Robert Downey Jr Quote…

Downey McDonalds

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Are Celebrity Endorsements Disappearing?

Traditional celebrities endorsements, YPulse perceives, are no longer as effective as they once where because for millennials there is no mystery to their “idols,” and as a result actually idolizing celebrities is a dying sentiment. Their unique experience with celebrity culture brings into question the effectiveness of traditional celebrity endorsement. How believable is a seal of approval from a celebrity when Millennials know more about their personalities and preferences than ever before? Add to this the fact that Millennials might just be the most media savvy generation to date, with full awareness of the machinery at work behind brands and their efforts to lure in consumers.

There is a fine line between a well-placed celebrity endorsement and one that simply fails to connect. Here are two of the biggest factors Millennials use to judge celebrity-endorsement marketing.

1) Do the Celeb and Brand Personalities Match?

Perhaps the biggest factor in producing a successful celebrity ad campaign is choosing the right person: how well do the icon and the product fit together? Millennials often find the less an ad is outright about buying the product and instead features an idea, feeling or attitude that the product evokes the more Millennials will pay attention to it.

Feels Right: Pepsi has matched celebrity with brand perfectly in their campaign featuring Beyoncé. Because their energies are such a good match, the believability of the spokesperson using the product becomes somewhat less important. Does Beyoncé really rehydrate with Pepsi during rehearsal breaks? Probably not, but that’s not to say she doesn’t during other times of the day.  In this case, utilizing relatability over star power is a non-factor – Beyoncé is superhuman. If Beyoncé likes something, we do too. The pop-art print campaign and limited-edition can sporting Beyoncé’s face enhance Pepsi’s appeal even more. The vibrant, colorful designs reflect the fun and refreshing attitude that both Pepsi and Beyoncé embody.

Falls Flat: This month’s Lipton tea ads featuring Kat Dennings did not live up to this standard. While Dennings was funny, the pairing didn’t add up. Her quirky, energetic personality was a mis-match with this product. The ad didn’t make Millennials want to go out and buy tea, and didn’t make Lipton stand out either. The humor and energy they attempted, was somewhat interesting, to interject with Dennings’ eccentricity, but the execution stripped the ad of authenticity.
2) Does It Feel Real?

As a consumer, Millennials  need to believe that the person advertised would actually use whatever product they are endorsing, or they will be instantly turned off.

Feels Right: A superior example of this is the perfectly matched endorsement between Taylor Swift and Keds. The brand falls in line with Swift’s wholesome style, and I would not be at all surprised to see her wearing the shoes on the street.

Falls Flat: A prime example of this effort falling flat is McDonald’s.The multi-billion dollar company has become an American staple. Despite their huge success, their spokespeople feel ironic. Celebrity athletes from Michael Jordan to Lebron James have all endorsed the fast-food chain over the years. In the 2012 summer games, they added  athletes like Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte to their roster of endorsers. Despite the company’s “favorites under 400 calories” menu additions, Millennials are hard pressed to believe that these athletes are regularly eating McDonald’s, or that this food has in any way attributed to their outstanding success and health.

Kingston has revealed a new, fast, portable 1 TB Flash Drive

 

We’re all used to thumb drives by now–they’re so convenient and have such capacity they’ve killed the recordable CD and DVD and keep turning up in embarrassing government data loss news items. But if you’re a fanatical thumb drive enthusiast you’re probably going to need to sit down for this info: At the CES show Kingston revealed its DataTraveler HyperX Predator 3.0 unit with one terrabyte of capacity.

The tiny 2.8-inch by 1-inch thumbdrive runs at USB 3.0 speeds and comes in 512 GB and 1 TB sizes–capacities you’d more normally associate with a large mains-powered desktop external hard drive. The price is as yet undisclosed, though you can probably expect it to be astronomical. The innovation does prove one thing, though: The end of the spinning storage disk really is approaching.

Is a 1TB thumbdrive something you’d use? Or is it asking for all sorts of terrible data-leaking accidents?

Going to NAB Show this Year…. ?

Planning to go to NAB Show this year in Las Vegas?  Want to go to the Exhibits for free?   My friends at TV Technology are offering the following pass code:

Use Code PA03

You can register at : WWW.NABSHOW.COM

 

See you there!

