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Coca-Cola Adds Augmented Reality To Its Marketing Tool Bag

September 10, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Thanks to a collaboration between PR firm Ogilvy Mexico and California’s visual effects (VFX) specialist Timber, Coca-Cola now has an interactive augmented reality (AR) experience in its marketing arsenal. The two companies created the 3D elements needed for an interactive AR experience in which users can point their phone’s camera at a can of Coke and witness one of 12 stories come to life. The stories each revolve around a minor conflict, where animated characters engage in a lighthearted exchange. The conflict is resolved positively when the characters share a Coke. According to Timber’s creative directors, the Coca-Cola application worked perfectly. ““People working together in harmony was always the core foundation of the idea… The nature of AR allowed the viewer to bring the stories into their environment using the practical can of Coke as a prop.”[Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]
Kyle O'Brien, "Coca-Cola embraces augmented reality with interactive experience", The Drum, September 10, 2019, © Carnyx Group Ltd
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Bang Says It Beats Monster Energy Again In Dutch Court

September 9, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
According to Florida-based beverage company Bang Energy, a Netherlands district court has found that rival Monster Energy acted unlawfully toward Bang by “disseminating public communications, including letters to Bang Energy’s customers, containing false allegations about Bang Energy and its products.” Contrary to what Monster had alleged, the court ruled that Bang energy drinks are freely available in the EU and that Monster had wrongfully suggested that in prior litigation between Monster and Bang an injunction would have been granted against the marketing of Bang energy drinks, But, Bang noted, the prior court said no such thing and instead denied the majority of Monster’s claims, finding Monster to be the losing party. Monster was ordered to tell Bang who received Monster’s letters, “so that Bang can rectify Monster’s false and misleading statements.”[Image Credit: © Monster Energy Company]
"Bang Energy Scores Another Legal Victory Against Monster Energy in Europe", Globe Newswire , September 09, 2019, © GlobeNewswire, Inc.
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CCEP Pilot Project Tests Robotic Beverage Delivery Vehicles At U.K Amusement Park

August 23, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) is experimenting with robot vehicles developed by autonomous driving company TeleRetail to deliver drinks to customers at the Alton Towers Resort in Staffordshire, England. Using AI technology created with the support of the European Space Agency, the pilot project vehicles are equipped with GPS technology and laser sight, sound, and motion sensors. They could eventually be scaled up to larger vehicles, the company said. The robotic vehicles collect products from the Alton Towers distribution center and, traveling at three mph, deliver them to drinks outlets across the park, using AI to maneuver around visitors. [Image Credit: © Coca-Cola European Partners]
Rachel Arthur , "Coca-Cola trials robot deliveries at Alton Towers theme park", Beverage Daily, August 23, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Coca-Cola Says Removal Of Controversial Hungarian Music Festival Ads Was Planned

August 7, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola announced it was replacing controversial gay and lesbian #loveislove poster ads in Hungary after government and public criticism that the ads popularized homosexuality. But the company said it was not backing down from the campaign, only that the campaign was entering its planned second phase. The company said it thought the ads were successful in conveying the values of the Sziget music festival – whose motto is “Love Revolution” – through the posters: “With our campaign, we stand for values and human rights, so in accord with our principles we support acceptance, and the approach that all people are equal.” New ads taking over Budapest after the start of the festival showed rainbow-colored bottles, exclusively available at thefestival.[Image Credit: © Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company]
Péter Cseresnyés , "Coca-Cola Replaces Same-Sex Couple Ads to Rainbow-Colored Bottle Images", HungaryToday, August 07, 2019, © HungaryToday
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Coca-Cola Defends Its “Love Is Love” Ad Campaign After Hungarian Criticism

August 5, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s “Love Is Love” ad campaign, which features gay couples kissing, has offended some key politicians in Hungary, which nevertheless recognizes legal unions for same-sex couples. However, the Fidesz party and its leader, Prime Minister Viktor Orban, oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage. The ads on posters in train stations and elsewhere in Budapest feature slogans such as “Zero Sugar, Zero Prejudice.” Some angry politicians have called for a boycott of Coke products until the ad is banned. But Coca-Cola issued a statement saying that it supports the LGBTQ community and “strives for diversity, inclusion and equality in our business.”[Image Credit: © Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company]
Jackie Wattles, "Coca-Cola featured gay couples kissing in a Hungarian ad. People are furious", CNN Business, August 05, 2019, © Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
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Coca-Cola Ramps Up European Ad Campaign For Coke Energy

May 30, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
British Coke marketers are looking for a little help from fans of new Coca-Cola Energy after launching an energy version of its staple cola drink comprising caffeine, guarana extracts, B vitamins and no taurine. An Ogilvy-led multi-million-pound marketing campaign kicked off recently with a flash mob in London’s Piccadilly Circus involving dancers engaged in an energetic routine while offering free samples to surprised passers-by. Coca-Cola has partnered with Spotify, which is streaming an “energy-boosted” playlist of songs as part of the campaign. The British segment, which asks fans to spread the word about Coca-Cola Energy, is part of a wider pan-European ad campaign being rolled out across Europe this month.
Imogen Watson, "Coca-Cola calls upon drinkers to spread their positive energy in energy drink push", The Drum, May 30, 2019, © Carnyx Group Ltd
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States Continue To Define Terms Like “Meat” And “Rice” To Benefit Industry

