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AT&T STORE OF THE FUTURE

New AT&T Store In Addison, Texas Transforms Shopping Experience

AT&T’s new store design focused on the customer’s mobile lifestyle has opened in Addison, Texas. The new store concept is the result of more than two years of exploration and research all centered on one design goal – to create a more interactive and inviting store environment. Customers in Addison and the Dallas-Fort Worth area will be among the first to experience the new store concept that is reinventing the retail business. “Customers visiting our Addison store will discover an interactive shopping experience built around their mobile lifestyle,” said Hardmon Williams, Vice-President/General Manager, AT&T-North Texas.

Everything about the store is designed for ultimate flexibility. It brings to life AT&T’s mission, brand vision, and personality while encouraging self-discovery and satisfying curiosity. The store layout will highlight AT&T’s products and services, devices and accessories across three unique “zones” – the Connected Experience Zone, the Community Zone, and the Explore Zone. The new Connected Experience Zone features “lifestyle vignettes” that offer customers a glimpse of how products can be used in customers’ everyday lives. These lifestyle pavilions will highlight categories such as music, home security, entertainment and more. Next is the Community Zone, featuring “community tables” that let customers shop and play in an open and interactive space. This space has apps, accessories and devices on display to show customers how they can work together. Finally, customers can check out the Explore Zone with “explore walls” that showcase AT&T’s diverse device line-up and accessories complemented by digital monitors with product information. Customers will no longer see the traditional retail “cash-register” counters. Instead, they’ll find round cafe-style “learning tables” that allow for side-by-side interactions with the AT&T retail consultant to ask questions or learn about a product or service. All retail consultants carry a tablet supported by a new mobile point-of-sale system that allows them to help customers anywhere in the store. Customers also won’t see the printed product brochures common in many stores. With digital signage, e-brochures and interactive video monitors, they can have the information literally at their finger tips while giving AT&T the flexibility of updating messaging faster and more efficiently.

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pafazoliandkingcasey

Fazoli Introduces Optimized Menuboard To Improve Sales And Guest Appeal

Fazoli’s management sought to improve and optimize their menuboards as part of the brand’s comprehensive Enhanced Service Program, which included increasing overall sales, optimizing value perceptions, and improving readability, navigation and guest appeal. Fazoli’s sought out King-Casey for help in creating a “next generation” menuboard strategy and design. “Our menuboard is the key to our sales growth. King-Casey’s designs reflect Fazoli’s brand attributes, improve ease of ordering for our guests, and help communicate a strong value proposition,” said Stacy Hettich, Brand Director, Fazoli’s.

King-Casey’s new design eliminated redundant listings and the analysis of sales allowed for an improved placement and sizing of product listings. Brand-proprietary design elements and new product descriptors increased the menuboard’s brand personality while improving freshness and value perceptions (e.g., “combos” were renamed “Fresh Value Favorites.” New suggest-sell messaging helps increase average ticket. King-Casey is a premier retail consulting, branding, and design firm headquartered in Westport, Connecticut. (Web Site) www.king-casey.

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PASMOOTHIEKINGOAKLANDPARKINTERIOR

Smoothie King Unveils New Store Design

Smoothie King Franchises, the premier smoothie and nutritional lifestyle center, has unveiled its new store design with the opening of two new locations in South Florida. Smoothie King’s new store design reinforces the company’s new positioning of offering purpose-based smoothies for every need. Features include the company’s recently unveiled new brand logo, visuals reinforcing the brand’s purpose-driven positioning and a comfortable seating area. “The new store design immerses our guests into Smoothie King’s new brand positioning,” said Bret Cunningham, vice president of design and construction. “From the comfortable seating atmosphere to the ease of ordering your favorite smoothie, we’re excited to unveil these new designs in the South Florida market.”

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mtbostonmarketsodumedia

Boston Market Reduces Sodium In Key Menu Items

Boston Market, the fast-casual restaurant chain, has significantly reduced sodium in several key menu items and is well on its way to reducing total sodium across its menu by an average of 15 percent by the end of the year. The news comes on the heels of a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published report that cited the need for sodium reduction in restaurants. Boston Market has been working to lower sodium since 2010, when it began to test reduced sodium options at select locations. The result? No customers seemed to notice. Based on the test, Boston Market has since rolled out the sodium reduction changes in all 458 restaurants. Sodium in the company’s mashed potatoes, its most popular side dish, has decreased by 26 percent, and while the chain decreased sodium in its stuffing by nearly 20 percent, sales of the holiday staple this season actually increased 17 percent. Additionally, Boston Market has reduced the sodium levels in its poultry gravy by 50 percent, its cornbread by 30 percent and its meatloaf by 18 percent. “At Boston Market, we are committed to ensuring our guests enjoy delicious, home style cooking that can be part of a healthier diet,” said George Michel, CEO of Boston Market. “Modifying our recipes to create healthier options, without sacrificing taste, is another way we deliver on our mission to provide guests wholesome foods they can feel good about eating and sharing with their families.”

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mthasbro3dsystems

3D Systems And Hasbro To Co-Develop Mainstream 3D Printing Play Experiences For Children

3D Systems and Hasbro plan to co-develop, co-venture and deliver new immersive, creative play experiences powered by 3D printing
for children and their families later this year. This partnership combines Hasbro’s world-renowned portfolio of consumer brands,
extensive play expertise and retail reach with 3DS’ powerful portfolio of 3D printing products, platforms and perceptual devices to mainstream new and innovative play and co-creation experiences at home and online. “We believe 3D printing offers endless potential to bring incredible new play experiences for kids and we’re excited to work with 3D Systems, a recognized industry leader in this space,” said Hasbro President & CEO Brian Goldner. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Hasbro, a premier, global, branded play company, to jointly define, shape and lead the entire digital play space, powered by 3D printing,” said Avi Reichental, President and CEO, 3DS.

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mtoybustore

Soybu Launches First Store In Denver

Soybu, an active fashion woman’s performance and lifestyle apparel brand, has opened the company’s first retail location in Denver, CO. In addition to opening its first retail store, Soybu also launched its “Commit To Be Fit” Campaign for 2014. Known for embracing women of any shape or size, Soybu’s “Commit to Be Fit” campaign focuses on a health conscious mindset, positive body image and a commitment to live a healthy lifestyle. “At Soybu our mission is to embrace confidence and a positive self image for all women. We believe life is about living healthy, balanced and happy, not about size or body shape,” said Tina Schmitt, co-founder, Soybu. “We created this feminine, active fashion line for all women regardless of where their workout takes place – in the gym, at the studio or in everyday life.”

Soybu’s beautiful line of performance apparel is creatively designed and developed to move seamlessly between everyday activities without sacrificing quality or style. Soybu strives to offer clothes that are feminine, stylish and comfortable in any life setting. Each item of Soybu clothing is rigorously fit-tested for durability, wearability and technical performance. The result is soft, stretchy and comfortable clothing that Soybu skillfully blends into vibrant prints and colors. The new Denver-area store will feature many of the products consumers have come to know and love from Soybu as well as a variety of new, unique designs. Additionally, the store will feature Gracie, a line of comfortable, fashionable clothes for girls sizes six to 14 that taps into the courageous and playful spirit of girls with an active lifestyle and minimal down time.

