Colin Kaepernick: The political and social climate and rhetoric in the US has been more divisive this past year than any other in recent memory. Utilizing social media and organizing nation-wide protests, more Americans - particularly minorities and the underserved - are waking up to, exposing, rejecting, and fighting against the structural inequalities and widespread injustices that still plague our country. From actors to athletes, celebrities across the spectrum have leveraged their platform to speak out against these injustices, but perhaps no other has raised more discussion this past year than Colin Kaepernick. Once the 49ers star quarterback, Colin has become more known for his political activism than his prowess on the field. His national anthem protest, in which he kneels during the national anthem at the start of games to protest police brutality against black Americans and other people of color, has garnered both support and harsh criticism. Other NFL players and professional athletes have joined in Kaepernick's protest, including the Seattle Seahawks and US women's soccer team player Megan Rapinoe. Verdict: Winner. His public and unbowed commitment to the cause has expanded beyond the protest. Soon after the beginning of his protest, his jerseys became the top sellers in the NFL. He has since promised (and begun) to donate $100K per month for the next ten months to community organizations focused on ending racial inequality and oppression, working towards police reform, and aiding with community engagement and growth. All donated funds can be tracked on Kaepernick's website. He organized and hosted a "Know Your Rights" camp to educate underprivileged Bay Area children about their rights as citizens, financial literacy, health and wellness, and higher education. Samsung: After reclaiming the number one spot as top smartphone maker in 2015, Samsung seemed poised to continue its dominance into 2016 with the new Galaxy Note 7. Water resistant, armed with an iris scanner, and bolstered by successful viral marketing campaigns featuring Oscar winner Christoph Waltz and rapper Lil Wayne, the Galaxy Note 7 looked like the It phone for 2016. Then they started exploding. Between the unveiling of the phone in August to the suspension of production and subsequent recall in October, Samsung fielded over 90 incidents of catastrophic phone failure as a result of defective batteries overheating, exploding, and causing fires in homes, cars, hotel rooms, and even planes. While the tech giant attempted to rectify the situation through a series of recalls and exchange programs (even offering full refunds and incentives for returns on the $850 device), bans placed on the phones by government regulators and consumer protection groups forced them to recall all 2.5 million phones worldwide to the tune of a loss of $2B USD. Verdict: Loser. Samsung's inability to effectively fix the problem as soon as it surfaced, including issuing new phones that displayed the same faulty (and explosive) battery issues as those replaced, coupled with unfortunate timing (with the first reports of explosions appearing just days before the unveiling of Apple's competing iPhone 7), ultimately resulted in one of the biggest financial and reputational blows to a tech company in recent memory. Leslie Jones: Being subjected to online hate is an unfortunate side-effect of reaching any kind of celebrity status - especially if you happen to be a woman. The SNL comedian learned just how dark the online world can be when she was subjected to abhorrent abuse and a series of cyber attacks following her turn as Patty Tolan in the 2016 reboot of the Ghostbusters franchise. Unfortunately, it's not surprising that many will stop at nothing to punish someone for having the gaul to be a successful black woman. Lack of shock aside, the level of vitriol faced by Jones reached new heights. The announcement of an all-female reboot of the franchise - starring some of the biggest names in comedy - was quickly met with virulent misogyny and racism masquerading as the mere pushback of concerned "fans." Hoards of angry, primarily young white men lashed out against the offense of having women star in a popular franchise reboot (the entitlement was palpable), with the trailer becoming one of the most disliked videos on Youtube (ever). Leslie, as the only black woman in the cast, bore even greater amounts of vitriol, bombarded with taunts, physical threats of violence, and abuse based on both her race and gender. Following this, Jones (understandably needing a reprieve from the abuse) briefly quit Twitter before making an applauded comeback (receiving an outpouring of love and support from celebrity friends and the general public alike) after meeting with Twitter founder Jack Dorsey. Following their meeting, Dorsey took some of Twitter's first ever serious action against the abuse that runs rampant on its platform by banning some of the microblogging site's most notorious and vile trolls. Verdict: Winner. Despite enduring maddening and disgusting levels of abuse and invasion, Leslie Jones managed to not only rise above, but to also utilize her platform to push forward some much-needed change. Moreover, after returning to Twitter, her comedic tweets on the 2016 Olympics were so popular that she was invited to be an NBC special commentator covering swimming, gymnastics, and beach volleyball. Since the hack, she's been featured on each episode of Saturday Night Live, while also landing an advertising campaign with Allstate. Following the hack of her website, she stuck to her guns and addressed the trolls in a hilarious and empowering SNL Weekend Update segment. She stood up for herself, controlled the narrative, and served as an inspiration for countless others while staying funny as hell doing it (and to no surprise, she continues to be a highly successful, absolutely hilarious, and ever popular comedian and actor). Pokemon/Nintendo: Nintendo massively cashed in on the nostalgia trend in the entertainment industry this year with the release of its mobile app, Pokemon Go, in which it brought one of its most popular franchises to phones worldwide. The augmented reality game uses smartphone's GPS technology to