Archive for January, 2008

27
Jan
08

VURU: Makes The Chore Of Vitamins Easier

Vuru - Supplements Made Easy

Stumbled across an amazing web 2.0 find called VURU. This wonderful new website makes it easy for those who have a cabinet full of vitamins and are constantly running around with ziplock bags. Essentially VURU allows you to pick from a variety of name brand vitamin manufacturers and mix and match your own personal vitamin pack. They mail it to you in one nicely designed daily pouch and there it is. Think of it as Netflix for vitamins as one blogger has called it. Got a chance to see the story on one of my favorite shows “The Big Idea” and clearly the founder Grant Kornman, who is a former real estate developer in Miami has found his calling.

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26
Jan
08

Jimmy Iovine: Music Industry Survivor and Change Agent

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Read in Coolfer yesterday about Universal Music (Interscope, Geffen, A&M) entering in a business to do non alcoholic and alcoholic beverages with their artists. This is I’m sure a part of Jimmy Iovine’s continued play of non-music business driven businesses for his artsits. Iovine orchestrated the Hasbro-Pussycat Dolls deal and they also release music under the Bratz brand. Very interesting play by Iovine who is no stranger to the marketing business. Besides becoming insanely wealthy from being a pioneer in the music business he also has dabbled in marketing investments with his good buddy Steve Stoute. As an investor in Stoute’s Translation Marketing he also is a part of the Carol’s Daughter investment team which also includes Will & Jada Smith, Jay-Z, Tommy Mottola and Jay-Z. I’m sure there are even more investments with pop culture friends but I guarantee as the record business ship is sinking, Iovine getaway boat will be a Yacht. In a business that is dying for innovation, record labels now resemble artist management companies participating in revenues of both album sales and marketing deals. This allows the marketing departments to actually become marketing/biz dev units and “make money” something I argued for during my tenure at Columbia Records. Needless to say the music business is an interesting soap opera to watch these days.

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24
Jan
08

Brenda Freeman Named Chief Marketing Officer @ Turner

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Brenda Freeman was named CMO at Turner in a newly created role at Turner and will be joining the rest of us “transplants” in Atlanta. Freeman most recently VP, Integrated Marketing at Nickelodeon and though we have only had one phone conversation together, I hear nothing but glowing remarks about her work. Looking forward to sharing a sweet tea and a meal with Brenda soon.

24
Jan
08

Target + John Legend

Go ahead, plug in. It's a John Legend Target subway poster.

Target is out with a pretty innovative program with the release of John Legend’s new “Live From Philadelphia” album aimed at NYC subway riders. Interactive billboards complete with fully functional headphone jacks embedded into them allow consumers to preview samples of tracks. Target is also jumping into the music distribution “opportunity” that now exists with an exclusive on the John Legend release, available only in Target stores. Those that know me well no I’m not the biggest John Legend fan but I am a fan of Lisa Ellis (Executive VP, Sony Music) and John Legend’s manager Ant Demby both of whom I know played a major role in this deal. What is the record business going to become and how will artists find innovative ways to reach consumers is the million dollar question that only a “few refugees” at major labels are left to figure out.

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22
Jan
08

Chuck D On The Def Jam Situation

Chuck D’s Statement to Not Filling the Position of DEF JAM President After JAY Z Stepped Down          

“It’s really disappointing that UNIVERSAL decided not to replace the vacated DEF JAM job. Its sort of expected, and a primary reason why the music business has collapsed.  The sports world relies on a mix of business people, coaches, ex-players and players to further an organized growing path in what it does.  It’s why it does well and we remain fans.  I’m embarrassed at how musicians and artists in other genres of music make us appear to be greed-infested, structureless idiots when it comes down to the organization of black music and culture. 
 
And it’s quite clear that these folks could care less.  The same thing that happened to MOTOWN is DEF JAM’s fate.  In my opinion, the fact that 10 -15 individuals in the guise of hovering buzzards are given keys to the culture based on their alliances with these corporations, is a partial reason for the troubled condition it’s in. Hence music, and especially this urban, black, whatever you wanna call it, is an incestuous inner circle of usual suspects that are financially trusted over black culture by a select ‘other few.’  It’s evident that we are not the same people.”

(EDITOR: CHUCK! I’m the best product manager that ever worked with you (LOL) Problem is if they give you the keys to the house and you asked me to come to Def Jam, I wouldn’t do it, that business is a rap!!!)

22
Jan
08

Twitter, Microjournalism & MicroBlogging Hits The NY Times

I love it when I have some “good ol’ substance and fodder” for my pitches. Sitting here in South Beach Miami preparing for a big presentation today and stumbled across this piece in the New York Times that discusses Twitter and “Micro-blogging” and its effect on the election coverage and journalism. This is very timely as I’m about to transform a slightly disengaged client this afternoon into a converted soul who will begin to look at interactive media and pr in an entirely new light. I have been a champion (and user) of Twitter for some time now and like my Fast Company colleague and fellow “micro-journalist” Peter Fasano says, “20 posts in Twitter in a day translates into a typical blog posting.” Fasano, like all my other “Twit-izen” Friends have made me feel like my contributions to Twitter count in the eyes of the “social media gods” who tally up whether or not I’m contributing. What is true is that the rules are changing and are your clients up to speed or are they waiting on you to catch up?

21
Jan
08

Nike Finally Finds A Cook To Lead Brand Jordan

There was a void left at Brand Jordan when Larry Miller bolted for the Portland Trailblazers President slot. That hole has now been filled by 12 year veteran Garry Cook who now assumes the position of GM of Brand Jordan. Cook inherits a brand that has experienced some success over the last few years and should be in a position to be even more successful. He joins a great team in Beaverton including one of my favorite people, Howard “H” White. Cook most recently was the International GM for Brand Jordan and grew the brand in Asia and Europe. This is the first major hire for head of global basketball Craig Zanon who was recently crowned the chief of hoops at Nike. Miller, before bolting to the Portland Trailblazers, was the head of global basketball for about 30 seconds and had been searching for a replacement.

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