Thursday, 26 February 2015

Tummy Translator

If you find yourself spending too much time deliberating over which toppings to pick for your pizza, Domino's is here to save the day. The pizza firm's new 'Tummy Translator' app detects the rumbles and growls from your stomach and translates them into an order. According to Domino's, the app uses 1960s-inspired technology and "Gastro-Acoustic-Enterology" - whatever that is.The app, developed by Iris Worldwide, has users select whether they are "Peckish", "Nibbly", "Hungry" or "Famished".Then, users are instructed to "place the bottom of phone against tummy with the screen facing skywards" so the app can get to work.

Workaholics Not Happy

A quarter of professionals are dissatisfied with their work-life balance, according to a new survey. Part of the problem may be that work-life balance is only third on people’s list of priorities when choosing a job. Instead work enjoyment is the number one priority, with 41 per cent regarding it as the most important factor in selecting a job. Salary (23 per cent) is second on the list, while only 16 per cent of respondents viewed work-life as the most important consideration when choosing a job. Advancements in technology make it harder than ever to 'switch off' outside the office and achieve an ideal work-life balance.

L'Oreal Recruit Using Smartphones

The French company L'Oreal is trialling an alternative way to hire staff. Instead of resorting to the traditional paper curriculum vitae, or resume, the cosmetics giant is recruiting students via software that the hopefuls can use on their smartphones. Follow the link to watch a video report from John Sudworth in Shanghai.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Lego Overtakes Ferrari

Lego is the World’s most powerful brand according to a study by Brand Finance. It scored highly on a wide variety of measures on Brand Finance’s Brand Strength Index such as familiarity, loyalty, promotion, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation. The Lego Movie perfectly captured this cross-generational appeal. It was a critical and commercial success, taking nearly US$500m since its release a year ago. It has helped propel Lego from a well-loved, strong brand to the World’s most powerful. Twitter is the fastest growing brand; it has almost tripled its brand value in a year, increasing from $1.5 billion in early 2014 to $4.4 billion now. 

UK Getting Back To Work

UK employment rate hits highest levels since records began in 1971. The jobless rate has fallen to 5.7% with average wages now outpacing inflation which is also at a record low of 0.3%. This gives some evidence that the economy is strengthening and also gives a boost to the Conservative party for the upcoming General Election. 

Unilever Reveals New Ice Cream Range

Unilever is launching a range of summer products under its Cornetto, Ben & Jerry's, Magnum and Walls Kids brands. Magnum are getting a limited edition Pink and Black ice creams in raspberry and black expresso flavours. Cornetto is adding a premium range in two new flavours, Peanut Butter Crunch and Cookies 'n' Dream. Wall's Kids Mini Milk recipe has been reworked and Ben & Jerry's are introducing the Cookie Core range which has three new variants including What-a-Lotta-Chocolate, Utter Peanut Butter Clutter.  Unilever brand manager Noel Clarke believes the new products are in line with key category trends and will deliver solid sales results.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Cat Card Game Gets The Cream

Card game Exploding Kittens has become the most backed crowdfunding projects of all time with more than 138,000 pledging to the cause. They're seeking $10,000 (£6,600) to mass-produce the sets before distributing them to all backers of the Kickstarter project. But more than $5m (£3.3m) has been pledged so far. The project is a multi-player card game for people who like kittens, explosions and laser beams. The objective of the game is to avoid being exploded by the kitten card thanks to clever use of the defusing cards. Pledging $20 (£13) will get you one pack of Exploding Kittens where as pledging $500 (£327) and you’ll get your very own exclusive card, drawn by the famous project owners. Extravagantly referred to as "The Deck of Legends".

KFC For Life

KFC is kicking off a 12-month marketing push to commemorate 50 years since the fast food chain launched in the UK. The second stage of the campaign is called '#50YearsOfKFC'. It will include two additional spots promoting KFC’s Original Recipe and Zinger chicken. The TV ads will encourage people to use social media to pledge what they would do for their favourite KFC, using the #50yearsofKFC hashtag.The best suggestions will be challenged to carry out their pledge for the chance to win one KFC meal a month to share with their loved ones for the next 50 years. 