allow players to seek out, collect, and train Pokemon at locations in the real world (with the pocket monsters appearing on their screens). One of the most downloaded (over 500 million worldwide) and most profitable ($600M in revenue as of late 2016) mobile applications ever, Pokemon Go brought the franchise back to heights of ubiquity last seen in the early aughts. An absolute cultural phenomenon since its release in July 2016, Pokemon Go managed to: catch criminals, support local businesses, bring players closer to God (whoever you praise) and one another, kickstart weight-loss goals, be featured in an MMA bout, and appear on the campaign trail. Of course, as with any craze there were a few negative stories, but certainly not enough to dissuade Nintendo from transforming another one of its legendary titles into a mobile application with the release of its latest record-breaking app. Verdict: Winner. By capitalizing on our love of nostalgia (the trend of reboots, rehashes and revisits doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon), Pokemon Go was a perfect addition to the Pokemon franchise (and one that has certainly found itself a home in pop-culture history). Seamlessly blending new technology with a beloved franchise, Pokemon Go revitalized the Nintendo brand, bringing in a newer and younger audience while also engaging with longtime fans who had been with the series since its inception. President Obama: With his approval rating at a four-year high, it's fair to say that President Obama will go down as a not just a good, but a truly great president. At the end of his historic presidential run, President Obama has reached his highest approval rating since 2012, with more Americans feeling confident about his job performance as President as well as how his legacy will be remembered by history and perceived by future generations. He dealt with a tough and tumultuous (but often promising) second term that saw the deadliest mass shooting in US history, the proliferation and spread of the Islamic State, a government shutdown, the passing of the Universal Healthcare Act, and increased diversity in the federal government. Through the highs and lows, Obama has still managed (and deservedly so) to maintain and inspire confidence in the American people as well as the world abroad. With a 57% approval rating at the end of his second term, he's seen a massive upswing from December 2012, when his rating languished at 40% in some national polls. Perhaps it's due to this very emotionally and mentally draining election cycle or the knowledge that the incoming President lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes, but the American people are really appreciating these last few months of the Obama presidency (and mourning their passing). Verdict: Winner. Regardless of personal political beliefs, Obama has been a truly great President, and there is no doubt that history will remember him as such. When he took office eight years ago, our nation was in the midst of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression - there were no jobs, banks were failing after running roughshod over the general population, the auto industry was failing, and the country was in disarray. We needed hope, and Obama brought that and so much more throughout his presidency. Our economy is flourishing, consumer confidence is at it's highest level since 2001, we're no longer at war, and despite all of the negativity and turmoil, we are still optimistic about the future. Donald Trump: Despite winning the electoral vote, President-elect Trump lost the popular vote. The official numbers are in and nearly 3M more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton for President (giving her 48.2% of the popular vote to his 46.1%). Now he has to do one of the most strenuous jobs on Earth, with no experience that the majority didn't actually vote for. Good luck with that. And I do mean, good luck. Politics aside, all of us who didn't vote for Trump have to hope for the well being of the country. I'd love to be wrong. That said, Donald Trump is entering office with a favorability rating of 44% before his first official presidential tweet. Where's that favorability rating going to go next? And I do want to be wrong here. Badly. Since winning the election on November 8th, the President-Elect hasn't slowed down his assault, and it's seems difficult to fathom that it won't fall short of expectations placed upon the Presidency. He shirks intelligence briefings and uses his Twitter as a personal diary/bulletin board to air out his middle of the night grievances, go on wild tirades, and defend his often sensitive ego. And while no one knows exactly what his policy stances are (as they seem to change with the weather), it's probably a good bet that they'll do little to help the poor and middle-class (which unfortunately include many of those who most-vehemently supported him). Verdict: I'm pleading the fifth. I never thought Trump actually wanted this job. Despite winning the election, Trump did in fact lose the actual popular vote. Regardless of how much he tries to deny that, he now has to take on one of the most difficult, strenuous, and thankless jobs there is, all while knowing that the popular vote and majority of Americans didn't actually support him. I'd bet he would have preferred to have won that popular vote but lose the election (à la Hillary) so he could continue to point out how "rigged' the system is. Instead, he's now facing the reality of being held to a much different standard - the President of the United States simply cannot afford to be anything but poised and adeptly diplomatic. The global-scale embarrassment the country stands to face is, well, "unpresidented." Donald Trump is the next President. While I'm going to be an optimist and root for a successful term, I do strongly believe that we should all be more politically vigilant and active. Inform yourself, know his policies and stances, and keep the administration accountable. Call your Senators and other elected representatives, write to Congress, and please do vote in local, state, and midterm elections. #Onward and #Upward -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