March 23, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has signed legislation protecting the cattle and poultry industries by requiring "fake meat" products to be correctly labeled. Under the new law, misbranding occurs when companies intentionally label products in a false, deceptive or misleading manner that misrepresents it as meat or a meat by-product. Data from the USDA show South Dakota had over 4 million total head of cattle, including calves, as of January 1, 2019. The South Dakota Stock Growers Association said it believes meat substitutes should not be allowed to benefit from the “generations of hard work” that have created today’s market for actual meat food products. The law goes into effect July 1. Meanwhile, Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas signed into law a bill banning companies from marketing "cauliflower rice" if the product contains no rice. Arkansas is the nation's top rice-producing state.[Image Credit: © State of South Dakota]
"Noem signs law that targets companies marketing 'fake meat'", Associated Press State & Local, March 23, 2019, © The Associated Press
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“Natural” Claim Continues To Lure Shoppers, Despite Lack Of Definition

March 13, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A Label Insight-sponsored survey of 1,000 adult consumers finds that using the word “natural” on food packaging will motivate as many as 53 percent of Americans to make a purchase. Natural is generally accepted to mean the absence of artificial flavors, sweeteners, preservatives, and color additives in products that are minimally processed. Fifty-one percent of shoppers were swayed by "no preservatives," particularly older generations. Sixty-three percent of Baby Boomers say a product with that claim would motivate them to buy compared to 46 percent of Generation X and 41 percent of Millennials. Other ingredients Americans are concerned about include: high fructose corn syrup (57 percent of older adults) and sugar (all ages). And shoppers increasingly want to know the conditions under which the fish, poultry and livestock they're eating were raised: "antibiotic free" (34 percent); "free range" (26 percent); "grass fed" (25 percent); and "pasture-raised" (17 percent) are the key terms. Oddly, free range and pasture-raised are synonymous.[Image Credit: © Label Insight, Inc.]
"New Survey from Label Insight Reveals Which Loosely-Regulated Marketing Claims Motivate Shoppers to Buy", PR Newswire, March 13, 2019, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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“Certified Non-GMO” Seems A Meaningless, Even Fraudulent, Marketing Claim

January 7, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Because “distrust and fear sell,” marketers are getting away with charging premium prices for grocery items certified as “Non-GMO,” even though most of them never have or ever could contain genetically modified organisms. The “standard bearer” for the movement is the Non-GMO Project, which has stamped more than 50,000 products as GMO-free. But only ten GMO plant types are commercially available: apples, potatoes, corn, canola, alfalfa, soybeans, rainbow papaya, cotton, sugar beets, and summer squash. An egregious example of the marketing silliness is a 10-pound bag of The Good Earth Non-GMO Project Verified clumping cat litter, which sells for $18.99 on Amazon. Ten pounds of standard Arm & Hammer clumping cat litter costs about $5.30 at Walmart. That, according to the Missouri Farm Bureau, is “not just outrageous, it is deliberately misleading and fraudulent.”[Image Credit: © Fancycrave.com from Pexels.com]]
Eric Bohl, "GMO-Free Marketing is Deliberately Misleading Consumers", Missouri Farm Bureau, January 07, 2019, © Missouri Farm Bureau
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The Honey Pot Company Founder Reveals How She Aims To Build The Brand Through Multi-Channel

December 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Beatrice Feliu-Espada, founder of The Honey Pot Company, aims to alter how women shop for feminine care products, and says they are not luxuries but a human right. The products are sold online, direct-to-consumer, and in Target and Whole Foods, as well as on Amazon. She says that important elements include product assortment and innovation. The products are all-natural, free from chemicals, sulfates, parabens and carcinogens, but contain herbs, essential oils and nutraceuticals. The range includes pads and tampons, as well as washes and wipes, sprays and lubricants. Coming soon is a CBD-infused pain salve for menstrual cramps. Other key elements are brand awareness and diversified distribution. In an interview with Forbes, Feliu-Espada said that consumers are becoming smarter and understand better how the products they consume affect their bodies. She also believes that multi-channel is the right approach, but says that she wants the company to become big and believes that means meeting the customers wherever they shop. [Image Credit: © THE HONEY POT CO]
Shani Syphrett, "How This Feminine Care Entrepreneur And Advocate Tackles Multichannel Retail", Forbes, December 28, 2018, © Forbes Media LLC
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D2C Brands Closing The Search Volume Gap To Big Brands In The UK

