El Manifiesto Rethink-her


La Assocació Empresarial de Publicitat adelantó la celebración al pasado jueves 4 de marzo. Ese día, numerosos profesionales del sector de la comunicación y el branding se dieron cita en Rethink, el foro anual que este año cambiaba su denominación por la de Rethink-her en homenaje a las mujeres.

Tras la celebración del evento del día de la mujer, los organizadores elaboraron un Manifiesto en el que se recogen algunos de los aspectos claves de este colectivo que todo profesional del sector debería tener en cuenta.

Manifiesto Rethink-her Leer más “El Manifiesto Rethink-her”

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Blockbuster Collapses: Shutting Down 500 Stores In Desperate Bid To Save $200 Million


former Blockbuster Online logo (2004–06)
Image via Wikipedia

Blockbuster is losing big when it comes to at-home videos, so they are cutting back on expenses and on advertising in the U.S. to make up for it.

US same-store sales fell 15.9% in the 4Q and revenue dipped 18% to $1.08 billion compared to last year.

By closing its 500 weakest stores, the video-rental company hopes to reduce expenses by $200 million, the Financial Times reports.

Jim Keyes, chief executive officer, said the company was working with Rothschild, its financial advisors, on ways to increase its liquidity, including a possible recapitalisation.

Under Mr Keyes, Blockbuster is seeking to establish its brand in rapidly emerging new channels such as digital downloads and vending kiosks.

But they’ve already been beat to the punch. Netflix and Redbox dominate market share when it comes to digital downloads and vending kiosks, and Blockbuster will have a difficult time growing in those segments.

The company ended last year with $963 million of debt. Can they make it through 2010?

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El casting global de Benetton


Ni medidas de modelo, ni límite de edad. El casting online de la marca busca a personas auténticas de todos los rincones del mundo

Fiel a su mensaje de un mundo globalizado donde la riqueza cultural y la diversidad racial son los protagonistas, Benetton ha puesto en marcha una acción online dirigida a todos los internautas del mundo. Se trata de un casting internacional en el que los participantes no deben cumplir los requisitos habituales de los modelos: las medidas no importan, ni el aspecto físico, ni la edad, ni la raza… “We don’t care where you’re from, only where you can go” (“No nos importa de dónde eres, sino hacia dónde puedes ir”), nos dice el texto de la campaña que, bajo el claim “Now it´s my time” (“Ahora es mi momento”), anima a todo el mundo a participar en el casting.

Todos los interesados deberán subir una foto o vídeo donde se muestren tal y como son, así como votar por sus favoritos. Los cien participantes más votados aparecerán en el próximo libro de Benetton sobre estilo global y recibirán 200 euros que podrán gastar en productos de la marca. Entre esos cien, veinte serán los elegidos para viajar a Nueva York y participar en la próxima campaña de la temporada otoño/invierno de Benetton.

Fuente: adland.tv

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Noise to Signal


Mommy, where do hashtags come from?

Mommy, where do hashtags come from?

You know those time-lapse videos that compress days, weeks or years into minutes? The ones with flowers budding, blooming and then withering in seconds? Or late-1990s Silicon Valley startups getting venture capital, blowing it on espresso bathtubs and Dr. Pepper fountains, and vanishing into receivership?

I think Twitter may be the same thing, except for language. In spoken English, it can take decades – even centuries – for new words to emerge, become part of common parlance, and then fade into disuse.

But on Twitter, hashtags can live that entire lifecycle in the course of a day or two. A news story breaks, and competing hashtags vie for dominance. Then a few influential folks adopt the same one. Suddenly the conversation coalesces around it, the term trends, the spammers start using it, and then the conversation peters out as we move on to the next topic.

Is that the pattern? And how closely does it map onto the ways that words and phrases earworm their way into spoken language?

Maybe some up-and-coming linguistics student is already mapping the ways hashtags rise and decay, and getting ready to publish a dissertation… in 140-character increments.

http://www.robcottingham.ca/cartoon/

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NYTimes.com: Snowpocalypse to Snowicane: Hype Reigns in Winter


By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — The snowmenclature smackdown among meteorologists started with ”snowmageddon” and ”snowpocalypse.” When the latest snow event — laden with flakes and whipped by heavy winds — headed for the storm-weary Northeast this week, the folks at AccuWeather Inc. warned of a coming ”snowicane.”

That did it for the more reserved National Weather Service, which accused the for-profit forecasters of overhyping to the point of inciting panic. The Weather Channel, an AccuWeather competitor, also took issue with the word.

As ”snowicane” foreshadowed impending wind-and-snow doom Wednesday on AccuWeather’s Web site, National Weather Service meteorologist Craig Evanego said the federal forecasters were taking a more measured approach, because the storm hadn’t yet fully formed.

”It’s almost inciting the public, inciting panic,” Evanego said of AccuWeather’s terminology.

His weather service colleague, meteorologist Roy Miller in Mount Holly, N.J., put it bluntly to The Morning Call newspaper in Allentown, Pa.

”It’s not responsible to be putting out things like this,” he said.

The newspaper called the brouhaha a ”meteorologist smackdown.”