BRIEF-Sharp unit SEC receives lawsuit from Allstate Vehicle and Property Insurance Company for claiming damage
* Says Allstate Vehicle and Property Insurance Company files a lawsuit against Electrolux North America and co's unit Sharp Electronics Corporation (SEC)
In response to consumer pressure, some companies such as Kellogg's, BMW, Warby Parker and Allstate have issued guidelines not to allow their digital advertising to appear on Breitbart News. The site, famous for its invective-filled headlines like "Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy,"is the largest and therefore the symbolic epicenter of controversy over inflammatory fake news. In a report entitled "How to Destroy the Business Model of Breitbart and Fake News," The New York Times tells the story of an ad hoc Twitter group called "Sleeping Giants [which] became the hub of the new movement. The Giants and their followers have communicated with more than 1,000 companies and nonprofit groups whose ads appeared on Breitbart, and about 400 of those organizations have promised to remove the site from future ad buys." As reported by The New York Times, Sleeping Giants has focused solely on Breitbart to begin with, but hopes to expand its focus. Breitbart responded with an article titled "Fake News Plus Fascism: New York Times Urges Boycott of Breitbart" and accused the famously liberal New York Times of trying to limit free speech, of being ignorant of how Internet advertising really works and of manufacturing their own fake news as well. My readers know that I am adamant about holding all news media sources (as opposed to distribution platforms) accountable for their words. Sadly, famed and trusted publications like Rolling Stone and even The New York Times have been less than scrupulous in their own self-policing. See more recently Glenn Greenwald's criticism of false stories published by The Washington Post: In the past six weeks, the Washington Post published two blockbuster stories about the Russian threat that went viral: one on how Russia is behind a massive explosion of "fake news," the other on how it invaded the U.S. electric grid. Both articles were fundamentally false. Each now bears a humiliating editor's note grudgingly acknowledging that the core claims of the story were fiction: The first note was posted a full two weeks later to the top of the original article; the other was buried the following day at the bottom... ...But while these debacles are embarrassing for the paper, they are also richly rewarding. That's because journalists -- including those at the Post -- aggressively hype and promote the original, sensationalistic false stories, ensuring that they go viral, generating massive traffic for the Post (the paper's executive editor, Marty Baron, recently boasted about how profitable the paper has become). After spreading the falsehoods far and wide, raising fear levels and manipulating U.S. political discourse in the process (both Russia stories were widely hyped on cable news), journalists who spread the false claims subsequently note the retraction or corrections only in the most muted way possible, and often not at all. As a result, only a tiny fraction of people who were exposed to the original false story end up learning of the retractions. But frankly, that's not my issue today--so hold the thought about media's own accountability for another time. My focus is on brands and brands alone. You see, it's fascinating to click on the Brietbart story I reference and see which ads follow you. I won't embarrass the brands in question. Suffice it to say I am being served the same irrelevance (for the most part) that clogs up my New York Times pages, slows down my load times across a myriad of sites I view and otherwise fades from my memory before I even leave the page. And that's the point, no? The trade publication eMarketer expects U.S. programmatic display ad spending to have reached $22.1 billion in 2016, accounting for 67 percent of all display ad spending. Through 2017, that could rise to $27.47 billion, or 72 percent. Now let's be clear: we have always had a form of programmatic buying, even back in the pre-digital days of big in-house ad agency media buying. The buying group would put out a call for a certain amount of Gross Rating Points (GRPs) determined by multiplying reach by frequency and the media representatives would respond, a few hours later, with a Cost Per Thousand (CPM) based on the targets in question. After a negotiation about fixing the price, the secondary negotiation began about placement--broadcast or print--it made no difference. The issue was where the ads would appear, in what shows, across from what kind of editorial in a magazine, in what time slots and so on. Often, brands would then pay a specific premium to upgrade a placement and, back in my day, every one of my clients had very, very strict guidelines as to what shows they would never, ever appear in and what type of editorial was not suitable for adjacency to their adverts. In fact, context was an often discussed and debated concept back in the day, and for a while it did seem to be a driver in digital as we hailed native advertising and touted the ability to interact in meaningful and consumer-relevant ways. As Computerworld stated in its 2004 article "Defending Boundaries": But there's no denying the fact that the online world has established distinctly different (and uncomfortably cozy) editorial/advertising adjacency standards. Online ads are sold by matching desired keywords with related content, making sure that an ad about storage, for example, will pop up near stories about storage. And the latest technology developments in online "contextual" advertising now let an advertising link be embedded inside the actual story. Yet today we seem to be hiding behind algorithms and, worse, and context seems less important than cheap reach. Ergo, I follow the audience I bought without a sense of purpose, understanding or insight as to their motivation or reason for being where they are. In other words, brands looking for me will follow me from The New York Times to Breitbart, without any thought, even though I might find Breitbart horrific and go there only to document my view