December 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A Google search trends study for the UK found direct-to-consumer brands lagged larger brands in search interest last year, but some are closing the gap. Gillette had double the searches of Dollar Shave Club in 2018, according to the study commissioned by Marketing Week. Searches for DSC grew by over 430 percent, and but searches for Gillette fell 2 percent. Huel, a meal replacement drink brand, saw about two-thirds of the search volume of established rival SlimFast, and its UK search volumes grew 92 percent in the year. The top fastest-growing D2C brands for search volumes in 2018 were Dollar Shave Club, Brushbox (403 percent), Huel, Glossier (85 percent) and Simply Cook (45 percent).  [Image Credit: © Dollar Shave Club]
Michael Barnett , "Interest in direct-to-consumer brands lags big rivals – but maybe not for long", Marketing Week, December 21, 2018, © Centaur Communications Ltd (a member of the Centaur Media plc group)
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Food Label Transparency Trend To Gather Momentum This Year

December 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A report from Label Insight and the Food Marketing Institute finds that a majority of shoppers have transparency on their minds when grocery shopping: 86 percent would feel a higher sense of trust for food manufacturers and retailers that provided access to complete, “easy to understand” ingredient information. One solution is to use new methods like Smart Label, from Label Insight, to provide that information. According to Label Insight, transparency initiatives led by retailers will continue to spread in 2019. “Retailers will move beyond health and wellness as brand positioning by leveraging new approaches to data and omnichannel integration,” the data insight company said.[Image Credit: © Label Insight, Inc.]
Mary Ellen Shoup, "Label Insight: Transparency trends to gain steam in 2019", FoodNavigator-USA.com, December 18, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Venus Launches Limited Edition Razor In Partnership With Remi Cruz

December 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


Gillette Venus has teamed up with Remi Cruz, an entrepreneur and YouTube personality, for the launch of a limited-edition razor. The Venus x Remi razor has a handle printed with a tropical design and is available for the holiday season exclusively on the new Venus Direct subscription platform. [Image Credit: © Procter & Gamble]
"Gillette Venus Teams Up with YouTube Star Remi Cruz for Limited-Edition Razor", Procter & Gamble, December 07, 2018, © Procter & Gamble
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Vaseline Is Giving Away Dry Skin Rescue Kits To Help US Residents Deal With The Winter

December 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever’s Vaseline brand in the US is giving away 1,000 free #SaveMySkin# kits to help people deal with skin problems in the coming winter. The limited period offer, in collaboration with Fooji, an experiential technology platform, invites people in the US to Tweet a custom hashtag and emoji in order to get a kit comprising two Vaseline products – the new Clinical Care™ Extremely Dry Skin Rescue, and well-known Petroleum Jelly – together with a mug, and family games. The brand is also taking to the streets to give away free products. [Image Credit: © Unilever]
"Vaseline® Delivers Free "#SaveMySkin Kits" To Consumers Nationwide", PR Newswire, December 06, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC.
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New Flavors, Packaging, Ad Message Lead To Diet Coke Sales Turnaround

December 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Last year, Coca-Cola decided not to abandon the slumping Diet Coke brand, choosing instead to launch a product and marketing makeover, the biggest since its debut in the early 1980s. The decision to introduce new flavors, revamp packaging, and focus a new marketing message on broadening the brand's traditional consumer base has paid off. According to Nielsen data, U.S. dollar sales for Diet Coke were up more than two percent through the last week in October, after having fallen 3.7 percent in the 52 weeks ending Dec. 2, 2017. Part of the turnaround was due to Coca-Cola’s marketers giving Millennials and other young consumers “permission to try Diet Coke,” one industry observer said.
E.J. Schultz, "Marketer A-List 2018: Coca-Cola", Advertising Age, December 03, 2018, © Crain Communications
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bioClarity Is Now Offline Too, Through Urban Outfitters

November 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Skin care brand bioClarity is just one of the brands making the journey from e-commerce to physical retail, extending its sales channel beyond its own site and on Amazon, with distribution in some Urban Outfitters stores in the US. CEO Rick Sliter said the decision was made because the two brands appeal to similar consumers and distribution in stores like Urban Outfitters adds credibility for bioClarity. Sliter also said that bioClarity liked the way Urban Outfitters curates products offline and online, and the deal allows the skin care brand to reach a larger share of its target demographic. bioClarity has new innovations planned for the next 12 months, including the January launch of Zen, a new serum. [Image Credit: © Adigica BioClarity]
"What Online-only Brands Should Look for in a Brick-and-Mortar Retail Partner", Global Cosmetic Industry, November 30, 2018, © Allured Business Media
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Sex Products Are Becoming Mainstream, Added To General Wellbeing

November 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
New direct-to-consumer personal care brand Nécessaire has included a sex gel in its line-up, along with a  body wash and lotion. The brand’s founders wanted to take it beyond what might normally be expected from a body range. Other brands are bringing sexual health products to market as part of broader beauty and wellness categories. A report from Technavio forecasts 2019 global sexual wellness sales of $32 billion. Launched in the summer, Katie Sturino’s Megafresh feminine wipes are now sold by Ulta Beauty. DeoDoc, a Swedish skin-care brand, sells feminine products like wipes, washes, sprays, and shaving oils for intimate areas. In July, it launched in the U.S. with the D2C Violet Grey brand as part of its Sexual Health and Feminine Care section. Shiseido recently took a minority stake in Violet Grey, and the brand is planning to extend its sexual wellness line. A lube is being added in January. [Image Credit: © Nécessaire Inc]
Priya Rao, "Why sex products are entering the beauty and wellness space", Glossy.co, November 30, 2018, © Digiday Media
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New D2C Brand Used Gen Z Influencers To Promote Makeup For Kids

