Innovative powerhouse Coca-Cola is at it again with a new CMO

Known as one of the most innovative companies in the world, Coca-Cola is changing up their marketing strategy yet again with the reinstatement of a global CMO.

With 130 years of business under their belt, Coca-Cola transformed themselves from a globally successful soft drink company to a globally successful media company with the implementation of innovative marketing strategies. This includes their iconic branding campaigns that have cultivated the highest brand loyalty of any product. Wendy Clark was the Senior Vice President of Integrated Marketing Communications and Capabilities from 2008-2016. Now, there is a new sheriff in town.

In May 2017, as part of their innovative marketing strategy, Coca-Cola ditched the position of Chief Marketing Officer and created the title “chief growth officer instead”. This position has been held by company Senior Vice President Francisco Crespo since 2017, who will be stepping down from the position in 2020.

To replace Crespo, Coca-Cola is reinstating the CMO position to, again, replace the new Chief Growth Officer position. Company veteran Manolo Arryo will be assuming the global Chief Marketing Officer position in 2020.


Hallmark Pulled in Two Directions

After an uproar over Hallmark’s same-sex couple commercial advertising the wedding registry and planning website Zola, Hallmark pulls the ad off the air. Now, they are reversing their position.

This past Sunday, Hallmark’s CEO Mike Perry publicly apologized for the companies’ retraction of a wedding planning and registry website commercial for Zola. The advertisement depicted the happy wedding of a same-sex female couple to advertisement the brand, which sparked outcry of one conservative group in particular: One Million Moms.

One Million Moms reached out to Crown Family Networks (parent company of Hallmark) CEO Bill Abbott claiming in protest that the advertisement was in poor taste, “distracting”, and pressured the company to pull the commercial off-air. Abbott responded to the group claiming the advertisement aired “in error” and would be pulled immediately.

After the decision to pull the ad was made public, this also prompted outrage from many, including Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, Ellen DeGeneres, and streaming company Netflix. It also sparked a skit from Saturday Night Live depicting a Hallmark dating show, poking fun at the channel for its homophobic actions.

As of current, Hallmark is working with Zola to renew their partnership and reinstate the advertisements on the channel.

New CASE Act Makes Fighting Copyright Theft Easier on the Wallet

As of October 22nd, 2019, the CASE (Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement) Act officially passed 410-6 in the House of Representatives. If passed by the Senate, this act will ease the financial burden of enforcing ones rights in terms of copyright theft.

Traditionally, when faced with copyright theft and infringement issues, the process involves hiring an attorney and fronting high legal expenses. This process seems unfair, especially if you were the victim of copyright theft in the first place, and often discourages people from fighting for rights they are entitled to. In many cases, the financial burden that comes along with fighting copyright infringement is far too high for the average creative or everyday person. Ideally, the CASE Act would provide a financially practical way to enforce ones rights without having to hire an expensive attorney, especially for independent creators.

According to The Recording Academy, this monumental act is an incredible victory for music creators specifically, following last years passing of the Music Modernization Act. Daryl Friedman, chief industry, government, & member relations officer for the Recording Academy claims that the CASE Act finally gives music makers access to the copyright protection they deserve.

If the CASE Act passes the Senate for final vote, a copyright claims board will be created within the U.S Copyright Office to rule on small claims infringement where damages will be capped at $15,000 per claim and $30,000 total.

New Privacy Protection Law Proposed by Oregon Senator Wyden

Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon)

Or as I like to call it: The “How Has This Not Been Proposed Before Yet?!” Act.

Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon recently proposed a bill that would allow consumers to choose whether or not their information is shared or sold by ad-tech companies. This law would have the ability to jail executives, and fine violating companies for up to 4% of their annual income. This bill would be quite revolutionary, in that the FTC currently does not have the ability to fine consumer-privacy-violating companies.

Ever since the massive Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal of 2016, consumers have garnered an increased awareness and skepticism of how their information is being used, stored, and sold online. During the 2016 election, Cambridge Analytica accessed unauthorized information through Facebook regarding users interests, activity and preferences in order to sway voters and influence the presidential election. It was proven that Cambridge Analytica was hired by both the Ted Cruz and Trump campaigns to gather information. This scandal affected over 86 million Facebook users.

