon does,” said Michelle Zhou, lead of the User Systems and Experience Research Group at IBM’s Almaden Research Center where the software was created, according to Mashable. “We want to use social media to derive information about an individual—what is the overall affect of this person? How resilient is this person emotionally? People with different personalities want something different.”
The software builds a personality profile based on the most recent hundred or thousand Twitter updates, scoring them against the "big five" traits used in psychology: extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience. It also scores on “values” (hedonism and conservatism) and “needs” (curiosity and social harmony).Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 29, 2013 01:32 PM
Getting in on the social gifting act, Starbucks has announced a new partnership with Twitter and Visa that allows usersin the US to "Tweet-a-coffee" to friends.
After linking their Starbucks account and a credit card to Twitter, users need only tweet @TweetaCoffee with the Twitter handle of the recipient to send an instant $5 eGift card. In a perk promotion for Visa cardholders, Starbucks is giving away $5 gift cards to the first 100,000 users who “tweet-a-coffee” to a friend through Nov. 6.
This is not Starbucks' first act, though. The coffee (and now tea) purveyor launched its eGift service on Facebook in 2011, however this is it's first Twitter tie-in and it is looking for feedback from customers on their experience. “We are actively seeking feedback about how to improve it," said Adam Brotman, chief digital officer, Starbucks, according to Mashable.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 24, 2013 03:49 PM
Brands continue to come under fire from consumers ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where seemingly anti-gay laws have been passed creating a hostile environment for the LGBT community. The clash has led to boycotts and outright calls to major brand sponsors like McDonald's and Visa to drop support for the games or affirm their stance in support of the LGBT community.
After millions have voiced their concerns for the event, it seems that they may have finally caught the attention of a major participant. Following a SumOfUs.org petition that currently has over 344,000 signatures, Coca-Cola executives are reportedly convening today to decide whether the company, a major sponsor of the Olympics, will comment on the culture clash.
“Coca-Cola is an incredibly important position of power and has the ability to influence both the International Olympic Committee and Russian leaders,” Joe Mirabella, director of communications for equality campaign platform All Out said, BeverageDaily reports. “The safety and dignity of Russians, athletes, and fans is in doubt as long as Russia’s anti-gay laws are intact. Olympic sponsors have a moral obligation to speak out now and demand an end to Putin’s human rights crackdown.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 14, 2013 11:07 AM
As injuries continued to take a horrific toll on more NFL players over the weekend, both stars and scrubs alike, major brands also were taking stock of their losses from associating with the most popular violent sport in America—because their spokesmen are leaving the big stage of game-day action to go nurse their wounds, sometimes for the rest of the season.
Visa was one of the latest brands to suffer a snake-bit association with an NFL star who fell to injury, and its timing was about as bad as could be. Just as Atlanta Falcons star receiver Julio Jones was emerging in the early season as the league leader at his position, he was badly injured and declared out for the season last week.
A new TV spot from Visa for its social media- based "personalized NFL fantasy" campaign stars Jones—regarded as one of the league's best at "touchdown dances"—receiving inspiration for a new dance from a local fan. The dance becomes a hit around the world, with everyone from Bollywood actors to Jones' character in the EA Sports Madden 25 video game doing the new dance.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 10, 2013 09:22 AM
JCPenney undoes more of Ron Johnson's handiwork with logo revamp.
KFC preps quality-assurance campaign in China.
H&M, Gap back in the spotlight after another Bangladesh factory fire kills several workers.
A&E Networks pitches original programming.
Aereo Android app will debut Oct. 22.
Alcatel-Lucent must revise job-cut plans in France.
Apple reportedly slashes iPhone 5c production.
AT&T and GE partner for wireless global network.
BlackBerry warms to breakup exit strategy as brand expands office closures.
Chevrolet revs up major ad push for Malibu.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Dale Buss on July 24, 2013 02:42 PM
Walmart and McDonald's face no easy path these days in the business world, nor in the media echo chamber. McDonald's just posted disappointing earnings that reflect the harsh reality at the chain's restaurants in this economy, while both companies are being scored afresh for not providing a "living wage" for their rank-and-file workers.
This week, McDonald's has been lashed by a New York Times commentator and UMass economics professor, Nancy Folbre, for "remarkably widespread disregard" of low-income Americans, including many of its own workers, in the wake of the McDonald's "Sample Budget" that came under scrutiny last week. The "company's own calculations" in the budget, she scolded, "suggest that it fails to offer a living wage."
But in an interview with Bloomberg TV, McDonald's CEO Don Thompson defended McDonald's approach on both matters.
"We have always been an above-minimum-wage employer," he insisted. "We are about providing opportunity. A lot of people can debate the entry-level pont. We will continue to provide entry-level jobs ... And when we can help to have a viable income, we will provide that opportunity so the person can rise to the system and gain greater and greater wealth."Continue reading...