November 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
In a trend that is bound to split opinion, beauty influencers are getting younger, aimed at enticing kids to try makeup. Petite ‘n Pretty, a makeup brand for Gen Z, has been launched on Instagram, using school children, typically kids with blogs or YouTube and Instagram followings, as models. Founder Samantha Cutler said there are talented makeup artists (MUAs) as young as 12 years old. One young influencer for example has almost 700,000 YouTube subscribers and over 700,000 Instagram followers. The brand launched in July and has so far generated over 30,000 Instagram followers, targeting the mini MUAs and parents that shop at Sephora or Ulta and want their kids to have cool stuff. Petite ‘n Pretty sells direct through its web site, but is exploring pop-up opportunities and specialty beauty retail stores.[Image Credit: © Petite 'n Pretty LLC]
Sheila Shayon , "Petite ‘n Pretty Taps Social Media Influencers to Sell Makeup to Kids", Brandchannel, November 30, 2018, © Interbrand/Brandchannel
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Pure & Mine Offers D2C Personalized Hair Care Based On Customer Preferences

November 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


Pure & Mine is a new direct-to-consumer e-commerce hair care brand offering personalized products matching the customer’s preferences based on answers to survey questions on, for example, hair texture, scalp type, hair benefit goals and fragrance choice. The customer also types the name that is added to the label. The brand has chosen this approach to personalization rather than on genetic or lifestyle factors. It offers a product bundle that includes shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.[Image Credit: © Pure & Mine]
Deanna Utroske, "Pure & Mine bets on consumer preference to blend personalized hair care", CosmeticsDesign.com , November 29, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Glossier Does Marketing Its Way

November 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Glossier, the direct-to-consumer beauty brand, continues to grow its following, with increased traffic through its stores and generating some 1.6 million Instagram devotees. Rather than relying on huge ad spending, Glossier has been able to reach its followers on a more personal level, building a feeling of co-creation with the customer. The company’s head of marketing, Ali Weiss, says the brand always puts the customer first, and has built its product and marketing model from the bottom up, through testing and learning, with the customer’s voice as the guide to its holistic approach that integrates product development within marketing. Glossier tracks where the sales originate, such as in-store or on social media, and then try to find out why. Weiss said that the new flagship stores in Los Angeles and New York are less about being a sales channel and more about “putting down roots” and creating an experience, as well as encouraging conversation and trial.[Image Credit: © Glossier Inc.]
Veronika Sonsev, "Why Glossier Takes Marketing Risks To Delight Their Customer", Forbes, November 29, 2018, © Forbes Media LLC
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New Study Finds Many D2C Brands Need To Improve Their Shopper Experience

November 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A new study found that two in five direct-to-consumer brands overestimate how many ‘friction points’ consumers are willing to accept in a transaction. The Brightpearl report highlighted issues that consumers find frustrating, such as the online basket losing items, difficulty finding products, unsuitable delivery and payment options, a poor delivery experience, and a lack of product information. Over 60 per cent of respondents experienced issues in the last 12 months when buying online; 69 per cent said a poor experience would stop them using the site again. The results show how brands can quickly lose out to D2C brands that offer seamless and friction-free shopper experiences. [Image Credit: © Brightpearl]
"Direct-To-Consumer Brands Overestimate Patience Of Online Shoppers", Kam City, November 27, 2018, © EMR-NAMNEWS Ltd.
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Baby Dove Launched A Personalized D2C Service For The Holidays

November 23, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


The new holiday season direct-to-consumer campaign from Baby Dove in Canada allows consumers to personalize the packaging via a microsite, ready for home delivery. It’s aimed at gifting for the holidays as well as birthdays and baby showers, and is part of a rollout that also covers the US and UK. Choosing a direct-to-consumer platform allows Dove to engage personally with consumers, gives it access to useful first-party data, and provides Dove with a space for piloting products.[Image Credit: © Unilever]
Sheila Shayon , "‘My Baby Dove’ Lets Parents Personalize Products", Brandchannel, November 23, 2018, © Brandchannel/Interbrand
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Some New D2C Brands Are Linking Sexual Health And Overall Wellbeing

November 23, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


Maude is a online direct-to-consumer ‘sexual wellness’ brand, offering condoms, lubricants and vibrators, as well as items like scented candles. It has also opened a pop-up store in Williamsburg, New York. With sexual health being seen increasingly as crucial for general wellbeing, Maude is one of a number of new brands addressing this market. Others include Hims, for men, and a brand extension for women called, of course, Hers. Moon Juice offers a range of dietary ‘dusts’ that the brand claims can kickstart your libido and improve sexual endurance. Maude is eschewing eroticism in promoting its products, preferring to encourage consumers to see it as a lifestyle brand, highlighting it as an element in overall wellness.[Image Credit: © Maude Group, Inc.]
"Sexual healing", Contagious, November 23, 2018, © Contagious Communications
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A Facebook Chatbot Is Driving Traffic And Sales For Wander Beauty

