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IPO Looming, "All Grown Up" Yelp Looks to Boost Ad Revenues

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 20, 2012 11:01 AM

Yelp, the user-generated review website, quietly launched seven years ago with a cartoon-like logo designed by YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley.

Now known for its distinctive 'burst' logo and spanning the globe, it plans to raise as much as $100 million in an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange on March 2nd.Continue reading...

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Seattle's Best Invites Coffee Lovers to Create Dream Drinks

Posted by Dale Buss on February 9, 2012 11:31 AM

Starbucks is pressing the envelope in plenty of ways with its namesake brand, but the company also is continuing to innovate through its sibling brand, Seattle's Best Coffee. The newest wrinkle: a Facebook-based contest called "Create Your Deliciousness."

Seattle's Best has launched a year-long marketing campaign "inspired by the brand's mission to bring great coffee to everyone," the company said in a press release. And what better way to do that than to let every individual define what they mean by "great," in their own unconventional coffee combinations and dream drinks?Continue reading...


Can Domino’s Continue Pizza Turnaround with Crowdsourcing - or Are Fans Crowdsourced Out?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 9, 2012 10:58 AM

Domino’s has gone public — not in the IPO sense, but by crowdsourcing ideas to improve the brand via a Facebook-based customer feedback intiatives it's calling Think Oven.

It's all part of the brand's two-year-old initiative to become more relevant and increase loyalty (and business) by engaging consumers (customers and non-customers) in its reinvention.Continue reading...

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Connecticut Crowdsources Rebranding

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 27, 2012 10:20 AM

Rebranding a state can be a dicey proposition. As the Wall Street Journal noted in an article about New Mexico's desire to come up with a new marketing slogan,

New Jersey hired a consultant a few years ago to come up with a new tourism slogan. The result? "New Jersey: We'll Win You Over." That may have been an improvement over its 1970s tagline, "New Jersey's Got It," which inspired innumerable jokes about venereal disease. But state officials thought "We'll Win You Over" sounded defensive and spiked the campaign.

So we're watching with interest another rebranding project in New York City's tri-state area: Connecticut, which has been saving its pennies and now has $22 million in its coffers to spend on boosting tourism and business investment in the state. The Nutmeg State hasn’t spent any money in the last two years on tourism and is now opening up its wallet to try and rebrand itself over the next two years.Continue reading...


Walmart Crowdsources New Product Ideas

Posted by Dale Buss on January 23, 2012 12:25 PM

For a small manufacturer, a spot on the shelves of Walmart or a pixel packet on Walmart.com can be transformational. That's why there is practically a cottage industry around Bentonville, Ark., just serving the needs of the thousands of would-be vendors who trek to Wal-Mart headquarters there every year in an attempt to lure or cajole one of the company's buyers into taking a flyer on the "next great product."

Now, Walmart wants to make it easier for some of these innovations to make their way onto its product list as well as, perhaps, land some hit merchandise that might never have made it through all the hoops before. So the company's @WalmartLabs R&D unit is launching an initiative to open its doors to great product ideas: Get on the Shelf, a program inviting would-be suppliers small and large to submit product ideas along with supporting videos in a campaign that unfolds in phases through April.

Consumers are invited to vote online on which products they'd like to see Walmart pick up, and the company will end up selling three of them online plus feature a grand prize winner on its home page and in some stores. Entrants will be free to get votes however they want — and, in the process, will demonstrate their marketing savvy to Walmart.Continue reading...

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Super Bowl Ad Tracker: GoDaddy, Chevy and Priceline Build Buzz

Posted by Dale Buss on January 20, 2012 01:45 PM

In that grand old Super Bowl tradition, GoDaddy.com will be back this year with a (surprise!) racy spot, featuring celeb endorsers Danica Patrick and Jillian Michaels, and a 'nude' model. "We set the standard of indecency," jokes a winking Bob Parsons, GoDaddy's outspoken CEO, to USA Today. "My ads never suggest the act of sex. Any sex in the ads is manufactured in the minds of the viewers."

Chevrolet, meanwhile, wants to draw game viewers even closer — to its brand and products that the GM division is advertising during the telecast, as well as to the Big Game itself. It's also looking for a way to punch out of the huge gaggle of car brands and ads that have insinuated themselves into Super Bowl XLVI on February 5.

So Chevy will be promoting its new Chevy Game Time App, which will allow viewers of the Super Bowl to play trivia, interact with one another via Twitter, participate in polls relating to the game and teams and Super Bowl ads, and possibly win one of 20 Chevrolets or thousands of other prizes as a result.

"This is the first time any company has attempted such a large-scale app, which will enhance the game-watching experience and help them engage in the online conversation about the Super Bowl," said Joel Ewanick, GM's global CMO. Continue reading...

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Axe Creates Marketing Anarchy With Interactive Comic Book

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 11, 2012 10:01 AM

At the top of the new year, Unilever’s Axe body spray and grooming product line (known as Lynx beyond the U.S.) announced a plan to create an interactive graphic novel (the grown up version of a comic book), crowdsourced via its social marketing channels. That project is now live on its YouTube channel, where you can see the storyline evolve, and on Facebook, where fans can participate in shaping the storyline.

The objective is to expand its target audience beyond just men because the brand is introducing Anarchy, a new fragrance that has a version for men and another for women. Axe already dominates the men’s body spray market with a 74 percent share in the U.S., according to market-search firm SymphonyIRI Group, the New York Times reports.

Axe has 2.3 million “likes” on Facebook and the company’s senior brand manager, says that about a quarter of them are from women, the Times notes.  “We’ve been hearing for some time that females have been asking for and looking for their very own scent of Axe,” said Roberts. That kind of double targeting can cause, yes, anarchy for a marketer.Continue reading...


Orbit Gum Creates Stickiness With Facebook Design Contest

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 6, 2012 11:04 AM

Wrigley’s Orbit gum has jumped on the crowdsourcing bandwagon, inviting the public to engage with the brand from a design and customization perspective, via packpage designs on a Facebook app. Live through February, the app pulls data from a user’s profile and generates a custom gum pack design for every participant, “essentially making each person’s Facebook life a work of art.”

The contest leverages infographics technology and the design skillz of EVB (Evolution Bureau) digital artist Joshua Davis, known for building algorithmic systems, although anyone can now audition to be a digitally crowdsourced artist. Facebookers can solicit votes for their package designs and the winner could even hit store shelves in 2012.Continue reading...

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