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np2gingersirishwhiskey

2 GINGERS Irish Whiskey Now Available Nationwide

2 GINGERS® Irish Whiskey, the fastest growing Irish whiskey in the U.S., from the Kilbeggan Distilling Co., has grown beyond its Minnesota roots and is now officially available across the United States. The brand has experienced exponential growth, expanding from limited Midwest markets one year ago to all 50 states this month. 2 GINGERS® Founder and CEO Kieran Folliard, former owner of one of the country’s top-selling Irish whiskey pubs, originally created the whiskey and its signature cocktail, the BIG GINGER®, with inspiration from his mother and aunt — the two fiery gingers (red-heads) featured on the bottle. Backed by Folliard’s passion and category expertise, 2 GINGERS® has quickly become the fastest growing Irish whiskey in the U.S. since its launch in 2011.

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npactivisioncryola

Crayola Joins Activision’s Licensing Portfolio For Its Skylanders Franchise

Activision Publishing has added Crayola as a global licensee for its popular Skylanders property. Activision and Crayola will introduce unique Skylanders-branded color and activity formats. The specialty line will include Crayola’s signature formats including Color Wonder, Giant Coloring Pages and Xtreme Coloring, among other new platforms and will be available for the holiday season at top retail channels worldwide.

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nparmstrongarchitecturalremnants

Armstrong Launches Architectural Remnants Laminate Flooring

Armstrong has introduced Architectural Remnants laminate flooring, a collection that combines multiple species and colors to create floors that look as if they have withstood years of use or were pulled directly from a historic structure. The line is available in random widths and with an extensive but intelligently applied embossed-in-register to provide the realistic graining, texture and depth of reclaimed wood. In addition to the beautiful look of Architectural Remnants, the line also brings the benefits of laminate flooring. Architectural Remnants boasts strength and durability, softness underfoot and low maintenance. In addition, the collection comes complete with VisionGuard™ and Hydracore Plus™. VisionGuard helps to protect the floor’s surface from staining, fading and wear-through while Hydracore Plus is a solid core built into the middle of this product to allow it to feel more like real hardwood. Architectural Remnants is available in eight different colors and also comes in varying sizes. Each floor fits in a traditional setting or can be used to create an eclectic-looking space. The collection includes Antique Structure, a natural-looking reclaimed wooden floor with distressed and worn white paint; Skip Planed, created by the effects of textured sanding; Woodland Reclaim, which brings together multiple species of wood, in multiple widths; and Saw Mark Oak, rich and authentic with textured details in today’s most popular oak colors.

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BISSELL HOMECARE INC. SYMPHONY ALL-IN-ONE

BISSELL Premieres Symphony All-In-One Vacuum And Steam Mop

BISSELL Homecare is introducing its latest innovation, the BISSELL Symphony™ All-in-One Vacuum and Steam Mop allowing consumers to achieve a barefoot clean in just one step, without sacrificing time or performance. With the touch of a button, Symphony’s cyclonic action vacuum captures dry debris while the steam mop clears away sticky messes, all in one pass. And at only 10.5 pounds, Symphony is easy to move from room to room to clean messes anywhere in the home. With the power of steam, Symphony can eliminate up to 99.9 percent of germs and bacteria, removing the need for chemicals, while the BISSELL microfiber mop pads with Microban® antimicrobial protection help to protect against odor-causing bacteria to keep the mop pad fresher longer. And after cleaning, the Quick-Release Mop Pad Tray™ snaps off to easily remove the mop pad for washing, while the adjustable handle collapses for easy, compact storage.

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ANHEUSER-BUSCH SIGNATURE COPPER LAGER

Busch Rolls Out Busch Signature Copper Lager

Busch beer is rolling out Busch Signature Copper Lager, which hit stores in select regions across the United States, marking the arrival of the first liquid innovation for the Busch brand in more than 15 years and the first copper lager value beer on the market. The new brew – available in 12 states across the Midwest – offers Busch drinkers a slightly-more-flavorful beer for that slightly-more-special occasion. “For Busch drinkers who work hard and want to celebrate an accomplishment, big or small, we created a smooth-tasting copper lager for those moments in life that deserve something slightly more special,” said Edison Yu, vice president of value brands at Anheuser-Busch. “Busch Signature is the first and only copper lager in the category and a simple, approachable choice for consumers that seek a more flavorful beer without any of the pretentiousness.”

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npballparkgrilledturkeypatt

Ball Park Brand Launches Flame Grilled Turkey Patties

Ball Park® brand has introduced Flame Grilled Turkey Patties, available in two flavorful varieties, Flame Grilled Turkey and Flame Grilled Turkey with Cheddar & Jalapeño. Ball Park Flame Grilled Turkey Patties are fully-cooked and ready straight from the microwave in just minutes, providing that juicy, flame-grilled taste, with no grill required. Containing fewer calories, no preservatives or artificial flavors, and 17 grams of protein, the Ball Park Flame Grilled Turkey Patties are a convenient and high-quality option making it easy to enjoy the taste of a grilled burger any time of the year. “Ball Park Flame Grilled Patties were launched to help meet the needs of consumers looking for convenient foods that are great-tasting, bold and juicy,” said Kristin Kroepfl, director of marketing, Ball Park brand. “After seeing a positive response following the launch of Flame Grilled Beef Patties, we were excited to introduce new turkey varieties.”

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COCOAVIA SUPPLEMENT

CocoaVia Brand Introduces CocoaVia Extract Supplement Capsules In 710 GNC Stores

CocoaVia® daily cocoa extract supplement capsules are now available in 710 GNC stores nationwide. The cocoa flavanols in CocoaVia® are scientifically proven to support healthy circulation and maintain cardiovascular health. CocoaVia® supplement helps arteries and blood vessels stay flexible at any age, maintaining the flow of oxygen and nutrients to organs and tissues. CocoaVia® capsules are made using the patented Cocoapro® process, which preserves the flavanols found naturally in cocoa beans to deliver the highest concentration of cocoa flavanols per serving in a dietary supplement. The product is targeted to Baby Boomers who want to defy their age and who want to look and feel their best from the inside out.

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npdoveadvancedaredeodorant

New Dove Advanced Care Deodorant Provides Softer, Smoother Armpit Skin

New Dove® Advanced Care Deodorant is the only deodorant formulated with NutriumMoisture™, offering the brand’s best care ever, while also providing 48-hour odor and wetness protection. NutriumMoisture™ is a proprietary Dove® formula comprised of ingredients that are known to moisturize the skin. Using this new line of deodorants provides women with softer, smoother armpit skin in just three days. From bathing suits to evening gowns, women can now reveal their armpits with confidence and enjoy the benefits of special care.