To my first point, it was truly shocking to me that this has gone by the way side for so long. In an era of heightened importance placed on privacy protection, this bill would really help consumers sleep a little better at night, knowing they have more control over their own personal data.

As well as bringing justice to a long-overdue privacy issue, the bill is also said to open up at least an estimated 175 jobs in the FTC for policing privacy. Seems to be a win-win for both online consumers and the job market alike.

The Streaming War: The real reason why Disney+ will have a tremendous advantage

It is no secret that streaming services are dominating the entertainment market. The universal movement to be able to watch anything, anywhere, at anytime, on any device opened up this highly profitable yet wildly competitive market that one of the worlds biggest companies is about to take by storm.

The long-anticipated Disney+ streaming service is set to hit the market in a little over a month, on November 12th, 2019. How will they compete against the novelty success of Netflix, you might ask? Well, first of all, it’s Disney. Second of all, Disney will no longer rent their content to other streaming services but harbor a service of their own with all of their original content. You might be thinking to yourself, “well, I’ve been watching a little too much Lilo & Stitch anyway. And I can live without Beauty and the Beast.” The traditional Walt Disney content that comes to mind merely scratches the surface of Disney’s extensive back catalog, which is precisely the thing that will give Disney+ an extreme advantage.

We all know Disney’s massive success in the film and television industry, but many do not know the extent of content they technically own. Aside from their own original content, Disney’s film properties include Pixar, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures, and Blue Sky Studios. What this means to the average individual that Finding Nemo (Pixar), Iron Man (Marvel Studios), Star Wars (Lucasfilm), Home Alone (20th Century Fox), Napoleon Dynamite (Fox Searchlight Pictures), and so many more favorites will be off limits to any non-Disney+-subscribers. According to Mark Mahaney of RBC Capital Markets, Disney plans to spend around $1 billion on original content surrounding their existing brands, while Netflix will be spending 7-8x that much. Netflix’s content budget stands around the $15 billion range. Half of this goes toward original content while the other half goes toward their rented content. Netflix’s absence of a back catelog like Disney’s puts a pressure on them to produce more original content in order to establish some security. Simply harboring rented content runs the risk of partners breaking the relationship with Netflix, which would leave Netflix with nothing. Disney, on the other hand, has ultimate security with their extensive back catelog.

With all that being said, the final verdict is that there seems to be room for both Disney+ and existing streaming services such as Netflix to coexist successfully. According to a survey conducted by RBC Capital Markets, the vast majority of viewers are willing to sign up for more than one service, with 70% willing to subscribe to two or more services. I, myself, am subscribed to Netflix, Hulu, and HBOGo (okay, lets be real. I mooch off of my mom’s Netflix and my friends HBOGo. But I totally would subscribe to all three!). Each streaming service has their own “special sauce”, or varied array of content that is central to that particular service. This draws customers to subscribe to more than one service in order to watch all of their favorite TV shows and movies, leaving room for both Disney and Netflix to revel in tremendous success as streaming services.

“Dream Crazy” commercial wins Nike an Emmy

A recent commercial featuring Colin Kaepernick just won Nike its first commercial award in almost 20 years.

At the Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Sunday, September, 15, Nike took home the Emmy award for “outstanding commercial”. The last time Nike won this award was in 2002 for their Winter Olympics campaign, “Move”. The “Dream Crazy” campaign, which first aired last September, promoted to viewers the idea of dreaming big, and dreaming crazy. While the message behind the ad was powerful, it sparked controversy surrounding former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick as the face of the campaign.

Kaepernick is well known for his nationally controversial action of kneeling during the national anthem at a 2016 NFL preseason game. Kaepernick was protesting racial injustice in the United States by not standing for the national anthem, which praises a flag and a country that has oppressed minorities for centuries. Throughout the 2016 NFL season, Kaepernick continued to kneel for the national anthem in the beginning of each game, which created a national divide. Many stood with Kaepernick and his protest, while many were infuriated, saying the action was disrespecting our country and our soldiers. The situation led to Kaepernicks leave by the end of the 2016 season.