November 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Wander Beauty says that half of its sales are via its e-commerce site, with mobile the main driver. The high-end brand is expanding its online communication with consumers by using a Facebook chatbot. It asks customers six questions and the answers are used for product recommendations chosen by a customer service team. In the four months since it was launched, 17 percent of customers engaged with the chatbot and bought something, well above the industry average. Around 70 percent of its e-commerce traffic is coming from mobile and the chatbot within Facebook Messenger is helping to promote dialog between the brand and customers on the move. [Image Credit: © WANDER BEAUTY LLC]
Emma Sandler, "How Wander Beauty is using a chatbot to increase sales", Glossy, November 21, 2018, © Digiday Media.
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Industry Expert Pinpoints Data From D2C As The Holy Grail For Brands

November 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
One industry expert claims that D2C brand marketers are kicking traditional brands’ butts. Terry Kawaja of Luma Partners recently gave his “Fire Your CMO” presentation to the Association of National Advertisers' Masters of Marketing Conference. D2C brands are winning, he says, because of their convenience-focused distribution models and innovative approaches to accessing consumer data. They are demonstrating that consumers are happy to provide data if there is value in doing so, such as easier shopping or a superior experience. They are also proving that it’s more important to know why someone bought something than what it was, especially as customer preferences are fluid, even within the same day. When brands understand that, he says, they will start to know their customers. They can then engage with them, and build their trust and loyalty.[Image Credit: © LUMA Partners LLC]
Pam Erlichman, "Why DTCD (Direct-To-Consumer DATA) Is Secret To DTC Success", MediaPost , November 21, 2018, © MediaPost Communications
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COVERGIRL Unveils Its Flagship Store In New York’s Times Square

November 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The end of November saw the opening of the COVERGIRL TIMES SQUARE flagship store, the brand’s first permanent outlet. It’s on two levels and offers shoppers a virtual greeter, called Olivia, who can give beauty advice or direct you to a product you want. There are also Holition augmented reality stations for virtually try-ons, a customization station for customers to personalize products, and a makeup and advisory service from COVERGIRL BFFs (Brow Friends Forever). [Image Credit: © Coty Inc]
"COVERGIRL Opens Times Square Flagship Store", BUSINESS WIRE , November 19, 2018, © BUSINESS WIRE INC
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Coca-Cola Resets Social Media Platforms With Happier, More Positive Content

November 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola recently relaunched its Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts after deleting all content in favor of a more unified voice, point of view, and attitude – namely, greater optimism. The “holistic reset,” which took place on World Kindness Day (November 18), “an appropriate day and moment to kick off messages of positivity, but also when you look at Coke and what Coke stands for,” according to social media chief Sarah Traverso. For example, the company uploaded 99 posts on Instagram with the intention of flooding people’s feeds with happy, positive messages.
Katie Richards, "Coca-Cola Wiped Its Social Media Accounts, Then Relaunched With a Positive, Happy New Look", Adweek, November 14, 2018, © Adweek
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Shiseido Canada Is Joining The DTC Beauty Wave

November 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Canadian arm of Japanese beauty company Shiseido is launching a direct-to-consumer business next year, building on the company’s DTC experience in the US over a number of years. The aim is to improve brand loyalty and get access to consumer data. The decision comes as research from IAB concludes that legacy beauty brands are missing opportunities by lagging their startup rivals in using DTC models. Beauty is also seen as a category in which consumers are relatively comfortable about buying online, and a number of large companies, including L’Oréal and Unilever, have been active in acquiring DTC beauty startups to acquire expertise and perspectives relevant for today’s beauty shopper. Many of the new digital brands are focused on social media, partly because they lack the big media budgets of some of the larger incumbents, but also because beauty is a very social category. Personalization is another aspect of beauty that startups have been able to teach larger beauty companies. [Image Credit: © SHISEIDO CO., LTD]
Megan Haynes, "Long live the (digital) beauty regime", Strategy Online (Canada), November 07, 2018, © Brunico Communications Ltd
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Estée Lauder Allows Customers To Star In Their Own Fairytale

October 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Estée Lauder in Hong Kong is using artificial intelligence for its Wonderland Christmas campaign. The customer becomes a part of a virtual fairy tale by creating their own 3-D avatar using the Quantum Human technology. The promotion, held at various retail venues in Hong Kong, includes pop-ups where shoppers can take a ride on a “magical carousel” in a virtual reality fairytale featuring their avatar.[Image Credit: © Estée Lauder Inc]
"AI powers Estee Wonderland Christmas campaign", Inside Retail Asia, October 30, 2018, © InsideRetail Asia
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‘No Middleman’ Launched To Provide A Curated Showroom For CPG Brands

