Capital One fined by consumer protection bureau

Here’s one of Capital One’s catchy ads featuring Alec Baldwin. The ad wasn’t deceptive, but apparently the bank was benefiting from other problematic business practices.

The nation’s consumer watchdog on Wednesday delivered its first enforcement action against the financial industry, fining Capital One for pressuring and misleading more than two million credit card customers.

Capital One, one of the nation’s biggest banks and credit card lenders, agreed to pay $210 million to resolve a pair of regulatory cases, the latest legal setback for the financial industry.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Wall Street’s newest regulator, accused Capital One of “deceptive marketing tactics.” The credit card company — which is known for its catchy television ads, asking “what’s in your wallet” — received a regulatory rebuke for misleading card customers into buying unnecessary products like payment protection and credit monitoring, according to the consumer agency.

It’s nice to see someone looking out for the consumer . . . finally.


Mac vs PC ad with Gisele Bündchen

Here’s an awesome ad from Apple’s old campaign comparing the Mac to the lame PCs of the era. This version with Gisele Bündchen really drove the point home that Macs were better in so many ways.

The question now is whether Microsoft can finally fight back. It will be releasing the new operating system along with new office software. Will it be a huge step forward as some are saying, or will it suck like Vista with Microsoft blowing the execution? In reaction to the new Surface tablet, Steve Wosniak made the stunning statement that it was as if Steve Jobs had been reincarnated at Microsoft.

We’ll see this fall . . . .


GM switches from Super Bowl to Manchester United

GM is going with a more global strategy for its marketing and advertising, hoping to save money but also improve reach and effectiveness.

After ditching costly Super Bowl ads, General Motors is betting a five-year sponsorship of the Manchester United soccer club will bolster its Chevrolet line in the first test of the brand’s new global marketing strategy.

Manchester United, the 19-time English champion football team, has a worldwide reach that fits with the automaker’s desire to make Chevrolet a global icon, Paul Edwards, GM executive director of global marketing strategy, said in an interview prior to the announcement.

“It’s clear that global football presented us with a significant opportunity to spread Chevrolet around the world,” he said. “We recognized that it’s not only the world’s biggest sport but also the world’s most engaged fans.”

The agreement follows GM’s decision this month to halt paid advertising on Facebook and forgo next year’s Super Bowl championship game of the National Football League in the U.S. The decision to sponsor Manchester United isn’t related to GM’s move to stop Super Bowl advertising, Mr. Edwards said. Still, the numbers are compelling.

When Manchester United played against Manchester City, “that audience around the world scaled to 600 million people,” Mr. Edwards said. “Compare that to the Super Bowl here in the States, which is roughly 110, 115 million, and you’re talking five times that audience watching one regular-season game. It’s significant.”

It’s an interesting approach, and it probably makes sense for such a global brand, especially for world vehicles like the Chevy Cruze. If it works for Chevy they’ll roll this out to Cadillac as well. Read the whole article for more insight into the strategy.


Marisa Miller in new commercial for Buick

I like this campaign for Buick, one of those older brands that needs to totally update their image. Fortunately, the products have improved dramatically, and the Buick Enclave is a good example.

Now that the cars no longer reflect the brand that attracted only older buyers, the brand can start working on its image. Having a supermodel like Marisa Miller point out that the Enclave has both looks and substance, like her, is a great start. This luxury SUV is a perfect vehicle to drive the new branding effort, and Marisa Miller is a perfect match. Also, this is the kind of campaign that could get some attention online and in social media.


Traditional promotions still work

When you’re mapping out your marketing strategy for your business, regardless of size you should consider a wide variety of options.

Of course, in today’s world, online advertising, mobile advertising and social media are critical components that you need to consider. If you’re not sure what a Twitter account or a Facebook page can do for your business, then you better get some help. These are the basics, and there are plenty of other options for new media promotions such as Groupon as well.

On the other hand, traditional methods have been around for a long time for a reason. Some are going away with the emergence of the web, but many old-school methods can be very effective. Think about things like mailers, coupons in newspapers and calendar printing can help you get attention when your competitors are exclusively thinking about new media. Also, online ordering has made these traditional methods much more affordable and efficient.

So consider all your options and create the best strategy for your business.


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