chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on November 6, 2012 05:08 PM
For a while, the notion of regulating genetically modified organisms (better known as GMOs) included in food seemed like a good idea, and anti-Big Food advocates in California attracted a lot of support in a state where residents like to be on the cutting edge of just about everything. Calfornians have never minded serving as a bellwether on new regulatory initiatives that end up sweeping the rest of the country, such as automotive emissions.
But the closer today's vote on Proposition 37 loomed, the more that initial support of the idea waned. And this U.S. Election Day, even backers of the anti-GMO initiative seemed resigned to its defeat, although it's still being closely watched. (Update: Prop 37 was indeed defeated at the polling booth.)
What happened? Well, a combination of huge contributions by moneyed CPG brands battered Prop 37's drive to label GMOs in a massive advertising and PR blitz with a "No on 37" drive. And backers of the added regulation alleged dirty tricks by the competition as they sought to sway voters (despite scientific evidence to the contrary) that GMO-containing products are hardly the stuff of "Frankenfood" that really harms consumers.Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 6, 2012 04:26 PM
Facebook is encouraging its U.S. users to share that they've voted for an interactive map, while Twitter has set up its election page to track the #Election2012 winds of change. But it's Facebook's more visual sub-brand, theonce niche mobile photo-sharing app Instagram, that's the darling of the digital world for the 2012 U.S. presidential election cycle.
Since being snapped up by Facebook for $1 billion in April, and following its launch of an Android version of its app, the brand has grown its user base from 15 million to 80 million since January 1st, with an astonishing 4 billion photos posted this year to date. Further proof, if any is needed, that photo-sharing is hot: Coca-Cola is getting in on the game with its Happy Places app, while Twitter and Facebook are racing to improve their photo filters.
The 2012 U.S. presidential election day represents Instagram’s coming out party. Its usual feed today is replaced by a stream of voter’s ballots and related political imagery, which could exceed half a million uploads by election day's end. While encouraging its users to share their election day photos with the tag #ivoted, they are being reminded to not snap a pic of their election ballot, which could render it void in certain states. In another first, the New York Times is also featuring voters' Instagram photos on their homepage election coverage.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 5, 2012 04:32 PM
As Barack Obama campaigns at his final rally today in the vital swing state of Ohio with his pals Jay-Z (who sang, "I've got 99 problems, but Mitt ain't one) and Bruce Springsteen, apparently some voters may be confused. And not because they're undecided.
The hard-fought, long-awaited presidential election will finally take place on Tuesday and America will decide which leader it wants to follow: President Barack Obama or Governor Mitt Romney. This pair has done pretty much everything it can on the marketing front, short of skywriting and Potter-style notes delivered by owl, to get their respective messages out to voters. Combined, their campaigns have spent more than a billion dollars on television ads alone this election, an almost embarrassing sum of money given the state of the U.S. economy.
And online was no different. The two candidates have dedicated digital teams that have been trying to push their message through every online channel imaginable. One of those, though, is getting some negative attention: brand hijacking. That's when a brand buys search-engine ad space for when a consumer searches for a competing brand. In some parts of the US, when someone searches for “Barack Obama” in Google or Facebook, ads for Romney appear. And when some Americans search for “Mitt Romney,” ads for Barack Obama appear.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 2, 2012 04:01 PM
To run or not to run — that has been the burning question in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in New York this week.
As New York continues the massive clean-up and restoration of a wounded, limping city, with millions still without power, food, water and transport, Mayor Michael Bloomberg was adamant the ING New York City marathon (rededicated as a "Race to Recover" with proceeds to relief efforts) would go on, even though the starting line is in hard-hit Staten Island. The refusal to reschedule the race has been widely protested, while observers are questioning the impact on title sponsor ING, and fellow sponsors including Timex and Asics.
“The city is a city where we have to go on,” stated Bloomberg in a press conference on Thursday, arguing that the race must go on for the cash and morale infusion. "There's an awful lot of small businesses that depend on these people. We have to have an economy,” Bloomberg said in a news conference Thursday. "It's a great event for New York, and I think for those who were lost, you know, you've got to believe they would want us to have an economy and have a city go on for those that they left behind."
Update: At 5:21 pm Friday, the mayor's office confirmed media rumors that the race will not go ahead on Sunday. Bloomberg told the press, "We would not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants, and so we have decided to cancel it." And while this means there will be no 2012 NYC marathon, New York Road Runners president Mary Wittenberg said canceling was the right move, telling AP, "This is what we need to do and the right thing at this time." ING also supported the cancellation, commenting, "ING U.S. understands that many people, businesses, as well as its own New York-based employees have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy this week. The company encourages everyone to consider making a donation or to volunteer with a nonprofit that is helping with disaster-relief effort if they are able to do so."Continue reading...
mom's the word
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 1, 2012 12:02 PM
If this political indeed rises and falls on which campaign can win over "Walmart Moms," Walmart is more than happy to offer up their opinions. In a move to own one of the hot-button phrases in this U.S. election cycle, Walmart not only presented the candidates to their customers, but the mega-retailer is presenting their customers' concerns back to the candidates as they enter the final stretch before election day on November 6th. The Walmart Community YouTube channel features more video interviews with Walmart moms stopped while shopping, while the Walmart Community Votes website encourages them to register, vote and be heard.
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 1, 2012 10:19 AM
Eager to not let Superstorm Sandy lay waste to their presidential campaigns, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are back in full swing today. Romney is campaigning in Virginia, while Obama is planning to appeal to "middle class security." Both campaigns also resumed
The Obama campaign released a TV commercial featuring "last week's powerful endorsement from retired four star general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell," while the Romney campaign released the TV commercial below, which makes light of Obama's announcement that he might appoint a Secretary of Business ("His solution to everything is to add another bureaucrat.") Click here for more on political branding in this U.S. election cycle.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 31, 2012 04:12 PM
Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has been busy this week denying what he won't do and sharing what he wants to do. And everything he has said has implications for the company, its brands and consumers on four continents.
Of most immediate importance, Marchionne was compelled to inject himself into the U.S. presidential campaign this week after a Romney TV commercial and radio spot in battleground Ohio highlighted his plan to build Jeeps in China.
It could be inferred from the Republican nominee's spot that Jeep jobs might leave Ohio and Michigan in such an endeavor — a suggestion that Marchionne swiftly rejected. Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan also said in a statement released by Romney's campaign: "GM and Chrysler are expanding their production overseas. These are facts that voters deserve to know as they listen to the claims President Obama and his campaign are making."
An irked Marchionne released a statement to assure Chrysler employees and the public that the company's commitment to U.S. production of Jeeps, which has been expanding lately, was secure, stating "I feel obliged to unambiguously restate our position: Jeep production will not be moved from the United States to China." GM also refuted the Romney campaign claims.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 31, 2012 03:48 PM
The arrival of Superstorm Sandy has brought an American brand that plenty like to forget about back into the spotlight. FEMA, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, is generally not heard from as it goes about its business helping people recover from one nasty situation or another.
But when the agency flubs, as it famously did during its disastrous efforts after Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005, its name brings in a lot of bad publicity. After Sandy hit American soil and began devastating buildings and lives, FEMA was in action. As if on cue, Michael Brown, the man who had headed the agency during those Katrina days and resigned in disgrace in the month after the storm, appeared in Denver’s Westword magazine to talk about how President Obama had already blown it by meeting with FEMA on Sunday and having a press conference.Continue reading...