If you're not too mesmerized by how Britney Spears looks in her new music video, "Hold It Against Me," you'll notice a number of product placements. In efforts to generate revenue, the music industry has seen brands popping up in music videos and even in song lyrics. Do you think Britney went a little too far in this video or do you think it's savvy marketing?
"Our sign that we had in stores everywhere basically said it all — 'Until we can provide our members with these products at competitive prices and provide our members with value, we are not prepared to sell it,'" Costco CFO Richard Galanti said. "We're now going to sell it."
Considering Costco's market influence, I knew there would be a quick resolution, and I'm glad it has come in time for most of the month's holiday parties. Are you excited to hear that Coke will be back on Costco shelves?
Source: Flickr User paulswansen
The Washington-based wholesaler is currently in the middle of a dispute with the Coca-Cola Co. Although neither would comment on the matter further, the world's largest soft drink maker said that it was involved in "ongoing negotiations" with the store.
Considering Costco is the fifth largest general retailer in the United States, I'm predicting a resolution soon. But in the meantime, customers will simply have to shop elsewhere to get their Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Dasani, VitaminWater, Fresca, Minute Maid, and Odwalla fills (among others). Will you be forced to stock up on soft drinks elsewhere?
He's already a pop singer, fashion designer, and restaurant owner, but Justin Timberlake's latest job title? Spirits maker. Yesterday the young entrepreneur announced the launch of his new line of tequila, 901. The brand has been in development for over two years and plans to hit liquor store shelves in May.
A spokesperson for Timberlake explains that "901 is that time of night when your evening is ending, but your night is just beginning." The number also happens to be the area code for Memphis, TN, Timberlake's hometown. With more and more celebrities getting into the food industry, 901 isn't a surprise to me, and I look forward to tasting the tequila when it arrives.
What do you think of Timberlake's latest endeavor? Are you interested in sipping his tequila?
Although Pepsi-owned (and recently renamed) Mtn Dew carries as much as 80 percent of the market share for citrus soda, Coca-Cola's three-year-old citrus cooler Vault, with four percent of the market share, has fizzled with customers. Hoping to turn the tides for Vault, Coca-Cola will soon begin its "Don't Dew It" campaign.
In an attempt to convert Mtn Dew die-hards into Vault fanatics, the company will be giving away coupons for free 16-ounce, 20-ounce, or 24-ounce Vault drinks when customers purchase a 20-ounce Mtn Dew.
During the economic downturn, consumer coupon use has skyrocketed. Like other recent promotions, industry experts anticipate that the "Vault Taste Challenge," will see a huge participation rate from consumers. Of course, for Coca-Cola, it will come at a price — that of at least a couple million dollars.
Although I think this campaign will be successful, I'm skeptical of Coca-Cola snagging a significant portion of Mtn Dew's market share. I used to be a huge Mtn Dew fan, and Surge, Mellow Yellow, and the others just didn't do it for me. Do you think it will prove to be lucrative?
There's been some heated public debates between competing brands. The latest two companies to join the feuding? Ice cream giants Haagen-Dazs and Ben and Jerry's. To pay for the high costs of natural and top-quality ingredients, Haagen-Dazs has reduced the size of its pints from 16 to 14 ounces. Despite the decrease in packaging, Haagen-Dazs still calls its container a "pint." Ben and Jerry's is highly offended by this "downright wrong" move, and pledged, in a statement, to provide consumers the same quantity and quality in its product:
One of our competitors (think funny-sounding European name) recently announced they will be downsizing their pints from 16 to 14 ounces to cover increased ingredient and manufacturing costs and help improve their bottom line. We understand that in today's hard economic times businesses are feeling the pinch. We also understand that many of you are also feeling the same, and think now more than ever you deserve your full pint of ice cream.
While I understand that many brands are shrinking their products, I have to side with Ben and Jerry's; it's not fair to call something a pint when it's not one. How do you feel about the debate?
Last month Tropicana debuted a clean new look to emphasize the all-natural, fresh squeezed juice. However, due to an overwhelming amount of customer outrage, the company is abandoning the changes and returning to the old packaging. Many loyal Tropicana fans were disgusted by the brand's redesigned logo — which features a glass of orange juice against a white backdrop, instead of the familiar orange with a straw poking out the side — calling it ugly, stupid, and generic-looking. According to Neil Campbell, the President of Tropicana North America, the company was unaware of its fiercely loyal consumers:
We underestimated the deep emotional bond [of the brand's original logo]. What we didn't get was the passion this very loyal small group of consumers have. That wasn't something that came out in the research. Those consumers are very important to us, so we responded.
The reaction will be quick: Tropicana plans to discontinue the redesigned packaging immediately and have the old image back on the carton by next month. The juice giant isn't the only brand to update its logo; Pepsi, Snapple, and Heinz have recently revamped their trademark images. Only time will tell if these companies fare better with consumer support than Tropicana did.
Did you notice the new Tropicana packaging? How do you feel about the controversy?
Coca-Cola is perhaps the most classic of American drinks, however the company has announced their plan to remove the word "classic" from its name. "Classic" was added over twenty years ago, in 1985, to signify that the brand was making a return to using the original recipe. Now with a global approach to advertising, the word is no longer beneficial to the brand. In the current ad campaigns, "Coke side of life" and "open happiness," the word is not employed. According to a spokesman from Coca-Cola, the "classic" is totally unnecessary:
It felt like the right time. When people think Coca-Cola, they think classic. More than two decades after the introduction of that word, its reason for being a descriptor has disappeared.
The beverage company doesn't foresee any customer backlash and has already removed the "classic" from fountain drink cups. I'm not affected by the change; to me Coke is classic. How do you feel about it?