January 23, 2009
Honda Ranks Highest among Manufacturer Web Sites in Satisfying New-Vehicle Shoppers -- J.D. Power
Honda ranks highest among automotive manufacturer Web sites for usefulness in new-vehicle shopping, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Manufacturer Web Site Evaluation Study(SM) (MWES)--Wave 1 released today.
The semi-annual study measures the usefulness of automotive manufacturer Web sites during the new-vehicle shopping process. New-vehicle shoppers evaluate Web sites in four key areas: appearance, speed, navigation and information/content.
Honda ranks highest with an index score of 882 on a 1,000-point scale--marking a 14-point increase from the last wave of the study, which was released in June 2008. Following Honda in the rankings and rounding out the top five automotive Web sites are Porsche (867), Mitsubishi (866), Kia (865) and Acura (862).
"Honda resolved some minor navigation issues on their Web site, which helped them improve upon their fourth-place ranking in the previous wave," said Scott Kane, senior manager of marketing/media research at J.D. Power and Associates. "Currently, the Honda Web site performs well in all measures and demonstrates particular strength in speed, navigation and demonstrating options, features and specifications."
The study finds that overall site usefulness for the industry as a whole has declined by nine points since June 2008, with 16 manufacturer Web sites demonstrating double-digit decreases. This marks the largest wave-over-wave decrease since the study's inception ten years ago. Overall, the largest declines occur within the "determine monthly payment" and "compare vehicles" attributes of the information/content measure.
"Because of changes in the economic environment, many of today's new-vehicle shoppers are in a much different --and more challenging--financial position than were shoppers in years past, and many auto manufacturers have not prepared their Web sites accordingly," said Kane. "For new-vehicle shoppers, having the ability to go online to easily compare vehicles from various manufacturers, figure out monthly payments and find the best deal possible has always been important. However, in these tough financial times, these kinds of considerations have an even greater impact on the shopping process."
In addition, as marketing budgets for automakers tighten, manufacturer Web sites are becoming less capable of meeting the increasing expectations of shoppers. For example, as some manufacturers have refreshed or redesigned their models, they have limited the variety of vehicle images on their Web sites, or have simplified their photo and video offerings.
Photo: 2010 Honda Insight EX
"Likely due to budget cuts, some sites that once had beautiful images in city and off-road settings from multiple angles showing off their vehicles' capabilities--things that resonated with consumers--have scaled back on the images offered," said Kane. "A hurdle that manufacturers are facing involves obtaining the high-quality content they need for their Web sites--such as images, video and animations--in a cost-effective way. Finding synergies within their organizations as they create content for various marketing needs--both online and offline--will be critical in continuing to meet new-vehicle shoppers' needs."
The study also finds that the more useful a manufacturer Web site is, the more traffic it is likely to drive to dealerships.
"While it may be tempting for manufacturers to scale back development and maintenance of their Web sites, improved Web site design can translate into a higher volume of sales and a positive return on investment," said Kane. "Now, more than ever, it is essential for manufacturers to be strategic about their marketing efforts to capture their share of the diminishing number of new-vehicle shoppers."
The 2009 Manufacturer Web Site Evaluation Study--Wave 1 is based on evaluations gathered in November 2008 from more than 11,400 new-vehicle shoppers who indicated they would be in the market for a new vehicle within the next 24 months.
Manufacturer Web Site Ranking
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
• Honda ---------- 882
• Porsche ---------- 867
• Mitsubishi ---------- 866
• Kia ---------- 865
• Acura ---------- 862
• Lincoln ---------- 861
• BMW ---------- 859
• Lexus ---------- 859
• MINI ---------- 859
• Mazda ---------- 856
• Infiniti ---------- 853
• Mercury ---------- 852
• Jeep ---------- 851
• Ford ---------- 850
• Suzuki ---------- 848
• Cadillac ---------- 846
• Saturn ---------- 845
• Subaru ---------- 845
• Toyota ---------- 845
• Chrysler ---------- 841
• Dodge ---------- 840
• Industry Average ---------- 840
• HUMMER ---------- 837
• Mercedes-Benz ---------- 837
• Nissan ---------- 836
• Land Rover ---------- 835
• Saab ---------- 834
• Hyundai ---------- 833
• Volvo ---------- 833
• Volkswagen ---------- 829
• Buick ---------- 827
• Chevrolet ---------- 827
• GMC ---------- 821
• Jaguar ---------- 813
• Pontiac ---------- 801
• Audi ---------- 793
• smart ---------- 789
• Scion ---------- 773
Source: J.D. Power and Associates
"Do not frustrate the earnest visitors to the localized Web site of your car brand by not noticeably providing there the addresses of your relevant dealers."
January 14, 2009
Detroit Auto Show 2009
Photo: Detroit - American Honda Motor Co., Inc., introduces the production version of the all-new 2010 Honda Insight, a dedicated gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle, during its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. (American Honda Motor Co., Joe Wilssens)
Photo: Unveiled at the North American International Auto Show is the Jeep(R) Patriot EV.
Photo: Unveiled at the North American International Auto Show is the Chrysler 200C EV concept.
Photo: A caravan of 2009 Saturn Vue 2-Mode Hybrids departs from the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan Monday, January 12, 2009 - bound for the upcoming presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C. The caravan will make stops at Ohio State University, Penn State University and Howard University encouraging people to make positive changes to reduce the nation's energy consumption. Once in Washington, the hybrid vehicles will be used to provide courtesy transportation for inaugural events. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)
Photo: General Motors North America President Troy Clarke introduces the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox - making its world debut - at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan Sunday, January 11, 2009. The Equinox compact crossover will deliver an estimated highway fuel economy of 30 mpg with its new 2.4L direct injection engine. It will go on sale in mid-2009. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)
Photo: The 2010 Buick LaCrosse luxury sedan makes its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan Sunday, January 11, 2009. The Buick LaCrosse will feature all wheel drive, a suite of advanced intelligent personal technologies and safety features, and a choice of two fuel-saving V-6 engines. LaCrosse production will begin this summer at the Fairfax Assembly facility in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)
Photo: The next generation 2010 Cadillac SRX makes its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan Sunday, January 11, 2009. The SRX mid-size luxury crossover is expected to deliver a 25-percent reduction in hydrocarbon emissions while providing fuel economy in the mid-20's. Production begins in the second quarter of 2009, with dealer availability shortly thereafter. (Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for General Motors)
Photo: General Motors employees, retirees, dealers and suppliers cheer the Chevrolet Beat concept during a media event at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan Sunday, January 11, 2009. Chevrolet announced production plans for a new vehicle - the Chevrolet Spark - a fuel-efficient mini-car based on the Beat concept that will arrive in dealer showrooms in 2011. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)
Photo: As part of the Mercedes-Benz New Year's Reception in Detroit, Daimler CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche presented the latest version of the successful E-Class in front of over 650 trade journalists from around the world.
Photo: The Ford Fiesta at the North American International Auto Show. Before the Ford Fiesta's U.S. launch in 2010, consumers across the country will have an opportunity to drive, experience and learn all about Ford's newest global vehicle. Under a program coined 'Fiesta Movement', Ford will select up to 100 tech-savvy vehicle enthusiasts to drive a Fiesta and then relate their experiences through social media sites such as Facebook, FlickR and YouTube.
Photo: The Lincoln C Concept was introduced at the North American International Auto Show 2009. It is powered by a sophisticated human machine interface (HMI) and forward-thinking in-car connectivity technologies.
Photo: Ford's Battery Electric Vehicle hits the streets of Detroit at the North American International Auto Show, giving media from around the world a chance to put it to the test.
"The financial woes of G.M. and Chrysler have made the Detroit show far more downbeat than in years past. Persistent questions about their financial situations have tested the patience of executives at both companies."