Richard Grumm, the government service’s chief science and operations officer in State College, said science and ”getting people’s attention and entertainment” each serve a purpose.

”Scientifically, I have my own opinion of what a hurricane is,” he added. ”The word, ‘snowicane’ — I have a glossary of meteorology, it doesn’t exist.”

A key meteorological measure of a hurricane is sustained winds of at least 74 mph. As this week’s storm barreled into New England, it slung wind gusts into that range and higher — but those winds were not sustained. It therefore failed to achieve hurricane status.

It did, however, dump even more snow on a region digging out from the deepest cumulative snows ever recorded for a winter season and knocked out power to more than 1 million homes and businesses. The number of outages was cut nearly in half by midday Saturday.

Evan Myers, chief operations officer of AccuWeather, defended the choice of words but said his firm wasn’t trying to panic anyone.

”I guess you can say that we stuck our necks out on this storm. … Some people thought we were crazy, we were nuts, talking about the storm from this perspective,” Myers said Friday from the floor of AccuWeather’s high-tech operations center in State College.

”The storm performed as advertised,” Myers said, noting, among other things, the coastal flooding from Maine to eastern Long Island and heavy snows in some areas.

AccuWeather’s Web site on Saturday took up the ”snowicane” defense: ”Our concern was that the storm might be taken too lightly by the public if we stuck to the norm of calling the system a nor’easter, snowstorm, or even a blizzard.”

It cited wind gusts of 90-plus mph off the New England coast.

By another measure, barometric pressure, the storm lived up to its billing, AccuWeather said. The storm’s central pressure was as low as a category 2 hurricane, the Web site reported.

”We said it would have the characteristics of a (hurricane or tropical system), and in fact, it did,” Myers said.

Fred Carr, director of the University of Oklahoma School of Meteorology, hadn’t been following the AccuWeather forecasts, but briefly reviewed one from early Thursday. AccuWeather’s forecasts were consistent with the government’s forecast models, he said. The difference was with the words used, not the forecast itself, he said.

”I’m sure no one seriously, even AccuWeather, (could) have seriously meant it to be like a hurricane,” Carr said. ”I think it was just a catchy term that would give them more publicity … of course, now I’m playing psychologist.”

Though it didn’t specifically name AccuWeather, The Weather Channel joined the fray. On its Web site, weather.com, it called invocation of the H-word an example of ”bad meteorology.”

”It’s not an apt analogy to compare this winter storm, which is really all about cold air and jet stream, with a hurricane, which is all about heat and … things of tropical origin,” said Bruce Rose, vice president and principal scientist at The Weather Channel.

Using a baseball analogy, Rose acknowledged the competitiveness among the meteorologists.

”When a guy gets a base hit, he’s kidding around with the other team’s first baseman,” he said. ”But they are still trying to beat each other’s brains out when it comes to the final score.”

——

Associated Press writer Michael Rubinkam in Allentown contributed to this report.

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BUFFETT’S ANNUAL LETTER TO SHAREHOLDERS


The master has spoken in his freshly released letter to shareholders and as usual, it is filled with brilliance, hypocrisy and more brilliance.  You can read the full letter here.  I will keep my personal thoughts on the letter short and sweet, but a few things stood out to me:

Buffett appears to attempt to distance himself from the notion of  “too big to fail” and implies that the firm is not dependent on the “kindness of strangers”:

“We will never become dependent on the kindness of strangers. Too-big-to-fail is not a fallback
position at Berkshire. Instead, we will always arrange our affairs so that any requirements for cash we may conceivably have will be dwarfed by our own liquidity.”

These are interesting comments now that we know Buffett in fact played a role in orchestrating the bank bailouts (see here for his letter to Hank Paulson).  Of course, Buffett had a substantial amount at stake if the banks were allowed to implode.  As Barry Ritholtz has previously shown, Buffett did indeed rely on the kindness of strangers.   He claims to have been a supplier of capital, but this was nothing more than doubling down on bad bets that he had made with the hope that the government would ultimately step in.  Of course, we all know they did.  I don’t know how he can make such comments when it is so obvious that he directly benefited from the bank bailouts and played an instrumental role in orchestrating them?   It’s disingenuous at best.

A few other things that jumped out:

  • His discussion on risk management (p. 16) should be required reading for every CEO and money manager in America.
  • He is still extraordinarily funny.
  • He sounds very optimistic about the state of the housing market.
  • He sells his company and the idea behind Berkshire better than any CEO on the planet.

For more reading please see his annual letters from the Buffett Partnership days.

http://pragcap.com/buffetts-annual-letter-to-shareholders

© 2009 pragcap.com

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INSIDER SELLING HITS NEW 2010 HIGH


The recent uptick in stocks has not been met with much enthusiasm by corporate insiders.  In fact, pessimism rules the day in the land of insider buying and selling trends.  For the week ending February 26th insiders sold a total of $1.88B in stock and purchased just $13.22MM.  Selling was up substantially from last week and buying was down substantially from last week.  The selling was the highest level experienced this year.  Interestingly, as the rally has continued insiders have actually increased their selling. Leer más “INSIDER SELLING HITS NEW 2010 HIGH”