Brands Brief: Some People Will Pay More and Fly Longer to Avoid United

Top Stories

  • Polling shows that some people who have been following United Airlines Inc.’s PR fiasco where a man was dragged off a plane say they’ll make an effort to avoid flying on that airline, even if another flight means a more expensive trip or includes a layover. (Morning Consult)
  • Companies are putting more effort into their social media presence due to the volatile nature of the medium, especially when it comes to the negative impact on publicity, as seen in the recent examples set by United Airlines and PepsiCo Inc. (The New York Times)
  • After a video of a murder was posted on Facebook Inc.’s social media platform, the company must decide how to weigh the benefits of emerging technology with the potential for it to be abused, sometimes in extreme ways. (Wired)

    Correction: A previous version of this brief misstated the association between the Facebook video platform and the company’s live-streaming feature.

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Advertising and Marketing

Neiman Marcus Finds Even Wealthy Shoppers Want Better Deals
Suzanne Kapner and Ryan Dezember, The Wall Street Journal

Lysa Heslov used to be a loyal Neiman Marcus shopper. Now, she buys most of her clothes, shoes and handbags at websites that carry the same designer brands, often at cheaper prices.

At Luxury Stores, It Isn’t Shopping, It’s an Experience
Christina Binkley, The Wall Street Journal

When the fashion emporium FortyFiveTen decided to expand, the suburban store built a huge new location in downtown Dallas. And it decided to break away from the usual retail model.

Why Stephen Curry Is Plugging a Chinese Smartphone
Angela Doland, Advertising Age

NBA superstar Stephen Curry has appeared in a lot of commercials, including one for the Apple iPhone back in 2015. Now the Golden State Warriors guard is plugging a smartphone brand you probably haven’t heard of: China’s Vivo.

Pizza Hut takes a dig at Domino’s in its new ad campaign
Saumya Tewari and Sakshi Gupta, Livemint

Yum Brand-owned quick service restaurant chain Pizza Hut has rolled out a digital campaign taking a dig at its rival Jubilant FoodWorks-owned Domino’s Pizza. The series of three videos cheekily suggests that “no one” can resist Pizza Hut’s pan pizzas. Made by advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, the campaign features two young protagonists suggestively named Dominic and Dominica who profess their love for pan pizza from Pizza Hut.

Media and Entertainment

Condé Nast Is Hiring a Snapchat Team to Crank Out More Discover Content
Lauren Johnson, Adweek

Condé Nast is hoping to find millennials on Snapchat. After inking a deal with Snapchat to create stories—the strings of photos and videos curated at venues—around events like Vanity Fair’s Oscar party in October 2015 and setting up a permanent Discover channel for Vogue, the New York publisher is making a bigger bet on mobile content.

Social Media and Technology

United and Pepsi Affairs Force Brands to Respect Social Media
Sapna Maheshwari, The New York Times

When Jason Marker, the new chief executive of the company that owns Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, met with several of his marketing executives this week, one of his first requests was for screens to be installed in the company’s headquarters to display real-time social media conversations about its brands. It is the sort of setup that already exists at the advertising agencies representing Mr. Marker’s company, CKE Restaurants, and that the company has built internally for events like the Super Bowl, said Brandon LaChance, the director of advertising and digital marketing for the chains, who was at the meeting.

Uber, Lifting Financial Veil, Says Sales Growth Outpaces Losses
Eric Newcomer, Bloomberg News

Uber Technologies Inc. isn’t required to report its finances publicly, but the privately held company has decided to forgo that luxury for the first time. Uber said its revenue growth is outpacing losses, hoping to show the business is on a strong trajectory as it attempts to address a recent cascade of scandals.

PR and Communications

United Air removes couple traveling to wedding from plane
Jonathan Allen and Chris Michaud, Reuters

An engaged couple were removed from a United Airlines flight to Costa Rica on Saturday, as the airline remained under scrutiny following outrage caused by a video last week of a passenger being forcibly removed from a flight. According to the couple, who said they were en route to get married, a federal marshal had escorted them from the plane before take-off from Houston, Texas, but United denied this on Sunday, saying in a statement that neither a marshal nor other authorities was involved.

Snapchat denies its CEO labeled India as ‘poor’
Jethro Mullen, CNN

Snapchat is trying to put out a PR firestorm in India. Anger has boiled over among social media users over allegations by a former employee — which Snapchat strongly denies — that its CEO once dismissed India as a “poor” country that wasn’t a priority for the app.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Gucci’s New Ads for Pre-Fall 2017 Star Only Black Models
Liza Corsillo, GQ

The kaleidoscopic, crazy, appliquéd-everything universe that designer Alessandro Michele has developed over the past two years at Gucci is dragging fashion in a refreshing direction. Check out the ad campaign for its pre-fall 2017 collection, which the iconic Italian brand unveiled today.

Opinions, Editorials, Perspectives and Research

Poll: People Won’t Fly United If Another Airline Has An Identical Flight
Laura Nichols, Morning Consult

People are so mad at United Airlines that over 40 percent of people who have heard about the airline recently also say they would pay more money and endure a layover to avoid flying with the company. Public outrage started after a video emerged showing police dragging a passenger off a flight Sunday to make room for United Airlines employees.

How Much Would People Put Up With to Avoid United Airlines?
Kevin Quealy, The New York Times

United Airlines’s self-induced crisis last week lost the company points on social media, and dollars in its market cap. But will it actually lose customers as a result?

Facebook Streams A Murder, And Now Must Face Itself
Emily Dreyfuss, Wired

The video is shaky, like so many other handheld Facebook videos. A steering wheel fills the foreground, and a bright sunny day bobs by outside the car’s windows.

Which Real-World Issues Are Twitter Users Discussing? (Study)
Kimberlee Morrison, Adweek

Social media has become a destination for reading and aggregating news and spirited discussion for many internet users. While fake news has infected the environment, plenty of users are still able to have genuine conversations.

Mastercard an enabler, not just a payments brand
Faaez Samadi, Campaign Asia

Moving beyond the payments sector and into consumer experience has been the secret to Mastercard’s ‘Priceless Cities’ campaign, according to Deborah Goldingham, the brand’s head of marketing for Southeast Asia. Speaking to Campaign Asia-Pacific, Goldingham explained that following the brand’s refreshed positioning launched last year, the marketing strategy has been to make Mastercard more than just a payments brand, and in fact to actually showcase it as a brand for consumers.

What Spotify’s Data-Driven Marketing Campaign Can Teach Us About Localization and Personalization
Carlos García-Arista, Skyword

Day in, day out, the CMO of an enterprise-level business with offices in Midtown Manhattan uses his lunch hour to walk around the city, headphones in, brainstorming his next marketing campaign while listening to Broadway musicals he loves. Lately, he’s been listening to the Hamilton soundtrack on repeat.