October 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Selected direct-to-consumer CPG brands now have a searchable online directory, at NoMiddleman.com, from the The No Middleman Project. Brands selected for inclusion also receive a profile on the site. The aim is to provide consumers with curated assistance to help them find consumer brands across hundreds of categories. There is no fee for the brands included on the site, which is also offers an online showroom for the brands, with prospective shoppers directed to the brand’s site for the purchase transaction. [Image Credit: © A Mark Cuban Company]
"The No Middleman Project Launches Innovative "Everything Showroom" for Direct to Consumer Products", PRWEB, October 30, 2018, © Vocus PRW Holdings, LLC
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Avon Launches Personalized Beauty App in South Africa and UK

October 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Avon has launched its Personalized Beauty App, a tool to help Representatives offer a more personalized service. The analysis device predicts the customers skincare requirements and assesses their most appropriate shade of make-up, based on a questionnaire and skin tone measurement feature. The app is currently available in the UK and South Africa, and the company claims it has received strong positive feedback. Further development is focusing on making it available across different mobile platforms. [Image Credit: © Avon Products, Inc.]
"Avon Launches Personalised Beauty App", Avon Company, October 29, 2018, © Avon Products, Inc.
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Two Experts Disagree Over Large CPGs’ Prospects In DTC

October 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A talk by Terence Kawaja, founder of Luma Partners, an investment banking firm, and an interview with Marc Pritchard of Procter & Gamble, provided some interesting insight to the way in which new direct-to-consumer brands are taking market share from established CPGs. Kawaja sees the trend continuing, fueled as more new companies emerge funded by “rampant venture funding”. Pritchard believes that the large CPGs are countering the threat: P&G, for example, is experimenting with brands at seed-stage and has brought the direct-to-consumer startup approach to some of its brands. Kawaja is not convinced that companies like P&G can succeed with DTC brands, saying "Think about a middle-aged white man trying to dance," adding that venture funds are supporting DTC startups because of their similarity to tech companies, which P&G is trying to emulate, according to Pritchard. Kawaja called P&G’s Gillette DTC business "a copycat business model that screams inauthenticity." [Image Credit: © LUMA Partners LLC]
Jack Neff, "P&G's Pritchard at the ANA confab on how to combat the direct-to-consumer threat", Advertising Age, October 26, 2018, © Crain Communications
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Two Brands Are Using Face-To-Face Contact With Consumers To Promote Their Products

October 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
At the end of October, Nivea opened a pop-up store in London for the launch of the MicellAIR Professional cleansing line. The ‘Boo-tique’ has a Halloween theme and offers five looks by the brand’s professional make-up artists. Visitors can take away a free bag of products from the new range. In the US, Rimmel London is getting on the road during October and November with its (Street) Art of Beauty tour. Customers can visit the exclusive mobile salon, which is covered by graffiti created by the brand. The salon has makeup artists to help visitors choose Rimmel’s products. The tour goes to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Tampa and Miami.[Image Credit: © Coty Inc.]
"Rimmel London launches Street Art of Beauty tour/ Nivea prepares to open doors to immersive Halloween themed ‘Boo-tique’", Drug Store News, October 15, 2018, © Drug Store News
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Travel Product Retailer Ben Lido Launches Subscription-Based, Customizable Travel Kits

October 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
In a bid to help transform the way travelers prepare for a trip, Ben Lido launched subscription-based, customizable travel kits. The travel kits contain personal care products for different types of travelers, such as business travelers, frequent flyers, and leisure travelers. Chief executive officer, Drew Rayman, claims his company stands apart because of its focus on providing convenience. The company has partnered with a number of top brands, including Dove, Colgate, Tom's of Maine and Schmidt's Naturals. Prices for the kits range from 30.00 dollars to 135.00 dollars.[Image Credit: © Ben Lido]
"Ben Lido Launches Customizable Travel Kits", Beauty Packaging, October 11, 2018, © Rodman Media
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Stores Offer Subscription Services And Recurring Shipments To Attract And Create Loyal Male Customers

October 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


Several DTC stores targeted at men have developed subscription and recurring delivery services that allow them to customize and update their preferences. True Sons, which delivers at-home hair dyeing products, lets users set delivery frequency, MeUndies, a $16 per month subscription plan for underwear, allows customers to skip a month whenever they want, and Frank & Oak’s monthly clothing subscription service, Style Plan, allows consumers to return free of charge all selected products for a ‘styling fee’.[Image Credit: © MODASUITE Inc.]
"How Brands Like Frank & Oak Create Recurring Subscription Services To Increase Convenience For Male Consumers", PSFK, October 11, 2018, © PSFK LLC
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Shopify Opens Its First Physical Store In Los Angeles

October 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Shopify has opened its first retail store in Los Angeles where it plans to showcase its hardware products and services. The retail store, which resembles an Apple store, will provide Shopify customers the opportunity to learn how they can use the company's payment and supply management solutions to grow their businesses. Chief operating officer, Harley Finkelstein, claims the retail store will also serve as a community for entrepreneurs to help them advance their entrepreneurial aspirations.[Image Credit: © Business Wire, Inc.]
Jonathan Shieber, "Shopify opens its first brick-and-mortar space in Los Angeles", Tech Crunch, October 10, 2018, © Oath Tech Network
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East Coast Bottler Liberty Coca-Cola To Distribute California Company’s Functional Beverages

