Posted by Abe Sauer on May 17, 2013 01:46 PM
China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.
This week: VW gets nostalgic... Luxury brands suffer... Starbucks canbalizes itself... Apple "ruins" family life... Translating cat app... Tencent profits... BYD... Let Li... Dutch infant formula... What Taobao can tell you about breast size... McDonald's McCafe absurdity... Face toothpaste... What a poorly made $30 hamburger reveals about China's middle class... and more.Continue reading...
games people play
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 17, 2013 12:37 PM
The video game industry’s largest trade show, E3, doesn’t kick off till June 11, but it appears that one piece of news is leaking out early: the ad tagline for the much-anticipated Sony Playstation 4 and the script for its first commercial, SiliconEra.com reports. Sony Computer Entertainment America has filed a trademark request for “Greatness Awaits.”
The site notes that the planned commercial features “a lone man walks down an empty street asking the viewer, ‘Who are you not to be great? You, with the imagination of a brilliant child and the powers of an ancient god.’” The man continues to ask viewers questions and the commercial ends with “Greatness Awaits.”Continue reading...
video killed the _____ star
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 17, 2013 11:42 AM
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Major US broadcasters are lining up their digital offerings for consumers, whether they like it or not.
"Television networks increasingly need to make content available to fans no matter where those fans are and what devices they are using," said Greg Ireland, IDC research manager.
Disney-owned ABC is the first major broadcaster to live-stream programming to iPhones and iPads starting this summer for residents of New York City and Philadelphia via WATCH ABC, including local news, daytime talk shows and prime-time dramas. Plans include expansion to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago and eventually, buy-in from all ABC affiliates.
"Many people are starting to wonder if cable is worth keeping, and they're thinking of cutting the cord and going online only since they can get content from Netflix, Amazon and other places,” notes NPR. “Live streaming is a way the broadcast industry is trying to cement the system they've had in place for a long time, even as more people are watching TV and video online. So, they're going where the viewers are going, but they're scared that people are going to cancel their cable subscriptions."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 17, 2013 10:38 AM
Much of the ascension of the Hyundai brand in the US market has been about hand-holding, ranging from its trailblazing 100,000-mile warranty introduced several years ago to the groundbreaking Hyundai Assurance program in 2009 that promised Hyundai buyers that the company would pick up their car-loan payments if they lost their jobs.
So it's not surprising that Hyundai's newest brand-wide play is a program called Assurance Connected Car, which provides a free platform of safety and maintenance services across its lineup of vehicles that come equipped with its Blue Link telematics system. In advertising, the brand has tapped the musical legacy of Bob Marley and his song, "Three Little Birds," to remind Hyundai customers that they "don't need to worry about a thing" if they have the system.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 17, 2013 09:16 AM
Dell reports 79 percent drop in profit as takeover battle continues.
Dow Chemical is ordered to pay $1.2 billion in price-fixing case.
Google Glass expands apps and integrates Facebook and Twitter.
Apple fights back in antitrust case over e-book pricing as it loses luster in global poll.
Audi shifts to high-performance models to propel sales.
BlackBerry regains lost market share in Canada.
Citigroup bans traders from using Bloomberg terminal chat groups.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 16, 2013 07:36 PM
Giving charity is apparently the way to retired tennis great Andre Agassi’s heart. He left Nike eight years ago after a 17-year relationship to join the folks at Adidas, partially because the company was willing to put more financial oomph into Agassi’s foundation than Nike was.
But it looks like the tide has turned back in Nike’s favor and is shooting Agassi back into the spotlight. The company announced Monday that the 43-year-old Agassi is back in the fold, Yahoo! Sports reports, and Agassi celebrated the event by posting an image of himself under a huge Nike swoosh with the caption “Back Home” on his Facebook page—a bit of a dig to nearly 8-year sponsor Adidas.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 16, 2013 07:01 PM
Old/new JCPenney CEO Mike Ullman keeps reaching backward into his pre-2012 bag of tricks for things that will revive the brand that he ran, then lost, and is now running again in the post-Ron Johnson era. But unfortunately, he hasn't yet been able to reach back to a time when the company still made money: Still smarting from the damage done during Johnson's tenure, JCPenney reported a worse-than-expected loss of nearly $350 million for the first quarter on Thursday afternoon.
Ullman had told investors to anticipate about a 16 percent drop in sales for the fiscal first quarter from a year ago, when Johnson was just putting his "reforms" into place. But the bottom line for the just-concluded period was much worse that analysts had expected, a loss amounting to $1.58 a share when the consensus forecast called for a loss of just 43 cents a share.
"Our objective is to put JC Penney back on a path to profitable growth," Ullman said in a press release, according to USA Today. "We are looking forward, not back, and undertaking initiatives to ensure that we have a successful future."Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 16, 2013 06:14 PM
Just as BitPay raises $2 million from the Founders Fund, Federal officials have seized Bitcoin funds belonging to Dwolla, the website that serves as an exchange for the virtual currency.
It’s the first intervention by the government against the online money system garnering increased attention as Immigration and Customs Enforcement froze the accounts of Mt. Gox, the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange that receives funds from Dwolla. One Bitcoin is currently worth about $110, up from $13.50 at the start of the year. Federal law requires money transmission services to register with the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and Mt.Gox had not complied, leaving president and CEO Mark Karpeles facing up to five years in prison.
Washington has been eyeing the Japanese start-up since it hit the mainstream radar in 2011 when a report by Gizmodo explained in detail how the mostly-anonymous currency could be used to be illegal drugs over the internet. The report prompted Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., to call for its shut-down as an "online form of money laundering."Continue reading...