of their incitement. On the other hand, people who frequent those sites are--we are led to believe by the ad tech folks--the right audience for the brands that follow them there as well...a conundrum as it seems that more people are clicking (click bait is as old as "Free Sex!" on DM envelopes) on Fake News and than on whatever passes for real these days. iMedia makes the point, most succinctly, in a recent post, "Will 'fake news' have real impact on digital advertising?" For all the reasons above, brand has been decoupled from context. In the quest to manage risk in the form of costs -- costs of inventory, costs of managing it -- advertising was untethered from place. Machines somewhere in the ether-sphere exchange data and inputs, and turn them into outputs. So long as those outputs are consistent with a numerical objective, that is all that mattered. And that would be all that mattered if the concern were only machines and the numbers they crunch. But where a brand appears does matter when humans get involved. Not all human behavior and human reaction can be rendered into machine-readable form. We feel things. We react. We are irrational, only to rationalize later. Environment is something we feel, react, and can be irrational about. Editorial adjacency used to be a default setting on all advertising. This was true in the early stages of digital, too, when planning online was a lot like planning print. But when the data got more voluminous and the technology to manage it all got both better and more complex, thinking shifted to a place where a machine-construct of who you were talking to mattered most. Maybe this is the inevitable conclusion of data saturation running into a faith in one-to-one marketing. The implication being that all that data seems focused on one outcome...the cheapest way to blanket to a message as opposed to the best way to target...context and content, which seems to me to be the lesson of recent elections, around the world, lost and won--data in and of itself without thought and insight is mere bits and bytes. Another interesting and, I would argue, disturbing piece of information is about the ad tech present on the fake news sites. It would seem that, in fact, they are light on tech and have fewer data points to share, which must makes one wonder how then they can compete in bids against very data-rich sites. And just how good and close is their targeting? Hmm. According to a Digiday study: A new study shows that in fact, mainstream media sites are far bigger users of ad tech, which is blamed for eroding the user experience and ultimately contributing to ad blocking. Mezzobit, a tool that lets publishers audit ad tech on websites, found that mainstream news sites have almost twice as much third-party technology as the fake or misleading news sites. For the study, Mezzobit took a list of 96 so-called propaganda sites compiled by researcher Jonathan Albright (Mezzobit calls them "opinionated news sites" to avoid being polarizing) and compared them to an equal number of mainstream sites from the Alexa top 100 and analyzed the ad and marketing tech used on them, including ad units, analytics beacons and tracking pixels. Publishers on Albright's list included sites associated with fake, misleading or ideological news. They often have legit-sounding names like ABCnews.com.co and The Political Insider but have published false stories claiming the Pope endorsed Donald Trump for president and that President Obama banned the Pledge of Allegiance. Because they're light on ad tech, the fake news sites actually have some attributes that are thought of as positive: The fake news sites tend to have lighter pages, so they ran 8 percent faster. The mainstream sites do more tracking, and dropped 129 percent more cookies (a median of 167 cookies per page), resulting in 19 percent more tracking, per the Mezzobit report. And again, let me be clear, the issue of targeting and adjacency is not new, but we seem to have lost our way, at least since 2004. The following is an outtake from a Computerworld post: First, an apology to our readers. We screwed up last week in the placement of an advertisement from the Harvard Business School Press promoting Nick Carr's new book, Does IT Matter? The ad ended up directly opposite the lead story in our management section ["Follow, Don't Lead," QuickLink 46432], which featured excerpts from that book and an interview with the intrepid Mr. Carr. That never should have happened. An editorial/advertising adjacency like that is an embarrassment and a serious concern to the editors of Computerworld. We have a checks-and-balances process (clearly, not a flawless one) that is supposed to ensure that a story about, say, Microsoft doesn't end up sitting next to an ad hawking Windows products. The same goes for book reviews, Q&As and any other stories that we write. Does ad placement really matter so much? Editors think so, believing that such pairings signal to readers that the independence or objectivity of the editorial content is suspect. It raises the concern that we've struck some unholy alliance with the advertiser -- even when we most definitely have not. But I've been talking here about print publications only. The whole advertising adjacency issue changes dramatically -- and much more disturbingly -- in the online world. Ads are sold online by linking them to certain keywords in stories, thus enabling more accurate "targeting" of relevant editorial content by the advertisers. The technique is called contextual advertising. That same Windows story that we would whisk away to another page in order to avoid a Microsoft ad would actually be sold online with the promise of greater adjacency to a story about Windows. This has always bothered me. We follow one set of journalistic practices in print but disregard them online, as though the change of media channel wiped away a quaint little tradition. But as the Web exploded onto the publishing scene, it was deemed a radically different media "experience." The technology enabled new advertising tactics, and editors' concerns were brushed aside by marketers with pop-up ads to sell. What once disturbed us--because it went against the narrative of where we were