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npdylanscandygirl

Claire’s Celebrates Launch Of Dylan’s Candy Bar ‘Candy Girl’ Collection

Claire’s Inc., one of the world’s leading retailers of fun, fashionable accessories for young women and girls, will continue its partnership with famed Dylan’s Candy Bar, the world’s largest confectionery emporium and lifestyle brand, with an expanded collection to include jewelry, tech accessories, nail polish and lip products. The Claire’s girl can now wear her sweet tooth on her sleeve with a variety of charm bracelets and necklaces complete with miniature versions of Dylan’s favorite candies, gumball, donut and lollipop earrings and necklaces and assorted candy inspired leather bracelets. For every girl’s guilt free sugar rush, sweet tasting lip glosses shaped like rock candy and lollipops as well as chocolate bar dessert lip balms and donut inspired nail polishes are sure to satisfy any craving.

“From Rock Candy Lip Gloss to Gumball Necklaces, this collection celebrates candy-inspired style that will encourage girls to express their creativity,” said Dylan Lauren, founder and CEO of Dylan’s Candy Bar. “We are excited to be partnering with Claire’s on such a fashionable collection and hope girls have as much fun wearing it, as we had creating it!” “We are so proud of the success of our initial partnership with Dylan’s Candy Bar; continuing beyond candy with jewelry, beauty and tech products seemed like a natural progression,” said Dina Keenan, global chief marketing officer.

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npfinishpowder

New FINISH® Power & Free™ Dishwasher Products Clean With Less Harsh Chemicals

FINISH®, a RB brand, has launched FINISH® Power & Free™, a new line of dishwasher products with hydrogen peroxide action. The line of detergents and rinse aid delivers a sparkling clean and amazing shine with no chlorine bleach and less fragrances and dyes than the current base FINISH® products. With the FINISH® Power & Free™ detergents, hydrogen peroxide action micro-bubbles penetrate deep to power away the toughest food messes, leaving your dishes reassuringly clean, even in the hardest water conditions. “We know that harsh chemicals are a major concern for many consumers, especially moms,” said Selim Akis, FINISH® Marketing Director. “Understanding their desire for new ways to clean without sacrificing quality, FINISH Power & Free was developed to harness the cleaning power of hydrogen peroxide with less harsh chemical ingredients.”

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npelmersProBond

New Elmer’s ProBond Advanced Targets DIY Enthusiasts

To assist DIYers of varying expertise in achieving their creative vision, Elmer’s® created ProBond Advanced®, a multi-surface adhesive designed specifically for mixed material projects that provides heavy-duty strength like a polyurethane glue without the messy foam residue that can ruin a project’s finished appearance. From constructing an industrial-style coffee table out of an old pallet and stainless steel accents, to building a wine-bottle chandelier, to putting the finishing touches on an outdoor kitchen addition, Elmer’s ProBond Advanced is helping DIYers tackle top trends and making even the most daring DIY efforts as easy as glue, clamp and relax. ProBond Advanced’s one-of-a-kind, zero percent foaming, water-based formula doesn’t need to be monitored while drying. ProBond Advanced makes projects varying from home décor creations to everyday repairs, such as a chipped paver stone or a loose ceramic tile, more efficient without compromising strength and durability. Once the glue is dry, ProBond Advanced can be painted to match any color scheme.

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npgillettebody

Gillette Introduces Its First Razor Built For The Male Body

As body shaving goes from a niche activity to a mainstream grooming habit, Gillette has introduced Gillette BODY, a line of products that includes the brand’s first razor designed for the male body. A recent study conducted by Gillette shows that 73% of U.S. men have shaved or trimmed some part of their body, and 84% of men who currently shave at least one body part say they shave it year-round. However, despite the rising popularity of body shaving, men have had limited tools to choose from, with 58% of current body shavers saying a better razor would enhance their body-shaving experience. Gillette BODY allows men to tackle the challenging task of body terrain with precision, accuracy, and ease. A unique series of Gillette technologies and features help the razor glide comfortably over all body contours: Rounded Head for increased maneuverability and total body comfort, adapting to body contours and allowing the razor to move through even the tightest spaces. 3 Lubricating Strips providing outstanding glide for incredible comfort, no matter the region. Ergonomic Anti-Slip Grip for exceptional control, even in the shower. 3 Floating Blades for a close, comfortable shave on some of the most sensitive areas of a man’s body. Forward Pivoting Head that easily adapts to body contours.

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nphasbroageflextinction

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION Toy Line Introduced By Hasbro

Hasbro has unveiled its fun and innovative new TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION toy line, marking the biggest reinvention of the TRANSFORMERS toys in the brand’s 30-year history. Inspired by the new movie TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION, in theaters this June, the new TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION line has been re-imagined to excite and engage a new generation of kids. Kids can convert robots to vehicles – or, in the case of the eagerly awaited new DINOBOT characters, robots to dinos – in as little as one step with new fun actions, including flip-to-change and smash-to-change.

“The new TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION line is all about capturing the magic of the TRANSFORMERS characters for kids,” said Eric Nyman, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing, Hasbro. “The new ONE-STEP CHANGERS, POWER BATTLERS and FLIP & CHANGE figures, along with spotlight toys like MEGA ONE-STEP BUMBLEBEE and STOMP ‘N CHOMP GRIMLOCK, make converting the characters from robot to vehicle as simple and as magical as it looks onscreen. With the new TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION line and new lifestyle and digital programs, it’s easier than ever for kids to get into the TRANSFORMERS action.”

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npknexfamilyguybuildigset

K’NEX Brand Releases First Line Of Family Guy™ Building Sets

K’NEX Brands, the only US construction toy company focused on Building Worlds Kids Love ®, in partnership with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products, has introduced its first line of officially licensed building toys inspired by the popular animated comedy series, Family Guy. The new product line combines the award-winning K’NEX building system with the most iconic characters and elements from Family Guy including, Peter, Stewie, Brian, the Griffin Family station wagon, Stewie’s time machine and more, bringing them from the television screen to the construction aisle for the first time. “Family Guy has a multi-generational appeal,” said Michael Araten, President & CEO of K’NEX Brands. “Our partnership with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products will allow building fans of all ages to bring the fictional world of Quahog, Rhode Island, to life in a new and exciting way.”

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DENALI FLAVORS MOOSE TRACKS (R) ICE CREAM NOVELTIES

Developer Of Moose Tracks Ice Cream Offers New Line Of Ice Cream Bars And Sandwiches

West Michigan-based Denali Flavors®, developer of the legendary Moose Tracks® flavor of ice cream, enters a new grocery category with the introduction of four new ice cream novelty products based on its top-selling Moose Tracks and Caramel Caribou® ice cream flavors. New Moose Tracks and Caramel Caribou ice cream bars and sandwiches are available at Meijer and other select retailers.

