• Which Spotify Ads Are Right For Your Brand?
    Advanced Auto Parts!!! Anyone with Spotify has those ads memorized by now. But is it the right thing to hear after "Nocturne No. 2 in E-Flat major"? In this piece, you get a look at Spotify's ten ad formats. Some, like the above brand's are interruptive (to put it mildly). Others are during extended terms of no-use of the application, and some are clickable. Writer David Olshanetsky matches category to Spotify platform.
  • Honda Odyssey First Minivan To Get Top Safety Pick
    It's not just the vacuum cleaner (the new Odyssey is also the first minivan to have that. Story today). It's also the first to get the highly regarded Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's top honor. One reason the Odyssey's won is because it participated in a new crash test the institute has called the "small overlap" test. Basically it tests a vehicle's ability to handle a specific Achilles heel in front-end collisions
  • Unilever Launches UK Push For Knorr
    Unilever-owned food brand Knorr is launching an online portal to recruit food enthusiasts to act as advocates as part of a wider GBP12m marketing push to raise its profile in the UK. The company is going from promoting the convenience of its products to creating campaigns that push its quality and taste credentials.
  • Corner Bakery Gets Ready For Expansion
    Diana Hovey has been CMO for Dallas-based 150-unit Corner Bakery Caf since 2006, which describes itself as "the ultimate neighborhood gathering spot." The chain was acquired in 2011 by Atlanta-based Roark Capital, which means franchise growth is on the way and expansion into new markets along with it. Hovey talks about where the brand is going.
  • Fast Food Ads Still Attract Kids
    Since 2006 the Better Business Bureau has run an initiative in which companies will pledge to run commercials that feature meal combinations that meet certain nutritional values and stay away from appealing to kids with toys, for example. A new academic study in Plos One shows fast feeders focused on toy premiums, movie character tie-ins, and efforts to brand the company, like showing a street view of the restaurant.
  • Gaming Is Bigger Than You Think
    One in four of the world's population regularly accesses games on the Internet, while in the US alone there are 145 million casual gamers - around 50% of the population - according to a recent report from global strategy consultants Roland Berger. Analyst estimate that the global online and mobile gaming market will show an increase in value of almost 60% by 2016 reaching $46 billion, from $29 billion in 2012 with the biggest growth outside the US and Western Europe. Also, gaming is mainstream now.
  • Long John Silver's Ditches Trans Fat
    Long John Silver's, which caught flack for hits Big Catch meal having two weeks worth of trans fats, has announced it, like other chains, will only use cooking oil that doesn't contain trans fats. At first they will only be using the trans fat free oil on items that aren't batter-dipped, like fries, hushpuppies, clams, crab cakes, catfish and breaded seafood products. The company says the goal is be trans fat free on all products by the end of 2013.
  • Loyalty Perks Up For Big Spenders
    Like airlines, some companies are offering elite levels of loyalty perkage. Beauty retailer Sephora's Beauty Insider program gives free shipping and early access to new products, as well as invites to special events. Spend as little as $1,000 at Gilt.com and you get access to special sales and a VIP customer service queue. Thresholds to get elite benefits are high. At Nordstrom, making it into the upper tiers requires $2,000, $5,000 or $10,000 in annual spending; at Best Buy, Premier Silver status goes to those spending at least $2,500.
  • Burger King: $1 French Fry Burger
    Burger King will offer a new $1 French Fry Burger starting Sept. 1. The new item sandwiches four fries into a burger with a standard beef patty, a company spokesperson said in an email. The dollar still rules on quick-service menus, noted Leslie Kerr, president and founder of Intellaprice, a Boston-based restaurant-pricing advisory firm. "The dollar remains the most common price point on the menu by far," she said.
  • 7-Eleven To Invest In Startups
    7-Eleven Inc. has formed 7-Ventures to invest small amounts of money into startups in the retail and food space. The initiative is being led by 7-Eleven business development executive Raja Doddala. So far the division has made two investments. One is an undisclosed coffee company. The other is Belly, a Chicago-based customer loyalty and marketing platform that just announced $12.1 million in new venture capital funding.
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