Jamba Inc. has named Carrabba's Italian Grill president David Pace the company's new CEO. Former P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc. CEO Richard Federico has been named chairman. Both replace James White, who announced his retirement from Emeryville, Calif.-based Jamba in October. Pace will start with the company on March 14. Federico will assume the role of chairman immediately.
With several products in recent years, such as ATS and CTS, Cadillac has tried to vie against European luxury brands product for product. But the new CT6, on sale in March, avoids the "me too" trap. It is a fresh approach to the luxury sedan category, one that defies categorization in terms of its size, interior space and price.
Twitter now has longer pre-roll video ads that can run for up to 30 seconds and longer, an increase from the six-second standard it first adopted. The longer ads also come with an immediate skip option, and are shown ahead of videos that media partners post as part of Twitter's Amplify product, in which ad revenue is split between the content creators and Twitter.
For the U.S. Postal Service, the future isn't in letters, but in packages. Congress' idea for saving the USPS money has been to cut Saturday deliveries, but there are other ideas. For now, for example, the USPS is bringing in more money by doing the opposite of that, making residential deliveries of regular packages on Sundays for Amazon. That may not be a long-term option, but letting the USPS handle shipments of alcoholic beverages could build revenue, as would a current pilot program of having mail carriers deliver groceries.
Starbucks Corp. began the fiscal year with a record-breaking first quarter, with same-store sales rising 9% in the Americas. The company posted a 4% increase in traffic, and said a record $1.9 billion was loaded onto Starbucks cards in the U.S. and Canada. One in six American adults received a Starbucks gift card during the quarter, an increase from one in seven the previous year. Globally, same-store sales increased 8%, including a 4% increase in traffic for the Dec. 27-ended quarter, the company said.
YouTube is letting brands that plan to advertise in the Super Bowl offer clips of their ads ahead of event, in the promise that it will generate them more than twice the views come game day. The move is a major push for YouTube's AdBlitz video platform, which hosts Super Bowl ads and promotes them across Google's advertising network.
In an effort to prove the virtues of native advertising, the BBC is turning to facial-recognition technology. In the fall, the BBC used software from CrowdEmotion to measure 5,000 people's conscious and subconscious emotional responses to content marketing digital campaigns from clients like HSBC, Dassault and Hainan Island Tourism. Now, the BBC is rolling out the capability broadly to clients of its StoryWorks content studio.
Siblings Carl's Jr. and Hardee's are each putting out their take on the $4 meal, joining McDonald's, which has a discount menu offering two items for $2, and Pizza Hut with a $5 menu. Wendy's is offering a $4 meal, too, where you get a Junior Bacon Cheeseburger, chicken nuggets, fries, and a drink. Burger King's is like Wendy's but sans bacon, and the meal includes a cookie instead.
After having announced it is investing $500 million in Uber rival Lyft, General Motors is consolidating and expanding its car-sharing programs under a new brand called Maven. The effort involves a city-based car-sharing service that allows residents to request the use of Chevrolet vehicles on the new Maven app for as little as $6 per hour, via Zipcar. The program will begin with vehicles available at 21 parking spots in Ann Arbor, Mich. GM also has a residential car-sharing program in New York City.
Pharmacy chain Rite Aid has rolled out proximity beacons in each of its more than 4,500 stores across the U.S. The scale of the installation makes it the largest beacon program in a retail setting to date, topping Macy's. The Rite Aid beacon program is in partnership with inMarket, a mobile shopper marketing firm which manufactures its own securitized bluetooth beacons for iOS and Android.