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KRAFT FOODS GROUP, INC. SINGLES NOW MADE WITH NO ARTIFICIAL PRESERVATIVES

KRAFT Singles Made With No Artificial Preservatives Introduced

Kraft Foods has launched KRAFT Singles with No Artificial Preservatives, a welcomed renovation that removes artificial ingredients, while still delivering the same quality, taste, look and melt its consumers expect. “We know families today want convenient foods that have no artificial preservatives and a simpler, more recognizable ingredient list, and Kraft is working to deliver more of these options for some of our most beloved brands,” said Brian Gelb, Senior Associate Brand Manager, Kraft Foods. “Kraft is excited to deliver the same great tasting American cheese it always has with KRAFT Singles – always made with real cheese, milk and no artificial flavors – and now with no artificial preservatives.”

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npmacysshaquille-o'neamenswear2

Macy’s Introduces Shaquille O’Neal Menswear Collection

Basketball and celebrity superstar Shaquille O’Neal and Peerless Clothing have partnered to create a new fashion menswear collection exclusively at Macy’s, popularly priced with sizes that range from regular to Big & Tall. The Shaquille O’Neal collection will include suit separates and sport coats. Suit separates anchor the line, as they offer the opportunity to choose jacket and pant sizes perfect for customers with varied proportions. “My interest in developing a menswear collection was based on the lack of fashion choices for Big & Tall customers and the higher prices for larger size suits,” O’Neal said. “I also was frustrated that I had to go to a Big & Tall store rather than shop with my friends at the local department or specialty store. I originally wanted to develop a more fashion-forward menswear collection at an affordable price. Once Peerless and I developed the collection, the reaction from Macy’s was so positive that we decided to make the collection in all sizes.”

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npnature-valley

Nature Valley Introduces Breakfast Biscuits, Greek Yogurt Protein Bars And Protein Granola

Nature Valley introduces three great-tasting products to satisfy people with an active lifestyle: Nature Valley® Breakfast Biscuits, Nature Valley® Greek Yogurt Protein bars, and a new Cranberry Almond variety of Nature Valley® Protein Granola. These new products make it easier to enjoy the taste of Nature Valley on-the-go, while providing energy to help take on daily tasks.
“We’ve heard people asking for satisfying snack options that fit their busy schedules, and we’re excited to introduce these new product offerings that will help them take on those busy mornings and refuel later in the day,” said Kerry DeLaney, marketing manager for Nature Valley.

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npSanDisk_UltraDualUSB

SanDisk Introduces Its First Dual USB Drive To Transfer And Backup Content Between Mobile Devices And Computers

SanDisk Corporation, a global leader in flash storage solutions, has introduced the SanDisk Ultra® Dual USB Drive, a USB flash drive featuring both a micro-USB and a USB 2.0 connector in a sleek and sturdy form factor. The SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive is designed for Android™ smartphone and tablet users who need an easy way to move content such as photos and videos from their mobile devices. The drive allows users to safely store and backup files, free-up space, or simply transfer multimedia between their smartphones, tablets and computers. “The SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive provides a simple, convenient way to offload and backup files from smartphones and tablets – with the peace of mind that comes with the trusted SanDisk brand,” said Dinesh Bahal, vice president, product marketing, SanDisk. “This new drive integrates with SanDisk’s Memory Zone app to make freeing up space on mobile devices simpler than ever, improving the user experience.”

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npSneakzorganic

Sneakz Organic Disguises Veggies In New Shakes For Kids

Sneakz Organic has launched its tasty, new children’s beverage that delivers one full serving of vegetables in an 8oz. USDA Organic shake. With 75 percent of children in the U.S. not eating their daily recommended servings of vegetables, Sneakz combines great taste with positive nutrition, using a simple blend of organic whole foods, including milk and vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, and broccoli to deliciously disguise vegetable nutrition in a yummy chocolate shake. “Moms recognize the important role nutrition plays in helping children develop and lead healthy lives, but often struggle to get their kids to eat vegetables,” said co-founder and CEO Charlie Philp. “We wanted to offer an easy and fun solution for parents to feed their little ones their daily veggies.”

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VTECH

VTech Introduces Expansive Line Of Infant And Preschool Learning Products

VTech, a world leader in age-appropriate and developmental stage-based electronic learning products for children, is significantly expanding its award-winning infant and preschool line with more than 40 new products in 2014.
“VTech’s infant and preschool line has always been at the heart of our business,” said William To, President of VTech Electronics North America. “Our 2014 line shows that we remain dedicated to developing innovative products that deliver engaging and imaginative play experiences that are perfectly suited for a child’s particular age and stage of development.”

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npzephyrlucewallrangehood

Zephyr Launches Luce Wall Range Hood With ICON Touch™ Controls

Zephyr, the leader in ventilation hood design, innovation and technology, has launched the Lucé Wall range hood with ICON Touch™ controls. Zephyr continues to push boundaries with industry-first fully integrated touch controls and a stunning hood that combines glamour with technology. The Lucé boasts an elegant slice of sleek stainless steel combined with subtle ambient lighting and feature-rich technology. The integrated LED lights include Cloud White, Deep Blue and Amber colors that wrap around the perimeter of the hood and add a soft ambient glow for mood lighting and an added design element. The ICON Touch™ Controls seamlessly integrate into the Lucé’s stainless steel canopy and contribute to the hood’s sleek aesthetic.

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npviionframeEcoBornGlasses

Visionworks Launches Eco Born Recycled Eyewear In Dallas Area Stores

Visionworks announced that select stores in the Dallas market will carry Eco Born Recycled frames, the only eyewear frames in the world made from recycled materials. Visionworks will support Eco’s mission to plant trees for each pair of glasses sold, as well as encourage customers to recycle used glasses. Eco Born Recycled frames are designed by boutique eyewear firm Modo and are certified by UL Environment, the leading independent agency for environment claims certification. The frames, which are made from 95 percent recycled materials, come in several fashion-forward styles and on-trend colors. Each time a customer purchases a pair of Eco Born Recycled glasses at Visionworks, a new tree will be planted in Cameroon, a country with several areas of degraded land that is being replenished with the help of the nearly one million trees planted by Eco.

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npspinmastereccanoerector

Spin Master And Toys”R”Us® Join Forces To Offer Historic Brand, Meccano-Erector

Spin Master Ltd., Canada’s largest children’s toy entertainment company, will re-launch the iconic construction brand, Meccano-Erector, this fall at Toys”R”Us. First introduced to customers in 2000, Meccano-Erector combines traditional construction play with mechanics, allowing avid builders – big and small – to create working models and mechanical devices. Toys”R”Us stores nationwide will offer its customers a range of brand-new construction sets, the broadest assortment of Meccano-Erector products in the market, including several exclusive items.

