The twain -- Wal-Mart with its heavy discounting and Apple with its premium pricing -- are meeting somewhere on the high end of middle with the mass-market retailer selling the new iPhones for less than Apple itself is. If you're wondering how they can do that, you're not alone.
With back-to-school sales not yet in the rear-view mirror, retailers are already pressing the pedal on Holiday Shopping Season 2013 (and, thanks to the Internet, consumers can get in the mood by listening to the likes of the Andrews Sisters "Christmas Island" on a handful of radio stations 365/24). But there seem to be a few glitches, and grinches, ruining the spirit of even the best-laid layaway plans.
Two marketing innovators passed away in California in recent days: Cal Worthington, who sold about a million new and used cars though TV ads featuring "my dog Spot" (a creature that actually might be anything from a gorilla to a penguin); and Robert R. Taylor, who during a lifetime of creating and marketing innovative products, came up with the head-smacking idea of putting liquid soap in a plastic container and calling it Softsoap
Perhaps the biggest surprise of Tuesday's Apple press conference was that there was little surprise. The company still has enough mojo that observers hope for an announcement out of Apple's white skies that might disrupt entire product lines. But yesterday does not seem to be one of those "Creative Destruction Days" that Nick Bilton talked about in Monday's New York Times unless, say, you're selling high-tech pedometers for 100 bills and are now running against Apple's new M7 "motion-coprocessor."
With the intent of expanding its global business, NBCUniversal is bringing in television executive Jeff Shell to run day-to-day operations at Universal Studios as chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group. Adam Fogelson, who cut his teeth at Universal on the "creative advertising" side of the business and shared Ad Age's Entertainment Marketer of the Year in 2003 for the campaign for "8 Mile," finds himself on Universal City Plaza without his chairman's title at Universal Pictures as a result.
LG Electronics -- until recently an obscure OEM based in Korea in the eyes of most American consumers -- is generating some strong views about, well, views lately. Its latest foray into the headlines is a LG video-gone-viral that prompted an Adweek "Ad Freak" headline to ask: "Is This the Most Evil and Sadistic Prankvertising Stunt Yet?"
GoDaddy, which made a mixed-bag name for itself under founder, former CEO and current executive chairman Bob Parsons by stirring up controversy over salacious ads that were often tweaked before they were allowed to air, is rebranding and retargeting its message to the small businesses that make up the bulk of its market.
Samsung's J.K. Shin engaged in a bit of Jobsian stagecraft yesterday when he introduced the $299 Galaxy Gear, a device that -- if it ultimately proves nothing else -- gives the company bragging rights for beating Apple to market with a smartphone-like device that's worn -- carried? -- on the wrist.
Commentators are placing their bets this morning on the odds of Nokia CEO Stephen Elop succeeding Steve Ballmer as the top silo-buster at Microsoft. Many cite the fact that U.K.-based oddsmaker Ladbrokes made him a 2-1 favorite to win the contest even before Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's mobile phone business was announced late Monday.
The rationale behind Microsoft's $7.2 billion deal to acquire Nokia's Devices & Services business, license Nokia's patents and license and use Nokia's mapping services is the desire for "faster innovation, increased synergies, and unified branding and marketing," the companies say.