Two years after Kaepernick’s protest, Nike’s “Dream Crazy” campaign still faced initial backlash. When the ad first aired, Nike experienced a 3.2% drop in shares, while #NikeBoycott was trending on Twitter. This is not last long, however. Within a few days, people began to shine light on the importance of Nike being “brave enough to change the game”.

Despite controversy and backlash, Nike brings home an Emmy Award for “outstanding commercial”, one year after the “Dream Crazy” release.

Welcome to the world of music streaming, Amazon

As the largest online retailer and one of the wealthiest companies in the world, Amazon seems to have their hand in a bit of everything. They own a variety of successful business, including the popular grocery chain Whole Foods, online companies such as Zappos and Internet Movie Database, IMDb.

To accompany their other business ventures, the rise of streaming is a trend Amazon definitely did not sleep on, either. Amazon Prime Video is one of the top movie and TV streaming services, alongside popular services such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now/Go, and PlayStation Vue.

So far, we chart Amazon in the online retail business, health-food grocer business, TV and movie streaming business, and more. They are a multimedia company and an advanced technology company. What else is left for Amazon to take on? Answer: the music industry.

Amazon just launched Amazon Music HD, which competes with popular music streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal. Prior to launching their HD music streaming service, Amazon already had Amazon Prime Music which was available for free to Prime subscribers. Their new, high definition service claims to offer lossless audio at up to 850 kbps (more than double the bit-rate of Spotify and Apple Music). Their main competetor for this kind of advanced audio is Jay-Z’s Hi-Fi Tidal plan, which can be purchased at $19.99 per month. Amazon’s new HD music streaming service charges $14.99 per month, and offers a $2 discount if you are a Prime subscriber.

According to Amazon’s Vice President of Music, Steve Boom, Amazon is not going for a “niche player” type service, but rather aim to disrupt the current top dogs, Apple and Spotify. I find myself wondering if their proclaimed advanced audio will hit the average ear in a way that makes consumers want to switch from their trusted streaming services. In Amazons recent press release, Neil Young spoke to the topic saying that Amazon’s new high quality streaming service “will be the biggest thing to happen in music since the introduction of digital audio 40 years ago”. A bold statement from a true music legend.

Amazon Music HD and Ultra HD launches September 17th, 2019.

Welcome Back, Flip Phones

2019 is starting to look a lot like the new 2009.

Once upon a time, in a land before Apple, there was Nokia, the queen of feature phones. Who could ever forget how awesome it was to walk around with your sliding, twisting, flippy cell phone? “Nokia” in the early 2000’s is as defining of a word to a generation as “Instagram” is today (Okay, that’s a stretch. You get my point). But seriously, whipping a sleek flip phone out of your pocket a decade ago was a sure easy way to up your cool factor.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, she’s back. And she’s cooler than ever.

Nokia just announced their flip phone comeback, which will be a revamped version of their original Nokia 2720 Fold. The new Nokia 2720 is obviously entering a highly competitive market with the majority of Americans having either iPhone’s or Androids. With the rise of the internet and instant gratification expectations over the last decade, who could imagine having a flip phone today? This is why Nokia created their 2720 model equipped with 4G internet and application capabilities such as YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Maps.

Another fairly recent trend seems to be the growing angst and distrust consumers are having with Apple products. It is becoming obvious that iPhone’s are not meant to last for years – just until the next iPhone comes out. Our society has become so attached to these devices that we have no choice but to comply with Apples purposeful software malfunctions and fork up over $500 for a new phone every two or so years. According to Florian Seiche, the CEO of the company who makes Nokia phones, people are placing more importance on having their phones longer, and they should benefit from doing so.

Another huge benefit is obviously the price tag on these new innovative flip phones. If I can essentially carry out the essential tasks of my iPhone, not have to replace my broken glass screen every two months, and get to revel in early 2000’s nostalgia every day, ALL for $600 cheaper?! Sign me up, Nokia. I’ll see you at Blockbuster with my Tamagotchi.