Entries by Todd Wasserman

Starbucks resurrects eggnog latte after deprived customers revolt

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Better latte than never

Following customer complaints, Starbucks has decided to bring back the eggnog latte this holiday season. The coffee chain had offered the drink since 1986, but was planning to shelf it this year to simplify its menu.

"We received passionate feedback from our customers talking about how much they love our Eggnog Latte on social media, through MyStarbucksIdea.com, through letters and via phone calls.These messages were emotional and personal," said Starbucks rep Linda Mills. "We heard them and quickly acted." Read more...

More about Starbucks, Business, Marketing, and Eggnog Latte

Alex from Target has been great for Jake from State Farm

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This is why brands should monitor their social media mentions.

On Monday, State Farm, which regularly tracks all its brand mentions on Twitter and Facebook, noticed a dramatic uptick discussions about its Jake character. State Farm introduced Jake in 2010 with this ad:

"We noticed a serious increase in Jake mentions," says Patty Morris, director of brand content for State Farm. "He was mentioned every two minutes. We recognized this as an opportunity."

What was the cause? Alex from Target.

While teen girls swooned over Alex, the meme that went viral on Monday, State Farm's paunchy, khaki-clad everyman Jake offered a comic contrast. At first, Jake merely acknowledged Alex: Read more...

More about Marketing, State Farm, Business, Alex From Target, and Jake From State Farm

Apple plants a flag in Microsoft country

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Apple has reportedly opened its first Seattle office.

An Apple rep confirmed to The Seattle Times that the company has opened an engineering office in the city, though the rep declined to give further details. The report states that the office will be staffed by former engineers from F5 Networks and Union Bay Networks who are working on network infrastructure. The report points out that leading cloud services were "largely built in Seattle."

Citing LinkedIn data, GeekWire reports that about 30 engineers are working in Apple's new Seattle office Read more...

More about Apple, Seattle, and Business

Virgin America IPO would value company at $1 billion

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Virgin America is looking to raise as much as $368 million in an IPO, which would value the company at as much as $1 billion

According to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the airline is planning to sell 13.3 million shares at between $21 and $24, which means the company could raise as much as $319.2 million. If demand warrants, the company may put up an additional 2 million shares, which would bring the total raised to $368 million

It's not clear when the IPO would occur; reps from Virgin America could not be reached for comment.

More about Ipo, Richard Branson, Virgin America, and Business

Bud Light Buys Up Most of the Super Bowl Ad Searches

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Regardless of which Super Bowl ad you search on Google, there's one brand that keeps popping up: Bud Light.

The giant beer brand has not only bought up all the Google searches for "Super Bowl ad," but also for ads from specific advertisers.

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When you click through the Bud Light ad, it sends you to the brand's YouTube channel. The channel features teasers for Super Bowl ads starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Don Cheadle.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen has purchased the term "Super Bowl" on Google. The ad directs users to VW's Super Bowl ad teaser, which was up to about 1.5 million YouTube views on Monday morning. Read more...

More about Google, Advertising, Super Bowl, Bud Light, and Business

Exclusive: Report Says YouTube Overtakes Facebook Among Teens

  After months of speculation, Facebook last week acknowledged that there was some decrease in the number of "younger teens" using the social network on a daily basis. Now an annual survey of 4,014 young people provides more proof that teens may be looking elsewhere. The Futures Company, a research consultancy, interviewed teens in July […]

Acer CEO Resigns After Disastrous Q3

  Acer CEO J.T. Wang announced he is resigning after several quarters of "poor financial results." “Acer encountered many complicated and harsh challenges in the past few years," reads a statement Wang delivered to the company. "With the consecutive poor financial results, it is time for me to hand over the responsibility to a new […]

Coin Is One Credit Card to Rule Them All

  There are lots of companies, including Google and Apple, that would like to replace your wallet with a digital version, but a startup has a somewhat less ambitious goal — replace your handful of credit cards with one super card. Coin, a credit-card-like device, is set for a summer 2014 launch. As the video […]

Conan, Ice Cube and Kevin Hart Take a Lift with Lyft

  There's nothing intrinsically hilarious about catching a ride with Lyft, the peer-to-peer rideshare service and Uber competitor — except when the passengers are Conan O'Brien, comedian Kevin Hart and Ice Cube. The unlikely trio took a ride with an unsuspecting Lyft driver, who fielded questions about where to find weed, whether the passengers have […]

So Your Ad Went Viral — Big Deal!