-- From the article "Wagoner Says G.M. Is Working on an Overhaul Tied to the Bailout" in The New York Times, January 12, 2009 (NYTimes.com)
"As to buying from Detroit, that is another question.
While I have occasionally looked at Detroit product when buying a new car, I have always found that they were not the equal of foreign products in many areas, from design to ergonomics to comfort to dependability to value. Which is why I have only owned Japanese cars since I purchased my 1st new car in 1979.
With the current financial circumstances that the Detroit carmakers are in, there is NO WAY that I would risk buying a Detroit product. Who knows if they will be in business next year?"
-- A Reader's Comment in response to the article "How to Get Detroit Selling Again" in The New York Times, January 12, 2009 (NYTimes.com)
"A new automobile MUST BE sold with the Essential Guarantee of Continuing Service Facility and Continuing Spare Parts Availability.
Can a Detroit Auto Company provide that Essential Guarantee today?
NO, IT CANNOT."
December 30, 2008
Ninety Things to Watch in 2009 -- JWT's Annual List
JWT, one of the largest advertising agencies in the world, has released its list of 90 things to watch in 2009.
"Our list points to the broader trends we're seeing, showing the ways in which these shifts will manifest in our everyday lives," says Ann Mack, director of trendspotting at JWT. Among these shifts, the recession will make the biggest impact, says Mack. "A lot of what to watch in 2009 relates to consumers' adaptation to the economic situation, from 'affordable nutrition' to 'more under one roof,'" notes Mack.
JWT's list of 90 Things to Watch in 2009 (unranked and in alphabetical order):
1. 21st-Century Networking
2. Affordable Nutrition
3. Amy Poehler
4. Apatow-esque Humor
6. Building a Beauty Arsenal
7. Buraka Som Sistema
8. Career Reinvention and Extension
9. Chat-Avoidance Services
10. The Cleveland Show
11. Cloud Computing
12. The Collective Consciousness
13. Creativity in the Informal Economy
14. Credit Card Dieting
16. The Decline of E-Mail
17. Distraction as Entertainment
18. DIY Repairs and Renovations
22. Electric Bikes
23. Elizabeth Banks
24. Emma Stone
25. The Energy Race
26. Environmental Exercise
27. Family-Friendly TV
29. Gerard Butler
30. Girl Talk
31. Giving Circles
33. Good Old-Fashioned Cooking
34. Graphic Novels Hit Hyperdrive
35. The Green-Collar Class
37. Holographic Projection
38. Home as Castle
40. Homemade Beauty Treatments
41. How to Talk to Girls
42. Incognito luxury
43. Inconspicuous Travel
44. Innocent Cosmetics
45. Lady GaGa
47. Lance Armstrong
48. Lykke Li
49. Maria Pinto
50. Marketing with Aromas
51. Michelle Obama
52. Microfinancing's Second Wave
53. Mobile Phones Get Personal
54. More Under One Roof
55. NASA's Kepler Telescope
58. No "Paper" in Newspapers
59. Nutrition Replaces Dieting
62. Online TV Network Crackle
63. Online Video Ads
64. Outliers (as a term)
65. Palin's Grandson
66. Personalized Travel Guides
67. Pisco Sours
68. Presidential Sightseeing
69. Prince William Wedding Watch
70. Product Source Tags
71. Radical Transparency Meets Genomics
72. Readers + Social Media = Revenue?
73. Residential Market for Solar Power
74. Ricky Rubio
75. Russell Brand
77. The Small Movement
78. Smart Garages
79. South Africa
80. Stuart Karten
81. Sustainable Fishery
82. T. Boone Pickens
84. Touch Screens
85. Twitter Copycats
86. Virtual Reality Therapy
87. Virtual Socializing
90. Xbox Streaming
Headquartered in New York, JWT is a global network with more than 200 offices in over 85 countries employing nearly 10,000 marketing professionals. JWT's parent company is WPP and its clients include Bayer, Cadbury, Diageo, DTC, Ford, HSBC, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg's, Kimberly-Clark, Kraft, Nestle, Nokia, Rolex, Schick, Shell, Unilever, and Vodafone.
U.S. Federal Government has done all it can currently do to sustain the ailing domestic (as well as global) economy.
It is a crime to put all the blame on the managements of the bankrupt or struggling American corporations and make them scapegoats.
The blame must be shared by all those who have been blind to (or unaware of) the Highest Law of Economics and have been advertently or inadvertently contributing towards the propagation of the easy-money excessive greed culture originating in the USA.
Such contributors include the Top American Business & Financial Newspapers & Magazines, Relevant Leading Advertising Agencies, and some Industry Specific Labor Unions.
December 18, 2008
2009 NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
The North American International Auto Show will open its doors in less than 30 days and plans continue to build anticipation for this flagship event in the automotive industry. On Jan 11th global eyes will turn to Detroit as the press days open the show with 44 product unveilings.
"Detroit will soon be welcoming more than 6,000 national and international media to the 2009 NAIAS," said Joe Serra, co-chair for the 2009 NAIAS. "While the automotive industry is in the midst of an obvious time of adjustment, the interest in the future of cars has only increased. What better place to see the future of automotive than in Detroit."
The public and media will be treated to a number of world debuts of highly anticipated vehicles from exhibitors such as General Motors, Chrysler, Kia, Volkswagen, Audi, Honda and Toyota. As the environmental impact of vehicles increasingly moves to the forefront of buyers' minds, many of the debuts will include vehicles designed with a 'green' mindset including the 2010 Toyota Prius, and 2010 Honda Insight.
One of the largest media events in North America, the NAIAS is the only auto show in the United States to earn an annual distinguished sanction of the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles, the Paris-based alliance of automotive trade associations and manufacturers from around the world.
Photo: Detroit, Mich.: At the 2008 North American International Auto Show, attendees enjoy all the sights and sounds of Public Days.
NAIAS 2009 EXHIBITOR PRESS CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
(THIS SCHEDULE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
Sunday, January 11, 2009
7:00 am Media Credential Office Opens / Oakland Concourse
8:30-8:55 am Johnson Controls / D2-15
9:00 am Show Floor Opens
9:10-9:30 am NAIAS 2009 Opening Ceremony / Michigan Hall Stage
9:30-10:00 am North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards
10:10-10:35 am General Motors
10:50-11:15 am Lexus / Riverview Ballroom
11:25-11:50 am Ford / Cobo Arena
12:00-12:25 pm Chrysler
12:35-1:00 pm BMW
1:10-1:35 pm Volkswagen
1:45-2:10 pm Bentley
2:20-2:45 pm Kia
2:55-3:20 pm Audi
3:30-3:55 pm MINI
4:05-4:30 pm Lamborghini
4:40-5:05 pm Subaru
5:15-5:40 pm Jaguar / Main Show Floor
5:50-6:15 pm Volvo / Main Show Floor
Monday, January 12, 2009
7:00 am Show Floor Opens
8:30-8:55 am Michelin Corporate
9:05-9:30 am Lincoln-Mercury / Cobo Arena
9:40-10:05 am Maserati
10:15-10:40 am General Motors
10:50-11:15 am BYD
11:30-11:55 am Toyota / Riverview Ballroom
12:10-12:35 pm Brilliance
12:45-1:00 pm Lamborghini Fashion Show / Lamborghini stand
1:10-1:35 pm General Motors
1:45-2:10 pm Fisker
2:20-2:45 pm Revenge Designs
2:55-3:20 pm Michelin Challenge Design / Michigan Hall
3:30-3:55 pm Alpine / O2-44
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
7:00 am Show Floor Opens
10:00-10:25 am DENSO / Michigan Hall Stage
10:35-11:00 am Johnson Controls / D2-15
11:10-11:35 am EyesOn Design Awards at the NAIAS / Michigan Hall Stage
"At the Detroit 2009 North American International Auto Show, the first thing the press and the public would wish to know about an Automobile Manufacturer is its CURRENT REPUTATION."
