mobile marketing

Starbucks Wishes You a Digital Holiday and a Mobile New Year

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 17, 2014 11:08 AM

Starbucks is on a tear, unveiling a “roadmap of innovations” to “further transform and elevate the Starbucks Experience in Holiday 2014 and beyond.”

Top of the list: Pay Ahead, a US-only mobile order and payment program that will be available nationwide by the end of 2015, starting in Portland, Oregon, in the fourth quarter.  

The coffee giant (up 22% on Interbrand's Best Global Brands this year) is targeting its mobile-first messaging at its core millennial customer base, who prefers to order on a smartphone, and appreciates incentives in the Starbucks customer rewards program mobile app such as free beverages.

About 15% of all Starbucks purchases are made with mobile devices, and many brands are lining up to sign up in the mobile payment app arena. Dunkin' Donuts rolled out its mobile payment app in 2012, and both Taco Bell and McDonald’s are working on proprietary apps.Continue reading...

media brands

The New Cosmo Makes Women's Brains an Erogenous Zone

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 16, 2014 03:13 PM

Cosmopolitan has come a long way since Helen Gurley Brown urged young women to stop being mouseburgers, put on high heels and roar. The magazine and its digital properties are no longer just fun tips on style and sex, shorthand for how to please your man and look fabulous doing it.

Today’s Cosmo also has stories on reproductive healthcare and equal pay, and in May, won a national magazine award for an in-depth (12-page) story on contraception. 

The changes came with Joanna Coles assuming editor-in-chief duties in 2012 and turning the wheel towards politics and the modern business woman. 

"I have no problem understanding that women are interested in mascara and the Middle East," the outspoken British magazine veteran (and occasional Project Runway judge) said in an NPR interview this week.Continue reading...

political brands

Political Branding 101: Millennials Crave Inspiration, Not Emoji Messaging

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 16, 2014 11:01 AM

It's not just brand marketers who are trying to better understand and reach Millennials. Politicans, naturally, are trying to figure them out, too. While First Lady Michelle Obama is killing it on Vine and Twitter, President Obama is finding it harder to connect with kids his daughters' ages and slightly older. 

Case in point: last week the White House released a report, "15 Economic Facts About Millennials," while the President traveled to Los Angeles to speak at a shared workspace for start-ups and VC. He called millennials “the best-educated, the most diverse, the most digitally fluent generation of adults in American history.” Yet his report was scattered with emojis as a winking way to connect kids into the subject of the infographic-style report, which struck some as pandering to millennials. The report was re-released, without emojis, following complaints.

Long gone are the days when political parties could count on kids to, MTV-style, Rock the Vote. Even though today's Millennials are the largest generation in US history and the more likely to vote Democratic, their enthusiasm and support for the President and his party have waned. A recent poll conducted by Harvard’s Institute of Politics found that less than one-quarter of 18-29 year-olds committed to vote in November. 

If politicians want to engage Millennials, don't give them emojis—give them substance, authenticity and a voice.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Millennials and Citizenship: It’s a Brand New Day for Marketers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 14, 2014 11:02 AM

Millennials already number nearly 2 billion worldwide, or nearly 30% of the world’s population, and they will comprise 75% of the workforce by 2025, according to Deloitte.

In addition, the earning and spending power of Millennials will exceed their Boomer parents by 2018, which is why brand marketers are stretching to meet these digital natives who come equipped with conscience, confidence and competence.

A recent survey of 8,000 Millennials in 17 countries on active citizenship by MSLGROUP and Research Now, "The Future of Business Citizenship," identifies key insights about the rising cohort and what they expect from business and advertising.

brandchannel asked Scott Beaudoin, Global Practice Director, Corporate & Brand Citizenship, MSLGROUP, commented on what the global study indicates that brand marketers must to resonate with Millennials.Continue reading...

social media

Myspace Doubles Down on Music and Video

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 9, 2014 05:02 PM

Less than a decade ago, Myspace (then MySpace) ruled the Internet as a social hub for music and selfie-loving kids, but the mighty has fallen a long way down.

The company bought by Justin Timberlake and Specific Media LLC back in 2011 for $35 million and then relaunched a year later has just announced both platform enhancements as well as new partnerships to help engage and grow its one million users.Continue reading...


Brand-Led Coalition Targets Millennials on Sustainability and Climate Change

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 7, 2014 11:54 AM

The tide is shifting in favor of our planet as a coalition of some of the world's leading global brands overcome market rivalry to form a coalition to engage young people on climate change issues.

Partners in Collectively, the new content- and action-driven digital platform, include Audi, BT Group, C&A Foundation, Carlsberg, Diageo, Facebook, General Mills, Google, Havas, IPG, Johnson & Johnson, Kingfisher, Lenovo, Marks & Spencer, McDonald's, Medialink, Microsoft, Nestlé, Nike, Omnicom, PepsiCo, Philips, SABMiller, Salesforce, Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, Twitter, Unilever and WPP.

The pitch: "Collectively is where the power of positivity and collaboration make sustainability the new norm. Watch as we follow several young people across the globe that took a stand against the status quo to help build a better world around them. From emissions-cutting inventions to socially responsible travel, hear their inspirational ideas and let us know what you think. Join us at, comment, contribute and make this movement grow."

The target audience is millennials, aged 18-30, tomorrow's rising powerbrokers who are inheriting a crippled planet. And as social media is their home away from home, the coalition is enlisting Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter to focus on “passion points” for that cohort. It's all well and good—but will millennials listen, let alone take action?Continue reading...

sip on this

Pabst Looks to Reassure Hipsters With Indie Music Festival

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 25, 2014 06:31 PM

Pabst Blue Ribbon, the unofficial beer of hipsters across America, is throwing a party in hipster heaven: Portland, Oregon. As in the Portland that begat the hipsterrific TV show, Portlandia.

This weekend, PBR's marketing team is throwing its first-ever music festival, joining the parade of brands that have also fallen in love with the music festival circuit.

Project Pabst, as the three-day festival is called, couldn't be more ironic. It feature such acts as the British duo behind 80's phenom Tears for Fears, the reunited Constantines, Modest Mouse, Built to Spill and other acts that will cost a mere $35 for a one-day pass and $60 for two.

The whole event is a thank you to the Milwaukee-based brand’s top market. "We were trying to think of something we could do for Portland," Matt Slessler, Pabst's Pacific field marketing manager, told the Oregonian. "We refer to it as our love letter to Portland. That's really what it is, the city has just been so good to us."Continue reading...

response mechanism

After Alibaba, Chinese Brands Remain Unknown, Untrusted, Chinese

Posted by Abe Sauer on September 23, 2014 12:36 PM

Is "Made in China" really more desirable than "Made in France"?

That, at least for many younger Americans, is the suggestion of a new study of US Millennials from the Monogram Group, a Chicago branding agency. "The major takeaway from this report is that the popularity of Chinese products (among US consumers) exceeds those from other major markets, and the willingness to buy is even stronger if the brand is recognized," said the agency's president in a press release.

That takeaway may sound fishy to you—and it should. But the study does say something about the complex way American consumers think about "Chinese brands."Continue reading...

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