  Most brands would be thrilled to have a viral video. Kmart had three in 2013 It all started back in April when "Ship My Pants," an ad featuring that double-entendre uttered a dozen times in 30 seconds, went viral, ultimately netting 20 million YouTube views by year's end The brand followed that with "Big […]

YouTube's 10 Most-Viewed Ads of 2013

  As the people behind the KONY 2012 video know, it's not easy to come up with a sequel to a hugely viral video. Yet Evian managed to do that this year with "Baby & Me," a continuation of the theme started in its hugely successful "Roller Babies" ad from 2009. Perhaps the trick was […]

Nevermind Amazon's Drones, Groupon Has Catapults

  While Amazon is talking up package drone delivery, Groupon is getting medieval on your ass. The company is reaching back to the days of King Arthur for its latest innovation: catapults. If you see one in 2014, don't assume that you're about to get hit with a flaming bale of hay or a cauldron […]

The Doctor Will See You Now — On Your Cellphone

  Relief may be just a few touchpad swipes away with Doctor on Demand, a new app that lets you arrange video-based doctor visits on the fly, in the style of Uber. The iOS and Android app promises to connect patients to a doctor and arrange a 15-minutes-or-less visit within minutes for $40. Doctor on […]

Twitter Lets Advertisers Target Based on 'Broad Match' Keywords

  Evolving its ad targeting further, Twitter announced Wednesday that it is letting advertisers target based on "broad match" keywords, that is, two words that are linked to express a sentiment. In a blog post announcing the move, Nipoon Malhotra, product manager for revenue, used the example of the phrase "like coffee," which might be […]

New Google+ Ads Won't Run on Google+

  Google is using its Google+ social network to create ads but not run them, the company announced on Monday. The "+Post" ads will run on Google Display Network, which includes 2 million sites. The ads look just like Google Plus posts but appear outside the network. For example, if you're in the market for […]

Dough-Re-Mi? DiGiorno Pizza Live Tweets 'The Sound of Music'

  A year of attention-getting stunts on Twitter paid off for DiGiorno Pizza after the Nestle brand's live-tweet of NBC's The Sound of Music netted the brand some social media buzz. The brand began its commentary around 8 p.m. ET, at the start of the live broadcast. A few choice tweets: #TheSoundOfMusicLive Can't believe pizza […]

Domino's Spoof of British Airways Billboard Really Delivers

  British Airways' "Look Up" billboard displayed the wonders of modern digital billboards by tracking airplanes as they flew overhead. Now Domino's is taking the piss out of it British Airways' billboard showed a boy pointing to a plane in the sky and accurately labeled the flight's number and trajectory, while the Domino's ad features […]

Netflix: We'll Help You Survive Holiday Family Togetherness

  Holiday togetherness is not everyone's cup of tea, but luckily, Netflix can help you escape. This is the pitch in a new ad campaign from the video service. The inaugural TV spot in the campaign features a porcelain tree topper with the hard-boiled voice of The Sopranos' Lorraine Bracco. The tree topper has seen […]

Tumblr Launches Second Mobile Ad Unit

  This month, Tumblr is introducing its second mobile ad unit, Sponsored Trending Blogs, which leverages one of Tumblr's most-read sections. The ad unit is Tumblr's fifth since the Yahoo-owned company began running ads in May 2012. The others include Radar and spotlight ads, Sponsored Radar, Sponsored Spotlight, Sponsored Web Post and Sponsored Mobile Posts. […]

Not So Fast: Experts Say Amazon Drones Aren't Likely Anytime Soon

  Let's take a trip to the holidays in 2018. The air is humming, not with Christmas cheer, but with the gnawing buzz of Amazon's delivery drones Though greeted enthusiastically by the public at first, opinion began to turn when a drone veered off-course and smashed into someone's windshield, causing a 16-car pile-up and several […]