November 23, 2008
Saint-Gobain Specialty Glass Adds Sparkle to NYC's TKTS Booth on Father Duffy Square
Photo: The TKTS ticket booth, a mainstay for bargain-conscious theater fans since 1973, recently opened its upgraded structure made entirely of glass supplied by Saint-Gobain, the world's largest producer of building materials.
Headquartered in Paris, Saint-Gobain has more than 210,000 employees throughout the world, including 25,000 in the U.S. and Canada. In addition to its leadership in glass for architectural products, the company is the world's largest supplier of building materials and is a major manufacturer of high-performance materials and glass containers.
The new TKTS ticket booth on Father Duffy Square in New York City has finally opened its portholes after several years of design and construction. The new booth -- a striking glass structure in the heart of New York's theatre district -- was officially declared open by New York City Mayor Bloomberg at a gathering of celebrities and city officials on October 16th.
Huge pieces of ultra-clear Saint-Gobain Diamant Glass envelope and protect the futuristic white ticket pod. The glass steps above it are claret red in the shadow of the surrounding buildings but turn brighter as the midday sun reflects off the colored interlayer.
As Saint-Gobain itself describes, "At night, when the booth's light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are switched on, the whole structure glows like a 'magical ruby'. Transformed from its temporary scaffold and sheeting appearance into a gleaming all-glass sculpture by Perkins Eastman architects, the booth is rapidly becoming a landmark for locals and visitors alike. The booth is already attracting throngs of weary walkers -- happy to make the short climb up the 27 glass steps to absorb a unique view of New York."
The amphitheater will be able to accommodate more than one thousand visitors as they wait for tickets, eat their lunch or just sit and watch the hustle and bustle of the Times Square district. It will also likely serve as a space for many photo shoots, weddings and film sets.
The steps comprise three-layers of Saint-Gobain Diamant ultra-clear glass, laminated with a red interlayer and surface treated for slip-resistance. The one-and-a-half inch steps are designed for maximum durability.
The ultra-clear walls structurally support the steps, serving as a balustrade and protecting the administration pod inside.
All of the glass panels were developed and manufactured at Saint-Gobain's Eckelt Glas factory in Austria.
October 27, 2008
Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09
Photo: Telefonica Blue officially suspended racing having reached landfall near Gibraltar to undertake repairs to the steering gear they damaged soon after the race start in Alicante. (© Dave Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race)
Photo: Telefonica Blue and Black training off Alicante. (© Maria Muina/Equipo Telefonica)
The Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 is the 10th running of this ocean marathon. Starting from Alicante in Spain, on 4 October 2008, it is, for the first time, taking in Cochin, India, Singapore and Qingdao, China before finishing in St Petersburg, Russia for the first time in the history of the race. Spanning some 37,000 nautical miles, visiting 11 ports over nine months, the Volvo Ocean Race is the world's premier ocean yacht race for professional racing crews.
Photo: PUMA Ocean Racing heads into the Gibraltar strait during leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race. (© Dave Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race)
(Photo © Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race)
Photo: Telefonica Blue sail testing off Alicante, prior to the in-port race. (© Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race)
Photo: Telefonica Blue breaks away from the start line in Alicante, Spain for leg 1 of The Volvo Ocean Race. Next is a 6,500nm battle to Cape Town, South Africa. (© Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race)
The Volvo Ocean Race is an extreme sport, where boats, equipment and crew push the limits at very high speeds, over very long distances and out of reach for any coast guard. Since Volvo bought the race in 1997, safety has been improved for each race.
A new design of boat, the Volvo Open 70, was introduced for the 2005-06 event. It is faster and more dynamic than any boat previously sailed in the race. This state-of-the-art class of boat, with canting keel and a sail area as large as three tennis courts is being used again in this race, with some slight modifications.
Each Volvo Open 70 has two Volvo Penta engines onboard that are provided by Volvo. One is an engine that can propel the boat, the other creates electricity for all the equipment onboard: the navigation gear, the desalination device etc. The waste is stored onboard and is recycled in the ports.
All major sport events face similar environmental challenges. Therefore, a major United Nations conference on sport and the environment was held in Alicante in conjunction with the start of Volvo Ocean Race. The conference focused on how to make global sport events more sustainable.
Photo: Volvo S40, Gekko Green
According to Volvo Car Corporation, in Volvo Cars' brand value pyramid, (1) Safety is followed by (2) Care for the Environment and (3) Modern Scandinavian Design, and all these three brand values are tied into Volvo Ocean Race as well.
October 18, 2008
New-Vehicle Buyers Turn to the Internet for Information as Buying Habits Shift to Smaller Vehicles: J.D. Power
Consumer-Generated Content Proves Beneficial for Consumers during the New-Vehicle Shopping Process.
New-vehicle buyers are using the Internet more than ever when researching vehicle information, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 New Autoshopper.com Study(SM) released yesterday. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.
The study finds that 75 percent of new-vehicle buyers in 2008 are using the Internet during their shopping process, compared with 70 percent in 2007. This year marks the largest year-over-year increase in online shopping since 2001. The total amount of time shoppers spend online researching automotive information has also increased since 2007 -- up 12 percent to more than six and a half hours. Meanwhile, the number of Web sites being visited by new-vehicle shoppers has remained relatively flat since 2007, which suggests that consumers have become more engaged with the sites they currently visit.
• "The current economic environment, coupled with high fuel prices, has given rise to a shift in the vehicle buying habits of U.S. consumers," said Arianne Walker, director of marketing/media research at J.D. Power and Associates. "Shoppers who were once loyal to larger vehicle models are now finding themselves in the market for a compact or midsize car. For many, this is unknown territory, and these shoppers are turning to the Internet for information and education about the vehicles in their new consideration set. The resulting demand for information provides automotive marketers with valuable opportunities to reach out to shoppers via the Internet."
Automotive manufacturers can further engage shoppers through consumer-generated content on the Web. According to the study, nearly 70 percent of automotive Internet users (AIUs) utilize consumer-generated content while shopping for a new vehicle. In particular, vehicle ratings and reviews are the most popular form of consumer-generated content, with 63 percent of AIUs utilizing this resource. Additionally, 95 percent of AIUs who use consumer ratings and reviews say that the information is "helpful." Dealer ratings and reviews are also popular among new-vehicle shoppers, with 38 percent of AIUs utilizing the resource, and 87 percent of those find the information "helpful."
"The collaborative environment facilitated by Web 2.0 is changing the way shoppers research vehicles, driving many to seek the experiences and opinions of other shoppers and owners," said Walker. "The opinions of other consumers are so impactful that we are already seeing distinct purchasing patterns develop between those shoppers who use consumer ratings and reviews, and those who rely solely on expert ratings and reviews."
The study also finds that different types of automotive Web sites have specific benefits that satisfy the information and shopping needs of consumers. For example, shoppers view independent, third-party sites -- such as Edmunds.com and Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com) -- as being most useful for researching vehicle pricing and for providing ratings, reviews and forums. Conversely, shoppers view manufacturer Web sites as most useful for their information on vehicle model options, features and specifications, while dealer sites are perceived as being most useful for inventory information.
• "The challenge for automotive manufacturers and dealers alike is discovering how best to get involved in online conversations taking place among consumers in order to shift sales to their advantage," said Walker. "Knowing the strengths of various types of sites and where shoppers are going for their information can enable manufacturers and dealers to manage their site content more strategically and focus on efficiently targeting consumers at each stage of the shopping process."
