Lenovo has completed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility, giving the Chinese more traction in the U.S. and other markets. Lenovo will pay former parent Google $2.91 billion, including $660 million in cash. Motorola had fallen victim to Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy lineup. With Google, Motorola had refined its product portfolio to just a few devices, and developed a focus on the low end.
Ram Truck's new CEO and President Bob Hegbloom has big plans for taking on the big truck brands across town at GM and Ford. Ram is already the fastest growing truck band in the U.S. and wants to grow sales 34% to 620,000 trucks and vans by 2018. The company just launched "Just the Facts," an effort to get beyond mythologizing trucks.
Adidas, the NBA's official uniform and apparel partner, this week launches its "NBA Swingman" campaign to coincide with the start of the 2014-15 season and the unveiling of the brand's revamped jersey design. Dwight Howard, Joakim Noah, Damian Lillard, Andrew Wiggins and Kenneth Faried are featured in humorous TV spots. In the ads unlikely body-doubles - think 6'11" Howard matched with a 5'4" Kevin Hart look-a-like - get to replace the real deals in challenging situations.
Drag superstars Bianca Del Rio and Adore Delano are featured in a hilarious first-ever LGBT ad from Starbucks. The two, top stars of RuPaul's "Drag Race" season six, need caffeine. One of the two asks if she can break in line until she gets to the other. They get cranky when they aren't caffeinated. Watch the spot at the jump.
Instagram has begun selling video ad inventory via partnership with Disney and Activision. First on board are Banana Republic, The CW Television Network, and cosmetics business Lancome. The brands show up as 15-second autoplay spots that appear within peoples' Instagram feeds. Burberry, Levi's, and Ben and Jerry's were among brands that tested the feature earlier this year. Disney is using the platform to promoting its upcoming "Big Hero 6" animated film.
Microsoft has announced new health-focused wearable device called the 'Band.' The wrist device has 10 sensors for tracking such biometric data as steps, heart rate, and sleep. Besides other sensing features, there is also an accelerometer, a GPS radio for tracking routes, and a microphone for dictating notes. And, of course, it's linked to the cloud, and provides branded workouts from Gold's Gym, and Shape and Men's Fitness magazines.
Dunkin' Donuts is pitchin' the Reds. The QSR chain is launching "Kick It with LFC Sweepstakes" in partnership with Liverpool Football Club. The sweepstakes dangles a trip for two to Liverpool to watch the Reds play the Red Devils (Manchester United for soccer plebes) at Anfield Stadium. From now through Nov. 10, fans can submit one entry each day online. The grand prize includes roundtrip airfare, hotel and spending money.
Consumerist reported that Americans are buying more cleaning supplies, especially disinfectants, probably because of the Ebola scare. Lysol noticed, evidently, buying ads on Google searches about the virus. The search result is no longer there, but when it was, it urged the searcher to "learn the facts about Ebola virus from Lysol." It was also right above links from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and even Wikipedia.
This week is the Sao Paulo Auto Show, but it's not so sunny south of the equator. Automakers in Brazil are facing the sharpest slowdown since 1999, and there isn't a bright spot for another year at least. "It looks like the market is in for a difficult time until 2016," said Koji Kondo, Toyota Motor Corp's Brazil chief executive. Sales of cars and light trucks have fallen 9% so far this year compared to the first nine months of 2013. Blame tighter credit and consumer confidence jitters.
Mitsubishi is no Isuzu. The automaker has quietly seen net income rise 8% in the latest quarter, aided by results in North America. That's right, North America, where the company's U.S. light-vehicle sales surged 29% during the quarter. Mitsubishi's North American operations has an operating profit of $6.4 million from an operating loss of $8.2 million a year earlier, as revenues rose 9%. In Europe, operating profits more than doubled. You can't keep a good man down.