saying the digital world was going--has collapsed into a morass of yes-we-target-better and yes-we-blanket-broadcast in ways that make old-fashioned TV buying seem more accurate and thoughtful. To be fair...this is not about Breitbart alone or even fake news, but includes hate sites and other unsavory places where advertising ends up because people are there. So as not to confuse myself, let me recap: Brands need to be more accountable for where their ads appear Whatever happened to context? It appears that our algorithmic targeting is not quite what it seems- as in using heavy data feeds to precisely target The consumer you are cutting off is the consumer who buys your goods...no? What is the implication? Is it a full on moral issue as The New York Times writes? In the zeal to follow consumers wherever they may roam on the internet, advertisers now risk bankrolling sites that are toxic to society, whether by amplifying manufactured political stories or by spreading conspiracy theories virulent enough to drive a man to walk into a Washington pizzeria with a gun. That has inserted a new ethical cost into the automated advertising equation, which promises companies large, desired audiences at low prices with little need for human intervention. And is the solution a return to the future? From Mashable: Victor Wong, CEO of ad tech firm Thunder Industries, which handles creative work for programmatic ads, said he says the programmatic industry is already moving toward more directly negotiated deals between advertisers and sites and away from anonymous large-scale auctions. "That's the minority in programmatic right now, but many people think it will reach the majority of the industry in the next year or two," Wong said. Irving Babbit, an American academic who spanned the 19th and 20th centuries posited: "The industrial revolution has tended to produce everywhere great urban masses that seem to be increasingly careless of ethical standards." Is our corollary that the digital revolution has spawned great masses of data that seem to make us increasingly careless of ethical standards? How would you answer my four questions? Or add to them? I put it to you. What's your view? P.S. the ads are not native to Breitbart, they follow YOU...so watch what you search. Read more at The Weekly Ramble Follow David Sable on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DavidSable -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
The Allstate Corporation (ALL) has completed the previously announced acquisition of SquareTrade.
Stock Research Reports for Comcast, Amgen & General Mills
The Allstate Corporation (ALL), the second-largest property-casualty (P&C) insurer in the U.S, recently announced its intention to strengthen its sales force in Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.
Musburger doubled-down on his praise of Mixon at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Monday.
On Dec 28, we issued an updated research report on The AllState Corporation (ALL).
Директора компаний получают огромные зарплаты, но стоят ли они таких денег? Зарплата Тима Кука кажется огромной, однако его работа окупает такие расходы, если посмотреть экономические показатели за последние три года.
As the year winds down, I find myself reflecting on the past year and trying to sort through what's to come. However, one thing is very clear, disruption is the new reality and modern marketers should look for ways to leverage it. The following are my predictions for where the greatest disruptive opportunities may lie and what marketers need to watch out for in the coming year and beyond. Post-Communications Ecosystems Innovative mediums and services are cropping up in ever-increasing ways, from Amazon Alexa and Google Home to HTC Vive, Nest and Hololens. These platforms will not be friendly to communications-based brand building, like advertising. Brands will win by creating services, products and markets meant specifically for them. For example, MasterCard, rebranded as MasterPass, is now a payment system driving easy food purchases on Samsung-connected refrigerators. It won't be long before brands like LiveNation sell first-row subscription tickets to any event anywhere around the world, but attended virtually from your VR home experience. Marketers need to look at these environments and ecosystems not for what messaging they will allow, but for what services and value brands can provide. Creating this brand value addresses the ever-increasing use of adblockers as well. The New Definition of Media With the explosion of choices and continued rise of fragmentation, media has never been more complex than it is today. What's more, it's now easier for people to ignore, skip or block ads at an ever-increasing scale. But that doesn't mean advertising or traditional media is dead. Marketers need to view the media landscape and their investments in a new light. By understanding human behavior, brands can create a more targeted impact by finding the right opportunities and moments to provide real value versus only looking at scale, tonnage or clicks. Brands should consider how the combination of paid advertising, content marketing, media partnerships, experiences, earned media, utility and product or service improvements can help achieve their business objectives. In order to adapt, it's important to shift dollars into solutions that go beyond advertising to create enduring brand experiences. When Land O'Lakes' WinField United division invested in the development of Crop Adventure, an interactive museum experience that explores how modern agriculture works, they created a brand asset that will educate generations to come. In-the-Moment Marketing It's no longer enough to just post, tweet or snap what you're doing. People now want their friends and followers to actually experience what it's like to be there with them in the moment. Facebook Live, Instagram Stories and continued innovations at Snapchat will further increase the real-time, "moment-based" marketing trend. As brands move beyond ads, marketers need to give people more ways to become part of their omni-media experiences in order to maximize ROI and share their stories. Media Mistrust The segregation of media has the