Procter & Gamble has tapped "Modern Family" star Jesse Tyler Ferguson as a celebrity pitchman for its Swiffer and Febreze brands. The brands' dry dusting cleaners and allergen reducing sprays are touting first-ever certification as "asthma & allergy friendly," by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
You can't actually buy the Apple Watch for a month, but Apple has made some of the apps for it available now in the Apple Store. They include Twitter, Things, Target, Dark Sky, Sky Guide, and many more. Some of these are probably live now for the benefit of reviewers to use third-party apps. They will also likely be loaded on Apple Store Apple Watches for test-drives. Apple Watch support has been added to a number of existing App Store iPhone apps.
SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. is launching new advertising to fight back criticism and spotlight the company's care of killer whales. The effort, using print, TV and online communication, includes a new website called AskSeaWorld.com. The campaign features SeaWorld veterinarians, researchers and other members of the company's team of 1,500 animal-care experts. The ads, appearing in major dailies, will also highlight initiatives such as a $10 million donation to study endangered killer whales in the wild. TV ads break in April.
March is traditionally a strong month for auto sales, as people thaw out and hit dealerships. But maybe not this March. It could be just the sixth month since 2009 in which the U.S. auto industry posts a year-over-year sales decline, a sign that the big post-recession boom is slowing. Right now it could go either way as volumes are tracking flat with last year. TrueCar sees a 0.8% decline; Kelley Blue Book a 0.3% dip; and LMC Automotive goes the other way, with a 0.3% lift.
Advertising for alcoholic drinks affects brand choice, loyalty and brings new customers, but doesn't seem to make people actually drink more. A new study from the University of Texas at Austin, led by advertising professor Gary Wilcox, looked at alcohol sales between 1971 and 2011 and found that during the period, per capita consumption remained flat though alcohol advertising in the U.S. increased more than 400%.
In a move intended to take on such sports energy drinks as Gatorade, PowerAde and VitaminWater, as well as the burgeoning coconut water category, Core Power high protein milk shakes has signed a roster of players to target core athletes and weekend warriors. NFL QB Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys, Kemba Walker of the NBA's Charlotte Hornets and NHL New York Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh will appear in a multi-layered campaign, "Everyday Awesome."
The Super Bowl has long been a bottomless pot of gold for the NFL, but the league is taking the gold theme literally with a year-long ramp-up for the game's golden anniversary next February in Levi's Stadium. Marketing partners, players and coaches are activating in a multi-layer platform that will begin at the NFL Draft on April 30 and culminating at the Pro Bowl and then Super Bowl 50. It includes merchandising, ad campaigns, and gold highlights on uniforms, balls, and the playing field.
Reports of the death of Twinkies were very exaggerated. Hostess Brands, created from the ashes of its predecessor in 2013, is making a comeback. The new management team, says S&P, which has upgraded its rating to a B from B-, "Is now focused on growing its sales base through new products and continued expansion into channels where it historically has not maintained a significant presence, such as dollar stores and vending."
On Wednesday, Peet's Coffee & Tea, the company that introduced America to dark roasts, began selling a new crushed-ice coffee drink it calls Javiva. The company will tout the drink as made from fresh, brewed coffee. The marketing is meant to distinguish the beverage from the category-typical "blended iced coffee," made made from coffee power, syrups, extracts and sweeteners. The company is touting its difference as it concentrates on expanding into major urban markets like Chicago and Washington.
Valspar Paint and ad agency FCB Chicago have launched a website about color blindness, and how you can cure it with a pair of $349 glasses. The campaign includes a four-minute video where those affected by the inherited condition tell their stories and then don the specs, made by California-based EnChroma. There's a social #ColorForAll element, where people affected by color blindness can share their stories. Some get the EnChroma glasses.