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Our Research and Insights Team has rounded up can't miss articles and hot trends you want to check out -- all in one handy snapshot.
“Advertising is saying you’re good. PR is getting someone else to say you’re good.” – Jean-Louis Gassee
Stop. Read. Learn. Here are five things to think about:
1. Hyundai: A Real-Time Super Bowl Commercial
Hyundai is trying a new way to get people’s attention with its Super Bowl commercial, filming the ad during the game rather than filming beforehand. The company has purchased a 90-second spot that will air immediately after the game ends. Hyundai called the ad a documentary and says it will include “some of the best off-the-field Super Bowl moments.”
– Fortune, Hyundai Will Shoot Its Super Bowl Commercial in Real Time
2. Alibaba Extends Its Influence
E-commerce giant Alibaba recently signed on as one of the lead sponsors of the Olympics through 2028. This was announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Alibaba founder Jack Ma said that it was a "historical" day for Alibaba and that the initiative forms part of his ambition to steer the massive Chinese online shopping channel toward partnerships and deals that focus, through sports, on "happiness and health."
This isn’t the only way Alibaba has made recent news. Alipay, China’s leading third-party online payment platform (launched by Alibaba Group), is expanding its presence in North America. Through a partnership with luxury travel retailer DFS Group, Alipay’s in-store mobile payment service will be available in DFS’ Honolulu International Airport store, and its downtown T Galleria by DFS, Hawaii store in advance of the Chinese New Year. DFS Group launched Alipay in its airport stores in SFO, LAX, and JFK in 2016. This expansion allows Chinese tourists to use their Alipay mobile wallet when shopping, as well as to search restaurants, shop nearby and discover deals. Alipay is expected to drive business and increase sales for North American merchants.
– USAToday, Davos: Withe Olympics deal, Alibaba burnishes China’s global credentials AND Alipay expands North American presence
3. Hostess Announces New Product Offerings
Hostess is entering the bagel market with a new product line that will debut in convenience and drug stores. The company is also preparing to launch six varieties of Hostess-branded ice cream pints, including a CupCakes flavor, as part of a licensing deal with Nestle USA. Hostess also unveiled chocolate Twinkies, among other new products. These breakthrough new products point to new directions Hostess may pursue, CEO William Toler said.
– BakingBusiness.com, Slideshow: Hostess innovation probes brand’s versatility
4. Lidl Increases New Jersey Footprint
German supermarket chain will open three stores in South New Jersey in Cumberland County. They will likely compete with similar discount grocers in the area. The three stores are part of Lidl’s plan to open as many as 150 stores on the East Coast by the end of 2017. Matthew P. Casey, who runs the North Jersey-based supermarket consulting company Matthew P. Casey and Associates, said Lidl will likely compete with Aldi for cost-conscious shoppers in Cumberland County. “They like the demographics of the county,” Casey said of Lidl. “They like very price-conscious shoppers (who) watch their pennies very carefully.”
– The Press of Atlantic City, German company Lidl to open three supermarkets in Cumberland County
5. Walgreens and FedEx Enter Long-Term Agreement
Soon customers will be able to drop off and pick up FedEx packages at Walgreens. Walgreens will have an initial, “small-scale” rollout this spring, with more stores added to the program in the coming months. The program will be available nationwide by fall 2018. The “long-term” agreement was struck after FedEx conducted research that showed customers rank pharmacies as “a preferred location for accessing their e-commerce shipments,” said Raj Subramaniam, chief marketing and communications officer of FedEx.
– USA Today, FedEx introduces Package dropoff, pickup at Walgreens