Your Cadburys Dairy Milk

Cadbury have followed in Coca-Colas footsteps in creating personalised packaging. However this is even more personal but at a high price. The choice of bars come in the choice of two sizes with the distinctive purple packet you get to go creative and a select your own words or pictures for either £5.25 (200g) or £7.23 (360g). This is not including a delivery charge of £3.95 or £5.50. Mark Paterson, Brand Manager for Joyville Made, said: 'We are really excited to launch Joyville Made. Check out how its done by following the link below:

Monday, 9 February 2015

£1.9bn of Love Is In The Air

Valentine's planning and spending is set to commence today with dating activity increasing by 55 per cent this weekend according to research from Brits are predicted to spend £1.9bn on Valentine's Day celebrations this year, up from £1.3bn last year, with the average per person spend estimated to be around £53.38. In terms of spend break down £557m will be splashed out on dinners, £461m on gifts, £211m on flowers, £173m on drinks, £115m on chocolates and £57m in cards alone. Around the world 1 billion cards will be sent which make it the second biggest card sending day of the year.
Love Is In The Air

What can you get for one pound these days?

Poundland is set to take over rival discounter 99p Stores for £55 million in a deal that would see the company become one of the biggest retailers on the high street. The deal has been agreed by both sides but must now go to the Competition and Markets Authority for approval, where officials could demand the retailer shut some stores to allow for more competition. If successful it would see Poundland with more stores than WH Smith's high street portfolio and bigger than both Aldi and Lidl. Poundland recently revealed that over Christmas sales rose by 9.8 per cent to £328.4 million, selling 2.8 million Toblerones and 4.6 million units of wrapping paper to shoppers lured by £1 goods.

Galaxy Salted Caramel

Salted caramel flavour has gone mainstream with the launch of a new Galaxy bar. Available from 22nd February, Galaxy Salted Caramel is a new permanent brand extension that will be sold as a single bar and a tablet. Mars communications manager said "The salted caramel food trend is here to stay and we're confident that the new bars will be popular among consumers who want to try something new". The new brand will be backed by a £12m media campaign in 2015 including 44 weeks on TV. Mars has redesigned the Galaxy Caramel Collection to boost standout and differentiation between variants.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Billionaire World

There are now 2,089 billionaires in the world with at least 67 countries home to a person who is valued at more than $1,000,000,000. USA is home to the most billionaires and also 6 of the top 10 including the wealthiest person in the world in Bill Gates who is worth $85bn. Footballers have also been in the spotlight after a study by Deloitte showed the average wage for Permier League players rose to £1.6m which equates to 31,000 a week, which is more than the average UK worker earns in a year.

Sky Mobile

Pay-TV firm Sky is launching a mobile phone service next year in partnership with O2's Spanish parent Telefonica. Sky will use Telefonica UK's wireless network, enabling the satellite broadcaster to offer mobile voice and data services for the first time. It takes Sky into the battle for "quad play", adding mobile to its existing services of internet, landline and TV. Offering all four services is seen as the next big UK growth area for telecoms firms and broadcasters. Sky already serve 20 million customers in three of Europe's four largest markets.

Apple & Sour Cherry Fanta

Coca Cola has introduced a new Apple and Sour Cherry variant to the Fanta Brand. It will replace Fanta Peach and Apricot and will be available in the typical variety of pack formats from 330ml to 2L bottles. The launch will be supported by sampling and a supporting outdoor media campaign. Marketing director Caroline Cater said "We remain committed to helping retailers drive sales with new products that appeal to shoppers and Fanta Apple and Sour Cherry scored extremely well in consumer research".

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Shake Shack Shaking Up Wages

The minimum wages paid to fast-food workers have been a focus of intense national debate in the US, where activists and unions have been organising fast-food workers into day long protests agitating for so-called "living wages" of $15 per hour. Earlier this month when Shake Shack filed the company for public stock sale it stated it paid workers workers in New York City a starting salary of $10 per hour - significantly higher than the New York State minimum wage of $8 per hour. The Shake Shake motto is that "When you pay more you can attract a more qualified set of employees, you can reduce your employee turnover cost, and you can encourage them to work harder to keep their jobs. If you have great employees, and if you have great operations that take advantage of them, then you can use your employees to reduce your cost and improve your service and sales."

Super-Size Biscuit

Jammie Dodgers has made its debut into the cake category. Its celebration cake is the first licensed product in this market from the Burton's Biscuit Company and they confirmed further innovative and exciting products were in the pipeline. Aimed at the family market, the iced sponge resembles a large Jammie Dodger and comes complete with a jam filled centre. The cake is available from Tesco & Asda priced at £7.

Give Lovin', Get Lovin'

McDonald's latest promotional campaign launches tomorrow: for the next two weeks staff will accept "Lovin'" as payment. Customers who order items during pre-selected times will be asked to pay with nothing but affection, which can be expressed in a number of ways. Some customers may choose to ring their mothers, share loved-up selfies, some may hug a stranger, others could offer the humble fist-bump by way of payment. They are set to launch the promotion using an ad during the Superbowl which costs $4.5 million for 30 seconds.