The study also finds that Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com) is the most visited independent Web site, with 44 percent of automotive Internet users visiting the site. Additionally, Edmunds.com is the most useful independent Web site among automotive Internet users. Edmunds.com shoppers are 42 percent more likely than consumers using other independent, third-party sites to say that the reviews, forums and ratings are the most useful information on the site.
This J.D. Power Study is based on the self-reported shopping habits of 27,901 new-vehicle buyers.
October 7, 2008
Reader's Digest Conducts Global Presidential Poll
According to the results of a first-ever global presidential poll conducted by Reader's Digest magazine and published in the November issue (on newsstands October 21), Barack Obama is the world's preferred choice for president of the United States by far.
(Reader's Digest magazine is published in 21 languages and reaches 70 million readers worldwide. It is part of The Reader's Digest Association, Inc., a global multi-brand media and marketing company headquartered in Pleasantville, New York, USA.)
The poll, part of the cover story "How the World Sees Us" by Reader's Digest Washington Bureau Chief Carl Cannon, asked 17,000 people in 17 countries, including the United States, whom they would like to see in the White House, and to weigh in on the global issues they most care about. They were also asked to characterize how America is perceived abroad.
"For the first time, Reader's Digest used its unique international footprint to provide a tapestry of global perspectives on several of the most important issues of our time, leading with the election of the next American president," said Peggy Northrop, U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Reader's Digest.
• Regarding the question of which candidate they would vote for if they could, respondents voted overwhelmingly for Obama in every country polled, with the exception of the United States, where Republican John McCain was preferred over Democrat Obama by a narrow margin.
• "It's Obama by a landslide -- except in the country in which he's actually running for president," said John Fredricks, Director of Polling for Reader's Digest. "What is most striking is the margin of his support."
In the Netherlands, Obama-mania surpassed 90 percent. In Germany, it was at 85 percent--numbers not usually seen in political polling. Similar results held true on all six continents that the magazine polled.
One of the questions was "When you think of the U.S. government, do you consider yourself pro-American, neutral or anti-American?" The poll also asked respondents to rank eight issues in importance: terrorism, the war in Iraq, the global economy, global poverty, human rights, the environment, international trade, and nuclear proliferation.
• Americans ranked the global economy as most important; terrorism, second; and the war in Iraq, third. Only the Russians were more concerned with terrorism than Americans.
• In seven nations (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Germany, Great Britain and Taiwan), the environment came out on top as a major concern.
• Respondents in Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Finland, Australia, and South Africa reported paying the most attention to the U.S. election. Respondents in Brazil, Poland, Russia, India, and Taiwan reported paying the least attention.
• While preference for the candidates is nearly equal in the U.S., support for Obama is significantly stronger in all other nations.
• In the U.S., McCain is seen as more qualified to address issues related to war and security, while Obama is the stronger candidate for humanitarian issues, such as poverty, the environment and human rights.
• Globally, the most important issues are the economy, poverty, and the environment.
• The election of Obama would be more likely to improve the image of the U.S.
• Most countries polled have a neutral opinion of the U.S. government. India is the most pro-American government (31%) while Spain, Netherlands, Indonesia and Canada have the highest percent (21%, 21%, 20%, 19%) of respondents who are anti-American government.
• The majority in India (73%), South Africa (65%), the Netherlands (55%) and France (52%) would be interested in moving to the U.S. while about 70% of respondents in Poland, Russia, Indonesia, and Australia expressed a lack of interest in moving to the U.S.
• South Africa is the only country where the election of McCain would have a slightly more positive impact on the image of the U.S.
Source: Reader's Digest
"Well, also, was it written by Theologians: a King rules by divine right. He carries in him an authority from God, or man will never give it him. Can I choose my own King? I can choose my own King Popinjay, and play what farce or tragedy I may with him: but he who is to be my Ruler, whose will is to be higher than my will, was chosen for me in Heaven."
- Thomas Carlyle, Sartor Resartus
October 6, 2008
Louis Vuitton Spring Summer 2009 Fashion Show at Closing of Paris Fashion Week
Photo: Paris, October 5, 2008 - Marc Jacobs and the models. (© Louis Vuitton / Bertrand Rindoff Petrov et Mazen Saggar)
Photo: Paris, October 5, 2008 - Zoe Cassavetes, Sofia Coppola, Marc Jacobs, Lenny Kravitz. (© Louis Vuitton / Bertrand Rindoff Petrov et Mazen Saggar)
Photo: Paris, October 5, 2008 - Sebastien Tellier, Amandine de la Richardiere, Zoe Cassavetes, Sofia Coppola, Kerry Washington, Yves Carcelle, Cecile Cassel, Helene de Fougerolles, Dita Von Teese. (© Louis Vuitton / Bertrand Rindoff Petrov et Mazen Saggar)
Photo: Paris, October 5, 2008 - Amandine de la Richardiere, Zoe Cassavetes, Sofia Coppola, Bernard Arnault, Helene Arnault, Kerry Washington, Yves Carcelle, Cecile Cassel, Helene de Fougerolles, Dita Von Teese, Mario Testino, Peter Marino, model from the Spring Summer 2009 show. (© Louis Vuitton / Bertrand Rindoff Petrov et Mazen Saggar)
The house of Louis Vuitton, with Marc Jacobs as Artistic Director, closed fashion week in Paris October 5, 2008 with its Spring Summer 2009 collection in the historic "Cour Carree" of the Louvre.
Yves Carcelle, President of Louis Vuitton received the international press and many celebrities including Sofia Coppola, Lenny Kravitz, Kerry Washington, Zoe Cassavetes, Cecile Cassel, Sebastien Tellier, Eva Amurri, Helene de Fougerolles, and Dita von Teese.
Source: Louis Vuitton
October 3, 2008
Paris Motor Show 2008: AutoWeek Editors Announce Editors' Choice Award Winners
The Editors' Choice Awards recognize Best in Show, Best Concept, Most Significant and Most Fun.
The AutoWeek editorial staff today announced its Editors' Choice Award winners for the 2008 Paris Motor Show.
"The Paris Motor Show has renewed our faith in the auto industry and its future," said AutoWeek Editor and Associate Publisher Dutch Mandel. "Despite the dismal global economy and the state of the industry, we saw a surprising number of exciting vehicles, both foreign and domestic."
Following are the 2008 AutoWeek Editors' Choice Award winners for the Best of Paris:
• BEST IN SHOW: Lamborghini Estoque -- "While the design is somewhat contrived, the Estoque really has presence when you see it in person. This is the car people will clearly remember," said Mandel.
• Contenders for Best of Show -- Ferrari California, Saab 9-X Air and BMW 7-series
• MOST SIGNIFICANT: Honda Insight -- "This hybrid car will be cheaper than the Prius, have high fuel economy and seating for five. Honda has officially returned to the game they used to own."
• Contenders for Most Significant -- Audi A1 Sportback, Pininfarina Bollore, Mercedes Fascination and Volkswagen Golf
• BEST CONCEPT: Peugeot RC HyMotion4 -- "If the French automakers were to come to the U.S., this is the car Americans would want. Here is an electric sports car we can love."
• Contenders for Best Concept -- Honda Insight, Mercedes Fascination, Audi A1 Sportback and Saab 9-X Air
• MOST FUN: Audi S4 -- "The S4 is a rocket ship that is fun and fuel efficient. It satisfies on all fronts."
• Contenders for Most Fun -- Fiat 500 Abarth Essesse, Ferrari California, Volkswagen Golf GTI and Lexus IS250C
AutoWeek is America's only weekly automotive enthusiast magazine. For more than a decade, the editors of this weekly have been selecting winners in four categories (1) Best in Show, (2) Best Concept, (3) Most Significant and (4) Most Fun at auto shows in Detroit, Geneva, Paris, Frankfurt and Tokyo.