Amazon announces new tie-in with Discovery Networks…

Below is text from Amazon new content from Discovery Networks:

Dear Customers,

Today we’re announcing our biggest addition yet, bringing nearly 3,000 more titles to Prime Instant Video. We’ve struck a deal with Discovery Networks to bring some of the highest quality, non-fiction, informative and entertaining content about the world to our Amazon Prime customers. Rolling out over the next few weeks are TV shows from Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, and Science. Prime members, at no additional cost, can now stream more than 17,000 titles.

The new titles include hits such as Deadliest Catch, Mythbusters, Man vs. Wild, Dirty Jobs, Gold Rush: Alaska, and Shark Week, TLC series like Say Yes to the Dress and Cake Boss, as well as content like How It’s Made from Science, and The Jeff Corwin Experience from Animal Planet.

Interesting – seems like Discovery has “found” a digital outlet for content – it will be interest to see who else joins in….

Lantronix Debuts Solution for Printing from iPad, iOS Devices

Apple’s AirPrint technology in the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad makes it easy to send photos and documents stored on those devices directly to nearby printers via a local Wi- Fi network, eliminating the need to send these files to a computer first. But it won’t work with printers that aren’t specifically labeled AirPrint-compatible, which practically limits its utility; if you’ve wanted to use AirPrint, you’ve probably had to buy a new printer.

Last week at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, however, Lantronix, Inc., debuted a better option: a small device named xPrintServer-Network Edition ($149.95) that plugs into a home network router and makes almost any old printer compatible with the direct printing capability built into Apple’s iOS devices––as long as that printer is also connected to the same router, either by a cable or wirelessly. No other installation steps are required (there are no additional applications, software downloads or printer drivers requires), and the xPrintServer will automatically discoverall the compatible networked printers in the vicinity.

But the xPrintServer will run only on iOS version 4.2 or later, and it won’t work with every printer ever made. Right now, the xPrintServer is compatible with “thousands of printer models” from HP, Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson, Lexmark and Xerox, Lantronix says, although downloadable updates to the device expected later will add even more printers. The xPrintServer is slated to be available in the first quarter of this year at Amazon.com, NewEgg.com, Buy.com, and MacMall.com. In addition, pre-orders can be placed now at the company’s website.

Watch the Lantronix xPrintServer launch video to learn more.

The Most Popular American Companies in China

The primary reason, it is often argued, that China is an important market for many large U.S. companies is that its population has doubled since the early 1960s. But the whole picture is actually more complex than that. China’s real appeal to American corporations is that the huge population growth has been coupled with a sharp expansion of the middle class. As a result, the Chinese market probably will become more important to consumer goods and technology companies in the next few decades than the U.S. is today.

1. KFC
> Market share: 40% (Yum! Brands)

KFC has become a sensation in China. Since the first restaurant opened in Beijing in 1987, the chain has grown to more than 3,200 locations in 650 cities, according to Bloomberg. McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD), the second most prominent fast food chain, operates 1,100 locations. McDonald’s commands only 16% of market share, while Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM), which owns KFC, has 40%. KFC is so hugely popular that the company’s target is to increase its number of restaurants in China to 20,000. China accounted for 29% of Yum! Brands’ measured-media ad spending and 36% of its worldwide revenue in 2010, according to Ad Age. While McDonald’s restaurants in China have an almost identical menu to those in the U.S., KFC offers local patrons a number of more familiar dishes, such as Chinese-style porridge for breakfast.

2. General Motors
> Market share: 12.8%
> Competition: BYD, Toyota

General Motors passed Toyota Motor (NYSE: TM) in the first half of 2011 to become the largest automaker in the world. It is also the top-selling brand in China. GM’s presence in the country is still expanding. In the first half of 2010, the company sold more vehicles in China than in the U.S. for the first time ever. At that time, China accounted for a quarter of the company’s global sales, according to the New York Times. Since 2000, the company’s market share in China has grown from 3.4% to 12.8%. Last year GM sold more than 104,000 LaCrosses, one of its most popular models in China. GM operates in China through joint ventures with a number of Chinese companies, such as SAIC Motor.

3. Microsoft
> Market share: 99.3%

Microsoft dominates the PC operating systems market in China. According to web analytics company Baidu Tongji, the company has about 99.31% of market share. Apple’s Mac OS and Linux have virtually no representation. Due to rampant piracy, however, Microsoft only makes a fraction of the revenue it would make if everyone in China bought software directly from the company. Nearly 80% of PC software is pirated in China. According to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, the company’s revenue in China will only be about 5% of what it is in the U.S., despite almost equal sales of personal computers in the two countries, the Wall Street Journal reports.

