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When Does a Selfie Go Too Far?

10 Apr

Recently, the Boston Red Sox baseball team was honored by President Obama for winning the 2013 World Series. The tradition of U.S. presidents honoring winning teams and athletes goes back many decades.

So, what makes this year’s celebration different? David Ortiz of the Red Sox took a selfie with President Obama. Nothing wrong what that, right? So, what’s the controversy?

It seems that Ortiz had signed a promotion deal with Samsung shortly before the ceremony and the photo then became viewed as too commercial in nature — something that all presidents have frowned upon.

As reported by Tim Parry for Multichannel Merchant:

“It all seems innocent. But Terry Lefton of Sports Business Daily reported a day before the Big Papi-presidential selfie that David Ortiz had signed an endorsement deal with Samsung – one similar to the one Ellen DeGeneres signed with Samsung prior to her Oscars selfie.”

“Here’s where it gets funny: Samsung told The Boston Globe that they arranged for the Ortiz-Obama selfie. Ortiz, on the other hand, said the selfie was not a publicity stunt.”

Who do YOU believe?

Click the image to read more.


What Do YOU Do While Watching TV?

7 Apr

As we know, people today are more frequently multitasking (sometimes when they should other times when they shouldn’t :-) ).

But do they multitask while watching prime-time TV shows? Do YOU?

According to research by Deloitte, not surprisingly, this depends a lot on a person’s age.

Click the eMarketer chart to learn more.



Adidas’ View of the World Cup

6 Apr

The upcoming 2014 World Cup in Brazil will the world’s most viewed sporting event of the event of the year — yes, more viewers than for the Super Bowl.

As with other major sporting events, the technology involved in creating a better customer experience for the World Cup continues to be cutting edge. This year’s innovation: a camera embedded in the soccer ball.

Raymond Wong, reporting for, notes that:

“Created by adidas, the brazucam is arguably the most high-tech soccer ball ever conceived. The custom soccer ball is equipped with six high definition cameras (GoPros, if you must know), which will be used to record the game from new angles. What kind of angles and views can we expect? How about views from the ball flying in the air before it gets kicked by another player? Or views of the ball coming right into the goal? Adidas plans to release a new video on its YouTube channel every week as the ball travels around the world and ends up at the World Cup in Brazil.”

Take a look at the adidas trailer on YouTube: “I am brazuca, traveling around the world on my way to the 2014 FIFA World Cup™. Come join me as I meet some of the world’s best players, attend matches, and play with fans. With six eyes and 360º views, I will see and share the love of football around the globe like never before. Follow my journey on Twitter: #allin or nothing .”


And, of course, there is an official brazuca World Cup soccer ball for sale – at $159.99. Sorry, this version does not include any cameras. But it is the soccer ball they will be kicking this summer!

Celebrity Endorsements: Who Is Ahead in the Burger Wars?

21 Mar

For years, Burger King has tried to gain on its long-time competitor McDonald’s. Nonetheless, in the United States and around the globe, McDonald’s is the clear and undisputed king.

Now, come two new commercials. Who do you think comes out on top (again)? :-)

Burger King is using former NBA great Chris Webber to promote its NCAA March Madness 2 for $5 sandwich deal.

Meanwhile, McDonald’s has introduced a new TV ad with current NBA mega superstar Lebron “The King” James.


Lessons from SXSW Interactive

20 Mar

As noted at its Web site: “The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conferences & Festivals offer the unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW is the premier destination for discovery.”

At the recent SXSW Interactive event,  JWT Intelligence did some background research and came up with 10 key overriding themes for us to consider:

  1. The Snowden effect
  2. Data permanence
  3. Demystifying cryptocurrency
  4. The future of the Internet
  5. Wearables
  6. Man versus machine
  7. Disruption
  8. The humanitarian potential of technology
  9. Visualization
  10. Mindfulness and technology

Here is a slideshow that looks in-depth at these overriding themes from JWT Intelligence:


Lego Mania Goes Viral

6 Mar

The Lego Movie has turned out to be quite a global phenomenon. Click the image to visit the movie’s Web site.

According to Box Office Mojo, through March 4, 2014, the movie had grossed $333,000 worldwide — $212 million in the United States and $121 million in foreign markets. And, unlike some other blockbuster movies that cost much more to make, The Lego Movie cost $60 million to produce, making it highly profitable.

But The Lego Movie mania goes far beyond the popularity of the film itself. There have been a lot of promotional tie ins (see this article, for example). And Toys “R” Us even set up special displays for Lego movie figures.

Separate and apart from the recent movie, there is also a Lego “YouTube Spotlight” with a number of “fan-made” videos based on Lego characters. Many of the videos preceded the introduction of the movie — nonetheless, they extend Lego brand recognition and continue to be highly viewed. The most popular Lego movie in the spotlight is Battle of the Brick: Built for Combat, which has been viewed nearly 17 million times.

All in all, it’s a great time for Lego.

[Note: The video below, Battle of the Brick: Built for Combat, is 27 minutes long.]


How We’re Watching Sports Content

25 Feb

All of our habits and behavior have been affected by the growth of social media. No where is that more apparent than with sports viewership. Clearly, this has major implications for advertisers.