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npsbykea

Sbyke A20 Kick Scooter Launches

The Sbyke family of scooters, an entirely new category of boardsport, is launching the Sbyke A20, a radically different kick scooter that solves the top five headaches posed by other popular scooters, at more than 200 stores in the U.S. this year. Sbyke USA’s innovative line of kick scooters is a cross between a bicycle and a skateboard. Riders most often describe the experience as similar to the sensation of skiing or surfing, but without ever leaving the sidewalk. The Sbyke A20 is the third model in this popular line of kick scooters. According to Bart Wilson of Sbyke USA, “We listened to the marketplace. People of all ages are nuts about Sbyke, but many moms expressed the need for a value-priced model that still offered all the fun. We’ve achieved that with the Sbyke A20.”

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nppostitcoloroftheworldcollection

Stylist Brad Goreski Introduces Colors Of The World Collection By Post-It Brand

The iconic Post-it Note takes on a refreshed, global flare in the new Colors of the World collection by Post-it Brand from 3M, embracing the unique vibe of four premier destinations. The collection’s worldly style and colors capture the essence of top regions around the globe, including Bangkok, Mykonos, New York City and Rio de Janeiro. With the World Collection by Post-It brand launch, internationally recognized stylist Brad Goreski celebrates the latest trends in color, all inspired by these exotic locales. “Trends in fashion, design and pop culture are taking on more global influence, and of course, one thing that’s always in style is color,” said Brad Goreski, Post-it Brand Color Ambassador. “I am consistently inspired whenever I travel, and I love seeing how the Post-it Brand Colors of the World collection brings the hues from four very chic destinations to life, offering a color scheme inspired by the energy of these places.”

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nppulsecabanacoconutwater

Pulse Introduces ’100 Percent Natural’ Cabana® Coconut Water

The Pulse Beverage Corporation, makers of the PULSE® brand of functional beverages and Natural Cabana® Lemonade, is expanding its product line with the introduction of Natural Cabana® Coconut Water and Natural Cabana® Pineapple Coconut Water, which will first be available in Albertsons grocery stores. The launch of Pulse’s coconut water arrives at a time when greater numbers of consumers are seeking out beverages that taste as great as the health benefits they contain. At the same time, many consumers are searching for all-natural beverages that have the same hydration properties of a carbohydrate-electrolyte sport drink. “Coconut water has rapidly become its own category, and we are able to introduce a product that contains high-quality ingredients, superior taste, and competitive pricing that appeals to a broad and diverse marketplace,” said Bob Yates, CEO of Pulse. “Now that we have grown an expansive distribution network in a relatively short period of time, we look forward to introducing our coconut water to convenience and grocery stores that we believe will resonate with our product.”

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Hyperice Launches High Performance Recovery Products

Hyperice has released its ice compression product line, a revolutionary two-part system, which harnesses the power of real ice and the anti-inflammatory properties of compression to provide preventative treatment, accelerate injury recovery, and enhance muscle and joint performance. Developed with some of the world’s top professional athletes, and clinically tested by leading medical professionals, Hyperice brings together a cutting edge design with the benefits of cryotherapy and compression, enabling both the reduction of swelling and the healing of tissues. Hyperice is committed to revolutionizing the world of athletic recovery, and will be releasing additional state-of-the-art recovery technology products throughout the year.

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GARDEIN MEATLESS PRODUCTS

Gardein Introduces New Line Of Gluten-Free Items: Beefless Ground, Veggie Burger & Black Bean Burger

Garden Protein International, the makers of gardein, the plant-based complete protein brand currently sold in over 20,000 stores in North America, has added three gluten-free products to their broad portfolio: beefless ground, veggie burger and black bean burger. For meat and veggie-lovers alike, these tasty, gluten-free meatless wonders are made with non-GMO soy, pea proteins and veggies. Gardein beefless ground is now available across the United States. “We are excited to introduce these delicious, gluten-free beefless products,” said Yves Potvin, founder of gardein. “At gardein, we take great pride in offering a variety of great tasting, meatless foods. As so many consumers move to a gluten-free lifestyle, it was a natural next step to develop these products and fulfill an important market need.”

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William Shatner And EGARD Watch Company Launch ‘PASSAGES’ By EGARD.

EGARD watch company, a USA based watch brand, has launched a collaborative watch collection with William Shatner named ‘PASSAGES’ by EGARD. Shatner was deeply involved in the conceptualization and design of PASSAGES, a signed Limited Edition watch, featuring an automatic movement outfitted with a custom disk to represent day and night, that sits opposite to the open “beating heart” of the mechanical automatic movement displayed on the dial. Shatner’s idea behind this feature is that “our hearts and passions are what drive us through the days and nights of our lives.” To further solidify the concept of the Passages of time, EGARD decided to add authentic meteor dust to the AM/PM disc, in order to include elements from the present moment, back to the moment of creation of the universe itself.

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COTY INC. PIAGGIO GROUP

Coty And Piaggio Group Partner To Launch Signature Scents For Italian Lifestyle Brand Vespa

Leading global beauty company Coty and Piaggio Group, the leading European manufacturer of two-wheel motor vehicles, have partnered to create, develop and distribute a signature duo of fragrances for men and women under the Vespa name.
Vespa is one of Italy’s most iconic brands. A symbol of Italian style, technology, creativity and elegance worldwide, Vespa is not just a scooter, but an icon. The duo Vespa fragrance line is expected to debut in May 2014.

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New Alberto VO5 Men’s 3-in-1 Brings 5 Essential Vitamin Formula To Convenience-Craving Men

The Alberto VO5® brand has introduced VO5 Men’s 3-in-One, combining VO5 shampoo, conditioner and body wash in just one, no-clutter, out-of-the-shower-quick bottle. Five essential vitamin-enriched VO5 Men’s 3-in-1 provides convenience while delivering the outstanding performance and value that the iconic, born-in-Hollywood brand has long provided smarter shoppers. VO5 Men’s 3-in-1 represents another first, in extending the brand’s proprietary five-essential-vitamin formula beyond hair care to body care. Available in masculine scents such as Ocean Surge and Fresh Energy, VO5 Men’s 3-in-1 offers guys a clean feeling from head-to-toe. “Consumers love the superior performance and value that VO5 hair care products deliver, and we saw an opportunity to extend VO5′s secret five-vitamin formula to the male segment,” said Nina Riley, VP Marketing at High Ridge Brands, owner of Alberto VO5. “VO5′s Men’s 3-in-1 is a phenomenal product that satisfies men’s need for a time-saving, head-to-toe shower experience.”

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Hasbro Introduces ANGRY BIRDS™ STELLA TELEPODS™ Line

Hasbro, has introduced the new ANGRY BIRDS STELLA: TELEPODS product line in conjunction with the recently announced ANGRY BIRDS STELLA, the newest brand from Rovio Entertainment featuring the popular Stella character and her fierce flock of friends. Introduced last fall with Rovio’s ANGRY BIRDS STAR WARS II® and ANGRY BIRDS GO!, TELEPODS is a gaming platform for the mobile generation that allows fans to play in both the physical and digital space through seamless integration into top-tier apps. Using the TELEPODS platform, kids will be able to “teleport” Stella and her friends into Rovio’s upcoming ANGRY BIRDS STELLA game using their smart devices and unlock exciting features and content. “We’re thrilled to continue our collaboration with Rovio and offer fans a seamless integrated play experience with the launch of the ANGRY BIRDS STELLA: TELEPODS line,” said John Frascotti, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Hasbro. “The new playsets and figures combined with the TELEPODS platform allow kids to be even more imaginative as they take Stella and her friends on new adventures in both the physical and digital worlds.”

