FIFA, the global governing body for soccer, ordinarily enjoys huge revenue streams from sponsorship deals attached to the world’s most-watched sporting event, the World Cup. But less than a year before the next edition of the tournament, the organization is having trouble finding companies willing to be a partner. The sport is more popular than ever. What is different this time is FIFA’s reputation.
The first fleet of 50 self-driving taxis developed by a Chinese startup company is expected to hit the road in East China’s Anhui province by March, which may give the nation a head start over other countries in terms of commercial autonomous vehicles. Customers will be able to order self-driving taxis through a ride-hailing app. During the test period, the cab will have a “safety officer” in the driver’s seat.
Tesla has disruptive battery electric vehicle technology but has limited ability to mass produce vehicles. Ford has capacity to mass produce vehicles and has a solid reputation for pick-ups and utility vans but has made limited progress toward battery electric vehicles. Partnering on mass producing pick-ups and utility vans would allow each to benefit from the other and would be great for both companies.
One of the most prestigious awards in the auto world was just awarded to a car that most Americans probably still barely know. The Motor Trend Car of the Year is the Alfa Romeo Giulia, a powerful, sporty and luxury vehicle loaded with Italian style from a brand that's still trying to gain a foothold in the U.S. "Motor Trend" also gave its coveted golden calipers to Ford's F-150 pickup as Truck of the Year and Honda's CR-V as SUV of the Year.
Target Chief Creative Officer Todd Waterbury said the retail brand's approach to creativity, inspiration and design focuses on the power of design to differentiate. Target has 12 new private labels (includng Cat & Jack and Hearth & Hand With Magnolia) launching this year. Waterbury expressed the importance of inclusivity and empathy to its brand and elevating the customer experience.
BMW appears to be back in the billboard game because this billboard showing off the newest BMW M5 just showed up in Gothenburg, Sweden, near Volvo's headquarters. It is part of Need for Speed: Payback's advertising campaign. BMW is no stranger to adverting-based spats. A few years ago, BMW fought with Audi via a series of several billboards.
Lincoln Motor Co. is betting on its lone small crossover SUV to drive new customers to a brand that's reinventing itself again. The 2019 Lincoln MKC crossover targets a growing, profitable segment favored by consumers. The MKC also serves as an entry-point to the brand, per Robert Parker, director of marketing, sales and service. It appeals to a younger demographic, and is Lincoln's least expensive vehicle.
For the third year in a row, the Seattle-based outdoor retailer REI closed all its stores on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday. The consumer co-op processed no online orders. Instead, REI paid all 12,000 employees (even hourly workers) their regular pay to take the day off. The retailer was encouraging everyone to delay their holiday shopping frenzy an extra day and instead spend it outside with a promotion themed #OptOutside.
Mars and Adidas are among a number of top brands that have pulled spend on YouTube in light of a recent (London) "Times" investigation which claimed ads were being served against "inappropriate" and "exploitative" content featuring children. Investigations by the BBC and the Times found tens of thousands of "predatory" accounts have been used to leave explicit comments on children's videos.
It's that time of year, when almost every dealership across the country will flood the airwaves with promises of "huge savings." Some of these commercials are far worse than others and, lucky for us, many of them are on YouTube. One of the worst offenders is a Hyundai dealer who, for whatever reason, cannot correctly pronounce the cars it is selling.