4. Boeing
> Market share: 52%
> Competition: Airbus, Embraer, Bombardier

Boeing currently has more than 50% share of the Chinese market for commercial aircraft, according to Forbes. The company’s presence in China most likely will increase in the coming years. Air passenger trips in China have increased 16% from 2010. Boeing expects the aviation market in China to more than triple over the next 20 years, requiring an increase of about 5,000 planes valued at $600 billion. Boeing and China have a two-way relationship. According to Boeing-China President David Wang, speaking to CNC World, “China is already Boeing’s biggest customer outside of the United States and Boeing is the largest purchaser of made-in-China aviation parts and components.”

5. Nike
> Market share: N/A
> Competition: Li Ning, Adidas

Nike is China’s leading manufacturer of sportswear. It is followed in market share by Chinese company Li Ning, which holds one-third of the market, and Adidas, although some research puts Adidas in second place. In June Nike reported annual revenue of $2 billion in Greater China, according to Reuters — double the amount made by the company in 2007. Although Chinese companies currently hold a significant market share, they are locked in heated competition to keep up with the expansion of foreign rivals. Concerning sportswear in China, HSBC noted in a report that, “Local brands will lose more market share to imported brands over the next 12 months as the former struggle with inventory issues, while the latter benefit from consumers trading up.”

6. Coca-Cola/Sprite
> Market share: 61.5%/26.9%

Sprite is the number one soft drink in China, with 26.9% market share, according to recent data from Nielsen. Sprite’s manufacturer, Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO), holds a total 61.5% share of the soda market. It is followed by PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), which has 29%, according to London-based researcher Euromonitor International. Coca-Cola currently has more than 40 factories in China, and it plans to invest $4 billion in bottling plants and delivery trucks over the next three years, according to Bloomberg.

7. Procter & Gamble
> Market share: 55% (all P&G hair care)

Consumer goods company Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) has a firm grasp on 55% of China’s market for hair care products, including shampoos and conditioners, according to China Daily. Its best-selling product is Head & Shoulders. “Last year,” the paper reports, “P&G announced it would invest at least $1 billion in China over the next five years and also launched an innovation center in Beijing with an investment of $80 million.” There is huge potential for growth in China. As of 2009, per capita spending on hair care products in China was only $1.79 a year, according to Datamonitor Industry Market Research. Research firm RNCOS says the hair care market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 15.5% by 2013. P&G may not realize its maximum potential profits for some time, however. Another China Daily article states that the “Chinese government has asked P&G and Unilever to delay their raising prices in China, because Beijing is determined to keep soaring consumer prices under control.”

8. Intel
> Market share: 14.9%
> Competition: Samsung, Hynix

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is the world’s largest semiconductor chip maker by revenue. China accounts for more than one-third of the world semiconductor market. It therefore makes sense that Intel is the leading semiconductor supplier for China. According to PwC, Intel had 14.9% market share as of 2010. In that year alone, Intel made nearly $20 billion in revenue in China. This was an increase of more than 26% from 2009, when the company was also the market leader. For the second quarter of 2011, PC shipments in China grew to 18.5 million, according to IDC, surpassing the U.S. for the first time.

9. Starbucks
> Market share: 70%

Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) is the world’s largest coffee chain by sales. In China, the company has a nearly 70% market share, according to Euromonitor. Things are poised to get even better for the coffee company. “Coffee sales climbed 9% [in China] last year to 4.6 billion Yuan ($694 million),” the Wall Street Journal reports. Starbucks currently has 450 stores in mainland China and has plans to open a thousand more. In 2010, the company finalized an agreement with the Chinese province of Yunnan to establish its “first-ever coffee-bean farm in the world to cater to a rapidly growing population of coffee drinkers in China,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

10. Apple
> Market share: 51%

While Apple effectively has zero presence in China’s operating system market, its smartphone market share is not bad — fourth in the country, according to Reuters. But the company really shines in China’s tablet market. According to consulting firm iResearch, Apple’s iPad has a market share of 51%. Lenovo and Samsung are in second and third place, with 13.8% and 9.8%, respectively. A whopping 80% of consumers who are considering buying a tablet say their first choice is an iPad, reported TabTimes. According to Apple, the company’s China sales for the quarter ended June 2011 increased six times from the same period the year before.

Douglas A. McIntyre, Charles B. Stockdale

Read more: The Most Popular American Companies in China – 24/7 Wall St. http://247wallst.com/2012/01/03/the-most-popular-american-companies-in-china/#ixzz1iR2TZY7o