potential to divide the nation even further, regardless of political leanings. While fabricated news has always existed, the speed, scale and influence of social media today (nearly 50% of Americans get their news from Facebook, for instance), allows people to find and share any type of content that aligns with their views, regardless of whether it's fact-checked or completely fake. Plus, a Facebook or Twitter share often equals site traffic revenue for publishers. Marketers have a responsibility now more than ever to think beyond the impression, click or CPM of a search, social or programmatic media buy to truly understand the authenticity of the content of their advertising message and where it shows up. Media brands like Google and Facebook have a responsibility too. Relative objectivity in the news media has long been a hallmark of this country, and it is extremely valuable to building strong, authentic and enduring brands. Brands Taking a Stand Brands will need to address the uncertainty and anxiety caused by the changing presidential administration. As many in the country are divided, the challenge to brands is the difficult choice of either, 1) trying to appeal to all audiences equally, which will require them to be somewhat generic in their purpose, personality and messaging; or 2) following suit like brands Allstate, Orbitz, Miller Lite, Target and others that are making a conscious choice to stand for values like equality and inclusion; or, conversely, Chic-Fil-A or Hobby Lobby that stand for conservative social values. Taking a specific stand may alienate people who do not agree with your position, whereas choosing to be neutral may cost your brand relevance. This is a massive shift that could create a large schism in brands, as well as give birth to new brands with the intent of serving one group and not others. As technology, the political climate, and ways people interact with content and each other continue to evolve, we need to pay attention to the trends shaping our world and the implications these have on marketing. In 2017 and beyond, brands will have to move faster than ever, and those that embrace disruption will have an advantage. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
His tone and temperament haven’t changed since the campaign, and he’s poised to enter office with historically low approval ratings.
By the final days of the 2016 presidential campaign, every form of media communications was under attack. No one escaped. Mainstream media, remote news outposts, noted commentators, and popular sensational blogs were all involved in the wreck. Donald Trump may have instigated it but he couldn't have imagined that he would jolt the entire media world. In a previous article, I spotlighted Donald Trump's use of armed propaganda --- namely, the tactic, used by armed insurgents, to incite an opponent's overreaction. In the process, unmask the enemy's deviousness, injustice, and some cases, brutality. Trump relentlessly attacked mainstream media, and they counter punched. That was Trump's precise intent: to demonstrate that mainstream media is not impartial. I made this point in mid-September. Much has occurred since then. The boundary between news and propaganda has been shattered. It's become unclear what we we're reading or viewing -- news reports, opinion masked as news, outright false fabrications, hard core propaganda, or campaign messaging swirling within a carefully devised social media echo chamber. In response to Trump' attacks, mainstream media fought back. It assaulted ancillary news and commentary websites that supported Trump. 'Fake news' was uncovered. Stories like pizza gate were exposed. Wikileaks releases were condemned, characterized as Russian cyber operations intended to influence the election. Then it was over. Trump won, and media cleansing began. For example, the left set siege to the Breitbart News website, causing major advertisers, like BMW, Kelloggs and Allstate, to cancel ads. The right battered the major press for failing to see Trump's victory and recognize the millions of voters that delivered his victory. Even self-cleansing occurred. The Washington Post admitted problems with a story about Russian efforts to affect the election. Media cleansing must continue. All actors on the media stage must self-police. Mainstream media must separate solid news from commentary. The alternative press must screen stories more carefully, and separate investigative reporting from fake news. And the government must not be allowed again to use Obama advisor Ben Rhodes tactic of generating social media propaganda masked as background briefings. The greatest challenge is ours -- as readers, viewers, and news consumers. When a story spreads to our liking, we cannot rush to post it, share it, or like it. I plead guilty. When Eric Tucker, a 35-year-old co-founder of a marketing company in Austin, Texas, tweeted about paid protesters being bused to demonstrations, he included a photo of a long line of white busses on an Austin street. I posted the picture and story on my Facebook page. Tucker's post was shared 16,000 times on Twitter and more than 350,000 times on Facebook. That was November 9th. It took almost 48 hours for the true story to emerge. There were no buses packed with paid protesters. A spokeswoman for Tableau, a software company, issued a statement to the local press, saying that the buses were connected to the company's conference. Trump used armed propaganda to cripple mainstream media. Let's hope that mainstream and ancillary media have learned a lesson. So that real news is not restricted to just sports scores, car accidents, and the closing stock market prices. In the end, though, we are the final news editors. We have to do our job. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
A post-election survey has good news for the outgoing commander in chief—and suggests Republicans are optimistic about a GOP takeover of Washington.
A new survey suggests many might prefer a kind of multipolar Washington, with three distinct orbits of power checking each other.
A new poll reveals some optimism about the post-election economy along with doubts that Donald Trump can bring the country together.