October 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
GLOE Brands of California has partnered with privately owned bottler Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages (Philadelphia, Pa.) to distribute its portfolio of functional organic sparkling beverages on the East Coast. GLOE Sparkling drinks contain ingredients like turmeric, ginger, and aloe. The GLOE lineup includes Aloe GLOE available in four flavors – crisp aloe, coconut, lemon, and grape – and GLOE Sparkling, available in turmeric blood orange, ginger lemon and aloe fuji apple and pear. All of the beverages are low in sugar, certified organic and non-GMO. Liberty serves markets in N.Y., Pennsylvania, and N.J.
"Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages Brings On Sparkling GLOE", BevNET.com, October 08, 2018, © BevNET.com
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Johnson & Johnson And VaynerMedia Focus On Credibility To Sway Gen Z

October 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Brands are responding to a decline in consumer trust of influencers. Johnson & Johnson and its creative agency, VaynerMedia, are reaching out to Gen Z consumers by enlisting teenagers who, by their actions, are seen as more credible, through their actions, even if they have a more modest online following. The company selected several teenagers, including Dillon Eisman who runs a nonprofit in Southern California, to star in one of its videos promoting the skincare brand Clean & Clear, resulting in a 19 percent boost in sales. Credibility was also a key factor in turning to established major influencers Brooklyn and Bailey McKnight to launch C&C, a new Clean & Clear sub-brand. [Image Credit: © J&JCI]
Jack Neff, "Clean Break: Why J&J is enlisting teens with modest followings as influencers", Advertising Age, October 02, 2018, © Crain Communications
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Bang Energy Calls Monster’s Lawsuit “Frivolous, Outlandish”

September 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
On Sept. 4, Monster Energy sued Florida-based Vital Pharmaceutical, makers of Bang Energy under the VPX Sports label, in a federal court in California, alleging Bang was the equivalent of “modern-day snake oil.” Monster alleges that Vital founder Jack Owoc claimed that Bang could treat Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and other forms of dementia. Vital and Owoc recently issued a scorching response to the lawsuit saying “all of Monster’s claims are frivolous, outlandish, unsubstantiated, unproven and without merit.” The statement did not indicate that the company is planning to file a counterclaim against Monster. 
Martín Caballero, "Bang Energy Responds to Monster Complaint", BevNET, September 26, 2018, © BevNET.com
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Procter & Gamble Uses Indiegogo To Sell New Razor To Early Adopters

September 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble Co. is selling its new Heated Razor men’s shaving product to early adopters through the Indiegogo crowd-funding platform. Priced at $109, the Heated Razor comes with a fast-warming bar, making every shave feel like a hot-towel luxury. Available in limited quantities, the prices is expected to rise, based on how fast it sells and the accessories bought by consumers.[Image Credit: © Procter & Gamble]
Barrett J. Brunsman, "P&G puts its latest tech to the test on Indiegogo", Cincinnati Business Courier, September 18, 2018, © American City Business Journals
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Instagram Announces Instagram Stories-Powered Marketing Tool For Brands

September 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Instagram has announced that users of the photo and video-sharing social media platform can now add shopping stickers to their Instagram Stories. With more than 400 million daily active users, Instagram Stories offers brands a place for showcasing their products, as well as a high potential for engaging with consumers.[Image Credit: © Instagram]
"Shopping on Instagram expands to Stories", Shopify Team , September 17, 2018, © Shopify Inc.
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Pharmacies Go Beyond Selling Medication, Transform Into Wellness Centers

September 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Drugstores are expanding their lineups of products and services to address the shift in consumer concept of health and wellness. According to the 2017 report, “Well Economy,” by JWT Intelligence, 77 percent of respondents link health with physical condition; however, 75 percent say mental health comes to mind when they think of health. Also, only 17 percent of consumers seek out prescribed medication when they are ill. Casino Group partnered with L’Oreal in June 2018 to launch Le Drugstore Parisien in Paris where customers can avail themselves of personal care services, including light therapy, dry cleaning, and shoe shining. In August 2018, pharmacy chain CVS launched BeautyIRL, a retail concept designed to highlight the company’s locations as beauty destinations where customers can receive treatments, test products, and access information about new brands.[Image Credit: © CVS.com]
Nayantara Dutta, "The destination drugstore", JWT Intelligence, September 12, 2018, © The J. Walter Thompson Company
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Rituals Cosmetics Plans To Open Kings Cross Store In London

September 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Rituals Cosmetics plans to open a new store at London’s Kings Cross train station. Part of the beauty brand’s efforts to attract tourists, the store will offer customers with a “unique and immersive” shopping experience. According to the  company, the store will embody the company’s holistic and well-being ethos.[Image Credit: © Rituals]
Becky Bargh , "Rituals entices tourists with new Kings Cross store", Cosmetics Business, September 12, 2018, © HPCi Media
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Jurlique Collaborates With Tryzens To Launch New Digital Platform With Improved User Experience

