• Microsoft Kills The Kin
    That was quick. Only six weeks after launching its social media-centric Kin phones, Microsoft is pulling the plug on them. According to a Gizmodo report, Kin will be ended as a product line and the technology and team behind it will be folded into Microsoft's Windows Phone 7, the latest version of the company's mobile operating system launching at year's end. Just this week, Verizon slashed pricing on the Kin phones, aimed at young hipsters, in a bid to boost reportedly anemic sales. But the $30 monthly data plan the Kin required remained a big hurdle to …
  • Walmart Slides But Still Top Retail Brand; Amazon Gaining Fast
    When it comes to global brand value, Walmart continues to be the most powerful retailer, with its brand valued at $30.42 billion. But a new ranking from Kantar Retail and BrandZ reflects some seismic shifts in consumer spending in the last year: While the category as a whole shrank, Amazon shot into the No. 2 spot like a meteor, with a brand value of $27.45 billion—a 359% increase since 2006, when it was ranked No. 8. This year alone, its brand value jumped 29%, demonstrating not just how important e-commerce has become to shoppers, "but that the company is unbelievably …
  • Facebook Disables, Then Restores, Protest Site
    Facebook riled the blogosphere Monday night by briefly disabling the "Boycott BP" page, a protest site with more than 700,000 fans. Although Facebook restored the site by this morning, some digital rights advocates are demanding answers. "Facebook's decision to delete the page without warning or explanation was irresponsible," advocacy group Public Citizen said in a statement. "Facebook and other social websites have become the public squares of the Internet - places where citizens can congregate as a community to share their opinions and voice their grievances. ... At the very least, Facebook should provide warning and a reasoned explanation …
  • Store Labels Outperforming National Brands
    Look out, national brands: Private-label sales are gaining on you in ways you'd never imagined. Thanks to high-quality generics from such chains as Target, Safeway, Kroger and Whole Foods Markets, SymphonyIRI reports that consumers are increasingly likely to buy these store brands, and the more categories they dabble in, the more likely they are to be satisfied. "It's all about branding and positioning with the customer," Sean Seitzinger, SVP/Consulting and Innovation Group at SymphonyIRI Group, tells Marketing Daily. "The concept of a store brand just being the cheaper, value choice doesn't really apply anymore—consumers are happy with these products." …
  • Horizon Dishes Up Another Win, Literally
    Horizon Media has won the direct response media services account for satellite TV provider Dish Network. In a statement, Horizon said its direct response group will handle, "the overall media and marketing strategy, as well as buying and analytics, with responsibilities spanning from direct response and brand across television, radio and out-of-home.
  • CP+B Takes Titanium At Cannes For "Twelpforce"
    Crispin Porter + Bogusky has won the Titanium Grand Prix at The Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in France for its "Twelpforce" campaign for client Best Buy. The award, one of only two Titanium Lions awarded this year, followed on the heels of CP+B being named Interactive Agency of the Year, and receiving an additional five Lions for their digital work.
  • [x+1] Taps Sears' Black As Head Of Client Solutions
    Online ad targeting platform developer [x+1] has recruited its second former top Sears media executives, naming Christopher Black vice president-client solutions. Black previously was divisional vice president-media services at Sears media Holdings, where he developed mass media and online media strategies for Sears retail stores and brands. Earlier this year, [x+1] hired former Sears Vice President-Media Strategy + Digital Innovation Perianne Grignon as vice president- media strategy and chief marketing officer, after a brief stint at the Online Publishers Association.
  • Display Ad Impressions, CPMs Surge: Larger Formats Gaining
    The volume of online display ads has expanded 15% over the past year, but conventional banner ads continue to dominate the marketplace, according to new data released this morning by comScore. The report, which is based on April 2010 data, shows that average CPMs also are rising, a phenomenon comScore attributed to "several drivers," including the fact that online advertisers are utilizing larger and "more engaging creative ad formats." In April, nearly 60% of U.S. display ad impressions were of the standard GIF/JPEG variety, according to comScore's Ad Metrix report. JPEGs accounted for most of that – 42.4% of …
  • Young Women Most Optimistic About Recovery
    As consumer spending continues to improve, a new study from Boston Consulting Group says that in U.S., progress continues to be lumpy and unpredictable. While Gen Y (especially women), dual-income couples with no kids, and financially secure empty nesters are most likely to say they intend to spend more in the year ahead, there's still plenty of evidence that in many areas, Americans are determined to keep their belts extra-tight. In fact, even as consumers around the world get bored with trading down, Americans are more enthusiastic—with some 53% saying they are actively seeking to trade down in some …
  • Target and Ben & Jerry's Launch Exclusive Flavors
    Ben & Jerry's is introducing Berry Voluntary and Brownie Chew Gooder, two ice cream flavors created exclusively for Target. The flavors will be sold in both pints and minicups throughout 2010, and the Minneapolis-based retailer says the joint effort symbolizes both companies' commitment to volunteerism. Target shoppers are invited to "Scoop it Forward" by going to www.VolunteerMatch.org/scoopitforward, where they can find volunteer opportunities close to home. Once they register for a volunteer event and forward it to five friends, all six get a coupon for one free pint.
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