Research In Motion’s newly appointed CEO Thorsten Heins said during his first day on the job that hiring a new marketing boss and revamping the company’s marketing strategy was among his first orders of business. If some of us were unsure why finding a new CMO and revamping RIM’s marketing efforts are such a priority, this new campaign should help clear things up. RIM on Monday introduced four new cartoon superheroes who will help the company spread the word about its products. Gogo Girl can save the day with her “brilliant strategy, a smile or a spatula,” Max Stone is “tough, proud and a little wild,” Justin Steele is “always ready to stick up for his friends and Trudy Foreal is “not afraid to call it as she sees it.” We’re not afraid to call it like we see it either, and we sincerely hope this new cartoon superhero campaign dies on the vine. RIM’s super infographic starring The Bold Team follows below.
Samsung’s new run of television commercials is the start of a wider effort to make the company’s products the apple of the U.S. consumer’s eye. The ads, which mock iPhone users for their obsession with Apple products, attempt to present Samsung as the smarter, cooler alternative. On a larger scale however, Samsung is hoping to create a fundamental shift in the way its products are viewed by consumers. “Especially in U.S., people are obsessed with Apple,” head of Samsung marketing Younghee Lee told AllThingsD in a recent interview. “It’s time to change people’s attention.” Lee is looking to shift consumers’ obsession to the East, and to figure out “how I can engage with consumers from the bottom of their heart, and not just be a big and functional and rational and reasonable brand.” While mocking consumers’ unhealthy love of one brand in an effort to create an obsession with another is a curious strategy, Samsung’s attempt to reinvent itself as a global smartphone leader is having a clear impact — the company reported a record holiday quarter during which it shipped an estimated 36.5 million smartphones worldwide. Three of Samsung’s recent commercials can be viewed after the break. More →
Google on Thursday reported solid growth in the fourth-quarter of 2011, but the company missed earnings estimates and shares of Google stock took a hit as a result. The Mountain View, California-based company pulled in $8.13 billion in revenue during the December quarter, up 25% from the same quarter in 2010, and earnings came in at $9.50 per share. Wall Street was expecting $8.43 billion in revenue a profit of $10.51 per share however, and Google’s stock dipped 9% in after-hours trading. Revenue from Google’s websites was up 29% year-over-year to $7.29 billion and affiliate advertising grew 15% to $2.88 billion over the same period. Google’s full press release follows below. More →
Microsoft, Nokia and carrier partners are planning a $100 million marketing push for the Nokia Ace (also known as the Lumia 900) when it launches in the United States. While the Ace isn’t yet official, it has been rumored that AT&T will unveil the device during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week. We exclusively reported in November that the Ace will offer a 1.4GHz processor, a 4.3-inch ClearBlack display and an 8-megapixel camera. Other reports have suggested it will run Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) and support AT&T’s 4G LTE network. According to BetaNews, the Ace will hit AT&T store shelves in March where it will receive “hero” status. It is unclear how Microsoft, AT&T and Nokia will split the $100 million in marketing, but the hero status suggests it will be the focus of AT&T commercials, print ads, digital ads and in-store marketing. More →
AllThingsD is reporting that Apple is planning a media-related event that will take place at the end of January. It’s said that the event won’t be centered around an iPad 3 announcement, nor one around an update on Apple’s TV hobby, but one with Apples Senior VP of Internet Software Eddy Cue. Because Cue is involved, AllThingsD is concluding that this event is most likely around publishing or advertising.
UPDATE: TechCrunch says iBooks and publishing will be the focus of this small event. More →
For all the trouble Apple’s aggressive litigation strategy has caused Samsung, the South Korea-based electronics giant has finally found a way to make the pricey patent war work to its advantage. Samsung’s devices are gaining huge exposure as a result of Apple’s ongoing lawsuits, positioning Samsung’s Galaxy range of Android tablets and smartphones as the underdog alternative to Apple’s iOS lineup. More →
Apple may be implementing a number of changes to its iAd mobile advertising platform in an effort to attract more advertisers and to compete more aggressively against Google’s advertising solutions. The Cupertino-based company originally required that advertisers spend a minimum of $1 million on its iAd platform but then halved that figure to $500,000. Now, The Wall Street Journal said Apple is beginning to woo marketers by allowing them to spend as little as $400,000 on an iAd campaign. Read on for more. More →
It worked. 4G has been marketed so well by wireless carriers and vendors that people want it even if they don’t quite know why. A recent survey conducted by market research and intelligence firm In-Stat found that 75% of respondents listed 4G as one of the features their ideal phone would include. When asked which carrier offered the fastest 4G speeds, most respondents were left stymied. “Although 4G is an important feature for handset buyers, there is a lot of confusion surrounding 4G,” In-Stat analyst Greg Potter said in a statement. Read on for more. More →
China’s No. 3 wireless carrier is readying a massive marketing and advertising blitz as it prepares to begin taking iPhone 5 pre-orders at the end of this month, a report claims. Chinese-language daily newspaper Southern Metropolis Daily on Wednesday reported that China Telecom has already begun training staff in preparation for the launch of Apple’s fifth-generation iPhone handset. Sales of the device will begin in October, however the carrier will reportedly be opening pre-order sales toward the end of September. Southern Metropolis Daily also notes that China Telecom may increase the subsidy it offers on the new Apple smartphone in an effort to bump sales, and the carrier is also rumored to be prepping a 1.5 billion yuan ($235 million) marketing and advertising campaign surrounding the iPhone 5. With the country’s top carrier, China Mobile, expected to offer the iPhone 5 as well this fall, China Telecom’s aggressive strategy should do well to help bolster sales. More →
Microsoft’s General Manager of the Windows Phone Developer Experience on Monday announced that he is leaving Microsoft to launch a start up. Kindel did not share the details of his new endeavor, and his public profile on networking site LinkedIn lists him as Founder and CTO of <redacted> at A super secret stealth startup. “[The start up] has to do with sports, advertising, mobile, social-networking, and, of course, the cloud,” Kindel wrote in a post on his personal blog. “I’m insanely excited to get started.” The soon-to-be former executive was with Microsoft for 21 years, having joined the Redmond-based company’s developer support group in 1990. Kindel’s full email to his team regarding the decision follows below. More →
Hulu has confirmed that it is considering a third subscription option that would allow users to stream ad-free TV shows and movies for a higher monthly fee. “We’re currently an ad supported service but are looking into the option of a higher priced ad-free option,” a Hulu representative stated from an official Twitter account. Hulu made several additional comments to the same effect on Friday from its customer support Twitter account. The move would be an interesting one; Hulu dropped the price of its Hulu Plus premium subscription service to $7.99 last November, presumably due at least in part to slower than expected consumer adoption. A new pricier plan in spite of the recent price drop, that could also potentially anger network partners, is a tough pill to swallow —especially as the company looks for a buyer.
Shares of Google stock jumped more than 10% in after-hours trading following the Internet giant’s second-quarter earnings report. “We had a great quarter, with revenue up 32% year on year for a record breaking over $9 billion of revenue,” said Google CEO Larry Page in a statement. “I’m super excited about the amazing response to Google+ which lets you share just like in real life.” Google reported revenue of $9.03 billion in its June quarter, up 32% over the same quarter last year and well above the Street’s $6.5 billion consensus. EPS came in at $8.76, also well above Wall Street’s consensus of $7.86, and Google’s net income for the quarter totalled#2.85 billion, up from $2.08 billion in the second quarter last hear. Google also noted that Android activations are currently up to 550,000 devices per day, and its invite-only Google+ social network now has more than 10 million members. Google’s full press release follows below. More →