"At the world's top auto shows, AutoWeek has been selecting winners in four categories - Best in Show, Best Concept, Most Significant, and Most Fun. These categories cover all types of cars displayed there. Yet, taking note of the new circumstances in which the automobile industry finds itself today, AutoWeek editors could consider adding another category, such as - Most Handy or Best Handy."
"With U.S. automakers reporting their worst monthly sales results of the year and no signs of relief expected in 2009, we now believe that as many as 100,000 industry-related jobs may be at risk.
With a more than 2 million unit sales decline likely this year compared with 2007, followed by a prolonged slump expected next year, the downturn is placing unforeseen levels of stress on the industry, we expect many players do not have the cash, credit or means to see the cycle through.
The last three quarters have seen a sharp curtailment in leases, high commodity and energy costs, a tightening of credit and rising unemployment. Consumers are fatigued, and we see more of the same in 2009 based on our read of the underlying industry fundamentals.
Only a resurgence in consumer confidence, stable financial markets, a resumption in the free flow of capital and a revitalized construction/real estate market can mitigate the downside risk."
- Grant Thornton LLP Corporate Advisory and Restructuring Services
September 22, 2008
Columbia Records to Release Two New Career-Spanning Albums from Celine Dion
On Tuesday, October 28th, Columbia Records will release two special edition CDs featuring career-spanning repertoire from Celine Dion, one of the biggest selling female artist of all time.
"My Love...Essential Collection" is a single disc featuring 17 songs, consisting of Celine's biggest hits...songs such as the international chart-topper "All By Myself", "Where Does My Heart Beat Now", her landmark 1996 Olympic Ceremonies performance of "Power of the Dream, the brand-new never-released "There Comes A Time," and a live recoding of the lead track "My Love."
"My Love" is a semi-autobiographic song recently written for Celine by Linda Perry (Christina Aguilera, Dixie Chicks, Gwen Stefani) and has become a show-stopper every night during Celine's sold-out World Tour, which is currently in flight across North America. "My Love" impacts at radio on September 22nd.
The two-disc edition, entitled "My Love...Ultimate Essential Collection," is a 26 song set that has been further expanded to include rarities like "(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman," "The Prayer" (a duet with Andrea Bocelli), "Tell Him" (a duet with Barbra Streisand), "I Knew I Loved You," "Dance With My Father", and "Pour que tu m'aimes encore" (the biggest song of Celine's French career).
Celine's "My Love..." anthologies cover virtually every single aspect of her extraordinary career, including fan favorites, a definitive assemblage of chart-topping international successes, as well as new and unreleased recordings culled from once-in-a-lifetime experiences that Celine has participated in over the years.
• Celine Dion - "My Love...Essential Collection" - single disc edition:
1. Where Does My Heart Beat Now
2. Beauty & The Beast (duet with Peabo Bryson)
3. If You Asked Me To
4. The Power Of Love
5. My Love (Live From The Taking Chances Tour)
6. Because You Loved Me (Theme From Up Close & Personal)
7. The Power Of The Dream (taken from opening ceremony of the 1996 Summer Olympics)
8. It's All Coming Back To Me Now
9. All By Myself
10. My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme From Titanic)
11. I'm Your Angel (duet with R Kelly)
12. That's The Way It Is
13. A New Day Has Come
14. I'm Alive
15. I Drove All Night
16. Taking Chances
17. There Comes A Time (previously unreleased)
• Celine Dion - "My Love...Ultimate Essential Collection" - two disc edition:
1. Where Does My Heart Beat Now
2. Beauty & The Beast (duet with Peabo Bryson)
3. If You Asked Me To
4. Love Can Move Mountains
5. My Love (Live From The Taking Chances Tour)
6. The Power Of Love
7. Pour que tu m'aimes encore
8. (You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman
9. Because You Loved Me (Theme From Up Close & Personal)
10. The Power Of The Dream (taken from opening ceremony 1996 Summer Olympics)
11. It's All Coming Back To Me Now
12. All By Myself
13. River Deep Mountain High
14. Tell Him (duet with Barbra Streisand)
15. My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme From Titanic)
16. To Love You More
17. I'm Your Angel (duet with R Kelly)
18. The Prayer (duet with Andrea Bocelli)
19. That's The Way It Is
20. A New Day Has Come
21. I'm Alive
22. I Drove All Night
23. Taking Chances
24. There Comes A Time (previously unreleased)
25. Dance With My Father
26. I Knew I Loved You
According to Columbia Records, "Celine Dion is the biggest-selling Female Artist of All Time, with worldwide album sales of over 200 million. Her RIAA Diamond Award albums "Falling Into You" and "Let's Talk About Love" have each sold over 30 million worldwide. She has five Grammys -- Best Pop Vocal Performance ("Beauty and the Beast"); Album of the Year & Best Pop Album ("Falling Into You"); Record of the Year & Best Female Pop Vocal Performance ("My Heart Will Go On") and two Best Song Oscars ("Beauty and the Beast" & "My Heart Will Go On")."
Source: Columbia Records
September 15, 2008
Barack Obama, John McCain Outline China Views
Photo: John McCain, Barack Obama Outline China Views Through AmCham-China.
The American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham-China) today announced in Beijing that US presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama have outlined their views on what US-China relations would be like under their respective administrations in articles written exclusively for AmCham. The articles, to be published in the October issue of AmCham-China's monthly magazine, China Brief, are believed to represent the first time the two candidates have publicly offered substantive details about their proposed China policies.
AmCham-China is a Beijing-based, non-profit organization representing the interests of some 2,700 companies and individuals doing business throughout China.
The articles outline the candidates' positions on a range of critical China-related business and policy issues facing the next US administration including trade balances, currency, security and the environment, as well as their thoughts on US competitiveness in the world economy.
"The fact that senators McCain and Obama chose to share their insights first with AmCham members is a testament to the chamber's reach and standing as an advocate for positive US-China business relations," said AmCham-China Chairman James Zimmerman. "We are encouraged to see both candidates call for further business development and more US engagement -- rather than isolationism -- in the years ahead. As a non-profit, non-partisan organization, AmCham-China looks forward to continuing good relations with the next administration."
Among many topics addressed, both candidates lay out clear indications of their views on trade.
For example, in his article Senator Obama writes that he will "undertake more sustained and serious efforts to combat intellectual property piracy in China, and to address regulations that discriminate against foreign investments in major sectors and other unfair trading practices." In addition, the senator pledges to work with China's leaders "to establish a better system for both countries to monitor products produced for export and act when dangerous products are identified."
Meanwhile, Senator McCain stresses China's obligations in improving bilateral trade relations. China's "commitment to open markets must include enforcement of international trade rules, protecting intellectual property, lowering manufacturing tariffs," he writes. "The next administration should be clear about where China needs to make progress, hold it to its commitments through enforcement at the World Trade Organization, and enforce US trade and product safety laws."
Source: The American Chamber of Commerce in China
September 10, 2008
New 'iPod touch' from Apple
Photo: Apple's iPod touch for movies, music and games.
iPod touch with new features is being introduced by Apple.
New features include a thin contoured metal design, a 3.5-inch widescreen glass display, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi wireless networking, integrated volume control buttons, a built-in speaker for casual listening, a built-in accelerometer and other advanced sensors, and Apple's Multi-Touch(TM) user interface.
"iPod touch is the funnest iPod we've ever created," says Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "Users can listen to millions of songs, watch thousands of Hollywood movies and now, thanks to the App Store, download and play hundreds of great games on their iPod touch."
Photo: Apple's App Store downloads thousands of games, movies and music.
