Consumers are a fickle bunch, seemingly exuberant one month; down in the dumps the next. Prognosticators with their finger to their spirits are telling us that the mood among the mass-market shopping class is bleak. And so, retailers such as Wal-Mart and Kohl's are lowering their projections, as Sarah Mahoney reports this morning, and analysts and journalists are carrying the message to their flocks even as the few workers who aren't afraid to take a vacation put their worries behind and set out to enjoy the last few weeks of summer.
"From One Second To The Next," a heart-wrenching PSA documentary directed by German filmmaker Werner Herzog, wrangled by BBDO, New York, and commissioned by AT&T with support from Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, has attracted more than 1.6 million views on YouTube since its release last week, gotten a Hollywood premiere, garnered coverage in everything from "Mother Jones" to "Rolling Stone" to "deathandtaxes" and is "Adweek"'s "Ad of the Day" this morning.
With a lot of reiteration of variations of the phrase "what's good for the consumer," the Justice Department and attorneys general in six states and the District of Columbia yesterday filed an antitrust lawsuit in federal court to put the kibosh on the proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways.
Unilever had one of its desires fulfilled yesterday as it continued divesting some of its processed foods brands with the sale of the Wish-Bone franchise, which includes the Western label, to Parsippany, N.J.-based Pinnacle Foods. Pinnacle is paying $580 million for the two labels whose combined annual sales are about $190 million. Wish-Bone is the No. 1 brand in the Italian segment of the category and No. 3 overall.
Denver-hubbed Frontier Airlines seems to be catching the lucrative spirit of bargain-basement rates -- with an extra charge for the measliest of amenities such as that carry-on bag you put into the overhead bin (if you book through a third party) -- in more ways than one.
Although it took a financial hit for the quarter doing so, T-Mobile is re-proving perhaps the truest of marketing truisms: you create customers by giving people what they want.
If the big movie studios still believe in the inherent efficacy of the tentpole approach -- big names, big budget, big splash -- despite some notable flops this summer, Universal Music Group's game plan for a 16-year-old singer from Auckland's North Shore in New Zealand has been a telling case history of a countervailing trend, the discreet "slow play."
Most of the critics bid "The Lone Ranger" a hearty "Hi-Yo, Away" when it opened earlier this summer and the movie-going public indeed stayed away in wagon trains despite the previously sure-fire attraction of Johnny Depp both as Tonto and a driving creative force. As a result, the Disney studio operation took an arrow to the midsection yesterday with the company mostly blaming marketing costs for the film for a likely $160 to $190 million write off.
There were a few things missing from a petri-dish burger served up in West London yesterday that might be the grand-bull of sustainable carnivorianism. Taste, for one thing. Fat, for another. A competitive price point for a third. And an ad jingle for a fourth. But, hey, the Big Mac wasn't born overnight.
It's certainly not as provocative as the ads for Penelope Cruz' Agent Provocateur lingerie brand nor as potentially pervasive as a forthcoming $500 million campaign for the Moto X (been there) but a decision by the Obama administration Saturday to veto an International Trade Commission patent ruling against Apple "promises to upend long-running battles over intellectual property in the smartphone market and change the strategies some of the world's biggest technology companies use to defend their inventions," the "Wall Street Journal" reports.