Globe trotter: Companies' news around the world

Unilever’s Omo detergent is adding an unusual ingredient to its two-pound detergent box in Brazil: a GPS device.

Stalking Detergent

Unilever’s Omo detergent is adding an unusual ingredient to its two-pound detergent box in Brazil: a GPS device that allows its promotions agency Bullet to track shoppers and follow them to their front doors, reports Advertising Age. Starting next week, consumers who buy one of the GPS-implanted detergent boxes will be surprised at home, given a pocket video camera as a prize and be invited to bring their families to enjoy a day of Unilever-sponsored outdoor fun. The promotion, called “Try Something New With Omo”, is in keeping with the brand’s international “Dirt is Good” positioning that encourages parents to let their kids have a good time even if they get dirty.

Olympic Partners

The household goods group, P&G, which owns the Ariel, Olay and Pringles, has signed a sponsorship deal with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that enables it to promote multiple products, informs Brand Republic. Officially, P&G is ‘Olympic worldwide partner in the personal care and household products category’ until the 2020 summer Games. Marc Pritchard, global marketing and brand building officer at P&G, thinks there is potential for joint marketing with other London 2012 sponsors like Coca-Cola and GE.

Biggest Booksale Ever

Bookstore mega-chain Barnes & Noble announced on Tuesday that its board was putting the company up for sale, states The New York Times. Barnes & Noble has tried to compete with Amazon and Apple in the e-reader market by opening its own e-bookstore last summer, and by introducing its own device, the Nook. The 720-store chain has been pressured by online retailers, e-book sales and shareholders. The news surprised analysts and alarmed publishers, who have watched as the book business has increasingly shifted to online retailers and e-book sales, leaving both chains and independent sellers struggling.

Care Drive

Nissan Motor Co’s announcement of a new feature that will diffuse Vitamin C while you drive has inspired the headline “A car that moisturizes your skin!” in newspapers and blogs around the world. An Advertising Age report says that the Japanese automaker is introducing improvements to future models designed to create a more comfortable in-car environment that reduces stress and fatigue. The most intriguing improvement in Nissan’s new “health and well-being” concept is an air filter infused with vitamin C that moisturizes passengers’ skin. The idea is that the car’s air conditioning system, instead of drying out passengers’ skin, would dispense vitamin C into the car’s interior, stimulating peoples’ bodies to supply more moisture to the skin, making it appear younger and healthier.

Desi Food, Japanese Flavour

Mazda is to sponsor an Indian food-themed Gordon Ramsay show, which will form part of Channel 4’s forthcoming India Season strand of programming, announces Brand Republic. It previously sponsored C4’s Jamie in America show, which followed Jamie Oliver travelling across the US. Mazda UK sales and marketing director, Mark Cameron, said the marque is looking to do more TV sponsorship in the future. C4’s India Season will begin with the TV premier of Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire. It will also feature one-off episode of TV series Secret Millionaire called The Slumdog Secret Millionaire.

Apple #fail on Twitter

Apple is the most criticised brand in the blogosphere, according to research into consumer attitudes toward brands on the web, says Brand Republic. Research by social media analyst Brandwatch found that Apple is the brand most commonly linked to the descriptor ‘#fail’. The negative hashtag originated on Twitter, but it has gained widespread use across the internet among consumers venting their spleen about companies that have fallen short of their expectations. In the past month, Apple was mentioned 1,204 times in Twitter messages containing the hashtag.
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