"iPod touch works seamlessly with iTunes so you can import, manage, and then easily auto-sync your favorite content. With up to 36 hours of music playback or six hours of video playback on a single charge, the new iPod touch is the ultra-portable way to enjoy your favorite music, TV shows, movies and games on the go. The 32GB model holds up to 7,000 songs, 25,000 photos or 40 hours of video; the 16GB model holds up to 3,500 songs, 20,000 photos or 20 hours of video, and the 8GB model holds up to 1,750 songs, 10,000 photos and 10 hours of video," Apple explains.
Photo: Apple's new iPod lineup: the iPod touch for music, movies and games; the iPod classic; the iPod nano in nine colors; and iPod shuffle.
The new iPod touch is smaller and lighter than the original. With its rounded edges, flush display and curved, more compact design, the new iPod touch is more comfortable to hold and more portable.
August 29, 2008
Kodak Enhances Digital Experiences at Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Shares it with Fans, and Bows Out
Kodak was the Official Imaging Sponsor of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
In Beijing, Kodak's most advanced imaging technologies were employed to help create accreditation badges, provide onsite image-rich printing and publishing services, and support thousands of photojournalists capturing the action of the Olympic Games for news media worldwide.
The Kodak Image Center, a 22,000-square foot facility located in the Main Press Center, served the needs of more than 1,500 professional photographers and news agencies with traditional and digital photographic products and services. An estimated six million images were acquired and digitized. By digitizing all the images, the Kodak Image Center enabled photographers and photo editors to share these memorable moments with editors, producers and audiences worldwide.
Kodak printed Opening Ceremony photos and other image related items, and delivered imaging services throughout the games to the International Olympic Committee, the U.S. Olympic Committee and several other National Olympic Committees, and many of the Olympic Games Sponsors.
Kodak systems also produced more than 1.2 million security badges and credentials required for the Olympic athletes, officials, volunteers and sponsors.
Kodak Picture of the Day: August 17, 2008. Men's Swimming. Photographer: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images. Michael Phelps of the United States celebrates victory in the Men's 100m Butterfly Final held at the National Aquatics Centre during Day 8 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, August 16, 2008 in Beijing, China. By winning gold in the Men's 100m Butterfly, Phelps tied Mark Spitz's record of winning seven gold medals in a single Olympic Games.
Kodak Picture of the Day: August 15, 2008. Men's Water Polo. Photographer: Adam Pretty/Getty Images. Milan Ticic of Montenegro fights for the ball against Greece during the men's preliminary round water polo match at the Olympic Sports Centre Yingdong Natatorium during Day 6 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, August 14, 2008 in Beijing, China.
Kodak Picture of the Day: August 11, 2008. Women's Gymnastics. Photographer: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images. Deng Linlin of China competes on the balance beam during qualification for the women's artistic gymnastics event held at the National Indoor Stadium during Day 2 of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games on August 10, 2008 in Beijing, China.
Kodak Picture of the Day: August 18, 2008. Fencing. Photographer: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images. Wang Jingzhi (right) of China and Aron Szilagyi of Hungary compete in the men's team sabre fencing semifinals at the Fencing Hall of National Convention Center on Day 9 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, August 17, 2008 in Beijing, China.
Photo: Kodak Photo Shop in Olympic Athletes' Village, Beijing.
Eastman Kodak has been offering fans an inside look at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games through a variety of interactive online features at kodak.com/go/olympics including Olympic Picture of the Day, a photo tour of Beijing and daily posts on Kodak's blogs.
"While many websites cover medal tallies and country standings, we turn our cameras 180 degrees to show national pride, fan support and local color along with great sports photography," said Thomas Hoehn, Director, Brand Communications and New Media. "We want to provide a sense of what it's like to be at the Games through pictures and personal stories direct from Beijing."
"The Olympic Games captivate people everywhere and enable the world's best athletes to showcase their talents," said Antonio M. Perez, Kodak Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Dating back to the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896, Kodak has been there to help capture and preserve the history, while also supporting the athletes. We're proud to play that role again in Beijing."
"The Olympic Games have played a major role for Kodak historically, helping us to showcase our products, innovations and services," said Perez. "We are culminating a long, fruitful relationship with the Olympic Movement and look forward to a successful program at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games." Mr. Perez was speaking a few days before the games began on August 8, 2008.
Eastman Kodak Company is reevaluating its sponsorship policy. A few months ago, it had announced that it would end its Olympic sponsorship after the 2008 Beijing Games. "As we complete the transformation of Kodak, it makes sense for us to take a new direction," said Elizabeth Noonan, Kodak's director of brand management. "Digital technology changes everything, including the way we market our products and services," she said. "Our new business strategy requires us to reassess our marketing tactics as well, and adapt them to changing market conditions and evolving customer behavior."
Source: Eastman Kodak Company
(Kodak is a trademark of Eastman Kodak Company)
• The end of the Kodak sponsorship opens the category of film, photography and imaging to new companies. Fuji, Kodak's main competitor, was a sponsor for the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles.
• For advertisers, the Olympics is one of the splashiest events for reaching the widest possible audiences on a world stage. But when the Beijing Olympics closed on August 24, 2008, more than a century of "Kodak Moments" at the global sporting event also came to an end.
"Then in 1984 the Olympics came to Los Angeles. Olympic czar Peter Ueberroth believed that Kodak was the natural choice to be the exclusive film sponsor, but Kodak wouldn't bite. Even after Ueberroth visited Rochester to make his pitch, Kodak refused to pay just $1 million, far below the $4 million floor for sponsorships that Ueberroth had established. So he approached Fuji, which in those days was still barely known in the U.S. market. Ohnishi said yes on the spot and eventually committed around $7 million. No marketing investment ever brought better returns. Within months of becoming a sponsor, Fuji landed 50,000 new distribution outlets. "Salespeople said that accounts that didn't used to return their calls were suddenly calling them," says Tom Shay, head of corporate communications for Fuji USA and a 26-year Fuji veteran. "The Olympics completely changed the way people looked at us." ...
Finally, Kodak and Fuji have jumped into the digital camera business themselves. But they are in a mob of nearly two dozen camera, computer, and consumer electronics companies trying to get into the same space. One thing is sure: The companies that win in digital photography will need marketing and product smarts, technology and, not least, money. Fuji, it seems, has them all."
- FORTUNE Magazine, October 27, 1997
"Kodak photographic materials and equipment are sold worldwide and are are bought and used by consumers, photographers, photo studios, photo labs, cinema, television, and various businesses involving photography & imaging.
• Yet none of the America's top business commentators would feel comfortable answering the following simple question:
In your view, approximately how many photographic goods users in the world (or in the USA) appreciate or even know that Kodak was the exclusive Official Photography & Imaging Sponsor of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, and that the Kodak technology, products and services helped in staging the world's largest event ?" ©GlobalGiants.Com
[Also check the August 20, 2008 Relevant Post: Branding at the Olympics]
August 26, 2008
HarperCollins Publishers, Supermodel Carol Alt and Lord & Taylor join for NEXT YEAR'S MODEL Search
• Supermodel Carol Alt Pairs with Publisher HarperCollins and Lord & Taylor to Seek Fresh New Face to Launch Cover of her 2009 Novel.
Photo: Carol Alt Seeks America's Next 'Cover Girl'.
