brands under fire
Posted by Abe Sauer on September 23, 2013 12:12 PM
The connection between two seemingly unconnected incidents is not that both happened in Canada but that both represent opposite ends of the growing pains of automation and artificial intelligence built on contextual data mining.
But even more so, both represent instances where the outrage economy cranked up its motor to make sure it shaved off some profit while ultimately leaving everyone no better off.
The first of two incidents occured on Facebook, where a photo of late Canadian teen Rehtaeh Parsons showed up on a dating site ad. Parsons commited suicide in April after reportedly suffering a gang rape and vicious bullying in 2011—a case that has received international attention after the claims were turned down by the court. A seperate incident which also occured in Canada involved a girl unscrewing a bottle of VitaminWater to find the phrase "You Retard" printed inside the cap. The phrase was part of an English-French marketing promotion from the Coca-Cola company, with the word "retard" in French meaning "lateness." In both instances, the companies claimed ignorance, with Facebook calling the incident an "extremely unfortunate example" while Coke "did not mean to offend at all."Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on February 13, 2013 03:23 PM
Coca-Cola just wants to Open Happiness around the world, in keeping with its ongoing marketing theme, including rolling out a Valentine's Day video this week that was shot in New Zealand to thank its multitude of fans. It's just that global consumers haven't been as happy lately to open a Coke.
A slowdown in sales in Europe and China joined essentially stagnant sales in the United States to undermine Coke's fourth-quarter results. Global sales volume rose just three percent even as the beverage giant's earnings rose by 13 percent during the period.
Ongoing struggles in Europe were a main drag, with volume falling by five percent. Even sales in China, another key market, fell by four percent as Chinese consumers increasingly feel crimped. Meanwhile, the U.S., pushing an anemic economic recovery, yielded just a one percent sales gain during the quarter, though CEO Muhtar Kent said on Tuesday's earnings call that the American market "could get better."Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on December 7, 2012 04:04 PM
The relaunching of Vitaminwater in the U.K. relies on the confluence of two big developments: the growth of the Vitaminwater brand in what has become an important new market, and the rise of stevia-based beverages in Europe.
Glaceau is introducing fresh and more nutritionally informative new packaging for Vitaminwater in the U.K. and a new formula including stevia sweetener that cuts calories by 30 and reduces sugar levels by 30 percent. The company also is altering its nutrient blend in some varieties as well, boosting vitamins and minerals.
"Being able to keep the products tasting great, but with fewer calories and introducing" stevia and more nutrients "is a fantastic step," Philippa Classey, a marketing manager for Vitaminwater, said in a Glaceau press release.
Stevia — the super-sweet extract of a bush native to South America — has been slower to penetrate the European beverage market than the U.S. in part because European regulators were slower to approve the low-calorie ingredient. But major beverage makers also including PepsiCo lately have been ramping up their use of the natural sweetener there.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 26, 2012 09:02 AM
KFC degrees now an educational option in the UK.
NBC Universal says Olympics ad sales reach $1 billion.
Roku raises $45M from News Corp. and others.
Alcatel-Lucent to slash jobs after loss.
Amazon and Apple heat up their war on multiple fronts.
Boeing improves forecast.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on June 21, 2012 03:58 PM
Under industry-wide assault for selling sugar water, Coca-Cola is looking even harder at new types of alternative "better-for-you" beverage categories. That's why it has agreed to distribute a dairy-based "sports recovery" beverage called Core Power.
The "natural high-protein milkshake" by Fair Oaks Farms Brands is endorsed by triathletes and is part of an exploding category of beverages that are said to boost performance during workouts and muscle recovery afterward. The players range from startups such as Core Power, to chocolate milks that have been enhanced, to new products in PepsiCo's Gatorade lineup that were specifically developed for post-workout recovery.
In a world teeming with ever more obese people, and aging populations in many of the most important geographic markets, does it really make sense to think that there will be enough dedicated athletes and workout warriors to slake up this proliferation of new beverages, including Core Power?Continue reading...
games people play
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 18, 2011 01:00 PM
Kiip (pronounced "keep") has opened a new mobile doorway for advertisers to reward gamers. The premise underlying the seven month-old start-up: beat a level or get a high score and Kiip sends you free food and goods from brand partners for games you’re already playing. It's like Vegas for gaming high-rollers! Without the Vegas or high-roller part.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 11, 2010 01:30 PM
Trade shows that cater to product manufacturers and retailers are often good places to watch for trends in consumer marketing. The National Association of Convenience Stores annual trade show, which was held last week, is traditionally a venue for the introduction of new packaged goods products, because convenience stores depend on such items for their profits.
If this year's show is any indication, it looks like consumer products will continue to trend towards healthier and environmentally-sensitive offerings. For example, Powerade, which competes with Gatorade, is entering a new category next year with "Powerade Protein Milk," available in chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. This new low-fat milk beverage will "support rapid muscle recovery" and go head-to-head with Muscle Milk (which, curiously, doesn't contain milk).
Vitaminwater, meanwhile, is preparing to launch Vitaminwater stur-D, another in its ever-growing line of products, which now has over 10 different flavors, all related to one health benefit or another. Vitaminwater's new product, hitting the market late this year, will offer support for healthy bones and joints.Continue reading...
Posted by Sara Zucker on April 8, 2010 07:11 AM
Gemvara turns consumers into jewelry designers. [TechCrunch]
Design products with the help of Quirky.com. [Daily Finance]
Google is doing well enough to hire more employees. [Mediaweek]
Bed Bath & Beyond surprises with high sales. [Daily Finance]
Fashion brand Diesel has restructured and divided. [WWD]
Vitaminwater, Polaroid promote on 'Gossip Girl.' [Adweek]Continue reading...