Walmart, Amazon battle for food-stamp
Walmart is making an e-commerce play for people using Electronic
Benefit Transfer (i.e., food stamps). In a pilot launching at one
store in Houston and four in Boise, Idaho, people can use EBT
pickups of online orders. The move comes a little over three
months after Amazon appeared to move in on Walmart's customer base
by letting people using EBT get discounted Prime subscriptions for
eligible grocery ordering. In a blog post, Walmart said the policy
will expand to an unspecified number of other stores throughout the
holiday season. Will Amazon follow suit with EBT store pickups at
Whole Foods, once informally known as "Whole Paycheck?"
McDonald's overhaul forces one shop to
Cossette is closing up shop in the Windy City
after losing the chance to keep working on McDonald's local
advertising in the U.S. Cossette, which is based in Canada and has
been a creative agency for McDonald's up north for decades, opened
a Chicago outpost in 2014 after winning the gig as the local ad
agency for the McDonald's Operators of Chicagoland and Northwest
Indiana. But McDonald's put all of the local ad accounts up for
review this summer,
as Ad Age reported, and Cossette pitched but did not make the
cut as one of the seven groups set to handle work for various local
markets. While the agency has had some other clients, including
some work for Ronald McDonald House, the loss of the McDonald's
local business was too big to bear. "Clearly, the McDonald's RFP
process did not turn out the way we had hoped and we had to make a
difficult decision," Cossette said in a statement. The closure
affects 15 people. Alyssa Huggins, who opened the Chicago office,
will take on a new role within Cossette's holding company, V7
International, leading its expansion in other U.S. markets.
Cossette continues to work with McDonald's across Canada.
Physical stores not dead yet
Here's some rare good news for brick-and-mortar retailers: They're
holding their own against e-commerce with Generation Z, according
to a new study by IRI on the demographic of consumers ages 14-21.
"Gen Z sees both brick-and-mortar and online retailers being
equally able to deliver the brands they want—a large product
selection, low pricing and enjoyable shopping experiences," IRI
says in a preview of the report. It also found that "social media
plays a far bigger role in influencing Gen Z purchase decisions
than pricing or discounts."
Find out more here.
BB&T Corp. is pushing a new customer-centric brand message. The
bank worked with its AOR Luquire George Andrews, which is based in
Charlotte, North Carolina, on "All We See Is You," to highlight its
attention to consumers. Debuting this week, the campaign includes
two TV spots along with digital marketing.
Does this look OK?
In time for London Fashion Week, Tommy Hilfiger launched its first
fashion bot to dole out style advice via Facebook Messenger. The
designer unveiled the artificial intelligence offering at its
Tuesday show. Many brands and retailers are taking advantage of
chatbots to better connect with consumers.
Ragu wins sauce scuffle
Ragu rival Prego wasn't happy with claims that "consumers prefer
the taste of Ragu Homestyle over Prego Traditional," but the
National Advertising Division says Ragu maker Mizkan American Inc.,
gave a reasonable basis for the claim. Prego maker Campbell Soup Co.
had brought a challenge. Both brands said they did consumer
testing, with Ragu asking all red pasta-sauce users and Campbell
only asking "traditional" pasta-sauce users. In Ragu's test, it was
the preferred brand, but in the Campbell test the products were
found to be at parity on taste. NAD said Campbell's sample group
was overly restrictive and therefore Campbell's taste test and
results weren't enough to override the Ragu version.