By Heather Taylor It’s that special time of the year again. A time made for letting it snow, spreading joy to the world, and allowing visions of sugarplums to dance in our heads. For decades, brand mascots and spokescharacters have been joining us in making the holiday season merry and bright in commercials beloved by viewers of all ages. We’re paying tribute to some of the season’s most enduring, inspiring, and heartwarming spots starring these icons. Get a cup of hot cocoa ready as our panel of experts take us on a stroll through a winter wonderland featuring a humble bumblebee’s encounter with Scrooge, polar bears pausing to enjoy a refreshing beverage, and a village learning what it means to open your heart to everyone. 1. Buster the Boxer | John Lewis This furry friend leapt into our list and the hearts of viewers in the global 2016 Christmas advert for the UK’s John Lewis department stores. All Buster the Boxer wants is to jump to his heart’s content on a trampoline. Seemingly all of the other woodland creatures get their turn before he does, but on Christmas morning Buster races his human to hop on the trampoline before she does. As VAULTS “One Day I’ll Fly Away” plays in the background, the pup is blissed out — having truly flown away as he jumps for joy. “It’s whimsical, unexpected, and beautifully integrates CGI in telling the story.” Says Marilyn Heywood Paige, Vice President of Marketing at Fig Advertising. She notes that John Lewis did more than create a commercial full of warm fuzzies. The Buster the Boxer campaign is an immersive social campaign including 360-degree video using Oculus Rift technology and Snapchat filters. “John Lewis invited customers to a meaningful relationship with the mascot and created an entire experience around it. That's not just brand marketing. That's love marketing.” For years, the ads from John Lewis have been some of the most anticipated of the season. Greg Wagner, Professor at Denver University and former creative director for DMB&B and Leo Burnett, believes opting for a soft-sell approach instead of Black Friday doorbusters truly works for the brand. 2. Monty the Penguin | John Lewis What about past John Lewis mascots? Gary Goldhammer, Director of Creative Strategy, U.S. at Hill+Knowlton Strategies, is a fan of Monty the Penguin from the 2014 advert. “It’s a great story, one to which we can all relate: we’ve all been that child whose toys were real and when we most needed it, was also our best friend. This ad is ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ come to life but with a great message about giving. It doesn’t even need to be a holiday ad, it would work without those images because the story is so universal and powerful.” 3. Bullseye | Target Bullseye, easily recognized with a white coat and red ‘bullseye,’ has been a longtime Target icon. Dr. J. Charlene Davis, Professor of Marketing at Trinity University, is a fan of commercial spots where Bullseye gets in on the action. “In this 2016 clip, he’s helpful and energetic, paired with children as the shoppers, planners or doers. The emotional combination of kids and a dog is solid.” 4. The Crazy Target Lady’ | Target On the flip side of the Target coin, we have the ‘Crazy Target Lady’ and no, that’s not a reference to Kristen Wiig’s Target saleswoman skit on Saturday Night Live. Copywriter Hugh Gurin names the 2010 Target training montage as his favorite holiday mascot commercial. Starring comedian Maria Bamford, the spot is a nod to the training montage in Rocky as a shopper frantically preps for the biggest competition of them all: Black Friday. “She embodies the true, full-contact spirit of the season. It still makes me want to laugh, cry, shop and curl into a fetal position all at the same time.” Gurin says. 5. California Raisins | The California Raisin Industry In the 1980s, the California Raisins crooned their way to the hearts of millions and even had four LP albums including Christmas with the California Raisins. But they also had their own holiday special, which you might have heard about through the grapevine. Jon Yasgur, Creative Director at The Brooklyn Brothers, would like to thank the big man himself — Santa Claus — for YouTube preserving the California Raisins Christmas Special. “That’s the ultimate dream for advertising — to become a true part of pop culture, far beyond the campaign. And their rendition of ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’ actually holds up. Reunion tour, anyone?” 6. Frankenstein | Apple Tis the season for… Frankenstein? Elliott Smith, Executive Creative Director at Klick Health, loves traditional mascots as much as everyone else, but deeply appreciates Apple’s unexpected approach in choosing Frankenstein for the 2016 ‘Frankie’s Holiday’ spot. "The story of an exiled soul taking a risk, opening his heart, and creating a connection (both figuratively, and literally with the lightbulb metaphor) is what this season is all about." Angela DelBrocco, Social Media Strategist + Account Executive at MurphyEpson, appreciates how Apple tastefully and strategically tapped into nostalgia with a Grinch and Cindy Lou Who-esque storyline. “The winning formula here is taking something evergreen and and combining it with the modern, relevant and heartwarming theme of inclusiveness. It great to see a brand dedicated to reminding us there are others who might need extra comfort and acceptance around this time of year, and in this specific year, too.” 7. Mayhem | Allstate Mayhem is everywhere, especially during the holiday season. Tim Jensen, Senior Strategist at Overit, is a big fan of Allstate’s take on the 12 Days of Christmas starring Mayhem. Let’s go caroling with the new version — altogether now! 12 trees a-rolling! 