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SanDisk Launches Premium, High-Performance USB 3.0 Flash Drive

SanDisk Corporation, a global leader in flash storage solutions, has introduced the SanDisk Extreme PRO® USB 3.0 flash drive, featuring professional-grade performance with some of the fastest speeds in the industry at up to 60 times faster than standard USB 2.0 drives, and providing a generous 128GB of storage. SanDisk’s Extreme PRO USB 3.0 flash drive offers a sophisticated and durable aluminum metal casing, which protects against everyday wear and tear. Also included is SanDisk SecureAccess™ software that provides 128-bit AES file encryption and password protection to secure private files while leaving the rest of the drive visible for sharing. “The SanDisk Extreme PRO USB 3.0 drive offers world-class performance for technology aficionados who demand high-speed, durability and peace of mind that their files will be safe,” said Philippe Willams, director of product marketing, SanDisk. “We are excited to be expanding our USB 3.0 solutions, and this is another example of our efforts to enable consumers with fast access to content and data.”

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DIAGEO FIRST TWO VARIANTS

DIAGEO Launches Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company To Share Rare Spirits

DIAGEO has launched the Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company, created to locate lost and forgotten barrels of whiskey from around the world and share them with discerning adult fans. The first two variants to be released from the company will include the 20-year-old Barterhouse Whiskey and the 26-year-aged Old Blowhard Whiskey. Both brands are expected to begin appearing on select shelves throughout the U.S. in March 2014 under strict allocation due to limited supply. Barterhouse Whiskey stocks were discovered in old warehouses at the Stitzel-Weller facility in Louisville, Ky.

Old Blowhard Whiskey was also found at Stitzel-Weller and is hand bottled in Tullahoma. The Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company is headquartered in Tullahoma, Tenn. where the whiskies are bottled and owned and operated by DIAGEO. “The whiskey warehouses and rickhouses these spirits come from are special places filled with the incredible smells of seasoned oak, rough textures of weathered wood and amazing tastes of precious liquid,” said Ewan Morgan, Master of Whiskey for DIAGEO. “It’s every worker’s dream of finding that forgotten barrel of delicious whiskey and sharing it with their friends. That’s exactly what we’re doing.”

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Fresh Produce Appoints John Harris CMO

Fresh Produce, a leading designer, developer and marketer of women’s apparel and accessories, has appointed John Harris as its Chief Marketing Officer and Head of the Company’s online sales channel. Harris will lead brand development initiatives designed to elevate awareness and enrich brand positioning with existing and new customers and oversee all marketing activities that support the Company’s three sales channels. He joins Fresh Produce from Location3 Media in Denver, where he served as Chief Strategy Officer and led the digital marketing strategy for Fresh Produce, Stetson, Boden and Darden Restaurants.
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The Buckle Appoints Kari Smith EVP Stores

The Buckle has appointed Kari Smith to the newly created position of Executive Vice President of Stores. In her new role, Kari will continue to provide leadership related to all aspects of the in-store shopping experience for Buckle’s guests including the education and development of Buckle’s talented sales team. Offering a unique mix of high-quality, on-trend apparel, accessories, and footwear, Buckle caters to fashion-conscious young men and women.

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Trulia Appoints Kira Wampler CMO

Trulia, a leading online marketplace for home buyers, sellers, renters, and real estate professionals, has appointed Kira Wampler as the company’s first Chief Marketing Officer. Wampler will lead all consumer product and marketing efforts at the company and help launch Trulia’s first-ever national marketing campaign. Prior to joining Trulia, Wampler spent more than two years at Lytro as VP of product and marketing. “I’m thrilled to join Trulia and excited to create and launch high impact programs to reach and activate Trulia’s uniquely engaged consumer audience,” said Kira Wampler, Chief Marketing Officer of Trulia.

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Red Lion Hotels Appoints Bill Linehan CMO

Red Lion Hotels has appointed industry marketing and brand management veteran Bill Linehan as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. Linehan has more than 25 years of hospitality experience, most recently as Chief Marketing Officer and Managing Director at Richfield Hospitality and Sceptre Hospitality Resources. Linehan also previously served as Global Vice President of Marketing, Brand Alignment and Partnerships for Starwood Hotels and Resorts and held sales and marketing positions with both Hyatt and Sheraton.

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Merchandising Inventives Hires Scott Kirschner Ad Director Of Sales And New Business

Merchandising Inventives, Buffalo Grove, IL, has appointed Scott Kirschner as the new Director of Sales and New Business Development. His vast experience in sales and customer relations will extend what Merchandising Inventives has to offer into the P.OP. Industry. (Web Site) www.merchandisinginventives.com

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Outwater Plastics Introduces Venus Ultra Bright LED Puck Light

Outwater’s Venus Ultra Bright LED Puck Light readily mounts to any surface with a single screw, which is merely inserted through a small, inconspicuous, recessed hole in the middle of the fixture, thus negating the need for pre-drilling. Manufactured with constant voltage technology so as to minimize power losses, Outwater’s Venus Ultra Bright LED Puck Light’s ultra low profile 24 volt, 42 LED chip puck light measures a scant .285-in. thick with a 3-1/2-in. dia., and is offered in pure white (color temperature: 4,500k; beam spread: 90°; lumens: 320; color rendering index: 75) and warm white (color temperature: 3,200k; beam spread: 90°; lumens: 300; color rendering index: 75) with a beautifully constructed polished or brushed chrome all metal trim ring for added durability. Able to outshine a 20 watt halogen bulb with a “shower of light,” Outwater’s Venus Ultra Bright LED Puck Light requires only 3 watts per unit, with an approximate 50,000 hour bulb life. Furthermore, not only can several Venus Ultra Bright LED Puck Lights be powered off of one transformer, no heat emissions or generated UV radiation render the lights safe and suited for use in a variety of tight residential and commercial applications. For more information, visit (Web Site) www.outwater.com

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Planar Systems Introduces New Planar® Simplicity™ Series

Planar Systems, a global leader in display and digital signage technology, has added two new sizes to its Planar® Simplicity™ Series line of edge-lit LED displays, offering customers a broad range of choices for deploying simple, sleek and affordable digital signage displays. With the addition of the 46″ and 55″ models, customers now have four sizes from which to choose, making the Planar Simplicity Series a highly versatile solution for a wide variety of commercial applications including retail stores, restaurants, corporate meeting rooms, fitness centers and museums. From a single-display installation to a multi-display network, the Planar Simplicity Series was designed to bring simplicity to nearly every digital signage project. The displays are highly versatile, supporting playback of a wide variety of media formats. They also come with a full array of inputs and can be controlled remotely through LAN or RS-232. For more information about the Planar Simplicity Series, visit (Web Site) www.planar.com

