Ahead of the April launch of the Apple Watch, the company has launched style-centric ads for the wearable in the March issue of Vogue. The 12-page ad spread in the middle of the 600-page issue happens to be one of the first high-profile marketing exposures the device has had in the U.S. since its reveal last year. The ad creative takes a page from other Apple device creative: the spread focuses on the device only, and its variations, including interchangeable bands, against a monochromatic background.
The big fight on May 2 will be at the 16,800-seat MGM Grand. The hype is huge. The hotel sold out for that day soon after the fight was announced. Floor seats may fetch as much as $25,000. But brands, sponsors and fighter comps are going to take up huge chunks of seating.
Amazon's Zappos.com is title sponsor for the San Francisco Bay To Breakers race, a 7.46 mile event first competed in 1912. Other marketing partners are Under Armour, GEICO and Hyatt Regency. Zappos' activation encourages runners and spectators to try to set more than 40 race-related world records such as selfie photo taking, sourdough bread eating and garlic fry tossing.
Consumer Reports' latest list of top-ranked automotive brands and models contained some big surprises and reinforced some long-standing reputations. Tesla Motors had the top-ranked product overall in the form of its Model S sedan. Toyota, a manufacturer long associated with high-quality products, managed to place two of its brands in the Top Ten. Kia, a marque may traditionally associated with lowball pricing, also managed to place among the industry's best, nudging aside BMW to take the ninth place.
Airbnb is partnering with T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom to preinstall its app in Android smartphones sold across 13 markets in Europe, including DT's home market of Germany. Those who register for the service through DT will get EUR30 vouchers to stay in Airbnb rooms. While Airbnb has partnered with companies like business travel platform Concur to integrate its accommodation inventory, this is the first time Airbnb is working with a carrier to expand its business.
Data company 4C Insights found that Samsung achieved the highest brand affinity lift on Twitter and Facebook during the Oscars, partly because it got seven minutes of air time, including in-show activations. Dove's #SpeakBeautiful, and Dior's ad with Natalie Portman were next. Lego won even though it didn't advertise. Remember the Lego Oscar for Oprah?
The first Chromebook Pixel wasn't exactly a big seller partly because of its price. Google is apparently prepping a second version. A video on the subject was briefly online before the company took it down. In it Renee Niemi, who's in charge of Android and Chrome for work and education reveals that the company's working on the next-gen Pixel that will soon be slated for release.
Known as "the father of the Z," the original Nissan 240Z sports car, Yutaka Katayama (widely known as Mr. K) has passed away at 105. He continued to play a role at the Japanese automaker long after his official retirement in 1977. Katayama first joined Nissan in 1935, handling publicity and advertising. He helped inspire some desperately needed passion by pushing for a small, stylish and affordable sports car that came to be known as the 240Z.
Asics has unveiled a global effort, "It's A Big World. Go Run It," with a multi-platform push that the brand is calling its "most ambitious to date." It includes a launch umbrella commercial featuring Olympic and world-champion athletes. There are spots targeting tennis and rugby, as well as print, Internet, POP, and activation at the Asics L.A. Marathon in March.
Carlos Ghosn is changing leadership at Infiniti Americas. Gone is VP Michael Bartsch who had been recruited from Porsche Cars North America just 18 months ago. He is to be replaced by Randy Parker, most recently Nissan regional manager. Over the years, Ghosn has tried fresh faces at the Nissan Motors luxury arm to move the brand into true luxury consideration. It hasn't happened.