Windows' new HoLolens "sees" a day where we can live, at least optically, a completely reality-free life. Columnist David Carr talks about what that means, and suggests watching British-made Netflix series "Black Mirror" for a glimpse at the creepy factor. It "asks fundamental questions about where this is all headed, not by creating an improbable dystopian future, but by hitting us right where we live. Its world is just one click away from the one in front of us."
A 30-second spot in the Super Bowl this year runs $4.5 million. And a lot of unknown, or little known companies are shelling out for ads. Wix.com, which builds websites, Mophie, extending phone batteries and Loctite, a 52-year-old Westlake, OH-based glue company, are spending their entire annual budget on one Super Bowl commercial. "Our goal is to make Loctite famous," Loctite Brand Director Pierre Tannoux said.
In an effort to take advantage of the intense tax filing season, and support its "Get Your Billions Back, America" campaign, H&R Block has signed what it calls its first partnership with a North American sports league. It's a multi-year pact with the NBA that will see the new "official tax services partner" of the league activate with marketing, in-arena presence and a role during the upcoming All-Star Game festivities in New York.
Unilever is readying a review of its multibillion-dollar global media buying and planning business, per sources close to the company. The London-based packaged goods giant, which last put its agencies on review in early 2012, has a predilection for doing so every three years. As it did last time, the company has invited the incumbents to participate, according to people familiar with the matter.
New Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen wants to compete with BMW, Mercedes-Benz and others partly by creating "boutique" stores focused solely on Cadillac. The "boutique" concept isn't a brand-wide makeover. The new plan comes on the heels of his announcement that Cadillac headquarters would be moving from Detroit to Manhattan to affect a change in the perception of the brand: both internally and externally.
Let's Buy British Imports, or L.B.B., agreed this week to stop importing all Cadbury's chocolate made overseas, thanks to a settlement with the Hershey Company. The company also agreed to halt imports on KitKat bars made in Britain; Toffee Crisps, which, whose packaging closely resembles Reese's Peanut Butter Cups; Yorkie chocolate bars, which infringe on the York peppermint patty; and Ms. Perry's Maltesers.
Shares of the companies with the top-ranked Super Bowl advertisements fell in the first days of trading following the game in each of the past four years, according to Ken Kim, chief financial strategist of Eqis Capital. "I think the immediate positive effect that a highly liked Super Bowl commercial can have on their stock prices has simply worn off," Kim said. For example, in spite of the high popularity of Anheuser-Busch's puppy ad last year, A-B's stock fell 1.6% on the Monday after the ad aired on Feb. 2.
Google Glass failed on paper, but we are in a post-paper world. Glass, vilified as nerd spyware, maligned as a useless product, and one that looked like badly designed glasses will probably help the company, which has failed before and learned from it: Google Wave, Google Buzz and virtual world Google Lively were stinkers that Google learned from. Embarrassing failures aren't a bad thing. Next up: SpaceX.
T-Mobile's "Un-Carrier" platform has a new plank: The company says it will offer deals on new smartphones to customers with bad or no credit, regardless of how they pay, and charge no interest. Customers with no or poor credit could only use prepaid accounts before. But the company is now letting them buy new smartphones through installments.
Although it has seen a slight drop in popularity after a season of dealing with serious issues such as domestic violence and child abuse, the NFL remains the favorite sport in America, according to a new Harris Poll. Harris lists baseball No. 2 and college football a strong third aided by the recent overwhelming success of the College Football Playoff and championship game, with hockey, hoops, auto racing and golf also in the Top Ten.