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Peerless-AV Introduces Outdoor Triple Digital Menu Board

Peerless-AV, a leader in audio-visual solutions, has introduced the Peerless-AV Xtreme Outdoor Triple Digital Menu Board. Ideal for quick service restaurant (QSR) drive-thru applications, the menu board can also be used in other drive-thru applications, including banks and pharmacies. “Quick service restaurant, pharmacy, and bank owners with drive-thru set-ups are looking for attention-grabbing, weatherproof and visually appealing digital signage solutions that can be easily, quickly, and cost-effectively updated with new content,” said Brian McClimans, Vice President, Global Business Development, Peerless-AV. “The new Xtreme Outdoor Triple Digital Menu Board offers all of this and more with a maintenance-free option.” The Xtreme Outdoor Triple Digital Menu Board is comprised of a kiosk, Peerless-AV Xtreme displays and a rain cap, which doubles as a solar shield to reduce solar load within the kiosk. The kiosk is made of aluminum and steel construction, and is powder coated with a formula that will resist fading. The Xtreme displays are designed to withstand the harshest conditions, featuring a patented Fully-Sealed Dynamic Thermal Transfer™ System. Through this system, the display’s internal components are kept safely warmed in severe cold and properly cooled in severe heat, reducing electricity costs. The Peerless-AV Xtreme Outdoor Triple Digital Menu Board is also available as a one display or two display system. For more information, visit (Web Site) www.peerless-av.com

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Planar Systems Offers 84-inch 4K Planar® UltraRes™ Touch Screen

Planar Systems, a global leader in display and digital signage technology, unveiled the breakthrough 84-inch 4K Planar® UltraRes™ Touch with ERO™ featuring Corning® Gorilla® Glass. By combining Planar’s exclusive Extended Ruggedness and Optics (ERO) optical glass bonding technology with Gorilla Glass, an industry-leading cover solution, the 84-inch 4K Planar UltraRes Touch is durable and scratch resistant, making it ideal for digital signage and public venue applications. Planar UltraRes Touch now also supports up to 32 simultaneous touch points, offering the ultimate solution for multi-user applications, including collaboration walls and touch tables. For retail stores, museums, hospitality and corporate lobbies, Planar UltraRes Touch offers the durability and flexibility needed for a robust interactive experience. “The addition of Corning Gorilla Glass to our proprietary ERO optical bonding technology further enhances the durability and visual performance of the Planar UltraRes Touch display,” said Becky Connors, product marketing manager at Planar Systems. “By dramatically increasing the number of touch points, we’ve made it possible for organizations to create highly immersive and engaging experiences.” Planar UltraRes Touch displays featuring Corning Gorilla Glass and 32 touch points will be available through Planar’s global network of authorized resellers in the second calendar quarter of 2014. For more information, visit (Web Site) www.planar.com

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KELLOGG COMPANY SLOPESTYLE CORN FLAKES

Kellogg’s Corn Flakes Box Celebrates Team USA Olympic Freestyle Skiing Slopestyle Team Winners

To celebrate the historic podium sweep for Team USA™ at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games in the first-ever Olympic freestyle skiing slopestyle competition, Kellogg’s® is featuring the medal winners on special-edition boxes of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes®. Freeskiers Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper will be pictured on the limited-edition box, after earning gold, silver and bronze. With only 1,000 featured boxes being produced, this collectible item will be available beginning Feb. 24 for a limited time, for members of the Kellogg’s Family Rewards program exclusively.

“After Joss, Gus and Nick’s remarkable performance in the first-ever freestyle skiing slopestyle competition, it’s evident that their great starts in the sport have truly led to great things,” said Noel Geoffroy, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Innovation for Kellogg’s U.S. Morning Foods. “We’re excited to continue our time-honored tradition of celebrating America’s Olympic champions on Kellogg’s cereal boxes by bringing their historic image to the breakfast table.”

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Innovative Visual Group Offers HappyOrNot® In-Store Customer Experience Solution

Innovative Visual Group – HappyOrNot® helps its client understand the In-Store experience of their consumer in sectors such as retail, services, hospitality, healthcare, transportation, lifestyle and fitness, to develop their service experience and sales through continuous monitoring and reporting on customer satisfaction levels. HappyOrNot collects live Customer feedback with the press of a button. The HappyOrNot® service provides clients with point-of-experience devices that are so easy and fun to use that on average, 17% of its clients’ customers use the service to give feedback on a daily basis. Some clients experience as high as 80% daily feedbacks. Results are automatically reported at desired intervals and can be accessed either via a handy web interface or by an automated email service, thereby giving local and corporate management the necessary effective tools to improve service quality and customer experience. For more information, visit (Web Site) www.ivgny.com

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SPHEINEKENODYSSEYMERCHPOLETOPPER

Heineken Conducts ‘Take The Stage’ Retail Promotion

Heineken, the nation’s leading upscale beer importer, unveiled its latest global television ad campaign in the U.S., “The Odyssey,” celebrating the premise that every man is legendary at something. As part of the Odyssey campaign, Heineken has also launched the “Take the Stage” promotion, a national retail and on-premise program where adult consumers 21 and older can enter a sweepstakes for the chance to showcase their legendary side on one of three celebrated Heineken stages: the set of the next James Bond film, DJ-ing at the Heineken House at a 2014 music festival or center court at the 2014 US Open. The program features retail and on-premise merchandising/point-of-sale materials, channel-specific instant redeemable coupons, and mail-in rebate offers, where legal.

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Bud Light Partners With Alcoa To Launch New Reclosable Aluminum Bottle

Bud Light drinkers across America can now enjoy new, reclosable 16-ounce bottles enabled by Alcoa’s technology and materials. The new Bud Light “Cool Twist” reclosable aluminum bottle is based on Alcoa’s patented bottle technology, uses Alcoa’s aluminum bottle sheet and carries the Alcoa logo on the package. The Alcoa technology licensed by Anheuser-Busch for the Bud Light “Cool Twist” bottle is built on years of expertise in creating innovative packaging. “We partnered with Alcoa to leverage their insights and skill to develop a package that combined both form and function, and we achieved that with the ‘Cool Twist’ bottle,” said Pat McGauley, vice president, Innovations, Anheuser-Busch. “Not only does the ‘Cool Twist’ bottle have a sleek, innovative design, but it feels colder.”

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BK Promotes BIG KING™ Sandwich Now Made With A Quarter Pound Of 100% Pure Beef

Burger King Worldwide has introduced the even bigger BIG KING™ Sandwich, now made with a quarter pound of 100% beef that is freshly fire-grilled to perfection. The beefed up sandwich features two savory fire-grilled beef patties, freshly cut lettuce, crisp onions and signature King Sauce, all on a three-layer warm, toasted, sesame seed bun. “Since its launch, the BIG KING™ Sandwich has exceeded expectations and BURGER KING® restaurants are dedicated to making it even better for our guests,” said Alex Macedo, President North America, Burger King Worldwide, Inc. “Everyone is falling in love with the flavor of our freshly fire-grilled burgers paired with our signature King Sauce, and now we can give them even more of it for the same great price.” The BIG KING™ Sandwich will be supported by a 360-degree marketing communications program, including in-restaurant signage.

