tech in the spotlight
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 5, 2013 04:23 PM
As this year’s South by Southwest—running March 8-17 in Austin, Tex.—gears up, brands and agencies are pulling out all the stops to catch the attention of thousands of trendsetters that attend the yearly event. Nearly 25,000 people, about 7 percent more than in 2012, are expected to register for the interactive part of the festival alone.
Some SXSW pioneers question the growing popularity as lessening the value of the event, which started out mainly as a music festival. “What was once an under-the-radar affair has become a trendy, mainstream gala, raising concerns that going may no longer be worthwhile for entrepreneurs looking to meet investors, potential co-founders or others who could potentially have a significant impact on their businesses," the Wall Street Journal reports.
John Frankel, partner at ff Venture Capital in New York, which backs two to three startups a year disagrees. “If you just stick with companies recommended to you, you can miss out on some amazing [investment opportunities]. I’m a great believer in happenstance.”
For brands looking to make a connection with tech-savvy millennials, (who isn't?) SXSW is a feeding ground for viral campaigns and unique marketing stunts. Here's a sampling of what some sponsors and participants have in store for attendees: Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 4, 2013 08:46 AM
Walmart philanthropic director Sylvia Mathews Burwell expected to be nominated Monday as Obama's budget chief.
India develops a taste for premium beer while officials approve $2 billion Diageo deal.
HSBC set for $23 billion profit as turnaround gains traction.
AB InBev takes to Twitter and newspaper ads to fight watered-down-beer charges.
AIDS drug breakthrough sees infant evidently cured through early use of virus-blocking drugs.
Alfa Romeo reboot marks tough road for Fiat.
American Airlines drops below 60,000 employees for the first time since 1987.
AOL's new Brand Group CEO Susan Lyne lays out her goals.
Asos joins brands using Twitter's Vine for short form social video marketing.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 1, 2013 04:38 PM
The horse meat scandal is spreading across Europe, Hong Kong, Thailand and the Dominican Republic, seizing media attention and making retailers and consumers squeamish at the thought of what could be in their meat.
Four beef products sold by Bird's Eye, Taco Bell and catering supplier Brakes have been found to contain horse DNA as the Britain’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) conducts a third wave of tests.
An aptly titled article, "Having a cow over chow," asks, “What is it about horses? Over in Europe, everyone is happily munching on frozen lasagnas and shop-bought meals from various supermarkets, knowing it has all kinds of dodgy cuts of beef in it. But when it emerges they contain horse meat, everybody gags…Consumers need to ask themselves: When you buy something cheap, why is it so cheap? The answer is often uncomfortable to swallow.”
The FSA is asking retailers to test beef products for the presence of more than 1 percent of horse meat. Specific products in the headlines include Birds Eye's Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese and Beef Lasagna (removed by the company from store shelves last week), Brakes' Spicy Beef Skewer and Taco Bell's ground beef.
"Once we learned of this issue, we immediately voluntarily tested our product for our three Taco Bell restaurants in the UK,” said a spokesperson for the company, which has posted a response to the horse meat crisis on its UK website. "Based on that testing, we learned ingredients supplied to us from one supplier in Europe tested positive for horse meat."Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 1, 2013 01:13 PM
McDonald’s may have sold more than 247 billion hamburgers since eventual owner Ray Kroc opened his first franchise in 1955, but things have apparently slowed down a little bit for the fast-food powerhouse.
January marked the first time in nine years that Mickey D’s reported that its same-store sales in the U.S. went down, according to the Chicago Tribune. The word is that sales at franchise locations that have been open for more than a year went down 2.2 percent. In Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, same-store sales also took a similar decline. The announcement, however, isn’t shocking since fast food has been taking a hit across the board due to consumers being more vigilant about where their dollars (and calories) are spent. Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 28, 2013 09:07 AM
Carnival Cruise Lines sees brand perceptions drop to all-time low.
J.C. Penney losses snowball as boost in ad spending can't reverse sales declline.
Facebook inks deal to show ads based on shopping habits.
AC/DC rocks their own signature brand of beer.
American Express pushes e-commerce to TV commerce.
Apple preaches patience.
Boeing apologizes for Dreamliner fiasco.
Caesars looks to web gambling for financial help.
Flowers Foods set to buy Wonder, other Hostess brands for $390 million.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 25, 2013 10:02 AM
As promised, a slew of new ad campaigns made their red carpet debut during the Oscars telecast Sunday night on ABC and in local markets. Below, check out new campaigns for Samsung Mobile (starring director Tim Burton and a unicorn), Kristen Chenoweth for Royal Caribbean, Jennifer Aniston for Aveeno, Naomi Watts for Pantene and more. Then tell us which (if any) you think deserve best in show—and which marketers should have saved a million dollars or so.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on February 13, 2013 05:02 PM
Murmurs were afoot early on the street and on the tweet, thanks to Taco Bell's Facebook hint that fans should head to a pop-up store at New York City's Ariston Flowers in the Chelsea neighborhood, setting the Twitterverse aflutter.
The product: new Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos. The password: ask for the blue bouquet.
But just when things began to heat up at the flower shop, Taco Bell also was letting the whole country know about what likely will be its biggest new-product announcement of 2013. The Yum! Brands chain is hoping to tap into the same fervor for Cool Ranch as it did a year ago for the original Nacho Cheese flavored Doritos Locos Tacos, which kicked off a frenzy new Doritos-based-shell franchise.
And if the blue nail polish on today's Facebook announcement wasn't hint enough, Taco Bell is wooing the cool kids to Cool Ranch by appealing to hipsters — judging by its Super Bowl commercial, as a mindset and not necessarily just millennials.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 13, 2013 09:56 AM
Now that the Super Bowl ad has come and gone and lives on digitally and in the ashes of controversy over the spot, in real time Volkswagen is trying to move on. Its new commercial, "Mask," aims to do just that. A quietly funny spot by Deutsch LA, it's directed by Noam Murro, who directed the Super Bowl spot for Taco Bell.
And speaking of the Super Bowl, others associated with VW's "Get In. Get Happy" Game Day ad —the story of a tall white guy with a Jamaican accent—are still trying to milk the Super Bowl appearance for all it's worth.Continue reading...