Along with supermodel Carol Alt (author of "This Year's Model") and Lord & Taylor, "Avon A" an imprint of HarperCollins is launching an interactive online contest to help discover the fresh new face who will grace the cover of Alt's 2009 novel. Headquartered in New York, HarperCollins is one of the largest English-language publishers in the world and is a subsidiary of News Corporation. The "NEXT YEAR'S MODEL" Search Online Sweepstakes contest is being launched on August 26, 2008 (i.e., today), the date "This Year's Model" goes on-sale. From August 26 to November 20, potential cover girls from 16 to 25 years of age can submit photos to the contest feature page at http://www.harpercollins.com/nextyearsmodel. Meanwhile, a distinguished panel of judges will select finalists, with new finalist pictures posting weekly at http://www.flickr.com/groups/nextyearsmodel/. On November 21, the judges, led by Alt, will announce the 4 top Next Year's Model entrants, launching all participants into an exciting fan-based voting contest at http://www.harpercollins.com/nextyearsmodel. On December 11, 2008, "NEXT YEAR'S MODEL" will be announced, and arrangements will be made for the winner and a guest to be flown to New York City. The grand prize winner will be awarded a professional photo shoot, a meet-and-greet with a top modeling agency, and a wardrobe prize from Lord & Taylor. "Avon A" intends to feature the winner on the cover of Alt's upcoming book, "Next Year's Model", in stores in 2009.
Alt, a savvy and innovative marketer whose creative skills were recently featured when she became a top-2 runner up on Celebrity Apprentice, created this contest as a way to help a young woman break into the competitive world of professional modeling. In her debut novel, "This Year's Model" (in-stores August 26), Alt introduces readers to the high-stakes world of modeling and gives valuable life lessons to all young women looking to break into the field. "(Modeling) is one of the only businesses where a woman makes more money than a man," says Alt, "and in which a young girl can achieve financial stability, meet great people, and travel the world -- all while becoming famous and securing her future." Widely regarded as one of the world's most recognizable faces after launching the supermodel industry, Alt believes that modeling can be a healthy and empowering career for a young woman -- and wanted to offer a hand in helping a new talent into the industry with the "NEXT YEAR'S MODEL" online search.
Source: Avon Books
August 24, 2008
PANASONIC enhances its Global Brand Value through Beijing 2008 Olympics
Photo: Beijing 2008 Olympics -- Panasonic LED ASTROVISION large display system at the National Stadium (Bird's Nest).
Photo: Beijing 2008 Olympics -- Panasonic LED ASTROVISION large display system at the National Stadium (Bird's Nest).
Japanese multinational brand PANASONIC (Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.) is the Official Worldwide Olympic Partner in the Video and Audio Equipment category. It provided the largest ever delivery of equipment at all 37 venues in Beijing. A total of 25 ASTROVISION large-screen display systems were installed in 18 venues. The large display system at Workers' Stadium, which can rotate 270 degrees, has been delivering live footage of the Games. A total of 284 RAMSA (Research for Advanced Music Sound and Acoustics) professional audio systems were installed at 41 venues.
Photo: Panasonic Olympic Exhibition at CHITEC 2008 (China Beijing International High-tech Expo).
Panasonic has been sharing the passion of the world's top athletes through the state-of-the-art audio and visual technology from the field and track into the living rooms of millions of people around the globe. The whole world has been watching the Beijing 2008 Olympics with all the action and excitement recorded and delivered entirely in high definition (HD) format, a first in the history of the Olympic Games.
Photo: Panasonic 2008 Olympics Advertisement for USA.
"Panasonic fully supports the ideals of the Olympic Movement, which strives to promote world peace through its various activities. Through state-of-the-art audio and visual technology, Panasonic brings the passion and performance of top athletes to homes around the world.
The sponsorship of one of the world's most celebrated sport events helps to enhance our brand value and provides us with tremendous opportunities to demonstrate the performance of our products on a global basis." - PANASONIC
August 22, 2008
Michelle Obama interview on TV One -- Sunday, August 24
TV One commentator Roland Martin's interview with Mrs. Obama to serve as prelude to TV One's live coverage of the Democratic convention beginning Monday, Aug. 25 at 8 PM ET USA
TV One, a new cable and satellite television network, programming primarily to African American adults has interviewed Michelle Obama who sits down with TV One commentator Roland Martin to discuss a wide range of topics that provide a personal glimpse of the presumptive Democratic Presidential candidate's spouse, her relationship with her husband and family, and what she thinks about the historic role into which they have stepped. The show (In Conversation ... The Michelle Obama Interview) will be broadcast on Sunday, August 24 from 8-9 PM ET USA on TV One.
According to TV One announcement, during this revealing interview, which repeats at 11 PM ET, Martin talks to Mrs. Obama about a host of topics, including her role in the campaign, how she deals with political attacks, the challenges of being away from their children on the campaign trail, how they find time for family and each other, her faith and their decision to leave Trinity Church, life in a fishbowl, how her upbringing shaped her values, and people's perceptions and misperceptions about her.
Mrs. Obama tells Martin that she spent much of her marriage trying to talk her husband out of politics, but she says her daughters are at the heart of the reason she decided to support his desire to pursue public office -- because she recognized that through politics he could make a better world for them.
She says that a spouse's role in the campaign is important because it gives a broader insight of who the candidate is.
"So much of who I am is where I grew up," Mrs. Obama says. She talks about growing up on the South Side of Chicago, her father as a shift worker who had MS and who believed in sacrificing for his family but never complained. She says both her parents taught her the importance of working hard and giving back.
She also believes voters can see themselves reflected in her and her husband's working and middle class family backgrounds. She says that black women, in particular, have not had their views and their lives reflected in the larger world, and she is delighted when she hears from black women that they see themselves reflected in her.
She tells Martin she and her husband learned how to sustain their relationship back in his state senate days, including carving out a regular date night. She says it's important for her daughters to see their parents' loving relationship, to see them holding hands, and that it helps them feel secure and loved.
While her own schedule is hectic, she recognizes that the average working family faces much more difficult struggles, with every woman she knows struggling to balance resources. She tells Martin that she passionately wants to give voice to the challenges of working families, especially military families, who struggle with housing, schools, and health matters, many of them barely getting by.
Mrs. Obama says that it's truly humbling to be part of the next step in history, and she clearly does recognize that they are part of a historic moment.
"You need to celebrate what [Sen. Obama] represents even if you don't vote for him," Mrs. Obama says.
The interview, conducted in Chicago on Aug. 20, is part of TV One's continuing series of hour-long interviews with major public figures of interest to African Americans. Over the past four years, TV One has featured hour-long interviews with Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, then- Secretary of State Colin Powell, then-National Security Adviser and current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and former Secretary of Education Roderick Paige.
"We are delighted to bring this interview with Mrs. Obama to our viewers as part of our public affairs programming during the Presidential election season," said TV One President and CEO Johnathan Rodgers. "We also hope to have an opportunity soon to offer our viewers an in-depth interview with Senator McCain," Rodgers added.
Source: TV One
August 21, 2008
PUMA Celebrates as 'Lightning' Bolt Strikes Twice With Historic Sprint Double for Jamaica
Sprint Sensation breaks 100m and 200m world records in Beijing.
Photo: Usain Bolt celebrates after his 200m win.
"PUMA's" Usain 'Lightning' Bolt of Jamaica made history Wednesday night in Beijing when he became the first man in history to break world records in the 100m and 200m at the same Games. Bolt again demolished the field with a winning time of 19.30 seconds, beating the previous time of 19.32 seconds set by Michael Johnson in Atlanta in 1996.
Bolt, who won 100m gold in a world record time of 9.69 seconds last Saturday, also became the first athlete since Carl Lewis in 1984 to win Olympic gold in both disciplines. According to PUMA, the Jamaican sprinter ran to victory in his personalized PUMA Theseus II golden spikes inscribed with his nickname and the night's event -- 'UGO 200m Beijing'.
Photo: PUMA Headquarters, Herzogenaurach, Germany.
The company explains that Bolt worked with PUMA to develop the optimum running shoe. Running both the 100m and 200m, he needed a versatile shoe that provided support for power, as well as firmness to hold his foot in place around the turn. Following this collaborative process, the complete Theseus II was born. Made from synthetic leather with an airmesh upper construction for maximum breathability, it enhances sprinting efficiency due to its stiffness of material. Bolt was wearing the Theseus II shoe when he broke both the 100m and 200m world records in Beijing, the company adds.