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Alex And Ani Becomes First Fashion Retailer To Roll-Out Swirl’s iBeacon Technology Nationwide

Fashion retailer Alex and Ani has now deployed Swirl Network’s iBeacon technology in more than 40 stores nationally with further plans to leverage the technology in authorized retailers like department stores. Swirl’s platform allows large-scale retailers to create, manage and deliver in-store mobile marketing campaigns leveraging iBeacon technology.

“It’s the strategic and foundational investments like iBeacon that have enabled Alex and Ani to grow our customer-centric omnichannel strategy at record pace,” said Ryan Bonifacino, vice president of digital strategy for Alex and Ani. “Utilizing Swirl’s marketing platform we can deliver highly-targeted content to consumers precisely when they are most engaged and primed to spend – while they are shopping in our stores.”

The Swirl platform, consisting of the Swirl Marketing Console, SecureCast™ beacons powered by Bluetooth® Smart technology and a mobile client SDK, provides the industry’s most robust end-to-end solution for in-store mobile marketing. Available for both iOS and Android, Swirl allows retailers to deliver relevant messages and offers to smartphone users while they shop. Using its opt-in, micro-location targeting capability, retailers can leverage a shopper’s precise location within a store to create personalized, contextual shopping experiences. Whether it’s greeting a loyal customer with a surprise “thank you” reward at the store entrance or helping a shopper make a purchase decision in a specific department, retailer mobile apps can now become an integral, value-added component of their in-store experience.

“The deployment of our beacons at all Alex and Ani locations nationwide signals that the retail transformation for in-store mobile marketing is fully underway. We’re now beyond the trial stages and into full commercial implementation,” said Hilmi Ozguc, founder and CEO of Swirl. “The power and potential of iBeacon technology for retail marketers is undeniable, and pioneers like Alex and Ani are leading the charge.” (Web Site) www.swirl.com

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XA Names Ron Burkhardt Executive Chairman

XA, a premier national branding and experiential event marketing firm, has named New York branding expert Ron Burkhardt as Executive Chairman. The appointment, which includes a seat on the CMG board for Burkhardt, is intended to quickly expand the agency’s reach, resources and upside potential in the surging experiential/events space. Working with senior management, Burkhardt plans to rapidly grow XA’s client base and ramp up new opportunities via new clients and acquisitions. (Web Site) www.xapragency.com

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Unilever Retains WPP For Customized Shopper Marketing Solutions

Unilever has retained WPP, a world leader in marketing communications, for an aggregated customized approach to Shopper Marketing in the United States. A new group within the agency – Team Unilever Shopper – will provide Unilever with customized Shopper Marketing solutions comprised of resources from multiple WPP companies and associates, which include: Barrows, Bravo, Geometry Global, Kantar Retail, Lunchbox, Mindshare, Rockfish, Shopper2Buyer and TNS Global. “Shopper marketing is a key capability for Unilever,” said Kathy O’Brien, Unilever Vice President, Marketing to Shoppers. “With the shoppers’ path-to-purchase now involving so many touch-points, we believe our new partnership with Team Unilever Shopper will allow us to integrate our efforts across in-store visibility, shopper insights, multicultural marketing, retail activation, e-commerce and shopper media. This will drive greater effectiveness through focused delivery. We will use shopper insights to optimize our content regardless of where it resides and what form it takes, so shoppers can engage with, talk about and buy our brands consistently in the most convenient ways possible.” (Web Site) www.wpp.com

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Family Dollar Renews SPAR Group To Provide In-Store Merchandising Services

SPAR Group, a leading supplier of retail merchandising and other marketing services throughout the United States and internationally, announced the two-year renewal of its in-store merchandising services contract with Family Dollar Stores. SPAR Group has been servicing Family Dollar Stores, a multi-billion dollar self-service discount and variety store chain, for the past two years across over 8,000 locations. SPAR Group has completed various merchandising service programs including schematic resets, revisions, item cut-ins, returns, audits and recalls across nearly all categories including grocery, pet, party, household & chemical and paper goods. (Web Site) www.sparinc.com

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MARS Advertising Announces New Talent And Promotions

MARS Advertising recently announced numerous additions and promotions to its team of shopper marketing experts. Scott Reid is joining the MARS Detroit office from the Toronto office as the new executive creative director and will also be part of the creative leadership team where he will work with clients like Chobani, Campbell Soup Company and Pepperidge Farm. Previously, Reid led the MARS Toronto Office and oversaw the creative product for clients including Truvia, Shopper’s Drug Mart and Canadian Tire. Theresa Lyons is assuming leadership of the MARS retail consultancy as senior vice president. Prior to this role, Lyons served as VP, strategic planning and has 20 years of experience working with companies like Nestlé USA, Abbott Nutrition and The Clorox Company. Craig Tokusato, the former senior vice president of marketing and category business team leader for Diamond Foods and strategic business unit leader for The Clorox Company, will be joining the team as a marketing consultant, focusing on development of a comprehensive ecommerce strategy in collaboration with MARS’ digital team. Lisa Golloher the previous director of strategic planning at TracyLocke, where she worked with brands and retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Pepsi, MillerCoors and Nike, will assume the role of MARS’ director of strategic planning in the New York City office. (Web Site) www.marsusa.com

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The Integer Group Appoints Todd Miller Executive Creative Director

The Integer Group®, a leading global promotional, retail, and shopper marketing agency, has appointed Todd Miller as Senior Vice President/Executive Creative Director out of Integer’s Des Moines office. Previously, Miller worked on Mazda at The Garage where he was Vice President and Creative Director. Prior to that, he held the same post at Team Detroit’s PULSE division. His more than 20 years experience includes positions at agencies such as M&C Saatchi, DDB, FCB and RPA. (Web Site) www.integer.com

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Catapult Launches CatapultVista, Raises The Bar For Multicultural Marketing

In a move designed to make multicultural offerings more readily available to its clients, Catapult has formed a new business unit, CatapultVista, dedicated specifically to developing and integrating multicultural capabilities for Catapult clients. The new unit will be led by Executive Vice President Roberto Siewczynski and will absorb the personnel and clients of PanaVista, formerly a separate multicultural agency under the Epsilon umbrella that was led by Siewczynski. CatapultVista’s office will be headquartered in Irving, TX. “Our group will bring a multicultural perspective to Catapult’s Art of Conversion TM, as clients look to connect with consumers across the broad range of demographic and multicultural spectrums,” said Siewczynski. “There are a lot of synergies with this move that will help benefit our combined client bases immediately.” (Web Site) www.catapultmarketing.com

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