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Apple has undoubtedly changed the face of the tech world, and the company has cultivated a loyal following while contending against its rivals. But they’re about to put their brand positioning to the test as they introduce their newest product since the Apple Watch: the HomePod, due to release in December 2017.

The new Apple HomePod poses a challenge to other voice-controlled speakers currently on the market, like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, despite their similar functions including spatial awareness, advanced sound technology, voice recognition, and mobile apps.

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All it takes is Apple’s brand positioning and loyal cult following to set their new products apart from the competition.

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The force of Apple’s brand—arguably the supreme manufacturer of 21st century technology—significantly strengthens the appeal of the HomePod.

The HomePod’s ultimate goal (to “reinvent home music” as a “breakthrough speaker”) only bolsters Apple’s authoritative positioning, a powerful stance on the project of combining the right blend of smart speakers and good music—something that, according to Phil Schiller in a recent presentation, has not been achieved yet.

Not until the HomePod. Or is this true? By virtue of originating directly from Apple, the HomePod may seem to have certain advantages. But do all consumers believe this?

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According to Schiller, Apple’s signature A8 chip also allows the HomePod to have the “biggest brain” in any speaker. However, even with the hype—the HomePods’s reception among potential customers has been lukewarm.

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Our prediction? HomePod will be a success—but not due to its claims of breakthrough technology and features. The brand awareness of the Apple name and customer loyalty will be the true reasons behind its success.

What do you think?

Source: https://www.apple.com/homepod/

The advertising world figured out long ago that consumers are hungry for media, and with that insatiable demand comes expectation for instant gratification. People want their media yesterday, especially music.

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Though music streaming platforms have spiked in popularity, they remain an untapped market for advertisers … aside from the usual digital ads.

Users of the free options are familiar (and maybe annoyed) with advertisements interrupting their favorite tunes. The platforms have provided ways around that, and many users think paying a small monthly fee is worth it to not have to listen to ads.

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It’s time to get more creative when it comes to targeting audio audiences.

Luckily, there is no shortage of users still choosing their free, ad-filled options. Between Spotify, Google Play, Apple Music or Amazon Unlimited, there are a plethora of platforms for consumers to choose from and for advertisers to pitch their products. Currently, 45 million people use the free Spotify service monthly.

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Today, digital audio ads are more popular than ads on AM/FM, which makes it the perfect platform to reach audiences across multiple devices­!

Companies like Coca-Cola offered listeners 30 minutes of ad-free music if they watch their video.

Reebok created their own Spotify playlist called “Reebok FitList” which marketed their brand without many consumers even being aware.

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Following Coca-Cola and Reebok’s lead can be beneficial for a wide range of industries, with the use of incentives and discreet placement.

Targeting consumers by interrupting their music streaming is not the way to capture hearts for your brand. Don’t be afraid get creative with how you tap into the audio audience!

The 2016 Super Bowl brought along its usual jaw dropping and unforgettable moments for consumer and spectators alike. But what we at CBC care about is how well those big-name Super Bowl advertisers reached their target audience. One way to monitor how well brands did in their advertising initiatives is to measure post-game mentions. For a lucky few brands, talk is still buzzing, and while most of the heavy hitters spent large sums of money to have that precious air time, some were able to grab attention for free. You might be wondering- how did they pull THAT off? It’s simple: product placement.

Product placement has been a notable advertising technique for quite some time. The obvious advantages of product placement are that your brand gets air time with respectable and trustworthy opinion leaders, allowing your brands reputation to become more credible. While most companies will pay to have their products featured in media programs, it’s not always the case. In a couple instances that are mentioned below, brands get credible airtime without spending a dime, allowing for great post-game coverage for their product of service. Here are some brands that are making viral waves post-game.

Red Lobster

One of the biggest benefactors of this advertising technique would be Red Lobster. During Beyoncé’s half time performance, she mentions the chain restaurant in her new song. Red Lobster saw a spike in activity on their social media as well as a rise in sales since the release of the song just a day prior.

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Apple

Apple was another brand that didn’t pay for air time in any facet, but was instead including in advertising by other popular brands. The iPhone 6S, Apple’s CarPlay interface, the Apple Watch, and Beats Audio were able to make cameo appearances which spiked interest in Apple products associated with these brands. The cameo appearances were in a variety of product commercials from car companies like Hyundai, phone companies like T-Mobile, and Machine Zone’s Mobile Strike campaign.

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Budweiser

Budweiser was an unexpected benefactor of product placement after Peyton Manning said he was “going to drink a lot of Budweiser” after his super bowl win. An unfortunate circumstance for Budweiser who already spent millions of dollars in advertising fees, but nonetheless a credible and substantial push for their target media.

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Overall, this kind of advertisement is a luck of the draw approach: it isn’t the most reliable, and of course unlike paid advertisement, it’s never guaranteed. But as a PR professional, always be prepared for the unexpected, and if the instance occurs, make sure you thank those who gave you a shout-out!

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Early June is a special time for the people who make the technology we love. Each year, thousands of developers storm a San Francisco convention center for five days of apps, announcements, and, well, Apple. However, the impact of the event has always extended far beyond the Silicon Valley.

Some of the most disruptive technologies of all time have come out of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. Just seven years ago, Steve Jobs stood on stage and unveiled the App Store for the first time. That announcement alone completely changed the way brands advertise and connect with their customers, yet it is only one of the milestones from this impressive event.

Here at CBC, we love to stay digitally savvy, so check out this short list of what to look out for from this year’s WWDC15:

  1. Safari gets more social: Safari is getting a handful of improvements, including “pinned” sites. This allows you to keep your favorite sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at the side of your browser window, making your Mac even more integrated with social media than before.
  1. Your iPad is ready for work: Apple is rolling out brand new multi-tasking on the iPad, allowing users to run two apps side by side. This means you can finally check Pinterest while checking your email (or even while writing a blog post). For marketers, it means that competition for valuable ad impressions is going to get even fiercer.
  1. Search everything: One of the newest refinements of IOS 9 will be the ability to search all the content on an iPhone, its apps, and the internet, all from Spotlight Search. This new functionality could divert a lot of precious mobile traffic from Google search; Ad Words beware!
  1. Here comes watchOS 2: No matter where you stand in the Apple Watch debate, some big updates are coming. App makers now have more access to the watch controls, allowing for more complex apps. For PR and Marketing professionals, it shows that the new watch app store is not only here to stay, but will offer unprecedented tools to connect with consumers.

Don’t believe us? Want a few more? Check out a full roundup here of all the WWDC15 excitement.