Audio equipment firm Harman's JBL division, has a new ad campaign for the Indian market with music star A.R. Rahman as the ambassador. The ad shows a valley in Ladakh with a nomadic musician carrying his drums across the barren terrain which transitions to bamboo being cut to make flutes in a lush green forest in Thailand, a guitar being strung in a workshop bathed in the warm glow of flickering lamps and finally, one arrives at a pristine white living room where the guitarist is sitting, strumming.
Restaurants and malls are filling with consumers who were restocking their pantries, charging their mobile devices, even doing some early holiday shopping. Retailers ranging from Ace Hardware to Nordstrom to Walmart slowly reopened in storm-hit areas. Those selling storm-related supplies are doing well and restocking to cope with another wave of emergency supply customers. Sears, for example, says more than 100 truckloads of generators, chainsaws, wet and dry vacuums, flashlights, batteries and lanterns, along with dehumidifiers, utility and sump pumps are headed east. Sears had 80 stores closed on Tuesday, down from 187 on Monday. The closings spanned Virginia to …
Starbucks is offering wireless phone charging via Duracell Powermat. The chain has chosen 17 locations around the Boston area for a "limited time in-store trial for wireless charging," according to Starbucks chief digital officer Adam Brotman. "We're building the Powermat technology into some of the tabletops, just to get a sense for how our customers will react, compared to having to plug their mobile devices into the wall."
Mitt Romney, in ads and statements, has said Chrysler is outsourcing Jeep production. The Obama campaign has said that's a lie. Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, who had vowed not to get involved in politics this year, has also jumped in. He said Romney is "inaccurate" in a note to Chrysler employees. Romney has suggested the company was moving Jeep production to China. In fact, Chrysler has vastly increased U.S. production and plans to produce Jeeps in China only for the domestic (Chinese) market, something just about every automaker does. Otherwise, manufacturers face big import duties. Something Romney, who has done …
New York Times
With post-Sandy outages, route damage and flooding, organizing the ING New York City Marathon -- with its 47,000 participants, 1,000 staff and 2 million spectators -- makes the Augean Stables look like a snap. Mayor Bloomberg said there will be alterations, the details of which will be revealed today. Officials were weighing which race-related events to reschedule or eliminate, and waiting to see how many runners would seek to defer their entries. About half of the nearly 50,000 runners take the Staten Island Ferry, which leaves from the Battery, to get to the starting line early Sunday morning. The ferry …
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer hasn't been in ads for the company since Windows 10 and (remember these?) 286-based PCs. In those ads he played a Crazy Eddie type wacko, complete with plaid jacket. Now, 26 years later, he's back to tout Windows Phone 8 event. The executive takes us through his daily affairs as seen on Live Tiles on his HTC Windows Phone 8X. We learn he gets important advice from Bill Gates, and offers not too much to his kids, who don't want it. Ads at the link.
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers is rethinking its full-service restaurant model from name to service style to menu as it puts focus on its new fast-casual concept, Red Robin Burger Works. The chain's CEO Stephen Carley said that during this current quarter, the chain has begun experimenting with "a number of transformed restaurants." Some of the transformed restaurants will have a new logo and signage, identifying the restaurant as Red Robin Gourmet Burgers + Brews. This logo incorporates the flame motif used with the five Red Robin's Burger Works that are open.
The Obama campaign on Monday unveiled a new TV spot calling Mitt Romney's latest ad on the auto bailout "a lie" and "dishonest" in rebutting the GOP candidate's contention Chrysler plans to build Jeep vehicles in China. "When the auto industry faced collapse, Mitt Romney turned his back," the new 30-second ad says. "And now - after Romney's false claim of Jeep outsourcing to China, Chrysler itself has refuted Romney's lie. The truth? Jeep is adding jobs in Ohio. Mitt Romney and Ohio jobs: wrong then, dishonest then."
New York Times
Campaigns do not rely on professional advertising executives as often as they used to, at least not in the same way they did when Doyle Dane Bernbach created the famous "Daisy" ad for Lyndon B. Johnson or Hal Rainey helped write Ronald Reagan's "Morning in America" campaign. The New York Times asked three leaders in advertising to rate their favorite commercials of this campaign. They were asked to make two picks: one pro-Obama ad and one pro-Romney ad. Read on...
Convenience Store News
The convenience store industry is watching Sandy. While travel center chains Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and Pilot Flying J announced preparations late last week, other c-store retailers are making store-by-store plans. Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Quick Chek announced on its Facebook page that it would close its Highlands, N.J., store, located at 470 Navesink Ave., and promised further updates. Meanwhile, Wawa stated on its website it will try to stay open to serve consumers who will need supplies. A list of the chain's closed stores in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware is on the company's Alerts page. As for …