According to Nielsen:

“In the last 10 years, the available hours of sports programming has increased by 232 percent, according to Nielsen’s 2013 Year in Sports Media Report. Not only are there more sports-focused channels available to viewers, nonsports networks have also added sports content to their lineups. And with more sports programming out there tugging at viewers’ heartstrings, Americans clocked 33 billion hours watching sports on TV in 2013. What’s more, viewing sports is an opportunity to be social, whether watching with pals in the stadium or alone online, fans need to gab about it. Even though sports events only accounted for 1.2 percent of all TV programming, conversations about sports made up nearly half of all Tweets about TV (49.7%).”

Click the image to learn more.


It Was 50 Years Ago Today (February 9, 1964)

10 Feb

For those of us old enough to remember the Beatles’ first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show and the decades of Beatlemania that followed, yesterday (pun intended :-) ) was indeed a special day — in many ways a nostalgia trip similar to reflecting back 50 years after President Kennedy’s assassination (November 22, 1963).

Never made it to Shea to see the Beatles on their U.S. trip, but did see McCartney live at both Citi Field and the new Yankee Stadium. What was amazing at the McCartney concerts was the multi-generational nature of the audience. Saw lots of parents and their adult children there too.

In marketing, we talk a lot about the product life cycle (which applies to performers as well as physical products) and how most products having a beginning, middle, and end — and some are fads (think one-hit wonders) and others endure for decades or longer (think Rolling Stones).

So what has made the Beatles so enduring — even though the band broke up in 1970 and John Lennon was murdered in December 1980?

As John Pareles reports for the New York Times:

“If there’s one thing pop learned in the last 50 years, it’s that Beatles songs never wear out their welcome. The Beatles’ original recordings have retained not only their musical brilliance but also the nearly universal good will that the band generated in its time, as well as the accumulated nostalgia that makes baby boomers conflate its music with all the pleasures of their youth. On purely musical grounds — the foundation of melodies, harmonies, and lyrics — Beatles songs have thrived through half a century of remakes.”

“The Recording Academy was counting on both nostalgia and tunefulness with Sunday night’s special on CBS, ‘The Beatles: The Night That Changed America — A Grammy Salute.’ It was a Beatles tribute concert recorded Jan. 27, 2014, the day after this year’s Grammy Awards, in Los Angeles with an extensive lineup including Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Katy Perry, Imagine Dragons, and a reunited Eurythmics. Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, and George Harrison’s widow, Olivia Harrison, and son, Dhani Harrison, were in the front row; Dhani Harrison helped perform his father’s song ‘Something’ onstage.”

Click the image of Paul and Ringo performing last night to see an interesting video clip on the Beatles, including some cool data.

Photo by Zach Cordner/Invision, via Associated Press


Chobani IS at the Olympics, Even If Its Yogurt Is Not

9 Feb

Chobani, a leading maker of Greek-style yogurt, is an official sponsor of Team USA at the Sochi, Russia Olympics. It has paid a lot of money for this right and is advertising during NBC’s Olympic coverage. Nonetheless, Chobani yogurt has been barred from being received by Team USA athletes at the 2014 Winter Games.

As reported by U.S. News & World Report:

The New York-made yogurt is being held up by Russian customs officers at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey due to ‘unattainable’ Russian customs certifications, according to NY Senator Charles Schumer. ‘Unfortunately, this protein-packed, New York-made food has met a serious roadblock in the Russian government, thanks to an unreasonable customs certificate and they will not allow the yogurt into the country,’ Schumer said in a release.”

USNWR’s Katherine Beard further notes that: “Another factor in play could be the continuing controversy over Russia’s much-publicized anti-gay laws. Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya told CNBC Wednesday, ‘We oppose Russia’s anti-LGBT law.’ That makes Chobani the third official Olympic sponsor to condemn the laws.”

So, Chobani really is at the Olympics: The ban on the yogurt has gone viral, giving tremendous free publicity. Chobani has gotten praise praise for being courageous enough to take a public stand (although there are some critics of its position). And Chobani is running ads during Olympic programming — such as these.



Advertising at the End of the Super Bowl? Have an Ad That’s Viral!

3 Feb

Until last night, many of the recent Super Bowl games have been close. This makes advertisers VERY happy. Why? Because the viewership of the game stays high and ads in the latter part of the 4th quarter still reach well over 100 million viewers.

But what happens when the Super Bowl is a blowout — and the score is 36 to nothing with about 3 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter? This is where being a smart advertiser pays off, and “leaking” Super Bowl ads prior to game day pay off.

So, here’s a short quiz: Were you still watching Super Bowl XLVIII at the two minute warning of last’s night game? If yes, what was the lead ad during the commercial break? [No cheating by looking below. :-)]. HINT: It was the ad with the most views on YouTube before the game began — with more than twice as many views as any other Super Bowl ad. As of game time, it had 36 million views! The next two commercials combined had 30 million views.

Keep in mind, the advertiser carefully planned to run the commercial during the break for the two-minute warning. It was anticipating a tight game and a huge audience. It chose this time spot!!

By releasing the ad on the Wednesday before the Sunday game, the advertiser not only created a lot of buzz; the ad instantly went viral. And in today’s critique of Super Bowl ads, it has consistently ranked among the three best.

Here’s the ad — Budweiser’s “Puppy Love”:



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