Right Brain, Left Brain Blog

127 posts categorized "News"

21 February 2014

Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook’s mega $19bn WhatsApp deal


Facebook really does likes to make an impact and its record-breaking $19bn purchase of the instant messaging service WhatsApp certainly sent the digital world into overdrive as critics speculated over the social networking giant’s plans to make money from it. In a statement released by WhatsApp, founder and chief executive Jan Koum promised users: “You can still count on absolutely no ads interrupting your communication”.

Yet the critics among us will ask just how long it will be before Facebook throws its advertising weight behind the app, just like it did with Instagram when it was bought for $1bn. So what is the big plan? Straight from the horse’s mouth, here’s what Mark Zuckerberg had to say in an official statement:

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17 February 2014

Guinness World Records partners with the Festival of Media

GuinnessLogo_sevendiary_Assam ed

Guinness World Records and the Festival of Media Conference and Awards series have made a worldwide partnership.

Guinness World Records will partner with the Festival of Media across its three events and will also see the creation of a new award category within the Festival of Media Awards – The Record-breaking Brand Award.

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08 November 2012

Mitt Romney, the brand disruptor

So Barack Obama finally did it - clinched the US presidential elections for the second time consecutively, after a sizzling fight to the finish with strong contender Mitt Romney. The title was not easily won, though.

Brand Obama, after reigning at the helm for four years, perhaps suffered from being perceived as complacent, a leader who was criticised for not having ‘lived up to his promises’, an easy target for those looking to further their own agenda. Or promise ‘something better’ to the United States public. Mitt Romney, in that sense, stepped in less as a messiah, and more as a challenger brand to Brand Obama.

In the branding world, the easiest gap for a challenger to identify in a market leader involves the concept of ‘complacency’.  And Mitt Romney may have lost the elections, but he caught that gap, moved in for the kill, and if nothing else, managed to shake things up for Brand Obama. That makes Romney a challenger brand, or more precisely, a brand disruptor; one that makes the leader realise he cannot take his position for granted, and that he needs to fight to protect his turf. No brand gets to secure a safe seat, and that is a realisation that Brand Obama had to deal with.

Brand disruptors exist in all shapes and forms. Brand names like Ryanair, Kingfisher Airlines, Jet Blue, Method or Skoda are known for disrupting market leaders in a bid to find their own sweet spot with target groups. Even a market leader like Google turned challenger to Facebook with its offering, Google Plus. The tablet category is full of challenger brands targeting features straight out of Apple’s iPad.

Take a look at National Australia Bank which publicly ‘broke up’ with the perception that it was just like its competitors – interested only in making money than caring for its customers. Examples don’t end there: New Zealand-based local craft brewery Tuatara took advantage of the outcry of Rugby fans in the country who felt cheated by NZ team sponsor Adidas offering jerseys at sky-high prices. Tuatara stepped in to offer fans a cheaper alternative to the Adidas jersey with the line ‘Cheaper jersey, more money for beer’, which helped the brand grow in popularity, and cause Adidas to issue a public apology.

Obama versus Romney

German airline Germanwings took disruption a step further when it had six of its executives board an Easyjet flight, and in the middle of the journey, ‘flash’ a mockery of Easyjet’s inability to provide allocated seats to passengers, promoting Germanwings’ similar facility, in the process. This was filmed and posted on YouTube.

Everyone loves a good underdog story – and ironically, Brand Obama was exactly that when he first won the elections. It is when you attain market leadership that the real story, the true test of one’s ability to hold on to the top spot, begins. 

30 August 2012

Coca-cola Makes Friends in Singapore

Hug-me Coke vending machine


Coca-cola installed a vending machine,  a few months ago, on a university campus in Singapore as part of the company’s ‘Open Happiness’ campaign. This might not sound out of the ordinary, but the vending machine is a dispenser with a twist; it gives out cans of coke when hugged.

The idea is part of a global campaign, ‘Happiness Machines’, which started in 2009. Another machine set up in an American university handed out cans of coke as well as pizzas and flowers. More recently, a Friendship Machine dispensed two cokes for the price of one — but only if you had a friend to help you reach it.

Continue reading "Coca-cola Makes Friends in Singapore" »

23 May 2012

The Price is Right.

The price is right blog
The Price Is Right

In the globalized economy, the chances of a product reaching consumers all over the world are extremely high. But this does not mean that the product can be marketed in the same way. Localizing the product for each individual market is extremely important and so is product pricing.

The culture of the country and knowledge of this culture on the part of marketers should determine the product’s pricing strategy. An example of insight into a specific culture is the value place on local goods in different countries. In North America and a growing number of European countries, locally manufactured products are becoming increasingly popular and as such, priced at a premium compared to imported goods. This is not the case for consumer goods in China. Chinese consumers privilege North American brands, ready to pay premium prices on imported goods.

It is also important to consider the cultural traditions of a country to understand what pricing to attribute to a product. When thinking about the price to give a Chinese product, the significance of certain numbers in Chinese culture needs to be taken into account. Eight is considered a lucky number, bringing good fortune, whereas the number four is associated with bad luck. The value Chinese consumers attribute to numbers should enter into the equation to avoid negative perception of a product on account of the price.

04 May 2012

"Global Culture Shocks in Social Media" - Textappeal speaks at The Internationist 100 in NYC.

Internationalist - Seminar - Brand growth in a socially transparent world

Brand Growth in a Socially Transparent World- May 10, NY. Join Us!

New York, May 10 2012 - International brand owners now have the opportunity to communicate with their customers in a fluid and highly localized manner. But this freedom can also backfire and damage brand consistency, equity and sales.

Challenged to deliver a single coherent and impactful message to their customers around the world, brand managers are learning the hard way how to deal with embarrassing and costly local mishaps due to social media. The Internationalist 100, a global marketing think tank, has asked Textappeal's Founder and CEO Elliot Polak to address this hot topic. Other speakers include VPs of Global Marketing from Dos Equis, Xerox Corporation, BNY Mellon, PepsiCo International.

Kenneth Cole Spring Collection - Promotion FAIL!

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Kenneth cole - Fail 4

26 March 2012

Kraft’s ‘Mondelez’ Risqué in Russian


Kraft Foods announced the new name of their snack foods spin off last week. Kraft’s Chief marketing Officer described it as “interesting, unique and captur[ing] a big idea."

‘Mondelez’ is said to evoke worldwide deliciousness. If we break the word down, monde means "world" in French, and delez, with a long E in the final syllable, is a play on "delish". But according to Russian speakers, when pronounced "mohn-dah-LEEZ," the name has different connotations.

Certain Russian speakers have claimed that the new name sounds like a term for an oral sex act in Russian.

Leading Russian professor, Irwin Weil, has confirmed that it's a vulgar term. He states "There is a rather vulgar word, 'manda' (манда́). [Mondelez] includes the sound of that word." The second half of the name roughly translates to the act of licking, say Russian speakers.

Behind The News

Kraft has a growing presence in Russia, targeting women with their products. This situation illustrates one of the challenges of applying a single name across numerous countries and cultures.

The name was suggested by Kraft employees and went through all the necessary procedures in testing; comprising two rounds of focus groups in 28 languages, including Russian. The results of the test concluded there was a low risk of misinterpretation in any language.

The name is yet to be fully approved. Shareholders will have the final word on the matter when they meet on 23rd May.


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  • Right Brain, Left Brain sums up the dichotomy of a media business that’s constantly battling with the challenge of delivering a profit and discovering new ways to communicate to consumers. The Cream editorial team combined with a dream team of industry pioneers from around the world share their expert opinions.

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