August 20, 2008
Branding at the Olympics
Photo: Cindy Crawford at the OMEGA Pavilion on the Olympic Green in Beijing on 14 August, 2008.
Photo: American pole-vault athlete Jennifer Stuczynski at adidas Brand Center in Beijing, China, August 11, 2008. At the center's Olympic Brand Launch Area, consumers can get close and personal with the special products, designs and technologies that adidas has developed for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
Photo: Women's 200m Olympian Marshevet Hooker of the USA at adidas Brand Center in Beijing, China, August 15, 2008. The new adidas Brand Center showcases and highlights the breadth and depth of the adidas brand to the Chinese consumers as well as to all visitors of the Olympic Games.
As the Olympic Games unfold, the branding experts at Siegel+Gale are commenting on topics such as how the Olympics are affecting the "brand" of China, how companies are using the Olympics to further their brands, specific corporate ad campaigns, branding through sports events in general, and other strategic branding and positioning issues.
Following are some comments by Larry Vincent, Siegel+Gale's Group Director of Strategy in Los Angeles, and Julius Roberge, Siegel+Gale's Strategy Director in New York, most recently relocated from Shanghai:
Why Companies Align With the Olympics - Larry Vincent
• "Most companies align with the Olympics because they hope to borrow equity or transfer goodwill from that of the Olympics to their own brands."
• "Twenty years ago it was a slam dunk. McDonald's and Coca-Cola measured noticeable lifts in preference, favorability, and attitudes toward the brand during the co-brand window of the Games."
• "1984 was the turning point, however. The Los Angeles Games, in some ways, reinvented the sponsorship model (so much so that LA had a surplus of funds after the Games). It was so successful, that more brands wanted in."
• "Today, sponsors have changed quite a bit: there are more of them and the affiliation competes with branded partnerships in vastly more channels and platforms."
• "The Olympic equity is still strong (although research shows that it is the strongest when the Games are actually in progress), but it's harder to transfer or borrow the equity."
• "'False reporting' of 'unaided awareness' of Olympic sponsorships is on the rise (meaning, consumers attribute an Olympic sponsorship to the wrong company) and ambush tactics by other marketers are more prolific. In that context, you have to ask, 'What is the return on investment for a company that spends millions to sponsor the Games, and millions more to purchase the media that activates the sponsorship?'"
Photo: adidas Olympics advertising campaign: Together in 2008 - Impossible is Nothing.
• "It still works for some. We expect Adidas, Coca-Cola, and McDonald's will still do well. Part of that is the legacy. In Adidas' case, it's the innovative way they've gone to market."
"At the Beijing 2008 Olympics, American global giants are blindly following a crude and hazy sponsorship advertising policy. Consequently, their global brand equity enhancement is only a fraction of what they deserve for spending huge money on this pursuit.
While sponsoring the Beijing Games, their focus is on China. Excellent. But they, as well as America's top business commentators and writers, have put the rest of the world into oblivion. They seem to have no idea that without much further expenditure, these multinationals could have utilized this rare opportunity to firmly establish their brands throughout the world.
Localized print advertisements publicizing the company's privileged involvement in the 2008 Olympics, for example, would have won them universal goodwill and respect in all their target markets worldwide."
• "We do think the Olympics is a horrible place to debut new brands, however. There is too much clutter and competition."
• "It CAN be an effective place to reposition a brand, particularly if the brand is in the B2B space and the repositioning can occur onsite at the events. Many of the attendees of Olympic events are executives (just like the Super Bowl). UPS is using the Beijing Games as an interesting venue to debut some of their new international brand activity."
• "Intuitively, we should be seeing international companies getting more involved in the Games in the future. It can become the coming out event for large international companies who wish to elevate brand awareness on a global stage. But the challenge is that for many viewers, the brands will be so foreign they won't know who they are or what they do. It requires the brand to do a lot of seeding work before the Games begin, and very aggressive follow-up work once the brand has launched with the marks."
Photos: Shanghai, China.
The "China Brand" - Julius Roberge
• "Until China, never before has the market potential of the host country on its own been viewed as possibly worth the significant investment. Despite the degree of controversy before the Games began, the market opportunity seems irresistible."
• "The Olympics have a clear purpose for the "China" brand: to prove to the world that China is capable of hosting Games at a quality level that the Olympic brand, the athletes and spectators worldwide demand and expect."
• "The China brand today is often correlated with low quality (products), so the challenge is Herculean. With the world watching their every step, success in Beijing will send a strong new message about China as a world power. If it missteps, it will not soon have such visibility to transform a lagging image."
• "It's safe to assume Americans understand that Olympic sponsorship is not the same as supporting China's political policies. That said, given the ongoing buzz and interest in how China enters the world stage, how a brand behaves in and/or partners with China may draw more attention in the future from international media, thus elevating the potential for a negative effect on a brand's image. This may be more of a concern for B2B organizations that deal more closely with the Chinese government or in government monitored sectors."
Siegel+Gale is one of the world's premier strategic branding companies. The firm has worked with an array of leading organizations, including American Express, AARP, College Board, Cornell University, Dell, Duke University, Lexus, MBA.com, Merrill Lynch, Motorola, the National Basketball Association, 3M, Dow, and The Four Seasons Hotel Group, Sony, and Yahoo! Siegel+Gale has full-service offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Dubai and strategic partnerships around the world. Siegel+Gale is part of the Omnicom Group Inc., a leading global marketing and corporate communications company.
August 18, 2008
adidas brand shines at Beijing 2008 Olympics
Photo: "adidas by Stella McCartney" Spring / Summer 08 Golf
Headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, the adidas Group is one of the global leaders within the sporting goods industry and the adidas brand is one of the leading sports brands in the world. The brand attitude "Impossible is Nothing" drives all brand communication initiatives.
• As the Official Sportswear Partner of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, adidas has been outfitting more than 100,000 volunteers, technical officials and staff. adidas has also been providing products for more than 3,000 athletes, 214 federations and 16 National Olympic Committees. In total, adidas is providing more than 3 million pieces of products for the Olympic Games including 43 different athletic shoes for 27 out of 28 sports.
adidas will be the Official Sportswear Partner again for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
adidas's Beijing Olympics operation is an extraordinary piece of sponsorship advertising and is the elite launching pad from where it can successfully strike any country, region or sports market it wishes to target worldwide. ©GlobalGiants.Com
Photo: The adidas Brand Center in Beijing.
adidas has opened its largest adidas Brand Center worldwide in Beijing, China, the host city of the 2008 Olympic Games. This adidas Brand Center store is the biggest adidas store worldwide occupying four floors inside the new Sanlitun Village Shopping Center.
"The opening of the world's first adidas Brand Center is another milestone in securing market leadership in China, one of the world's most important markets for the adidas brand," said Erich Stamminger, President of the adidas brand. "The Beijing adidas Brand Center will serve as a role model for our concept stores in key metropolitan cities around the world."
One of the highlights of the new adidas Brand Center is miCoach Core Skills, an interactive zone where customers can utilize innovative adidas technologies that are normally only available in professional level sports facilities. Visitors to the store can test their skills in balance, speed and jump, compare their results to their sporting heroes and get personalized training recommendations based on scientific research, using a number of interactive devices.
The 'Urban' area on the top floor of the adidas Brand Center is a new creative space dedicated to exploring and showcasing exciting trends and ideas in art, music and culture. This area will play host to a series of events, including concerts, art exhibitions, and consumer forums and meetings.
At the center's Olympic Brand Launch Area, consumers can get close and personal with the special products, designs and technologies that adidas has developed for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
View the "Made for Beijing" Footwear from adidas: