As we're inundated with hero shots of the iPad every day, on every billboard and the back of every magazine cover, it appears to be a good time to rethink the relationship between advertising and product, between marketing and innovation. It's not that Apple doesn't spend any money on advertising--no, it was pouring a whopping $500 million into its launch campaign for the iPad. But what is different is that Apple's marketing doesn't have to be clever or utterly creative. In fact, it is stunningly not so. No major social media campaign needed to be sparked, no user-generated content contest needed to be held. And while the ongoing tongue-in-cheek anti-Microsoft ads are undeniably cute, they are not really an advertising revelation. Gone are the days of the bold "1984" campaigns. Today, Apple earns enough attention to forgo any ostentatious marketing, in fact, so much that a cleverly orchestrated campaign would distract from the brand rather than boosting it. The company simply displays its products--that's all it takes. Apple's products are viral without any viral marketing.… Read more
It turns out that the winner of the Starbucks-sponsored Betacup Challenge, a design competition aiming to solve the problem of the billions of disposable coffee cups discarded annually, isn't a cup at all. Rather, it's a chalkboard.
Called "Karma Cup," the jury-selected winning concept envisions a chalkboard at the counter of every Starbucks. Bring a reusable cup for your coffee, and you get to put a check mark on the chalkboard. Every 10 check marks, the next person to come in with a reusable cup gets his or her coffee on the house. "Think of … Read more
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has a new job: overseeing the company's entertainment and mobile businesses in the wake of high-profile executive departures. It's not the first time Ballmer has taken the reins of struggling business units, having managed the Windows and Internet search businesses directly at different times, but arguably Microsoft doesn't need new management.
It needs new brands. Especially in mobile.
Microsoft has sought to extend its Windows brand to a diverse array of technology, from SharePoint to Windows Phone. Windows is a powerful brand. But it's also a brand that screams "20th century.&… Read more
Google is experimenting with a search results box that inserts major brands atop regular search results for product-related queries.
They're not ads, and they're not regular search results. Search Engine Land spotted the branded results, which I was able to reproduce for several queries including "digital cameras," "notebook PCs," "cars," and "mobile phones." In each case, the first line below the ads atop the search results page contains the text "Brands for mobile phones" and hyperlinks over a company's name to another search results page that combines … Read more
Google is the world's strongest brand for the fourth straight year, according to a study released Wednesday by research firm Millward Brown Optimor.
Analyzing the world's strongest brands, the fifth annual "BrandZ Top 100 report" examined consumer opinions and market data on brands to assign each one a certain value and then translated that value into dollars to rank the top 100.
Tech companies took the top four spots with No. 1 Google followed by IBM, Apple, and Microsoft.
Google, IBM, and Apple all grew in brand value from 2009, noted Millward Brown, even amid a … Read more
LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif.--The iconic environmentalist Stewart Brand has come around to the notion that the Earth can't solve its own problems any more.
Brand, the original publisher and editor of the "Whole Earth Catalog" in the late 1960s and early 1970s, is an ecologist and Internet pioneer who founded the online community The Well. When it comes to dealing with global warming, he thinks environmentalists need to push for things that many of them now oppose.
A federal appeals court decision against the Federal Communications Commission has left many people wondering if the open Internet's days are numbered.
On Tuesday, a three-judge panel in a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. unanimously tossed out an FCC cease-and-desist order against cable giant Comcast. The FCC said in 2008 that Comcast had illegally slowed its customers' Bit Torrent traffic. Comcast, which changed its practices voluntarily before the FCC took action, claimed it was simply managing its network. The cable giant appealed the FCC's order to clear its name and set the record straight.
The recent … Read more
Those who know me will tell you that I tend to reflect on things, but the sad truth is that my brain is simply slow: here I am, writing about the iPad months after everybody else has put the microscope down and decided to wait for the thing to finally hit the market for real.
From my vantage point of nonengagement I must admit it was oddly amusing to see Apple for once unable to safely ride out the centrifugal mammoth hype tube they managed once more to build around their latest … Read more
MIAMI--Walk around the Future of Web Apps event in South Beach this week, and you'll see loads of eager young entrepreneurs and developers proudly displaying the names of their fledgling companies on their conference badges.
"Choose something with meaning, even if it's expensive and difficult to acquire, rather based on domain name availability, because otherwise, you're going to kill word-of-mouth," he told … Read more