Tesla Motors has begun discussing a possible collaboration with Germany's BMW AG, according to the U.S. company's CEO Elon Musk. The two makers are discussing the use of sharing batteries and the lightweight components that can help improve vehicle range. The news comes a month after Germany's Daimler AG sold off its 4% stake in Tesla.
Animal rights group PETA is planning a naked protest of a SeaWorld float in Macy's annual Thanksgiving Day parade in New York. The group objects to the water park keeping orca whales in tanks that it says are too small. It also objects to the Cincinnati-based retailer's tacit support by allowing them in the parade. Two naked protesters wearing body paint to look like orcas will sit in a cramped bath tub along the parade outside Macy's flagship Herald Square store.
It pays to win the NBA title, as the defending champion San Antonio Spurs are finding out, with Tim Duncan appearing in national campaigns as well as alongside several of his teammates. The players are in a series of new spots for supermarket chain H*E*B*, with the crew getting to show off their comedic talents. For its part the grocer supports the team as a presenting sponsor and via multi-platform activations such as fan experiences, community endeavors and marketing on TV, Internet, in-arena and POP.
With the annual Bridgestone Winter Classic coming Jan. 1 and the Coors Light Stadium Series following Feb. 15, the NHL is ramping up marketing efforts for its crown-jewel events. The League is launching a TV, print, outdoor and Internet and a multi-media campaign to support two four-part reality-documentary series for the Classic and Series games. Besides airing on Epix, it is also on NHL's and Epix' Web sites, on Facebook and via apps.
Kraft is using a flexible approach to multicultural marketing by combining traditional and total-market communications strategies depending on the needs of specific brands. Discussing the marketing direction at the Association of National Advertisers' 2014 Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference, Diane Tielbur, senior director/consumer insights and strategy at Kraft Foods Group argued that total-market advertising is "one of many inputs" which must be considered. Full report at the jump.
Apple is launching a two-week campaign around its app store, retail locations and online store, yet another example of CEO Tim Cook's push to boost the company's corporate image. (RED), the charity started in 2006 by singer Bono with a mission to rid the world of HIV/AIDS, will turn the campaign's proceeds over to The Global Fund for use in providing antiretroviral treatment to AIDS sufferers primarily in Africa.
Amazon has leased 470,000 square feet at a midtown Manhattan property right across the street from the Empire State Building. Amazon has a 17-year lease on the space, said owner New York-based Vornado. It's not a store, though. Amazon's lease would be for all of the office space in the building. The company has been looking for a New York base of operations for about two years.
Rapper Rick Ross said recently that eating pears helped him lose weight. That lead to a huge Vine meme, "shoutout to all the pear," and fans are Photoshopping Ross in orchards, superimposing his face on pears, and even getting Ross to autograph the fruit. A U.S.A. Pears' spokesperson says Rick Ross fans are giving the USA Pears and Twitter account shout outs and they new followers from this. They've also seen fans boasting about their own love of pears, trying to outdo Ross.
A new study from Boston Consulting Group sees casual dining restaurants receding into the background, but that it is "premature to write off the CDR segment as having lost its relevance." The report says older brands that have lost differentiation will fade while newer players take over. Drivers: new health and wellness focus on fresh, high-quality ingredients; growth of breakfast, which most CDRs do not offer; time-constrained lifestyles that benefit faster service models; and casual dining's inefficiency in converting first-time guests to repeat customers.
Pizza Hut debuted its new menu this week, "Flavor of Now," which will include a series of TV ads debuting Sunday. Elderly citizens of Sorrento, Italy, taste test Pizza Hut's such new varieties as Peruvian cherry pepper pizza and honey Sriracha crust pizza, giving it a cold reception. The idea: younger and hipper audience will understand it's time for something new. Forthcoming ads will delve into the villagers' views on modern innovations, including a new Pizza Hut mobile app.