11 puppies eating! 10 pipes a-bursting! 9 ladies jogging! 8 flags a-flying! 7 dishes falling! 6 Deans a-texting! 5 snowy roads! 4 icy roads! 3 frozen deer! 2 turtledoves! And a shaky, shaky, shaky, shaky tree! 8. The Pillsbury Doughboy | Pillsbury In 2014’s “The Gift” commercial spot from Pillsbury, a family gathered around a table to express how much they appreciated someone who had been part of the family for as long as they could remember. That particular family member was none other than the Pillsbury Doughboy, provider of crescent rolls and giggles and part of holiday traditions for over 50 years. And there’s no better way to say thank you than by giving Poppin’ Fresh a present — his first pair of jeans! Not counting his infamous neckerchief or hat, Greta Hanson, Marketing Communications Manager for Pillsbury, was thrilled to see the Doughboy receive a wardrobe must-have. “This spot shows one family’s love and appreciation for the Doughboy, as they give him a gift of his own! In the Doughboy’s case it’s the thought that counts — as he holds up his first-ever piece of clothing that doesn’t seem likely to fit! 9. Buzz Bee | Honey Nut Cheerios It’s A Christmas Carol retold for cereal lovers. In this 1989 spot, Ebenezer Scrooge is determined to “Bah! Humbug!” away any and every Christmas offering including Honey Nut Cheerios. Only Buzz Bee, in a Bob Cratchit-esque role, melts Scrooge’s frosty personality with a bowl filled with the tasty breakfast treat. Susanne Prucha, Director of Marketing for Cheerios, loves how this classic holiday spot illuminates how Buzz’s cheerful personality has been warming households for generations. “His positivity is able to put a smile on even the most notorious curmudgeon. Not even Scrooge could say no to the ‘honey of an ‘O.’” 10. Clydesdales | Budweiser Galloping into our hearts, and commercials, since 1987, few mascots showcase the arrival of the holiday season quite like the Budweiser Clydesdales at Anheuser-Busch. Christina Oswald, Digital Marketing Analyst at Moncur, recounts that even as a child she knew what a Clydesdale stood for. Kind of. “I remember just assuming every Clydesdale was a Budweiser horse, excitedly pointing them out at parades shouting ‘Budweiser!’ while my parents were mortified that their kid was shouting about beer. This was all well before I knew what Budweiser even was.” 11. M&M’S Red and Yellow| M&M’S It’s your esteemed writer’s turn to add in a commercial I’ve always enjoyed during the holiday season which is none other than 1994’s “Christmas Faint” M&M’S spot. Twas the night before Christmas and Red and Yellow are tiptoeing their way into the living room to drop off a bowl of M&M’s as a midnight snack for Santa. Yellow asks Red if Santa will like the M&M’S while Red keeps his cool with an aloof dismissal that Santa might not even be real. But Red is in for a shock when he finds out Santa does exist — and Santa is surprised that the M&M’S mascots exist too! Both Red and Santa faint leaving Yellow timidly holding the bowl. The spot runs a little under 15 seconds, making it social media friendly well beyond its years, and is just the right amount of playful to add to the magic of both Santa Claus and the holiday season. Come to think of it, I could go for a bowl of red and green M&M’S right about now… 12. Polar Bears | Coca-Cola The team at Active Web Group always anticipates the arrival of these adorable icons. “They remind us that sharing is caring, teamwork is key, and it’s never too cold to enjoy a refreshing Coca-Cola beverage!” Nothing illustrates that sentiment better than 2012’s “Catch” which features the huge polar bears slipping and sliding on ice to *catch* an ice-cold bottle of Coca-Cola. Obvious branding aside, what Dr. J. Charlene Davis loves about these mascots is that they aren’t trying to sell you a product. “There is no sales message, just reinforcing statements about peace, joy, celebration. The image of polar bear as a lumbering happy soul who is willing to wake up from a long nap to enjoy an ice cold soft drink is endearing.” 13. Santa Claus | Coca-Cola “Something magic in the night, can’t you see it shining bright?” Coca-Cola’s most iconic rendering to be associated with the brand may very well be that of Jolly Saint Nick. Steve Babcock, Chief Creative Officer at VaynerMedia, reveals that the depiction of the Santa we all know and love — a big, jolly man with a white beard, boots, and a red suit — is all made possible thanks to Finnish-American artist Haddon Sundblom. Hired by Coca-Cola to paint Santa for a 1931 “Thirst Knows No Season” campaign, Sundblom created the vision of Santa Claus that we all know and love today. Due to the ad’s popularity Sundblom continued to paint Santa from 1931 to 1964. “That one print ad has since turned into the universally accepted depiction of Santa Claus.” Babcock says, “I've always loved this story because it shows the real potential that advertising has to influence culture." And to that we say happy holidays to all, and to all a good night! -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
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