September 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Australia-based skincare brand Jurlique has partnered with ecommerce technology company Tryzens to launch a new digital retail platform. In 2016, the brand first launched its digital platform; its partnership with Tryzens aims to improve its customer experience and offer new ecommerce capability for shoppers.[Image Credit: © Jurlique]
Becky Bargh , "Jurlique drives forward with digital strategy", Cosmetics Business, September 07, 2018, © HPCi Media
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Subscription Model Dominates Ecommerce, Offers Benefits For Businesses And Their Customers

September 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
In 2017, the subscription model accounted for 75 percent of online sales and continues to grow at a steady rate in 2018. In the first half of 2018, the market saw a huge move toward subscription-based retail. At its early stage, the subscription-based model were driven by Netflix and Spotify, platforms used by consumers to pay for entertainment instead of buying physical media. Subscription-based business offers several benefits for consumers, including saving money, saving time, and access to wide collections of products. For businesses, the model offers advantages, including predictable income, price control, and data collection.[Image Credit: © BiljaST]
Sandeep Kuttiyatur, "Subscriptions Are Taking Over eCommerce", CPG Matters, September 05, 2018, © CPG Matters
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Voice-Based Commerce Offers Brands New Means Of Differentiating Themselves

September 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
To differentiate themselves from competitors in voice-based commerce, consumer packaged goods companies are expected to take a number  of steps. These include creating an audio brand consistent with other elements of their branding, such as colors and logo, owning a brand voice that is distinct from Alexa, and creating unique “audio logos”. According to Tribal Worldwide London head of experience design, Sunny Kumar, after finding a voice, brands should know how to use it. Aptos marketing director Dave Bruno said brands should “take voice seriously” and make it as easy as possible to remember how to engage using the platform.[Image Credit: © Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates]
Matthew Stern, RetailWire, "Do CPGs Need Their Own Voice for Alexa?", CPG Matters, September 05, 2018, © CPG Matters
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Lynx Changes Directions To Focus More On Male Mental Health Without Losing Sense Of Humor

August 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
After its previous marketing strategies had linked its brand to “lad culture, sex, and misogyny”, Lynx embraced campaigns that focus on ideals of masculinity that are harmful to male mental health. In January 2016, the male-grooming brand launched its “Find your magic” campaign, which encouraged young men to “embrace their differences.” Lynx and other brands face the risk of unfavorable reaction from consumers, who might see their “brand purpose” efforts as a means to enhance reputation and sell products. According to Lynx global vice president Rik Strubel, part of the brand's more socially conscious efforts is remaining true to its humorous heritage. [Image Credit: © Unilever]
Molly Fleming , "Lynx refocuses on ‘humour with heart’ to challenge male stereotypes", Marketing Week, August 31, 2018, © Centaur Communications Ltd (a member of the Centaur Media plc group)
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Glossier Plans To Create Social-Enabled Online Selling Platform For Own Beauty Products

August 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
After receiving an extra $52 million in venture capital funding, beauty brand Glossier plans to create a “social-selling website” for beauty products. According to company founder and CEO Emily Weiss, her company will build a website that combines social media and online shopping, which will allow consumers to get insights and buying tips from other users about beauty products. Weiss said the website will not be a social network that sells advertisements for revenue, but will instead be used by the company to sell its own beauty products. According to Weiss, her company's social commerce strategy aims to address the fact that despite advances in ecommerce and online retail, “the customer experience is pretty broken.”[Image Credit: © Glossier Inc.]
Janine Wolf and Kim Bhasin, "Inside Glossier’s Plans to Shake Up Your Makeup Routine", Bloomberg, August 30, 2018, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Hershey Rolls Out New Omnichannel That Blurs Online and Offline

August 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Hershey Co. has a ‘digital’ strategy that is centered on four components, search, content, conversion, and community. It is designed to enhance the company’s competitive advantage and help it succeed in the emerging omnichannel marketplace and holds that there is no offline and online division, but rather a continuum between the two. The initial goal is to convert a purchase, but the long-term goal is repeat purchases and to earn a place on the consumers digital shopping list. Hershey is also experimenting with digital impulse sales.  [Image Credit: © THE HERSHEY COMPANY]
Keith Nunes, "Inside Hershey’s digital strategy", Food Business News, August 30, 2018, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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Beauty Bakerie Grows Its Business Through Social Media and Direct-To-Consumer Business Model

August 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty Bakerie, established by company founder Cashmere Nicole, became profitable in a few years depending on social media and a direct-to-consumer business model. Nicole, who had no beauty industry connections at all, developed a collection of “functional makeup” for busy women. At present, the company is growing fast, selling its beauty products in more than 60 countries online and some offline stores around the world. With 25 employees and three facilities in San Diego, California, the company has received various honors and recognition from leading magazines, such as Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue, and Essence.[Image Credit: © Beauty Bakerie Cosmetics Brand]
"Cashmere Nicole Has The Right Recipe", Black Girl Cypher , August 24, 2018, © Black Girl Cypher
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