Store brands are coming after brand marketers' Boar's Head meat and Idaho potatoes: the inferred promise of higher quality. Hannah Karp has a fact- and anecdote-rich piece about the accelerating trend in the "Wall Street Journal" this morning.
You know price resistance is palpable when Procter & Gamble, for all its analysis of the consumer's psyche, can't pull off a 9% increase on a product that only the most ardent shoppers remember what they paid the last time they were in the aisles.
It took a whistleblower lawsuit and the deaths of five patients but all of a sudden everyone with a constituency seems to be outraged by the 1-800 -GET-THIN freeway billboards, bus ads and radio and TV spots that have permeated the Los Angeles market in recent years. It's a story that the "Los Angeles Times," particularly columnist Michal Hiltzik, has been pursuing for years.
McDonald's posted its eighth straight year of positive sales around the globe and, while it is concerned about rising prices and the impact on franchisees, it expects the trend to continue, Maureen Morrison reports in "Ad Age." It plans to open 1,300 outlets, including 250 in China, and to renovate about 2,400 restaurants in the coming year. It's also presumably rethinking its social media strategy following what the "Financial Times" describes as a "hijacking" of a Twitter campaign last week.
What golf advertising needs, according the Callaway creative director Justin Timberlake -- yes, that Justin Timberlake -- is a "nice injection of kickassery." Presumably, that's exactly what the new campaign he has fashioned with Denver's Factory Design Labs brings to the fairway as it breaks during the Farmers Insurance Open (how's that for a kickassery-type of corporate sponsor?) this weekend.
Blackberry parent company Research in Motion "is "bowing to critics and market forces," as the New York Times headline puts it, by replacing the co- CEOs who developed "the innovative device that was the first to reliably deliver email over airwaves." Thorsten Heins, who joined RIM in 2007 and most recently has been COO for software, hardware and sales, becomes CEO effective today. Mike Lazaridis, who co-founded RIM with a childhood friend in 1985, becomes vice chairman and will lead an "innovation committee," Ian Austen reports. Jim Balsillie, who invested $250,000 in the company in 1992, remains a director and …
The young pups of the internet have a few tricks to teach the old dogs of the Internet if this week's grassroots campaign against the pending Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA in the House) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA in the Senate) are any indication of how to rapidly mobilize a movement against entrenched -- a.k.a., well-funded-- interests.
New Yorkers sometimes speak with more passion than logic but that often gets them right to the heart of the matter. So it was yesterday with a woman disembarking from a cruise who was interviewed on a local radio station. Things like the grounding of the cruise ship Costa Concordia off the coast of Tuscany aren't supposed to happen "after the Titanic," she averred.
Portly Paula Deen, the doyenne of sumptuous Southern cooking served in heaps, went on the "Today" show yesterday morning and revealed that she'd waited three years to reveal that she has Type 2 diabetes because she wanted to have a plan of action in place before she did. Within a minute of admitting to Al Roker that long-circulating rumors about her health are true, she was referring viewers to Novo Nordisk's "Diabetes in a New Light" website.
Danny Wood Evins, who saw an opportunity in the late Sixties for "a glorified gas station in which travelers could grab a bite and browse a gift shop, as well as fill up their tank" and turned it into the highly successful Cracker Barrel chain of restaurants, died in his company's hometown of Lebanon, Tenn., Sunday, Bobby Allyn reports in "The Tennessean." He was 76 and had cancer.