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tech in the spotlight

Space Inc.: The Great Beyond is Now Ripe for Brand Commercialization

Posted by Dale Buss on September 17, 2014 06:41 PM

What is it about space that entrepreneurs want to keep going up there—or at least starting companies that go up there? Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos is the latest king of business buildling who's now gotten a foothold in the great beyond, joining Virgin Galactic's Richard Branson and SpaceX's Elon Musk.

Bezos founded and funded a space startup called Blue Origin that had been a relatively low-profile venture until it turned up as a partner to Boeing for the "space taxi" program for NASA of which Boeing won the biggest share this week, while SpaceX also got a contract. Blue Origin had been focused on developing spacecraft with a vertical takeoff-vertical landing first stage, simlar to technology that SpaceX has been working on with its Grasshopper and Falcon 9 launchers.

Musk, also founder of Tesla, has been involved via SpaceX in a high-profile race with Branson's Virgin Galactic to be the first to take rank-and-file global citizens into space on their separate aircraft, a competition which is supposed to take civilians into space as early as next year.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: CVS, Nationwide, Home Depot and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 3, 2014 09:09 AM

TOP STORIES

CVS Caremark rebrands to CVS Health and launches smoke-enders program as it quits tobacco a month early.

Nationwide unifies brand and debuts new logo in Peyton Manning campaign.

Home Depot investigates potential breach of customer data.

Apple denies iCloud breach in celebrity hack and reportedly signs Nordstrom to new payments platform.

Burger King downplays tax-inversion motive for Tim Hortons deal.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Audi sees strong sales growth despite slowdown in Russia and emerging markets.

BuyPartisan app lets shoppers suss out politics behind brands and products.

Chrysler sees August sales rise 20 percent, led by Jeep.

Coca-Cola partners with Keurig Green Mountain on Honest Tea K-Cup packs.

Darden Restaurants shakes up its board with concessions to Starboard.

Dior rolls out new campaign starring a golden Charlize Theron.Continue reading...

brand innovation

SpaceX, Virgin Galactic Bring Modern-Day Space Race to the Mainstream

Posted by Dale Buss on August 7, 2014 03:57 PM

It's not quite US vs. USSR, but the modern-era space race between SpaceX and Virgin Galactic is getting more interesting as each brand gets closer to blasting off with humans aboard.

SpaceX is crowing about its construction of a new commercial launchpad in South Texas alongside the Gulf of Mexico with help from more than $20 million in local and state incentives, while Virgin is drawing comparisons from Land Rover about the rigor of its vehicle testing.

Virgin Galactic has said it plans to go airborne with tourist flights to space later this year from a base in New Mexico at a pricetag of $250,000 a head. It has accepted more than $80 milloin in deposits from about 700 individuals, which the brand pointed out is about 20 percent more than the total number of humans who've ever gone to space.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: #BRA v #GER World Cup-apalooza Edition

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 9, 2014 08:01 AM

Brazil's "nightmare" of a World Cup loss to Germany sets Twitter record as most-tweeted sporting event ever (inspiring endless memes and Mick Jagger-blamefest) as Nike claims ambush marketing victory over official FIFA sponsor Adidas.

Adidas, meanwhile, is wooing Manchester United with US$100 million deal after Nike ends 13-year sponsorship, while GM-owned Europe-exiting team sponsor Chevrolet releases ManU limited edition vehicles for India and auctions off ticket packages.

Apple loses voice recognition patent lawsuit in China, launches "secret" eBay store.

Ellen DeGeneres signs five-year NYC lease as base to launch upcoming E.D. lifestyle brand with Christopher Burch.

Duke University sued by John Wayne's family in bourbon trademark battle.

More brand headlines by sector:Continue reading...

up and away

The Final Frontier: Musk, Branson and Brands Engage in the New Space Race

Posted by Dale Buss on May 30, 2014 05:16 PM

Kennedy and Khruschev have given way to Musk and Branson in the Space Race, with the next significant spacecraft set to be branded as SpaceX or Virgin, not with the ponderous logos of global superpowers.

That’s what the 21st Century has come to, as the once-urgent geopolitical, military and scientific attractions of manned space flight have given way to personal entertainments and branding exercises. Musk/SpaceX and Branson/Virgin both made shows of their latest space travel promises this week.

Musk already has promised to begin taking tourists on SpaceX aircraft into space beginning next year, notable among them a group of “astronauts” who were selected and are being “trained” under a long-running space-themed marketing promotion by Unilever’s Axe and Lynx body-spray brands.

But this week Musk unveiled a cone-shaped spaceship that he hopes one day will ferry NASA astronauts to the International Space Station, return to earth and set down like a helicopter, then refuel and take off again—perhaps even the same day. Before a crowd of journalists and SpaceX employees at the company’s California headquarters, according to the Los Angeles Times, Musk revealed a white capsule, dubbed Dragon V2, that is designed to fit seven flyers at a time.Continue reading...

china

The Week in China: Happy Chinese New Year!

Posted by Abe Sauer on January 31, 2014 05:42 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: Transformers 4's new China car... the rise of Chinese smartphone brands... how Bailey's explains the rise of women's purchasing power... breast milk soap... Walmart can't catch a break... Weibo losses... Diageo losses... KFC faces bird flu again... JD.com wants you to shake it... Jissbon condoms just being Jissbon... Virgin's space ban... Toyota... Hyundai... more Year of the Horse marketing... and more.Continue reading...

celebrity brandcasting

Lady Gaga Masters Art of Branding as ARTPOP Heads to #1

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 13, 2013 06:25 PM

Lady Gaga’s latest album, ARTPOP, was released in conjunction with two pop-up stores (ARTPOP-ups, you might call them) in New York City and Los Angeles, dubbed "ARTPOP Pop Up: A Lady Gaga Gallery."

The gallery/shop installations feature Gaga-related items like the computer chair where she posed naked, her infamous meat dress and everyday items like albums and t-shirts. The ARTPOP gallery experience is sponsored by Ubisoft, creator of video game Just Dance 2014, which features two Gaga songs, Beats By Dr. Dre and Interscope, Gaga’s record label.

While it's all a highly orchestrated ploy to generate buzz and sales for the star's new album with the Jeff Koons cover, it’s also a multimedia art installation, with blank walls and artsy tools available for visitors to create their own masterpiece while a video wall projects Gaga and her quotes. 

It paled in comparison to the brand-savvy singer's ARTPOP album release party in Brooklyn's Navy Yard on Sunday, an over-the-top spectacle that cost about $3 million to produce with the quiet aid of American Express, according to Billboard. (Two words: flying dress.)Continue reading...

brand innovation

PayPal Galactic Hopes to Help Develop Plan for Inter-Planetary Currency

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 27, 2013 01:51 PM

In a new partnership with the SETI Institute, PayPal hopes to develop a currency system for space.

Yes, you read that right. PayPal Galactic is a real thing, and it hopes to answer some of the big questions surrounding the future of a functional space commerce ecosystem. The "visionary partnership" is leveraging the nascent space tourism industry and is looking to increase public awareness of the many questions that need to be answered and hurdles that need to be conquered before a viable space transaction can take place. 

"We may not answer these questions today or even this year, but one thing is clear, we won't be using cash in space," PayPal President David Marcus said in a statement. "PayPal has already pushed payments into the Internet, onto phones and across terrestrial borders. We look forward to pushing payments from our world to the next, and beyond."Continue reading...

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